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Samsung Wave - Camera & Bada Interface

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


Looking at the camera in a bit more detail, it's a five megapixel affair with autofocus and an LED flash. As mentioned, there's a dedicated button on the right edge, which falls perfectly under your right index figure when holding the camera in landscape and will start the camera application as well as take a picture and start recording video. By default the autofocus point is the centre of the screen and pressing the button down half way will allow it to focus (and set exposure) before taking a shot. If, however, you want to choose a different focus point you can tap it on the screen then hold down the button to focus. It's a really slick system that certainly beats pure touch screen systems or those without dedicated buttons.

Samsung Wave camera lens

Tap the top left icon and the phone very quickly switches to video mode, which gives you 720p HD video recording. Recording starts relatively quickly and saving the file at the end is also pretty snappy. You can't pick your focus point or change the LED status while recording, but you can digitally zoom. Slow motion capture is also available, though at a much reduced resolution of 320 x 240.

Samsung Wave test photo

Results are entirely typical of other phones with the same camera specs. Indeed we're pretty sure the iPhone 4, Sony Ericsson Vivaz, and this phone all use the same camera hardware. So what you get are pictures quite capable of being used for Facebook, but if you're remotely serious about anything more than a casual snap then a dedicated camera is still a must. As for video, the same generally applies, but it's good enough that you don't need to think about investing in one of those pocket internet camcorders.

So far, so generic then. Good generic, mind, but generic nonetheless. What really sets the Wave apart from the competition then is its new operating system, Bada. We're going to take an in-depth look at what it brings to the table in an upcoming feature on it. In brief, though, what you get with Bada is an interface that's very similar to that of Android. You get multiple sliding desktops onto which you can place widgets, press the central button and it brings up the main menu with access to all the settings and apps, tap the top of the screen and you get a drop down with quick access to turning Wi-Fi on and off, switching the phone to silent, and checking on email notifications. It mostly feels familiar and intuitive, though there are some oddities.

Samsung Wave front

For one, you can't add shortcuts to apps onto the desktops; you can only add widgets. Moreover, the widgets are a truly bizarre selection. For instance, you can get BBC iPlayer, a music store, a Financial Times feed, and a birthday reminder, but there's no music player, picture viewer, or basic clock/calendar. Thankfully you can arrange the icons in the main menu into multiple pages so you can at least have all your favourites only a button press away.

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July 12, 2010, 4:34 pm

Thanks for the review, nicely done.

"Frankly, we've not noticed a significant difference between these and any other good AMOLED screens"

I think the main difference is that Super AMOLED is supposed to work in direct sunlight, unlike most OLED screens. At least, that's what Samsung would have us believe...


July 12, 2010, 5:28 pm

@Chris - it's also significantly brighter and colours are stronger (almost too strong IMHO).

Also, as a counterpoint to this, I really don't get on with Bada (or the TouchWiz UI) and don't see the point in its existence - but as Ed says, it is hard to dismiss the Wave at such a low price.


July 12, 2010, 6:26 pm

Is there no facility to adjust the colour saturation and / or brightness of the display in the OS?


July 12, 2010, 7:59 pm

@Gordon: Surely the point is that Samsung control the App Store, not Apple or Google and thus get a cut of the revenue.

While iOS/Android might have momentum in their App Stores in US/Europe perhaps in Asia they are smaller and that will give Bada a chance to grow there before being big enough to compete over here. Mind you at that price it's a great phone (kills all dumbphones) and if their App Store grows will soon compete with Android and then iOS.

Still wouldn't touch this over an Android phone myself though.


July 12, 2010, 8:51 pm

Sticks with dumbphone because smartphones and their owners aren't smart enough.


July 12, 2010, 9:42 pm

It's a shame that we have to watch an advert before the video - I suppose TR has to get funds from somewhere, but it's intrusive.

Martin Daler

July 12, 2010, 10:38 pm


what ad? I don't see one. A brief spash screen for TR and then straight into the main feature.


July 12, 2010, 10:46 pm

Pleace cut your nails


July 12, 2010, 11:31 pm

@timbo347: No sympathy to be honest. It's the least you can do to access our free content and it's certainly not intrusive. I could understand if it were five minutes long but it's a quick 20 second ad at the beginning of a 3 to 4 minute video.

@Martin Daler: The ads are frequency capped - you won't always see one.

@apojapo: Yup.

Martin Daler

July 13, 2010, 1:06 am

So, any user benefit from the "4x the power" you flagged earlier? Did you even notice it?



July 13, 2010, 2:15 am

Edward Chester I see you as an I phone person. On the I phone review you gave 10/10 for features & performance however Samsung seems to fail by 1?? And as good as the Super Amoled is amongst other screens you some how found a way to slate it. !!

Al 2

July 13, 2010, 3:06 am

I don't mind the ads - they pay for the site folks!


July 13, 2010, 1:27 pm

@Martin Daler: Those 4x figures refer to its 3D graphics processing power which is only really put to the test in games. I tried a couple of racing games and they certainly looked quite nice but I don't suppose they were really taxing it. This is a perfect example of how the limited developer support will hold back Bada - there are a total of 119 games currently on the app store.

@Zero: Yes, the iPhone 4 has more features and it's screen is better. Your point being?


July 13, 2010, 2:02 pm

@Martin: any user benefit from the "4x the power"

Most IPhone4 users :), from what I can gather it's the same chip. No idea what deal Samsung/Apple have going here. Maybe Apple helped design and Samsung manufactured, and maybe a deal was also made so that Apple didn't mind Bada been so similar to IOS.


July 16, 2010, 3:26 pm

To Edward Chester, just some constructive criticism.

First Wave soports Flash (it's disabled by default), second design doesn't include only how much do you like the looks of device, one major design flaws by Apple is antenna issue, third does the features score refers to Flash support, if not why don't we just use text only web, fourth how do you determine display quality size, contrast resolution, brightness, refresh rate, viewing angle...


July 21, 2010, 7:36 pm

it seems edward chester does not like samsung...either samsung wave or samsung galaxy s should hav a TR recom (or both).. but noo...cuz itz being reviewed by edward!


September 1, 2010, 8:09 pm

Respected reviewer...i differ on atleast one one point- the screen of wave that is superamoliad is stunning...way ahead of anyphone including iphone4. i have seen the screens of wave n galaxy s...in its comparision iphone4 screen looks washedaway....put side by side all the three phone WAVE, GALAXYS and IPHONE 4... and the difference is glaring...wave beats iphone4..by miles...and wave costs just one third of iphone4....how many app can one use in iphone...when is not multitasking....close one n start another in iphone....wave n galaxy have cornered iphone3,4 for now...that is for sure.


December 30, 2010, 12:15 am

Hi have anyone else seen that o2 are selling this for £10 a month with a free phone. An absolute steal on epic proportions so if that is the case and you compare this to other £10 a month phones then the samsung wave is 10 out of 10 I think.

Jack Branch

January 2, 2011, 2:58 pm

Superb hardware (especially screen). Probably the best phone for video capture I´ve ever tried. With the release of Bada 2.0, will achieve a solid position as alternative OS compared to Ios and Android.

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