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Samsung Wave - Multimedia, Performance & Verdict

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


Multimedia, the video and pictures parts of which look amazing on this phone's screen, is well catered for with simple but capable media viewers. There's support for uploading your images and videos straight to web services, but no on-device editing facilities. We also have a minor gripe with the otherwise perfectly functional music player as, for some bizarre reason, it defaults to showing you All Tracks, even if you were last playing an album. Consequently, if you generally prefer to listen to albums you always have to scroll across to that selection.

Samsung Wave screengrabs

There's also a media streaming service called AllShare, which lets your stream video and music from your phone to a Wi-FI enabled TV or PC, from your PC to your phone, or from your PC via your phone to a TV. Unfortunately, we didn't have any compatible TVs to hand to test this, but we gather the feature is as limited as it sounds. Most people would be much better off taking a moment to slap the files they want to play on a PC and using a media player such as the Asus O!Play Air HDP-R3 to play it back.

Samsung Wave screengrabs

Of course, one important factor for any new operating system is its app store. Samsung has created a tie-in store that pretty much resembles any other and is easy to find your way around. The selection is understandably not a patch on Android or iPhone devices, but all the basics are there. Certainly, though, this is the biggest problem for this handset as things stand.

When it comes to general performance, the Wave holds up pretty well. A full battery will generally get you a solid two days of use, which is better than many such phones. Call quality is good with a nice clear fulsome voice being sent and received. The only caveat is a lack of noise cancelling, which means the person you're talking to will hear all the din of whatever is going on around you. Connectivity wise, there are no particular outliers. Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and 7.2Mbps HSDPA are all up to date, but relatively common nowadays and provide a snappy service for all situations.

Samsung Wave front

It's the price that makes the Wave a compelling option, though. A SIM free price of £299.99 is decent enough, but to be able to pick one up for only £117 on a £20pm 18 month contract is even more convincing (you're looking at £25pm for 24 months to get it free). Certainly, if apps aren't too much of a concern for you then this makes for a great alternative to the cheaper Android handsets.


In the Wave, Samsung has given Bada an impressive debut. It's a very well built, elegant handset, that's packed with all the latest features. We do have a few niggles with the software and have concerns about the support it will get from app developers, but these concerns are offset by a cracking price.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


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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