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.
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.
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.
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.