January 21, 2011

Samsung Wave s8500

Filed under: Gadgets,Phones,Uncategorized — yoga @ 12:51 pm
Tags: , , , , ,

Samsung has been gathering a lot of interest lately especially with their Android powered Samsung Galaxy S and Samsung Galaxy Tab. Samsung has been working on their own OS for sometime now and bada-bing bada-boom, the first Bada powered phone from Samsung, the Wave s8500. So what is Bada all about ? The word “bada” means ocean in Korean. In a nutshell the Bada platform will be a cheaper alternative to the already existing smartphone platforms. Bada will turn Samsung’s conventional customers into smartphone users by providing cost-effective smartphones. This means that bada will open and extend a new smartphone market, which does not exist in the current mobile market.

Samsung Wavev

Samsung Wave

I’ve heard about the Wave  and Bada but had no hands on experience and jumped on the opportunity to review one when a friend asked. The first two things to note about the Samsung Wave are obvious: the build quality and the screen just screams at you with style. The phone is very slim at less than 11mm thick and the metallic build quality is apparent the second you hold it in your hand.

The front has just a few buttons, with call, terminate and menu keys are the only things apparent other than the 3.3-inch capacitive screen. The rest of the phone is quite simple: volume up/down keys on the left, lock and camera shutter keys on the right and the top has a 3.5mm headphone jack and a microUSB connector with sliding cover. There’s the 5MP camera on the back with LED flash, which gives the Wave a refined look. If that doesn’t impress you, then you’ll be amazed by the SuperAMOLED screen, with its high-res (480×800) WVGA screen. That definitely caught my attention.

Samsung Wave back

Samsung Wave back

Here’s the rest of the Samsung Wave specification.

Samsung S8500 Wave at a glance

  • General:GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 1900/2100 MHz, EDGE class 10, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 2 Mbps
  • Form factor:Touchscreen bar
  • Dimensions:10.9 mm thin
  • Display:3.3″ 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 pixels resolution, scratch-resistant glass surface
  • Platform: Bada OS
  • CPU: 1 GHz processor
  • Memory: 2GB internal memory, microSD card slot
  • Camera: 5-megapixels auto-focus camera, 720p video recording
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with WPS support, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack
  • Misc: Accelerometer for screen auto rotate, proximity sensor for screen auto-turn-off, ambient light sensor, FM radio with RDS, DivX/XviD support, multi-touch input and pinch-zooming gestures
  • Battery: 1500 mAh battery

Samsung Wave comes with the TouchWizUI 3.0 which promises a whole new experience with a lot more intuition built in. It has a number of homescreens to customise like the Android, you can even add widgets on it. There’s even an option to arrange the icon by most used so you can have easy access to your favourite apps. I particularly like the notification indication which is a slide down menu that shows new messages, missed calls,emails and the like.

Samsung redefined what a smart phone should have and with the Samsung Wave have come up with loads of options. There’s the usual SMS/MMS option but there’s also option to link multiple webmail accounts (Yahoo,Hotmail,Gmail etc) all together nicely in the Social Hub section. You also get Facebook and Twitter integration, along with the ability to comment on people statuses from the contact book. The dedicated Facebook app allows basic functionality to comment on status and photo’s. The Twitter client is basic to say the least and allows you to post updates but I found that not being able to upload pictures or reply to @mentions to be a real let down.

There’s also IM clients such as Google Talk and Windows Live messenger, allowing you to communicate with your buddies. The keyboard isn’t too bad and the accuracy is good but it takes some getting used to as the buttons are smaller compared to the HTC Desire or iPhone and with no multi-touch support you’ll have to be a bit patience when typing fast. Typing when in landscape mode is nice though and with the slim dimension of the phone it sits nicely in the hands.

The Samsung Wave also offers a browser with full HTML capabilities with Flash video. I’ve tried loading a few pages but end up with a  laggy video. Hopefully this will be fixed with a version update. The high-res screen is great for viewing full web pages, if that’s not enough the ability to pinch zoom is a very much welcome although text reflow would have made it a much sweeter experience.

The camera takes pretty decent shots as with most higher end Samsung phones although it’s just 5MP. The LED flash is a good addition and allow taking bearable shots in the dark. A simple point and shoot camera still does a better job though.

With the gorgeous high-res screen I couldn’t wait to test out it’s media capabilities. The music player included is quite decent to look at and it’s not just because of the superb contrast and colour from the Super AMOLED screen. Music playback can also be controlled from anywhere in the phone by dragging down the top console and it even works when the phone is locked. The 5.1 SRS Surround Sound really does sound good even though it’s utilising the built in speakers.

The Samsung Wave boasts multi-codec support for video files; MP4, H.264, DivX, Xvid… the list goes on. Tried a few movies and the playback was flawless in terms of colour and contrast, I guess the 1Ghz Hummingbird CPU was put to good use. Another feature, on the Samsung Wave, is AllShare, which lets you stream media from your phone to a TV or PC. There are three options – streaming media directly to a (presumably Samsung only) TV via Wi-Fi, to a PC which in turn can pump it to a TV or from a PC to your phone.

I’ve had the Samsung Wave for a couple of days and didn’t have a chance to test out the Navigation and all the provided apps/games but based on my experience using it so far,  the Wave with it’s slim aluminium casing and gorgeous screen will definitely attract quite a few people.  With similar specs to the new Samsung Galaxy S, the lower priced Galaxy Wave will definitely be able to bridge the gap for those who are still hesitant to jump onto the smartphone bandwagon especially when they don’t need all the features but still want to explore online connectivity via the phone.



  1. Good review as alws. Thorough and easily digestable content. But i stil think Samsung galaxy S is their best phone rite?

    Comment by thenomadGourmand — January 28, 2011 @ 1:50 pm | Reply

    • Thanks for the comments and yes no doubt the Galaxy S is Samsung’s flagship model. Its nice to know Samsung has alternatives for those who don’t need all the bells and whistles.

      Comment by yoga — January 28, 2011 @ 4:49 pm | Reply

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