Samsung Wave II review: Interface

With Bada underneath and TouchWiz on top, there's a fair amount of familiarity about how things work with the Wave II even if you've not come across the OS before.

There is, for example, a drop-down notifications area as you'd expect to see with an Android handset, and this gives you quick access to incoming emails and messages as well as profile, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth settings and other bits and pieces, which we'll come to later.

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There are plenty of Home screens you can fill with widgets. You start out with three Home screens, but adding more is simple. Tap the Widget button at the top of any screen, then turn the screen so it's in landscape mode and you can use the + and – buttons to add up to 10 Home screens or remove any you don't want.

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Widgets are drawn from a pair of icon rows at the bottom of the screen.

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The array of widgets isn't huge, and this is one area in which Bada falls over. Yes, you can download more widgets from the Samsung store, but there aren't a huge number available and many are charged for. Also there's no category for widgets. You have to use the word as a search term.

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Each Home screen has three icons hardwired to its bottom edge. One of these takes you to contacts, one to messages and the other to the phone dialler. Given the ease of access to the dialler, we aren't sure why you need those hard Call and End buttons.

The apps menu is very familiar. Hit the central hard button and up it pops, with apps arranged on screens that you scroll through horizontally. There are three screens to start with. New apps are added to the end and unfortunately you can't alter the order.

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One of the stars of the Bada show is its unlock system. This is unaltered from the original Wave, and it's super. The lock screen shows the date and time, and you make a horizontal sweep anywhere to unlock it - this is mirrored on the Samsung Galaxy S too.

However if you've unread messages and you want to go straight to them, just drag the notification jigsaw piece into its slot and hey presto, you're taken straight to the messages. Easy and smart – we love it.

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To counteract this goodness, the slight tweak of Bada that is version 1.2 still doesn't allow app shortcuts to be placed on Home screens. We've one word for this: unforgiveable.