Samsung S8530 Wave II review: Riding the wave

GSMArena team, 19 November 2010.

Bada OS goes 1.2

The Samsung Wave II runs the latest version of the Bada OS. The user interface has been designed by scratch by Samsung and they have even ported it as TouchWiz on their recent Android phones so you’ll find they have a lot in common with the Bada user experience.

The Bada OS itself has borrowed some system elements and logic from Android OS too so all in all Bada is as easy or even easier to pick up than Android.

The novelties brought by v 1.2 include some performance tweaks and Over-the-Air software updates. You also get the new T9 Trace, a Swype-like text-input method.

Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II
Meet the Bada OS v1.2

Otherwise, the Bada OS still looks just like TouchWiz at first glance – the one we’ve known from all the Samsung feature touch phones so far but with even more eye candy and with the option of running native apps on it.

Here’s a demo video to see it in action:

There are as many as ten homescreen panes full of widgets. Each homescreen is like a part of a single panoramic desktop (clearly a cue from Android). When scrolling the homescreen panes, icons move against the background image creating a feeling of depth and added dimension.

Widgets are pulled out from the tray at the bottom of the screen and you can stash them back there when they’re no longer needed. Turning the Wave landscape while editing the widgets allows you to add or remove homescreens.

Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II
A homescreen full of widgets

The notification area is has been borrowed from Android too. It's is a thin bar at the top of the screen with status info like battery, time and switches for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, etc. When you pull it down you get a list of all recent notifications and music player controls (if it’s running in the background).

Samsung S8530 Wave II
The notifications area

Bada OS is a proper stage for real application multitasking, so naturally, you get that with the S8530 Wave II. The task manager is accessed by a long press on the Menu button so you can easily switch between currently active applications or terminate them.

Samsung S8530 Wave II
The task manager

The main menu structure is flat, all available items and applications initially spreading across three screens of icons. If needed, you can add up to 7 more. Icons align in a 3 x 4 grid and you can change their order the way you like, you can also move icons from one screen to another.

Similar to the homescreen, you can add or delete menu pages when you turn the phone landscape while you’re in edit menu mode.

Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II
The S8530 Wave II menu

Scrolling the menu screens is looped, so when you reach the last one you don’t have to sweep all the way back.

Finally, if you lock the screen while playing some music, you can easily access the dedicated music bar with a single tap. You’ll notice a small CD icon at the top of your lockscreen which opens а set of music controls.

Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II Samsung S8530 Wave II
The Wave's lockscreen

The Samsung Wave comes with around 2GB of internal storage divided into three partitions and, unfortunately, you may use only two of them for storing general files (those are the ones that appear as a drive on the computer in Mass Storage mode).

Apart from the user accessible storage (390MB) and the 800MB reserved for installing Bada apps, you also get another 500MB for messaging (these aren’t user accessible though). We can understand reserving some storage for apps, but 500MB for storing messages is just too much.