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HTC Raphael vs Samsung i900

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#1
freshmaker

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Anyone else out there having a very hard time deciding between these two phones? I have been on a Hermes/Vario II for the last year and a half. Best phone I've had - the usability of the keyboard and scroll wheel combo together with the zippy HSDPA internet browsing capabilities really fulfilled a degree of usability and easy access to all kinds of online and offline resources that I had never before had in a phone. But time passes, contracts finish, and the new range of phones coming out now finally represent the next major step up from this phone.

Despite all the good points of the Hermes, it certainly had its short-comings, some of which I hope to now address in my next phone. Chief among these was:
- Battery life. As with most high end Phone/PDA hybrids the Hermes battery life is poor. You live with it for the perks you get in return but this will be a big factor in helping me chose my next phone.
- Camera. I've become a fair bit more interested in taking digital snaps since my last upgrade and, while I still put the priority on the phone excelling as a phone and for navigating the web, I'd really warm to being able to take usable shots with something I will always have to hand when out and about.
- Audio/video capabilities. The Hermes can do both but neither particularly well and was always severely hampered by its lack of a regular headphone out port. And then of course it kills the limited battery anyway. I have enough room left in my pockets for a small mp3 player but with the amount of storage now available, either onboard or from micro SD cards, I would like a handset that can really challenge the need for me to bring a separate mp3 player. As the screens on today's phones are becoming very good I'm particularly interested in making use of video capabilities (video podcasts and the occasional films/tv rip). Having access to a good radio on the device, while not essential, would also be an added bonus.
- Losing of the 3G/HSDPA signal whereby you had to close and reopen the Data Connection in the Comms Manager, or even restart the phone signal itself. When travelling on a train this is fair enough, but this is still a fairly regular occurrence even when stationary at my office and I live and work in central London. There may be some kind of help for this in these forums and to be fair high speed internet is still a relatively new technology in phones, but I'd hope my next phone is at least a little better at holding an internet signal straight out of the box.

So back to the main gist of this post, it seems there are two clear contenders for what I want at the moment - the Samsung i900 and the HTC Raphael. I'm guessing there are others who are mulling over this one and would be interested to hear what your thoughts are. For those who haven't seen it yet, there are some good videos, previews, and reviews of each phone here: http://www.theunwired.net/?catid=60

For me the pluses and minuses for each camp, listed roughly in order of importance, are:

HTC Raphael
+ The dedicated slide out keyboard. And now with an extra row of number keys. Being able to easily type sms, emails, and word docs on a dedicated QWERTY keyboard is so, so nice.
+ Fresh new Touch Flo interface is undoubtedly 'sexier' and potentially better to use than the i900's.
+ Great VGA screen. Would no doubt chuck over a load of photos taken on my regular camera onto the memory card for viewing on the go on this beauty.
+ Helpful hardware keys on the front together with a good directional pad.
+ Most likely will have better support over its lifespan with HTC's experience in the WM smartphone field and the conserted push by their marketing department to make this one a big seller. The more normal screen dimension should limit any issues like those the i900 might have as a result of its wide screen.

- Going on the Diamond's battery performance, it seems like it might not be as good as you'd hope for.
- 3mp camera, while better than most other smartphones, is apparently nothing to write home about as far as most mobile phone cameras go.
- Doesn't support your everyday headphones out of the box.
- Current feedback seem to indicate the Touch FLo interface is a more unstable than you would hope for. You can look past the stability of your phone for the first few weeks/month while enjoying the perks of the new and improved interface, but over time this will inevitably become a more and more annoying issue if it can't be EASILY fixed with an update.
- Diamond screen suffers a bit from finger print smearing, assume Raphael will do the same.
- Limited amount of onboard memory.

