First Impressions: Samsung Wave

The Samsung Wave

The Samsung Wave

As a debut for Samsung’s Bada operating system and app platform there is a lot of expectation behind the company’s new Wave smartphone, so does it stand up to scrutiny?

Here’s a first impression run-through from with a full review to follow soon:

The device

Physically speaking the Samsung Wave makes a good first impression. It is slim, light and solid, with a casing design reminiscent of the Tocco Ultra (though without the slide-out keyboard).

Far from the more “plasticy” feel of previous Samsung handsets, like the Jet or Galaxy Spica, this device has a metallic body hosting a handful of neatly-placed buttons. It also does a good job of tucking away the various inputs – the 3.5mm headphone jack sits on the top, beside the microUSB port that is hidden behind a sliding cover.

The screen

The Wave’s screen is easily one of the most striking aspects of the phone when first turned on. It’s a 3.3″ ‘Super AMOLED’, which translates to an extremely crisp and bright display.

Perhaps most importantly it is solid and very responsive – easily one of the better touchscreens used on a smartphone and up there with what HTC and maybe even Apple offer.

The operating system

A lot has been made of Bada – Samsung’s open source attempt at competing with Android, Windows Mobile and Apple’s iOS. However for people who have used other touchscreen Samsung devices using the TouchWiz interface this will seem fairly familiar, albeit slightly more polished.

That is not necessarily a bad thing and the polish applied has made it all the better, for example the pull-down bar is a very handy way to read notifications and chance WiFi, Bluetooth and Audio settings. The keyboard is also decent, as is the ability for the OS to know what you meant to type even if you mis-hit keys, this is helped in no small part by the aforementioned responsive screen.

However there are still a lot of weaknesses in the design too, for example the e-mail interface is still weak and navigating from one place to another is not always as logical as it should be.

The apps

It’s still early days for Samsung Apps so unsurprisingly there is very little to chose from at the moment. The fact that there are no paid-for apps available – in Ireland at least – limits this further.

At first glance there are no real stand-out apps available and no big-name developers doing anything of interest at the moment.

The battery

Battery life has been a major sticking point of touch-based smartphones but Samsung seem to have struck something with this device. Despite having a sharp-looking screen the battery seems to hold up fairly well.

Exactly how long it lasts will take a bit more time to gauge but on a first charge the battery seemed to last with ease for well over 24 hours, even as much as 48 even with WiFi on constantly, Bluetooth on intermittently and plenty of 3G-based browsing and calls/texts made during that time.

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