An update for the Samsung i8910 (Icon in Aus) I8910DXJB3 dated 12 Feb 2010 is coming soon to Australia. I’m already using it and it’s actually pretty good. You get about 40MB free on C: drive, web browser is better (loads pages faster), Route66 is included and battery life is better. I’ve been using it the whole day; with about 20 minutes of talk, a few minutes gaming, some web-surfing and a few pictures taken, it hasn’t dropped a single bar. Besides that, it’s not much different from other updates with kinetic scrolling.
After having used the device with these progressing updates, I have to say I’m quite happy with the state of the device. Not that it’s perfect, but it’s very usable, more usable than it was at launch. As far as Samsung mobile phones go, they have made more significant updates with this than any other smartphone they’ve ever made. Adding kinetic scrolling throughout the user interface, updating the graphics engine and updating the web browser is a lot. Few mobile phone manufacturers would make such a dramatic change.
Biggest hurdle for the Samsung Omnia HD is the Symbian OS. Not so much the core of the OS itself, that’s pretty good, but the user experience. The user interface and overall experience on s60 as a whole is dated, much like Windows Mobile. Looking at the SDK for s60v5, the user experience remains largely unchanged on the actual devices. No mobile phone company has changed the experience much, not even Nokia. Brand distinction is pretty much on the home screen and media programs(think Samsung i8910, Nokia n97, Sony Ericsson Satio, Sony Ericsson Vivaz) an no where else. In that regard, looking at how other mobile companies have integrated Symbian on to their mobile devices, Samsung has gone as far as any, if not further.
We have to realize that when device manufactures choose an operating system, they start building on top of that, adding trending and distinguishing features. The experience on Symbian is not a good start, that is, comparing it to something like Android. Still, the Symbian OS is more advanced than Android which is seriously over-hyped. So, Symbian, the strength of the Samsung i8910 is also one of it’s greatest weaknesses.
The update that I’m using goes to show that Samsung is heading in the right direction, slowly but surely. Hope the update will be rolled out to other regions soon than later.