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Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the Samsung S5620 Monte

With a little bit of everything, the Samsung S5620 Monte poses as a feature phone bordering a smart phone. It can fill most of a modern user's needs for messaging, making calls, web browsing, filing, chatting, tweeting, and the multimedia trio of taking photos, videos and musical musts. Although the quality of each function varies, it remains to be a modest multi-tasking phone  at a moderate price.

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

The newer released version of the Samsung S5620 Monte is changed to a shiny black plastic housing with a flat silver metallic accent, from the previously more edgy black against an orange highlight. The new housing is a fingerprint magnet, but admittedly more classy.

The front panel features the 3" screen with capacitive technology, and it pleasantly responds well to very light touches. Unfortunately, like many touchscreens, it's got a problem with sunlight legibility. The Samsung S5620 Monte is comfortably sized for a unit with dimensions of 108.8 x 53.7 x 12.4mm. It weighs pretty light at 92grams. Above the screen is the video-call camera, next to the speaker grill. Below the screen are three hardware keys: Call, End, Menu and the mic pinhole.

On the left side of the phone, the volume dial can be found. On the right panel, the lock key, shutter key and the microSD card slot are located underneath a plastic strip cover.

The top part has the 3.5mm audio jack and the microUSB port with a flap cover. The phone can be charged though a PC via the miroUSB port. There are no features on the bottom panel.

The glossy back side has an uneven surface. Interrupted by a protrusion bordering the 3MP camera lens, the back panel also has the loudspeaker function. Upon removing the back cover, the 1000 mAh battery and SIM compartment can be found.

Features (/10)

Samsung S5620 Monte runs on TouchWiz 2.0 Plus. It's user-friendly, even to new touchphone owners. The unit supports Java and apps installations. The homescreens are limited to 3, but  many widgets can be pulled, or disposed of, from the widget tray. The usual widgets like clock, image gallery or radio players are included, as well as other pointless add-ons. Part of the organizer apps are the calculator, calendar, stop-watch, countdown, memo and dictionary.

The document viewer of the Monte supports Word, Excel, PDF, and PowerPoint files.

The Monte has a special Smart Unlock feature, which makes use of letters to unlock the phone. The Task Manager has been reduced to popping up only when the unit runs out of memory, and prompts to dismiss an application to proceed...

The dialer is common sense. It's a breeze to use. Users can opt to go virtual and tap buttons on screen like Phonebook, Call, Back, etc; or use the hardware keys to make calls. Monte supports Smart dialing, and the Photo Contacts widget is amusing for those who have spare time to play with the interface and sort through 3D backdrops while browsing. The Phone log works well. It tracks call history, call duration, message sent, among others. The phonebook carries up to 200 contacts. Each contact profile displays the name, multiple numbers, multiple email addresses, URLs, notes; individual ringtones assigned for call and SMS. Monte uses a virtual keypad. The accelerometer feature automatically turns the keypad in landscape mode when the phone is rotated. No QWERTY option for typing or creating SMS, which would be inconvenient if typing a long email.

The web browser utilizes the WebKit-based Dolfin, which is a pleasure to use. It perfectly follows the one-tap zooming, and double-tap, for specific zooming, and processes and loads Flash sites easily.

The 3MP camera has no flash, is fixed-focused, with no lens cover. The photo quality is a little on the saturated side, but minimal grain. The video recording only manages QVGA up to 15fps.

A great music player accompanies the Monte. With its 3.5mm audio jack, playing your favorite tune is granted at anytime. Music can be browsed by album, genre, author, play history.

An interesting attribute of the phone is that it can record from the Radio. No need to download music if you happen to catch your song playing on, just hit record and save it in Mp3 format.

Basic video player functions are intact. MP4 videos are supported. Social networking lords Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and Bebo all get their respective widgets, with MySpace and Facebook with their own apps. Unfortunately, the phonebook cannot be integrated. Though, chatting, messaging, photo/video uploads, tweet, and profile updates are onboard. 

Also, the Samsung Monte  has pre-installed the Palringo instant messenger, which can accommodate ICQ, AIM, MSN, and G-Talk chat sessions.

Connectivity (/10)

Worldwide connectivity is a plus for the Monte. It has quad-band GSM and 3G support. WiFi is the best option for data transfers, but Bluetooth is also onboard with A2DP.

Performance (/10)

New touchphone users will easily be attuned with Monte’s interface. The Samsung phone is excellent with calls. No dropped calls, bad reception or weak signal detected. Audio quality is also up to par. No deafening feedbacks or frequencies. One of its advantageous features, the Smart Unlock guarantees security of contacts and other applications. Browsing is a pleasure on its WebKit-based Dolfin but lack of QWERTY turns out to be certainly inconvenient when typing long messages or emails. However, credit should be granted to features like one-tap zooming, double-tap for specific zooming and ability to load Flash based sites. The performance of camera is disappointing as the pictures turn out to be saturated. Samsung Monte positively scores in its music department with a great music player and a radio that is able to record songs.

Value for Money (/10)

Whatever features taken off the Monte were taken off its price. Still, the Monte packs more than other phones in the same price range. It may be geared more for a user who is inclined with documents, web surfing, and data transfers. It will also suit well  social networkers, more than with amateur photographers.

 

Pros

  • Sleek and professional design
  • Supports Flash sites
  • Social Network-friendly
  • WiFi
  • Good call/signal reception
  • Document viewer

Cons

  • No virtual QWERTY
  • Low 2MP camera
  • No pre-installed games

Price

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New and unlocked items only

Opinions

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Rating

Style: 7.7
154
Technology: 7.5
150
Efficiency: 7.6
151

Total votes: 118 | Hits: 24487

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