on March 5, 2013
Given the low price, I generally like most things about this phone except for one small - but huge - problem:
Any time you miss a call or get a text, the phone emits an insistent "beep" every several seconds until you push keys to make the beeping stop. It doesn't matter if you put the phone on "vibrate" - it still emits that "beep" until you acknowledge the text or missed call.
Unless you put the phone on full "silent" mode, there is literally no way to turn off that alert. It is not an optional setting. Yes, at first I couldn't believe it either, but after much frustration trying to find a magic "no beep" setting, I confirmed with multiple sources including payLo's phone tech support that it is not optional. The beep will happen.
No big deal? If the phone beeps, just push a key, right? Yes... but no. If you own this phone, you will either answer all calls and texts immediately or the "beep" will become the background soundtrack to your life. The phone insists that you acknowledge every message, every call, every voicemail, every notification. It doesn't care if you are sleeping, if the phone is out of reach across the room, or if you are having an important conversation... you will have to get up, pick up the phone, and ask it to stop beeping. God forbid you are trying to sleep and somebody sends you a friendly text. The phone will not let you rest until you have "acknowledged" the text.
That little beep is the Chinese Water Torture of phone features.
By the time the beeping interrupts your sleep for the third time in a night, you will have developed an unhealthy rage against all forms of communication. As a result, you will start to hate the people who text you at inconvenient times and especially at night. If somebody calls you when you cannot answer, you will curse them like you curse the chirping of a smoke alarm with a low battery. It's that annoying.
Sure you could turn the phone off every night, but then your alarm will not ring to wake you up in the morning (though, confoundingly, the alarm will ring at full volume even if the phone is set to full "silent" mode - was that the designer's idea of a sleep-enabling workaround?). It's obviously not practical to have a phone that you must turn off or put into "silent" mode all the time; you will not know if anybody is trying to reach you, which is half the point of having a phone in the first place.
I am sincerely surprised that a company as good as Samsung would build in such a horrible little feature... and then give you no way to turn it off. I wanted to like this phone. Sadly, after having this phone for less than a week, I had to go through the hassle of finding a new handset.
For the most part, everything else about the phone is pretty good or at least a reasonable compromise for the low price. It's a shame that one little "feature" had to ruin it.
on November 18, 2012
I recently just bought another cell phone (the Kyocera S2300) and as much as I loved how the phone appeared, that was the only thing I liked about it!
This cell phone is so much better. It's so clear and free of static, especially when it rings! The keyboard is perfect! Yes the buttons are pretty flat, but I have had NO problem (and again) it's easy to type on this keyboard (compared to my other cell). Also, I love the smileys (as it has a good amount). The screen too is pretty large (larger than it looks in the display picture). The camera I think is pretty good too. Not the "best" camera phone, but much better than some. But, you do have to lower the resolution on the camera in order to send it. This camera does have different shooting modes too which I think is a nice little feature as well. I was worried that the battery life wouldn't be good on this, but wow was I wrong! The battery life is GREAT and I'm so pleased with it.
Now the Cons (which are slight):
The phone leaves a light smell on my hands somewhat. They smell like I've been holding batteries. To fix this problem, I'm just getting a cover/case for this phone.
Ringtones. Unfortunately, this phone can't D/L ringtones by just buying them on the Virgin Mobile website. You have to access the Virgin XL on your phone. I have not been successful at downloading a ringtone yet, but I know you can do it.
*Note: The USB data cable does not come with this
phone on Amazon (as it does on the Virgin Mobile website).
8 months later the battery seemed to take a turn. Oneday it just started needing to be charged much more. Maybe it's just time for a new battery, but still-annoying!
* 1 month later from last UPDATE:
The phone now needs to be charged DAILY! I barely use this phone and it's ridiculous. Seems I may have to switch back to my older phones!
