Samsung Wave 533 Review

Interface, Messaging, Software and Functionality:

The phone runs bada 1.1 underneath Samsung's TouchWiz 3.0 user interface. We extensively reviewed how this combination looks like on a 240x400 pixel resolution, when we talked about the Samsung Wave 723, and we didn't notice many differences, but the lack of some apps in the menu, chief of them being a dedicated gallery icon. There are 100MB of memory, which seem enough for the low-footprint mobile OS.

There is social networking integration in the contacts app, which brings in your Facebook, Twitter, Myspace and even Exchange contacts. The text messaging and email applications possess all the basic functionalities a modern smartphone OS offers, even text body search. Typing on the virtual keyboard is easy, and the keys positions are well chosen in both landscape and portrait modes. Of note is the almost instant change of orientation, there isn’t the lag we are used to see on so many low and mid-range handsets.

Right now a few decent games, such as Assassin’s Creed II and some applications are free for the latest bada phones, so you can enrich your collection until Samsung decides to pull the plug on the freebies.

Browser and Connectivity:

Samsung's Dolphin 2.0 browser is fairly decent, but lacks proper Flash support and the interface looks unpolished at this resolution. Samsung Wave 533 has EDGE connectivity, Wi-Fi, A-GPS (which takes 3-4 minutes to lock position when cold-started, or mere seconds if there is Internet connection present), Bluetooth 3.0 and FM radio. The Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios can be easily turned on and off from the switches in the notification bar.

Camera and Multimedia:

The 3MP shooter in the Samsung Wave 533 has the typical TouchWiz 3.0 camera interface, which is well-optimized for finger usage, and with a lot of functionalities. The pictures themselves turned out with a decent amount of detail and pretty accurate color representation, but exposure compensation was hit-and-miss, especially when there were bright objects present. Indoors in low light the shots were rather noisy, but passable if there was a lot of light around. The phone shoots QVGA video at 15fps, which is good only for viewing on the handset's screen.

We mentioned the lack of a dedicated gallery app icon in the main menu, but it can be accessed through the camera interface, and has photo editing options built-in, for basic alterations to your photos on the handset.

The music player is pretty decent with a lot of sorting options for your tracks, a music recognition service that you can fire straight from the app, and faux 5.1 channel SRS sound in headset mode. The loudspeaker is above average, both in terms of output volume and distortion.

Video playing is not up to par with Samsung’s traditionally excellent codec support, as it lacks DivX/Xvid capabilities, and only plays clips up to the screen’s resolution.

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