Samsung Debuts "Omnia" Smartphone

In the tech world, today is a red-letter day: Apple's [NASDAQ: AAPL] WWDC is set to kick off this morning (PST) in San Fransisco, and it's presumed that a new, 3G iPhone will be the life of the party. So it's curious that Samsung [SEO: 005930] chose such an auspicious day to announce what may be its most qualified iPhone competitor yet, the Omnia.

The Omnia looks a lot like the iPhone — or at least, the iPhone we've hitherto known — but runs Windows Mobile 6.1, and has two hard keys (one for Send, one for End) below the unit's touchscreen. It also sports a 5-megapixel camera, and video support for DivX, XviD, H.264, WMV and MP4 formats. It'll boast 3G speeds, a 3.2-inch screen (the current iPhone's is 3.5-inch), and some cool camera tricks like geo-tagging and face (as well as smile) detection. No word on the purpose of "smile detection," but at least it sounds high tech. 

Other notables: the Omnia shoots video and allows for in-device editing, dubbing, and subtitling, and has a built-in FM tuner and music player that supports all the usual formats. It also comes with a Bluetooth stereo headset, real GPS, push email, an auto-rotating screen, advanced PIM apps, TV out, and space for a MicroSDHC card. Add all that to an 8- or 16-gigabyte package, and you have a terrific little smartphone — but unfortnately for Samsung, not a phone that will make any headlines on the presumptive birthday of the iPhone 2. 

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