2 months later: Suddenly (still runing on the same battery) the phone charges every few days-just like new. What a weird phone! Especially since I use it the same amount. Guess I will keep this one after all.
on April 3, 2013
I want to like this phone. I really do. I got it for twenty bucks, which is a good deal in every way, except that this phone is more annoying than Carrot Top on cocaine. If you have it set to anything other than all silent, like, say, "ringtone off" because you want to use the alarm, then whenever you get a text or a call, it starts beeping at you. Every minute. Do you feel like your life is taking too long? Are you waiting for some exciting upcoming event? Because if so, the Montage can help you. Minutes will have never seemed so short as when your phone beeps once per while you're trying to sleep...or drive...or talk to someone...or pour a cup of coffee...or try to control your ever-increasing rage...and there's no way to turn it off.
I've had a lot of Samsung phones, and they were all great. I don't know why Samsung decided to make a phone with the worst feature ever and then make it impossible to turn that feature off, but I'm guessing that there was a bet with the devil and a beating with a tire iron involved.
Otherwise, phone seems okay. Personally, I find the slide-out keyboard a little difficult to use (I have to reach really far for the space bar and it seems oddly difficult to press), and it's annoying that you have to turn on predictive text every single time you text someone. (There's a setting in the phone to turn it on, but I have no idea what that applies to, as clearly it doesn't mean messages; I think it must just be there to mess with your head.) Also, minor complaint: You can't change the menu background from VM's red with white text. In general, though, it's a pretty good phone; if you're deaf and so smelly that no one is ever in your physical company to be annoyed by the beeping, go for it, man. This phone has your name on it.
Oh! Positives: It locks easily. The key lock turns on automatically, but you can turn it off if you like your phone having conversations with people without you, or you can switch it so that a navigation button locks it, which has you put a number code in to lock and unlock it. My last Samsung phone involved navigating through multiple menus and took 7 steps to lock it, so this is nice. It also has parental controls, if you want to prevent your parents from making poor choices regarding data and picture messaging. Plus, it comes with Tetris, which is by far the best thing about this phone.
**Update/edit: Okay, after two more days of this phone while waiting for a different one to get here from Amazon, I can add a few more things to this. First, the alarm does work while the phone is set to "all silent," which is a positive in that it allows you to sleep without incessant beeping, but a negative in that if I tell my phone to be silent, I want it to be, y'know, SILENT.
Second, it cannot handle sending texts >160 characters. Seriously. I saw that in a review, but thought that people must be confused about how to use phones. My unwarranted assumptions have come back to bite me, though, because it really doesn't. My previous Samsung phone would indicate by character count when I'd moved over 160 characters and start a "new" message, but it still let me keep typing (up to I think seven 160-character messages--and writing this out is making me think that perhaps I send too many texts). This phone? You get to 160 and it beeps at you and tells you that you're over the limit. Then you have to either save or send that message and begin a new one. WTF.
Third, while I haven't sent/received many picture messages, it's screwed up two that I've received (only got half the picture), and when you tell it to save a picture, it defaults to saving it to your phone even when you have the card selected as the destination for pictures--because apparently that only means pictures you take, not ones you receive.
Thus concludes my horrible experience with this phone, which I will be beating to death with a sledgehammer as soon as I activate my new one.
on November 13, 2012
So I wanted a phone that wasnt fancy, just got rid of my touchscreen and it wasnt because it was too complicated or anything like that I just missed the slide out keyboard and feeling buttons! I mainly used my phone for aps and games but I have a tablet now, and to be honest it felt like a chore texting with my touchscreen, with this phone texting is exciting for me again! Love it! Great battery life, it doesnt die every two hours, it lasts all day. Even with my touchscreen being new it only lasted a few hours. I get good service, i can hear clearly, speakers are loud, it rings good. Great buy, i would recommended it!
