At first glance I mistook the new Wave handset from Samsung for a plastic mock-up. The screen was so vivid and bright it looked as if it had been printed onto a plastic model. The Super AMOLED screen is a genuine differentiator for this device – it looks like nothing else on the market and this has a real impact on the user experience.
According to the people I spoke with in the Super AMOLED team, it is significantly more power efficient, which is a key concern given the size of the panel used on the Wave handset.
I can imagine a screen of this quality being a significant factor at the point of sale, convincing users to purchase the Wave in preference to other devices because of the vivid colours. Similarly, it will make content consumption a more pleasurable experience, encouraging greater usage of video, games and photos.
The software of the Bada platform used on the Wave still looked quite unfinished. I was also not much impressed by the TouchWiz 3.0 interface. It has an iPhone-like main screen of icons, combined with a multi-panel widget homescreen. While it is usable, there is nothing unique or compelling here and little has been done to refine ease-of-use beyond existing devices.
The rest of the hardware, however, was impressive. The material usage is excellent, with a brushed grey metal wrapping all around the device and providing good visual and tactile appeal. It is also slim and light, feeling sleeker than other devices I’ve seen in this category.