Samsung Wave review

Price when reviewed

While most of the mobile world seems to be concentrating solely on Android in an attempt to keep pace with Apple, Samsung is taking a two-pronged approach. Not only does it have its own high-end and budget Android-based phones, it has also quietly been developing its very own open smartphone OS, Bada, and it takes pride of place on its latest Wave smartphone.

The phone boasts all the very latest in cutting-edge tech. The Wave has a 480 x 800 “Super AMOLED” capacitive multitouch screen, a 1GHz Samsung Hummingbird processor, a 5-megapixel camera with HD video recording (720p) and LED flash, an FM tuner and all the wireless connectivity you’d expect in a flagship handset.

The screen is right up there with the best we’ve seen too: it’s incredibly bright, with great contrast and almost luminous colours. It’s ideal for watching and recording video, and also scratch- and fingerprint-resistant – a simple wipe on the trousers cleans it to a pristine shine. It can’t quite compete with the iPhone 4 in terms of displaying smooth fine details and small text, but it’s still a fantastic display.

Samsung Wave

Samsung tops off the reasonably attractive design with a brushed metal rear panel, which complements the high-gloss screen front perfectly. And it strikes the balance between screen size and pocketability well: at 10.9mm thick and 56mm wide, it slides into the pocket a little easier than most of the flagship models around at the moment.

The camera produces crisp, colourful shots in good light, with a single LED light to help out at parties or in the pub; the video quality is better, we’d venture, than the footage produced by the iPhone 4; and call quality is fine. That all-important battery life is good, too. After our 24-hour test, the Wave had retained around 60% of its capacity, on a par with the iPhone 4, better than the HTC Desire, and good enough for a couple of days of moderate use away from the mains.

One small negative, on the hardware side, is the small amount of onboard storage. There’s 2GB, only 390MB of which is available as user storage, though you can increase this by adding a microSD card.

Operating system

But what of the new OS? Well, it’s a little hit and miss. As with Android, there’s a selection of customisable desktop screens (you can have as many as ten in total – screens can be added or removed as needed), and you can populate these with widgets and shortcut buttons, which is all fairly standard stuff. Sweeping your finger down from the top of the screen pulls up a notifications list for emails, messages and the like, and displays three shortcut buttons for Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and silent mode.


Cheapest price on contract£49
Contract monthly charge£15.00
Contract period24 months

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted15hrs
Standby, quoted25 days


Dimensions56 x 10.9 x 118mm (WDH)
Primary keyboardOn-screen

Core Specifications

RAM capacity512MB
ROM size2,000MB
Camera megapixel rating5.0mp
Front-facing camera?yes
Video capture?yes


Screen size3.3in
Landscape mode?yes

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes


OS familyOther

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