Feb 14, 2010, 6:30 PM by Eric M Zeman & Rich Brome
updated Feb 21, 2010, 9:46 PM
Phone Scoop's full report from MWC in Barcelona. Hands-on with new phones from Puma, Motorola, LG, Samsung, Sony Ericsson and a special preview of Windows Phone 7.
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Today Samsung announced its first Bada OS phone, the Wave. It's a slim touch phone that marries an interesting array of elements together into a stylish phone.
The defining feature of the Wave is no doubt its "Super AMOLED" display. It is, without doubt, the most amazing display I've seen on a mobile phone. The resolution (480 x 800) matches many of its peers, but the brightness is an order of magnitude better. The pictures and video Phone Scoop captured simply can't do justice to the real thing. It's simply stunning. What's a shame is the size. It measures 3.3 inches, which makes it smaller than many of today's best smartphones. A Samsung representative, however, said that the company plans to release a device with a four-inch Super AMOLED later this year.
The form factor is pretty typical for a Samsung phone. Some of the design language echoes that of the Ultra Edition series of phones that Samsung churned out back in 2006 and 2007. It is extremely slim, light-weight, and feels really good in the hand. The overal form factor is smaller than a Nexus One. It is very pocket friendly, and will slip in and out easily.
The three physical buttons on the front are squished way down at the bottom of the Wave, making them somewhat awkward to reach with your thumb. Even so, they had good travel and feedback. On the left side of the phone is the volume toggle. It is a bit on the small side, but it had good travel and feedback. The lock key and camera key are on the right side of the phone. They are also both a bit small, but travel and feedback was good. The 3.5mm headset jack and mircoUSB port are on the top.
As for the operating system, well, it didn't feel all that different from Samsung's current crop of TouchWiz phones.
Bada is a new platform that Samsung created to compete with the likes of Android and perhaps Symbian. We really can't say straight up what native Bada feels or looks like, however, because the Wave runs TouchWiz 3.0. TW3 has been improved a lot when compared to TouchWiz 2.
TW3 has multiple home screens and supports up to 10 of them. The home screens can be populated with widgets, links, bookmarks, shortcuts or other apps for quicker access. The dock that hides in TW2 appears to be gone in favor of the multiple home screens.
The main menu is accessed by pressing a button on the home screen. It is laid out in a grid exactly like the iPhone, and swipes from screen to screen exactly like the iPhone. It is blazingly fast. The Wave is powered by a 1GHz processor (made by Samsung) and it is one of the faster phones I've used. Much of the software is an obvious evolutionary update of the TW2 software, especially applications such as the music player and camera.
The browser is Samsung's own Dolfin browser. When it worked (which was rare) it actually loaded the WAP version of Phone Scoop rather than the html version. That's pretty weak.
The best feature of TouchWiz 3.0 is the new Social Hub. Basically, it is exactly like Motorola's MOTOBLUR social media service, only it's a bit more polished.
It combines all messaging and social networking messages into threaded conversations that are visible from each individual contact. So, for example, if you look up John Smith in your contacts database, you'll see all the recent calls, SMS, emails, IMs, Twitter posts, Facebook posts and shared pictures on John's contact detail page. You can also look at a master inbox that shows all messaging in one stream.
The Wave crashed several times while we were using it. Once it required a battery pull. The second time it gave us a memory error, but eventually it recovered. We were told that the software is still pretty early in the development cycle.
What's perhaps most disappointing is that Bada and TouchWiz 3.0 still feel like a feature phone platform, even though Samsung is pitching them as a new smartphone platform. Granted, we only spent a few moments with it and didn't get to play with every feature, but it simply felt like the OS didn't do all that much.
In all, there's no denying that it is a slick phone. I am sure the version that comes to market will be less buggy and even more polished. With no plans to bring it to the U.S., though, there are better alternatives if you're looking for a phone right now.
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Adobe and Android
I think WP7 caught everyone off guard...
Also no syncing for contacts and such is great. Finally. Also I'm happy they added WiFi Zune sync also, one of the coolest zune features after zunepass.
My only real concern is how this device will be able to work with power users. Most people I know who use ...
Toshiba and spb mobile shell
Nuvifone A50 not coming to US?
Bada = Fail
I swear, does Samsung have ANY quality control procedures?
Are they going to make it cross platform compatible? If not they're shooting themselves in the foot.
it's just so amazingly... ugly ... to me