Brief Review: Samsung R455C On Tracfone
Today, my new Samsung R455C cell phone came in. It runs on the Tracfone service (which is actually just AT&T or Verizon service “rebranded” as Tracfone). This one happens to be running off the Verizon part of the Tracfone network. It comes with TRIPLE MINUTES FOR LIFE too!
My boyfriend ordered one for himself and one for me as a surprise. (Now, this sounds ridiculous, but I carry around multiple different cell phones at any given time, for different reasons). Usually I carry around my main smartphone, which is on T-Mobile, my extra smartphone on Virgin Mobile, and my extra “dumb phone” on Tracfone. I love my Tracfone phone because it has reception everywhere, the sound quality is better than my other extra phone, and the battery lasts about a week and a half or so before I need to charge it again.
Anyway, the new Samsung R455C is replacing my old LG 220C flip phone.
Here are some pictures of it unboxed:
^ The QWERTY keyboard has soft buttons. The front number pad, the send/end button, and the “soft keys” on the front of the phone are hard buttons. I find that the soft QWERTY keyboard keys are easier for me to text/type with. I guess maybe because I’m a girl with nails, it feels like it’s easier for me to text/type when the buttons are soft so my nails sink into the softness, instead of it slipping on hard plastic, slick buttons. Also, it feels sturdy in-hand without it being heavy. It’s definitely not flimsy and doesn’t feel “cheap”.
^ The keys on the QWERTY keyboard are wide and the layout is pretty straight forward, so it’s easy to use. No dedicated “@” button or “.com” button though.
^ The TOP of the phone has a spot for you to attach a landyard or keychain to, along with the charging port (which is micro USB).
^ The left side of the phone has the volume rocker. The phone slides up from this side to reveal the QWERTY keyboard.
^ The right side has a dedicated camera button, along with a standard 3.5mm headphone jack.
^ It HAS a micro SD card slot, which can be found by taking off the battery cover. (It’s on the same side as the volume rocker).
^ The screen is pretty nice and big.
^ The font and text size in the menu is very readable.
^ The buttons are all backlit.
^ It even has a FaceBook app you can download. A very simple one though. Nothing real fancy.
^ The FaceBook app isn’t preloaded onto this phone, so you have to open up the browser, navigate to facebook.com, then download the “app” from the download link that it provides there. It’ll then install a FaceBook app under your “Games” section of the phone. It tries to mimic an app as best it can for being on a feature phone like this. It’s pretty good though! It has icons that you can check everything from, a place to post your statuses, and you can even see little thumbnails of pictures that your friends or you post.
In-Call Quality and Speaker Quality
The in-call quality is excellent. It’s crystal clear (even in my room, which is like a spotty bomb shelter at best). It doesn’t pick up much or any background noise. I had the TV, fan, and air purifier going while I placed a test call to my boyfriend. He said it wasn’t loud and that he could hear me just fine and clear. The volume also can be set very loud which makes the other person easy to hear over a lot of noise. Speakerphone works really well. I could hear the other person loud and clear as well as be heard loud and clear while on speakerphone. I had to take off the back sticker that came on the phone because it was blocking the speaker that the sound was coming out of so it made everything sound a little “tinny” or like the sounds were coming from a tin can. After I took the sticker off, it sounded much better and not “tinny”.
ALSO, my mp3 ringtones sound EXCELLENT on this phone. I loaded my ringtone up to my SD card (which I had to provide myself, the phone didn’t come with one), and tested out a couple different ringers, and it was clear and crisp! I tried to take a video of it… It’s not the BEST quality, but check it out. The sound is pretty good for mp3 ringtones!
This video was recorded when it was playing the ringtones on medium volume.
Camera and Pictures
The pictures taken with the camera come out pretty good! It has a 1.3 mp camera. It takes better shots in full daylight and standing at a distance of at least a foot or two at the very least (as do mostly all camera phones). Night shots aren’t bad.
Here are some pictures taken with the camera:
^ Full daylight picture standing about a foot or two away from the spider plant.
^ Full daylight picture at about 6 inches or so away from the plant.
^ Shot of same plant at night (not in night mode) under regular bulb lighting.
^ Full daylight INSIDE picture of my cat Sasha while she’s sleeping.
