Samsung S8600 Wave 3 preview: Exclusive first look
Bada OS 2.0 ticks in this Wave
The Samsung S8600 Wave 3 runs the latest version of the Bada OS v2.0, but we’ve already seen 2.0.1 and how it dramatically changes the UI so we’re looking at the current Wave 3 interface with some reservations. Still, as things stand today, we are going to talk about Bada v.2.0, but you should know 2.0.1 will change a lot of things.
As it was with the first Bada version, the new version of the OS comes with a UI that is quite reminiscent of Samsung's TouchWiz as seen on their recent Android phones. Also the Bada OS itself has borrowed some system elements and logic from Android OS so if you come from Android, you will find your away around Bada quite quickly.
Here is a video of the user interface in action.
The novelties brought by v 2.0 include completely redesigned homescreen, new contextual menus, new gallery, players, web browser, etc. Much has changed since Bada 1.2 so let’s not lose any more time and jump into the details.
The lockscreen has been updated with live weather widget at the bottom, but the unlock pattern is the same - just sweep the whole screen. If the music player is running, you'll get the music widget at the top.
On the homescreen you can have up to eleven panes, but this time you can't put widgets around. The first homescreen (marked with a square) is the only available widget area. Don’t you worry, it’s vertically scrollable so it can host a lot of info widgets. Widgets are freely rearrangeable, and you can enable or disable them as you please. At this point there are only six widgets available in Bada 2.0 - Weather, Search, News, Stock, Calendar and Quick Contacts Dock nd you can’t download new ones. If you choose to enable the Quick Contacts Dock you get a constantly visible (on this screen) bar where you can put as many contacts as you want.
The rest of the homescreens are for shortcuts only. Editing the panes is easy – you pinch zoom-out to display an aggregate view of all panes, which you can then easily rearrange, delete or add. It’s redundant since your whole main menu has two panes, but you get up to ten homescreens for app shortcuts.
The notification area is almost the same as before. It's is a thin bar at the top of the screen with status info like battery, time and switches for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. When you pull it down you get a list of all recent notifications and music player controls (if it’s running in the background).
Bada 2.0 is a proper stage for real application multitasking, so naturally, you get that with the Wave 3. The task manager is accessed by a long press on the Menu button so you can easily switch between currently active applications or terminate them.
The main menu structure is flat, all available items and applications initially spreading across two screens of icons. If needed, you can add up to 7 more. Icons align in a 4 x 4 grid and you can change their order the way you like, you can also move icons from one screen to another. The only new thing here is the background wallpaper.
Scrolling the menu screens is looped, so when you reach the last pane you don’t have to sweep all the way back.
Bada 2.0 performs very well on the Wave 3, but it's too early to pass any judgments at this stage of development – it’s a pre-production phone.