The Samsung Wave 723 measures 109.5 x 53.9 x 11.8 mm (without the flap), which makes it a fairly compact phone. The flap adds about 2.5mm to the thickness (and a bit to the weight – the Wave 723 weighs 113.8g with it) but it’s well worth it.
The flap is plastic with a faux leather texture finish but still – the leather and brushed aluminum combo has a special place in our hearts so this is one fine looking phone.
The Samsung S7230E Wave 723 is a mid ranger with aspirations of excellent built quality. And it hits the spot. Too many high-end phones accept their plastic shells but it’s always a joy to handle a phone with metal casing.
The Wave 723 is a looker – not quite as handsome as the S8500 Wave, but it’s a very attractive phone nonetheless.
The screen on the Wave 723 is the polar opposite of the SuperAMOLED on the S8500. It’s a 3.2” TFT LCD unit at WQVGA resolution with unimpressive brightness and colors. The lack of ambient light sensor means there’s no automatic brightness adjust, which would have helped. Sunlight legibility was pretty disappointing too.
Under the display, are three hardware keys – Call, End and Center – which exhaust the hardware controls on the Samsung S7230E Wave 723 front panel. All controls are large enough and solid to press with excellent tactility.
The End key will terminate the currently running app and take you to the homescreen wherever you are in the interface. Pressing and holding the Menu key launches the task switcher.
Above the display are the earpiece and nothing else – no video camera, no proximity or even ambient light sensor.
The left side of the Samsung S7230E Wave 723 hosts the volume rocker, which is thin and sits low so it’s not the most comfortable to use.
On the right we only find the camera key and the Power/Lock button. Both are tiny but at least the shutter key is slightly higher and easy to use.
Generally, the camera launches instantly, which was pretty impressive.
At the top we find the microUSB port, hiding under a neat plastic lid that slides softly in and out. The uncovered 3.5mm audio jack is also here.
The S7230E Wave 723 has a neat hardware feature that sets it apart from other phones – the leather flap. It is attached to the bottom of the phone and guards the screen against scratches and accidental presses. From a distance it appears as leather though it doesn’t stand up against close inspection.
We liked the idea of the flap - it almost substitutes a carrying pouch and gives the Wave 723 a nice appearance. Better yet, those who don’t like it, can simply remove it. We did run into some problems with it though – it got in the way of landscape operation (e.g. text input or using the camera).
The back of the Samsung S7230E Wave 723 is made of sleek-looking brushed aluminum. That together with the leathery flap gives the mid-ranger an air of high-end luxury.
Anyway, on the back we find the usual suspects – the 5MP camera with LED flash and the loudspeaker. The camera lens is inset, but that’s the only protection against scratches. Because the back is flat, the loudspeaker gets slightly muffled when you place the phone on a level surface.
We often ended up placing the Samsung Wave 723 face down – the flap will protect the screen against scratches and the camera is kept out of the way of scratches.
Under the battery we find a 1200mAh battery. There are still no performance numbers quoted but Bada OS proved quite efficient – on a 3G network with Wi-Fi on and the screen at full brightness the Wave 723 went through a day and a half of testing on half a battery.
Under the battery cover things are a little strange however – the SIM card is just above the battery, while the microSD card slot is below the battery. If we had to pick, we would have had it the other way around.
The build quality of the Samsung S7230E Wave 723 is uncompromised. We loved the feel of metal and leather (even if it’s fake) and there were no creaks and nothing wobbled. It’s fairly pocketable and if you keep the flap, you can forgo the carrying pouch or belt holster. We do miss the Super AMOLED screen though.