on November 3, 2012
I have nothing substantially bad to say about this phone, after owning and using for a couple weeks. True that's not much time yet, but I wanted to get this review up to balance out some of the other unfortunate (and seemingly isolated) wifi failures experienced by some other buyers. I truly believe those buyers ended up with phones from a "bad batch" of some kind, possibly purchased from QVC or Home Shopping Network.
I bought my S390G from this same seller (shopcelldeals), but from their ebay store rather than Amazon since the seller offered free shipping on ebay. Hey, $5 is $5! I love the combo pack that includes a 1-year of service with 400 minutes (=1200 with Triple Minutes). This package is available here on Amazon too, although this review is attached to an ad that sells the phone only. After activating and redeeming the card through Tracfone's website and adding in a bonus code (freely advertised on the Tracfone website at the time), I ended up with 1560 minutes good for 14 months - total cost for me was $99.99 ($7.14/month with an average of 111 minutes/month). The phone was essentially free with that purchase, since Tracfone's website cost for just the 1-year, 400 minute refill alone is $99.99.
- Nice design and features. Sure they require a little "getting used to" but that's the case with any new phone. Wifi was easy to set up and has worked flawlessly. The browser is adequate but don't expect iPhone quality web surfing. I highly recommend downloading the Opera Mini browser for free.
- AMAZING battery life... it lasts days upon end (over a week) on standby. With light usage, mine was recently off the charger 3-4 days, and still showed FULL battery life! The battery still lasted a full day when wifi was on and constantly searching, which uses considerably more battery resources.
- Effective screen lock capabilities... when activated, screen locks after 5 seconds. Unlock takes 2 keystrokes of the two soft keys (within ~5 seconds or it locks again), so pocket dialing is unlikely.
- "Sneak peak" text messages... if you don't click "View" right away when a text comes in, you can take a slightly longer route to the Inbox and see just a portion of the text message. With short texts like "Ok" or "Thanks" (bad with a prepaid phone but people still send), you can see and delete them without opening the message and being charged. Tracfone texts are really cheap anyway, but it's nice to avoid the charge when you can.
- "New PC Studio" software is available from Samsung, and a nice program for transferring data to/from the phone and your computer. I had no issues moving ringtones and photos back and forth. PC Studio is similar in design to Blackberry Desktop.
CONS (very minor):
- Soft buttons cannot be reassigned, and menu icons cannot be moved around... BUT there is a customizable quick-reference shortcut list for quicker access to your favorites apps/options
- Regular space bar press (middle of key) results in "double tap" period + space, must be hit on left or right side to space normally when typing a text message
- Boxy QWERTY key setup is a little more difficult to type on than more curved Blackberry-inspired design
(I expect all of those Cons to diminish as I continue to use the phone and get used to its design.)
- The 2mp camera is decent, but no flash and doesn't do too well with "active" shots... if the subject is moving, the photo will appear blurry. I despise the overuse of cell phone cameras these days anyway, and maintain that you should USE AN ACTUAL CAMERA if you want quality photos.
- I haven't used the music player yet, but I plan to. I have a 16gb micro-SDHC card on order, and will put the phone into use as an mp3 player in the near future.
This phone is not advertised as the latest and greatest, and buyers should not expect that. I give it 5 Stars for what it is. I am very pleased with this purchase and highly recommend this product, if you want a semi-smart phone with nice features, fabulous battery life, and plan to primarily talk and text (with occasional data needs on wifi).
I will update this review if my experiences change substantially with continued ownership.
