Samsung i8910 Omnia HD – Closer look at the GPS

In this post were taking a look at the Samsung Omnia i8910 HD’s built in GPS receiver. With the standard Samsung firmware that comes with the i8910 HD, it has a GPS+ application which downloads GPS satellite data to help provide a quicker lock on time to the satellites. This is very useful. And for who knows why Orange removed this feature… So another reason to debrand your Orange phone.

Locked on to 9-10 Satellies and indoors!

Locked on to 9-10 Satellites and indoors!

Our i8910 gets GPS lock in about 5 seconds, which is pretty impressive. Getting a solid 4-5 bars of GPS satellite signal indoors and under two stories! That’s around 7-8 satellites. Something I’ve not seen before on a phone. So it shows you just how good the GPS chipset and receiver Samsung used in the i8910 is.

GPS+ application helps for faster GPS lock-on times.

GPS+ application helps for faster GPS lock-on times.

The i8910 HD GPS chipset gives us full GPS signal indoors!

i8910 HD GPS gives us full GPS signal indoors!

We used Garmin XT on our i8910. So far there are a few options for GPS Navigation. GMaps (Free but no real navigation), Route 66 and Garmin XT. With the AMOLED LCD and how fast the phone is, the experience is very good and smooth. Keying in street addresses with the full screen Samsung qwerty keyboard is easy. Route calculation is good – normally around 10 seconds or more depending on just how far your travelling.

Garmin XT is very smooth on the i8910 and clear even in daylight

Garmin XT is very smooth on the i8910 and clear even in daylight

Using the GPS in the car the screen is very clear and visible in direct sunlight. The audio through the loudspeakers is loud, yet clear and easy to understand. The only issues we faced was the fact the socket for the charger is on the right side and that posed as a problem with our car phone holder. I guess we need to wait someone to release a car holder for the i8910 HD.

Oh and the signal was always 4-5 bars on our trip using Garmin XT. So overall the GPS navigation / Sat Nav experience is very good on this phone.

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37 comments have been left so far »
  1. Rassil
    June 21, 2009

    Greetings, any chance you could make ‘closer look at web browsing’ next please? same as on GPS but about browsing the net (speed, functionality, ease of use, etc) comparing it with best device for internet which is iPhone (preferably with 3G S).

    Thanks a lot in advance !!!

    On the subject – GPS on omnia hd seems really good, there are only 3 things keeping me away from buying omnia hd
    1. video recording audio quality (this is below acceptable lvl esspecially under HD recording)
    2. internet browsing experience (still havnt seen any good comparison with iphone yet)
    3. Battery life seem to be problem for quite few people

    This is sad because i WOULD like to buy omnia hd over iphone 3g s its just that there always have to be something screwed up in new phones coming out which at the end gives worse using experience and i always end up with iphone being better :/ but i want to free myself out of itunes and have a great multimedia smartphone too πŸ™

    Leave a reply
  2. catt4
    June 22, 2009

    You’re talking about iPhone 3Gs;
    Do you really think a video recorded with the 3 Mpix. camera on the iPhone is better than one with the camera and ‘bad sound’ from the HD??
    If you really want to shoot a quality video, please use a real HD camcorder with separate audio recorder and a directional microphone πŸ˜‰

    About the browser and battery life read this review:
    (it will answer your questions)

    If you still think the iPhone is the better deal, just go for it but don’t start crying if it doesn’t live up to your dreams πŸ™‚

    Leave a reply
  3. daniel
    June 21, 2009

    rassil just too clear one thing up for you….you will not be thinking the iphone is better after using this phone.the iphone is limited at best.and apart from a good user interface and responsive touch screen it,s seriouslly lacking in every other area i can think of..

