MWC Note: New Samsung OS Bada Phone Appears

Both Engadget and Gizmodo attended the Samsung preview at MWC today where the highlight was the demo of their new OS, Bada, along with the first Bada phone, the Wave 8500S.

The phone is feature loaded with a Super AMOLED display with a 800 x 480 display, Bluetooth 3.0, and 1 GHZ processor. No slider keyboard, so it will be using a virtual keyboard like the iPhone/Nexus One.  Those are the basic guts of the device, so how does it look?

It’s a pretty good looking phone, but not really breaking any new ground at all. Nothing obvious to drag iPhone users, Droid users, or Palm users away. If the phone itself isn’t groundbreaking how about the OS that Samsung is building?

The best idea comes from the hands-on movies available at Engadget.

The application navigation is almost a carbon copy of the iPhone in terms of swiping left and right to new “pages” of applications. Applications launch quickly and overall the OS seems very responsive.

There appears to be a widget feature for the home screen. The virtual keyboard is very similar to the iPhone’s. It might have been the environment but the user in the video seemed pretty slow with it. Based on those videos, there was not a good view of the browsing capabilities of the OS. According to the specs, Bada is using the Dolfin 2.0 browser.

Overall, there’s kind of a dated look to the application icons and the OS overall. It does not look as slick/smooth GUI wise as iPhone OS, Android, or WebOS in my opinion. Based on some of the glitches in the demo, Bada is a work in progress and phone seemed not quite ready for primetime.

Samsung’s clearly swimming against the stream by releasing a new phone OS. Based on admittedly only screenshots and some brief movies, it’s hard to see what is going to attract users to this phone. The OS looks pretty derivative of the other SmartPhone OSes. It does have multi-tasking but that’s hardly a unique feature at this point. Pre-iPhone this device would seem ground breaking, but as currently shown it’s tough to see why developers will focus their finite resources developing for Bada over the other contenders with significant headstarts in both time and established user bases.

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