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Samsung Wave S8500 Review

Samsung Wave 7.5

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On top of bada OS, the Samsung Wave S8500 uses TouchWiz 3.0, which looks a lot like what we have previously seen from Samsung's touchscreen devices, bringing some nice visual improvements. However, to start with, we would like to note that the Wave runs perfectly smooth. There's no lag almost anywhere in the interface, which comes as a surprise from Samsung's TouchWiz UI, as it has been suffering from severe lag from time immemorial. Now, we are not sure if the Wave's flawless performance is due only to the 1GHz processor inside it, or it’s bada that makes things run smoothly, but we can tell you that it is way more enjoyable to use the Wave, than any other TouchWiz phone . Using the Samsung Wave S8500 is like using the iPhone 3GS - you get a perfectly smooth experience, which isn't something you see every day.

The Samsung Wave S8500 uses TouchWiz 3.0 - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
The Samsung Wave S8500 uses TouchWiz 3.0 - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
The Samsung Wave S8500 uses TouchWiz 3.0 - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
The Samsung Wave S8500 uses TouchWiz 3.0 - Samsung Wave S8500 Review

The Samsung Wave S8500 uses TouchWiz 3.0

We have described the new (and even the insignificant) design changes in our Samsung Wave S8500 Preview, so here, in our review, we would like to pay more attention to the ease of use of the operating system, as well as the overall experience that the user gets with it.

Let us put it this way: we are experienced users (e.g. professionals), as we've tested and reviewed many phones and smartphones, so if bada is to be an intuitive platform, chances are we wouldn't experience any problems with it. Well, that's not the case. Using basic features of the OS, such as arranging widgets on the homescreen, or starting apps and creating calendar entries is as easy as on every modern touch cell phone out there. However, we found it extremely hard to set our custom email correctly, so that we could send and receive messages. Alright, we coped with the receiving part, but we still couldn't send emails. The answer is probably somewhere deep in the settings menus, but we just can't see why we would have no problems setting everything right on every other phone and not here.

We also had some troubles starting bada's app store, named Samsung Apps. In short, sometimes the app starts, sometimes it doesn't.  And we can't really tell you what the cause of this is, since we have not done any changes in settings between the attempts. It just... happens.

Phonebook and Organizer:

The phonebook allows you to store IM information for your contacts (you can choose from AIM, Windows Live, Yahoo!, Skype, QQ and Google Talk), as well as import you social network friends from MySpace and Twitter. Facebook was not available as an option in our unit, which is rather strange (in the negative way), but that might be depending on your region. You can track each contact’s latest online activity through the phonebook application, which is called SNS functionality (from Social Network Service). SNS is also used in various other phones such as the LG GW620, LG Pop and Samsung Lindy. The good thing is that your contacts appear with their online images, which makes the phonebook way more colorful and enjoyable. The bad thing is that you'll have to manually link your phone contacts and the imported social network friends.

The phonebook of the Samsung Wave S8500 - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
The phonebook of the Samsung Wave S8500 - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
The phonebook of the Samsung Wave S8500 - Samsung Wave S8500 Review

The phonebook of the Samsung Wave S8500

Of course, you can store a lot of information for each contact. Searching by typing a name is well-made - once you tap the "Search" button, the QWERTY comes on screen and results start to appear as you type. Simple and elegant, as it should be. However, Samsung hasn't missed the opportunity to "innovate", the bar on the right with the alphabet, which is also used to find a certain contact quickly, misses some of the letters. And no, you do not get to see only the letters of the contacts you have. You might have contacts starting with "B" (like Bill, for example), but the letter "B" is missing. Still, as you start using the alphabetical bar, "B" and all the other missing letters are there, it's just that the phone passes those names faster than the letters that are present on the bar... What?! Did you... did you really manage to follow that? You might have 10 contacts starting with "B", and only one with "D", but no - you'll pass "B" with the speed of light and the phone would stay longer while over the "D". Yep, it's a small detail, but as more and more such small details start to appear, one begins to wonder what's the problem with these guys! Why don't they make things in a normal and intelligent way? Why is the "Next" key always on the left side, and the "Cancel" one on the right? It simply doesn't make any sense. Still, you will be able to get used to that last one, since it's a widely used concept in bada.

