Samsung S5620 Monte review: Well connected
Social networking apps and widgets, but no phonebook integration
The S5620 Monte comes with social integration in the shape of four neat homescreen widgets - MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and Bebo, and MySpace and Facebook get dedicated apps as well.
The four widgets have similar interface - a big update button at the top, a text field for your current mood/status message and some buttons at the bottom.
In the MySpace widget, the available options include checking your messages, getting into chat and adding friends.
The Facebook widget offers checking your messages, adding new friends and its last option is poking a friend.
Finally, the Twitter widget has only two virtual keys - friends and followers. The Settings button is available everywhere offering options for auto-refresh and adding a photo.
As you see, the widgets aren't exactly full of features, but the basics are covered. For more features, MySpace and Facebook have dedicated apps you can use.
The Facebook app shows your newsfeed, the wall and photos for you and your friends, messages, notifications and requests – basically it supports it all. It can compose new messages too and upload photos.
Unlike the Samsung Lindy, the widgets can use Internet over Wi-Fi, so you don’t need to worry about extra data charges. The MySpace and Facebook apps refuse to work in offline mode for some reason, while the widgets don’t have such requirements.
The Communities application gets you links to websites such as Facebook, YouTube, Picasa, Flickr, Photobucket and more where you can upload photos and videos. You can also preset your login details so you don't have to enter them each time. You can set it up to automatically resize photos and even schedule updates.
That pretty much covers what Samsung have been doing in the social networking department. Unfortunately, there's no phonebook integration such as in the HTC Sense UI on the Desire and the HD2 or the MOTOBLUR UI on the Motorola BACKFLIP.
Still, the controls available on the Samsung Monte allow you to chat, update your status, post tweets, upload photos and read your friends' new posts.
Organizer and apps
The Samsung S5620 Monte 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. You can set two types of events – Schedule and Anniversary – and you can set the starting date 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 S5620 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.
The S5620 Monte comes with a Dictionary app, which gives the definition of English words in English and can save words in the “My Vocabulary” list. It’s a great tool for non-native speakers.
The Samsung S5620 Monte comes with an office document viewer that supports Word, Excel, PowerPoint and PDF files. It's an application developed by Access and is one of the nicest additions to the software package. It supports Office 2007 files and one finger zooming.
The document viewer is quick enough when opening files and panning is quite fast. However when we tried to open our PowerPoint test file, the phone spit out an error saying that there’s not enough memory and the file may be truncated.