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Samsung Galaxy Note. First Look

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Review of Samsung Wave 525/533 (S5250/S5330) GSM Phone

Live photos of Samsung Wave 525/533


  1. Positioning
  2. Design, Dimensions and Controls
  3. Display
  4. Keyboard
  5. Battery Life
  6. Camera
  7. Connectivity Options: USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi
  8. Inbuilt Memory and Memory cards
  9. Motion Gate
  10. User Menu and Interface
  11. Multitasking
  12. Widgets
  13. Virtual Keyboard
  14. Phonebook
  15. Calls list
  16. Messages
  17. Organizer
  18. Browser
  19. File Manager (My files)
  20. Settings
  21. МР3 player
  22. Video player
  23. Gallery
  24. Samsung App Store
  25. Impressions

In the box:

  • Телефон
  • Аккумулятор Li-Ion 1200 мАч
  • Зарядное устройство
  • Инструкция
  • Проводная стереогарнитура


Soon after the release of the first Bada device, which also turned out to be the platform flagship, Samsung decided to expand the lineup. At the same time that the shipments of the Samsung Wave began, two other, inferior models were announced. Those were the Samsung Wave 2 and Samsung Wave 2 Pro (the S5250 and S5330). The fact that the naming was unfortunate became apparent right from the very beginning. Many people considered the new models to be superior to the original Wave due to their numerical indices. In reality, the opposite was true. That is why early this fall Samsung announced that the new devices would be available on the market under the names Wave 525 and Wave 535, respectively.

Having set the Bada performance standard with the Samsung Wave, the Korean company decided to add some inexpensive solutions to the lineup. Low prices help make the platform popular, which in turn makes it more attractive to developers. Several million units of the Wave shipped to date are an incredible number yet insufficient from the perspective of the platform on the whole. The number is good for a single device but it is not that significant for the platform on the whole.

It is clear that it is not the advantages of the platform that mobile users will be choosing it for. They are simply not aware of any. That is why Samsung decided to increase the popularity of Bada by offering a decent price/quality ratio. However, drawing all attention to Bada products would predate the company's other sensor models. They decided to compromise by installing low-res screens on the Wave 525/533, using plastic casings and 3-megapixel cameras but leaving all the innards intact (save for cheaper and slower processors, to be precise). It turns out that the new devices are targeted at those looking for a sensor phone with a good price/quality ratio or not willing to buy the Wave because of its price. Based on my experience, I can say that it will be mostly young people who will go for the Wave 525/533 as they are always willing to try out something new. Also, the phones will be bought upon seller recommendations. One can't expect either model to become a hit with the public unfortunately. Either is just another addition to Samsung's broad portfolio.

The only difference between the devices is a slide-out QWERTY keypad that the Wave 533 has and the 525 doesn't. In terms of functionality, the models are identical and therefore no distinction between the two will be made in this review. Going for the keyboard-enabled version makes sense only if you are planning to communicate a lot and is a waste of money otherwise.

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Design, Dimensions and Controls

The design of the models is similar to that of the Samsung Star, featuring the same contours, black casing and a chrome-plated piece on the side. It is a fairly calm design. Black is the only color option available.

The Wave 525 measures 109.5 x 55 x 11.9 mm, and weighs 100 grams. The Wave 533 is some 3 mm thicker – i.e. it measures 109.5 x 55 x 15.1 mm, and a bit heavier with its 116 grams. The former model is your typical sensor phone; it is compact and fits into a shirt or jeans pocket just fine. The Wave 533 is almost the same in size yet doesn't feel as good in one's hand. Probably, this conclusion is a result of my being able to compare both devices side by side. The Wave 525 appears somewhat handier to me. On the other hand, you may consider the hardware keyboard to be a deal breaker and put up with some extra bulkiness because of that.

On the top, you can find a microUSB port with a protective lid, which is very nice, and a 3.5 mm audio jack to plug your headphones into.

There is a volume rocker on the left and a power and camera buttons on the right side. The camera lens and loudspeaker holes are at the rear side.

The build quality is excellent. You won't hear any crackling if either device gets squeezed; all parts are made to measure.