Samsung i900
+ Appears that it has the edge battery wise. Stronger battery to begin with and I'm guessing the Touch Pro's VGA screen also eats up its battery life quicker over a charge than the i900.
+ By all accounts it has a very capable 5mp camera on it, with a good set of features to play around with.
+ Ships with a connector to plug your everyday headphones into.
+ Haptic feedback. Definitely a bonus when it comes to the touch interface.
+ Judging by reviews out of both devices, it would appear that the i900, while prone to the occasional crash like most Windows Mobile devices, is maybe more stable than the new Touch Flo interface of the Diamond and Touch Pro.
+ Larger screen.
+ 8/16 GB on-board memory.
+ Apparently the speaker on it is pretty good as far as phone speakers go which is nice for playing your call, music, radio out loud.

- No slide-out keyboard. This will be the first thing I test once it is available to try in the shops. I'm hoping the QWERTY input mode when used in landscape mode works well enough. It clearly won't be as good as having a dedicated keyboard but hoping it is fairly quick and reliable to input text. A poor score on this and that's a deal broken right there.
- Only two hardware keys on the front and the navigation pointer on it isn't your usual functional direction pad.
- Uncommon screen dimensions. I'm not a power user like many on here and don't expect to install that many 3rd party apps, but it would be a big disappointment if a large number of WM applications couldn't be run simply because of its unusual screen size.
- No built in stylus. Rarely use the one that sits in my Hermes anyway but doesn't hurt to have one.
- Proprietary charging and data USB cable. Why Samsung, why?!


Have I missed out any other obvious positives or negatives for each phone? These are the main things that come to mind in comparing the two. Obviously they both have lots of shared plus points including powerful CPUs, accelerometer, what looks like good video and audio players, RDS-supported FM radio, good picture viewers, micro-SD support, TV-out, GPS, etc.

So which one to go for. At the moment I'm leaning towards the i900 for its better battery life and camera. But the on-screen keyboard just has to do a decent job of inputting text, otherwise it's adios amigo or whatever the Korean equivalent of that is. On the other hand, the Raphael's new interface does look rather special and once you've used one it really has to be said a dedicated keyboard is a great thing to have. It's going to be a wrenching decision in the end but I'm just happy to have two such strong options to chose from (three maybe if I can really hold out for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 - unlikely!). Curious to hear anybody else's views when it comes to choosing between the two and have also posted this same thread in the i900 forum.

Edited by freshmaker, 06 August 2008 - 04:02 PM.

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#2
WearTheFoxHat

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Whoa mega long post !!!

I totally agree with your plus an minus points ... hard decision ... very hard.

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#3
gavken

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Like you I am looking at upgrading and faced with a similar choice. I did look briefly at the iPhone (yes I was tempted by the Dark side), but have narrowed the choice down to the same two phones you have. I ruled out the Sony Experia X1 as a) its not coming until November and :D its very long and really does look like a brick.

Although I have recently started taking a few snapshots with my Vario II recently it is not my primary way of taking pictures and this is of secondry importance to me. The problem I have on my Vario II is the god awful software interface that I understand has improved on the latest version on the Diamond. Therefore the camera is not a primary concern. Also note that in the Omnia / Diamond head to head the Diamond camera held up well even though it was only 3 mega pixel against 5 mp.

For me the keyboard is a big thing. I've become used to it and I like having it available to me. I think I'd miss having it and am not certain a soft keyboard would cut it. Having said that I don't use it often, so I'm torn two ways here. Unlike you I don't like the sound of the haptic feedback on the Omnia.

I've found my Vario II lasts 1-3 days depending on use which is generally OK with me. With the power saving features the Vario IV should be OK even with the lovely VGA screen.

The VGA screen, Opera browser and Touchflo 3D are definitely swinging things to the Touch Pro for me at the moment. I expect the version of Touchflo 3D on the Touch Pro to be significantly better than the Diamond as HTC have had time to tweak it to work more efficiently now, so I don't expect it to be too slow and buggy.

The nice large battery on the Omnia is tempting me, but the haptics, no space for a stylus, fewer buttons and proprietry charger are putting me off it.

So all in all I'm leaning towards the HTC Touch Pro.

Gavin.

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#4
freshmaker

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Like you I am looking at upgrading and faced with a similar choice. I did look briefly at the iPhone (yes I was tempted by the Dark side), but have narrowed the choice down to the same two phones you have. I ruled out the Sony Experia X1 as a) its not coming until November and :D its very long and really does look like a brick.

