Samsung T401g Review – Part 1


General Overview

The Samsung T401g debuted last week for Net10, showing up in a seemingly limited selection of Kmart stores at a retail price of $79.99. At the time of this writing (October 19th), the phone is not available for purchase from Net10’s website. However I expect that by the end of the month it will be, if the rollout timeline of previous models is any indication. When it does show up for sale on Net10’s site, customers will be able to save $8 using the Net10 promotional code discounts found here.

Samsung T401gSamsung T401g

I would expect that it will begin showing up soon in other stores as well. For now, though, the T401g has been very hard to find – appearing in some, but not all, Kmart stores. It seems likely that Net10 will want this model more widely available as we get deeper into the Holiday shopping season, however.

There’s also not any concrete indication at this point that the model will be available to TracFone users. Of course, if a TracFone Samsung T401g does show up, I’ll let you know about it with a post to this blog.

Now let’s get to the phone itself: It’s a GSM phone, and has a side-slider with a qwerty keyboard on the slide-out portion. The front of the phone also includes a standard numeric keypad.

The phone weighs in at a fairly heavy 4.4 ounces, and measures 4.4″ long, 2.0″ wide and 0.7” thick. This is rather bulky compared to any new phones released in recent years.

But when it comes to features, the T401g has most of the things we have been hoping for:

  • qwerty keyboard
  • unrestricted bluetooth – transfer files between compatible devices and play stereo music from the mp3 player, as well as for voice calls
  • 1.3 megapixel camera
  • video camera (no, that’s not a typo – it actually has the capacity to record video)
  • mp3 player
  • expansion memory slot – microSD for storing pics, videos and mp3s
  • and something that’s big for Net10 users – text messaging costs just .3 units per message, instead of the usual .5 units for Net10 phones. (At least, that’s what the packaging advertises. In my actual experience, I was charged .5 units per message. I’ve inquired with Elston in the tech support department to see what the problem is.)
  • hands-free speaker phone
  • web browser (though still limited to Trac/Net10’s mobile web – so it’s not everything we’ve been asking for)
  • voice recorder


The appearance is a little blocky or chunky compared with the other phones we’ve seen for Trac/Net10 lately, but then it has a full qwerty keyboard to pack on as well as the hardware for video capture, so I guess that’s understandable.

On the plus side, there is no Net10 labeling whatsoever – just ‘Samsung’ imprinted on the front, below the screen, and on the back. The home screen, of course, can be customized to remove the mention of units and days remaining, so without exploring the menus an observer would have no way of knowing this is a prepaid phone.

All of the surfaces on the T401g are dark and glossy and the device feels sleek in my hand. As stated above, the phone is rather heavy, but an advantage of that is that it feels solid and durable. Only time will tell, of course, how it’s going to stand up, but it seems like it will have a good useful life.

The phone is a little larger than what I’m accustomed to, as I ported my number to the T401g from my LG 600g, which is one of the lightest, smallest TracFones ever made. So it has taken some getting used to as I carry the Samsung in my pants pocket. I was definitely aware of its presence at first. Though I have gotten used to it over the last several days, I’d imagine it would be hard to lose even in a purse or deep coat pocket. If you like tiny, lightweight phones, though, you’ll likely be disappointed with this one.

General Phone Function

The general phone function on this model is above average. An interesting thing I’ve noticed is that the T401g seems to be able to make calls just about anywhere. It compares favorably to the EM326g, where several times I’ve had the problem of attempting to make a call with 1 or 2 bars, only to receive the message “call failed” and see the signal meter reset to zero. I guess it’s kind of a game that some manufacturers play – sometimes a phone will show 1-2 bars of reception, yet not be able to connect a call.

The Samsung T401g is just the opposite – I found a couple of areas, such as in the bottom level of a parking ramp, where the phone showed no signal. However, I was able to connect a call and it sounded just fine. Compare this to the EM326g,

The voice quality is similar to the earlier Samsung T301g or the LG 600g – good, but not great. It definitely does not sound as clear to me as the recent Motorola devices for TracFone and Net10, which are the best-sounding phones I’ve ever used.