The slider mechanism in the Wave 533 is automatic, yet its movement is dictated by the device dimensions and is not quite smooth on the whole. Both handsets have three hardware keys – i.e. Menu, Receive and Hang Up. It is good that you can actually feel them.

Samsung Wave 525 vs Motorola Quench XT5:

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The TFT display is capacitive and supports multi-touch. It is 3.2 inches wide, has a resolution of 240 x 400 pixels and supports up to 16 million colors. The outdoor performance is quite good and the screen can even be read in direct sunlight. You can have up to 16 text rows and a few auxiliary lines displayed at once. In general, I am quite pleased with the screen.

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Applies to the Wave 533 only. The keyboard has 4 rows with 11 keys in the first three and 9 keys in the bottom row. Altogether, it makes 42 keys, which should be enough do adapt the keyboard to your local language. Extra characters have yellow legends and can be entered with the help of the Alt key one by one. The navigation keys can be found in the right-hand side of the keyboard.

The backlighting is not uniform – e.g. in the upper row, the W,E, O, and P keys are brighter than the rest. However, it is not a big deal, as any key can be read just fine and the backlighting is not that confusing after all.

The keys are made of rubber; they are fairly hard and have a short travel. In my opinion, the keyboard is average in terms of ergonomics, nothing to write home about. On the other hand, it doesn't require a lot of time to get used to and start typing on. All in all, it is acceptable, not the worst yet not the best.

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Battery Life

The device is equipped with a 1200 mAh Li-Ion battery. Under a typical usage scenario (i.e. 30-40 minutes of daily phone conversations, 10-15 text messages, active Gmail account with push-mail) my unit could easily last for one day. If you use the device less intensively, you can expect it to be up and running for 2-3 days, which is quite good for a contemporary phone.

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It is a basic 3.2-megapixel camera without flash. The camera is low-end and the weakest point of the device in general. Just take a look at the sample images below.

Samples of photos:


Video is recorded at a rate of 15 frames per second in the 3gpp format (h.263 codec). The resolution is 320x240 pixels. Just like it is in the case with taking still images, you can't set any preferences manually.

Video sample (mp4, 1,09 MB) >>>

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Connectivity Options: USB, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi

The device is designed to work in GSM (850/900/1800/1900) cellular networks.

You can use microUSB for synchronization with a computer or to simply copy some data back and forth. The supported specification is USB 2.0 HS with two working modes, KIES and Mass Storage.

The built-in Bluetooth 2.1 module supports the following profiles:

  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) – stereo sound over Bluetooth;
  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) – wireless headset playback control;
  • Generic Audio/Video Distribution Profile (GAVDP);
  • Generic Access Profile (GAP);
  • Hands-Free Profile (HFP);
  • Headset Profile (HSP);
  • Enhanced Data Rate.

The most popular general and multimedia profiles are there yet you won't be able to send objects (e.g. business cards) via Bluetooth or access the file system of some other device from the Wave 525/533. The phone works with stereo headsets just fine. The sound quality is acceptable, but no more than that.

Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g is supported and works like a charm.

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Inbuilt Memory and Memory cards

The device comes with 100 MB of user available memory. The microSD card slot is located on the side under the battery cover. It is hot swappable and handles cards of up to 16 GB without any problems.

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Motion Gate

Motion controls are context sensitive, that is, it matters where you use them. For example, in the gallery, you can browse through the pictures by tilting the device to the left or right. Tap the device twice – and it will perform a predefined action of your choice. However unlike some early prototypes, you cannot launch applications when unlocking the device with a gesture.

Etiquette allows you to mute the phone by simply turning it upside down if you receive an incoming call or an alarm or calendar notification goes off; that doesn't affect the current profile.

With the Speakerphone mode, you can have the loudspeaker activated every time the device is put on the table during the conversation. It is one of those little things that turn one's work with the phone into a pleasant experience.

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User Menu and Interface

If you have read the review of the Samsung Wave or used the actual device, you can skip this section. Save for the different screen resolution, the new models offer practically the same functionality as the Wave or Wave II. Now cross out a few applications (e.g. Daily Briefing, Mini Diary, Allshare) as well as the navigation capabilities and you will get the software features of the flagship.

