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on December 19, 2012
I guess the first thing you have to realize is this: it's not a smart phone. It seems as though all phones are held up to smart phone standards these days, and it can be hard to filter through the reviews of people expecting an iphone when they buy a "basic" phone.

This phone does what it's supposed to. Calls are clear and easy to hear. The AT&T network is much better around my house than the Verizon network was, but I suspect that will vary from user to user. The battery life seems pretty great so far. Text messaging works as it should. All the settings are easy to change and customize.

There are a few nit picks I have:

When a text comes in, it just says "new message," but doesn't say who it's from. Not a deal breaker, but a slight annoyance as I do like to know who is sending me a message prior to opening it.

The qwerty keyboard is smaller than I'm used to, but not too bad. I imagine people with large hands would have trouble with it though. I'm getting used to it pretty quickly.

The phone feels fairly light in weight, and it looks nice. There are a bunch of internet features that I don't use because I only have the $25 a month plan, so I can't speak to their functionality. Though my gut is telling me if you're looking for a phone that works really well with aps and internet functions, you might want to look elsewhere.

One other thing I've been having trouble with (and this is more likely the AT&T service, not the phone), but I can't seem to figure out how to check my minutes usage on the phone. I've been going to the AT&T online account page to check it. The phone numbers they provide for accessing this info on the phone hasn't worked for me, though I'm not sure why. Again, I'm not deducting any stars for this since it's probably not the phone.

The camera and video on this are an afterthought, and since I have other devices for that use, I'll probably never use it with this phone. But if you're looking for a great camera phone, this isn't it.

There's also a standard headphone jack so you can use this as a mp3 player. I haven't used this feature yet, but I imagine it functions as expected.

Overall, this is a great little phone for someone looking for a cheap, basic phone. Paired with the $25 monthly gophone account (on auto-renewal), it has saved me about $35 a month from my previous plan.

EDIT (12/22/12): After a few more days of use, there are a couple other little bothersome things about this phone (some of which were mentioned by other reviewers). First, there *is* a one or two second hesitation after a text comes in, when I'm waiting for the "new message" alert to pop up so I can click it. I didn't really notice at first, but as I've texted more and more, it becomes apparent that I'm sitting there waiting for the alert to appear.

Another thing is that after you reply to a text, rather than bouncing you out to the main screen, it goes back to the message you just replied to. So then I have to back out to the main screen manually. And even though there is a "conversation" selection, I haven't figured out a way for the texts to automatically come in conversation mode. Rather, it seems it's only if you select it after the fact.

I know that seems like a lot of negatives, but really they aren't any big deal. Just some things I've noticed as I use the phone. I still consider it a 4 star phone for the price.
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on November 10, 2012
I have not had this phone for long but so far I have found this phone is decent but I am not a fan

Pros

Qwerty keyboard - this was my main concern when looking for a phone

No data plan required - I am not using this as a smartphone and I am not using it as a go phone (just as a phone for my standing att account until I have a line available for upgrade)

Cons

when I receive a text it just says new message, there is no name of the sender shown - this creates problems because there are people I like to ignore messages from and others that I need to view messages from immediately and there is no way to determine who a text is from until I see it

The phone just seems slow - you click on the new message and it can take several seconds to load, that is with out having additional apps running

SIM contacts can not be "hidden" from the address book - I like to have all of my contacts saved in my phone and I like to have them all saved on my SIM card but I do not like to see all of my contacts names twice, so far I have not found a way to hide the SIM contacts and that is irksome

no vibration settings? - Im hoping I am wrong on this one but so far I have not been able to make the vibration stronger than a light buz. So annoying. I always have my phone on vibrate and am afraid I will miss texts and calls if there is no way to make the vibration stronger

Edit 12/28

This phone is still decent. I think it is closer to a 3.5 star rating now though.

More Pros

The threaded texting mode works well.

The vibration setting given is actually okay most of the time even though I still sometimes wish it was stronger.

It's actually pretty study, I have dropped my phone many times and that happens is it restarts, but it always does come back to life.

On my AT&T (not go phone plan) the unlimited Internet is $10 and this has a decent browser to check Facebook or my email or google the occasional question.

The New Con

I am a little annoyed by the fact that this phone just restarts sometimes but it seems to be a theme among lower quality phones; however, it could be a huge problem in an emergency.

Update 8/5/13
I have stopped using this phone and gotten a high end Android because of an available upgrade.
I will miss this phones $10/month data plan, the easy to configure alarms, the relatively small size, and the full keyboard.
I think that this phone was worth what I paid to get me through several months but it showed wear and tear when I stopped using it and I'm not sure how much longer it was going to last (I am a heavy user though several hundred text days and drops down the stairs were not uncommon).
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on April 3, 2013
My husband needs simplicity when it comes to mobile phones. This phone allowed him to have a full QWERTY keyboard to text our children without the need to move to a smartphone and incur extra data monthly charges.
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on April 3, 2013
Practical. Inexpensive, but looks expensive. Great keyboard. Awesome sound. Screen display is easy to understand and simple to use. Love it.
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on December 29, 2012
Simple, easy to use and manageable. Some people complain about the slight lag time when executing commands or the fact that it won't display the name of the message sender. Well let me tell you, for the price you are getting a quality item. I have also noticed that it does not glitch as most of the newer ones do. If you want a reliable, simple, high tech phone then you will enjoy this one.
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on July 11, 2013
I now have 3 of these in the family. Seem to hold up pretty well and haven't had a failure yet. Seems to be the best option for adding non-data plan lines to the AT&T Family Plan. Not as robust as the old Blackberry's, but still seem to be durable and will last long enough considering the cost.
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on April 19, 2013
This is a great phone for my daughter. Nothing fancy. The camera is a winner addition. Especially for the price.Works great.
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on April 26, 2013
Great Price, good phone exactly what I was looking for. Easy to work with, has the instructional booklets which is always helpful.
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on September 2, 2013
The AT&T Z431 is an AT&T branded ZTE 431. It's a feature phone, not a smart phone and perfect for those of us who have broken free of the AT&T data plans. I purchased the phone at Radio Shack to replace my older phone that went through the washing machine. It's a go-phone. If you have AT&T Wireless service already all you have to do is stick the SIM card into the phone and it's ready to use. It does the basics very well and seems well built. Phone reception is as good as the older Sony-Eriksson W810i that I used before. The QWERTY keyboard is not difficult to use but I sometimes need reading glasses to read the number keys in the morning. The 1000 mAh battery is big enough to last me a couple of days between charges. The screen is 2.3", sharp and offers nice colors. The 2.0MP camera provides useful photos. The AT&T Z431 user's manual doesn't mention anything about this but the micro USB port used for charging the phone is also a data port. I use a $1.99 micro USB/USB2 data cable to upload and download photos between the Z431 and my Windows 7 desktop computer. You must have a mini SD card (I'm using a $8.00 8GB card) in the phone and set the phone to save photos on the card to do this.
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on March 20, 2013
This is an upgrade for me, I had a flip-phone before and texting was a pain. This phone does everything that I need. Together with a monthly text plan and pay-by-the-minute phone calls, I'm saving about $20 a month over the landline.
I've had it about a month with no issues and thought so highly of it that I recommended it to my sister who got it for $19 ($20 less than I paid for it 2 weeks earlier).
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