The Wave is the first handset that’s loaded with Samsung’s new Bada OS. Although the Bada is Samsung’s proprietary OS that powers most of their smartphones, the Samsung Wave features a more sophisticated version of this OS.
It’s a great looking piece of hardware that’s light (118 g) and comfortable to hold and carry. The Super AMOLED display (480 x 800 pixels) is scratch resistant. Colours appear vibrant and crisp. But this handset has a few niggles too.
I was unable to use any other handsfree kits or earphones with this device, except for the bundled set. I tried two handsfree kits from other devices and three pairs of earphones but none of them worked. The silver lining is that the bundled kit is very comfortable and sounds great.
The Wave uses a TouchWiz 3.0 UI on top of the Bada platform. The ARM Cortex A8 1GHz processor ensures extremely speedy and smooth UI response with no lag whatsoever. The UI isn’t all that new from any other Samsung device. A few additions include chat-like messaging screens, a drop down section for quick access to messages, emails, missed calls, etc.
I could have used a customisable EQ option but the presets and effects provided, including the 5.1 surround setting, more than make up for that loss. Tones are clear and very crisp with a very resounding bass line. Oddly though, the speakerphone is too low.
The Stereo FM radio, which has a recording option, provided decent pick up on the go. Watching videos on the Wave was a great experience. It supports DivX and XviD codecs with AVI files up to 720p and playback is smooth.
The Wave is equipped to handle 3G connectivity. It also supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP and USB 2.0. It’s got all you need for social networking with Facebook and Twitter applications, a shortcut widget for Orkut and a Palringo universal chat application.
But unlike Maemo, Android or the newer iPhone updates, the Wave doesn’t allow you to integrate your social networking contacts with your phone book. The Samsung Apps option is nowhere near as loaded as Android’s, the Ovi Store or Apple’s App Store.
Setting up email accounts is simple and very user friendly. Uploading images and videos to YouTube or other sites is also a simple process. The Wave comes with a built-in GPS module and A-GPS support with Samsung’s own navigation software preloaded. It takes a while for the satellites to get picked up but once they do, it is smooth sailing.
The Wave is equipped with a 5 MP autofocus/ Touchfocus camera that has an LED flash. It’s loaded with features such as Geotagging, face, blink and smile, Face Tagging, image stabilisation, plenty of scene modes, White Balance, ISO up to 800 and more.
Image quality, though, was not great. In low light, pictures didn’t really seem to maintain a steady focus and usually appeared a little blurry. The quality of outdoor shots was just average. The Flash considerably brightens up dark areas but don’t expect clear images.
On a single charge you’ll get about two days of usage if you’re always connected to the Net. Talk time averaged at over four hours and 40 minutes, which is excellent.