The Samsung Wave is a phone of firsts. It’s the first device to utilize a Super AMOLED screen, and also the first device to come loaded with Samsung’s proprietary Bada operating system. After spending some time with it, we have both some good and bad to report about the Wave. In this review, we’ll go through all of the important bits. Read on!
What impressed me
The Wave’s Super AMOLED screen really lives up to the hype. I was immediately mesmerized by how crisp the colors were. Coming from the Nexus One, I believed that AMOLED technology could not be beaten and was some of the best we would see during this generation of devices. Boy was I wrong. As seen in our Hardware Tour, the Super AMOLED screen was truly viewable in direct sunlight, with colors shining gloriously through even the strongest of glares.
The Wave utilizes a multitouch capacitive screen that is extremely accurate. Despite the somewhat narrow 3.3″ screen, I did not have any issues entering text messages, composing emails, and simply browsing the web.
Form factor is an element that I have always taken very seriously when choosing a device. If it does not fit into my hand appropriately, it’s not for me. The Wave is simply perfect here. Being able to pull the Wave out of my pocket, press the lock button, and then swipe to unlock screen in one swift motion was great. This made quickly checking email and posting twitter updates a breeze.
Bada has a built-in mobile hotspot application that is called Mobile AP. I tested the app out by syncing it up with two of my computers and it worked great. The fact that Samsung has built this into Bada from the getgo makes it a great feature that many are sure to take advantage of.
I found the browser to be very responsive with fast page load times. In the Software Review Part 2 video, I tested the Bada browser against the Android browser. Bada’s browser came out swinging and loaded pocketnow.com faster.
What needs work
This is the first iteration of Bada, and there are a few things that could use some attention. As shown in the Software Review Part 2 video, the social networking apps need some refinement. While the Facebook app works well, it’s fairly archaic in appearance, and the Twitter app was downright slow.
Samsung has created an app store for Bada. However, it is not yet available in the US. This meant that I was unable to download any apps and test out the offerings. It seems that Samsung has plans for a steady rollout over the next few months with the app store likely becoming available in September/October for the US.
Lastly, in what seems to be attributable to both the software and the screen size, I found the widget placement to be somewhat odd. In most cases, I was only able to place two widgets on each of the ten screens available. It seemed as if there were pre-determined spots for each widget. Due to this, I found myself having to constantly swipe left and right many pages to find the widget I was looking for. There needs to be a better and more efficient way to do this.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed using the Samsung Wave and it served as my primary phone. I believe the Bada operating system will evolve into something great as Samsung makes revisions with each upgraded release. As of now, I see the Wave as an in-between type device. While it’s not quite a full-fledged smartphone, it’s certainly not a feature phone. If the thought of having a smartphone overwhelms you, but you want the ability to do more than what a feature phone allows, then the Wave may be perfect for you.
As mentioned in this series of videos, you can purchase the Samsung Wave from Clove.co.uk for about $400.
If you missed any of the videos in the Samsung Wave series, you can find them below:
Software Review (Part 1)
Software Review (Part 2)