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Hands on | There’s a lot to talk about

Hands on | There’s a lot to talk about
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First Published: Tue, Dec 15 2009. 09 45 PM IST

Price Rs33,990, Features 8, Performance 8, Build quality 8, Value for money 6, Overall 7.6
Price Rs33,990, Features 8, Performance 8, Build quality 8, Value for money 6, Overall 7.6
Updated: Tue, Dec 15 2009. 09 45 PM IST
Samsung i8910 Omnia HD
You’ll be surprised by the sheer size of this phone—it’s slim (12.9mm), but is as long as Nokia’s E90. Then you notice the large (obviously) touch screen and the narrow-size bezel and you realize you are holding something well designed. The shiny black body that is only relieved by a chrome bezel running around the screen is constructed well, but lacks the sheer solidness of metal. The large call buttons are placed on either side of the menu button and lie slap bang amid the chrome trim. The battery cover is a firm fit. The 3.5mm jack is on top of the phone under a rather large flap. The volume switch is located on the left, while there is a tiny screen lock button on the side; the camera button, although raised, is not the easiest to use, thanks to iffy feedback.
Price Rs33,990, Features 8, Performance 8, Build quality 8, Value for money 6, Overall 7.6
The interface is impressive. Symbian on a capacitive touch screen is very rare, and the shortcomings of the touch interface on the Nokia N97 have been fully addressed here. Although Symbian icons are distinct, the widget-heavy TouchWiz interface will leave some Symbian users nonplussed at first. The screen is responsive and the touch interface is quite fluid, except for the scrolling that still relies on a scroll bar, unlike Apple’s uber-slick, gesture-based scroll. The number keypad works well for anyone used to Symbian—not as good as a hardware keypad, but not bad. The onscreen Qwerty keypad is a nice option, but isn’t as usable as the number keypad, although the large screen means well spaced-out keys.
Grunt is provided by an ARM Cortex A8 600MHz processor and there is a dedicated graphics chip in the form of the PowerVR SGX—thanks to this virtually everything is snappy, but the screen transition effects are pretty sapping and disabling this speeds up things further. The battery, despite its huge rating, drains pretty soon, because of the large screen and even with moderate usage needs charging daily.
The camera takes good photos, but a better flash would be welcome. Video quality is also good—higher resolution (720p) does help when viewing on a bigger screen. Low-light shooting is not as good. Signal quality is one region where we weren’t satisfied, and although it shares an interface with Nokia, the Omnia HD cannot hold a candle to many Nokia phones, including the N97, when it comes to signal strength, signal integrity and call clarity. The loudspeaker quality is not as good as we expected from a phone in this price bracket. Browsing is a nice experience, with the ability to resize Web pages at a finger swipe.
The Omnia HD is a very good effort and has a sweet interface, a huge screen, good , but a few significant glitches prevent it from being heartily recommended.
LG Jazz Theatre 42LH60YR
Price Rs76,990, Features 7.5, Performance 8, Build quality 8, Value for money 6.5, Overall 7.5
The wine-red highlights of the LG42LG80FR have given way to a marble finish with blue highlights in the LGs Jazz theatre 42LH60YR. This may not be to everyone’s taste. It’s heavy and well built. The blue lighting on either side doesn’t interfere with video watching but is distracting and cannot be turned off. Styling on the front is minimalistic and the remote similar to its predecessor. The on-screen menu system is excellent.
This display has what LG calls a 5.1 speaker system. It is quite frankly underpowered compared with what we expected, but is still better than other HDTVs. The display has slight backlight bleeding noticeable on the two top corners. Colour rendition is very good, not the best we’ve seen. The contrast ratio is good, but a little deficient for hard core aficionados—a PVA (patterned vertical alignment) panel would be better than an IPS panel in this regard. The 200Hz panel seems more like marketing hype, since we haven’t noticed issues with regular 60Hz panels, but the feature is there.
(Ratings out of 10)
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First Published: Tue, Dec 15 2009. 09 45 PM IST