Anyways, on to one of the most widely used features of any phone - the calendar. You can synchronize the calendar with Facebook and Microsoft's Exchange ActiveSync, which is great. Switching between day, week and month view is also easy, as is adding an appointment. We wanted to try how fast we can add an appointment on the Samsung Wave S8500. So we placed the Calendar widget on the homescreen (which acts like a simple shortcut), started the calendar from there, then quickly chose the desired date from month view with a double-tap. That opened the appointment creation screen, and the event was automatically scheduled to begin at 9:00. We changed the start time to 16:00 and went on to save the appointment. Oh, no you don't! We got a message telling us that we can't save an appointment with an end time that's earlier than its start time. Oh, excuse us, we didn't know it was our job to adjust that manually! Listen, if we've only entered our start time and want to save the appointment, then that means that end time doesn't matter to us. We just want a reminder about something that begins at a certain time, and we want to add it quickly... You know, Samsung's bada OS is not particularly smart when it comes to some pretty simple everyday stuff.

Calendar - Samsung Wave S8500 Review


Other organizing tools that you'll find in the Samsung Wave S8500 are Task, Memo, Voice recorder and Mini diary apps. Nothing out of the ordinary there, they work fine.

Messaging and Connectivity:

We already told you about our little gripes we had with the email app. Still, we like Samsung's  Ultimate Inbox feature, which lets you see all your emails in a single place. It's really nice that emails from your different inboxes are designated with different colors, which lets you easily distinguish them.

Ultimate Inbox is a new feature - Email - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
Email - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
Email - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
Email - Samsung Wave S8500 Review

Ultimate Inbox is a new feature



The Messages app that takes care of your short texts or multimedia messages can be viewed in either Conversation, or Folder view. The first one is great, because it displays your correspondences in threaded view, while the second one's layout is very similar to the email app's interface.
On the whole, we are pretty satisfied with the messaging experience and options on the first bada handset, the Samsung Wave S8500. Moreover, the manufacturer has done a pretty good job with the on-screen QWERTY keyboards. Although the screen is not very big, at 3.3 inches, the portrait keyboard is pretty well-made, as it takes advantage of all the available space. The same goes for the landscape one, which is very comfortable to type with. We also believe we made so few mistakes while typing because of the decent amount of space between the keys.

Samsung Wave S8500 Review

The built-in Dolfin 2.0 browser gets the job done. It loads pages very fast, it scrolls and zooms smoothly and without any noticeable lag. So, the technology is there, but how it has been implemented is another story. While scrolling, you'll notice that the page kind of snaps at certain positions and this can really get you out of your mind. The bad news is that this kind of "snapping" is seen almost everywhere in the OS, making things feel unnatural and even irritating at times. At least double tap and pinch-to-zoom work (almost) flawlessly. See the browser in action in our video review!

The browser also seems to compress images too much, in order to get that impressive loading times. In this case, we believe the makers of the app have gone a little too far. We absolutely wouldn't mind having to wait for a few more seconds, if that was the price to be paid for the ability to enjoy the full beauty of the web. Plus, the Super AMOLED screen is great for viewing images, but its over-saturation is a bit awkward for the web browsing experience.

The built-in Dolfin 2.0 browser gets the job done. - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
The built-in Dolfin 2.0 browser gets the job done. - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
The built-in Dolfin 2.0 browser gets the job done. - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
The built-in Dolfin 2.0 browser gets the job done. - Samsung Wave S8500 Review

The built-in Dolfin 2.0 browser gets the job done.

