Samsung S8530 Wave II review: Riding the wave

GSMArena team, 19 November 2010.
Pages: 12345678Ľ

Introduction

They shall come in wave upon wave. Or so it seemed in the beginning. Samsung certainly wanted a strong start for their own Bada OS and they had it. It is usual for sequels to be questioned and belittled. Thatís one thing the Wave II doesnít have to worry about. Itís bigger and heavier than the original.

Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II
Samsung S8530 Wave II official photos

When the second gen phone has a familiar sounding model name with an actual ordinal number in it Ė that doesnít mean a complete lack of imagination. Itís a way to promote continuity. The Wave II has this base covered too Ė itís nearly the same phone as the first Wave but presumably upgraded to reach to a more high-end market segment. Hereís a quick recap of its specs:

Key features

  • 3.7" 16M-color Super Clear LCD capacitive touchscreen, WVGA (480 x 800 pixels), multi-touch input, scratch-resistant glass surface
  • Slim and solid metal body
  • Bada OS 1.2 with Samsung Apps
  • ARM Cortex A8 based 1GHz CPU
  • Quad-band GSM support with dual-band HSPA
  • Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n connectivity with WPS support, Wi-Fi tethering
  • Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS support, digital compass, Samsung LBS powered by ROUTE 66
  • 5 MP autofocus camera with touch focus and LED flash, geotagging, face, smile and blink detection
  • 720p video recording at 30fps
  • 2GB internal storage, microSDHC card slot
  • Standard microUSB port and Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP
  • Standard 3.5mm audio jack, TV out
  • Stereo FM radio with RDS, FM recording
  • Webkit-based Samsung Dolphin Browser 2.0 with Flash support
  • YouTube client, Facebook and Twitter integration
  • DivX/XviD video support
  • Good audio quality

Main disadvantages

  • Limited number of available applications
  • Super Clear LCD canít match SuperAMOLED
  • Card slot under the battery
  • No lens protection
  • SatNav software only a 30-day trial
  • No ambient light sensor to adjust screen brightness automatically
  • Poor loudspeaker performance

Wave II over original Wave

  • Latest Bada OS 1.2
  • Swype-like T9 Trace text input
  • Over-the-Air software updates
  • Larger 3.7" touchscreen

Yep, we know, itís not a great update. Plus the first three differences over the original Wave are about to be washed away once it receives its due software update to Bada OS 1.2.

The Samsung S8530 Wave II may not be the upgrade that all users have been waiting for, but the phone runs the latest version of the Bada OS and has kept all the great features of the original: from the powerful CPU, to premium connectivity and HD video recording.

And all this is delivered on a larger 3.7-inch display. Sure, itís no SuperAMOLED screen but Samsung promises the LCD screen is not your ordinary screen, too. You see, good things come in limited number and Samsung is pressed to supply enough SuperAMOLEDs for their Android and Windows Phone 7 operations.

Bad luck for the Wave II, we guess. Even worse for the original Wave Ė this phone will be as good as discontinued when the stocks run out. The Wave II will take over and thatís that.

Anyway, Samsung are probably not giving up on their Bada OS. If it eventually becomes the base platform for all their midrange touch phones, they will be extremely well positioned to adapt to the new market reality.

Itís not about the business benefits or the multitasking Ė itís as simple as apps. Users love to have them and makers love to sell them. Imagine being able to do that on all levels Ė from the most basic feature phones to the top-of-the-line smart devices. That must be enough reason for Samsung to keep their commitment to Bada.

Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II
Samsung S8530 Wave II in our office

Update, 28.07.11: We've added an overview of Samsung Dive.

Like it or not, the Samsung S8530 Wave II is just a step in the process. Weíre about to see whether itís as compelling as its predecessor. As usual, we start with the design and hardware, and then put Bada 1.2 under the microscope.

Next Page »

Pages: 12345678Ľ

 
Reviews > Samsung S8530 Wave II review: Riding the wave