Samsung S5620 Monte preview: First look

GSMArena team, 09 February 2010.
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Gallery

The gallery is an inherent part of the S5620 Monte file manager and launching it is as simple as opening any folder that contains images.

Once you open a picture to view, you can sweep you fingers across the screen to see the next image without having to return to the image list. Zooming is fast and easy thanks to the one finger zoom, while panning is lag-free as well.

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Viewing a single image

The gallery also has a slideshow function and an accelerometer-based browsing feature. It lets you browse pictures in fullscreen landscape mode by simply tilting your phone on its side (plus, of course, you get automatic rotation of the photos by changing the device orientation).

Music player

Along with the standard 3.5 mm audio jack and the microSD card slot, the S5620 music functionality is complemented by the great music player usually found on Samsung devices.

The album art takes the entire top half of the music player with the basic controls underneath it.

Tapping on the album art overlays additional controls - the progress indicator, a button to change the repeat mode, a shuffle button and an equalizer preset button.

The music player allows filtering tracks by author, album, and genre. Automatic playlists (recently added, most played etc.) are also generated and can subsequently be used as filters. If that doesn't seem enough, you can create your own custom playlists.

The music player can naturally be minimized to play in the background.

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The music player is up to scratch

The S5620 Monte equalizer offers the standard presets like pop, jazz, classic as well as the sound enhancing widening, dynamic and surround effects. The DNSe sound enhancing technology offers Externalisation, Music clarity, Bass enhancement, Megabass, Wide and Concert hall presets for an even better sonic experience.

The Find music service is a tap away and can be used to identify music playing from somewhere else, e.g. at the cafe', or it can sample music playing on the radio and bring up the song info.

Radio

The Samsung S5620 Monte features an FM radio with RDS. The app itself got a facelift too and looks much better now.

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The FM radio application

There's an option to record radio broadcasts as well, which can be a cheapo way to get individual tracks or whole song sets off the radio.

FM broadcast records are in the MP3 format, 192Kbps 32KHz for High quality (that results in about a megabyte for each recorded minute). You can also pause the recording if you want to skip the commercials for example.

The radio app is in the main menu but the Radio widget on the home screen gives you more immediate access. Tapping on it brings up the radio or you can just use the widget's controls to start/stop the radio or change the station. It can only skip between saved stations though, and if you want to search you'll have to do it in the actual app.

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The radio and player widgets

Speaking of stations, you can save stations but they are labeled just by their frequency and you can't rename them. There's a separate list for your favorite stations though.

Bare-bone 3MP snapper

The Samsung S5620 Monte is equipped with a 3 megapixel fixed-focus camera that can take photos with a maximum resolution of 2048x1536 pixels. The hardware is pretty bare-bones - all you get is the camera, no flash or lens protection, nothing besides the shutter key.

It's good that the camera still has a number of nice built-in features like smile shot, preset scenes, on-screen guidelines, geotagging and panorama mode. Geo-tagging is one of the features that puts the S5620 ahead of other similarly priced touch phones.

The camera interface is nicely touch-optimized - it's almost the same interface as on the Samsung Jet.

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The camera user interface

For a 3MP snapper, the camera on the Samsung S5620 is actually pretty good. Noise levels are low but the traces of the noise reduction algorithm are visible in the smudged details.

There is some oversharpening, but nothing too dramatic. At least photos usually turn out with pleasing colors. Here are several photo samples, so you can judge for yourself.

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Camera samples

The Samsung S5620 Monte offers video recording too, but it's nothing to get excited about - it can only manage QVGA at 15fps. Still, we wouldn’t use it for anything other than MMS. Now here's a sample if you want to check it out.

S5560 video sample, QVGA@15fps

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