It's no secret that Samsung has made the TouchWiz interface a cross-platform one, which means that you can find it both in Bada, Symbian, Windows Mobile, and Android devices. However, the shell was originally designed for the company's own operating system (that is, Bada) and as such has the most functionality and innovations there. Just like the Jet was the first device with the second version of the interface, the Wave is the first one to feature TouchWiz 3D, which is the third, and the most functional generation to date.

The device can be unlocked by simply swiping the screen.

The standby screen displays one of the three default desktops with widgets. If you add a few extra widgets, the number of the desktops will be increased automatically (up to 10). The widget toolbar is located at the bottom of the screen.

The main menu can be accessed by pressing a button in the lower part of the screen. It appears as a 3x4 grid and is well suited for the sensor screen. All that is needed from you is to pick an item to tap. Whenever you come across a text input field – another tap – and a keyboard pops up, no confirmation required. At any moment, you can rotate the phone for QWERTY input.

Just as it is with the desktops, you can have up to 10 pages in the menu. However, it is not that important since you cannot add your own icons or shortcuts (most likely, it is for the new software that you can download from the store). All you can do is scatter the icons across the pages, which doesn't appear very smart, though. All icons but Menu are free to move around as you wish.

The menu is adaptive, which means that the most frequently used applications will always be on top. I find it great, but those, who like to have their programs organized in a particular way, may find the feature disturbing. It is off by default.

Every menu has a toolbar at the bottom of the screen. The buttons are context sensitive, that is their functions and quantity (up to four) depend on the current menu.

Scrolling. If you use the left-hand side of the screen for scrolling, it will be faster than on the right-hand side. The function is basic yet very powerful and handy. For lists with names, there is a way to quickly get to a particular word. For example, you can easily scroll down till you reach the necessary letter in the picture gallery, which is convenient.

The menu has a pop-up bar with 3 icons that indicate the current sound profile and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth status. It also indicates missed events, such as new text or e-mail messages, calls. The implementation is very similar to that in Android. For example, you can see the sender address or name and the first few lines of a text message.

The phone supports push messaging for the majority of inbuilt applications, such as Twitter, Facebook and Samsung's application store. In the preferences, you can enable their information updates to be displayed as pop-up messages on the standby screen. For example, if someone leaves a note on your Facebook wall, you will immediately know that. No need to say how handy the feature is, albeit it will eat away at the battery, especially if you are a popular person. Instead of two days, the device may last for just one.

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There is nothing new there: just hold the center key to bring up the list of running applications and switch between them. The applications are shown as a 2x4 grid. You can shutdown either of them or all at once. As far as the multitasking limitations are concerned, you are currently allowed to have any number of inbuilt programs but only one Bada and one Java application running at the same time. No two Bada applications can be running simultaneously.

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As far as I can remember, Nokia has been the most active player on the widget market, albeit an implicit one. Having come up with the actual idea for S60, the company turned out to be almost two and a half years late with its market introduction due to certain development issues. As a result, it is Samsung that has been making the progress in the area for three years and has very powerful solutions to date. The number of widgets in the Wave got bigger, and they are even more interesting now.

Describing all of them would require another lengthy review, as there are more than 50 freeware applets in the widget library to date; and based on how active the developers have been with the previous models, that number is soon to be more than one hundred.

Let's take a look at the most interesting and useful ones.

Buddies Now displays the contacts from your favorites list; each of them can be immediately sent a message or called. You also get updates about their network activity – e.g. Twitter and Facebook. By clicking a message, you will see the most recent correspondence with a particular person in the address book, which is simple yet handy. I recommend you to pick up to 10 contacts to make your life and communications easier.

Most Visited keeps track of your browsing history and allows you to open your favorite pages right from the main screen.

Help is a basic interactive user guide for the phone, a cute one.

Google provides you with instant access to the e-mail, maps and search.

Feeds&Update complies the list of the latest Facebook and Twitter updates. You can immediately reply to any message or have it reposted. The applet is very handy and renders all other practically useless. That is especially true for the built-in Twitter client that has a limitation on the number of messages to download (from 5 to 8), which is somewhat irritating, as you have to do some extra "Show more" clicking.

