For my Straight Talk Samsung R451 Review, I thought that I would break the review up into several parts. That way I can go into more detail on each aspect of the phone without creating a monster review for you to wade through. Plus, it lets me level out the workload over several days.
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.
So let's get started with an overview of Straight Talk Samsung R451C. The first thing you'll notice is that it has a slide out QWERTY keyboard, which comes in real handy for entering text message or website URLs.
The keyboard also makes the phone look a lot like a smart phone, which can be good or bad. It can be good if you're trying to impress your friends with your fancy new phone, but it can be bad if you expect it to have full smart phone functionality.
For instance, when I first took the phone to work, my buddies said "cool, can it synch to Outlook?" Um, no. When I showed it to my brother, he asked "can it open Excel and Word documents like my phone?" Um, no. I've had a couple of readers ask "can it run the Opera Mini or Bolt browser?" Um, no. Can it run Windows Mobile, Symbian, Droid, etc.? No. Can it tether to a laptop? No.
In short, you can't expect to pay $100 with no contract and get a full blown replacement for your Blackberry, iPhone, Sidekick, or any other smart phone. And no, you can't port your smart phone over to the Straight Talk service, since only Straight Talk phones will work with their service.
So what can you expect? You can expect a decent prepaid phone that has the slide out QWERTY keyboard, and 1.3 Megapixel camera that takes OK pics but no video, an mp3 player, bluetooth, MMS picture messaging, voice recording and dialing, and a bunch of other standard features that you can find on the Straight Talk website.
Of course, one of the best things about all Straight Talk phones is that they work with the excellent prepaid no contract service plans offered by Straight Talk:
- $30/month for 1000 minutes 1000, text messages, and 30 MB data
- $45/month for unlimited
To close out this overview, I will say that I've been using the phone a couple of weeks now, and overall I'm pretty happy with it. The keyboard makes it MUCH easier to enter data of all types into the phone, which is a big reason why this phone will be attractive to many people. No, it's not as full-featured as a smart phone, but it's also not as full-priced as a smartphone, and you don't have to lock in to a 2 year contract to get your hands on one.
Stay tuned over the coming days and weeks as I continue to add more installments to this review by covering the phone's features in much more detail.