on December 13, 2012
I read all the reviews before buying this phone and I had a phone with similar features before that I really loved so I thought I could handle the small keys and whatnot just fine. So I took a chance and bought the phone but have had a very frustrating experience with it. The biggest concern is that if the phone is in your pocket or purse and getting bumped as your moving around the 0 gets bumped and if it gets bumped 3 times EVEN WHILE ITS "LOCKED" it calls 911 Emergency. That happened to me less than 24 hours after activating the phone. I looked it up online and sure enough there are lots and lots of people experiencing the same thing, some are even getting fines for calling 911 falsely too many times. So I don't like that at all, not only is it a problem for me but I could be jamming the phone lines for those who actually need to call 911. I've exhausted both going through the phone to try and turn off this feature or somehow disable it, I've called Samsung and Tracfone and nobody has been able to help. The battery is also incredibly weak..about 6 hours...probably because its getting bumped around in my purse and thinking that its on when it shouldn't be. You can only see one text at a time and it does put periods in your text all the time no matter how careful you try to be to push the spacebar just right. So its just not worth it, I bought another Tracfone and I'm trying to get everything transferred but now Tracfone is giving me trouble on transferring all of my minutes even though they promised if I just bought a new phone they would credit me all of my remaining minutes. Currently I have to somehow come up with another phone line to even call them from to resolve the current issue with my minutes. Everytime I call Im talking to someone who really struggles with English and its just been incredibly frustrating trying to be understood. I also emailed them describing my problem 3 days ago and they have yet to respond. I'm wishing I would have gone with another prepaid company. This has been a bad headache and the worst experience I've ever had trying to get a mobile phone going...with both the phone itself and the customer service from Tracfone.
on October 31, 2012
Everything seems to function most times but this phone glitches out more than any phone I remember(and I haven't taken it swimming yet). The wifi is nice, doesn't charge minutes. I think it charges minutes by data used for web, so email is ok but pictures and adds or buttons or logins eat time. The fact that everything works is why i gave it as a high score. To pocket dial emergency it just has to type "000" and "send" even with the keypad locked, and its somehow easy to do. I must have called 911 20 times from my pocket. I went from carring in an empty pocket to changing pockets to not carrying it. That is unacceptable for me so I have to buy a new phone.
So close to a just under great phone, and the 911 issue.
on December 5, 2012
I have pocket dialed 911 3 times in 2 days with this phone, even though it was locked in my pocket. It unlocks way too easy, then when 000 or 112 are dialed, it calls 911. Amazingly, this sequence of events occurs too easily. Phone also managed to call my friend 12 times in a row, from my pocket. Also, the menu selection button is way too sensitive, and there is no way to change the setting. This phone is getting dumped !!!!!!!
on September 21, 2013
I bought this phone for my wife. She had nothing but problems with it because IT CALLS 911 ALL THE TIME. I called Tracfone and you know what they said for me to tell my wife. Tell her she just cannot carry it in her purse. Really! This phone SHOULD BE RECALLED BY THE MANUFACTURER. WORST PHONE EVER. If you do not believe me Google s390g cell phone problems. I should have done this before I bought it.
on January 9, 2013
I liked the phone for a while until... This thing pocket dials all the time. Its favorite is 911. If it is in your pocket of your pants and you get in your car expect a phone call from your local 911 operator. You sit down and your pants start to talk to you, ops just call someone. Hey dont forget the browser button it is in a great location for, you guessed it pocket dial. Time does not stand still with this phone it gets eaten up faster than your triple minutes can keep up with. And now with telemarketers calling you cannot block numbers.
This phone will meet its death with my driver, or it may be places under the wheel of my car. Yes that bad. Just remember most flowing reviews are paid for. This one is the whole truth.
Its a wantabe but in the end its just a disposable phone.
on October 2, 2012
I had high hopes for this phone and do like it mostly, but my big problem with this phone is a HUGE one. With the keypad locked, the phone has called the equivalent of 911 on about 12 occasions. Each time the phone was in my bag, not being touched and the keypad was locked. Imagine having the sheriff's office calling you back asking if you need emergency assistance. Once, my two year old son was having a total meltdown in the car with me as my phone, which was in my bag on the passenger seat of the car, took it upon itself to make a 911 call. The 911 operator heard that. They called me back a few times and when I answered the call, they questioned me - while my son was still having a melt-down. Try explaining that everything is fine to a 911 operator when they heard your child screaming in the background?! And it's never the same number dialed, when I look on the call log. Sometimes it's 112. Sometimes it's 0000. Sometimes it's 121. Sometimes it's 7334. There is no rhyme or reason to this.
