Samsung S8600 Wave 3 review: Third time's the charm

GSMArena team, 7 December 2011.
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Introduction

It's an easy one to miss. With Mango phones coming from far and wide and droids well at cruising speed, a new smartphone on an emerging platform is going to struggle to get noticed. Apparently, Samsung are in a mood for a fight. The third generation of the Wave is here to make a difference. The Samsung S8600 Wave 3 runs a completely redesigned Bada OS 2.0, and flaunts a bigger and better screen. It's blazing fast too on that 1.4 GHz Snapdragon.


Samsung S8600 Wave 3 official pictures

Bada OS has made the jump to a new major version and the interface can hold its own even against high-end Androids. It is gentle on the hardware too and runs glitch-free on the single-core processor. There's real multi-tasking and one of the best video players on a smartphone. All that in a remarkably solid and stylish metal shell.

No more teasing, here comes the complete feature list and the potential deal-breakers.

Key features

  • 4" 16M-color SuperAMOLED capacitive touchscreen, WVGA (480 x 800 pixels), scratch-resistant
  • Slim and solid metal body with innovative slide-up construction
  • Bada OS 2.0 with Samsung Apps
  • 1.4 GHz Scorpion single-core CPU
  • Quad-band GSM support with dual-band HSPA
  • Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g/n connectivity, Wi-Fi Direct 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
  • 1GB storage for media, 2GB storage for apps, 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 with Flash Lite support
  • YouTube client, Facebook and Twitter integration
  • DivX/XviD/H.264/MKV video support with subtitles, AC3 audio support
  • Good audio quality
  • Voice recognition for both dictation and commands

Main disadvantages

  • Bada OS has comparatively limited number of available applications
  • Card slot is not hot-swappable
  • No proper Smart Dialling
  • SatNav software only a 30-day trial

For people coming from Android, the limited supply in Samsung’s app store will be a major question mark. But the Bada app store has been building up content. It's still a long way from closing the gap on the leaders but there's been enough progress to convince users to leave some of the prejudices at the door. Anyone looking at this new Wave with an open mind may find it fresh, efficient and friendly. But well, the Samsung S8600 Wave 3 will have to do its part too.

Samsung S8600 Wave 3 Samsung S8600 Wave 3 Samsung S8600 Wave 3 Samsung S8600 Wave 3
Samsung S8600 Wave 3 live pictures

To begin with, it certainly is an attention grabber. The compelling exterior is a promise for a solid performance. And we'll hold the Wave 3 to it. Follow us on the next page where we start with unboxing and the usual hardware tour.

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Reviews > Samsung S8600 Wave 3 review: Third time's the charm