Dolfin 2.0 supports Flash Lite content. You can play YouTube videos, but their playback starts to lag as you zoom in. The content is also only usable to an extent, because the Flash elements simply disappear and present you with the Flash logo in case you zoom in too much. Not cool at all. Don't get us wrong - it's a decent browser, but one that we would expect to see in a mid-end offering.

Dolfin 2.0 supports Flash Lite content - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
Dolfin 2.0 supports Flash Lite content - Samsung Wave S8500 Review
Dolfin 2.0 supports Flash Lite content - Samsung Wave S8500 Review

Dolfin 2.0 supports Flash Lite content

  • Options

posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Kohai (Posts: 20; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)

So let me see: -Not very intuitive interface -bada OS needs more improvement and fine tuning -Samsung Apps has a very poor catalog -Dolfin 2.0 browser is not really mature for this All this are problems for a phone which is on sale for a week and...which fw has your phone? last one is JEF I bet you have JEB or JEC (4 versions earlier). -Photos of the 5MP camera are not good enough This can really be a drawback. -Heavy 3D games might overwhelm the 1GHz CPU You called yourself "professionals" and do not know that wave and galaxy s have the most powerful 3d processor in any phone??? 3 times the power of an Iphone 3gs. The problem is the games are directly ported. Try and see twinblades and tell me if it looks like in the Iphone. Biased review...I see, is not an Iphone :-(

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 14:35

13. darwall (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

It seems Phone-arena are in love with Iphones only!!What a terrible review! I agree with the above

posted on 10 Jun 2010, 23:15

37. Daquest (Posts: 2; Member since: 10 Jun 2010)

I have to agree. This review is very bias; this phone is worth at least a 9. The HTC Evo 4G got 9.5 with a bulky size; sub-par photo image compared to other 8mp; poor video; and most of all, the wave hardware is superior to that of the evo 4g (the iphone 3gs is no comparison). The few minor drawback with a new os which gave a very good account of itself on the first try compare to the iphone os, does not justify this low rating. Lets just wait to see how they rate the iphone 4

posted on 04 Jun 2010, 13:55

2. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Well.. Let me understand. We have a phone which is thin and feels as if it's screen is small because of that, with 3 buttons, with basic menu graphics, a lot of small (and not so small) technical problems, a pathetic excuse for an app store, an average camera, horrible web browsing experience, e-mail problems, and overall not very good performance. Nokia 5800, anyone? Fail.

posted on 04 Jun 2010, 17:14 1

3. orchuman (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)

if you think the samsung wave has a avarage camera then what do you think most htc phones or a iphones camera is like? basic menu graphics? im guessing you are probably 14, you got to understand that just because its a new os which was released with 100 apps that its a not a pathetic excuse for an app store.... Everyone started like that you fool. You must be smoking something mate! The Good! 15 hours talk time! One of the best voice/audio quality phones out! Super amoled! Speedy smooth UI! Great HD Video recording and 5mp camera! The best multimedia device out at the moment with H.264, DivX ,Xvid , MKV plus Sub title suppourt! Sturdy build quality! Highest gaming quality phone with 89mil triangles per sec! as for this review it doesnt make sense! -Not very intuitive interface?? its like a iphone's interface which was praised by everyone! how can you guys even say that? i agree on the other points but damn could have given it a little higher score. if a phone doesnt come with a 50000 app store lets deduct 2 points for it. You will rate a samsung shark 8.2/10 and it cant do half of what this phone does! The main reason why this phone scores 9/10 in my opinion is the price! it does all of this for 4500rand in southafrica,a iphone 3gs 32gb is 11000rand cash. Yes thats twice as much! But yet lets give that phone a higher rating because yea its got lots of apps and its worth it =/ (end sarcasm) ..