Although I have recently started taking a few snapshots with my Vario II recently it is not my primary way of taking pictures and this is of secondry importance to me. The problem I have on my Vario II is the god awful software interface that I understand has improved on the latest version on the Diamond. Therefore the camera is not a primary concern. Also note that in the Omnia / Diamond head to head the Diamond camera held up well even though it was only 3 mega pixel against 5 mp.

For me the keyboard is a big thing. I've become used to it and I like having it available to me. I think I'd miss having it and am not certain a soft keyboard would cut it. Having said that I don't use it often, so I'm torn two ways here. Unlike you I don't like the sound of the haptic feedback on the Omnia.

I've found my Vario II lasts 1-3 days depending on use which is generally OK with me. With the power saving features the Vario IV should be OK even with the lovely VGA screen.

The VGA screen, Opera browser and Touchflo 3D are definitely swinging things to the Touch Pro for me at the moment. I expect the version of Touchflo 3D on the Touch Pro to be significantly better than the Diamond as HTC have had time to tweak it to work more efficiently now, so I don't expect it to be too slow and buggy.

The nice large battery on the Omnia is tempting me, but the haptics, no space for a stylus, fewer buttons and proprietry charger are putting me off it.

So all in all I'm leaning towards the HTC Touch Pro.

Gavin.


Re the haptics I assume this can be turned off. Given how much more both phones play on the touch interface I personally like that the i900 comes with haptic feedback which just makes it that much more tactile when you're moving through menus etc.

I've never gotten 3 days use out of my Vario II without a recharge. Use the web browsing a lot which runs it down quicker combined with phone calls. If I wanted to use either phone for audio and video playing as well the battery life would be even more of an issue.

The Samsung comes with the Opera browser doesn't it? I know that it hasn't got support for Flash but I gather this will be fixed in the next WM update anyway.

On the camera front, if you're referring to the Unwired article which compared the i900, Diamond, Raphael, and X1 cameras, this was done with a preproduction version of the i900 and apparently the final ROM version produces truer colours and thus is better than first indicated.

Agree with you on the keyboard front though. I type a fair bit of messages and even take the odd notes in Word so the i900's onscreen keyboard really does have to be decent.

Edited by freshmaker, 06 August 2008 - 01:47 PM.

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#5
gavken

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I've never got 3 days use out of my Vario II without a recharge. Use the web browsing a lot which runs it down quicker combined with phone calls. If I wanted to use either phone for audio and video playing as well the battery life would be even more of an issue.

On the camera front, if you're referring to the Unwired article which compared the i900, Diamond, Raphael, and X1 cameras, this was done with a preproduction version of the i900 and apparently the final ROM version produces truer colours and thus is better than first indicated.


I only get three days if its extremely light use. On normal usage I would get it down to 70% on the first day and 30% on the second, however I recharge nightly so its normally not an issue. When I'm away and forget my charger it has lasted the whole weekend, though that's usually using it for the occaisional web use.

The article was a different one comparing the diamond with the Omnia (a whole 10 pages of it). It was a pre-production model though, so you're right there.

I see on eXpansys they're predicting the HTC Touch Pro on Weds 13th Aug and the Omnia on 18th August. I suspect the carriers will get it at the end of August / beginning of Sept.

Gavin

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#6
WearTheFoxHat

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As much as I want to be a first adopter ... I might sit back and see what happens first! £450 quid region for an out of contract phone is going to require a sensible purchase!

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#7
freshmaker

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I only get three days if its extremely light use. On normal usage I would get it down to 70% on the first day and 30% on the second, however I recharge nightly so its normally not an issue. When I'm away and forget my charger it has lasted the whole weekend, though that's usually using it for the occaisional web use.

The article was a different one comparing the diamond with the Omnia (a whole 10 pages of it). It was a pre-production model though, so you're right there.

I see on eXpansys they're predicting the HTC Touch Pro on Weds 13th Aug and the Omnia on 18th August. I suspect the carriers will get it at the end of August / beginning of Sept.

