One of the original Samsung Wave’s top features was its ability to play almost any kind of video file you could throw its way. The Wave 723 doesn’t offer these same abilities. DivX and Xvid are out, leaving you with just the basic MP4, H.263 and H.264 spread of video types. The phone failed most of our media tests, with video files failing to show up at all in the built-in video player app.
Music codec support is also basic, but this should be less of a problem unless you’re a fan of lossless tracks or are still holding onto your old OGG collection like a misty-eyed vinyl fanatic. The built-in media player is neat and simple, and playback can be controlled using the home screen pull-down notification bar when you’re not in the music app proper.
The lacking media support is one area where the Samsung Apps store’s limited app selection comes into play. Using another smartphone platform, you’d be able to download an app to add further codec support, or at least try a different player, but there are no alternatives currently available on Samsung Apps.
The camera app powering the Wave 723’s 5-megapixel snapper is equipped with 13 scene modes, a continuous shooting mode, panorama, macro and exposure compensation. It’ll focus on subjects around 10cm away or further, and there’s an increasingly-rare physical shutter button on the phone’s side.
Although the camera’s pleasant to use, the resulting photos are unspectacular. In anything less than perfect lighting, images are grainy and there’s plenty of purple fringing on-show. Performance is better than most Android phones available for around the same price though, and the autofocus is relatively quick and easy to use.
A bare-bones smartphone, the Samsung Wave 723’s biggest problem is a question of timing. It’s available for free on cheap contracts, but so are plenty of arguably more attractive budget Androids like the HTC Wildfire and Orange San Francisco, while the original and far superior Samsung Wave isn’t lagging far behind price-wise either.