When Samsung initially announced the launch of the Samsung S8500 Wave, with its proprietary Bada platform, many questioned the wisdom of bringing another mobile platform into an already crowded marketplace. The main issue being, would developers want to invest into developing applications for a platform that may not actually survive in a cut throat industry. For their Part, Samsung have done a lot to encourage application development, and to demonstrate their commitment to the Bada platform have recently announced two new handsets running the Bada OS, the Samsung S5250 Wave 2 and the S5330 Wave 2 Pro. We’re going to take a more in-depth look at the 5250 Wave 2 now.
The first thing you notice about the original device running Bada, the S8500 Wave, is the amazingly gorgeous Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen, which positively dominates the phone. And, by the same token, the first thing you notice on the S5250 Wave 2 is the lack of such a high quality screen. Instead, the device delivers a 3.2 inch TFT capacitive touchscreen, supporting up to 256,000 colours, with a pixel resolution of 240 x 400. Which is an ok display, but it isn’t Super AMOLED! However the S5250 Wave 2 does have a built in accelerometer, for auto display rotation, and on top of the Bada OS is the TouchWiz UI 3.0 TouchWiz runs on many Samsung devices, and offers a bright, colourful UI, which is easy enough to navigate.
As well as bringing a lower quality screen to market, the Wave 2 seems to be a step below the original handset in many ways, in keeping with the more mid range market aim of the handset. The idea behind this move is to open the Bada OS to a wider audience, and the S5250 should appear as free on more mid to low contract tariffs and may even appear on some PAYG network deals.
The Wave 2 offers quad band GSM connection for voice, which means the phone can be used across all continents world wide. The handset is not a 3G device, all data across the networks is handled via Class 10 GPRS or EDGE. For high speed data, the device instead offers WiFi 802.11 b/g/n, and local connectivity is handled via Bluetooth 2.1, with A2DP stereo wireless connection, and there is a Micro USB connector for connecting to a PC with a compatible data cable.
The handset offers a fairly mediocre 3.2 Megapixel camera, with video record option, and there is also a built in GPS receiver, with additional aGPS support, which allows you to gain a faster fix on your location by using network triangulation. Network triangulation will calculate your position with an accuracy of up to 50m in populated areas, and can usually locate you within a few seconds, as opposed to using just the GPS receiver, which in some cases can take quite a few minutes to get a fix on your location.
The Wave 2 includes an adequately featured media player, supporting MP3, WAV and AAC for music, and MP4, H.s63 and H.364 for video. As well as the music player, the handset has a stereo FM radio with RDS, and also offers a FM recording option, allowing you to record FM transmissions straight to the handset for future playback.
On board memory on the handset is set to 80 MB, with a memory expansion slot that allows you to expand the memory via Micro SD memory cards, with the Wave 2 officially supporting up to 16 GB, more memory than most will need on a mobile phone.
Clearly, then, the S5250 Wave 2 is no successor to the original Wave phone; instead it should be seen for what it is, an attempt by Samsung to bring a wider audience in touch with their Bada OS. And if Samsung want to make a success of Bada, that is exactly what they need to do. The Samsung S5250 Wave 2 is expected to be available from August 2010, with an initial launch into Russia and South Asia, before a wider, more general release.
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