Every good smartphone eventually transforms into something that you hope is bigger and better. Since the Samsung Wave made such a big splash when it hit the market in the first half of 2010, it would only seem right for the Korean manufacturer to build upon that success.
The Samsung Wave 2 is both bigger and better, quite literally, and is essentially the same as it was before but has grown up a little and brought the rest of its features into the present too. Is this a Wave worth catching? Surf’s up!
As we already mentioned, the Samsung Wave 2 is just a bigger version of the original and now boasts a 3.7 inch capacitive touchscreen. However, if you were hoping for the Super AMOLED display to return then prepare to be disappointed, but only slightly. The Wave 2 comes with a Super LCD job instead and although it may not sound as great as AMOLED, there’s hardly a noticeable difference. The colours are still deep and bright and the graphics are crystal clear so kudos to Samsung for not letting us down before we delve inside!
The Wave 2 is a spitting image of its predecessor so don’t expect many changes to its appearance. The smooth metallic body gives the handset a touch of grace with the Super LCD touchscreen being joined by three plastic navigation keys down below. While it may sit pretty, the Wave 2 is a little bit heftier than some smartphones and weighs in at 123 grams. The extra cargo is noticeable upon picking this handset up which isn’t that much of a problem on its own, but trying to use the navigation keys with one hand is a little tricky as it really does feel like you’re constantly fighting against gravity.
All the essential ports and controls are neatly arranged around the casing such as the volume rocker, 3.5mm headphone jack and microUSB port.
Power and Operating System
The Samsung Wave 2 comes with the latest version of the manufacturer’s own operating system, bada 1.5 and the TouchWiz user interface. Quite frankly, we feel that bada doesn’t fully get the credit it deserves and we quickly became fans of the colourful, straight forward menus that really do give Android a run for its money in user friendliness.
You can customise up to ten homescreens with widgets and Facebook, Twitter and YouTube clients are already pre-installed. You can download further apps directly from Samsung Apps which doesn’t offer nearly as many applications as the Android Market, but if you’re not fussed about that side of the smartphone experience then this will suit you down to the ground.
There’s a 1GHz ARM Cortex processor doing all the hard work underneath and as you would expect from this kind of tech, you rarely encounter any problems with speed and the Wave 2 is no exception to this rule.
Internet: The original Wave has passed the WebKit-based Samsung Dolphin Browser 2.0 onto its successor which comes with Flash support and pinch to zoom technology. Samsung has also blessed this browser with a couple of added extras to further enhance the user experience.
If you prefer to get straight to the point while zooming, double tapping on a piece of text brings it right up to fill the screen rather than just making the entire surrounding area bigger. You can also translate certain pieces of text by pressing and holding on a word and then selecting the translate option that pops up.
We do have a slight grumble about the navigation bar that lines the bottom of the web browser as we kept accidentally hitting the ‘close’ icon which proved to be hugely annoying because once you exit the browser you can’t return to where you were before. A tiny problem yes, but it could really test your patience after a while.
Camera: The Wave 2 has a 5 megapixel camera which comes with an impressive set of shooting options including image stabilisation, face detection and touch focus. The shoot button quickly responded to our touch and the overall picture quality wasn’t half bad either, though the contrast wasn’t the greatest.
The Samsung Wave 2′s camera can also record videos at an impressive 720p at 30 frames per second and when played back, the footage rendered extremely well with distinctive, clear sounds. There’s also a front facing camera available for video calling.
Other tech specs:
- Music player. Supports WAV, WMA, EAAC + files
- Video player. Supports MP4, MKV, H.263, H.264, WMV, Xvid, DivX files
- 2GB internal storage plus a microSD card slot which supports cards up to 32GB
- 3G and Wi-Fi
- Bluetooth 3.0
- MicroUSB 2.0
- aGPS with Samsung Mobile Navigation
- 8 hours 20 minutes talk time
To be honest, we have little hang ups with the Samsung Wave 2 although it could have dropped a few pounds in time for its release. The only real downside is that bada isn’t on more smartphones than this as the Wave 2 shows it off well and it’s a shame that it has been swept under the carpet during the Android/iOS hype.
The Samsung Wave 2 has taken success in its stride and impressed us with its sleek appearance and easy to use operating system. If you’re looking for a great all-round smartphone that’s a little different from the norm, you should catch this Wave!