Samsung Wave Y review: Young blood
The 2 megapixel camera
The Samsung S5380 Wave Y is capable of taking 2 megapixel photos and capturing QVGA video.
The camera viewfinder is quite reminiscent of the company's recent cameraphones. The comfortable interface is nicely touch-optimized and has all you need on the two vertical bars on each side of the viewfinder, and there is an option to hide them both.
All the important settings are user-configurable: white balance, brightness, default storage, geotagging, exposure metering, etc. You can switch the default storage between the main memory and the microSD card. Unlike the more expensive 5 MP camera on the Wave 3, the camera found here does not feature touch or autofocus, and is instead fixed focus. As such, we do not recommend this phone if you plan on shooting photos close range.
The S5380 Wave Y produces images that are decent, although not spectacular. The camera features colors with good accuracy, although the sharpness of the image left much to be desired-again, most likely a result of the lack of autofocus. The noise level we saw on these phones was OK, but the tonal contrast not so much.
Here are some camera samples:
Unimpressive video recording
The camcorder interface has very few visible options, namely recording length, brightness, and resolution. The advanced settings allow you to additionally adjust white balance, effects and default storage.
The Samsung Wave Y captures video at QVGA (320 x 240)@15fps. The resolved detail is very low by today's standards, but given the price of the phone, it makes sense that Samsung had to skimp on something. If you can get past the low resolution and framerate, the color balance and contrast are otherwise good.
Here's a video sample from the Samsung Wave Y.
Connectivity is more complete with NFC
All kinds of network connectivity are at the users' disposal - GPRS, EDGE and 3G with HSPA. The GSM/EDGE networking of course comes in quad-band flavor and there's dual-band 3G - 900/2100MHz.
The Samsung S5380 Wave Y supports Bluetooth 3.0. Naturally, A2DP is part of the deal. To activate Bluetooth (and Wi-Fi), you can use the dedicated control hidden in the notification area at the 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 Wave Y supports 802.11 b/g/n connectivity as well as Wi-Fi Direct. Thanks to the latter, you are able to exchange files with other Wi-Fi Direct-capable gadgets and without a Wi-Fi router. It works just like Bluetooth transfers usually do.
The S5380 Wave Y is DLNA-capable device. You can use the AllShare app to connect with other DLNA-enabled devices to share music, picture and video content.
The Wave Y also has NFC support, so you can check out any of the rather scarce NFC tags lying around if you encounter any in your travels. If you have another NFC enabled device, such as a Bluetooth headset or Wi-Fi router, the Wave Y should connect to them quickly without requiring additional setup. You can also create your own NFC tags. The Wave Y allows you to assign various information to them, including bookmarks, contacts, memos, phone profiles, All-Share profiles, as well as the aforementioned Bluetooth or Wi-Fi profiles.
The S5380 Wave Y also packs a standard microUSB port. You can choose from 4 connection modes - Modem, Mass storage, Samsung Kies and USB debugging. Samsung Kies is used to connect your Samsung mobile phone to a computer. In Mass Storage mode the phone mounts its internal memory (1GB user-accessible) and the inserted memory card as removable drives on your computer.