Gavin


Fair enough. I actually bought the 2400mh battery for my Hermes. It looked very silly with the extended battery cover on the back and the added bulk proved too much of a hassle to carry around in the end, but not having to ever worry about running out of a charge made for a very nice change.

Looking forward to both of these devices finally coming out. Hopefully T-Mobile or one of the other generous data tariff providing operators picks them both up.

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#8
gavken

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As much as I want to be a first adopter ... I might sit back and see what happens first! £450 quid region for an out of contract phone is going to require a sensible purchase!


Well I'll be waiting till T-Mobile gets it as I've been due an upgrade for about 4 months now, so I won't be getting it until a carrier gets it. I was merely pointing it out as we'll get lots of people who do buy it making reports on it soon.

Gavin

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#9
akarno

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I have a similar choice, but I had dismissed the Samsung due to its size. For me it is really between the Sony Ericsson X1 and Touch Pro. I will almost certainly go for the Touch Pro as size is an issue for me.

Although I have had a Smartphone since the original SPV, for the last 12 months, I had jumped ship and gone for the Nokia N95. If camera is really important to you, it is worth a look. It has a good 5 MP camera and will shot video at 640x480 at 30fps. If has simple video and photo editing built into the phone. The brower and music players are ok, but nothing to write home about. Supports HSDPA and GPS, also includes mapping software for free (you have to pay for turn by turn navigation).

Having said all that, I am going to move away from the N95 for a more powerful interface, touch screen and great choice of apps.

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#10
not_sure

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The i900 is the more stylish of the two phones:Bigger screen ,better camera, a reviewed better battery life. On the down side lower res screen and the fact that samsung are relativley new to windows mobile so they are still an undefined quantiy.


The touch pro seems to be a better all round phone: keyboard, mini USB, built on previous experience: hermes, tytn..etc. Also HTC is to WM what Microsoft is to PCs, so there experiecne is greater.
Downside is screen size( compared to the i900) and no 3.5 mm jack.


Im sure there are other more detailed compare and contrast on the web, but my point is the i900 is definately the more stylish whilest the touch pro is is probably has more substance.


Finally some news about its release (touch pro), bout time :D .

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#11
Mechanicaldan

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I've been stuck trying to figure out what to upgrade to for some time. I like WM, so no iPhone or Nokia for me. I really like the X1, mainly because it is a quad band world phone. It appears that the TouchPro will be able to be a quad band phone depending on which ROM you flash. I'm not an upgrader, so I'm interested in features for the long run. MicroSD slot is also required, as memory cards can easily be upgraded over time. The video out of the TouchPro is really starting to appeal to me. It's great to share photos with friends and family, and everyone's TV has RCA inputs. After owning the Vox, the slide out keyboard is a requirement. It makes typing so much faster. It may come down to which keyboard is better on the X1 or the TouchPro. I've been a little concerned about the weird size of the X1 screen and how well it will work with the variety of programs available. I do like that the X1 has a 3.5 mm headphone jack. I'm impressed by how many tweeks are available for the Diamond on xda.developers, which might also be a big boost for the TouchPro, unless they also decide to crack into the X1 over there. The X1 needs to come out before the holidays, otherwise it would be product suicide, and they would miss a massive amount of holiday sales.

I think I might wait until just before Christmas to make my decision. A couple of months wait is worth it for me.

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#12
wing103

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Trust me, I believe you will not like the i900.
I have it for 2 months....... it is a worse WM phone I never have...... now I have a Touch Pro... and I am a happy guy now.

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#13
montalbert

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Trust me, I believe you will not like the i900.
I have it for 2 months....... it is a worse WM phone I never have...... now I have a Touch Pro... and I am a happy guy now.


can you please elaborate why you say this? did you try any of the cooked roms with the i900?

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#14
wing103

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Hi
montalbert
I never update the rom on the i900, i have the latest rom since day 1 when i have it. it is the worse wm phone I never have, the battery only can last for 1/3 of the day...... if u use it web browser or music player ot GPS..... the only good thing on the phone is the camera only..... the rest of the phone is suck....... I hate that phone, I sell it and buy a HTC Touch Pro.... I am the HTC friend since I start use the WM phone.
I believe most of the i900 owner will not like that phone.

