Tag Archives: i900

Nokia n97 mini

I recently got hold of a Nokia n97 mini as a replacement for the Samsung Omnia i900 which I have been happily using for the past year and a half (well almost). Why did I get the n97? Well its a combination of factors but the main reason would have to be the presence of a physical keyboard for text entry. I also opted for an N series (Entertainment) Nokia phone instead of an E series (business) because it had a full touch screen which I am already so used to from using the Omnia.

The Omnia has been one of my better purchases as of late but  due to the lack of a physical keyboard, something was just lacking. Text entry was a chore and the thought  of replying simple SMS messages was a nightmare. If Samsung  or the Windows Mobile device had a better text entry like the iphone, it would have been much more pleasant to use. Nonetheless, I still had fun with the Omnia and it was totally useful since I was able to use the Garmin XT GPS navigation software to get around and the Internet Connection Sharing  to hook up my notebooks to the mobile 3G network while on the go.

The n97 did not fall short in my requirements, as I have also managed to install the Garmin XT software it. I have also purchased a copy of Joikuspot  Premium (at a promo rate of 7 Euros) to hotspot enable my phone so that I can easily connect my notebooks to my 3G via wifi to my phone. This is a great APP and I recommend it to anyone who needs to get connected easily.

Keyboard wise, the touch screen on the n97 was more receptive and text seem to enter more precisely under the TXT9 (abc) mode than as compared with the Omnia. As mentioned, there’s just something lacking here which makes data entry on the Omnia a chore rather than a joy. The n97 also has a slider keyboard (as can be seen on the image) and typing on it is easy. I can tell you I get 99% of the characters right on the n97 as compared to perhaps 60% on the Omnia. I might be exagerating a little here but I seriously “swear” that I was hitting the backspace more than any other keys on the Omnia virtual keyboard. Pudgy fingers don’t help as well on touch screen keyboards.

Camera wise, the n97 packs the same punch as my i900 as it comes with a 5 megapixel camera on the back (and of course a 3G capable video camera on the front). I haven’t really tested the camera extensively but the pictures which I casually snapped turned out pretty alright. I have yet to test the camera for indoor shots. As you can see from the picture below, the design of the camera which comes with double LED flashes are nicely designed into the back of the phone.

Overall I’m so far pretty happy with the phone. There doesn’t seem to be many apps which I am able to install onto the phone but it is after all my intention to have this as a “business” cum “entertainment” phone which allows to me type easily as well as check my emails as well as do some basic facebooking and surfing. Various widgets come with the phone that allows you to check on news, videos, podcasts, weather, facebook, youtube & etc. Basically to make the most of this phone, it is advisable that you sign yourself up for an unlimited package with your mobile provider like I have. With most widgets turned on (i.e. Facebook and Email checking constantly) plus ability to stay connected via Fring, the battery is a little lacking here. I can’t seem to get through 1 day without having to charge the battery before the end of the day. Then again, perhaps I’m just connected too much and of course if I compare it to my i900, this battery seems to outlast the i900 many times over. I guess this is due to advances in technology…

Why didn’t I get an iphone? Well… as mentioned, my main intention was to get a phone with a physical keyboard and while the iphone has great apps, the keyboard is still slightly lacking for me. Perhaps in the near future I might pick one up… just so that I can fly the new Parrot Ar.Drone (http://ardrone2.parrot.com/parrot-ar-drone/en/index.html). Pretty kewl I think! Perhaps if someone can get me a cracked version from the US then I don’t have to pay heaps for the one provided here by the local mobile telco.

Samsung i900 with Windows Mobile 6.5 Rom

Do you have a Samsung Omnia – i900 and have you been waiting for the official release of the WM 6.5 ROM but can’t wait any longer? If you’re like me then you might want to read on to see how I got hold of the WM 6.5 ROM for my i900.

