Samsung wave iii verdict

The Samsung Wave III shows progress over the Wave II in many respects. We weren't delighted with how Samsung had moved Bada on for the Wave II, but we think it has taken a bigger step forward this time.

The user interface includes neat tweaks, the app store is growing in size, navigation is now free and you can have Google maps as well as Samsung's own offering, DLNA works easily. Add in nice hardware design, and the Samsung Wave III earns a few smiles from us.

Can it find a place in a world dominated by Android and iOS? We aren't sure, but Samsung is certainly upping the ante.

We disliked

Samsung Navigation needs work to make it slicker and sleeker - it's nothing that even comes close to rivalling Google Maps or Nokia Drive as yet.

We couldn't get Flash to work on the internet browser either - it seems all we've got to play wiht is Flash lite when it comes to the Bada platform - Samsung is banking on HTML5 here, it seems.

Battery life could be better, as our extended tests proved, and we still, STILL want a bigger app store with more free apps.

Given the Wave series should be seen as a credible alternative to Android, there aren't enough home screen widgets to make it worth the switch - and we're perplexed over why Bada now supports NFC, but the Samsung Wave III doesn't.

We liked

The screen is fantastic, thanks to a welcome return to Super AMOLED technology - it's one of the first impressive things you'll notice when picking up the phone.

DLNA is slick and easy to use, and while the app store is small, there are some good free apps including Polaris Office.

Sound output is relatively high quality compared to many phones on the market and Samsung includes a good headsetto boot - and when you've got a user interface as easy to work with as this, we can't complain that the phone doesn't at least feel next-gen.

Verdict

The Samsung Wave III feels like a quality smartphone in the hand and it has plenty of clever stuff going on. The build is impressive, and we like the big, bright, responsive screen.

We begin to see how Bada could rival the best smartphone ecosystems out there. But to do so it will have to become excellent and win the battle of hearts and minds to take customers away from the current market leaders. It's a tall order, and Samsung has work to do in the UK to make it work. We like watching the progress.