I like the rest of the phone features and don't have any issues with it - EXCEPT the 911 calling. This makes me afraid to keep the phone on or handle it wrong so that a button gets pushed and calls 911. I have no idea how to fix this problem.
on January 15, 2013
The Samsung S390G phone dials 911 inadvertently, when I have it in my pocket. I am getting rid of it and discontinuing my service with Tracfone. I don't see a decent phone offered for my area in Colorado. I cannot even resell this Samsung phone to someone in good conscience. There is no information provided by Tracfone regarding this 911 issue, or pocket dialing, or butt dialing, as it is sometimes called. Now, in coming to the Amazon site, I see that even when the keys are locked, pressing the zero key three times dials 911. This is unacceptable. The phone must have dialed 911 eight or nine times in the short time I have had it. I tried to buy a cover for the front of it- but I was unable to find one- though there appear to be covers for about 50 Samsung cell phones. Never buy this phone!
on October 19, 2012
Just received this phone (Net10 ver. which should be the same)to replace my aging LG. Worked pretty easy right out of the box. Very very easy WiFi set up - done within minutes just by walking through the steps the phone gives. Not sure why quite a few posters have had issues with it. Follow the steps people!
Setting up gmail account was just as easy though I won't use it for email unless I'm on WiFi since why would I want to use up minutes to check email unless I have no choice and am not in a hotspot.
Downloaded Opera Mini as my browser. I do wish I could move it out of my games folder but I can't find a way. Not a biggie. I've downloaded a few ring tones and a game via Opera and I've also set up my FB & Twitter accounts though again I won't be using them much on this phone it's still, like email, nice to have. The internet is fairly fast on WiFi, especially compared to my old LG which used the tracfone/net10 browser with no WiFi. I have been able to go into my G+ account easily and also my calendar which is nice.
Keyboard easy to use - my only beef is the zero on the number pad portion is in a awkward place for me but once I'm used to it I'm sure I'll be fine. I did have to recheck the numbers I entered into the phone to be sure I didn't mess them up. I was able to take my memory card out of my LG and move it into the phone but couldn't get most of my numbers off the card. Apparently you need to download PC Studio and I didn't really want to so I entered most manually. It took a bit of time but did help me get used to the key placement.
Two things I don't like about the phone and I can't find a way to change it...yet... Text messages appear as just a standard "you have a message". My old LG displayed a caller ID if the person was in my phone book. This helped save minutes because if the number was unfamiliar or the area code was not in my region I could pretty much bet that the call was spam or a wrong number and I could delete without paying for the used minutes. I can't seem to figure out how to do this with the Samsung. I did go in and click on Anonymous reject and Ad reject but it doesn't help with those people who send you drunk texts messages and can't get it through their thick heads you're not the person they are looking for!
I also do not care for the back of the phone. I know picky picky but I do find it very slippery, especially if my hands are cold. It looks great and one would think the texture would help but it doesn't. I can't find a cover or skin for it. I'm thinking about using some rubberized colored tape to make a line across the back for easier grip. A gel cover would be great though!
All and all the phone works great so far and was very easy to set up just be going through the settings menu (the guide with the phone is pretty useless unless you've never had a cell phone before and most online guides are not much better). I understand some people have had issues with the phone and my gut tells me there is a defective batch out there. If you have issues I think returning it before the warranty is up is probably the best course of action.
For the price this is an excellent phone. Prepaid companies really should have this as their "go to phone". Even if I only get a year out of it I've still saved money and I'm not a slave to a contract. I've been using prepaid phones for 2 years (and using my old Droids as mini-lap tops when traveling via WiFi) and I don't think I'll ever go back to anything with a contract. I pay $30 a month with roll-over minutes - can't beat that!
