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Enter a new platform. With a boom. With a bang. A Bada kind of bang. Another of the big guns wants to play by their own rules. Samsung’s second spot in global market share was hard fought but it will be a while before they as much as wish the same for the Bada. They’ve been a consistent innovator over the last couple of years but getting baby Bada up and running must be quite a challenge.

The Samsung S8500 Wave is Bada’s carrier vessel and it certainly looks interesting. It seems to have the right thing to make it newsworthy: slim profile and an absolutely gorgeous screen. But is it enough to make it a success?

Samsung S8500 Wave
Samsung S8500 Wave

Samsung S8500 Wave official photos

Over the past years new touchscreen platforms have been spreading like wildfire but not all of them have managed to catch on as well as their developers must have been hoping. Android fares well but still hasn’t quite overcome its growing pains, while the well settled Symbian platform is still coming to terms with touchscreen.

Update 05 March: We received a second Wave unit after this preview was originally published. The new sample had a properly working camera and comes with the final design of the product (some slight changes). We’ve updated most of this article to match the more recent device. We’ve replaced the photos and the screenshots plus we’ve added new sections on the camera and the preinstalled applications. Have a look around!

Samsung S8500 Wave at a glance

  • General:GSM 850/900/1800/1900 MHz, UMTS 1900/2100 MHz, EDGE class 10, HSDPA 7.2 Mbps and HSUPA 2 Mbps

  • Form factor:Touchscreen bar
  • Dimensions:10.9 mm thin
  • Display:3.3″ 16M-color Super AMOLED capacitive touchscreen with 480 x 800 pixels resolution, scratch-resistant glass surface
  • Platform: Bada OS

  • CPU: 1 GHz processor
  • Memory: 2GB internal memory, microSD card slot
  • Camera: 5-megapixels auto-focus camera, 720p video recording
  • Connectivity: Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n with WPS support, Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP, standard microUSB port, GPS receiver with A-GPS, 3.5mm audio jack

  • Misc: Accelerometer for screen auto rotate, proximity sensor for screen auto-turn-off, ambient light sensor, FM radio with RDS, DivX/XviD support, multi-touch input and pinch-zooming gestures
  • Battery: 1500 mAh battery

The S8500 Wave is among the best spec’d Samsung phones we’ve seen and it seems every aspect of the overall performance will have to pull its weight. Samsung are keen to focus attention on the young Bada OS, and that might as well bear future fruit. However, if the young platform fails to perform as expected, its shortcomings will be harder to forgive.

Samsung S8500 Wave
Samsung S8500 Wave

Samsung S8500 Wave
Samsung S8500 Wave

Samsung S8500 Wave studio shots

In the geeks’ world 720p video recording and 1 GHz CPU are probably the best remedies for a few usability issues. However they rise the cost of the device and that in turn prevents some people from purchasing it. And in a market where smartphones come in all tastes and flavors you really want to get you device in as many pockets as possible.

But let’s not get ahead of ourselves and make hasty conclusions. We’ll hopefully know more about how Samsung will pitch the first Bada phone to the users so let’s waste no more time. Join us after the jump for the hardware inspection.

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