The ergonomics of the Samsung’s new Wave smartphone are great. The Korean company’s first Bada-based phone is about all clean, brushed-bronze lines, with a weight that feels like it means business, but doesn’t drag in your pocket.
The buttons are sleekly integrated with the casing, and the screen is simply exquisite.
Whatever else the phone may have to offer, this point is worth repeating: the screen is gorgeous. It’s 3,3 inches and 480×800 pixels of “Super Amoled” glory that offers up a bright, crisp display even at the most extreme viewing angles.
It’s almost a shame you have to cover it with fingerprints to get the phone to work, but you do, and, unless you are already a touch-screen whizz, it will take some getting used to.
But this phone is not only about good looks: it also has serious grunt. For example, the Wave shoots and plays back video in 720p (basic high-definition). There’s also an integrated GPS (with geotagging support), 3G and Wi-Fi, and a 5-megapixel autofocusing camera with LED flash.
This is the first phone to ship with Samsung’s new operating system, Bada, so I am inclined to overlook a few of the hiccups that come up in the software.
Don’t get me wrong: it’s not a bad operating system, even if it does come across a little like a first-generation Android device. The software is snappy on the 1GHz Cortex A8 processor and the interface is clean, with multiple customisable home screens available at the swipe of a finger.
The menus are logical and reasonably easy to navigate, once you get used to them.
There’s a fairly primitive application store, with a limited selection of goodies available. But most of what ships preinstalled with the phone is already pretty good. And, one presumes, the store will become better populated as Bada grows up.
Thankfully, the phone is reasonably customisable. It starts out in full bling mode, which is only charming for a while.
The browser is reasonably good, though it takes a little getting used to. Full support for multi-touch means zooming in and out and scrolling is a breeze.
But it’s not all roses, because the Wave is somewhat lacking in consistency. The software’s use of the built-in accelerometer is infuriating. Sometimes the screen rotates between landscape and portrait mode, sometimes it stubbornly refuses to do so.
When the on-screen keyboard sometimes fails to rotate between the virtually unusable portrait mode and much more usable landscape mode, it becomes a problem.
The haptic feedback is also a problem, because it only triggers on some soft keys — letters, for example, but not backspace. That’s annoying when you’re pecking out a hidden password on a tiny portrait-mode keyboard.
So, every now and then, my enjoyment of the phone was brought back to reality when something fairly basic didn’t work the way I expected it to.
The Wave is a fantastic phone on paper. Its hardware is excellent, the basic presentation is great, but the little software glitches result in it finishing a little behind the leading smartphones in the market today. — Candice Jones, TechCentral
Samsung Wave official video (via YouTube):