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Samsung Wave 2 review

The Samsung Wave II comes with a new hardware overhaul

Our Verdict

The Samsung Wave II is not a huge leap forward from its predecessor. The good and bad points of the earlier handset remain. We'd like Bada to succeed, but Samsung needs to work harder if that's to happen.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 1.50 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 3.80 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 800

View full specification

For

  • Long battery life
  • Great build
  • Smashing screen
  • Good text entry
  • Nice web browser

Against

  • Understocked app store
  • Not enough widgets
  • Poor navigation software
  • No smart dialling
  • Poor linking of Twitter and Facebook contacts

The Samsung Wave II follows up an earlier device of the same name, the original Samsung Wave. The first Wave launched a new operating system on the world, Bada, and we saw it again in the Wave 723.

Sitting underneath a familiar TouchWiz user interface, Bada gives Samsung the opportunity to have its own app store.

Samsung is clearly hedging its bets, because it's also very friendly with Android as we've seen in handsets like the Galaxy S and the Google-branded Nexus S, and with Windows Phone 7 as we've seen in the Omnia 7.

Our colleagues at T3.com grabbed some Samsung Wave 2 video footage which you can watch below.

There's plenty going on in terms of specifications in the Wave II. Headlining things along with a very slightly revised version of Bada is the Super Clear LCD 3.7-inch screen.

Samsung wave ii gt s8530

These aside we've got a 1GHz processor, Wi-Fi, HSDPA, GPS and five-megapixel camera with 720p video recording. These features give the Wave II what it takes to be classed as a smartphone, but they don't up the ante on what we had in the original Wave.

Samsung wave ii gt s8530

One area where the Wave II beats the original in terms of base specs is its 2GB of internal storage (as opposed to 1GB). This can be increased with a microSD card as well.

Samsung wave ii gt s8530

Physically this is one large handset. That 3.7-inch screen plus three under-screen buttons need a fair amount of chassis, and at 123.9 x 59.8 x 11.8mm this isn't a phone you'll slip into a skinny pocket with ease. Nor, if you're blessed with dainty hands, will you be able to reach right across the screen for one-handed prodding.

Samsung wave ii gt s8530

But moving on to build quality, and it's a pleasant experience, with a lot that's familiar from the original Wave. The slightly curved button panel with its eyebrow-like call and end icons remains, though the central button has changed from being a diamond to an idiosyncratic asymmetrical lozenge shape.

Samsung wave ii gt s8530

The side button arrangement also reminds us of the original Wave with a very familiar volume rocker on the left edge and camera and lock buttons on the right.

Samsung wave ii gt s8538

The top edge, with its 3.5mm headset jack and covered micro-USB port, is also unchanged from the original Wave, as are the diamond shaped camera and LED light window on the back.

Samsung wave ii gt s8530

There's a metal backplate, which always helps with solidity, and there's absolutely no give or creaking in the chassis at all. In short the Wave II is almost identical to the original Wave, but a mite larger thanks to that screen.

Samsung wave ii gt s8538

We liked the design of the original Wave and like it here too. The Wave II is minimalist, sleek and strong in the looks department. Of course that counts for nothing if it doesn't do a superb job as a smartphone.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory1.50 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
SAR Value0.63 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Cellular Generation3.5G
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
ColourBlack
Operating SystemBada OS
Brand NameSamsung
Battery Talk Time3.80 Hour
Product ModelS8530 Wave II
Screen Size9.4 cm (3.7")
Screen Resolution480 x 800
Weight (Approximate)135 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerARM
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 3.0
Messaging TypeEmail, Instant Messaging, SMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service)
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height123.9 mm
Width59.8 mm
Depth11.8 mm
Radio TunerYes
Battery Standby Time620 Hour
ManufacturerSamsung
Product NameS8530 Wave II Smartphone
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeCortex
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeAccelerometer, Proximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberGT-S8530BAAXEU
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.samsung.com/uk/