Following the hugely popular original Samsung Monte, the Slider is a budget phone that attempts to include social-networking extras. In essence the Slider is an even more stripped-down version of the original Monte, with a keyboard attached. It has a 2-inch non-touchscreen, a 1.3-megapixel camera and a bunch of apps pre-installed.
The Slider is already available for purchase now and can be picked up for as little as £40.
Covering the basics
The Slider is an incredibly basic, low-tech phone, but this isn't necessarily a bad thing. When it comes to basic services you expect from a mobile phone -- text messaging, making telephone calls -- the unit is good value.
While the screen is quite low resolution, it's more than clear enough for reading texts or navigating the phone's menus. Unlike the previous Monte, the Slider doesn't have customisable widgets. Despite this, the pre-programmed menu system is very good. The icons are all clearly labelled and the inclusion of a physical keypad means you're never unsure of which button does what. In short, the interface is so user-friendly even a slightly slow chimpanzee could figure out how to use it.
The phone's chassis is a shiny affair. It's made of fairly solid polished plastic, which while feeling a little on the cheap side, isn't offensively naff. Despite being fairly light, weighing in at about 90g, it does feel like it could take a few bumps and accidental drops.
The Slider's 1.3-megapixel camera is also decent. While the images were nowhere near the quality of a dedicated digital camera or a higher-end phone, they were clear and not overly pixellated.
Don't count on the extras
While the Slider is solid at the basics, its extras aren't quite so impressive. On top of its basic function as a phone, the Slider tries to include a music player and several social-networking apps.
The music player's interface is archaic and unlike the rest of the phone's menus, it's unintuitive. Changing artists or albums is a slow and often laborious process. In addition, while the sound is okay, the Slider doesn't have a standard headphone input. If you want to listen to music you have to use Samsung's earphones.
While this isn't disastrous, it does make it inconvenient if you ever have to replace the headphones. On top of that, if you want to get any kind of real storage past the phone's piffling 13MB, you'll have to invest in a microSD card.
The Slider also contains several pre-installed social-networking applications. The apps allow you to link directly to your email, Facebook and Twitter pages. Make no mistake, while these applications do work, they're no replacement for a smart phone.
The Slider doesn't have Wi-Fi or 3G and is insanely slow to connect to the Web. In the time it took just to get on to the Internet, let alone load a page, we had managed to make and drink a fairly sizeable cup of tea. Worse still, even when we loaded the pages, they weren't that useful. Sadly, the 2-inch screen just wasn't large enough to read an email or check a Facebook post.
Despite the fact that the Slider's Internet features are all but useless, it's still a pretty decent phone -- after all, what do you expect for £40?
The Slider is a tough, light phone with an intuitive interface that covers all your basic mobile telephony needs. While we would advise any and all who want even a modicum of extra features to avoid it, we would recommend it as a good unit for those who are immune to the smart phone virus and just want a solid working mobile.
Edited by Nick Hide