Samsung Wave II vs. HTC Desire HD – Review

by Jerry D on February 23, 2011

How good is the Samsung Wave II (S8530)? You can get a good idea of how strong any handset is by pitting it against a better handset and looking at the score. Just how big is the victory? A thrashing? Or a close-call? Time for another big phone fight. Seconds away, round 1…

XXXX versus graphic Samsung Wave II vs. HTC Desire HD   Review XXXX


The Wave II is equipped with a 3G/HSDPA (3.6 Mbps) chipset, along with 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 with A2DP. HTC has jammed the HD version of its handset with 3G/HSDPA (7.2Mbps), 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR/A2DP. This fight starts with a tie. (1-1)

Size & Weight:

How big are these two phones? The Wave II measures 123.9 x 59.8 x 11.8mm. In comparison, the popular Desire HD is 123.0 x 68.0 x 11.8mm. The Desire HD is the shorter of the two phones, but not by much. The noticeable difference is the width of Desire HD compared to the Wave. In terms of weight, the Desire HD (164g) is weightier than its opponent. The Wave II weighs 135g. (2-1)



Samsung has constructed the Wave II with a 5.0 Megapixel camera that boasts autofocus/touch focus, an LED flash, geo-tagging, face, smile and blink detection, image stablilization and 720p video capture. Not bad. It also features a second, front-facing camera for video chatting.

But the 8.0 Megapixel camera on the Desire HD outclasses Samsung’s technology. It supports a top resolution of 3264 x 2448 pixels and also includes: autofocus, a dual LED flash, face detection capability, geotagging and 720p HD video recording. (2-2)


As for screen size, the Samsung Wave II features an improved 3.7-inch (480 x 800) touch-sensitive Super Clear LCD display. There are 384000 pixels overall, which translates to 252.162 pixels per inch.

At 4.3 inches, Desire HD’s touch-sensitive S-LCD screen has more room. The 480 by 800 resolution matches the Wave II, although the pixel density of 216.977 pixels per inch here is less than the 252.162 rating given to the Wave II. (2-2)


As for overall usability and performance, the Wave II’s core uses a 1GHz ARM Cortex-A8 processor (aka ‘Hummingbird’) with a PowerVR SGX540 GPU chip to fling the graphics around. The Desire HD, meanwhile, uses a Qualcomm Snapdragon QSD8255 processor, also rated at 1GHz. (2-2)


Samsung sticks with the Bada OS (version )1.2 for the Samsung Wave II, featuring Samsung’s own TouchWiz 3.0 UI and an HTML 5-friendly Dolfin web browser. It uses Android on its higher-end smartphones, like the Galaxy S2. Like the original Desire, HTC launched the Desire HD with Android 2.2 (Froyo) with HTC Sense. (2-3)


The Wave II incorporates 2GB of storage versus the 1.5GB capacity of the Desire HD. The Wave II also includes a microSD card slot to ramp up the memory to 34GB. The inclusion of a microSD expansion slot on the Desire HD bumps up the capacity to 33GB. (2-3)

Battery life:

Measuring the staying power of phones is difficult. But the Wave II boasts 6.0 hours of talktime according to Samsung, while the Desire HD is rated at 9.0 hours. Standby time is rated at 500 hours and 420 hours respectively. This round goes to the Desire HD. (2-4)


Note: The Standby time specification is an industry standard that is only intended to allow comparison of different mobile phones under the same circumstances. Power consumption in a standby state is strongly dependent on factors including: network, settings, location, movement, signal strength and cell traffic.


Final round… The Wave II also includes GPS/A-GPS with Samsung Mobile Navigator, a digital compass, TV-out and a stereo FM radio with RDS and FM radio recording.

The Desire HD features GPS/A-GPS, a built-in g-sensor, digital compass, built-in FM radio, Dolby Mobile, DLNA wireless content sharing and integration (2-5)

The HTC Desire HD wins!

So where was this fight won? As good as some bits of the new Samsung Wave II are, the HTC Desire HD is arguably a better all-round phone that you can do more with. Android easily trumps the Bada OS, especially if you’re serious about cramming your phone with useful apps. The Desire HD also has the highest-spec camera and a superb 4.3-inch S-LCD. It’s not a cutting edge screen. But it sure looks good.

See if these two phones make our Top 20 Best Smartphones list…

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