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#15
kav

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Hi
montalbert
I never update the rom on the i900, i have the latest rom since day 1 when i have it. it is the worse wm phone I never have, the battery only can last for 1/3 of the day...... if u use it web browser or music player ot GPS..... the only good thing on the phone is the camera only..... the rest of the phone is suck....... I hate that phone, I sell it and buy a HTC Touch Pro.... I am the HTC friend since I start use the WM phone.
I believe most of the i900 owner will not like that phone.



seems like u have a defective samsung omnia or not an omnia at all !!!
first of all the omnia is just like any other WM device except for the widget touchwiz UI. i have been using wm devices for some time now and i can say that the omnia is not one of the worst. i own an eteg g500+, eten x600, HTC diamond,Omnia i900,and a friend of mine has the HTC touch PRO, tried this as well and the omnia sits in the highest end category of PDAs.
regarding the battery life of the omnia, u can play music with it for at least 15 hours, of course u have to switch off the screen or let it dimm off by itself unless u need to constantly keep looking at the screen when u are listening to music,, for reasons that only u will know!!!

if u would like to talk nonsense abt the Omnia, i suggest u go to another section of the forum or even better another forum because proud owners of the Omnia are using this forum for constructive purposes not to trash about it.
So unless u have something to contribute to the usage and knowledge abt the Omnia, please feel free to go somewhere else to talk nonsense.

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#16
za3boto

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Anyone else out there having a very hard time deciding between these two phones? I have been on a Hermes/Vario II for the last year and a half. Best phone I've had - the usability of the keyboard and scroll wheel combo together with the zippy HSDPA internet browsing capabilities really fulfilled a degree of usability and easy access to all kinds of online and offline resources that I had never before had in a phone. But time passes, contracts finish, and the new range of phones coming out now finally represent the next major step up from this phone.


A long time ago, I bought the HTC touch cruise (I was fascinated by the idea of having windows mobile on a phone). I'm not a mainstream business user, but rather a multimedia one. HTC touch cruise sucked at multimedia (bad camera with no flash and poor video playback capabilities specially for divx movies) and it also sucked as a phone and alarm (the list goes on ....) but that's not the issue here. I had the phone for 1 miserable week where I tried and searched for software to fix its issues to suit my needs. One particular search for finding out why a phone with a capable processor sucks that bad at playing videos and running several programs at the same time led me to a site dedicated for what I can classify as "HTC haters". This site mentioned one strange fact: HTC uses qualcomm processors on their devices (400 MHz for the cruise, 528 Mhz for the diamond, touch pro, and the touch HD) beside the onboard dedicated graphics chip. HTC does not provide or install the drivers for these components on windows mobile. The result is pretty much like running your desktop windows in safe mode!!! You're not using the full potential of the processor and the graphics chip and that's why HTC devices performs poorly in multimedia. That was almost a year ago and after I returned my cruise, I swore I'll never buy a windows mobile phone or even a touch screen phone for that matter.
Since the launch of the Omnia, I didn't give any attention to the subject, but I needed a touch screen phone or a phone with a qwerty keyboard, so I began to look for one untill I found the Omnia. It was love on first sight, a dream come true!!!! Sounds too much? Let's see, all the annoying bugs from the cruise were fixed here (haptic feedback - now I know the screen received my input, better camera, excellent size for me, bigger screen, better battery, alarm rings even with silent profile, touchscreen turns off during a call, divx playback right out of the box with excellent and flawless video playback, massive storage). Add to that the features I didn't even think of at the time: unprecedent level of customization, preinstalled programs and goodies, one phone's own dedicated forum with god knows how many of its lovers tuning in, samsung'svery own roms and programs that gives windows mobile a sweeter flavor. Who wouldn't love such a phone?
Omnia rules!!!!

