The Samsung i8910 was announced at the Mobile Wold Congress 2009 and officially launched around the world some time in May 2009. At the time it was announced, it was not short of innovation. Being the first mobile phone to boast a 3.7″ AMOLED display, first Symbian phone with a capacitive screen, first mobile phone to support OpenGL ES 2.0 and the first mobile phone with HD video recording. Add to that an ARM Cortex-A8 600 MHz processor with a Hardware Graphics Accelerator, 256MB RAM, an 8 Mega pixel camera and a compass just to mention a few of the highlights. Some of these features are the same as, if not better than the features seen in mobile phones that have been launched lately. Continue reading Can’t Samsung Re-Launch the i8910 Omnia HD?
DIY Screen test
I recently read this article, on the MOTO labs website, for a DIY touch screen test for capacitive touch screen phones. So, I decided to put the i8910 to the test to see how it compares to the others and this was the result, click on the image for a better view:
The test on the i8910 showed there’s waiviness and stair-stepping, an indication for low touch screen sensitivity. The outer edges show low sensitivity as well but this is probably deliberate because of the screen’s close proximity to edges and also because there are no contours around the screen. Continue reading Screen test and simple concept for a torch app for the Samsung i8910
I’ve prepared a video to give you a preview of the upcoming update. The firmware is not final, it still has a few issues to be ironed out but it does give you an idea of what’s to be expected. I’ve also included a few apps from Samsung Mobile Innovator and Imagination Technologies PowerVR SDK. All these are freely available for download. So far, these demos are as close as we can get to the full power of the i8910, and that’s a lot of power. I’ve also added an extra video with a preview of Symbian^4 running on the i8910 courtesy of AAS from The Symbian Exchange and Exposition SEE 2009.
Short demo of upcoming update and a bit more
(Updated) You can download qt demos from qt demo website. To get Qt to run on the i8910 you need to install the following files:
After that you’ll have a suit with several Qt demos. You can then install the Weather, Budget apps etc that are on the Qt website above.
SMI Demo pack from Samsung Moblie Innovator (You need to have a free account with Samsung Mobile Innovator to download)
Fring for VoIP from the Fring website
You can get more free apps from AAS(All About Symbian) over here on their top 20 list of applications for the i8910 compiled by Steven Litchfield.
Some of these apps take a while to install because they consist of several applications. You will need to accept a bunch of things many times when installing…maybe 20 prompts, I lost count 🙂
Check out some Symbian^4 action on the i8910. As this runs right on top of Symbian, since Qt is a UI framework, we may see it coming later on. The demonstration starts around 40 seconds into the video. Courtesy of AAS.
I have no links though, it was strictly a demo for SEE 2009. Continue reading What to expect in the upcoming update and a bit more(video)
I had a meeting with Samsung Technical Manager Chris. The meeting lasted a total of 4 hours – that’s right 4 hours and we discussed everything in the report, point by point.
Update 1: I’ve made a few changes as suggested by Samsung to clarify some of the points.
Update 2: I’ve moved to a new website so you can follow up on the latest comments and updates for this post here
First off I have to say I was thoroughly impressed. The meeting left me with a whole different perspective on things. I’ll go point by point discussing each of the points mentioned in the report and Samsung’s response, so here goes! Continue reading My meeting with Samsung, report back on the i8910
Why have tablets failed thus far?
Thing about tablets is that they’ve never been great. The reason for this being that virtually all of these tablets are built on desktop/laptop software or mobile phone software. Microsoft has made moves to include programs that try to make the UI more suitable for tablet PCs, that’s not enough. A lot of manufactures also loaded their tablets with mobile phone operating systems ranging from Windows CE to Android. This is where they all failed and continue to fail. Desktops and laptops are built around the premise that there is a keyboard and mouse. In order to make a tablet that works, the OS has to be built from the ground up with tablets in mind. Everything about the UI for a tablet computer has to be for a tablet computer for it to work. There should be a radical difference between how people use a tablet, a laptop and a mobile phone.(update: It’s Official) Continue reading The iSlate (…or whatever it will be called) just might work
Note: this article is not factual. It’s a wishful/sarcastic post meant to highlight the potential of the i8910 and what Samsung could do with it. I’ve included details and ideas that I mean to present to Samsung in my meeting with them. This may not be real now, bit with more pressure on Samsung it could soon be a reality.
Exciting news guys, Samsung has just released an awesome update for the i8910! Pure gold of an update! This update is packed to the brim with features and fixes I don’t even know where to begin! That’s a lot coming from me after that report and petition fiasco.
So, Samsung has announced that they are releasing an update for the i8910. That’s shortly after I released the final report to them and a month after the petition started. The press release says this:
SEOUL, Korea – December 23, 2009 – Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., a leading mobile phone provider, today announced a firmware update to the Samsung I8910 HD (OMNIAHD, GT-I8910) to further improve the speed of multimedia performance and add new functionality to the device.