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 14:37

14. darwall (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Phone arena's rating system is so poor! Price really does make a difference, I think the app store will grow due to handset price. Does anyone know if Samsung will do OTA updates for future fixes?

posted on 04 Jun 2010, 18:48

4. speedfrog (Posts: 2; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)

this is just fail from phonearena Cons: Not very intuitive interfacebada OS needs more improvement and fine tuning Samsung Apps has a very poor catalog Heavy 3D games might overwhelm the 1GHz CPU Photos of the 5MP camera are not good enough Dolfin 2.0 browser is not really mature for this

posted on 04 Jun 2010, 18:53

5. Balance (Posts: 2; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)

Whoa! What's happened since the preview where you did nothing else but praise the same device in its pre-sale state? This one just sounds angry and far from being objective. I'm sorry but the style and wording kind of reminds me of the articles by a well-known Russian Nokia hater. Truly, that is not the way to go. I think you have done yourselves a tremendous disservice because this review is simply a disgrace.

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 14:39 1

15. darwall (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

GSMAREANA.com read the review, its like they have two different handsets!!

posted on 04 Jun 2010, 21:04

6. alstjd567 (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)

This phone certainly deserves a higher rating cmon -Super Amoled, -1Ghz processor, -Nice Design, -Free 100 Apps, -Cheap price -Smooth Interface with no lag Have you even see this before?? even Jet got 9. If so then Wave should 9.9 And really those cons up there are nonsense (except for the camera issue)

posted on 04 Jun 2010, 21:10

7. alstjd567 (Posts: 3; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)

3.3" 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, WVGA (480 x 800 pixels), multi-touch input support, scratch-resistant glass surface Solid 10.9mm-thin metal body Bada OS with Samsung Apps ARM Cortex A8 based 1GHz CPU Quad-band GSM support with dual-band 7.2Mbps HSDPA, 2Mbps HSUPA Wi-Fi 802.11b/g/n connectivity with WPS support, Wi-Fi tethering app Built-in GPS receiver with A-GPS support, digital compass, Samsung Mobile Navigator 5 MP autofocus camera with touch focus, geo-tagging, face, smile and blink detection and LED flash 720p video recording at 30fps 390MB user available memory, 1GB Bada apps storage and 550MB messaging storage microSDHC card slot Standard microUSB port and Bluetooth v3.0 with A2DP Standard 3.5mm audio jack, TV out Stereo FM radio with RDS, FM recording Webkit-based Samsung Dolphin Browser 2.0 with full Flash support YouTube client, Facebook and Twitter integration DivX/XviD video support Impressive audio quality And Phone arena gives 7.5 out of 10 WTH

posted on 04 Jun 2010, 22:12

8. dtn_93 (unregistered)

Im confused, the preview said this phone was great and GSMarena calls it a perfect feature phone it doesn't seem to have changed from pre production until now so why is the score so low? If the phone is to compete with android and the iphone the camera beats the iphone and the nexus one or desire. I guess you should never take the opinion of just one review site.

posted on 05 Jun 2010, 04:11

9. getalife7991 (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

i registered to this website just to comment on this, cos this is one of the most biased review i have ever seen and quite upset. Some reviews, yes, I agree, like the KM900 review. But sometimes, PhoneArena's reviews just go too overboard. Not very intuitive interface? bada OS needs more improvement and fine tuning? Samsung Apps has a very poor catalog ? Of course, its their first time using the properly working bada os since they have not reviewed the Galaxy S yet, and they are not used to it. But how can they say its not inuitive?? The bada OS is practically a Android+Iphone, which PhoneArena both loved. Secondly, let me ask ya, PhoneArena. What do you need more from the bada OS? Like I said, the OS is practically a Android+Iphone, what do you need more??? Lastly, the Samsung Apps. Yes, I agree that the Samsung Apps Store is quite limited, but you cant just put it as a negative sign. Like the Android and Apple application store, both were once very limited, but you never showed it as a negative sign before!! And one more thing to add, 'Photos of the 5MP camera are not good enough'??!! I tried the Samsung Wave during a Samsung roadshow and it was perfectly fine! Even, most reviews gave the camera positive comments. And what I want to say is, PhoneArena, I am quite dissapointed with this review.

