The first Samsung Wave had a truly amazing screen, using AMOLED screen tech and offering incredible brightness thanks to its relatively high pixel density – 480×800 pixels squeezed into a 3.3in display. Its successor ups the screen size to 3.7in while keeping the same resolution, so the pixel density is lower, and uses an SLCD screen rather than a Super AMOLED one, but the quality is still superb.
SLCD screens use a traditional backlight, where AMOLED screens do not. This tends to give AMOLED displays much better contrast and black levels, but the Samsung Wave II performs superbly here nevertheless. Contrast and brightness are excellent, while Samsung has saturated the Wave’s screen with colour to give it that extra hint of AMOLED look.
Take it in a darkened room and you’ll see that luminescence of the backlight, but for a while we were almost fooled into thinking Samsung had used a Super AMOLED display here. That’s a good thing.
The Samsung Wave II makes good use of the screen too, packing-in superb video capabilities into its metal bod. It’ll play DivX, Xvid and MKV files – among others – so you’ll be able to play the lion’s share of any video library living on your computer. With a 1GHz processor at the helm, it can handle 720p content easily too, although 1080p videos won’t play.
3.7in is perhaps a little too small to watch a full-length movie on, but it’ll more-than suffice for relaxing with a TV episode on the way to work. The Samsung Wave II may fall behind the pack in some respects, but it leads on video.
However, you will need to invest in a healthy-sized memory card to make the use of these media player powers. Once the OS has had its way with the 2GB of internal memory, you’re left with around a gigabyte to play with, and although there’s also a 2GB microSD card bundled, that won’t last long unless you’re only going to keep a couple of videos on your phone at a time. This is no biggie when 8GB cards are available for under £10, and 16GB for under £20 though.
The lack of dedicated video output, via micro HDMI, is disappointing, but Samsung has built Allshare support into the standard media player. Samsung Allshare is a DLNA-based streaming service that lets you stream video and other media over a Wi-Fi connection. It will stream to non-Samsung DLNA devices, but like any wireless streaming solution of this type you should go in expecting problems you’ll have to spend a few head-scratching minutes working through. Setting up streaming is rarely as simple as the cable-based alternative.