Samsung Wave 723 Review
The Samsung Wave 723 is aimed at the middle of the smartphone market and is packed with features but it is one of a rare breed of smartphone to run Samsung’s own operating system, so can it stand up to the competition?
To look at the Wave 723 does not stand out from the crowd. Its black fascia and familiar rounded corners are very similar to many other models of smartphone. The Wave 723 does have metal casing on the back which makes it feel a little more robust and adds a little finesse.
The 3.2 inch screen feels small and with a resolution of only 240 x 400 pixels is no competition for the large, high resolution screens of premium handsets. The touchscreen is responsive and the capacitive keyboard is well laid out but to use it accurately it needs to be in landscape mode.
Bonus features of the Wave723 are the dedicated camera button and the sliding covers for the 3.5mm headphone jack and the micro-USB port. Perhaps the most impressive design attribute, however, is the flip screen cover supplied by Samsung. You can fit this to the handset by removing the bottom section of the back casing and clipping the screen cover in its place.
The Wave 723, just like its predecessor the Wave, runs on Samsung’s own operating system, Bada. In a sea of Android and IOS smartphones, with some Windows Phone models thrown in, it seems a brave choice by Samsung to use Bada, but despite being an operating platform many users will be less aware of the Wave 723 does not feel alien thanks to the TouchWiz User Interface skin. This UI has been adopted on many Samsung handsets including the Wave.
One of the pleasing features of the interface is that you can swipe the screen sideways to unlock it, or you can replace the floating jigsaw piece to access any new messages. You can have up to 10 Homescreens all of which can be customised with apps and widgets. Each Homescreen has a link to contacts, the call dial pad and messages. A Notification Bar at the top of the screen can be dragged down to show the time, battery and signal status, new messages and toggle buttons for Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and silent mode.
Perhaps the biggest downfall of the Bada operating system is the lack of apps available to it. The Wave 723 comes with some standard organisational apps such as a calendar, calculator, clock and alarms. There is also a memo pad and task manager but no widget for them so you need to open the application to view the contents. More apps are available through the Samsung app store, but compared to the Apple and Android apps available there is shockingly little choice.
If you are going to search the web on your Wave 723 you should find Samsung’s Dolphin browser does a decent job. Web pages look good and you can pinch to zoom. As a handy extra feature the volume rocker switch doubles up as a vertical scroller. There is a Google search bar at the top of the screen and you are able to open multiple windows and switch between them. However, sometimes the browser did seem a little sluggish and despite having FLASH support, the Wave 723 was not always able to play video.
The Samsung Wave 723 is equipped with a rear-mounted 5 megapixel camera with autofocus and LED flash. There are a number of camera features you can play with including various scene modes, continuous mode, panoramic mode and Smile shot. The camera produced decent still shots both indoors and out and the panoramic mode was easy to use with seamless results. Video recording on the Wave 723 is rather disappointing in comparison. With a maximum resolution of 320 x 480 the image quality was poor.
When put to the test the 1200mAh battery of the Samsung Wave 723 lasted a day with fairly light use. However, if you were to spend more time listening to music or browsing the web the battery duration would be less than that.
Samsung Wave Price
You can buy a SIM free Wave 723 for around £129 or you can take out a 24 month contract with monthly fees starting at approximately £15 a month.
For a mid-range smartphone the Samsung Wave 723 has a lot to offer but running the Bada OS with its lack of apps does make it an odd choice.