Samsung might have only released the Omnia in the middle of last year, but it has already deemed it's good enough for an update, so we have a play with the OmniaHD.

It's easy to see some of the changes: the screen has grown to a whopping 3.7 inches, and the Windows Mobile interface has been dumped in favour of the regular TouchWiz system, which will please a few WinMo haters out there.

Samsung told us that this isn't an upgrade, rather an 'addition to the family', meaning that it doesn't probably want direct comparisons made between a phone aimed at business users and the multimedia fan.

Samsung Omnia HD

Dragging it out

The home screen might come as a little bit of a surprise to even the biggest fan of the TouchWiz interface, (which is based on the latest Symbian S60 5th edition), given that you can have three different home screens, all with your choice of widgets dragged all over the place.

The swipe to the menu screen is also pretty nice, meaning that you can guide your way through interfaces in a similar way to the iPhone.

The first thing we wanted to check out, given the phone's name, was the video recording and playback. Given that it packs an 8MP sensor and 720p video recording, we had high hopes, and weren't disappointed.

The pre-packed video looked so sharp it nearly made our eyes bleed, and the video recorded was smooth and fluid, although we didn't get the chance to see it on a larger screen to test it out.

Samsung Omnia HD Front & Side

Bleeding eyes

However, the OLED screen used on the Omnia HD is more than a match for hi-def content, providing the reduced battery life and razor-sharp images you've come to expect from the technology.

Messaging was improved over the original Omnia, which is to be expected given the loss of Windows Mobile, and was fairly easy to use, especially in QWERTY mode. However, it's clear that Samsung has tweaked the touch interface on its latest slew of devices, and it seems very difficult to get used to.

In fact, the only downside of the whole handset is the interface... you feel the need to press it too strongly to get a response, and this can lead to easily pressing the wrong thing. It's a consistent system, so it's likely you'll get used to it over time, but it somehow feels inferior to other touchscreens on the market.

The internet was nice to view, with a springy browser whipping you around the web pages quick sticks, and the TechRadar site was quick to load up, which is always a pleasing function.

Samsung Omnia HD Horizontal Position

Heavy touch

Flipping through the menus was a bit of a chore thanks to the touch interface as well. It felt unsympathetic to sliding through the menus, and we were forced to resort to the piddly side bar to navigate on more than one occasion, which was a little irksome.

But overall, the Omnia HD is certainly a handset to feel proud of if you're a Samsung-ite, and even though the OS was running a little sluggish in the demo model we were using, these bugs are more than likely to be quickly worked out and the OLED screen will make this a real alternative to a PMP, especially given you'll be able to pick one up in 32GB flavours when it debuts later this year.