Jul 31, 2013

Samsung GT-S5610 handset quick review

Arriving to our quick test bench is the Samsung GT-S5610. This feature handset packs social media apps pre-installed, a decent five megapixel camera and some sleek looks. Before even jumping into the review though, we must warn you: PhoneSplurt was unable to access most of the apps that have features requiring online connection. This was due to a mysterious problem in the unit that wouldn't allow internet connection albeit it showed full connection speeds were attainable.

Look & feel

The Samsung GT-S5610 is very sleek and feels solid with no squeaks on the body whatsoever. The aluminum finish in the unit's backplate adds to the sense of luxury. The 2.4" display is relatively large for a phone of this sort, also the overall height of the phone is above average. The device still feels comfortable in hand due to its low weight and rounded edges.


The Samsung Handheld Platform performs without lag and is as responsive and quick to use as a handset with dedicated navigation soft keys can be. We must say though, immediately after starting the phone, the viewing angles are horrible on this display. Also, the icons are a bit blurry and could do with better contrast.

Creative features

Samsung GT-S5610 can lack a lot on the apps and connectivity side, but the camera is something else here however. A real bang for your buck is offered in a five-megapixel package that also shoots video with 240p. The sound quality is of course horrible for the video and only old school YouTube users can relate to how beautiful the 240p video looks. We must use this in our upcoming videos! The video recordings are saved as .mp4-format.

Adjustable in the still camera are the lighting, contrast, LED flash and even a choice to take macro photos! The camera app is thus very fully featured and basically the diamond on this device.
After taking a photo, you can adjust it with the photo manipulation app that can be used to add filters and text for example. These functions really warm the heart of those people who lived through the time of early imaging phones.

Other than the camera, we have of course a media player and voice recorder on board. Both do their duty and the ability to slip in a memory card is always a plus if you're a journalist and end up having this device for the job. Memory cards up to 16 gigabytes are supported.

Also included are a todo-list app, memo app and of course a calendar application. All these behave smoothly, and the first two apps even have a share functions for entries to be sent via email, bluetooth and other measures.


Sadly our unit was faulty in the sense that it couldn't connect to the internet. This leaves a lot out. We were left hoping for WiFi-ability. However, remembering that we are doing our input through a physical keyboard here, web browsing didn't feel as inviting as on a touch screen device.

The phone features the Samsung Apps store, Facebook and Twitter apps, separate Java app for messaging on Facebook, Google, the long gone MSN Messenger and Yahoo! messenger. Flickr, Photobucket and Picasa come included as well.

The Bluetooth acts horribly with other devices. It was seemingly impossible to connect to both an iPod and our Lumia 800. It might be the case that the bluetooth drivers are not up to date.


We must remember that a faulty piece of equipment doesn't perform how the manufacturer intended it to. So therefore we can't really take a stand on whether this phone sucks because of its connectivity features. Actually it seems that Samsung has tried hard to bring this feature phone up to speed with smartphones by adding a lot of interesting apps on the stock device.

The camera is amazing on a phone such as this. We think it even gets close to the Nokia N95 8gb when it comes to still imaging possibilities. Really good stuff there.
And the 240p video capability warmed our heart to say the least. Other than that, it's a great phone to take notes on if you're accustomed to a physical keyboard and we think you will appreciate the stylish finish.

PhoneSplurt rating:

"Great camera!"
"Strong 4 out of 5"

Some sample photos taken with the camera:

The color balance looks good here.

The camera is capable of some crazy macros!

Low light conditions and the trade-offs of lighting adjustment.


  1. S5610 model has defective 3G-unit or firmware. As a result of this, 3G connection repeatedly breaks down if internet browsing/data transfer idles for a short time. Therefore, it is difficult to use services requiring persistent connection, for an example tethering, mail services, banking service etc. Tested 2 units and had the same result: 3G data flow suffers from blackouts. When it happens, it is also impossible to make outgoing phone calls, telephone returns “Not allowed” message, and caller of incoming calls gets messages that the phone is off line. Samsung refuses to fix the problem, therefore company is unreliable too.

    1. Thank you for the comment. Truly if this is the case, Samsung appears a controversial company indeed. I loved the industrial design on this handset but a phone should work as a phone.