The Phones That Never Die - Part I

Thanks to the community driven development, some phones have not died and they continue to receive more ports and updates from their device developers. In the first part of this series, we will have a look at the  Samsung S8530 (Wave II) & S8500 (Wave I) which got a Marshmallow port in December 2015.


Official Launch of the Wave series in India

Introduced in February 2010, the Samsung Wave series was powered by Samsung's Bada OS, Samsung's first attempt to overtake android by introducing it's own operating system in the market.

Both of these phones were powered by Bada OS v.1.1 at the time of launch in April 2010. They received two updates from Samsung which raised their Bada version to 1.2 in the starting of 2011 and 2.0 in December 2011.

                                                                 Samsung Wave II running Bada 2.0 OS

Hardware Info

Wave II

Both the Wave I & Wave II have similar hardware of 256 MB RAM, ARM Cortex A8 clocked at 1 GHz (Samsung S5PC110), Capacitive touch screen, 5 MP rear camera with a 1500 Li-Ion mAh battery. The only major difference can be seen in terms of screen size. Wave I has a screen size of 3.3 inches and Wave II has a screen size of 3.7 inches.

To check out the detailed specifications of Wave I, click here.

To check out the detailed specifications of Wave II, click here.

Wave I

Lack of apps & the start of BadaDroid

Bada was made open source. This promised great development opportunities. The Wave phones also had the Samsung App Store to enable users to customise their phones to their need. However, Bada never really took off. There was a lack of  "killer apps" like WhatsApp, Gmail, Facebook etc and most of the app developers showed the door to Samsung because of the exponential growth of android that overshadowed Bada. Samsung made a second attempt to revive Bada with Bada 2.0, but again failed badly in luring developers to it's Bada 2.0 platform. Thus, sales fell and despite having great potential, Bada never took off.

But, wait a minute. What about those who bought the Bada phones? What about them?

Remember, I mentioned Bada was open source. This is where the community development sparked off. Thanks to XDA senior member hero355 and The Team K Developers, multiple ROMs were made for Bada.

Due to the lack of apps, the community thought of porting apps to Bada including WhatsApp. Several projects were undertaken to achieve this, but most of them failed. WhatsApp was ported to Bada in late 2014 (click here to visit the thread) though.

After, the drop of official support of Bada in December 2011, the project to port Android on the Wave devices was undertaken. Here is a timeline of events that took place then:

December 2011 - KB_Jetdroid contacted Rebellos and they started to work on Jet&Wave modem driver.
April 2012 - mikegapinski joined the project to get things together and make first really working ROM.
9 April 2012 - Mike got ICS platform booting.
Mike has stopped maintaining platform so Rebellos took it over.
Oleg has finally got S8530 in his hands and made SCLCD driver for it. Praise him!
Both S8500 and S8530 versions are semi operatible. The most complicated, annyoing, and needed driver is Modemctl+RIL.
March 2013 - World's first working non-AT commands based RIL for non-Android phone has been released. Most of the implementation was done by KB_Jetdroid, me and Volk204, basing on opensource Replicant's RIL for Samsung Galaxy S.
April 2013 I finally fixed S8530 display driver.
September 2013 - we've got working microphone recording, and shortly after Tigrouzen found a proper patch fixing voice communication during calls.
22 September 2013 - we released first version capable of multicalls.
~~October 2013 - GPRS connections are working

To know more about the history of events, visit this XDA thread by clicking here.

After countless hours of hard work, the World's first Android port on a non-android phone was achieved. What's more, Wave I and II became the first smartphones to dual boot two different operating systems, Android and Bada.

BadaDroid running on Wave I

The first port of BadaDroid ran on Android version 2.2 and Bada 2.0. Later on, CM10 was ported (click here to visit the thread). This was followed by BadaDroid 3.1 which dual booted CM10.2 and Bada 2.0 (click here to visit the thread). Android KitKat was ported in BadaDroid 4.4 which dual booted CM11 and Bada 2.0. The development did not end here. Lollipop was ported in January 2015 through the port of OmniROM (click here to visit the thread).

Check out this quick YouTube video which shows Android 5.0.2 running on Wave I:

Eventually, the latest version of Android, that is, Marshmallow made it's way too in December 2015. Check out the video:

Huh! So, it's been 6 years since it's launch, but Samsung Wave series is still alive.

BadaDroid Inspiration

BadaDroid ended up inspiring other developers to work on similar ports too. The first once was JetDroid.

Quoting from the JetDroid site:

This mind-blowing development project has successfully ported Android to the non-android smartphones by Samsung S8000 and S8003

Dual boot (JetQi bootloader) preserves stock OS on the internal memory and boots into Android from the external micro SD card

Altough JetDroid project was done also for Samsung S8003

Visit the JetDroid site here:

The other two projects were AndroBada525 and StarDroid. They aimed to port android on the Samsung Wave 525 and the Samsung Star Duos respectively. The projects look abandoned as of now, but the developers did manage to unlock the bootloader. Both the AndroBada525 and StarDroid teams have collaborated together for further development. Visit their official site for more info:

How's the development of your phone going? Let us know in the comments or in the forums.

Krittin Kalra
Krittin Kalra is a 20 year old Android freak. Striving for passions, chasing down his dreams and living a life without regrets is his sole mantra. A bit moody, he also does custom ROM reviews for AndroGuider. Currently pursuing his B.Tech, he aspires to follow his heart.
The Phones That Never Die - Part I The Phones That Never Die - Part I Reviewed by Krittin Kalra on 5/09/2016 03:56:00 PM
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