Samsung Wave 3 pictures and hands-on

Samsung is still developing its own Bada platform, despite enjoying runaway success with its Android smartphones. Leading the charge for Bada 2.0 is the new Samsung Wave 3. 

We’ve liked previous Wave handsets: they’re well put together and offer all the functions you’d expect from a smartphone. But all suffer from the same problem. That problem is that they are adrift in the Bada wilderness, without the same degree of community excitement that surrounds Android. While developers are increasingly dual releasing on iOS and Android, you don't often hear of Bada app releases.

It’s perhaps to Samsung’s benefit then, that visually the new Wave 3 looks a lot like its Android phones. We’re not talking about the case design, but the interface. Samsung is fairly consistent with its TouchWiz software, so putting the Wave 3 alongside the Samsung Galaxy S you’ll find they are surprisingly similar. 

From the dropdown notifications bar to the app menu, to the camera interface, things in the Samsung Wave 3 feel familiar and sophisticated, which is to Samsung’s credit.

In the hand the Wave 3 feels solid. It is lovingly crafted with a brushed metal case and a stunning 4-inch Super AMOLED display. Internally the 1.4GHz processor toes the line with other phone platforms but of course, this being Bada, a direct stats comparison is sort of meaningless.

We’re happy to say, however, that from our brief exploratory play with the phones on the Samsung stand at IFA 2011, the experience was nice and smooth, with menus and apps opening quickly. There is plenty of customisation on offer too, so you can change the home screens, add widgets and shortcuts to make the phone your own.

One app that caught our eye was the new Samsung ChatON messaging service. Unfortunately as soon as we dived in it asked us to register, so no luck on that front.

Hitting the right specs in other places - 5-megapixel camera, 720p video, all the sensors you could wish for, along with services like Samsung’s DLNA media streaming app AllShare, the Wave 3 will likely be a great smartphone for some.

What it might not do though, is offer you much outside of the core loadout - you won’t be diving into the Android Market to get new exciting apps, so you’ll be at the mercy of Samsung Apps to keep you 'appy.