back to article Samsung Wave smartphone

Samsung is one of those manufacturers that seems to grind out decent, capable handsets with great frequency, yet few of its many iterations tend to stick in the memory, or appear to set the pace. Samsung Wave Samsung's Wave: New OS, but revamped TouchWiz UI Yet with the Wave, Samsung hopes to change all that. The Korean …

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Questions

This is a new OS so some more details would be useful. How do you sync it to get your data on there? Is there a desktop sync app? Is it Windows only? How do you backup/restore the phone? How are OS updates covered? Can you apply minor patches OTA or do you have to download everything to a PC and run it from there?

Surely these are the sort of basic things anyone would need to know before considering a phone with a brand new OS?

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Bada looks good.

"as Samsung defines it, is not an operating system, but platform with a kernel configurable architecture, which allows the use of either the Linux kernel, or another Real-time operating system (RTOS) kernel"

There is only one RTOS kernel for mobile and that's Symbian. So what is on the back end here, Linux or Symbian?

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FAIL

Can I have some of what they've been smoking?

A new smartphone OS, just what we need to add to the 6+ (depending how you count them) already out there. My predictions:

1. No-one will develop for it until there are some volume sales.

2. But no-one will buy it until there are some apps.

If I just want a phone to browse and read email (and voice!) there are already many (cheaper) offerings. Or have they got some fiendishly cunning method to port apps from other platforms?

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But..

But.. the point for Samsung is that they were shipping out shedloads of phones with their own OS anyway in addition to all the Android, Symbian and Windows ones that they do.

I think that if you're shipping all those units anyway, opening up the OS and allowing third party developers seems like a no-brainer and pretty low risk approach.

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More info...?

User-replaceable battery? Multi-tasking?

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yes and yes

If you want to know more you can go here: http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_s8500_wave-review-480.php

This phone seems to have top notch hardware, software seems to be okayish.

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Adjectivitis

"The large 3.3in Super AMOLED screen promises 16 million colours and is as sharp and clear as you could wish for."

So it's a large 3.3in screen, as opposed to a normal one? Certainly, as opposed to the 3.5-4in screens that are available on other high-end mobiles? (Given that it's 15:9, I'd argue that it's a *small* 3.3in screen, compared with, say, a 480x320 screen with the same diagonal.) Not that there's anything wrong with 800x480, but it's not "large" by any useful measure.

As for "sharp and clear", that seems unlikely. I believe it's a PenTile layout - which for many people is fine, but for some of us is something we'd rather avoid, partly because of the colour speckles and partly because it's *not* as sharp as a WVGA triple-stripe screen.

Jus' the facts, please, not misleading commentary. If every other phone on the market had a 2.5" QVGA screen, these adjectives wouldn't be a problem - but the market has moved on.

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Pentile

I was a bit worried about pentile too, especially after the nexus one controversy that was raised by arstechnica. http://arstechnica.com/gadgets/news/2010/03/secrets-of-the-nexus-ones-screen-science-color-and-hacks.ars/

But apparently this is not an issue with all pentile screens since some things can be tweaked by the driver.

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@Andrew Garrard

"As for "sharp and clear", that seems unlikely." M8 the screen is sharp and clear. The reviewer said this after looking at it. He didnt just make up some pish like u. The screen is also large. No one is saying its the largest but to say it was small would just be stupid.

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Re: Pentile

I'd not be too worried about the interference patterns, although I was amused by the Ars article. (It's like getting coloured moire patterns when showing monochrome dither patterns on a colour CRT.)

I am, nonetheless, not a fan of Pentile screens. The layout is a perfectly valid concept, but it's never going to look quite as good as something with a full set of subpixels for each pixel. In addition to a bit of colour fringing, the red and blue pixels are large enough for me to find the chequerboard distracting. Putting a Nexus One or an HTC Desire next to my (LCD) Touch Pro 2, there's a clear difference, no matter what the artificial resolution metrics have to say.

So I don't like the effect, and I hope some manufacturers (other than Apple) stick to a conventional layout. In fact, the sooner LG start selling the Retina Display to an Android company, the better - at least so long as they drop the stupid branding. For those who haven't already spent a few years peering very closely at a WVGA phone screen, on the other hand, the Pentile screens are fine - my other half has a Desire, and she's very happy with it. But I'd not buy one myself, and it's high on the list of things I try to check for in reviews.

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@Brian 6

I don't want to be unfair to the device, which I'm sure has a perfectly good screen. I was just criticising the choice of wording in the review.

I'm sure the screen is "sharp and clear". The question is merely over the metric - "sharp and clear" compared to what? A VGA CRT looks "sharp and clear" compared with an NTSC television. I'll believe that the phone's screen looks sharper and clearer than that of, say, my Sony Ericsson P800, or even of an (original) iPhone. I'm merely suggesting that, since the article explicitly states that the screen is 800x480, if the phrase "sharp and clear" is used, the display ought to look especially "sharp and clear" relative to other 800x480 displays. In fact, since the phone has a PenTile arrangement instead of triple-stripe (from what I read elsewhere), the display is measurably *less* "sharp and clear" than a phone with a conventional WVGA LCD - the description is actively (although I'm sure unintentionally) misleading. PenTile and AMOLED have very justifiable benefits, but sharpness and clarity aren't among them. It's true, I've not seen a Wave - I'm just working on my knowledge of several other phones with similar display technology, including a 3.2" PenTile display.

