Samsung Wave review

Samsung offers its most powerful phone yet

TODO alt text

As you can imagine, a phone with a screen this big and high resolution is meant to be used for all manner of media, and the Samsung Wave certainly has the right amount of options on offer.


The music player on the Samsung Wave is very attractive to look at, not least because of the superb colour reproduction from the Super AMOLED screen.

Samsung wave

The main player is nice to use with large buttons, and there are options to add the songs to a quick playlist for on the go use.

Some of the options are a little hidden though; for instance we had to hunt for AGES to find out how to shuffle songs on a playlist (you need to tap the screen when a song is playing to call up the command list, FYI).

Music playback can also be controlled from anywhere in the phone, by dragging down the top console and using the basic controls on offer.

Samsung wave

You can even do the same thing in the lock screen by double tapping the disc at the top of the screen and calling up the basic menu - it's a nice touch but unlocking the screen is hardly a hassle, so we suspect this is more for decoration.

The music quality is up there with the best, especially when listening to songs with a higher Kbps rating and using the 5.1 SRS Surround Sound from Samsung. However, when you get down to the lower bit-rate options, things do take a slight turn for the worst, with the surround sound distorting rather than improving sound quality.


Samsung has long trumpeted its multi-codec support for video files, and to that end, the Samsung Wave is well-packed.

We're talking MP4, H.264, DivX, Xvid... the list goes on and all are supported as far as we could tell (although one HD file refused to play ball on the device which makes sense given the screen resolution).

Samsung wave

Playback looks sumptuous in terms of colour and contrast, and the overall experience was pretty slick and sharp indeed. It thankfully seems the Samsung Wave is able to use the full force of the 1GHz Hummingbird CPU to represent graphics nicely.

Samsung wave

And there are some cool features too: mosaic search quickly scoots through the video to find thumbnails at three minute or so intervals so you can search through your movies with ease.

Other little luxuries include being able to change the colour tone of the film, the brightness and also that 5.1 virtual surround sound that Samsung loves so much - although it does actually make a difference through headphones.

Media sharing

Another feature, presumably for all Bada phones, on the Samsung Wave, is AllShare, which lets you stream media from your phone to a TV or PC.

There are three options - streaming media directly to a (presumably Samsung only) TV via Wi-Fi, to a PC which in turn can pump it to a TV or from a PC to your phone.

Samsung wave

We tested the first two options on a Samsung 7 Series LED TV, and it worked pretty well. If you've got your TV wired up to a router for internet services, then it appears to be a very straightforward process.

You simply click share on the movie, song or photo and select the TV option - the file is then instantly recognised on the TV and it begins playing.

However it takes a while for each file to load up on the TV, so while video streams well (and the HD video plays very well indeed even on a 40-inch display) photos take an age to cycle through, to the point where it's utterly not worth doing it.

And let's be honest, nobody really cares about others' photos unless they're in them anyway.

Samsung wave

The final option is also pretty nice, with the Samsung Wave able to easily stream content from a PC onto the device. We're still a little sceptical about this process, apart from the really cool download function.

If you find a movie you're enjoying from the PC but need to go out, you can download it to the device and take it with you - a really cool feature that works with music and photos too.

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