    Leave a reply
  4. Ultraman666
    June 21, 2009

    Danie I will second that they are completely different in so many ways the only thing that makes them similar is they both have touch screens, symbian based phones besides the browser is far superior, but that where the third party apps comin, Bolt, and many other browers make it much better, the issues with the sound can be fixed with a firmware upgrade, the problems with the iphone cant be fixed because its limited due to the lovely little apple symbol πŸ™‚ the lock down everything!!!

    Leave a reply
  5. Rassil
    June 22, 2009

    Daniel – UI and extremely good multitouch gives extremely good user experience. Browsing internet is ultra fast, easy and enjoyable, same with all other phone functions like music, notes, contats, calendar, photo gallery etc etc.

    Phone is also very solid, and simple to use, and you can count on it that since first second you using it – it wont let you down. You dont have to worry about anything you turn it on and here you go – works perfect (almost always, of course there are some cases that it goes foulty or whatever, but then you have amazing customer service – you come to them you say whats problem and they fix it, straight, if they cant they replace the phone, no unnecessary questions or waiting)

    Please can you tell me if omnia hd other areas recompensate apples brilliant, simple UI of iphone and its multitouch screen and phones stability and quality? and tell me all those areas that omnia hd exceeds iphone by enough margin to sacrafice SO user friendly UI, amazing multitouch and great browsing experience πŸ™‚

    Ultraman666 – Im pesimistic about samsung fixing poor audio issue as well as samsung taking care of their customers and releasing firmware updates (basically keep improving their phone) they have not done that in the past so propably wont do now.

    I wish next big project from samsung, which goal is to surprass any touchscreen smartphone is done slower but to the very last detail.
    My dreamphone for 2010 would be AMOLED multitouch screen around 3.7″ maybe 3.9″ full finger use (so no WM unless they can make it full finger use) with simple intuitive UI (maybe android?) doesnt need amazing camera and full HD, 720×480 with good audio quality recording would be enough even next year for me, altough if they could make it 720p with good audio i wouldnt complain, but i would prefer to sacrafice in that area and gain better UI or better browsing experience or battery or whatever. And browsing need to be whole screen and multitouch WTF omnia hd having ultra FAT keys on the bottom of the screen for? USE THE WHOLE BLOODY SCREEN. if thats symbians foult than adjust web browser or make it avaible to get different web browser which would be better. And as a MUST BE – more kinetic scrolling which MUST be at least as smooth as iphones.

    If they gonna achieve that – they win the market.

    There is a HUGE boom for a smartphones with touchscreens. Something that you can play videos on, listen to music, browse internet, do pictures and movies, call, manage your mails / work documents, photos/movies, etc and with simple and intuitive UI

    If it was few years back – for saying that people would response that im dreaming of impossible, and here you go, mobiles these days almost achieve all πŸ™‚

    Leave a reply
  6. Gabriel
    June 22, 2009

    Rassil – For me, iPhone is the only real competitor out there today, let’s say the only real “other choice”, for any case. Right now, if the iPhone 3G S had some kind of flash for his camera, be it xenom or a good LED solution (but not a separate acessory, must be integrated into the phone), I would be like 95% decided. Right now, I’d rather waiting for the i8910 to improve (let’s say the audio problem) or to see some other good phones to be released, than going for the iPhone.

    Leave a reply
  7. Rassil
    June 23, 2009

    Gabriel – how often do you take pictures when its dark? honestly πŸ™‚
    Ive choosed iPhone because of its amazing UI and web browsing experience which beats all other phones by far because of multitouch (finally first phone with multitouch LG Arena but screen is small)
    So anyway, if Omnia HD had better web browsing experience (no kinetic scrolling and webs screen is even shorter than iPhones because of silly fat buttons at the bottom of the screen)
    and better audio while recording movies, then I would choose omnia hd πŸ™‚

    Leave a reply
  8. mark
    June 23, 2009

    someones starting to sound like a fan boy of apple!!!! i own the samsung i8910 and an ipod touch which is supposedly the same as the iphone just without the phone part.

    this is what i think,the samsung is head and shoulders above any phone i have ever used.period!.

