50 of 55 people found the following review helpful
on November 9, 2013
I purchased the Samsung Galaxy Centura so that I could accept credit card payments using the Square Up credit card reader while at craft shows. It works well for this purpose and, since it uses the Verizon network, I can get a good signal in most places where I will be using it.
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 5, 2014
This is by far the best phone that I have ever got for Tracfone. It is a true Android smartphone. The phone is solid, touch screen very responsive, and performance is good, even with many apps running. GPS seems to be flawless with this phone; it shows me in my house, almost dead center of the parameter, and keeping GPS on all the time does not seem to consume any excess battery; just make sure you close any associated apps when not in use, such as Maps. The voice recognition search functions also seem to work well. The camera is ok too, although all pics that I take show a focal length of 2.79, so not sure if the phone has an autofocus or not, but pics are way better than my previous phone (LG840). The camera does have a zoom function, but I think that is standard these days.
To start with, activation was a breeze. For the first time I was able to perform the activation solely via Tracfone's website. I purchased two of these phones, and the entire transfer process took about 45 minutes for each, one of which was on Christmas day. Both phone transfers were from current Tracfone phones, so I am not sure how long a port will take from a different provider. Both of my old phones also continued to work until the new phones were activated, so they have greatly improved this process. For some reason I also received 600 bonus minutes/texts/MBs on each phone; still not sure why but I'll take it. I do like the idea of having three separate balances. Although you do use an entire unit per text, you can use apps like Facebook Chat to chat all day for just a few MB of data usage. Also stay on a Wi-Fi connection whenever possible. If you manage your minutes and data usage, you can get a lot out of this phone - I am still on the family plan and pay an average of 8$/month per phone.
The battery life is ok, but you will need to charge it every day - that's just android for you. You can cut down on battery usage by monitoring your apps and background data. For instance, Google Hangouts seems to be a big power hog. Also, restricting background data on certain apps helps with data usage as well.
Being a true android, it does not have your standard Tracfone software, which I like, so you will have to download the Tracfone app to check your balances and stuff. The phone also does not do a lot natively, such as file manager, PDF reader, or notepad, but guess what?? - There are apps for all that. You can basically customize the phone to meet your needs. I definitely recommend linking your Google account with this phone, which you do on setup, so if you do not have one, get one. This makes installing apps and backing up settings much easier. I also recommend using the Google+ app and installing SMS Backup; this will allow all of your pics and messages to be backed up to your Google account, so if you ever have to do a factory refresh, you will get it all back. I also have to add that I have not had the problem previously reported with the time zone changing. The time is accurate every time I pick up the phone. Perhaps there was a previous update/fix for this.
Bottom line - this phone is awesome. I liked my LG840 and LG800 models, but they were outdated. I have been a Tracfone user for well over 10 years, and have had many phones, but I finally feel that I am up to date with the rest of the world. Welcome to android!
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on November 27, 2013
I purchased 3 phones from HSN as their today special in September. All 3 of us highly recommend this purchase. We first charged them. Then we set up WIFI, remember to turn off DATA in the settings. We used the phones for a week to set up email and check out all of the features of the phone. Remember these features work without signing up for TracFone. So if you ever upgrade your phone you can still use WIFI and the camera any time like a mini tablet. My daughter set up all 3 phones on line. Did not talk to any representivies from TracFone. Read all directions very carefully!!! Maybe a couple of times. In just a few hours all 3 were activated. We are all TracFone customers for a long time. She had no trouble bringing over our phone #'s, Years mine ends in 2017, and 2 of us had 6000 minutes each and they transfered to 6000 minutes, 6000 text, and 6000 data. Plus the promotional minutes, text and data. Also we all had gmail accounts and she had no trouble getting our $25 Google Play money. I bought covers and screen protectors from Amazon!! Remember to go to the Google Play store to get the TracFone app to keep track of you minutes, text and data. A widget goes on your home page.
Husband's phone is for emergency use for phone calls and WI FI in the house for email and games.
Daughter uses hers in addition to her Virgin Mobil phone. We live in a very rural area and even the police carry phones from different carriers for coverage. She uses hers where the other phone won't cover and when she is out of minutes.
