updated 02:20 pm EST, Sun February 14, 2010
Samsung Wave has new OS, touchscreen
As expected, Samsung at its pre-show Mobile World Congress event launched the Wave. It becomes the first phone to use the Bada mobile OS and has a new, cleaner interface with TouchWiz 3.0 to handle widgets. The new UI supports as many as 10 home screens, an "ultimate" inbox that merges messaging and social media like Facebook or Twitter, and a social hub that also unites contacts from similar sources.
The interface's effects also touch on third-party apps as they can now use a consistent interface. Flash is integrated into software, not just the web. A central app store will launch in 50 different countries this year and will claim a certain amount of uniqueness in giving visitors different ways to pay for downloads.
Samsung's hardware is as rumored and centers on a unique 3.3-inch, 800x480 Super AMOLED touchscreen. The design is the first to build touch input into the screen itself instead of in a separate layer; it reflects five times less light than usual and is consequently much more usable outdoors. A few cues have been taken from Apple and include a "onebody" (unibody) aluminum chassis and a fast 1GHz processor. The Wave does claim a few current advantages over others, such as a 5-megapixel camera with 720p video recording, 802.11n Wi-Fi and 24Mbps Bluetooth 3.0 that can use Wi-Fi as a transport.
Different versions will be available with either 2GB or 8GB of internal storage, though all models will have 3G, GPS and microSDHC slots. It appropriately touts 720p video playback and supports DivX videos with TV-level image processing.
The Wave should be available worldwide in April but hasn't been given pricing or specific carrier news. As the flagship for Bada, it will potentially reach North America.