    but……when it comes to internet browsing via wi-fi in my home,i put down my samsung and pick up my ipod touch.

    of all the mobile devices i have to access the internet i have never come across a better experience than the ipod touch.its just like having a mini pc infront of me.
    the applications for the ipod touch are great,some useful,others entertaining.

    so heres the thing,would i get rid of my apple to solely use the samsung i8910!!!definatley not!!!

    would i get rid of the samsung to get an iphone to use solely!!!absoloutley not!!!!!!

    final conclusion:iphone great for applications and internet experience
    samsung i8910:everything else

    Leave a reply
  9. Rassil
    June 23, 2009

    Everything else except recording movies cause audio sux big time.
    And tell me what omnia hd has that iphone 3g s do not
    I am NOT apple fan and i still search for a better multimedia phone than iphone (almost bought omnia hd) but its not the time yet.
    Everyone are different, i put myself in category of someone wanting a phone that is as simple and clear to use as possible (UI) and smooth touch experience (in whole UI and internet and gallery etc). I also want big screen for good web and movie experience but 4″ being max, I also want to make pictures and movies with good sound quality.
    I think next year will be a breakout – either apple will release another innovative phone, crushing competition again, OR other companies will release phones that will be at least as good (in whole user experience) as iphone.
    Omnia HD was close but still not smooth enough, not enough kinetic scrolling and web browsing lot worse not to mention absolutely CRAP audio in recorded movies.
    Cant imagine what phones will look like in lets say 5 or 10 years πŸ™‚

    Leave a reply
  10. Eugene
    June 23, 2009

    Can you “experience” flash videos with your iPod Touch (not the YouTube client)?

    Leave a reply
  11. mark
    June 23, 2009

    to be honest,if i want to video something,i would prefer to have a good picture and crapish sound(even though its acceptable to me),than not videoing it at all because of a crap picture!!
    even if they dont update the firmware,if i wanna catch a moment,its not for the sound,its because i wanna see that moment again.
    the camera itself,puts the iphone to shame,big style!!!i cant say what the audio is like on the iphone as ive never heard it when it records video!!
    but put it this way,it beats my old n95 8gb hands down on everything,and that was a bloody good phone.
    to be honest i cant see how anyone can compare the 2???
    bang a 8mp camera with hd recording video on an iphone with a larger screen then yeah,i would change to the iphone.
    but i might be in for a long wait!!!! πŸ˜‰

    Leave a reply
  12. mark
    June 23, 2009

    the browsing experience on the iphone just isnt enough to compare the 2 as the i8910 is most definatley an acceptable web browsing experience.

    Leave a reply
  13. Cary Conover
    June 24, 2009


    I keep hearing webbrowser issues. Ok. The standard browser seems to be a pain.

    What is everyone else using that has loaded their own browser to the system and what is the results in comparison to say the iPhone?

    I have a feeling the UI is the UI is the UI. You will not see kinetic scroll or any of the multi touch until the UI adds the multi touch. Am I correct here? Has anyone seen a Multitouch variant and if so where can I find it?

    Leave a reply
  14. Rassil
    June 24, 2009

    only multitouch ive heard about with capacitive screen (ofc except iphone) would be LG Arena but that thing has only 3″ screen sadly.

    While having extremely nice user experience on my iphone 3g s (actually its a LOT faster both in menu UI turning anything on is like 2x quicker than iphone 3g and internet is WAY faster) im waiting for an Android phone with 3.7″ or 3.9″ amoled multitouch screen and full hd record+playback with good sound quality

    cheers πŸ™‚

    Leave a reply
  15. Debdatta
    December 22, 2009

    Cary and all,

    The new firmware has kinetic scrolling and the web browser does go fullscreen and get rid of those buttons which you do not need anyway πŸ™‚

    The video and audio capture and still image capture have improved significantly and beats ALL OTHER PHONES, including the Satio hands down.