I love mine because it is on the Verizon towers. I carry mine 24-7 in case of an emergency. I have a very bad back!!! I baby sit at one of my daughter's home. My old tracfone would not get coverage in the home, down the street. I would have to travel about 1/4 mile before the phone woud work. Very dangerous not having a way to get help. Daughter does not have a home phone only an expensive Verizon phone. This Samsung Galaxy Centura gets coverage everywhere the other phone did not and where it did get coverage!!! A life saving feature. And I love the fact it hooks right up to the WI FI in all of my families homes. I just put in the code one time. Also I have hot mail and when I look at my emails while resting my back in bed it updates my email on my laptop!!! Wonderful!!! I keep it with me in bed and charge it everynight right there so I am never with out a phone.
We Love, Love, Love these phones.
39 of 43 people found the following review helpful
on December 3, 2013
The internal clock on this phone will randomly set itself backwards 5 hours. This will obviously cause major problems with any app that requires a clock (ie all apps). Specifically if you set an alarm it will fail to go off on time if you are unlucky enough to have the time randomly change. For me I have had the phone for about two months and the clock goes haywire about twice a week and have been unable to see any trend as to what circumstances cause this.
I have contacted Tracfone customer support multiple times. They tried reactivating the phone, and they had me delete the entire phone contents and restore factory defaults but nothing resolved the problem. The most recent "solution" was to disable the auto network time setting feature. This means if you change time zones the time will not auto correct as it does on any other phone.
Will report back in a couple weeks to confirm if this will or will not halfway solve the product defect. I have seen in several user forums that many other owners are reporting random time changes of 4 , 5 or 6 hours back in time so this is not an isolated issue to my phone so wanted to warn other buyers of this defect that neither Samsung nor Tracfone are willing to fix properly. Samsung will not support this phone at all and will direct you to Tracfone for support. Please bear this in mind if you plan to purchase this phone be on the lookout for unpredictable time changes.
UPDATE Dec 6
Even with disabling the auto network time setting feature as requested by Tracfone support the phone changed the time back 5 hours twice in one day. Still no solution for issue.
UPDATE Mar 28
Phone clock continues to randomly sets itself backwards 5 hours maybe twice a week the quick fix is to put phone into airplane mode and back out and the clock will correct itself. Clearly Samsung has no plan to fix this bug.
Also notable for those looking at this phone is the camera. I takes decent photos so long as it is more than 5 feet away. The 3 Megapixel camera is completely incapable of taking a non-blurry close up photo regardless of lighting. So you can't use the camera for scanning bar codes, QR codes, or even deposit checks with mobile banking apps since all close up pictures are lousy and blurry.
Update Aug 14 - Has ANYONE solved the random clock defect on this phone? Its clear neither Tracfone nor Samsung plan any fix for this phone. My clock still to this day randomly sets backwards 5 hours at least twice a week.
18 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2014
After buying this phone and using/testing for a week, I bought a second one for my wife. Everything you see here applies to both phones. I also bought a 32G micro SD card for each phone.
1) Bluetooth features work well with Honda HandsFreeLink. (2012 Odyssey EX)
2) Voice recognition works very well, although severe limitations due to the language, not the device. For example, the phone doesn't always discern the difference between "to", "too", and "2". Neither do I.
3) Screen keyboard works well, although I'm thinking of getting a stylus.
4) Camera is good enough for casual snapshots, especially if you have an emergency need, such as a fender bender.
5) MapFactor "Navigator" installs on the optional SD Card and gives you extensive offline mapping and GPS capability, while not impacting the amount of internal storage. By "offline", I mean that if you are in the middle of nowhere with no phone service and no wifi, the GPS and mapping work.
This phone is my fourth TracFone, all with the same number. The following technique successfully transferred my number and minutes.
1) If you don't already have an online account with TracFone, create one and register your current phone.
2) Add your new phone to your account and check the "I don't have a phone number and will get one later" box when you add it.
3) Click on "activate" for your new phone and you should get an option that says "transfer your existing phone number and minutes".
4) Follow the instructions carefully.
Bear in mind that what worked for my phone may not work for yours, so if you have any doubts, call TracFone.
The biggest con so far is that downloading specific maps is extremely slow.
MapFactor Navigator tips:
1) Install your micro SD card before installing. You will then get a prompt to choose where to install it. I tried installing it first and then moving it after installing the SD card. I ended up uninstalling, deleting the navigator folder and reinstalling from scratch.
