MWC: Samsung Rolls Out Wave Smartphone with Bada OS

Samsung crashed onto the open-source beachhead at Mobile World Congress (MWC) with the Wave smartphone, which runs the company's open Bada operating system and features Social Hub, a social networking platform.

Samsung got this year's Mobile World Congress off to an early start on Sunday with a press event to launch its Wave smartphone, based on the company's open platform operating system Bada ("ocean" in Korean).

The touch-screen device allows users to download a variety of applications, including games, e-books, utility apps and more, as well as offering a "Social Hub" messaging platform including push e-mail, schedule syncing, and phonebook access to SNS, instant messaging (IM) and e-mail. Samsung said the Bada SDK will be launched publicly in March.

A super-charged 1GHz processor with 1GHz clock speed and a large L2 cache power the Wave, and it is allied to an HD (720p) codec engine that delivers 30-fps HD video in both recording and playback mode. The handset also sports a 3.3-inch Super AMOLED display featuring tempered glass and smudge-resistant technology. The company said by removing the touch sensor panel and the air gaps, the images are crisper, the colors more vivid, the contrast higher and the body slimmer.

Samsung claims the Wave is also the world's first 802.11n equipped phone, which means potential data speeds could be 10 times faster than current Wi-Fi standards, such as 802.11b and 802.11g.

Bada introduces several service-centric features, including social networking, device synchronization, content management, location-based services, push notification and commerce services. In addition, Bada includes a user-friendly user interface (UI) framework. The Wave also runs Samsung's TouchWiz TM 3.0 UI, offering an upgraded customization environment with advanced widgets and enhanced home screen functionality as well as integrated applications for more user experiences, Sync mail, calendar, and contacts from a Web account to the mobile handset.

Social Hub is Samsung's integrated messaging platform, a messaging service provided in partnership with major portals (Google, Yahoo, MSN, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and offers a messaging service centered around contacts. Social Hub is push-based, so once users register their accounts on their devices, Social Hub delivers new updates automatically. Samsung Apps was launched in England, France and Italy last year and is set to be deployed in more than 50 countries during 2010, the company said in a release.

The handset also features a 5.0-megapixel camera with LED flash, A-GPS with on/off board navigation, 3D maps, voice command, an RSS reader, Bluetooth 3.0 technology and USB 2.0 functionality.

"In providing Samsung Bada, I believe that Samsung will become a true leader in the mobile industry, offering a wider range of smartphone choices for consumers," said Hosoo Lee, executive vice president and head of the media solution center at Samsung Electronics. "At the same time, Samsung Bada presents a powerful opportunity for developers to get their applications onto an unprecedented number of Samsung devices across the world."