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 06:53

11. vinsterdamus (Posts: 58; Member since: 20 Feb 2010)

"Of course, its their first time using the properly working bada os since they have not reviewed the Galaxy S yet" eh the galaxy S runs android ;)

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 05:17

24. getalife7991 (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

but there is some bada os in it, doesnt it??

posted on 28 Jun 2010, 00:49

45. simpleleong (Posts: 14; Member since: 08 Jun 2010)

Agree to your comment, i have tried the Wave outside and used it for a while. The Camera is very good, with Super AMOLED screen, the 5 megapix camera looks even more amazing than the quality Jet and Omnia series is having. No way the camera should be stated as a cons! The GPU wave is having is powerful too, no way it should be stated bad! No matter how i view this phone, it is way better than the iPhone 3GS! Just the number of apps is way too low compared to IOS tons of apps.

posted on 06 Feb 2011, 06:57

65. magnan5624 (unregistered)

Any comments on GPS, Maps & navigation ? Mr. getalife

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 06:51

10. vinsterdamus (Posts: 58; Member since: 20 Feb 2010)

i just don't understand this review. how can you say it can't handle big 3d games with the fastest chipset to date. this thing is faster then a ipad so you guys think that an ipad or a iphone is also not capable of good 3d games? the browser thing i can understand but the rest of the cons are stupid. btw 15 hours of talk time?!! nice. but in they end i'll stick with android for a while

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 08:27

12. whitelies (Posts: 2; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Well, let me be honest here. The only reason I went through all that trouble to register to this messed up site is to tell you this, the so-called Phone Arena Team YOUR REVIEWS SUCK! Well in case you trying to achieve or win the position of the most critical mobile-review site, well there ain't an award as much! So, Badluck! A 7.5/10! Don u guys have the idea to rate a phone! Well, maybe the iPhone maybe your utopian phone! But it certainly ain't so for every Tom, Dick and Harry out there. I will be looking forward to that day when an iPhone will have a display like the Super AMOLED and most importantly have an option of DivX/XviD, MKV playback! -_-! So much for an iPhone. Just cause you wanna act all cynical and call yourself a critic, don forget your purpose! You are hear to give us a fair review on the phone not indirectly compel us to believe that iPhone is the best! And People, believe me, move over towww.gsmarena.com! They seriously got better reviews! So much for the cynical site! o_O

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 05:18

25. getalife7991 (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

yeah man, this is what i am talking about!!

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 14:47

16. darwall (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Hmmmm, What a shock! I have been reading all the comments and am shocked! PhoneArena need to pull this review down and go back to the drawing board. The overall consensus is that the review is wrong! It picks at things which 5 other independent reviewer don't talk about or mention. Let me tell you an example. "Over saturated SuperAMOLED display!!" what!! Do they have any idea that they are the only reviewer to mention that the screen has a flaw? Anyway I believe all the comments above sum it up. Pull down this review and start again!

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 16:42

17. ilia1986 (unregistered)

It takes 1 really bad review for me to put a big red X on a phone model. And it's a shame since the Wave is actually coming to my country really soon. But thats ok. We all have our iPhones and Androids.

posted on 06 Jun 2010, 18:42

18. darwall (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

don't put a red X on it, go to gsmarena.com and read their review it shows you really what its like,

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 00:05

19. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Sorry. I bought my Nokia 5800. Everywhere I read - it got very positive reviews. However, I was still very very disappointed with it. It is horrible. Now, imagine what I would feel like if I bought the Wave, which has already got at least 1 poor review. I will not make the same mistake again. My next phone is either an iPhone, or a top-of-the-line Android phone.