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Virtual Keyboard

As the default text input option you have a mini-QWERTY keyboard. The key size is good and helps keep typing errors to the minimum. A series of special characters are assigned to the spacebar, which needs to be pressed if you are going for the dot or coma, etc. If you are quick at typing, you should like the realization.

The phone allows you to enable any number of languages, including those for text input, on the first run. The keyboard layouts go one after the other in a cyclical order and can be switched back and forth with a single tap. The default layout is selected by the user and is followed by the English one and then the rest.

There are no complaints about the built-in T9, which provides you with word suggestions when typing. However, the mode is not that useful if you have a QWERTY keyboard, and as such, is off by default.

If you experience nostalgia for the regular alphanumeric keypad, you can still have it. With the number keys and extra letter inscriptions, it is a very good imitation of the regular phone. You will need more than one button press for most letters, though.

Handwriting recognition is at your disposal, too. It works both in the fullscreen mode and as a pop-up menu.

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You can activate contacts from the quick launch bar in the lower part of the screen: you see the list with all entries from the phone's memory and the SIM card. There are tabs here; the first one represents the general list and the second shows groups of contacts followed by the favorites.

You can customize the phone for a lefthander and the slider will be on the right then. The list contains only names and to the left you have a contact photo. To view the contact details it should be opened.

Any graphic file, a picture or video can be used as a contact photo. For each contact you can record up to 5 phone numbers of different types (mobile, work, home, fax, etc) and one of them will be main (by default the first chosen will get this status). The fields are not limited. From the phone menu you can introduce additional fields, for example, an e-mail, address and so on.

The phone has two fields for name and family name (only the first field is searchable), which are displayed together. The field Name comes first. For example, Eldar Murtazin appears precisely in this way. The length of each field equals 20 symbols, for every supported language. During the name input you can interchange different languages.

The entries in different languages are sorted in the following order: first come all contacts in the local language (let's say, Russian) and then all contacts in English. It is quite convenient and common for computer software. Taking into account the possibility to switch languages during the search it is clear that entries in different languages can be easily handled in this phone. The sorting by name or family name is supported as well.

Let's go back to the contact entry. Apart from the phone numbers you can add an e-mail (more than one) or a short text note. Any sound file, including an mp3 track can be selected as a ringtone for a particular contact. You can create the necessary number of groups at ease, select a ringtone and picture for every group (by default you have three groups and "without group" option). For SMS you can also select a melody.

The phone memory hosts up to several thousands of entries with completed fields. In the settings you can select the default destination of all new phone numbers. The transfer of entries from SIM card and back is available. The developers decided that the best synchronization option is the use of PC, in particular, MS Outlook. Any entry can be quickly sent to another device as SMS/MMS, e-mail or via Bluetooth. There are no problems with such a transfer and phonebook entries are moved to other devices without problems. Their recognition is not an issue either.

You can create a business card in the phone. Its format completely corresponds with an ordinary phonebook entry.

Quick Dial List contains up to 12 phone numbers and also several numbers of one contact can be added here. Buttons get the notes in the form of the selected contact or photo, but not the phone number type.

Any number of contacts groups can be created. Each group can be assigned a picture and a ringtone. A group hosts up to 20 contacts.

During the incoming call a picture takes up to 50% of the screen and is well visible.

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Calls list

The general list has all events, including answers to you from Facebook, Twitter and other social networks, SMS/MMS/e-mail. I could not find any limitations for the list. It keeps up to 100 events without any problems. You can only go to the list of calls and from the menu you filter them by type – incoming, outgoing and missed.

You can quickly move from list to list. For a separate entry in a detailed view you can see the date and time of the call and other communication with the contact. All history is stored in one place. Identical calls are combined with the number of calls given opposite every phone number. Traditionally in this menu you can access the total duration of all calls and their cost (if the service is available).

For separate numbers the black list can be created to block the respective calls.

The list for sent messages is available as well.

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Similar to other manufacturers Samsung abandoned an artificial division of messages into SMS and MMS: you create a message and then depending on its content the message is considered as SMS or MMS. In the menu you have an option to turn a message into MMS in a compulsory way (when you need to send a text to an e-mail address and avoid the in-built mail client).

There is also a mode of messages view both in a classical way and as a chat. In the chat mode joint messages are not viewed completely. You have to select a message to read it in full, which is not always convenient. Thankfully, you can view SMS and MMS messages in the chat mode.