As for saying the screen is large, the article says "a large 3.3in screen". You could argue that it's a small 3.3in screen (from the aspect ratio and the way the area is defined from the diagonal). You could argue that it's a large screen compared with arbitrary non-smart phones - although it's on the small side for a touch-screen smartphone; I say this without judgement, having liked the 3" WVGA screen on my G900. What you can't really do is claim that the screen is 3.3in, and qualify that with "large" - either it's 3.3in or it's not. If the article aims to point out that a 3.3in screen is large, even if we forgive the missing comma ("large, 3.3in screen" would have been less ambiguous), it should really have some reference point. It is, after all, a very small screen compared with an IMAX. There are phones with screens with a larger-than-4" diagonal; a 4" sceen is still "large" because it's bigger-than-average. For a smartphone, 3.3" isn't.

Yes, I'm being picky. I just wanted to bring attention to the fact that loose wording in reviews can be misleading. Someone might assume that the screen is exceptionally sharp, or be above-average size, based on what's been written, and neither of those assumptions would be correct.

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Display

@Andrew you are right about the Pentile layout - horizontal lines have a discernible crenelation up close. However, I wouldn't say that this makes the display particularly of text any less clearer. Though I've yet to see one in the flesh, iPhone 4's display I can imagine that in some circumstances the difference is likely to be marked - c't magazine has said text on the iPhone 4 looks like it's "on" the screen.

But the mere fact that Wave is eminently usable outside in the sunshine is a killer. And on top of that the screen is very smudge resistant - it has that liquid shine to it that you think will be a fingerprint magnet and it just isn't a problem.

While the Wave seems to have some teething problems - battery life and GPS perhaps chief among them - and there will never be as many as for the Jesus phone, this is a lovely phone that fits easily in the pocket. It remains to be seen if Samsung can keep the Bada API close enough to Android to make ports or cross-development attractive for developers. At half the price of an iPhone 3GS it's a much better phone.

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So, what's the point of yet another platform?

The people who want a new smartphone are either smitten with Apple and won't look at anything else.. or people that want Android because it has a massive and growing community. Widows Mobile 6.5 is dying off, and the people who would settle for something else probably aren't the type of people that care about smartphones anyway

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WTF?

A few answers for you folks:

It uses Samsung's funky looking Kies system for syncing. It's an icon-based interface that you can set to sync your contacts and media content automatically, or drag and drop when it suits. This should be provided on disc with the handset, though it wasn't on my test sample.

Bada is Linux-based.

Yes, you can multi-task, and you can replace the battery if you need to.

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Anonymous Coward

App Policies?

You've left out all of the 'issues' that have become so controversial. Primarily, can it side-load apps? If not, does their app store have a written policy?

These questions are much more important to some users (e.g. me!) then all of the technical minutia.

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Bada Bing

So... is the search engine on it by Microsoft thus giving us Bada Bing?

Sorry, someone had to do it...

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Coat

what's more...

If the Bing application crashes the phone, it would be a case of...

Bada Bing, Bada boom.

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FAIL

But....

It still manages to look like a cheap and nasty Samsung.

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I fail to see the purpose

There are several established phone OSs out now. The most popular (Android, iOS, BB) have all been around for 3 years or so now, so have fixed most of the annoying niggles that are inevitable with a new product. Who would write an app, just for some people on niche Samsung handsets, forsaking the riches in the promised land of App Store and Android Market?

Also, the review says it's a solidly put together piece of kit. Kudos if that's true, but every Samsung I've ever owned (two) has been a flimsy piece of crap, designed for 9 year olds (presumably by 9 year olds). At this price point, it's fighting with last-gen hardware, and I'd definitely rather splash out my £320 on a safe bet like a iPhone 3GS or HTC Hero.

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OS?

I guess they (Samsung) won't mind as long as their phones continue to sell well.

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Bada sounds very like......

"bathroom" in Norwegian. Just saying, there's no need to look at me like that.

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I have actually seen one

My friend got one last week. Forget the £320, that's unlocked. She paid £40 on a not very expensive contract. The 3GS was £200ish on the same contract, so a phone like this is clearly going to help people who don't want to (or can't) spend silly money on a phone.

She doesn't care about app stores. The fact it can run an app at all is a big step up from the usual dumbphones people were buying 18-24 months ago. There is a built in browser, facebook and twitter app, wifi, gps... that's enough for most people to start with.

I don't know about screen tech, but to my eyes, the screen was better than my 3GS. Perhaps I was swayed by the brightness, but everything seems vivid and solid.

It was also responsive, decent camera, flash etc. It made me re-evaluate spending so much on an iphone 4 tbh. Yes, the iphone series might be decent enough phones, but are they worth such a high premium?

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