Samsung Omnia 7 review

We review Samsung's first Windows Phone 7 smartphone to see if it can meet the demands of business users.

As far as entering text is concerned, we found the Samsung Omnia 7 to be very good. The on screen keyboards, both when oriented horizontally and vertically, are comfy to use, and the predictive text system is comprehensive. We found the automatic spell check, where spelling errors are underlined in red, useful too as it allowed us to come back and make changes later in a writing session rather than constantly double checking as we were going along. However the absence of copy and paste is a significant limitation.

When it comes to calendar and contacts synchronisation and document editing, what you can achieve will depend on your technology setup.

Windows Phone 7 has an Office hub which gives access to OneNote, PowerPoint, Word and Excel documents shared via SharePoint Server 2010. If you don't have access to a SharePoint server, then your options are limited. Bizarrely, it's currently not possible to use SkyDrive, Microsoft's consumer online storage service, to copy documents to the Omnia 7 even though SkyDrive can be used to do this between PCs.

The Zune desktop software can transfer music, videos, pictures and podcasts to the Omnia 7 but not Office documents, except for OneNote files, or calendar and contacts data. To synchronise Outlook and the Omnia 7, without Exchange, you have to first synchronise desktop Outlook with Windows Live, then synch from Windows Live to the Omnia 7.

On the plus side, Windows Phone 7 can handle multiple calendars from Windows Live, Google and Exchange. So, for example, you can view a work and a home calendar, or your own and your partner's calendar, side by side.

Since this reviewer lacks access to SharePoint Server 2010 we had to test round tripping of Office documents by emailing them.

Sandra Vogel
Freelance journalist

Sandra Vogel is a freelance journalist with decades of experience in long-form and explainer content, research papers, case studies, white papers, blogs, books, and hardware reviews. She has contributed to ZDNet, national newspapers and many of the best known technology web sites.

At ITPro, Sandra has contributed articles on artificial intelligence (AI), measures that can be taken to cope with inflation, the telecoms industry, risk management, and C-suite strategies. In the past, Sandra also contributed handset reviews for ITPro and has written for the brand for more than 13 years in total.