In the list the messages are sorted by date, name or frequency of message exchange.

The unique feature of the phone is an option to send a message at a stated time. After completing а message you can indicate a date and time to send it to your contact. I think this useful feature will be liked by many.

Text messages can be archived on a memory card.

The phone memory can store up to 1300 messages, the model supports EMS and works with Nokia Smart Messaging. When sending a message you are allowed to choose the contacts from the phonebook, the list of the latest used numbers and groups. Traditionally, you have an option to create a black list for all types of messages and all messages from the appropriate numbers will be deleted automatically. The messages can be moved to your folders. For e-mail the blocking targets not only particular addresses, but the topics as well.

MMS messages are limited to 295 KB, while the incoming messages have no size limitations. Among additional settings we can mention the blocking of ad messages, the type of message receiving in the roaming and in the home network. The messages are stored in the dynamic memory. The same applies to e-mail.

There is also a useful feature of SOS messages. Once activated in an emergency you just have to press a volume control button 4 times and the message "I am in emergency. Please help me" is sent to designated contacts and the incoming calls from these numbers after the message is sent are received automatically. Contacts phone numbers (no more than 5) and the number of times this message is sent can be adjusted, while the text remains the same.

The in-built mail client is quite traditional without anything special. You can customize up to 5 accounts with the number of messages limited to 1000 for each account. Attachments are enabled with the size of no more than 1 MB for outgoing and 5 MB for incoming files. Received files can be viewed with the help of an in-built browser. HTML is supported as well, so the pages can be viewed without problems.

Installation wizard helps to customize the mail settings.

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In the phone memory you can save unlimited number of entries represented by one type of event – meeting. There is also another type of entries for anniversaries. Each entry can be assigned time and date and its end period. You can select a signal and an interval for events. Repeated events option is also available (you set a repeat period and exceptions, which is convenient). The calendar can be easily viewed for a month or a week. Each type of event has a particular color, so everything is quite visible. The calendar can be viewed both in album and portrait screen orientations. There is an arbitrary selection of calendars where entries have different colors. You can add an entry by clicking the field and in the general viewing mode two entries for one date are displayed.

Text notes are nice looking.

Tasks section keeps objectives with priority to be set.

Time. Several functions are united here. There is world clock, which shows time for selected cities. Now we have a map where you can choose a time zone. Alarms, countdown timer and timer are available as well.

Calculator is very simple.

Converter transfers units of different measurement systems. The entire list is shown at once, which is useful.

Dictaphone. You can record up to several hours of voice notes and the number of such notes is unlimited. In theory the length limitation can be chosen by a user and may equal 1 hour. In memory all notes are located in one folder. The recording quality during lectures and round table negotiations is decent. The notes can be transcribed afterwards. The model can be used as a digital dictaphone. It can be activated during the conversation.

Bluetooth. The utility looks unusual and you can view the devices map. As in file managers on computers you can go to an ordinary devices list. All features are supported, there are no limitations here.

Games. For Java applications multitasking is supported. You can launch several applications and fold them down. The next activation of an app can be carried out from the list. The number of preinstalled games varies for different markets.

Google. In this section you have Google search. It is actually a browser, which provides access to Gmail, and a fully functional Google Maps (they may be absent from the commercial version because navigation software from Route 66 is preinstalled). Starting from the last point I have to say that the maps are quite common, but the screen resolution is a joy – it is convenient to view the map and scroll it by hand. All controls are on the screen. You can choose a view from the satellite mode or a simple map. Positioning on the base station works fine. I cannot say anything in particular here. Everything functions well. An in-built GPS receiver is also supported.

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It is an offshoot of Jet built on webkit, but the version used here is 2.0 (The browser is called Dolfin). The difference from NetFront is startling: the user experience remains the same, but several unique features were added. For example, you can customize the brightness of the screen backlight from the browser itself. This has never been done in the past and it is really convenient if you work in the street. Flash support allows viewing all web resources without any restrictions (the question whether Flash support will stay, because it leads to the unstable performance of the browser, is under consideration now). This browser is also one of the first, which support s the standard ban on banner viewing. We tested this option on several websites and it worked well.

