mobile / reviews / 21/10/2010

Review: Samsung Wave

I haven’t blogged in a while as I’ve been really busy. Here’s a review I wrote which was published on My Digital Life.

I’d never used a Samsung phone before the Wave landed on my desk. All I knew about the phone was that it was Samsung’s first phone running the new bada operating system.

What Samsung got right was the Wave’s physical attributes – at 11mm thin and weighing just 116g, it’s very light in your hand, has rounded edges that feel good, and the screen is just amazing. Its slate form factor features three buttons: call, reject/power-off and main menu.

Screen

It has a 3.3-inch, 480×800 resolution AMOLED display, which has to be seen to be appreciated. It is crisp and colours appear vibrant. It makes you want to browse websites, play games and look at pictures, just for the sake of it. What Samsung has done with this capacitive touchscreen is put an anti-smudge coating on top of the scratch-resistant tempered glass. After extensive use, you will notice the lack of fingerprints, which makes all the difference.

Messaging

The first time I replied to an SMS on the Wave, I hit the send button unknowingly. Somewhere while trying to change a word from autocorrect, the message was already gone. What I found frustrating was having to add words to the dictionary if it didn’t exist – this, after typing the word and it being changed to something else. Overall, it was tedious composing SMSes, which made replying with a quick phone call a better option.

Camera / Video

The five-megapixel camera takes really good pictures, both indoors and outdoors, with an outdoor visibility mode and an option of eight resolutions. Other features worth mentioning are anti-shake, and face and blink detection. Video is fantastic. The Wave is capable of recording in 720p HD quality, getting rid of the need for a camcorder.

Widgets

The Wave has multiple homescreens for you to add widgets and when you run out of space, it will add another, up to a maximum of ten screens.

As I’m not a fan of push e-mail, I selected the Gmail widget immediately – but was disappointed that it was not actually a widget, just a link to the browser.

The feeds and update widget works better at pulling your Facebook and Twitter feeds (for reading only), than the individual applications itself. While the Twitter app never loaded profile pictures from your stream, the Facebook app was buggy – it took a few tries for a status update and completely failed at uploading an image.

Connectivity

I had no problem connecting to my home WiFi and browsing the mobile web, but the biggest problem thereafter was that social applications by default used my 3G connection. I went into settings and under applications, I could only choose my Vodacom 3G connection points. There was no option for selecting WiFi for applications.

I was overall impressed with the user interface; from sweeping the screen to unlock, and scrolling between different homescreens, it was very responsive. Although, for some reason, it took more than one try to answer and end a call.

The Samsung Wave’s hardware cannot be faulted – from looks to features, it’s what you’d want in a phone. However, there are little bugs in the OS that can be frustrating if you are new to Samsung – but can be overlooked by other good features.

IN SUMMARY

Good: Responsive; anti-smudge screen; excellent video recording capabilities
Bad: Apps limited and not polished; messaging is tedious
Rating: 7.5/10
Price: R4900.90
Contact: Retail outlets

SPECIFICATIONS

Dimensions: 118mm x 56mm x 10.9mm
OS: Bada
Processor: 1MHz
Display: 3.3-inch touch, 480×800 WVGA resolution
Memory: 1GB
Storage: MicroSD, expandable up to 32GB
Connectivity: WiFi, Bluetooth 3.0, A-GPS, HSDPA, USB
Other: Five-megapixel camera, 720p HD video recording, MP3 player, FM radio, games, 3.5mm audio jack.



Nafisa Akabor
Always online... except when I'm offline.




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