Samsung Wave II Review

By on March 12, 2011
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Like a true Hollywood sequel.

Good: Great built, Super LCD is pretty decent, 5MP camera, 3.7" screen, T9 Trace (swype)
Bad: its the same OS without any noticeable changes, clunky UI, Apps Store is still crap, Browser is terrible, loudspeaker is soft
Price: AED 2250 (approx.)
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

For Samsung, there couldn’t have been a better launch for its Bada OS when it was first packed in with the original Samsung Wave. Not only was the new operating system that was debuted, but it was also the first smartphone to feature the Super AMOLED screen and the 1GHz Hummingbird processor.

When I had reviewed the Wave back in August last year, I had come away impressed with its high-end features, speedy performance and refreshing work on the company’s old TouchWiz user interface. Samsung had brought out a powerful smartphone for its Bada OS and it got everyone’s attention. Since then, the Wave family has been ever multiplying with many low-end feature phones shouldering the brand forward for the entry level users.

The successful launch did not take Samsung much time to churn out a proper continuation of the name and came up with a sequel the company hoped would further strengthen its hold amongst users and developers alike. However, Samsung Wave II, I reckon, is more like a sequel to the previous summer’s Hollywood block buster. It does what the first one did and some more, but when it comes to how it differentiates itself from its well-sold predecessor, it shrugs and points at one of its big features in the hope that we won’t notice.

Hardware and Design
Let’s just say that if we place the original Wave and the Wave II in a ‘spot the six differences’ contest, we would be pretty stumped to find anything more than two. For a device that has a full version number besides it, the fact that there was absolutely no improved design is pretty darn disappointing.

The only differences are the middle menu key beneath the screen, which is now a more thumb-friendly flat rectangle than the original’s fashion conscious diamond-shaped cut-out. If you are a man, I am sure this will come as a welcome change. I cannot say I prefer it over the diamond-design, since the glamorized button grew on me, but yes, I would rather get caught pressing a rectangle than a shiny diamond shape button in public.

While most of the hardware specifications remain the same, especially the processor and RAM, the Wave II has received a slight screen estate bump. The phone’s screen size has been increased to 3.7” from the original’s 3.3”. However, the increased screen space has come at a cost – the Super AMOLED screen has been replaced by Super LCD. The display still looks fantastic, as it uses a superior version of the LCD technology (the ‘super’ is there for a reason), however it is still not match for an AMOLED screen. Peculiarly, one can see multiple tiny boxes around the screen in the correct lighting conditions which can put you into thinking if something is wrong with the display. It is also a distraction sometimes – at least to me who prefers not a speck of dust or a finger print on the screen when using a phone.

Samsung also decided to add a little layer of extra fat to the device as well. The Wave II is thicker at 11.8mm than Wave’s 10.9, which is quite considerable as the phone feels heavy and bulkier in comparison. I don’t know why Samsung felt the need to hulk it up a little; Wave’s slim figure was one of its attraction points.

That’s not to say the Wave II is not a looker. It still has the same ‘large’ presence in the hands, even more so now, and the brushed aluminum casing continues to add the feeling of strength and durability. It has already taken a few soft drops from the murderous hands of my nephew and it is holding up well. No scratches distributors, I promise!

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Mufaddal Fakhruddin is the Editor for IGN ME and thinks writing in third person about himself in an about me section is weird.

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