Samsung Wave II review: Verdict

Samsung wave ii gt-s8530

The Samsung Wave II builds on what was quite a strong early pedigree. We liked the physical design of the original Samsung Wave, the responsive touchscreen and the clever ideas behind Bada.

But there were some crucial points we didn't like, and frankly we don't think Bada has moved on far enough in its 1.2 incarnation to keep us really interested.

We liked

The handset design is lovely. Samsung has barely changed the physical design of the original Wave, though the Wave II is larger to accommodate its bigger screen. It feels like quality in the hands.

The screen is sharp, bright, clear and responsive to the finger. It is up there with the very best of the competition in this respect.

Battery life is good and we can see some people sneaking past the two day marker if they are averagely careful users.

T9 Tracer is a nice Swype-style text input system that really works well, and the error correction in text entry is efficient, too.

We disliked

Bada 2.1 just doesn't offer that many improvements over its predecessor. There are things we really wanted to see in the Wave II that are not here. Why can't we put app links on a Home screen? Why can't we change the order of apps in the main apps list? Why isn't there smart dialling? Why doesn't the handset try to guess which Twitter and Facebook contacts we might want to link together?

The app store has grown in terms of sheer number of apps available, but it is still not a patch on Android or iPhone. And the number of free apps is woefully small. If you want apps, one of those two other platforms is a better choice.

We really aren't happy about the idea of paying for navigation when it is available for free so readily elsewhere, and the poor map design in comparison to Google Maps adds insult to injury.

Samsung hasn't upped the ante much by offering a vastly improved set of specifications in comparison with the original Wave. Admittedly, though, the original Wave did have a lot of goodies built in.

Verdict

The general specifications of the Wave II don't advance things a lot further than the original Samsung Wave. And generally the things we really liked and disliked about that handset remain the same here.

Considering that we've found the Wave II online SIM free for £319 and the original Wave from the same seller for the same price that's probably not such a big point. The larger screen (from 3.3 inches to 3.7 inches) and increased internal memory (from 1GB to 2GB) are the main upgrades and both are welcome.

Still, we'd have liked to see Samsung push the boat out with the Wave II. Perhaps they are concentrating their efforts on growing the app store. We hope so.