Samsung Wave II review: Media
The Samsung Wave II makes a good fist of media playback. The built-in speaker is quite loud, and a relatively good headset is included with round in-ear buds delivers fair quality sound – though bass tones are on the fuzzy side.
As far as music is concerned, the side-mounted volume rocker works when the handset is in lock mode. When you are using the handset the notification area offers quick playback controls.
And even when the handset is locked, you can tap a small sliver CD icon to get playback controls.
With the music player on, twist the handset into wide mode and there's a nifty carousel that looks rather good even if you don't have any album art on tap.
There's an equaliser and a set of effect controls so you can fiddle a bit with how different types of music sound.
An FM radio autoscans the first time it is used and then delivers its channel list via a soft menu button. While station names are provided on the main radio page, they are just listed by frequency, and not name, elsewhere. You have to add station names manually.
That'll take a while, but it will make finding what you want easier in the long run.
You can record direct from the radio simply by choosing a menu option, which will come in handy for those that don't like actually paying for songs they hear.
Video playback was suitably impressive with large playback controls that pop off the screen really quickly, coming back when you tap the screen. That makes controlling things very intuitive.
The Super LCD screen was pretty gosh-darn good when it comes to viewing video, with some decent contrast ratios and slick, fluid motion.
However, it wasn't quite up there with the awesome power of the Super AMOLED screen on the first Wave. The trade-off for the slight loss is better performance in sunlight - so it's up to you which is the most important.
And also in that vein: we love that you can fiddle with the screen brightness from within the video app. Getting that right makes all the difference. When it comes to formats, the Samsung Wave II copes with DivX, Xvid and MP4 files.
The Mosaic Search, which we liked so much in the original Wave, is back for a second helping. It creates points at regular intervals within any video, so you can get quickly to any section.