Samsung Wave is a great opener for the Bada platform, but lacks competitive vigor to take on the big guns.
After announcing it back in November last year and a relatively low-key journey ever since, Samsung has finally taken the plunge with the first ‘smartphone’ running its home-built operating system Bada. And it’s no regular showing; the Samsung Wave is crammed with an overflowing pot of features such as a 3.3” Super AMOLED display, 5 megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording, WiFi b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0, DivX/XviD and .MKV support, and a snappy 1GHz Hummingbird processor.
But with a new OS at the helm, does the Samsung Wave pack enough firepower to take on mid-range devices from much more established makers like Android, RIM and Symbian? The result is more of potential than of certainty.
Design and Built
At 118 g and dimensions of 118 x 56 x 10.9 mm, Samsung Wave is a slim and sleek device. But it’s easy to reject it as a product with a more…feminine touch. For a device called ‘Wave’, it does not feature any such design traits; rather Samsung has gone with a diamond-shape accent on the Home key, camera lens and LED flash, giving it an impression of a product more focused on carrying it like fashion accessory more than a serious smartphone. Despite that, I have to admit that I grew fond of the design with regular use, especially with it’s display turned on.
The large screen dominates most of the front space with three hardware keys under it. The call and end buttons are placed on the side with the embossed diamond-shaped Home key at the center. The end key doubles as a power button and a terminator for running applications. The Home key also works as a task manager (by holding it for more than a second). I found the buttons to be solid with a good ‘click’ to them.
Located above the display is the call-speaker, a pair of proximity sensors and the video-call camera. Of course, the front camera is meant for use during video-calls only but you can hit *#0*# to access it (among other functions) for an instant digital mirror. At the head there is a microUSB port with a handy slider door, 3.5 mm audio jack and the loudspeaker grill.
On the left side of the device you will find the volume keys, which I found to be placed slightly lower than where I would normally like- I still haven’t gotten used to it even though I’ve had the phone for ten days. On the right you find the lock button and the camera key. They are decently raised and provide enough tactile.
The rear of the device is pretty simple with the awkward looking diamond-encased camera lens and flash. There is also a little unlocking mechanism that pops out the back case – very convenient.
The construction quality of the Samsung Wave is top-notch with an elegant brushed aluminum finish that looks and feels great in the palm. The not-so-light-yet-not-so-heavy weight of the device makes it feel all the more sturdy though I’m not sure if it can take some abuse.