Sunday, 17 October 2010

Samsung's Bada Operating System: My Thoughts

Hello! I'm Dom and I recently won a wonderful competition with Samsung which is allowing me to express my views on some of their techno-wizardry! I'm passionate about technology and I love how it is constantly evolving to help facilitate our needs for easy communication in the busy lives we lead. As part of the competition, me and 19 other lucky people will be set a series of tasks. What follows is the first of these. It's my opinion, or review if you like, of the Samsung Bada Operating System. Enjoy...


In the world of phones and technology in general, hardware is increasingly finishing second best to the presence of quality applications and operating systems. No one really cares how many GHz your phone has, how many invisible pixels might be on your screen or how many Gigabytes you have to store extortionately large photographs from your million megapixel camera. Today it's all about the software. If your phone can open an application 0.1 second faster than mine or you can take a photograph and print it off on an A1 piece of paper then pat yourself on the back because, and let's be honest with each other, it doesn't really matter!

We're already reaching a plateau, or dare I say peripeteia, with regards to technology: For the most part it's all good enough to do the job we need it to do and anything more these days is just an extra bell and a whistle which will never really be sounded. For me, the magic of being able to call anyone from anywhere in the world completely without wires hasn't and will never get old, but I suppose this isn't enough anymore. Almost everyone's got something fantastic and we only really need to get something new if we've broken our old one or because adverts convince us that we one that's a little better. Naturally, top-trumping each others' phones is an important social mechanism these days. Heaven knows I do it, but I understand that what really counts is how the operating system uses its resources and how it helps us do things efficiently. It's all about ease of use, not speed of use!

In a battle for what companies think consumers are actually interested in, for my money, Samsung has got it right. Allow me to present to you the Samsung Wave (GT-S 8500), one of Samsung's newest phones and flagship carrier of their new Bada Operating system. Perhaps more importantly for the purposes of this article, it's the phone I've been using to assess Samsung's Bada and the one which I've used or the screenshots throughout this article... just so you know!

Bada: An Operating System for Modern Communication

Named after the Korean word for "Ocean", Bada invites everyone in for a swim. First and foremost, it doesn't come across as trying to be something groundbreaking or market changing. But this is a good thing. It's a system for everybody and one which embodies today's needs in portable communication and entertainment. Most importantly, it delivers. These days we communicate in such a vast variety of ways it's sometimes hard to keep up with our own lives let alone our friends. We use social networking, we email and we text. Actually placing a phone call is often the last thing we use our phones for!

Samsung, being the clever company that they are, have realised this. Of course you can still call people... but they have created an operating system which amalgamates all forms of communication into one bundle: Emails, Facebook updates, twitter, Bebo, myspace... the list goes on. It synchronises easily and instantly with your social networking and email accounts, pulling down the relevant profile pictures, status updates, phone numbers... everything! Not only that, but if you've syncronised your contacts, Bada will give you their status updates alongside their contact details. Bada also makes the most out of the now must-have threaded text messaging which makes it easy to keep yourself in the know of the important who-said-what-when.

If you want your Facebook and Twitter to update constantly through the "Feed and Update" widget, then you can. But not everyone is on an unlimited data plan and can't afford their data allowance to be sapped while they're not using it. The same applies to emails: the phone cleverly downloads only a preview of the email, saving your data allowance but still letting you download the full message if it's important enough. 

Bonus, Fun and Entertainment:

I imagine that Samsung's App store will come under scrutiny from some because it doesn't have as many tens of thousands of apps as other markets might do. I've had a good browse of the app store, and trust me, there's plenty to be getting on with! I can't even envisage myself needing more than 100 applications on my phone: If I did I certainly wouldn't have time to use them all! The phone also comes pre-loaded with all the widgets and gizmos a normal person is going to want to use. The dedicated Samsung App store is undoubtedly in its infancy, but even at this young age it caters for a lot of interests and provides numerous utilities... from piano playing to kung-fu fighting: It's rife with potential.

Also worth a mention is Samsung's "Kies" software, which alongside the normal media and contact retrieval and calendar synchronisation offers the chance to save your data allowance and use your computer's internet to do the hard work and upload apps and media to your phone. Once again Samsung is thinking of the user and the limited data-allowances we're faced with... I like this! They also chuck in all the extras you'd expect from any modern phone such as multitasking and the ability to customise almost everything!

In Conclusion: Badass or Bad as?

All in all I've been really impressed with Bada. What I like most about it is that it doesn't feel like something too technical or out of reach. You don't have to learn how to use it. It's designed for everyday people with everyday needsI like this about Bada and it goes hand in hand with Samsung, a company which consistently gets things right, providing the right thing for the everyday consumer, not just the techno-snobs. It's understated and it's excellent, not bad or badass just excellent and consistent. And in my books, excellence and consistency is a winning formula. It doesn't sing from the rooftops or dance in the streets like some shallow, raucous idiot, it just does what you want it to, when you want it to. What more could you possibly ask for?! 


  1. Your passion for technology has transcended into a marvellously articulated argument. I usually don’t enjoy reading articles about technology but you made it really interesting and engaging. Not at all bad and certainly badass!

  2. Thanks for this interesting, entertaining and light-hearted review. As I'm definitely not a techno-snob I don't usually know what to think after reading reviews but this one tells me just what I need to know.

  3. Really interesting article Dom. A very affable read. I particularly love the priggish use of language.

  4. A badass review. I might find myself walking into T-mobile and demanding one as my next upgrade.