Samsung Wave 723 3 Stars

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Samsung’s wave 723 is its latest phone sporting Bada, the phone manufacturer’s own OS. The Samsung wave was the first device to run Bada, and which also sported an excellent AMOLED screen and a good quality, stylish case. This latest phone is a budget device and that fact is very obvious.

Looking good

At first look, the Wave 723 seems like a less flamboyant, low-price incarnation of the original. While the back panel is metal, which lends a classy air to the device, the rest of the chassis is constructed from dark grey plastic. The three buttons on the front of the phone were a bit too clicky for us. On the side are buttons for volume, power and camera, along, rather unusually, with the power switch. The top edge boasts a 3.5mm headphone jack and a sliding cover that hides the micro USB slot.

Once you’ve fired up the phone, it’s pretty clear that you’re not dealing with an AMOLED display. The 3.3in display is low resolution – 400x240 pixels – which will not impress you, unless your current phone only has a basic screen. We found web browsing was affected by the fact that text does not show up well, and watching movies was not great thanks to the limited video display offered.

Ease of use

While it may be low-res, the display is actually the more expensive capacitive type, with multi-touch, so you can pinch and zoom away as you like. The screen proved fast and responsive.

Thanks to the fact that the Wave 723 has the same background images as Samsung’s pricier phones, it’s pretty obvious that the screen quality is inferior. The blocky shortcut icons also suffer from the screen quality, compared with most smartphones. However, in its early days Android’s icons weren’t that good looking either, so we have high hopes that Samsung will improve on this as time goes by.

Having said that, we’re talking about Bada not Android. This OS has been designed to make the smartphone experience more accessible and user friendly. Its widgets can be added on a number of home screens and offer the user a degree of versatility. For example, if your home screens are full, just add another widget and a new home screen will be added automatically. Bada offers up to seven home screens.

You’ll also be able to access Samsung’s own app store – although it is sparsely stocked at present. Mind you, we did see a free version of Tetris among its offerings. And with no digital compass available, a lot of the iPhone and Android apps would be unworkable on the Wave 723.

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Web and camera

The five-megapixel camera, which also boasts flash, is decent, and our images proved to be sharp with little in the way of shutter lag. While images taken in low light were not as good as those in decent light, they were not awful. Video recording is available but there is no HD on offer. However, with a paltry 90MB of built-in memory, you’d need a memory card if you wanted to save anything more than a few seconds of video.

With HSDPA and the latest Wi-Fi version, data transfers proved speedy (up to 3.6Mbps). The Wave 723 also sports GPS, FM radio and Bluetooth – it’s even possible to record the radio should you wish to.

The verdict

There is plenty to like about the Wave 723, including its great connectivity, low pricetag and good camera. But the screen lets it down and the Bada OS fails to deliver either on intuitiveness or choice of apps.

 

Pros:
Responsive display; good value.
Cons:
Disappointing screen, very average build quality.
Rating:
  • Look and Feel 2 Stars
  • Ease of use 3 Stars
  • Features 4 Stars
  • Performance 3 Stars
  • Battery life 4 Stars

Final verdict: 3 Stars

Review by Mobile Choice