The ROM installed on my i900 is not the official ROM from Samsung. I heard and read that there might not even be an official ROM from them. So much for their good support and frequent release of updates back when the phone was newly released in the market. I guess, they either lack the man power (developers) or they are forcing you to get hold of their OMNIA II (which has an update for WM 6.1 to WM 6.5)

Luckily for us, we’ve got our own CHEFs around that are dedicated enough to cook us some ROMS with WM 6.5 for our i900 Omnias. I decided to try them out and what do you know?!? I’m stuck on it. I just love the idea of having WM 6.5 on the OMNIA. For those who are interested, you might want to check out the following ROMS which I have tried:

1. QBUS & Sector & Khuanchai Windows Mobile 6.5 Research Thread at http://www.modaco.com/content/i900-general-omnia-rom-discussion/285140/qbus-sector-khuanchai-windows-mobile-6-5-research-thread/

2. Custom WM6.5 ROMs for i900 by Ryrzy at http://www.modaco.com/content/i900-general-omnia-rom-discussion/290203/custom-wm6-5-roms-for-i900-by-ryrzy/

Basically I flashed my phone multiple times over the past couple of days trying to decide which is the most stable rom with lots of eye candy and functionality. I found that both the ROMS are equally good but for myself, I prefer and have selected Ryzry’s ROM. Reason for this is because I love the way it looks, the way it responds and the battery just seems to last longer than the other ROMs I’ve tried. Just as a comparison, one ROM could bring the battery level down to 30% after 1 day’s normal usage while comparably Ryzry’s ROM only brought it down to 80% . Is that a big improvement or what?! I definitely want a phone which can last as possible without having the need to carry a solar charger around 😉

Basically, I’m using Ryzry’s ROM and everything works perfectly except for the WIFI. The Comm Manager somehow is still not working perfectly and I am unable to connect the i900 to my home Wi-Fi, nor am I able to connect my notebook to my the i900 via the included Wi-Fi Router or the WMWiFiRouter software. That shows that Wi-Fi is practically useless. However since I am on the Unlimited Data Package plan from Maxis (which they don’t offer anymore to new subscribers by the way), I use the Phone’s 3G/3G+ most of the time and I also connect my notebook to the net via the cable so for now a dead Wi-Fi is not so much of a problem. Hopefully newer cooked ROMs will bring the functionality back.

As of writing this post, I am on Ryzry’s 23506_M2D ROM. Its the most stable and fastest ROM I’ve tried over the last couple of days. I think I’ve had enough flashing for now… will just have to wait… Will try to keep this post updated if a newer version of the ROM comes up with working Wi-Fi capability. Do check out the sites listed above and flash away. Do make sure you backup all your contact details before proceeding as flashing will lead to loss of data. Flashing is also done at your own risk as it might “brick” the phone. So far.. I’ve had no problems myself.

UPDATE – 14 Nov 2009 (4:06pm):

 After having discovered another RM ([ROM] Anzo Romárium) from a youtube video, I am now officially using his latest 23088Full+M2D ROM which is available from http://www.modaco.com/content/i900-general-omnia-rom-discussion/293838/rom-anzo-romarium-update-07-11/ . There has been reports that this rom is stable & fast (yes so far this is the case since trying just now) and the best thing is… the WiFi from WMWiFiRouter is working like a charm. I am now connected successfully from my netbook’s WiFi to my Omnia’s 3G. You might want to give this ROM a try 🙂

Forcing 3G connection on Samsung Omnia i900

Have you ever felt frustrated when you’re happily surfing on 3G or 3G+ and suddenly it switches to Edge? How can that be when you’re not even moving between cells? Well apparantly according to Samsung experts, the phone automatically selects the strongest signal and switches to that (even if that means switching to a suckier connection).

Well I’ve managed to find on the internet how to FORCE your phone to lock onto the 3G connection no matter the signal strength. If you feel the need to do the same, please read on for the instructions:

You CAN force 3G preference for your phone.

  1. dial *#1546792*#
  2. don’t press the call button, it will automatically take you to the Admin Settings.
  3. select ‘3 Network & Call Settings’
  4. select ‘Network Order’
  5. select ‘WCDMA first’
  6. press Done
  7. press the End Call Button

For those of you interested in getting 3G all the time if possible (up to the lowest possible signal) while maintaining GSM as a backend if in case you don’t have any signal,  simply leave the Network Mode to auto and then change the Network Order to WCDMA first in order to prioritize WCDMA regardless of signal strength.
 
Note: The information provided here is to be used at your own risk and I take no responsibility for this information. No need to worry though because I have done the above to my phone and so far the connection has remained at 3G & 3G+ without dropping to E (Edge).

