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April 21, 2010

Samsung Monte S5620 Review

We’ve hard had some face-time with the Samsung Monte (S5620) and I thought it’s a nice little touchscreen phone. It’s got most features of high-end phones without the expensive price tag.

The Samsung S5620 isn’t really a smartphone in itself but the TouchWiz 2.0 UI does a good job with providing a responsive and easy-to-use interface.

The design is a little funky with all that color combination and accents but they actually blended well. The all-plastic body has a matte finish so you need not have to worry about smudges and finger-prints except on the screen itself.

It’s got a 3-inch screen with a resolution of 240×400 pixels — not really that large a real-estate but enough for a candy-bar form factor. The capacitive touch screen is not very bright but crisp and responsive enough for easy navigation. The slightly small screen real estate makes it harder to compose SMS but it’s doable (takes some time to practice). Likewise, since the TouchWiz UI is heavily widget-based, the screen gets too crowded with overlapping widgets really fast.

The Samsung Monte was created to target users who need all the connectivity options possible so you’ve got WiFi 802.11 b/g and 3G here. Bluetooth and GPS are also present as well as an FM Radio. Samsung even included apps like Facebook, Twitter and MySpace into the handset so you can start connecting with your social networks out of the box.

The built-in browser is decent but not very capable — it’s a bit slow as well but tolerable considering the unit does not sport as fast chip.

I didn’t bother including sample photos and videos of the 3MP camera because they’re not really that good anyway. They’re usable but not really the strongest features of the phone.

(Note: I had to cut short my regular use of the phone once I discovered that my text messages goes out blank when sent to others. The SMS arrives but the recipient gets an empty message. The issue is isolated to this unit alone though.)

I’d put the Samsung Monte S5620 into that category just before the smartphone — full of features but does not burn a hole in the pocket. With a suggested retail price of Php11,000 (already selling close to Php10k in stores), it’s a worthwhile option. However, the Android-powered Samsung Spica could spoil the party since it’s pretty close in terms of pricing.

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41 Responses to “Samsung Monte S5620 Review”

  1. Aja says:

    that’s new. i meant the watermarks used.

    touchwiz’s UI resembles S60v.5

  2. Jon
    Twitter: rand0m_insanity
    says:

    Touchwiz isn’t really that finger-friendly. It would probably perform a little better if the screen were capacitive. Icons and widgets are either too small that it makes it difficult to use, or too big that it takes considerable amount of space. I think Samsung should consider redesigning the UI.

    Touch phones are sprouting like mushrooms lately, but I’d still prefer a hardware keyboard than a virtual one. Best if it has both a touch screen and a hardware keyboard.

    I do agree with you sir Abe, I’d rather go with Spica because of the better specs and OS, not to mention it is very affordable too.

  3. yuga says:

    @Jon – the Monte actually has a capacitive screen

  4. CarloBlogg Online 3.0
    Twitter: carloblogg
    says:

    wow, at 11k? the price is pretty attractive :D

  5. mcast
    Twitter: MarionCast
    says:

    The lack of a qwerty keypad input really killed this phone for me. Would’ve been a nice phone. TouchWiz 2.0 Plus has some new features like multitasking and a menu that is customizable.

    I got the Marvel instead, which is a bit more expensive and has a resistive screen. It has a better camera (autofocus, with flash), but only TouchWiz 2.0 – no multitasking. For a resistive screen though the Marvel is pretty good and sensitive, compared to its Nokia counterparts (5530, 5800). Would’ve gotten the Galaxy Spica but my budget didn’t have room for the higher price… I’d love to see a review of the Samsung Galaxy Spica i5700.

  6. Rommel A. says:

    Thanks for the review of the phone that I bought, you just have to dig in the forums and blogs to research how to maximize the full features of Monte.. Downloaded the Opera Mini browser app and it has a qwerty pad (for browsing only), it suits well with the phone. Spica is in another league you cant compare it with Monte.

  7. markmarcelo0210 says:

    This is a nice review! I would probably buy this in the near future. I’ve used a Samsung Star before but the lack of 3G was pretty disappointing. With all the features the Samsung Monte and its friendly price tag. its definitely a phone for me. Before this phone arrived I am looking for a phone with at least 3 inches, has 3G or Wi-Fi and doesn’t have a fingerprint prone body. Most of Samsung’s line-up with below 10k pricetag only has 2.8 inch screen which is really small like Samsung Preston and Corby. Now its time to go back to Samsung phones. =)

  8. jan says:

    add a couple of bucks and get the spica instead. touchwiz is pretty dead in terms of installable applications/widgets and customizability, imho.

  9. mark says:

    the marvel has laggy interface and boring… the samsung online tech told us that the samsung monte future update will include the virtual qwerty.. but for now is it not available…. i have the monte and the marvel… the marvel has a crapy voice in terms of phone call im using a sun sim. the monte is smooth interms of phone call.. and especially the speed of internet of the monte without the wifi using onli hsdpa is blazing fast compare to the marvel…. the only advantage of the marvel is the camera no debate… i think the responsiveness of the capacitive touchscreen of the monte the virtual qwerty of the marvel is not an advantage… monte is much mall smaller and lightweight…

  10. Info Gadget says:

    Hi,
    its really a nice phone. superb styling, advanced 3G Wifi support. good looking.
    missing flash in camera. i just luv it

  11. The review is very good…it is helpful to me …i want to buy a mobile phone recently…The produces of Samsung is cost performance….

  12. windz says:

    how to activate gprs,3g,mms???

  13. gino says:

    How to configure yahoo mail settings? thanks!

  14. rony says:

    I agree with mark the marvel and corby , nokia 5800 is laggy… ang kagandahan d2 para syang iphone. affordable iphone sya un pinaka perfect na capacitive screen nang samsung

  15. gino says:

    How can the task manager for samsung monte be viewed? I see on demo videos about this phone that it does have a task manager but I can’t find how..thanks!

  16. Wolfnet says:

    Hey, what operating system runs on this? s5620 Firmware number plzz :D thx

  17. Ian
    Twitter: ianvjimperial
    says:

    @gino I think you have to press the middle button for 2 or 3 seconds for the task manager to appear. That’s how it works in corby pro.

  18. gino says:

    I tried to press but nothing happened no task maanager appeared

  19. Ian
    Twitter: ianvjimperial
    says:

    I tried it too on my boyfriend’s monte. Yep no task manager appeared. I asked Samsung people over at Glorietta. They said it doesn’t have a task manager but it can multitask. It’s just weird because I’ve seen reviews where they showed monte’s task manager. weird.

  20. gino says:

    But i remember it once the task manager appeared when the phone dialog box appeared that it has no more resources

  21. Ian
    Twitter: ianvjimperial
    says:

    Oh the task manager only appears when your phone is on low memory :) It’s hidden to the user.

  22. suzzy says:

    just bought a brandnew pearl white samsung monte yesterday for only 8500, the black one costs only 8000…
    phone works great!…=)

  23. Ian
    Twitter: ianvjimperial
    says:

    @suzzy where did you buy yours?

  24. suzzy says:

    sa greenhills..actually iba-iba cla ng price..some costs 10k, pero marami 8.5k, black nga lang available..you just have to be patient and masipag sa paghahanap ng best offer..initial offer sakin sa white 10k,kinulit ko lang c ate..=)
    one year warranty with NTC logo sa likod..=)

  25. gino says:

    my monte is almost a month old, and there are no problems that i have encoutered.. good phone and its wifi capability is what i like the most hehe

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Abe is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of YugaTech. You Can follow him on Twitter @abeolandres.

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