I am no longer using this phone. The annoying habit that it has (and other people commented about) of dialing 911 every time it's in my purse or jacket pocket became too much to take. The 911 operators were tired of hearing from me. I was very lucky they were not dispatching PD to my home. It became embarrassing. Just one push of the phone while it was supposedly locked was all it took to dial. It made no sense for me to have the phone on me but off. I live in an area where you can go from suburban to rural in minutes and in the winter you never know when you're going to have an emergency - like sliding off a snow or ice covered road. I didn't need to worry about the phone being off and no one able to locate me. While the phone is still a decent phone until this problem is fixed in a newer version I wouldn't suggest it to anyone who might have it in a purse or pocket. I switched to Ting Mobile and really enjoy the service and the great phone I purchased from them.
on December 13, 2013
For the first day I was pleased with this phone. Solid feel, nice keyboard, lots of features.
But the very first evening I took it out of my pocket and it was asking "Call SOS?". Luckily(?) I had no service there, so it didn't complete the call. I looked online and it turned out that lots of people have this problem with the phone. Pressing "911" does it, even if the phone is locked. So does "000" and "112", thus covering their bases. The FCC apparently has a requirement that any idiot be able to pick the phone up off the road at the scene of an accident and make an emergency call even if the phone is locked, but the result for this phone is a disaster. It is not an exaggeration to say that EVERY time I put it in my pocket even briefly, it gets to the "Call SOS Y/N" stage or worse, I hear the 911 operator from my pocket. (Perhaps my pocket is very scary, so the phone calls 911?) In desperation I started carrying it around in a plastic Chinese takeout container, which was safe but not very convenient. Then I accidentally ran over it with a car, and although the container was utterly destroyed, the phone had no apparent damage at all! Very solid!
The 911 pocket dialing is the worst, but with the possible exception of the e-mail, everything else about the software is terrible also. Did the developers not try this thing out for even a day before they put it on the market? Here are a few of the other problems:
1) Doesn't tell you who the text messages are from until you read them. So I have to click on them to see that they are spam. Worse, there doesn't seem to be any way to block text messages from spam numbers. They have slowed a bit now, but for a while I was getting 5 or 10 a day.
2) The browser button is on the front screen, right where you can click it every time you unlock the screen. That way you can click it as you put it away, and it can suck down hundreds of minutes while in your pocket or purse. Some of the stuff on this phone is just stupid, but this "bug" is clearly malicious. My LG 800g did something similar. I can't say I ever tried out the browser, but if it's like the 800g's version it's completely useless - it's only purpose was to drain your minutes while you weren't watching.
3) It occasionally forgets my contacts, and just shows the numbers.
4) It plays music nicely over bluetooth, but then the phone crashes. After some messing around it would restart, but the battery would be totally dead. (When working properly, the battery life is actually very good, up to two weeks.)
5) The calculator wants you to use the mini touch pad to select operations, thus rendering it useless.
6) The mini-touchpad built into the center button is barely usable, and the scrolling software for it is abysmal. Trying to find a particular message in my inbox was impossible if there were more than a couple, so I had to empty it out all the time.
7) Taking a picture requires several menus, button clicks, etc., so by the time you have it ready your subject is gone.
8) Another stupid feature: pressing the center of the space bar gives you a space, period, and capital letter. Pressing one or the other sides gives you the normal space. Even once I figured this out, I still had to backspace dozens of times to clean it up when I hit the button wrong.
9) A smaller annoyance, but the T9 touchpad doesn't show the associated letters (ABC = 1, etc.) They could easily have set it up so pushing the letters while dialing gave the proper numbers, but they didn't. So it's hard to dial a phone number given as letters.
10) Rings when the battery gets low. This should be an adjustable option. I don't want to hear about it when I'm trying to sleep.
11) How to dismiss the voicemail/missed calls/text message notification without checking them is not clear. They keep popping up when I'm trying to do something else.
12) The on-screen labels for the buttons are lined up over the wrong ones. Until you figure it out, it looks like you're supposed to push the outer pair of buttons, but actually the labels refer to the more central pair.
13) Even aside from the emergency dialing problem, the screen locking is inadequate. You can add a security code, but it only requests it on startup and a few other things like some multiple deletes. And of course you don't have to enter the security code for 911, or the screen unlock sequence.
So this is the last TracFone for me, what awful phones. I'm