The first phone running the new Bada platform – the Samsung Wave S8500 – is now available in the UK.

It's not going to be cheap though, with a number of third party outlets offering the new device unlocked as a SIM free package.

For instance, Expansys is offering the Samsung Wave for £375 with a 2GB memory card, but with an expected release date of 26 April.

Mobile Phones Direct has a similar price, or is offering the chance to pick up the phone on contract for free with various tariffs. However, you'll have to wait until later in May if you go down this route.

Network rumblings

While some may not want to go down the third party route, the fact these independent outlets are starting to list the Samsung Wave for pre-order hints that we'll be seeing it on the shelves of the UK networks sooner rather than later.

Just to refresh your memory, the Samsung Wave has a beautiful Super AMOLED screen, which has a better viewing angle and performance in direct sunlight, and a 'Social Hub' for accessing services like Facebook and Twitter.

There's also multi-codec support for DivX and Xvid, 5.1 SRS pseudo-surround sound and 720p HD video decoding and recording.

We're still waiting for an official UK release date, but we reckon it can't be too far away now.