Smartphone Review: Samsung Wave 2

The original Wave gave birth to a brand new operating system, Bada. By bringing their own OS into the world while still developing handsets running Windows and Android operating systems, Samsung are keeping all their options open.

Probably a wise move now Google have got into bed with Motorola, and Samsung claim the operating system is very much a priority for them in terms of future development.

Samsung Wave 2 Review

So what is the Samsung Wave II like?
Not bad actually, the phone looks nice and feels solid, it doesn’t feel like it will fall apart in 5 mins. If you put it on the table in a busy pub, someone will probably steal it within a couple of minutes. Aways a good (but problematic) way to gauge the ‘coolness’ of a phone.

Switch it on and the screen is bright and vivid, the navigational system is a bit like a hybrid of all the other operating systems combined into one. The phone’s display has three different home screens. You can scroll between these and add a wide range of ‘widgets’ to display anything from your latest email messages to stock prices to Facebook and Twitter updates.

There are lots of customisation options, but it takes a while to get used to the buttons, and to going from the app page to the widget pages – after a couple of days I was still getting it wrong, after a week with the phone though I did get the hang of it.

Browsing the web is good, and the phone is Flash friendly so no blank spaces. A small niggle, the address bar is shown every time you touch the screen, it means if you have it on landscape view with big fingers you can end up reloading the page rather than scrolling down, which can be a tad frustrating when it happens.

Samsung Wave II Review Setting up your email is easy but I found the Gmail App fiddly and difficult to use compared to the Android version, I also couldn’t work out how to add a photo to an attachment from the App.

Every time I switched the Wi-Fi on it stole the IP address of my wireless iMac, and it took me 30 mins to work out that even though I had linked the phone via bluetooth to my computer I still couldn’t copy images over until I had allowed them to be visible for copying.

I’m willing to give it the benefit of the doubt as this might be as much of a Mac issue as Bada, but they were small annoying things that made me do that thing we all hate doing. Reading the instructions.

It has a fast 1GHz processor, meaning apps launch quickly and video recording and playback is excellent. While the camera isn’t as good as the Nokia ones it did ok, even in lowish light and is comparable with many similarly priced phones. Battery life was good, but if you are using it regularly, you will need to charge it every night.

Choice on the Bada App Store is limited, but you can get good Apps for most things (Facebook, Twitter etc). There is also an excellent sat nav / navigation app from NDrive for the Bada platform, it does cost 30euros, but has some great features.

Which leads me on to something else. How many apps do you need? When the guy in the phone shop starts going on about the massive choice of apps in the Apple / Android Store, ask him which ones he ACTUALLY uses. You will probably get a blank look and they say.. er. well Angry Birds and er Fruit Ninja and er.. Instagram. don’t get me wrong I like biscuits as much as the next man, but do we really need a Kellogs App to find out where they sell cornflakes?

Choice is great, but between a thousand winkles and an Oyster, I’d pick the Oyster.

Despite its minor irritations the Samsung Wave II is a good solid phone that does the basics well, good call clarity / reception, video playback, and a reasonable camera. The navigation isn’t as intuitive as some, but it’s not bad, just different.

If you’re App-happy, the Bada App Stores limitations may be a concern to you, in which case the Android Based Samsung Galaxy S II might be a better (but more expensive) bet. While the Wave II is not jaw-droppingly spectacular, it’s definitely more Bada-bing than Bada-bong and there will be some good deals on offer around Xmas if you search around.

Besides, we should be encouraging alternatives to Apple and Google before they take over the world.

Samsung Wave 2 GT-S8530
5 Megapixel Camera
Built-in Flash
Main Screen Resolution 480 x 800
Main Screen Size 9.4 cm (3.7″)
Battery Talk Time 3.80 Hour
Weight 135 g
Quad Band
Built-in Memory 1.50 GB
Sd card supported up to 32 GB

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