The M5650 Lindy offers three different homescreen panes that you can alternate by sideways sweeps. The current selection is indicated by three bars at the top of the screen. But that's nothing new, since almost every TouchWiz handset offers that. In fact, the whole UI is the same as the youthful S3650 Corby.
You can fill up each of those homescreen panes with as many widgets as you like. The different wallpapers are actually three parts of a single panoramic desktop, just like on the Samsung S8000 Jet.
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.
Traditionally, all the TouchWiz widgets are stored in a tray running down the side of the screen, which you can pull in and out as needed using the small arrow in the lower left corner (or alternatively, by tapping on a blank space on the screen).
You can pick which widgets to display by simply dragging them onto the display and placing them where you want. If any need to be removed, you simply drag them back to the tray.
The TouchWiz homescreen • the main menu
The homescreen and the new icon graphics aside, the rest of the M5650 Lindy interface is typical Samsung (or at least the latest revision seen on the Samsung Jet). You have a tab at the bottom of the display which holds the three context keys with varying functionality based on the currently active menu. There are also some nice animations and transition effects throughout the interface.
The main menu displays as a 3 x 4 grid of icons, while sub-menus appear as lists. The main menu itself, as on the Samsung S3650 Corby, stretches over three different screens and is sweep-scrollable sideways. The reason that so much more space was needed is the fact that almost all apps are now brought to the main menu, arranged in a flat iPhone-like structure. You will only need to dig deeper for the settings but if those were also brought to the fore, the main menu would most certainly have become a huge mess.
Much like on the Samsung Jet, you can freely rearrange the items in te main menu to suite your needs.
The Samsung M5650 Lindy also supports multitasking, which means that Java applications can be minimized to run in the background. However, there is no hardware key to allow you to switch between the apps, which certainly makes multitasking much less of a treat.
Samsung have also enabled the M5650 Lindy with the Smart unlock feature, previously known as Gesture lock. Smart unlock allows users to simultaneously unlock the phone and open a menu item, application - even dial a contact - just by drawing a letter on the unlock screen.
Each letter from A to Z can be set as a gesture by the user to perform the various actions in question. For instance, you can use it to start apps like the music player, messaging menu, the web browser, Java apps or the dialing keypad.
The M5650 Lindy sports the Corby's cute little theme designed especially for this handset's young audience, part of the whole dynamic Cartoon UI thing that was much advertised by Samsung.
The phonebook of the Samsung M5650 Lindy has it all. Up to 2000 contacts can be stored with multiple fields. It can display the names on the SIM card, the phone memory or both at once. Searching is done by gradual typing of the desired contact's name.
Quite a number of different detail fields are available for each contact. You can store up to 5 numbers, 4 email addresses, URLs and so on. Each contact can also be assigned a specific ringtone and picture, as well as a note. You can even set a video as "caller's ID".
The Samsung M5650 Lindy 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 back. When you type a number or look it up in the contact list, by tapping More you can access options like voice call, video call, send message or add to phonebook. Of course you have the hardware call buttons too.
Making a call • the virtual keypad
Unfortunately the handset has no smart dialing, which could have saved the users some digging in the phonebook.
While the dialer itself is not very interesting, there's a flashier way to dial. The Photo Contacts are shown as a stack of pictures. Tapping on a photo brings up a menu with options to start a voice call or send a message. The Photo Contacts have changed since the last implementation of the TouchWiz UI in the Jet and they now automatically store picture links to the most used contacts, just like in the Corby. The option to tag people's faces is no longer available. The feature makes more sense now as it's fully automatic and as long as you have assigned images to your contacts, you'll be alright.
As for loudspeaker performance, the M5650 Lindy 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 test||Voice, dB||Ringing ||Overall score|
|Apple iPhone 3G||66.1||62.1||71.7|
|Samsung S8300 UltraTOUCH||70.1||66.7||75.8||Good|
|Nokia 5530 XpressMusic||70.6||69.7||75.7||Good|
|Samsung M5650 Lindy||73.1||69.1||77.8||Very Good|
|Samsung S3650 Corby||75.7||72.0||77.1||Very Good|
|LG KP500 Cookie||78.1||75.7||82.7||Excellent|
|Samsung S5230 Star||77.1||75.7||82.0||Excellent|
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