2) Go to MapFactor's website and install the free version onto your desktop/laptop computer. You can then more easily download all of the maps that you want, even if it means leaving your computer on overnight. I'm not saying that this will always work, but so far, it has for me. Once you have the maps downloaded to your desktop/laptop, you just copy the files over. Make sure that Navigator is not running on your phone. After you copy the maps over, the next time you start Navigator, it will see the additional maps and use them.
37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2013
Was waiting for one of these forever for my son. He's complaining he wanted an iphone but there was no way, despise apple products and no way I'm paying $50+ a month for him to play clash of clans. We have all android devices (2 other Galaxies) and I can share apps between phones (my HSN came with a $25 Play coupons which will make several ad free). BTW, get the Amazon app of the day app, got some nice apps that way.
Tracfone needs to make an app to show minutes left and service days left, that sucks but now the website is at least able to give you that info. No hassles transferring my number and minutes (and yes, they all transferred). I set max daily data usage on the phone, so he can do everything he wants wifi but will be limited on airtime data. Only issue is we are on a family plan (best plan ever for casual users), $9.99 for first phone, $5.99 for others, with triple minutes that's 150/120 minutes each month plus 30 days service, and everything rolls over. Well even though I transferred number and service I can't set up the new phone on the family plan until 3 days before my next bill, so I just need to remember that. Otherwise everything is working like a charm. Now if I can get him to stop texting and use gmail (we have wifi everywhere) he'll never use up his minutes.
40 of 45 people found the following review helpful
on November 21, 2013
This isn't primarily a review of the phone, but rather the smart phone service Tracfone offers with it (although this is the model that I bought). I have never used a smart phone, but I have no complaints about this one, other than that it occasionally drops the wifi and has to be restarted. Turning off 3G when you don't need it greatly extends the battery life and ensures that you won't accidentally use data when you don't intend to. This phone doesn't display minutes or your service end date, as others have mentioned, but if you go to the Google Play store, there's an app you can download that will fetch that info from the Tracfone web site.
When I went to add a 1-year card to this phone, I learned that Tracfone is not honoring promotional codes for smart phones. If you are upgrading from an existing triple-minute phone, I suggest that you add any air time and promotional code to your old phone before activating the new one, then transfer the number and minutes over. Also, if you're using more than 100 minutes/month, consider buying a 400-minute 1-year card on their web site and taking advantage of the offer to buy an extra 400 (i.e., 1200) minutes for $25 before you transfer service to the new phone. You can't get this offer if you add minutes from a store-bought card, and I don't know whether you can get it if you add minutes directly from the phone (I never tried to). I also don't know if they offer this option with a smart phone, as they have different offers for different types of phones.
The other, more important issue that I didn't understand when I bought the phone (since this smart phone program is brand new) is that when you buy minutes for a smart phone, they go into 3 "buckets." For example, a 400-minute card would give you 1200 minutes of talk, 1200 texts, and 1.2 GB of data. In a way, this is an advantage - you're getting 3 services for the same money. However, a problem arises if you use a lot more of one service than another, since you can't fill the "buckets" individually. For example, you could be forced to buy more minutes for all 3 buckets after sending/receiving only 1200 texts, whereas on a regular Tracfone, you could have sent up to 4000 texts for the same money.
P.S. I just noticed on the inside of the phone packaging that you can add data to the smart phones separately from other minutes - but not texts. 2 GB costs $50 (does not triple).
34 of 38 people found the following review helpful
on December 18, 2013
Over all, this Samsung Centura SA S738C phone is an excellent upgrade from the Samsung S390G. This CDMA smart phone provides easy and intuitive navigation through a touch screen instead of a track ball and the menus are logically organized. The user interface is very similar to other Samsung products I own: the Galaxy Tab 3 tablet and the Samsung GT-S6102 GSM smart phone. The large minute balance on the old phone transferred easily and quickly (in about 10 minutes) to the new phone on the Tracfone Website. Since many other reviewers had trouble with this transfer, I would like to make few comments on this process to help other buyers. First, make sure the battery is installed and the new phone is fully charged. Second, do not de-activate your old phone. You cannot transfer the service from inactive phone. Third, go to the Tracfone Website and select the "Activate/Reactivate Phone" option from the main menu. In the activation menu, select "Transfer my number and service from one Tracfone to another." Fourth, follow the instructions CAREFULLY to enter the codes from the old phone in response to each request. If all goes well, the system will instruct you to wait till your old phone stops working and enter a confirmation code on your new phone to complete the activation and transfer process. The system also issues a "Ticket Number" that you can use later, should you need to speak with a service rep. The exact balance of 5208 talk minutes transferred as new balances for ALL three types of charges. The new balances were 5208 minutes talk, 5208 text messages, and 5208 MB of data. You can monitor your balance using the TracFone My Account or Tracfone Data Usage apps available in the Google Play Store.
