Samsung S8500 Wave review: Hello, world!
Connectivity has it all
Smartphones are usually well-heeled in terms of connectivity and the Samsung Wave is no exception. All kinds of network connectivity are at the user disposal - GPRS, EDGE and 3G with HSDPA (3.6Mbps) and HSUPA (2.0Mbps). The GSM/EDGE networking of course comes in quad-band flavor and the 3G in dual-band - 900/2100MHz.
The Wave is the first mobile phone to support the new Bluetooth version 3.0. Naturally, A2DP is also supported. To activate Bluetooth (and Wi-Fi), you can use the dedicated control hidden in the notification area on top of the screen.
Some apps like the Samsung Store, Facebook or Twitter require a configured packet data profile and an active SIM card to use Wi-Fi connectivity. Still those services don’t actually use packet data instead of Wi-Fi, they just check if it’s available. Strange indeed.
Speaking of Wi-Fi connectivity, the Samsung Wave is also among the few phones to support the latest Wi-Fi 802.11 n connectivity standard.
Wi-Fi with WPS is also at hand. WPS stands for Wi-Fi Protected Setup and it's a hassle-free way to pair a wireless device with your secured network. As long as your wireless router supports the feature, pressing the dedicated button on it allows it to pair with the Samsung Wave.
Thanks to the Mobile AP you can also turn your S8500 Wave into a wireless router for connecting up to three Wi-Fi clients that will use its HSDPA connection for Internet access.
The S8500 also packs a standard microUSB port. You can choose from 5 connection modes - Media player, Modem, Mass storage, Samsung Kies and USB debugging. Samsung Kies is the new software used to connect your Samsung mobile phone to a computer. In Mass Storage mode the phone mounts its internal memory (400MB) and the inserted memory card as removable drives on the computer.
Web browser runs Flash
Samsung S8500 Wave packs a Webkit-based Samsung Dolphin Browser 2.0. You can have multiple pages opened at the same time and there is Flash video support on board.
The web browser interface is reminiscent of the Samsung S8000 Jet. There's multi-touch support, so you can make use of the pinch-zooming feature. That's only one of the three available zooming options, though.
You can also double tap a block of text or an image and the handset will automatically zoom in on it. Another double tap and you are back to the previous zoom level. And last but not least, there comes the one-finger zooming which works flawlessly as well.
The web browser also offers kinetic scrolling and fullscreen view mode. The text search option is also there.
Unfortunately, there is no text reflow (dynamic refitting of text to match the width of the display port). Its job is to make sure the text won't run too wide, so that each line of text will fit horizontally on the screen (hence no need for horizontal scrolling).
Another letdown of the Samsung Wave web browser is the lack of auto-complete when typing the address of already visited websites. The only help you get here is the ".com" button which can, eventually, save you 3 extra taps, nothing more.
As we mentioned the browser has full Flash support. The YouTube videos run even within the webpage itself, but there is significant lag between the video and audio so we recommend the mobile YouTube version.
Another cool feature is the quick translate option. Tap and hold to select some text and then click on the translate button. You will be redirected into a new tab with opened Google Translate and loaded with your result. Nice one.
The Samsung S8500 Wave comes with bundled the latest Picsel Viewer. It works like a charm and is capable of pinch zooming. Both panning and zooming are fast and the overall performance of the Office viewer is excellent.
The calendar has three different types of view - daily, weekly and monthly. Adding a new event is quick and easy, and you can also set an alarm to act as a reminder.
There is also a calculator aboard. It is nicely touch optimized - the buttons are big enough and easy to hit.
The Samsung S8500 Wave features a decent alarm clock application which allows a huge number of alarms to be set, each with its own start time and repeat pattern. It also hosts the stop-watch and timer functions.
Samsung have included the My Files app – a simple to use but functional file manager, which also doubles as an image gallery. It can move, copy, lock and rename files in bulk, even send multiple files over Bluetooth.