^ ANOTHER full daylight INSIDE picture of my cat Sasha while she’s sleeping. (Yes, I bother her like this ALL the time).
First off, this phone limits you to 160 character per message (about 1 page). All of my Tracfones were like this, but it still irks me. Sometimes I need more than one page! Secondly, I type pretty fast and I found that when I use the QWERTY keyboard, it seems like it has a bit of a hard time keeping up. I think because the predictive text is on, so it keeps trying to pop up predictive words. It’s much better when it’s set to the “abc” mode when I’m texting with the QWERTY keyboard. When I use the number pad to text with the t9 predictive, it keeps up pretty well.
Some other features I didn’t mention that I like are:
-Multiple alarms (my old blackberries NEVER could have more than one alarm set at a time! I never understood how a “business phone” like that could only have ONE alarm).
-bluetooth apparently DOES do file transfers (as I found out from my boyfriend)
Features I do not enjoy:
-The browser sucks. Period. As expected though.
-If the phone is laying flat on it’s back on the couch or bed, the ringer is harder to hear because it comes from the speaker on the back of the phone which gets muffled by the couch or bed.
To John: This phone DOES have a stand-alone music app. It’s simple, but very efficient!!! I was impressed.
I tested out exactly what you asked about.
You DON’T HAVE TO use playlists for this phone. I just started playing directly from my whole library. Also, I tested out how many songs you can add to a playlist, and it appears you can add as many as you want (if you want to make a playlist but not be limited to only 11 songs like your other phone.. haha). And it looks like you can have multiple different playlists with as many songs as you want in each.
Also, I tested out calls and texts while the media player was playing. It will auto-resume itself in the spot it was interrupted in after you end a call you pick up or after you reply to a text that you got.
Edit to the music player section: I tested it out and it looks like both the ringtones folder AND the music folder are pulling from each other. I loaded ringtones to the ringtones folder, then songs to my music folder and it looks like when I go into the settings to play my ringtones it’s pulling both ringtones AND songs! even if I put them in separate folders on my micro sd card! The music player is exactly the same. When I open up the music player, the library pulls both songs and ringtones so your library contains both your songs and your ringtones! The only way to separate out the ringtones from your songs in your music player is to make a playlist with all your songs on it, versus just playing the songs from your library itself. I guess if you don’t load up ringtones, then this is not a problem, but if you do then it is kind of irritating.
Okay, so my battery FINALLY died today. It lasted me 10 days. I don’t really heavily use my phone though. I browsed facebook a few times, took a handful of calls, and texted. 10 days is really good though!
Also, a problem has been brought to my attention by someone commenting on my youtube video… he/she said that when you set a picture ID for one person, then try to set another picture ID for another person, it resets all the other pictures to that same picture! Not a deal breaker in my book, but still irritating. Here is the commenter’s original post:
“Have you tried setting pictures for your contacts, i’ve been having an issue. When i set a photo for a contact, it randomly puts the same photo for other contacts. Try putting in pictures for several contacts and scroll through them and let me know if the same thing happens to you.”
I tested this out, and it turns out to be true. I hope this problem is fixed with a firmware update! SOON! I had only set a picture ID for one person, so I didn’t even notice this!!!
Edit to problem with the picture caller ID: YAY! Dave has brought it to my attention that there’s another way to set individual caller IDs for each person! THANK YOU THANK YOU!!
In regard to the problem involving setting a picture ID for more than one person, try going directly to the picture itself through My Folder, then go to options and Set As, follow through the steps to set it as a contact photo. Do this for each photo/contact. I haven’t seen if this works when actually receiving a call, but it did seem to work right when I scrolled throught the contact list. You’re mileage may vary with this, but it’s worth a try.”
Menu > My Folder > My Images > Images > [Select the image you want to set as someone's picture ID] > Options > Set As > Picture ID > [Select contact you want to set the picture for]
So instead of setting the pic straight from the contact, you go to the picture itself in the images then set it from there. Tested and verified by myself. Will show individual IDs from different callers. Also tested and verified by myself.
I ordered a case on ebay for $7 from the seller “expressmycell”. It fits well, feels nice, is easy to put on and take off, and has all the correct holes. I really like it. :) It’s listed as fitting the Net10 version of this phone as well as the Tracfone r455c. This is the “premium jet black hard case cover”:
Pretty snazzy eh? :D