I was able to access my contacts on Google by logging on my existing Gmail account. Be sure to turn your WiFi on and data usage off when you first turn on the phone so that the phone uses WiFi to install any available updates rather than your precious data balance. So far I am very happy with this phone and it is great improvement over the old clumsy S390G.
Added Note: after several weeks, I did not encounter the problem of the unit resetting time by -6 or +6 hrs, mentioned by other reviewers.
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on December 21, 2013
I have been a Tracfone user for a number of years using very basic phones- not even with cameras. I'm not a heavy mobile phone user, but have need occasionally for the features of a smart phone- checking e-mail, getting directions, a few texts, a photo here and there. But I'm not willing to pay $40-$80/month for my limited use. This phone is perfect for me.
Using the Tracfone website, I easily transferred my existing number and my minutes to the new phone (my existing minutes were tripled.) I figure that I can buy a One Year Card for $100 and get all the phone minutes, texts, and data I need for a year. Most of my data needs are fulfilled when I'm on WiFi, which don't count against your balance. If you run low on data, data only cards are available. Best place to buy phone, text and data is through the tracfone website as they often offer bonuses. Search for bonus codes. Watch for offers to supersize your purchase at checkout. Don't be fooled by those saying that Tracfone has raised the cost of texts with their android phones. Yes, a text now costs a full unit, but you get triple Phone minutes and triple text units when you redeem a card. That's actually a better deal than before.
Sure there are fancier and maybe faster phones, but I've found android apps for my Centura that do, just as well,the things I do on my IPAD.
If you need cases or screen protectors, order them from Amazon or EBAY you won't find much in stores. Accesories for the Galaxy Discover will fit the Centura. The phone is slippery-you will want a case for it.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
I made the switch from my old Motorola flip tracfone to this Samsung when tracfone *finally* made a true smartphone available. So far, so good.
I am far from a tech newbie - I've had and currently have countless mobile devices (tablets, mini's, ipod touches, etc). But I am one of those people who really does not feel that I *need* a phone or *need* to be text-enabled. However, having an "all in one" device can be useful, so I decided to take the plunge when HSN had its incredible Fall offer (phone, $25 play, 200 minutes that triple, 90 day service, car charger, case).
I read countless horror stories from others about problems encountered transferring a number and service to this particular phone. After reading and reflecting on this for a while, I made the simple decision to get a new number with this phone and leave my existing phone in-place until I was confident that everything was OK.
As others have mentioned, there are a few steps you really must do before activating this phone.
(1) Fully charge it. Mine took a couple hours, but I read materials that it could take upwards of 5 hours. Leave it plugged in overnight.
(2) Turn off data, enable wifi, hook up your Google account, and begin your system & Google updates. It takes a while.
(3) Add antivirus protection. I chose Kaspersky for Android, and a 30-day free trial is available online.
(4) Change system settings to prevent non-market apps to be downloaded. Added protection. BTW, Kaspersky AV is a non-market app.
(5) Get a service card with minutes. The 200 minutes, 90 day card is a good choice & came with the HSN offer.
(6) Log onto tracfone and activate the phone - a number will be assigned (unlike before when you could choose from available numbers).
(7) Get comfortable with the phone & make certain that it is fully functioning BEFORE moving over your existing minutes & service.
For me, my existing phone had 2 weeks of remaining service but 1600 minutes. A call was required to move over those minutes and days (thereby disabling the phone). I had the 2 phones for 10 days before I felt comfortable in making the switch.
BTW - Google the 1-800 number in Miami to bypass the off-shore csr script-readers. Don't bother with the 1-800 number you're given at the tracfone website - really, don't do it. Use the customer service reps at the corporate center. They're good, they will understand you, they will get the job done in one call.
Tracfone self-serve or CSR time spent: Less than 1 hour.
Tracfone activation/transfer problems: Zero.
Tracfone customer: Happy.