Samsung S5230 Star review: Hot starlet
Connectivity is a letdown
The Samsung S5230 is usable worldwide with quad-band GSM support; however, it lacks 3G support so you'll have to stick to EDGE as there's no Wi-Fi on board either.
At least Bluetooth is present and it is complemented by A2DP support.
Unlike the majority of the new Samsung devices which sport a microUSB port, the Star comes with the company proprietary port. You can set up the phone to connect in mass storage mode or PC suite mode (or Media player) or to prompt each time it's paired with a computer.
In mass storage mode it gives access to the memory card but not to the internal memory and you cannot use the phone for calls or data in this mode. Annoyingly, it would often be impossible to access the memory card on the S5230 for a couple of minutes after connecting in mass storage mode.
Remarkable web browser
The Samsung S5230 Star, like the Samsung S8000 Jet, features the new WebKit-based Dolfin web browser, which is an application developed in-house. With full Flash support and the new one-finger zooming algorithm it is one of the finest web browsers we have seen so far, especially on a feature phone.
The new web browser allows up to 5 pages to be open at the same time. Multiple downloads in the background are also supported and there is also a built-in AdBlocker.
The one-finger zooming works like a charm too. Of course you can also rely on double tapping a block of text or an image and the handset will automatically zoom in to it. Another double tap and you are back to the previous zoom level.
In addition to Flash and Java support, the new web browser also offers kinetic scrolling and fullscreen view mode.
You can scroll by simply sweeping a finger across the screen. The actual scrolling is very sluggish and is perhaps the only downside to browsing if you don't include the lack of tabbed browsing.
YouTube videos can also be watched using the dedicated widget which redirects you to m.youtube.com.
Unfortunately, the Star doesn't come with Wi-Fi support so if you don't have an unlimited data plan, be prepared for some hefty bills.
Organizer and apps
The Samsung S5230 Star has a number of useful time-management applications.
For starters, the calendar offers three views - daily, weekly and monthly. You can choose which calendar view should be default and you can pick the starting day of the week - the options are Monday or Sunday. However, with the Samsung S5230 there is only a single type of event available in the calendar. You can set the starting date and time of the event and set an alarm to act as a reminder.
The alarm is quite customizable. You can set up to 10 alarms, each with the following configurable options - custom ringtone, volume, repetition days and name.
The calculator of the Samsung S5230 is very basic. Among the other organizer offerings are a voice recorder, a world time application and a unit converter. The voice recorder limit is set to 60 minutes. A countdown timer and a stopwatch also come in useful.
There are also to-do and memo applications for jotting down tasks and notes. You can also use the memo widget to place a memo on the homescreen where you're unlikely to forget it. The widget and the application are separate so don't expect your memos to automatically pop up on screen. Oh, and there's a to-do widget as well.