Samsung Omnia Hard Reset

For those of you who wish to perform a hard reset, you may follow the following steps:

  1. Switch off  / Power off your phone
  2. Hold the CALL, CANCEL & POWER BUTTON for about 5 seconds
  3. A screen will pop up showing you instructions like step no. 4
  4. Click on the Call button to continue with formatting/resetting or Cancel button to abort.

If step 2 is done correctly, Step 3 will show up, else the Omnia will just boot up like normal.

Note: This hard reset does not erase the 16GB memory. If you wish to reset everything, use the software hard reset by going to Settings > Hard Reset.

Additional Notes for: UPGRADING / DOWNGRADING

For those of you who are doing a hard reset (as I did to rectify Omnia ROM version detected problem during updates), you may also try the following:

– Get your favourite registry edit
– change HKCU\Control Panel\Version\CustomVersion from DZHK3 to any version number that is lower than the one you are trying to install

This will allow you to upgrade or downgrade your ROM to any version. This needs to be done because Omnia updates only allow upgrades to newer versions but not downgrades to older versions.

Samsung Omnia i900 – i900DZIA5 ROM Upgrade

Today I just updated my Omnia from the old ROM i900DZHK3 (updated 2 Jan 2009) to i900DZIA5 (updated 28 Feb 2009). Apparantly I was told that there were some nice updates to the ROM this time round. It never ceases to amaze me that Samsung is still providing ROM updates to this phone even after its been out in the market for about 8 months now?!

Each time I do an update, its like I’m getting a new phone all together. So what’s new in the update? Well I was told it has the following goodies:

  • New settings for enhanced GPS.
  • Ability to update when omnia is connected to PC via ActiveSync
  • Phonebook listing has been improved (Alphabet listing removed… its too small anyway unless you have a stylus)
  • Volume control is now finger friendly (again without having the need for a stylus)
  • Favourite Settings, a finger friendly application that access some of the settings
  • “Share pix” program which is something like Shozu, for uploading of videos and images (Supports Facebook, Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket, Friendster, MySpace)
  • New Game – Asphalt: Elite Racing 4 Ver 1.2.0
  • Omnia Online widgets, now you can download more widgets. Old widgets are gone
  • Opera 9.5 build 15746

The ‘My Storage’ has been cleared and some stuffs are included here

  • The asphalt game is installed here (so is the cab file)
  • 2 music files, TheOMNIA and BeyongSamsung
  • Kung Fu Panda trailer
  • Transformers trailer
  • Omnia video tutorial
  • Omnia launch video (Introduction and Episodes)

NOTE: When I tried to update the rom from i900DZHK3  to i900DZIA5, the update program told me that I already had the latest ROM. If you face this problem then you should read the following post on how to rectify the problem: http://www.ourplaypen.com/2009/02/28/samsung-omnia-resetsamsung-omnia-reset/

You may download your own ROM from http://www.samsungmobile.com/promotion/omnia/index.jsp. Upgrade your phone today if you haven’t done so already. You’ll notice a marked improvement in the performance of your phone.

Samsung Omnia i900 – ROM Download & Upgrade

It’s almost been 4 days since I’ve installed the new ROM which I stumbled upon Samsung’s Site. The first impression I got was a smoother running interface and secondly an improved battery life! The Keyboard selector does not hang like per before. Then again, the sluggishness could have been due to the fact that I might have overloaded my Omnia previously with all sorts of program which I wanted to test out. For this new ROM, I only installed back what I use as per what is stated at http://www.ourplaypen.com/2008/10/13/samsung-omnia-i900/

The battery level improved drastically especially under normal usage levels. I use the phone to receive and make business calls so you can expect pretty “heavy” usage. The battery level you would be surprise is still remaining at 100% and it’s already 6:47pm granted that its been pretty quiet over the last hour or two 😉 Normally under the same circumstances, I would have had to re-charge the phone already. But having said that… if the phone is used for heavy GPS or GPRS usage as well as games, the battery level does come down… then again.. shouldn’t it ? Everything uses power esp transmissions. Using the Internet Sharing to surf via 3G+ shouldn’t be a concern as the USB cable will charge the phone at the same time. Using WMWiiRouter as a wireless hotspot is a different case because both the WIFI and GPRS is running concurrently. All in all, I’m happy with the battery level for this new ROM and I would recommend it to those of you who are complaining of short battery durations.

