The Samsung Wave II S8530 is one of the best smartphones currently available in terms of hardware and features. It sports the Bada 1.2 OS, which isn't as mature as the Android OS, but is great nevertheless.
Samsung has been in the phone business for quite a long time, but it has seen a huge amount of success in the past year, releasing phones like the Samsung Galaxy S; Samsung's flagship Android phone has been a huge hit. Then followed the launch of the Samsung's Google Nexus S a highly anticipated update to the Galaxy S and the Nexus One.
The first Samsung Wave was powered by Bada OS and turned out to be a winner. To back it up, Samsung also announced cheaper options like the Samsung Wave S5250 and the Samsung Wave S5330.
It also announced another new Bada phone, the Samsung Wave II S8530, which is the successor to the original Samsung Wave. It sports slightly better specifications with almost the same hardware.
It runs Bada OS 1.2 which is the next version after Bada OS 1.1 which the Wave runs, and comes with a bigger 3.7 inch S-LCD display.
Samsung Wave II S8530 Specifications
- Dimensions: 123.9 x 59.8 x 11.8 mm
- Weight: 135 gms
- Display: 3.7 inch S-LCD display, capacitive touchscreen, 480 x 800 pixels
- OS: Bada OS 1.2
- Processor: 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor
- RAM: 512 MB RAM
- Memory: 2 GB internal storage, up to 32 GB microSD cards
- Camera: 5 MP camera, 2592 x 1944 pixels, autofocus, LED flash, 720p video recording at 30 FPS
- Radio: FM radio with RDS
- Connectivity: GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA, Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP
- GPS: GPS transceiver with A-GPS support
- Battery: Li-ion battery, 1500 mAh
Our Samsung Wave II S8530 review starts with the all important design factor. The phone comes in the standard candybar touchscreen form factor which is common in most recent smartphones. It has dimensions of 123.9 x 59.8 x 11.8 mm and weighs about 135 gms which is expected considering that it has a big 3.7 inch display. The display is a capacitive touchscreen one with an S-LCD panel which is the next best thing after SuperAMOLED. The display size is a bit smaller compared to the more common 4.0/4.3 inch displays widely available now.
The design of the Wave II S8530 is very stylish, but is almost identical to the Samsung Wave. Below the display are the Call, End and Menu keys. The body is composed mostly of metal and feels very sturdy with superb build quality. On the left of the phone lie the volume rocker, and on the right you will find the camera key and the lock button. The top edge of the phone sports the microUSB port and the 3.5 mm audio jack. The back houses the 5 MP camera lens, the LED flash and the battery compartment.
Samsung made a huge bet on the Bada OS. It had been going steady with Android, but it also wanted its own dog in the smartphone fight, so it launched Bada, focusing mainly on the budget segment. Bada OS is an extremely good smartphone OS option and sports the same UI as Samsung's Android phones - TouchWiz 3.0 UI.
It is extremely intuitive and easy to use, and the newer version - Bada 1.2 irons out some of the bugs that the initial version had. The Samsung Wave II S8530 comes with a 1 GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and 512 MB RAM and 2 GB of internal storage.
The trace input method has to be a big plus in favor of the Wave II as well. Inputting text sliding your finger from one character on the virtual keyboard to the next makes the whole experience much smoother and less clunky than a lot of phone keyboards.
The Samsung Bada App Store doesn't offer as many apps as the iPhone App Store or the Android Market, but you should find most of the basic apps covered there.
When reviewing the Samsung Wave II S8530, multimedia has to be an important consideration. The Wave II comes with a 5 MP camera which has an image capture resolution of 2592 x 1944 pixels. It also has autofocus and LED flash and comes with features like geo tagging, face detection, smile detection, touch focus etc. The camera captures excellent still images; it is easily one of the best 5 MP shooters out there. It can also record 720p video at 30 FPS with excellent quality.
The Wave II S8530 also comes with an FM radio with RDS and support for FM recording. It also comes with an image gallery which is visually rich and loaded with effects. The video player is one of the best in mobile phones, the same as with the original Wave. It can play 3GP, MP4, DivX, XviD, and even MKV files at HD resolution. You don't need to convert anything, just copy it to your device and you are good to go. The music player is also quite good. The audio quality of the Samsung Wave II S8530 is the best in the business.
The Samsung Wave II S8530 comes with the full range of connectivity options. It sports GPRS, EDGE, 3G HSDPA as well as Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. It also comes with a GPS transceiver with A-GPS support. You can also connect it using microUSB 2.0.
It comes with the Samsung Dolphin 2.0 web browser which is quite capable, though slightly inferior to Webkit. It can handle Flash content quite easily though. The device comes with Social Hub which offers instant access to all major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Myspace etc.
The Wave II S8530 is powered by a 1500 mAh Li-ion battery which lasts for about 1.5 days with moderate usage.
The Final Verdict
My final verdict on reviewing the Samsung Wave II S8530 is that it's an excellent smartphone. I don't see any reason not to buy it. If you don't mind not getting an Android phone, the Wave II S8530 is the way to go. It is the perfect successor to the Samsung Wave. If you want to go the Android way, check out our list of the best Android smartphones.
- Samsung Wave II, Samsung, http://www.samsung.com/uk/consumer/mobile-devices/mobile-phones/touch-screen/GT-S8530BAAXEU/index.idx?pagetype=prd_detail
- Full phone specs, GSM Arena, http://www.gsmarena.com/samsung_s8530_wave_ii-3536.php
- Nexus S, http://www.google.com/nexus/#
- Image Credits: All images supplied by Samsung.com.