Samsung Wave 533 Review
low-range bada OS handset in the form of the Samsung Wave 525, now time has come to take a closer look at its version with a physical keyboard – the Samsung Wave 533. It is the first handset with Samsung's own mobile OS to sport a slide-out QWERTY.
Thus, we will keep most of the software part, which duplicates what we found on the Samsung Wave 525, and focus on the design differences and keyboard performance instead, so read on to find out what they are...
The Samsung Wave 533 is a plain looking all-plastic handset, with a chrome-like rim around it, which marks the separation of the screen and keyboard halves. The 3.2" capacitive touchscreen has the lowly 240x400 pixels of resolution, which makes everything on the display look jagged. The viewing angles are decent, though, and it has average sunlight visibility on full brightness. Below the screen is the menu button, as well as send and end keys, in a typical bada OS handset fashion.
You can compare the Samsung Wave 533 with many other phones using our Size Visualization Tool.
The rest of the buttons are found on the keyboard half. There is a volume rocker on the left side, protected microUSB port and 3.5mm audio jack on top, as well as a lock/power button and a dedicated camera key on the right. Every button is easy to find and press, with the exception of the rather smallish lock/power key.
The back is flat, with a 3MP camera centered in its upper part, and the speaker grill down right. The usual piano black plastic Samsung is using in most of its handsets of late, is replaced for a battery cover with dotted pattern, which makes the phone easier to grip and hold. The 0.59” (15.1 mm) thickness is average for a phone with a physical keyboard, and adds to the easy grip feeling. At 4.09 oz (116 g), it is a heavier than the 3.53 oz (100 g) Samsung Wave 525, but not by much, and feels pretty light in the hand. Similar to the other two basic bada phones, the Samsung Wave 533 will be available in three colors - black, white and pink.
The physical keyboard is what makes the phone stand out in the tsunami of bada handsets, so let’s slide the screen half away open and check how are the keys' spacing and tactile feedback. The keyboard is pushed out with a rather tight and controlled movement, revealing four rows of keys, which light up in white when used. The additional symbols, including the number row on top, are colored in yellow, and the mode switch is down left, colored the same.
Samsung has included four grey dedicated cursor arrow keys, which we pencil as one of the advantages of physical keyboards over virtual ones, together with the fact that the whole screen remains visible when typing. Each individual key is placed in a frame independently, with enough space in between, and the key travel has reasonable depth. Long-pressing the spacebar mutes the phone. The screen slides back over the keyboard with a significant push, making the spring mechanism feel rather solid. Overall, we were quite satisfied with the physical keyboard, and feel it can be a major selling point for the Samsung Wave 533.