You may download your own ROM from http://www.samsungmobile.com/promotion/omnia/index.jsp. Upgrade your phone today if you haven’t done so already. You’ll notice a marked improvement in the performance of your phone.

Samsung Omnia i900

It’s been a while since I’ve updated this blog… but then again it has also been a while since I bought myself a new phone. Well actually, it has only been 1 year since my last phone purchase, a Nokia 6300 but what was more important in shaping my decision to get a new phone was the fact that my PDA (HP iPAX rx3715) was due for a change after having served me for many years.

After having had 3 weeks to play with my new Samsung Omnia i900, I’m glad to report back that its money worth spending even though I paid a hefty RM2800 for my unit. This does not include the new bluetooth headset I just purchased since my Ericsson one gives up on me after receiving/making 1 call after each charge. I also just purchased myself a cool car handsfree kit that helps me hold my Omnia when I’m driving and navigating with the cool GPS.

I’m sure a few of you would be wondering why I said the purchase was worth it? Well… since I consider myself as one of those “power” users instead of a “basic” user, I think the purchase was worth it. If you’re a basic user then I don’t think this phone is for you. Why? Coz apart from the Chic Factor, you’ll be under utilising a lot of the phone’s powerful features. For starters, I currently use the phone for the following tasks:

  • As a Phone (Duh)
  • As a Modem (Connected to Maxis 3G – HSDPA) for true internet mobility
  • As a PDA – Organiser (Calendar, Tasks, Notes & etc)
  • As a truly mobile platform for retrieval of Emails, SMS, & Immediate Notifications
  • As a tool to avoid boredom (yeah games & puzzles)
  • As a tool to stay connected? Oh yeah I mentioned that… to surf facebook & avantgo & various news sites
  • As a GPS Navigator to help me get to where I want to be quickly without wasting petrol
  • As a camera to take nice pictures and videos as and when needed
  • As a Pen Drive (Storage)
  • As a Media Player (Songs & PodCasts)
  • A 3G Video Calling Phone… (No I haven’t used this yet… need to try it out with someone who has a 3G capable phone)

As can be seen, I am fully utilising and enjoying this phone. Basically, for RM2800, I got myself a Phone, a PDA, a Camera and a GPS device. If you add all of them up… I’m sure the cost will be around there if not more. Plus having all these features in one cool looking devide is just the way to go.

Why Samsung Onmia ? Well, first of all I didn’t hessitate to try out Samsung although I’ve never tried Samsungs before. But since I did have my HP PDA which utilises Windows Mobile, I was more or less already comfortable with the operating system. Learning how to use the unit took only a fraction of the time. What took the most time was the configuration and messing around with the system. yeah 3 weeks in total… and still messing…

Here’s a list of programs which I have installed onto my device which I strongly recommend to owners of the Omnia (listed not in any particular order of preference) :

  1. S2U2 (Slide2Unlock2) – http://slide-2-unlock.en.softonic.com/pocketpc
  2. Microsoft Voice Command – http://www.microsoft.com/windowsmobile/en-us/downloads/microsoft/about-voice-command.mspx
  3. SPB Mobile Shell – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/mobileshell/?en
  4. SPB Time – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/time/?en
  5. fring – http://www.fring.com/
  6. Garmin Mobile TX (GPS Software) with Malsingmaps – http://www.garmin.com & http://www.malsingmaps.com / http://www.malfreemaps.com
  7. Resco Keyboard PRO v5.11  – http://resco.net/pocketpc/keyboard/default.asp (Helps speed up data entry… making it easier to type in stuff without using the stylus)
  8. WMWifiRouter – http://www.wmwifirouter.com

Other Programs which I have installed onto my unit:

  1. SPB Pocket Plus – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/pocketplus/?en
  2. SPB Traveler – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/traveler/?en
  3. SPB Pocket PC Tips & Tricks – http://www.spbsoftwarehouse.com/products/tipsandtricks/?en
  4. Games – SPB Games – Air Islands, Arkaball, Balltracker, Brain Evolution, Bubbles, Matches, Sudoku, Xonix & etc

I’m not writing a review on the unit here but basically just skimming on the surface as to what the Omnia can do. Do you think this phone suites you? For an indepth review on the Omnia, check it out at http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_i900_omnia-review-267.php

 

 

Omnia connected via USB Notebook Online via Omnia Internet Sharing