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Samsung Wave - Camera & Bada Interface
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.
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.
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.
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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