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Samsung Wave - Interface & Messaging

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


Also rather confusing is the arrangement of navigation buttons throughout the interface. You fairly consistently get OK on the left, Cancel/Back on the right (which we think is the wrong way round for a start), and a settings tab in the middle. However, every now and again the otherwise identically arranged buttons serve a different function. Also, you sometimes end up with a Back button in the usual spot but it doesn't actually go back anywhere, it closes the app. It's all stuff you'd probably get used to, but it's also such basic usability: it should be right.

Samsung Wave screengrabs

Other peculiarities include the web browser having, as one of its three main controls, a brightness slider and the fact that if you want to leave a program running in the background (i.e. multi-task) then you must press the central button to bring up the main menu rather than just press the call end/exit button, which closes the program. It may sound logical, but in practice it constantly catches you out.

Perhaps most striking of all, though, is how ugly the whole thing is. Both due to its blockiness and Samsung's choice of really bright clashing colours, to our eyes it just looks horrible and there are no other themes to choose from so far.

Samsung Wave screengrabs

Overall, though, it's a very capable OS that has a good, fast web browser with support for tabbed browsing, pinch-to-zoom (though sadly, the one-finger zoom function seen on some previous Samsung devices has been dropped), and full web-page rendering. In fact, the only thing it really lacks is Flash support. Samsung claims it does support this, but we found no content that did work. Like the iPhone, you can also double tap the home button and start searching both the phone and the Internet, and you can choose from Google and Bing search engines.

Messaging services are also well catered for with SMS exchanges arranged in conversations, multiple email accounts supported, and all the usual social networking services catered for. Indeed you can even import contacts from Twitter and Facebook, and updates from those services appear in each contact's entry. The general layout and way you work with these services does feel rather disjointed, though. For instance, to see all the inboxes of the various services you must go to the Social Hub from whence you can access the SMS messages folder. If, however, you go straight to the messages folder you can't navigate back to the Social Hub.

Samsung Wave screengrabs

One important thing for typing is of course the keyboard and despite it looking a bit blocky this phone's one is very good. It responds accurately, the predictive text is pretty good, and the text editing features are easy to use – in fact, they completely copy those of the iPhone except there's no magnifying glass, but you instead get a little marker that helps indicate where the cursor is.

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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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