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The Monte Slider has just 13MB of internal memory but, with a microSD slot nestled under its battery cover, it has the potential to take on the role of portable MP3 player. A couple of serious issues stop this prospect from being attractive though.
The Samsung Monte Slider uses a proprietary headphone jack, using the slot that doubles as a charging socket. A pair of above-average quality, if uncomfortable, buds that use the proprietary connector are supplied, but to use your own headphones you’ll have to buy a separate adaptor. And if you’re not looking to spend much more than £30 on your phone, extra expenditure is the last thing you want.
Problems also arise once you fire-up the built-in music player. You can’t browse through your music by album or artist, only as a complete list of songs or using playlists. These can be made on-the-fly, but it’s no replacement for a proper navigation system.
Moving tracks onto the Samsung Monte Slider isn’t graceful either. Bluetooth, web downloads, and transferring directly to the microSD card are all options, but there’s no bundled USB cable - although an option within the phone’s Settings menu suggests mass storage mode is an option, with the right cable equipped. Once again, an extra purchase is required.
With a shuffle feature included, the Monte Slider’s limitations shouldn’t hold back occasional casual listening, but for music fans the 3.5mm jack-equipped Sony Ericsson Spiro would be a better choice.
Critically appraising the Samsung Monte Slider’s 1.3-megapixel camera feels less worthwhile, but it dares us to with the proudly-emblazoned “1.3 MEGA” tag along its back. You’ll need Bluetooth to transfer files to your computer easily, but you’re not missing out on much if you don’t. Photos have a milky haze to them, lacking detail, and colours are washed out. For snapping the odd picture to use as your phone’s wallpaper the camera is fine, but it can’t cope with anything much more taxing.
Samsung must have made the Monte Slider knowing that these peripheral features would be ignored by many of the phone’s buyers - but like crisps and nuts in a public house, a phone just doesn’t seem right without a camera and the ability to play MP3s these days. If you’re looking at the Monte Slider as nothing more than a simple, robust calling and texting machine, it’s great value. If you want your phone to double as an MP3 player, or a casual camera to make photos to show off to your Facebook friends, look elsewhere.
Sturdier than its price tag deserves, the Samsung Monte is a quality ultra-budget device for those who just want a calling and texting machine to treat without much care. With a proprietary headphone jack, low-resolution screen, and abysmal camera, don’t go expecting it to shine in any other capacity though.
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