Samsung Galaxy S vs. Samsung Wave S8500 – Review

by Jerry D on July 6, 2010

Hot on the heels of the its Wave S8500 handset, Samsung ventures into Android territory for the super-powered Galaxy S. Aka the Captivate (AT&T), Vibrant (T-Mobile) and Fascinate (Verizon). Let’s see what sets the two apart…

galaxy s vs wave Samsung Galaxy S vs. Samsung Wave S8500   Review


The spec sheet of the Galaxy S lists 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), a triple hit of 802.11 Wi-Fi (b/g/n) and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP as the core connectivity options. As for the Wave, Samsung has specified 3G/HSDPA (7.2 Mbps), Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi as standard. (1-1)

Size & Weight:

How large are these two phones? Take a look at the graph below and you’ll see that the Wave is the slimmer of the two phones with a depth of 9.9mm. The Galaxy S is wider, measuring 64.2mm to the Wave’s 56.0mm. Checking on weight, the Galaxy S weighs 119g, while the Samsung Wave is 118g. (1-2)



The design of the Samsung Galaxy S incorporates a 5.0 Megapixel camera with autofocus/touch focus, geo-tagging, face and smile detection and HD video recording. For video calls, there’s also a second, front-mounted camera.

The two phones match each other for megapixels. The Wave S8500 also packs a 5.0 Megapixel camera with autofocus, LED flash, geo-tagging, face/smile/blink detection, image stablilization and its own dose of HD video recording. It also has an extra camera on the front for video chit-chat. (1-2)


Display size is where there are some significant differences. The Galaxy S features a gorgeous 4.0-inch (480 x 800) touch-sensitive Super AMOLED screen. In comparison, the Wave’s touch-sensitive AMOLED screen is just 3.3 inches wide. The resolution is the same. (1-2)


As for the processor and UI, the Galaxy S boasts a 1GHz ARM Cortex A8 processor and the Wave uses the same ARM chip. Crucially though, the Galaxy S favours Android 2.1 (Eclair), while the Wave runs Samsung’s own Bada OS. Android gives the Galaxy a big usability boost and increases its appeal. (2-2)

Downloadable apps


The 16GB of memory in the Galaxy S beats the lowly 2GB capacity that comes as standard in the Wave. The Galaxy S has a microSD interface, which can extend the overall capacity to a whopping 48GB. A microSD slot on the Wave further boosts the overall memory on Samsung’s phone to 32GB. (3-2)

Battery life:

With a full charge, Samsung’s spec sheet lists 6.5 hours of talktime for its Galaxy S handset, compared to 8.5 hours for the Samsung Wave. As for standby time, the phones can last for 576 hours and 450 hours respectively. A victory for the Wave here. (3-3)



The Galaxy S also includes Stereo FM radio with RDS, GPS/A-GPS and a digital compass. The Wave features Stereo FM radio with RDS, FM radio recording, GPS/A-GPS, Samsung Mobile Navigator, digital compass (3-3)

It’s a tie!

The Galaxy S differs from the Wave S8500 thanks to a bigger display, more memory and in Android it uses a much more versatile OS. But does that actually make it a better phone? Maybe the 4.0-inch display is too big – it certainly fattens up the Galaxy S. Ultimately, it will come down to a question of personal taste.

Do you agree with the outcome of this fight? Leave us a comment below now…

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