Samsung S5620 Monte review: Well connected

GSMArena team, 14 May 2010.
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Tags: Samsung, Touch UI

Unboxing the Samsung Monte

The Samsung S5620 Monte comes with the three essential items – a compact charger, a data cable and a one-piece 3.5mm headset. In the box, you’ll find manuals and software too, of course.

The Monte has just over 200MB of internal memory, which isn’t really enough if you’d want to put your music collection in there.

A microSD card will easily expand the storage capacity but you’d need to get your own – the Monte doesn’t have one bundled in the package.

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What’s in the box

Samsung S5620 Monte 360-degree spin

The Samsung S5620 Monte measures 108.8 x 53.7 x 12.4mm and weighs in at only 92 grams. This makes it just a tad bulkier than the Samsung S8000 Jet but it sits well in the hand thanks to the curved back. It’s easily pocketable and all the controls are comfortable to use.

Design and construction

As we already mentioned, the Samsung S5620 Monte underwent a redesign since the last time we saw it. And those changes have caused some problems.

Check out a couple of old photos from the preview – the orange and grey combo and angular design elements did give the Monte an edgy and futuristic feel.

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The old design

And here is how the Monte looks now – more grown up with its monochrome exterior. The black glossy plastic brings the phone around back to a more classic Samsung look.

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The new design

But here’s the thing – we liked the edgy look. Suit-and-tie people can look elsewhere for a phone that matches their cufflinks. And let’s face it, the glossy black may be the standard but it’s getting repetitive.

Fingerprints are another unfortunate effect of the glossy plastic. Every finger to have touched the S5620 Monte is clearly and horribly visible.

Okay, we’re coming off a bit too negative – the S5620 Monte isn’t the most attractive Samsung touchphone but it beats the S5230 Star. It’s just that the orange accents made the phone much sharper.

That’s enough fashion advice from geeks though. Let’s get back to what we know – hardware.

The display is 3 inches in diagonal, which puts it on par with the competition in this price segment, and the resolution is 240 x 400 (WVGA) – pretty standard but on the low-end for this screen size.

The display uses capacitive technology and it’s very sensitive, responding to even a very light touch. Sunlight legibility is a letdown – finding a proper angle to use the highly reflective display is a tough job.

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The display • The video call camera

The video-call camera is above the screen, left of the speaker grill. There is no proximity or ambient light sensor. The screen brightness must be adjusted manually and during a call the display gets locked by default unless you unlock it with the lock key.

There are three hardware buttons below the display - Call and End keys obviously and the center button. The center button brings up the main menu or toggles between the active app (if there is one) and the main menu.

The keys are flat, almost level with the display and not very big, but they’re comfortable enough to use. The mic pinhole is located further down below the keys.

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The buttons on the front are large and easy to hit

Looking at the sides of the phone, on the left you’ll find the volume rocker and on the right – the hardware Lock (or Hold) key and the shutter key. The microSD card slot is also on the right, covered by a plastic flap.

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The volume rocker on the left • Hold and shutter keys on the right

The top of the Monte has another flap which covers the microUSB port and next to it is the 3.5mm audio jack. The phone charges off the microUSB port. The bottom is bare.

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The microUSB and audio jack are on top • the bottom side

The back of the Samsung S5620 Monte holds the usual: camera lens, loudspeaker and the Samsung logo.

The camera is a 3MP unit and its round frame protrudes from the back. This makes the phone wobbly on a level surface and exposes the camera to quite a few scratching opportunities.

There’s a slight bulge just above the loudspeaker grill, which keeps it from getting muffled.

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The camera is scratch-prone

Under the back cover you'll find a 1000 mAh battery and the SIM compartment. It is on the left side of the device and is level with the shutter key on the opposite end.

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Under the back cover

The Samsung S5620 Monte has a curved back which makes it comfortable to hold in hand and the weight of only 92 grams makes it surprisingly light for its size. The four corners of the screen are easily reachable and so are the hardware buttons.

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Samsung S5620 in the hand • Size comparison Samsung S5620 vs. Samsung BlueEarth vs. iPhone

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