The Straight Talk website has recently added the Straight Talk Samsung R451C to its online store for $99.99. (You can now get a FREE refurb R451C with purchase of airtime card!) Why is this news? Because the R451C is the the first QWERTY keyboard phone to be offered in the TracFone family of prepaid wireless services.
Click above image for more details.
I don't have my hands on one of these yet, but along with the slider QWERTY keyboard, it has a 1.3 megapixel phone, an mp3 player, and bluetooth. I won't list all of the details here, because you can find them on the Straight Talk website, but it's not a bad feature set for a prepaid phone.
Of course, you have to activate the phone with either the $45/month unlimited plan or the $30/month 1000/1000/30 plan, so factor that in to your initial outlay of cash to get this phone. The website lets you purchase the phone in a bundle with one of the airtime cards to make it easy. Plus, they're throwing in free shipping right now too just to sweeten the deal.
If you're new to Straight Talk, you can read my initial Straight Talk Review to get a better idea of how it works and how it's different from TracFone and Net10.
Update: The curiosity was too much, so I checked my local Wal-Mart to see if they had any Straight Talk phones in stock yet. Alas, they did not. Not to be deterred so easily, I ordered a R451C from the Straight Talk website with the overnight shipping. Stay tuned for pictures and hands-on details in a few days.
Update 10/26: I've had a chance to test out the R451C a bit over the past few days. I'll get a full review posted in a few days (hopefully), but I'll go ahead and post a few highlights now.
I was able to successfully connect both via bluetooth and via a usb cable to my computer and move files back and forth between my computer and my phone. The usb cable and microSD card are NOT included in the package when you buy the phone.
I was able to copy a mp3 file to the R451C and both play it with the music player on the phone and set it as a ringtone.
I've been able to send mms picture to and from the R451C both to another phone and to email.
I've been able to browse to any website I want. Here's a pic of my phone logged in to m.facebook.com
I was able to record a message with the voice recorder and set it as a ringtone. You can set different ringtones for different contacts, so now when I get a call from home, my ringtone is my wife telling me that I'd better answer! :-)
I was able to copy files from the internal memory to the SD card. I went with a 2GB card because it was the cheapest.
I haven't seen any way to sync your contacts with outlook or any other way to download them from the phone. I was, however, able to log in to my gmail account from the browser.
To lock the keypad on the R451C, you hold down the * key. It took me a while to figure that out. To unlock the keypad you press the left soft key and then the * key. Sliding out the keyboard also unlocks the phone.
You find all the official specs on the Straight Talk website and here's a link to the manual, which I was surprised to find in printed form in the box. In the meantime, I'll keep plugging away on an official review, but for now I'll say that in general I like this phone and haven't found any major disappointments.
Update 10/31: While waiting around for trick-or-treaters tonight, I thought I'd post a couple of link you might find helpful. The first is the official R451C page on the Samsung website. Be sure to click on the tabs across the middle of the screen to find more details about the phone's features.
Also there are some tutorials on the Straight Talk website under the support section. If you don't have the phone yet, these tutorials will help you explore the features on the phone.
If you have found the information on Fone-Review more helpful than the sales clerk at your average big box retailer, please help me to continue helping everyone!
UPDATE: I now recommend the Straight Talk Nokia E71 as the phone to get if you want a true smart phone from Straight Talk. The E71 runs the Symbian operating system and does all that you would expect a smart phone to do.