Wednesday, October 26, 2011

New Toy - Samsung Wave II

The wife always wins!  And so it was this time too.  A feeble defence in favour of extending the retirement life of the trusty Nokia E63 were quickly overcome and the diktat to immediately identify a replacement was issued.
Turns out picking a mobile is no longer an 'I went, I saw, I bought' task.  At the pinnacle of the pecking order rules the very desirable iPhone 4S that sold some 4 mn pieces in the weekend after Steve Jobs' passing away.  Several thousand other models follow down the hierarchy, with a lowly 1000 Rs mobile boasting more features than the one I used not less than a couple of years ago.
Listing out the features that I wanted in a mobile didn't help either: basic features such as ability to make calls, sms, address book and set an alarm and 'advanced' features such as conferencing ability and good speaker phone are available even in ones that are certainly not considered piece de' resistance.
In order to narrow down the choices, decided to add multi-touch screen, robust media player and presence of a qwerty keypad.  With a triumphant smile, I put these requirements to the salesman, expecting him to dish out exactly what I needed.  A few quick questions followed that had me back at square one:
"Android or Symbian or Windows?"
"Looking for great app experience or multi-media experience?"
"LCD or amoLED?"
"Browser preference?"
"Single camera or dual camera?"
That's when I decided to get professional help and do some serious research.  Typed "best smartphone for Rs x" in the Google searchbar and did a recce at an electronics store.  Had to turn to my faithful Samsung again - apparently I am some sort of Samsung loyalist.  Shortlisted Galaxy Ace and Wave II.  Online reviews and the helpful salesman recommended Galaxy Ace for a great app experience and Wave II for a great multimedia experience.  Having rarely used a mobile for much beyond the basic features, opted for the Wave II.
The ongoing festive season with its share of freebies and discounts was an added bonus.  Here's a download on the first few days usage.
What came in the box: the phone, charger, USB cable, headphones, software CD and user manual, pouch.
What didn't come in the box: scratchguard, memory card (added an 8 GB to start with).
The brushed metallic black exterior gives a classy look and feel to the handset.  This also prevents the surface from being a fingerprint magnet.  Though a cm longer than the E63 and almost as broad and thick(er?) (12.4 cm x 6.0 cm x 1.2 cm), it didn't take much time getting used to.
Though tiny, the external buttons (volume jog, camera, screen lock) are well raised and provide excellent tactile feedback.  A lot of thought seems to have gone into the design of this phone: for instance, the combined charging and micro-USB port are protected by a plastic slide-out cover, not the rubber covers that tend to tear soon.  Another one: place the phone face down and it automatically goes into a silent mode!  It's small things like this that make the phone extremely practical.
The phone itself is a nifty package: has a great 'Super Clear LCD' 9.25 cm touchscreen with a brilliant 480 x 800 display.  Colour reproduction is crisp and the contrasts are great.  The multi-touch touchscreen is a joy to use.
Voice quality is clear and crisp.
Text input with the 'trace and type' function is a boon for hardcore physical qwerty users with clunky fingers, like me.  I expect to quickly surpass my qwerty keypad typing speeds on the trace and type.
Internal memory of 2 GB plus expandable card slot of 32 GB can handle any and all stuff that my 2 year old laptop does.  Combine that with great battery life (400 min talk time and 555 hrs standby on 3G), multiple video format support including divx and a great pair of in-ear earphones means those early-morning-late-evening flights no longer have to be spent fidgeting and watching 'Karthik calling Karthik' five times a week.
The 5 megapixel camera was another surprise package.  In addition to auto focus and image stabilisation, it has adjustable ISO settings (50 to 800), white balance, 15 scene modes and 6 shooting modes.  Now that's giving some competition to my point and shoot!
Well, that's about how much I have used the phone the last couple of days - am sure it's gonna be great.

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