This is Wavee, Singtel’s version of WhatsApp

But unlike WhatsApp, you can use it to call local numbers when it gets updated later in the year

While Samsung was busy launching their new smartphones with Singtel at Marina Bay Sands, a little messaging app by the name of Wavee made its debut.

It taps into a data network, be it from your monthly mobile data package or via a Wi-Fi network, to send messages, photos, videos, make VoIP calls. Just like any other messaging apps. Thinking of WhatsApp, right? There’s no avoiding the comparison - it is basically an amalgamation of popular messaging apps such as WhatsApp (for the free messaging), Line (stickers, stickers and more stickers!) and Viber (free calls).

And like these apps, both parties need to be on the app to send free messages or calls. This, however, does not exclude you from using Wavee even if someone else doesn’t.

On the bright side, the app is also integrated with your short messaging service. This means you can send SMS or MMS messages to non-Wavee users. Text messages, images and videos will go through as per normal, and you’ll be using your SMS and MMS bundle. Other features such as locations and files, however, don’t seem to play nice with MMS when we tried them out on the app.

Tapping the call icon doesn’t automatically trigger an in-app VoIP call - you’re given the option to choose between a cellular connection or the former, data-sucking option. But as long as you’re hooked on a Wi-Fi network, you might as well call out with its VoIP service. Provided the other party is using Wavee too.

What’s interesting is that by the second half of this year, an update will allow Wavee users to call Singapore numbers. In essence, the other party won’t even need the app and receive a free incoming call. This is very much like how Skype and Viber calls out to cellular or land lines. Except, such features will require in-app credits, and it’s a detail that Singtel hasn’t mentioned.

The Singtel-made app is free to download, available for iOS and Android devices. Afraid you’ll bust your data limit using this? You won’t have to worry about that - it doesn’t count to your data usage* till 9 July.

*Not if you're on a M1 or Starhub line. This free data offer only kicks in if you're using Singtel's mobile data network.