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#17
VulakAerr

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I bought the Touch Pro as soon as it was available. I must say this is my favourite WM device thus far. I've been using WM since the original SPV and this has impressed me more than any other. The sheer volume of features on the phone, the possibilities for accessories (TV out etc) the lovely VGA screen, TouchFlo 3D (it does crash on occasion but very VERY rarely) and the brilliant qwerty keyboard all add up to make a hugely satisfying device to work with.

I also own the Touch HD and I must say, for those of us who prefer the hardware keyboard there really is no going back imho. The software keyboard, even on a screen the size of the HD's, just doesn't match up to the hardware qwerty.

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#18
sztupy

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I've got both devices, and I can't say that any one is better than the other. I like lot of things in the Omnia and I like lot of things in the Touch Pro, there is no clear winner. In terms of performance/battery life/support Omnia is way better with the constant ROM upgrades. But in terms of touch-screen responsibility and overall touch-friendly usage Touch Pro is better. The latter is also a HTC phone with all the "support" xda-developers gives you. Omnia is much faster though. So it's a tie...

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#19
UndeadDevil

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Sounds like you haven't tried any of the decent ROM's on XDA... Otherwise you'd simply look at the Omnia and laugh. (The Resolution alone should be a killer for anyone considering it - My Phone 2 years ago had the same resolution screen!)

Alot of the Touch Pro ROM's are bad, many don't even have half-decent 3D Drivers. So please flash a decent one, try out some of the many useful Touch Pro Specific Utilities.

Sorry if I sound too biased against the Touch Pro, but personally I think its a brilliant phone and to me the Omnia is equal to the TyTN 2 that my Touch Pro just replaced.

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#20
punkmonkey1984

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Anyone else out there having a very hard time deciding between these two phones? I have been on a Hermes/Vario II for the last year and a half. Best phone I've had - the usability of the keyboard and scroll wheel combo together with the zippy HSDPA internet browsing capabilities really fulfilled a degree of usability and easy access to all kinds of online and offline resources that I had never before had in a phone. But time passes, contracts finish, and the new range of phones coming out now finally represent the next major step up from this phone.

Despite all the good points of the Hermes, it certainly had its short-comings, some of which I hope to now address in my next phone. Chief among these was:
- Battery life. As with most high end Phone/PDA hybrids the Hermes battery life is poor. You live with it for the perks you get in return but this will be a big factor in helping me chose my next phone.
- Camera. I've become a fair bit more interested in taking digital snaps since my last upgrade and, while I still put the priority on the phone excelling as a phone and for navigating the web, I'd really warm to being able to take usable shots with something I will always have to hand when out and about.
- Audio/video capabilities. The Hermes can do both but neither particularly well and was always severely hampered by its lack of a regular headphone out port. And then of course it kills the limited battery anyway. I have enough room left in my pockets for a small mp3 player but with the amount of storage now available, either onboard or from micro SD cards, I would like a handset that can really challenge the need for me to bring a separate mp3 player. As the screens on today's phones are becoming very good I'm particularly interested in making use of video capabilities (video podcasts and the occasional films/tv rip). Having access to a good radio on the device, while not essential, would also be an added bonus.
- Losing of the 3G/HSDPA signal whereby you had to close and reopen the Data Connection in the Comms Manager, or even restart the phone signal itself. When travelling on a train this is fair enough, but this is still a fairly regular occurrence even when stationary at my office and I live and work in central London. There may be some kind of help for this in these forums and to be fair high speed internet is still a relatively new technology in phones, but I'd hope my next phone is at least a little better at holding an internet signal straight out of the box.

