Samsung’s other set of smartphones, the ones running on their Bada operating system have been under the radar off late, with the runaway success of their smartphones running on Google's Android operating system. The Bada operating system started off with quite a bang with the Wave S8500, which was released in April 2010 and within the first month, sold one million handsets. With Android and iOS currently fighting for top spot, it’s these operating systems like Bada that seem to have taken a step backward. But wait, Samsung’s not one of those companies that sits back and watches, right? Enter Bada 2.0. Samsung wants to be taken more seriously than ever with this new version and their new Wave Y. After ‘S’ becoming a hit, can ‘Y’ propel Bada’s hopes against the cutthroat competition we’re seeing in the market? Let’s find out.
Design and Build Quality
The Wave Y Young (S5380K) is by no means a thin phone. To some, it might even border on the lines of being thick, but before we dig deeper into the pros and cons of this phone, here’s a quick reminder – the Wave Y is a budget smartphone and hence, certain tradeoffs are going to exist, considering the price it’s selling at.
From all sides
Back to the design, the Wave Y has a glossy black front, which is quite prone to fingerprints, and a shiny metallic back. It looks extremely identical to the Samsung Galaxy smartphones, with the trapezoidal home button being the only give away. The front consists of a 3.2 inch HVGA TFT display with a pixel resolution of 320 x 480. There’s a proximity sensor and a video calling camera located above it whilst two capacitive buttons, for call and end are located below it. The 3.5 mm headphone jack is located at the top and the microUSB charging slot is located at the bottom. Moving on to the sides, the volume rocker is located on the left while the power ON button is located at the right. The back consists of a two megapixel fixed focus camera and a speaker grill. The microSD card slot is located underneath the cover, but it’s not under the battery so hot swap capabilities are present.
2mp shooter at the back
In terms of design, this one doesn’t really follow a different path from the other Samsung smartphones we’ve seen in the recent past. But, it’s important to remember that inspite of reducing the price tag, they haven’t changed anything about the design. The Wave Y weighs a cool 102.4 grams, which is light enough for our requirements, even though the Spice Mi-280 does beat it at 96 grams. Even though the build is predominantly plastic, it’s definitely sturdy and much better than the other 7K phones in the market currently.
Features and Performance
If you’re not too well versed with Samsung’s Bada operating system, you might just mistake the Wave Y Young to be an Android phone. But we won’t blame you, considering the similarity in their TouchWiz UI for both platforms. This phone runs on an 832 MHz processor and has 150 MB of internal memory. With Bada 2.0, the 832 MHz processor just about does the job. The phone is fairly quick in manouevering, flipping and overall navigation through the menus. Prolonged usage doesn’t seem to affect it either, multiple apps don’t slow the phone down and if there is any hint of it becoming slow and sluggish, the task manager comes more than handy. The Wave Y is that wee bit more stable and faster than what we’ve seen on the Androids we’ve reviewed in the same price bracket. There was this one odd time when the phone was extremely slow to respond but we figured that the problem was with the third party app that we were running on it. Also, we did go a bit over the top and started all the applications we had on the phone, to just see how much load it would take. Naturally, it couldn’t take it and the internal memory being a tad low, added to the load.
But is it as customizable and user friendly out of the box? Well, yes and no. For starters, there’re limited widgets you can get onto the homescreen. Live wallpapers, though existing, were somehow unsupported by the Wave Y. And the notification bar doesn’t get out of the way even when you’re done looking at the task. You have to manually ‘clear’ it. Our ChatON and Gmail notifications would sit there even after we’d viewed them and we had to manually clear them.
It’s extremely user friendly though and within no time, you’ll get a hang of what Bada 2.0 has to offer. You’ve got the basic customization options for your widgets, applications and folders. This new version also comes with integrated multi tasking, speech recognition and push notifications.
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