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MWC 2010: Samsung Launches Wave, the First Bada Phone

Gordon Kelly


MWC 2010: Samsung Launches Wave, the First Bada Phone

It has been doubted, ridiculed and dismissed, but - like it or not - Samsung's bada operating system is here and this is the first handset to be based on it...

The 'Wave S8500' looks remarkably like any other touchscreen phone, in fact it looks much like every Samsung touchscreen phone, but it does pack a hardware surprise or two. Most notable is the so-called 3.3in 'Super AMOLED' display (essentially, a new 'higher quality' AMOLED) with 800 x 480 pixel resolution, which - silly name apart - does look phenomenal.

On top of this is a five megapixel camera with 720p HD video recording, 1GHz processor, HSDPA, 802.11n WiFi, aGPS support for DivX, XviD, MP3 and WMV and a choice of 2GB or 8GB of internal memory. The Wave is also the first handset to ship with Bluetooth 3.0. Meanwhile you'll find the usual suspects such as a microSD expansion slot and 3.5mm headphone jack.

More importantly, however, is bada itself and unfortunately all I can tell you is it is too early to tell. On the bright side the OS is extremely fast with menus opening almost instantly and wonderfully smooth scrolling through contacts. The media player, whilst a little basic, is also nicely implemented and the handset's speakers are loud enough to drive anyone near you to madness. Unfortunately all the good stuff, web browser, Google Maps, etc were all unavailable since the Waves on display weren't setup for data. Coincidence or conspiracy you decide? Furthermore, there's no multi-touch support and Samsung's continued use of its horrible TouchWiz UI isn't welcome. It also seriously needs to employ some better icon designers.

Ultimately, however, the biggest problem for bada remains the same as before we saw it: rival handset makers aren't going to adopt a Samsung OS - no matter how open its standards. So can bada take off when only ever supported by a single manufacturer? I have my doubts...

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