So back to the main gist of this post, it seems there are two clear contenders for what I want at the moment - the Samsung i900 and the HTC Raphael. I'm guessing there are others who are mulling over this one and would be interested to hear what your thoughts are. For those who haven't seen it yet, there are some good videos, previews, and reviews of each phone here: http://www.theunwired.net/?catid=60

For me the pluses and minuses for each camp, listed roughly in order of importance, are:

HTC Raphael
+ The dedicated slide out keyboard. And now with an extra row of number keys. Being able to easily type sms, emails, and word docs on a dedicated QWERTY keyboard is so, so nice.
+ Fresh new Touch Flo interface is undoubtedly 'sexier' and potentially better to use than the i900's.
+ Great VGA screen. Would no doubt chuck over a load of photos taken on my regular camera onto the memory card for viewing on the go on this beauty.
+ Helpful hardware keys on the front together with a good directional pad.
+ Most likely will have better support over its lifespan with HTC's experience in the WM smartphone field and the conserted push by their marketing department to make this one a big seller. The more normal screen dimension should limit any issues like those the i900 might have as a result of its wide screen.

- Going on the Diamond's battery performance, it seems like it might not be as good as you'd hope for.
- 3mp camera, while better than most other smartphones, is apparently nothing to write home about as far as most mobile phone cameras go.
- Doesn't support your everyday headphones out of the box.
- Current feedback seem to indicate the Touch FLo interface is a more unstable than you would hope for. You can look past the stability of your phone for the first few weeks/month while enjoying the perks of the new and improved interface, but over time this will inevitably become a more and more annoying issue if it can't be EASILY fixed with an update.
- Diamond screen suffers a bit from finger print smearing, assume Raphael will do the same.
- Limited amount of onboard memory.

Samsung i900
+ Appears that it has the edge battery wise. Stronger battery to begin with and I'm guessing the Touch Pro's VGA screen also eats up its battery life quicker over a charge than the i900.
+ By all accounts it has a very capable 5mp camera on it, with a good set of features to play around with.
+ Ships with a connector to plug your everyday headphones into.
+ Haptic feedback. Definitely a bonus when it comes to the touch interface.
+ Judging by reviews out of both devices, it would appear that the i900, while prone to the occasional crash like most Windows Mobile devices, is maybe more stable than the new Touch Flo interface of the Diamond and Touch Pro.
+ Larger screen.
+ 8/16 GB on-board memory.
+ Apparently the speaker on it is pretty good as far as phone speakers go which is nice for playing your call, music, radio out loud.

- No slide-out keyboard. This will be the first thing I test once it is available to try in the shops. I'm hoping the QWERTY input mode when used in landscape mode works well enough. It clearly won't be as good as having a dedicated keyboard but hoping it is fairly quick and reliable to input text. A poor score on this and that's a deal broken right there.
- Only two hardware keys on the front and the navigation pointer on it isn't your usual functional direction pad.
- Uncommon screen dimensions. I'm not a power user like many on here and don't expect to install that many 3rd party apps, but it would be a big disappointment if a large number of WM applications couldn't be run simply because of its unusual screen size.
- No built in stylus. Rarely use the one that sits in my Hermes anyway but doesn't hurt to have one.
- Proprietary charging and data USB cable. Why Samsung, why?!


Have I missed out any other obvious positives or negatives for each phone? These are the main things that come to mind in comparing the two. Obviously they both have lots of shared plus points including powerful CPUs, accelerometer, what looks like good video and audio players, RDS-supported FM radio, good picture viewers, micro-SD support, TV-out, GPS, etc.

So which one to go for. At the moment I'm leaning towards the i900 for its better battery life and camera. But the on-screen keyboard just has to do a decent job of inputting text, otherwise it's adios amigo or whatever the Korean equivalent of that is. On the other hand, the Raphael's new interface does look rather special and once you've used one it really has to be said a dedicated keyboard is a great thing to have. It's going to be a wrenching decision in the end but I'm just happy to have two such strong options to chose from (three maybe if I can really hold out for the Sony Ericsson Xperia X1 - unlikely!). Curious to hear anybody else's views when it comes to choosing between the two and have also posted this same thread in the i900 forum.


for keyboards iv been using touchpal which is free and has made my life easyer it knows what you ment to type when you hit the wrong keys, go over to have alook at 


http://www.cootek.com/

def made life easyer with the omnia

also manila 2d is a one .cab file now if you still need the touchflo 2d homescreen which alot of omnia users have including myself its a easy install and is very stable and you can personalise with themes etc, so in a way you get both of both worlds apart from the physical keys

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