Samsung's first Bada phone has some impressive hardware, but the future success of Bada phones remains unclear. Here's our hands-on review of the Samsung Wave.
On the eve of Mobile World Congress, Samsung launched its first Bada OS phone, the Samsung Wave, in what can only be described as a splashy event.
Wall-to-wall videos of waves, blue-coloured cocktails and sea creature-liked dancers almost made us forget we were at a phone launch.
Luckily, we had the opportunity to get some hands-on time with the Samsung Wave and Bada OS after the event.
Samsung Wave: Light Touch
The Samsung Wave feels great in hand. Its aluminium body feels smooth and ergonomic with curved, soft edges and a seamless design. It is also quite slim, measuring only10mm thick. It is quite light, too, though Samsung didn't disclose the Wave's weight.
The Samsung Wave also showcases Samsung's new Super AMOLED technology, which has touch sensors on the display itself as opposed to creating a separate layer (Samsung's old AMOLED displays had this extra layer). Super AMOLED is fantastic.
Colours burst out of the display and animations appeared lively and smooth. Samsung also says that this design reflects less light and therefore handles better outdoors. Our showroom was quite dark so we couldn't really put this claim to the test.
Samsung Wave: Bada Impressions
We got only a short amount of time playing with Bada OS, but we liked what we saw. It has some features we've seen on other operating systems, such as a unified inbox, integrated contacts from all of your social networks, and a synchronised calendar. It also has a notifications system that was quite reminiscent of webOS. It isn't anything revolutionary, but at least Bada is keeping up with the competition in terms of features.
Aesthetically, the TouchWiz 3.0 user interface is quite clean and didn't feel as muddled and confusing as previous versions. It was also very responsive and quick thanks to the Samsung Wave's 1GHz processor.
From an apps perspective, Bada has some potential. It is an open platform, the UI supports Flash and Samsung already has an app store. Samsung really seems to be reaching out to developers, too. Though there weren't any content partner announcements at the event, Samsung did show a demo of EA's Need for Speed on the Wave as well as a few other popular games. We also spoke to a developer at the event who said he was initially hesitant approaching Bada, but now he's thinking otherwise.