Samsung Wave review

Samsung offers its most powerful phone yet

TODO alt text

Samsung wave

The Samsung Wave is the Koreans' first strike into taking on the might of Android and the iPhone in the smartphone market - Bada needs a champion and this certainly has the specs to do it.

It's pretty cheap compared to the likes of the iPhone 4 as well - only £25 per month with a free phone on some networks, although that is with a 24 month deal.

We liked

This phone is simply beautiful to look at. From the slim aluminium casing to the sumptuous screen, it screams premium quality and that's going to attract a lot of people to it instantly.

The screen is responsive too, and we love the amount of homescreens we get to work with. The notifications bar at the top is good too - simple to pull down and giving you just the right amount of information and interactivity.

We're glad Samsung has had a look at the competition when deciding what to add into this smartphone platform - while the experience could be slightly better, the ability to synchronise Facebook, Twitter and Exchange accounts within the contacts menu is great.

The widgets overhaul is good too - you can cram a ridiculous amount of information onto the home screen, which is what today's smartphones are all about really (and something we hope the iPhone gets on board with soon).

The camera is amazing, as is the ability to share the content from PC to phone to TV easily. Media is basically well-supported all round, meaning you get a great music, movie and photo experience.

We disliked

The keyboard, while responsive, is still rubbish when it comes to the predictive correction. We don't want to turn it off, we just want it to be as good as the option on the HTC Desire - is that too much to ask?

The inability to put icons on the home screen is an oversight as well - why not let us put a few quick links in there for easy access, Samsung?

The internet is too lightweight and stuck in the dark ages for us too - where the iPhone has us addicted to surfing almost like we would on a PC, the Samsung Wave doesn't have the same attraction at the thought of having to use a slightly lightweight internet experience on what's supposed to be a top-end phone.

And the mapping application, though powerful, is a little too clunky and overbearing in the face of Google Maps. It's like Ovi Maps but a little slower and worse-looking and without the free sat nav: not ideal at all.


On paper, it would be easy to slate the Samsung Wave as nothing more than a tarted up Samsung Jet, with a bigger and glossier screen and a 25% more powerful processor.

But this phone is probably the most desirable on the market in terms of the complete package - the at-times average operation is offset by the beauty of the chassis and screen, as well as the pocket-friendly slim dimensions.

It's a lovely phone to hold and play with, and while the internet is a little poor for our tastes and the navigation not up to much, we still can see this phone being the handset of choice for a number of people looking to get involved in the smartphone market for the first time.

However, it's very similar in specs to the new Samsung Galaxy S that's on its way - we assume a number of people will be waiting to see if the Android version of this phone, with 1GHz processor and Super AMOLED screen too will be as good, if not better.

Want to get rid of your old mobile? Compare and get the best price

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Wireless LANYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory2 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Front CameraYes
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemBada OS
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time15 Hour
Product ModelGT-S8500
Screen Size8.4 cm (3.3")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)118 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE, RoHS
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height118 mm
Width56 mm
Depth10.9 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time600 Hour
Product NameGT-S8500 Wave Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Screen TypeOLED
Sensor TypeDigital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-S8500BAAXEU
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing InformationThe Samsung Wave is the world's first SUPER AMOLED mobile phone and will have you seeing images in a whole new light. With super fast navigation and internet browsing, the Wave is truly light years ahead of other mobile phones.
Package Contents
  • GT-S8500 Wave Smartphone
  • Battery
  • Travel adapter (charger)
  • Quick start guide