The I8910 HD is Samsung’s ultimate multimedia powerhouse with high definition, giving users full-touch control of their multimedia lives. The new firmware improves the user experience by delivering faster Web browsing, an improved graphics engine and enhanced full-touch screen experience:
-Webkit update: A faster user-interface when online, for swift navigation of your favourite websites
-Graphic engine: An improved graphic engine, increasing the speed to access the multimedia content
-Kinetic scrolling: The addition of a kinetic scrolling system provides a superior full-touch experience
The firmware update will be available from January 2010 in the UK and gradually rolled out to other European markets, Southeast Asia, the Middle East Asia, Africa and rest of the world.
To a greater extent, this is a good thing. This may be the start of more updates to come and most importantly it shows Samsung is listening. The disappointing thing here is that they didn’t mention anything about the camera which is one of the greatest problem areas. A substantial part of the report covers the camera very extensively and they didn’t bother to look into that. On the other hand, maybe they didn’t feel inclined to mention every detail of what they cover in the upcoming update.
Another big point that was left out is support for the device. Support in the sense of people developing apps tailored for the i8910 and its capabilities. This issue is pretty much out of Samsungs hands. It’s up to developers and companies in the industry to get on board. The only way they can get on board is if there’s a real incentive. With support for Symbian dwindling coupled with the problems the i8910 has, there is no incentive. The i8910 just isn’t exciting or popular enough. At the end of the day, it comes full circle right back to Samsung. From media response though, people are still interested in the i8910 so there’s hope for something better. Follow the links for the official release from Samsung and the articles from the press.
Now the iPhone has been around for a while and it is apparent that it’s changed the game. It’s changed what people expect from a mobile phone. The key behind its success being that it’s more than just a mobile phone; it’s a mobile platform, a platform that has evolved over time.
Figure 1 iPhone 3GS The latest iteration of the iPhone platform.
Looking at the iPhone’s hardware specs, there’s really nothing that we haven’t seen on other devices. It has the usual features that are found in other smart-phones, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, large display, plenty of memory, a plethora of sensors and more recently GPS, 3G, compass and many other goodies. So what sets the iPhone apart? Others may argue that it is the App Store that sets the iPhone apart but it is not. The App Store is merely peripheral; it is the result of that which sets the iPhone apart. Continue reading Why the iPhone changed the game
Report on the i8910 v3 Yes the report is up, better than ever before! It took hours so feel free to dive in and enjoy!!! 7421 words, 38 images and countless hours of work! Coinciding with 2000 signatures signed! Here’s a screen cap of a few pages:
A few corrections have been made, some people picked up a few typos and stuff. This is the last report. The journey ends here.. I’ve worked really hard to deliver on this report but now I have to move on to other things. Three weeks in the making and countless hours of work. I really hope this pays off, I put my heart and soul into it. At the end of the day, the situation is out of my hands, its up to Samsung. I will continue to update on the progress the report has made but unless something really big happens, this report is final. Thanks to everyone for the support, it has been a great journey and learning experience for me.
So here’s the press coverage so far for the petition and report:
- Engadget Mobile: Wronged i8910 buyer prepares doctral-quality thesis on issues
- Samsung Omnia HD Blog: Samsung i8910 owner preps 25-page quality control report
- GSM Arena: Report on the i8910 Omnia HD points out its flaws
- All About Symbian: Samsung i8910 HD: Miscellaneous Musings
- 8910.cz: 20 years after a general strike against Samsung
- Omnia HD Users: Petition for Samsung to improve i8910 Omnia HD Firmware
Yup, the petition and reports are all over the place too, like Twitter, Digg, Facebook etc and the stories from the above have been recycled by several blogs. So for now, that’s what I’ve done with the first 3 weeks of my summer amongst other things.. Gotta keep it moving!
Version3 of my report is almost complete. This time around I’ve made several changes and corrections and I’ve also included a change-log to show all the changes I’ve made. I’ve taken more contributions from the community as well so the report is slightly longer and yet easier to read. The special thing about this report more than any other is that I will be submitting it when the petition signatures reach 2000 AND I will be submitting it directly to a top figure at Samsung who contacted me after my first report came out.
An update to my previous article on my i8910’s white screen of death: I’ve taken it back to the retailer and they said I should expect it back in 3 weeks. That basically means I’m not getting it until after the holidays and that really sucks. Someone else had the exact same problem as me in the forums so we might be seeing more white screens of death soon!
All that glitters…sometimes has bugs
With the recent announcement of the new Gold Edition of the i8910 it is hoped that new firmware will come, but who knows?
I haven’t seen shots of the phone from behind but I’m guessing it is going to have a similar to the back panel to those on early models seen in February when the phone was announced.