    There is no Multitouch variant of omnia so far, but given that it has a Capacitive Screen, it is possible. So perhaps a new firmware can address that? I’m not very hopeful here, but anyway, just keeping my fingers crossed.

    Another point.. the screen is way better than the iphone. being AMOLED, the colours remain the same no matter from which angle you look at it from. Something the iphone lacks.

    iphone, is, however brighter when viewed under the sun. Omnia isn’t that bad, but could have been better.


    Leave a reply
  16. Dan
    June 26, 2009

    Lol why is everyone arguing! when the proper fixes come out for the omnia hd then we shall see, but the few people that i know that have an iphone wished they had waited for the omnia HD, dont forget the 24 month contracts and the fact you have to pay for the iphone. i got my omnia hd on a 18 month for Β£34 a month the iphones are a lot more !!

    any way.

    Is samsung LBS a proper gps , if so where can i get the maps from ?

    Leave a reply
  17. ctfreak
    July 3, 2009

    Is the gps test made with or without agps or gps+ ?

    Leave a reply
  18. shadowheart
    July 4, 2009

    can someone please post a tutoriol on how to get garmin on the phone i get stuck when i have to select the language i cant go to next weird shit πŸ™

    Leave a reply
  19. dudewhatever
    July 5, 2009

    I have the same problem as shadowheart, please help!

    Leave a reply
  20. ik
    July 15, 2009

    use the latest version and you wont get this, can be downloaded from garmin website (.50)

    Leave a reply
  21. shadowheart
    July 17, 2009

    Thnx man gona try that Peace

    Leave a reply
  22. Shadowheart
    July 18, 2009

    Great got it working but how do i let the GPS+ work with garmin ?

    Leave a reply
  23. Eddzz!!
    July 21, 2009

    How do you access the GPS screens shown above? When I enter the application I’m faced with two options ‘Download Data’ and ‘Check Valid Time’ – that’s all :/

    Leave a reply
  24. Alex
    July 25, 2009

    Have the same problem that you fixed – can’t get access to GPS.

    Leave a reply
  25. Gabor Pittner
    July 26, 2009

    I’ve been told by a Garmin retailer in my country that Garmin XT does not run on this phone, because it is Symbian v5.
    Could somebody tell me where I can find a proper XT for the omnia HD? or which XT was used in this test?
    Thank you

    Leave a reply
  26. Chris Lanham
    July 30, 2009

    Yes, Garmin XT will work on S60 v5 – I got it working on my crummy N97. You need XT v5.050 for it to run properly on 5th edition really.

    Leave a reply
  27. Gabor
    August 14, 2009

    I’ve been told by a Garmin retailer in my country that Garmin XT does not run on this phone, because it is Symbian v5.
    Could somebody tell me where I can find a proper XT for the omnia HD? or which XT was used in this test?
    Thank you

    Leave a reply
  28. Gabor
    August 14, 2009

    Sorry I meant to ask wher I could get one?

    Leave a reply
  29. david
    September 24, 2009

    does the gps+ work in india?if yes how do i get the 16 digit activation number?

    Leave a reply
  30. Joe
    January 12, 2010

    can you people stop talking about the iphone and concentrate on he omnia HD lol i have a serious problem i cant install garmin xt on my phone, what can i do?!?

    Please specify step by step on the process!!

    Leave a reply
  31. sklchan
    February 18, 2010

    The i8910 GPS chip is the Atheros AR1511 which it’s performance is about same par with the SIRF Star III GPS chip (only a bit slower), that’s why the GPS signal tracking is far more better then those Navilink 5.0 GPS chip which use by mostly all the Nokia phone (included N97/N97Mini/X6 maybe even the N900)…

    Leave a reply
  32. hisham
    March 2, 2010

    hello guys i need to know something about samsung i8910hd gps .
    i dont internet access at my phone , is there a way that i can access my gps without internet
    this is my mail hope to send me an answer and thank u

    Leave a reply
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