The browser supports RSS client and you can download feeds. The history of viewed pages is available as miniatures. The same applies to bookmarks. Scaling of up to х10 can be done by finger. The content of the website can be arranged in one table. The pictures can be filtered and you can search words on a page. Javascript and Flash are supported. You get a fully functional browser, which closely resembles the browser in Apple iPhone in terms of convenience. It is fast and high quality and the phone scores extra points here.

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File Manager (My files)

All files are collected here: music, pictures, video and sounds. All downloaded files get here first. One of the drawbacks is the fact that at times a file in the common list may not be visible straight away. You have to exit and open the list again.

Files can be viewed as a list and as icons. Select one or several files from the list. The following operations with files are supported: copy, delete and transfer (phone memory – memory card). The files can be sorted by time, type, name and size. The general list shows files from 2 types of memory by default.

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Traditionally you can protect any section of the phone by a password. The period of screen backlight on and its brightness are set individually. There are no special or unusual settings in the phone. There is a package of different wallpapers. The profiles are supported and they help to change the phone's settings.

As always you can customize the fonts size, its color and style during calling.

You can set the power of vibration for VibeZ.

In Mobile Tracker you indicate the mobile number, where the messages will be sent when you change your SIM card. In the received message you will see the number of SIM in your phone. You can enter here only if you know the password, which protects from switching off information sharing if you don't know the password. When you insert a new SIM card the message is sent only once. Every card change triggers new message. It is a useful option, which somehow helps to locate a stolen phone.

"My accounts" is the only place for all social networks accounts united by Bada account, which also gives access to the store.

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МР3 player

Unlike the more expensive models here we have an ordinary player. When you open the music player in a standard screen orientation you see the All tracks list and by scrolling the headlines horizontally you access the playlists (your lists and automatically created – frequently played, quick list and recently played). In the same place you have a filter by performers and albums. In both cases you don't have to look at the titles and choose the covers option. Here I have to mention that Samsung adds its own default cover to albums without original ones. It is a bit confusing as the interface gets extremely flashy.

The in-built search helps to find a performer in the lists or a track by letter. For any track you can use an option called "Find similar". The handset gives names of performers and tracks, which you can add to your wish list.

The player looks have 2 variants – with the album cover or the equalizer. I prefer the first variant, because the second one is really too flashy. As to the rest the player is standard for Samsung. Let's look at its characteristics.

It supports random, consecutive and cycle tracks playback. You can download mp3 files directly via Bluetooth or with the help of the synchronization app or through Windows Media Player. Files can have any name or tag, including the ones in Russian. The phone reads them well. Files bitrate is not very important and the model understands all popular formats. WMA, AAC, eAAC and eAAC+ are also supported.

During the playback you see the name of the current track and the overall number of tracks. There is an equalizer, but it cannot be customized. The playback is possible with the stereo headset or in a hands free mode. 14 levels are available for volume. Users may create their own playlists. The player works in the background mode. At least the screen shows tracks titles and tips for controls, which is convenient.

In the standby mode with the player folded only its controls and the title track are displayed.

In the speakerphone mode the sound is not clear enough as the power capacity is weak, though the volume is loud and the phone is heard well.

The quality of music playback with headphones is good. Among music models I like this one the most, which may be influenced by the fact that I like the model itself and it spreads to its music part as well.

To listen to the music via the headset you can use 5.1 Surround mode, which is an equalizer to make the sound more surrounding. It is an analogue and a rival for Dolby Mobile.

Find Music (earlier known as Music Recognition) is similar to TrackID from Sony Ericsson. The recorded fragment is used to identify a performer and a song. This app has a better choice of Russian musicians to choose from and this way beats TrackID.

FM radio. The phone memory stores up to 99 radio stations with the frequencies ranging from 87.5 to 108 MHz. Automatic tuning of all stations is available, but separate channels cannot be given particular names and are always displayed with the frequency and numbers. Radio also works in a speakerphone mode. Radio works normally and if not all stations can be received in general everything is arranged well and is comparable with other models from rival manufacturers. Radio also works in the background mode.

RDS feature shows not only the station title in the general list above, but displays other information as well. Radio shows can be recorded in the phone memory.

