Samsung S5620 Monte review: Well connected

GSMArena team, 14 May 2010.
Pages: «12345678»

Tags: Samsung, Touch UI

User interface goes TouchWiz 2.0 Plus

Samsung may have a new favorite amongst the OSes but the TouchWiz feature phones have not been forgotten. In fact, Bada and TouchWiz share a lot of DNA, so we’re sure to see many similarities.

The Samsung S5620 Monte runs TouchWiz 2.0 Plus – it’s much like the older TouchWiz interfaces but with many Bada touches to it. The Plus moniker notes the several updates the UI got since the initial release of version 2.0.

Most of the TouchWiz 2.0 Plus will feel comfortably familiar to old Samsung users, but it’s intuitive enough to welcome new users too.

The Bada OS has the obvious advantage of being able to run third party apps, but the Samsung S5620 Monte comes with a rich app package and there is of course support for Java, so you can install games and even apps.

The TouchWiz homescreen is widget-based and you can put as many of them as you can fit – but you only get three homescreens and you can’t add more (unlike under Bada OS).

Tapping the Widget button lets you pull out more widgets (or put some away). The tray with widgets is at the bottom but works the same way as it did before. On the same line as the button are the three circled numbers, which indicate the currently active homescreen pane.

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The TouchWiz UI homescreen

In case some of you have missed it, widgets are nifty mini-apps that reside on your home screen. Some of them seem to have more purpose, such as the calendar and world clock, image gallery or the mp3/radio players, while others range from fun to pointless.

Using More Widgets you can download new ones – unfortunately there are currently only 14 widgets available.

The main menu stretches over several different screens (up to ten), which are sweep-scrollable sideways. All apps (aside from the installed Java apps) are accessible from this menu, so you won’t have to dig through several levels of submenus frequently.

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The main menu has a flat iPhone-like structure

A strange omission from the Samsung S5620 Monte is the lack of proper Task management. The phone can still multitask, but switching between apps is impossible. This unfortunately means that you have to go back to the shortcut for the app to switch back to it.

When minimizing Java apps you can choose to suspend the app (which stops it from working until you get back to it), or you can let it work in the background (which may incur data charges).

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Task can run in the background or they can be paused until you get back to them

The Task manager is not completely gone – but it only shows up when the phone runs out of memory and needs you to close an app before you continue.

The S5620 Monte features the well-known Smart unlock feature, which uses letters to unlock the phone and even start an application automatically after the unlock.

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The smart unlock is one of the best things about the S5620 Monte

The Etiquette pause feature is also present – that’s just another name for “turn to mute”.

The Samsung S5620 Monte with its TouchWiz interface is mostly hang-free but there are occasional lags in the image gallery when browsing 3MP images and in the browser with heavy pages.

Also, a relatively common problem we encountered was the “Out of memory” error. It happened on heavy web pages (especially when Flash was involved) and when we tried opening our test PowerPoint file.

Telephony

The Samsung S5620 Monte is excellent at its main job - making calls - we experienced no reception or voice quality drops for the time of our review.

There's not much to say about the dialer. You dial just like you would on any touch phone. There are three virtual buttons - phonebook, more and backspace. Of course you have the hardware call buttons too.

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Making a call • the virtual keypad

Samsung S5620 Monte supports smart dialing – type in the first few digits of the number and a suggested contact will pop up. To search by gradual typing of names, you can use the phonebook.

The Photo Contacts widget is a fun way to browse your favorite contacts – it uses a fake 3D environment and shows up to 8 contact pictures in an arc. ou can scroll them up and down and dial the one you want. It's a gimmicky interface, and we don’t think it will be practical in everyday use.

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The photo contacts

The S5620 Monte also comes with a pretty extensive Log application, which tracks anything from calls, data traffic (mobile Internet only, Wi-Fi traffic is not included), messages sent, call durations and so on.

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The Logs app keeps extensive records

As for loudspeaker performance, the S5620 Monte scored a very good mark. Here it is alongside some of the other devices we have tested. You can find more details about the test itself as well as the full list of tested devices here.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Sony Ericsson Vivaz64.8 59.869.1Below Average
Samsung I5700 Galaxy Spica66.6 62.175.7Average
iPhone 3GS69.569.571.7Good
Samsung M5620 Lindy73.169.177.8Very Good
Samsung S5620 Monte75.7 69.775.7Very Good
LG GD510 Pop76.376.284.1Excellent
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