on May 9, 2013
Others have mentioned the voicemail/text beeping until you acknowledge and I have to say this is a major problem for me as well. I'm a light cell phone user, but that doesn't mean I don't get junk texts and wrong numbers. My phone lives in my purse in a desk drawer most of the day so the sound of the beep isn't actually the biggest problem - it's that the beep seems to sap the battery. When I don't miss a call, the battery can last nearly a week, but if I return from a 2-hour meeting and hear my phone beeping in the drawer, poof - I'm down to a bar. I've even found the phone dead, when it started the morning with three bars. I keep a spare battery with me, but sometimes I don't look at the phone for several hours and don't know that it has died (my husband tells me when I get home :()
I also learned the hard way that if you want to take the highest quality photos the camera is capable of (which is the default setting), and do anything with them, you must have a memory card. I went to send one of my first photos and found it was too large - the 2.0 mp default size is larger than Virgin Mobile will allow through the network. My pictures were trapped in my phone until I purchased a memory card and microSD to USB adapter to get them out. So that works, but it's more money and certainly more effort. I learned through research online that you can change the default photo size to 1.3 mp and then you can send photos directly from the phone. Maybe my issue here is with VM for limiting the message size, but if this phone was designed for use on a VM plan, then shouldn't it default to a compatible size?
Also, although my phone is set to automatically go to keyguard, it seems to take a while. I haven't figured out how long, but several times I've pulled the phone out of its pocket in my handbag and it had been dialing 9999999999 or some other nonsense when it locked down.
Otherwise, great phone - hence the three stars. It has lots of features for the price, decent screen size, and it's easy to use. Photo quality (at 2.0 mp) is very good. I'm not a regular texter, but I find the keypad comfortable for when I return a text or search the web. If it weren't for a couple quirks, I'd truly love this phone.
on October 14, 2012
This Is a great phone for calling and texting. And 1500 mins and 1500 text for $30 a month, you cant beat that. Well worth it if you just want a simple phone. If you want a toy that does a million things then this isn't the phone for you.
on December 13, 2013
I've had this phone for several months. I don't want the cost of a smart phone, but want a keyboard for texting so this was what I thought was the nicest of options available with Virgin Mobile. I got a nice cover for it, spent hours transferring my contacts....and now have discovered that the incessant beeping I've been hearing isn't a figment of my imagination, nor can I turn it off. When you miss a call or receive a text, the phone gives you a series of reminder beeps that go on and on forever (or until you check the message, whichever comes first). I messed around with the phone, trying to find how to turn this off, as I'd always been able to do with previous phones, but to no avail. Finally I sat down with my friend Google to see what smarter people could tell me about this issue. Sadly the information I found was bittersweet. First, I'm not as inept as I thought; second, unfortunately the beep CAN'T be turned off. CAN'T. I still am in shock about this. That beep is the bane of my existence. Example: I carefully silenced my phone during a recent play performance, only to hear this distant *beep* at a quiet moment....how embarrassing. I just figured I was doing something wrong. NOT. It's this phone. So...buy wisely, if you like beeping.
on December 14, 2012
This is great for a not-so-smart phone; I get my emails from Yahoo and Gmail quickly; the voice quality is fine; have a few issues with signal strength but that is a Virgin Mobile problem not the phone itself. Would recommend this phone for an upgrade from the very basic free phone from Assurance Wireless. It is compatible with the free govt phone assistance program.
on October 15, 2012
i bought this phone thru VM website. better quality,well made,slimmer than his brother Samsung M575,excelent for having any of the paylo plans.my sister has one of this and she love it,she text a lot and uses the slider keyboard and says the keyboard is a little cramped but she can works with that.the battery life is not that great, and this is my main concern but for me that only use the cell por casual calls is not a real problem,but if u are a big texter,web user or caller u most charge the phone daily for sure.anyway... for the price and service this is a good cell to have with the paylo virgin mobile service.
on March 9, 2013
i don't require anything fancy, just a good phone. and this samsung is pretty nice as a basic cell phone. it's heavier than i expected, and seems to have a quality build to it. the speaker phone is much clearer and louder than my last phone which was a cheap one. so for $40 i can't complain . a must buy for folks that are stretching their dollars.