If there's one tech sector that's as cutthroat as pirates waging war over spoils during history's darker ages, it's the smartphone industry.
To the most casual observer, smartphones may all look the same. But to most of us technophiles, we know that's not the case.
It's an arms race, an ongoing game of one-upmanship, which Techie.com.ph calls the "Battle of the Operating Systems and Apps."
Samsung though isn't ready to wave the white flag just yet, with its new Samsung Wave 723.
It's the Korean phonemaker's latest volley into the battlefield, and the phone's proprietary bada OS does have the oomph to make it a serious challenger. We take a look at its robust set of features, and come out impressed.
Bada bing bada boom
We like flash and style in our smartphone's OS, but the most important thing still is overall functionality. And that's where Samsung's bada really shines.
The OS is very smooth, and dare we say, rivals the iPhone OS when it comes to ease of use. It might not be as visually pleasing as say, a Windows 7 phone, but rarely does the bada encounter hitches.
It is also very, very accomodating to those who need immediate access to their apps. Four default home screens are available for the Wave 723 user, which can be modified with handy widgets, such as favorite contacts, email, and bookmarked websites. In the phone's menu, expect all the shortcuts you'd need for daily use such as email and messaging functions, Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube shortcuts, as well as miscellaneous apps like FM radio, memo pads, and games.
The phone doesn't come loaded with widgets and apps though, so you'll have to download them at the Samsung Apps website. Which brings us to a lowlight for the phone's OS. There just aren't enough of them Samsung Apps yet. Compared to the Mt.Everest that are iPhone and Android apps, Samsung Apps barely registers as a hill. Only time will tell whether Samsung Apps will grow.
The one thing we've always hated about smartphones is that some of them could get bulky. Our litmus test has always been, if it's comfortable to put in your jeans' front pocket, then it's too big. And the Wave 723 is one of the few that has passed.
Tipping the scales at just 99.5 grams, and with an extremely slender profile, the phone trumps most other competitors in pocketability. Think of it as a smartphone who went on an all-lettuce diet. If there's one negative thing though that the reduced size brings about, it's that the smaller screen makes it a little more tedious to read documents and browse the Internet. It's not too bad though because even if it's small, the 3.2" capacitive touchscreen performance is topnotch.
The exterior features a standard smartphone layout: Samsung logo front and center at the top, 3 control buttons beneath the display with the middle button used for Menu access. Its color profile is standard Samsung as well with its sleek metallic silver/grey finish.On the side you'll find the power button, camera-shutter release, volume controls, USB port, and 3.5mm jack. On the back are the camera lens, internal flash, and a set of speakers that prove powerful enough when listening to music or watching a movie on the phone.
The Samsung Wave 723 is a 3G phone with Bluetooth 2.0, USB 2.0, 802.11b/g/n functionality, and boasts 100 MB of internal memory (expandable up to 16GB via microSD). It aslo features a 5-megapixel camera and lasts around 2 days on a full charge with moderate use. At 11,950 pesos, we'd recommend it to those who want a sleek-looking phone with solid overall smartphone functionality whose only shortcomings are a lack of apps, and a screen size that some may have a hard time reading documents on.