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Video player

Can you invent anything new in video playback? Samsung implemented here one of the features from its players, for example, YP-P3. This is mosaic search inside the video piece. You choose the type of search (16 or 32 images) and then the phone cuts the file into equal parts and shows the shot and its time. You can go to the necessary fragment with one touch. On DVDrip 1.3 GB the search in 32 images mode takes up to 10 seconds.

You can customize the screen brightness straight from the player and set the picture tone (cold or warm).

Other player features are standard: fast rewind х8; you can go to another fragment of the file by dragging the player slider and DNSe is also supported. The manufacturer claims HD video playback, but whether it is really necessary? The following formats are supported: MPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, DivX and XviD. Almost all files from network storage were played successfully.

Picture- wise the phone becomes one of the best players. The video can be scaled to fit the screen or is played in its original size (with black stripes on the sides).

In MKV files the subtitles are supported and an appropriate file must be in the video folder.

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Pictures are displayed as miniatures; the list opens fast without any delays even if you have many photos and images. The list supports filters, so you can sort the pictures by tags, date or view only the favorites.

As always you can start a slideshow and send a picture to other devices in any way, including Bluetooth. Active users of social networks can instantly download a picture to a particular network.

Picture scaling is similar to Apple iPhone: multitouch moves of your fingers to the center or from the center enlarges or narrows the picture.

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Samsung App Store

Applications Store from Samsung follows the pattern of Apple Store. All applications are classified by categories and there are lists of the most popular and free applications. The search by key words is also available. You sign in with the help of your Bada account. Those who do not plan to buy applications do not have to provide the details of a credit card, while others will need it. To sign in you enter a password as in Apple App Store. There is also a similarity in the fact that after the download starts the phone shows its menu and an app icon with the download process (as if you add water to an app icon – the animation is nice).

Social Hub. In one place you have all accounts for e-mail, social networks and IM. You do not have to use different software to manage your activities. Everything is accessible from one menu and by selecting an app you open it. It is a good idea, but what I like the most is that you even do not need this menu. In the phonebook all information is displayed instantly and received messages pop up and you can answer them from the screen. The same works for SMS.

I have to give details on apps for social networks, for example, Facebook. The client is excellent and it can do everything, so I have no complaints here. Everything works on par with the offerings on other platforms.

On the other hand, Twitter is not the best, because the friends list is updated for 5-8 entries, which is not enough. To save traffic this way is a crime against ergonomics. You have to press "update" constantly. In the settings you also cannot specify the number of tweets to display. In the friends list you click a person's name and view his/her profile or send an answer. Names in tweets are not displayed as links, which is sad. The features of the client are average, but they are not enough at times. I found a way out by using an appropriate widget and forgot about the app.

IM client is also quite good. It has Google Talk and AIM, while other solutions (not Skype, at least in the short term) will be added in future. In the phonebook opposite a contact you see an IM icon and can start chatting with the person in case of availability. Here we have the same idea that you do not have to enter the application itself. But if you want to see all your contacts in one location the application can be easily opened.

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I have no complaints to the connection quality, ringtones sound loudly, while the vibro is not always felt. Speech communication is always good, even in noisy conditions.

Wave 525 costs €210-220, while 533 fetches €240. The models are positioned as accessible solutions for those who need feature rich handsets. Samsung also offers Galaxy 550 on Android, but Wave 525 beats it easily due to higher screen resolution, better apps selection from the box and lower price is anything but the deterrent. It is not the best touchscreen model in its class, because it has too many features for the segment. I doubt that its future owners will need WiFi at all times, but a better camera would have been handy. All in all we get a model for young people requiring value for money, but they might be scared by new things in Bada. We once again return to the positioning issue. The phone will not make any significant stir on the market, because it offers nothing unusual, while Bada is not so popular at the moment. To my mind some people may benefit from this handset nonetheless. It is inexpensive and full of features.

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Review of Samsung Galaxy 550 (i5500, Galaxy 5, Corby Smartphone) GSM/UMTS

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Eldar Murtazin (eldar@mobile-review.com)
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Translated by Maxim Antonenko (maxantonenko@ukr.net)

Published — 03 November 2010

Have something to add?! Write us... eldar@mobile-review.com



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