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Samsung Wave 578 gets tappy with NFC, Bada and super-quick typing

Samsung has unveiled its Samsung Wave 578 Bada smart phone at Mobile World Congress, with NFC the standout feature, along with a typing tech that promises to be twice as fast.

Samsung's Wave 578 is the manufacturer's lates Bada handset, which has been unveiled this morning at Mobile World Congress to avoid being outshone at Sammy's press launch last night by the Galaxy S II and Galaxy Tab II devices.

The big news? The Wave 578 includes Near-Field Communication (NFC) tech, with Samsung flagging it up as ideal for mobile payments in shops, buying bus and train tickets, and getting mobile coupons.

The handset also runs Samsung's Bada OS, has 802.11n Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 3.0 connectivity, and sucks in all your social-networking contacts from Facebook, Twitter and instant-messaging services. The Wave 578 also uses the Samsung Apps store, eschewing the Android Market seen in its bigger smart phone brothers. It has a 3.2-megapixel rear camera and a 0.3-megapixel front camera, while the screen is a 3.2-inch 240x432-pixel display.

Samsung is keen to talk up something called QuickType by t9 Trace, the touchscreen typing system which -- it claims -- is "two to three times faster than standard typing". We'll be interested to see how that compares to our current fave typing app Swype. Meanwhile, the Wave 578 will also use Samsung's own-brewed TouchWiz user interface.

The Samsung Wave 578 will be available from May across Europe. Orange has not yet confirmed it will be selling the device in the UK though. It's one of a series of NFC-enabled phones the network will be selling this year, with others to come from LG and Nokia.

The Orange version of the Wave 578 will include its TV Player, Maps, Messenger and Application Shop, while it's planning to work with a bunch of partners on mobile payment and ticketing, to ensure there's stuff to pay for with your Near Field Phone.