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 03:43

20. darwall (Posts: 7; Member since: 06 Jun 2010)

Well I have had all of those phones you mention, 5800 sucked big time for me, Iphone was very limited and was a pain to use as a actual phone, I have had 2 android handsets and both let me down big time, they crashed when playing music battery was poor and sms was really buggy. So as you can see Bada is the last hope for me!! After realizing that all phones arn't perfect I still think that this is really one of the best buys you would eva make or miss.

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 05:03

22. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Well I don't know how you can say that the iPhone is limited - when there are 200k apps for it available. And of course no phone is perfect, but a lot of phones are much closer to it then others. And Bada simply cannot be better than Android and\or iPhone, because: 1. It doesn't offer anything new 2. It lacks a lot of stuff the latter two have. Namely - APPS. Its not just Bada - it's Symbian, and all the other crappy stuff out there. The only exception is Blackberry - as there is no real substitute to the Blackberry Server. Android and iPhone is the future. And the only one at that. What differs is obviously the hardware - but the OS is there. And it will be there.

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 05:28

26. getalife7991 (Posts: 4; Member since: 05 Jun 2010)

yeah, i know that the samsung apps store is limited, but think about it! if u posted that comment when the apple apps just opened, u would not have given it as an excuse. and the iphone is yesterdays news. there are so many people using it that others who are tired of it would try to create a new trend

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 07:25

27. ilia1986 (unregistered)

Ahh but you see my friend - back at the time - when the first iPhone and first Android devices just arrived to the world - back in 2007\8 - nobody really thought that a staggering amount of apps is such an important factor - unlike today. So to sum up: Does Sumsung have a huge App store for it's Bada device? No. Could Samsung do something to remedy that, guven the relatively short time between the Wave's announcement and distribution? No. Do we need to take this into account when trying to evaluate the worthiness of one phone or anoher? No. Why? Because it's a disadvantage compared to Android\iPhone existing devices. It may not be Samsung's fault - but it's still there. And since this is a review - it should not be ignored.

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 12:36

28. orchuman (Posts: 9; Member since: 04 Jun 2010)

Show me a phone which cost's as low as the samsung wave with all those features. then lets talk. There isnt one. i dont care about the apps, i have a hacked psp with thousands of games and ps3 and pc games. Yea its nice to play a game when you sit on the loo but thats about it for a phone. Otherwise the samsung wave is the best quality in *audio - voice *screen *wifi n *bluetooth3 *15h tlk batterylife *thinest youch phone *Fastest Gaming cpu Those features which i can get at a low price are way more important to me than apps..... Just to show you how expensive a iphone is in southafrica its 11000rand where a samsung wave is 4650rand and samsung galaxy S is 7364rand for the 8gb version :). For that price this phone is the most amazing phone out! 10/10 the little flaws which phonearena complain about isnt even worth mentioning at that price!

posted on 07 Jun 2010, 12:56

29. ilia1986 (unregistered)

But dude - why on earth would you want a touch - screen phone if not for the apps? I had a Samsung E250 2 years ago. If I wouldn't have become aware of the fact that there are a lot of apps that allow your phone to do a lot of stuff - I would have probably never upgraded to a touch-screen smartphone. The whole purpose of a touch-screen is to allow your phone to do more stuff - as steve jobs himself said in 2007 - because when you develop an app - you can't run around and add a button to existing phones. More stuff = apps. No other way around it. Now when it comes to price - and I speak purely from a personal experience here - when it comes to smartphones - it's much better to pay more, and get a superb product of the highest quality, then to pay a little less and get a horrible experience. Compare - Nokia 5800 vs iPhone. And I would gladly turn my 5800 into atomic dust for all the frustration it caused me.

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Display3.3 inches, 480 x 800 pixels (283 ppi) Super AMOLED
Camera5 megapixels
1000 MHz
Size4.65 x 2.20 x 0.43 inches
(118 x 56 x 10.9 mm)
4.09 oz  (116 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 15 hours talk time

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