The volume was good through the standard ear piece, as well as through the speaker phone setting. However, while using the speaker phone I did notice some distortion – while the other party was still understandable, it was somewhat garbled. This could pose a problem in noisy situations or for those with hearing impairments. That being said, I personally did not have a problem using the phone while riding in a car at highway speeds.

One of the biggest surprises for me so far has been the battery life – it’s been great for a device with so many features. I bought the phone on a Tuesday night and the battery was partially charged when I opened the package. I then charged it fully on Wednesday afternoon as I began to test it out.

During the following days, I used up 15 minutes of talk time and sent and received maybe a dozen text messages. I also had the bluetooth (inadvertently) turned on for at least 24 hours, and spent time taking pictures and video as well as navigating the menus and playing games. The phone did not run out of battery until a full five days later. This compares favorably to the Motorola EM326g and w376g as well as the LG 600g, all of which have shorter battery lives.

Admittedly, I have not yet used the mp3 player to any great extent, other than to make sure it works. When I do test that function, I’ll report on it’s effects on battery life.

I’ll also be reporting on a lot more in future installments of this review. I’ll have the next segment up on Wednesday at the latest, and hopefully complete the review by the end of the week.

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108 thoughts on “Samsung T401g Review – Part 1

  1. you’ll probably cover this later in the review but how does the screen look(quality wise), in comparison to the em326g? im asking b/c when i got the em326g the screen was basically the same as the w376g; which is kinda blocky and has that little glare effect when you are looking at a photo(which hurts my eyes after a while lol).

  2. Hey!

    I bought this phone over the weekend. I also noticed that it was still deducting the .05 units for texts. I called customer service, and after having me enter several codes, it is now deducting the advertised .03 units.

    Hopefully this helps!

    • gocubsgo – I don’t think anyone knows for sure if it will come out for TracFone. There is some evidence on TracFone’s site that it might also be a Trac model eventually, but there’s been similar evidence since spring that the T201g might be a Trac model, and yet nothing has happened yet.

  3. Hey, great reviews. This blog greatly influenced my purchase of a Samsung t301g last spring. I don’t know if other people have found this out, but on that model at least I could visit a few mobile versions of websites(I’ll use facebook as an example) by entering “facebook” on Tracfone’s mobile site search tool…I thought I should let you know also that once I was on facebook, I couldn’t log-in because the t301g doesn’t have web cookies :(…I just thought I should let you know. Thanks!

    • I’ve been able to log into facebook on my LG600g. Upon further inspection, it seems that the lG has the option to turn cookies on or off. You’re really not supposed to be able to access anything but Tracfone’s downloads site, but few are able for some reason.

      Can’t wait for part 2 of this review, and hope it reaches Tracfone soon.

  4. Pingback: Posts about Camera Phone Reviews as of October 20, 2009 | Camera Phone Reviews

  5. I asked some of these questions on part 2, but I want to get them ALL together.

    Does this phone’s camera has zoom?

    Is the qwerty keyboard cramped in?

    Is the mobile web limited like other not10/ tracfones or no?

    Do you have any idea if it will be comign out for tracfone.

    What is better. This phone, or the SAMSUNG R451C?

    Is the SAMSUNG R451C available for tracfone or net10

    Will the phone be available for tracfone?

    Thanks ☺ Sarah

    • -yes the phone has zoom

      -the keyboard looks to be pretty spacious

      -mobile web is, and probably will always be limited

      -not sure about it coming out for trac

      -i think this phone maybe slightly better b/c of video recording, but the r451 has a better keyboard. but if you have the t401 in your area, chances are you wont have the r451 in your area and vice versa. that is b/c the r451 is CDMA and the t401 is GSM

      – the r451 is available for net10, but neither on trac (yet)

      btw if you type in samsung t401g on google there are a couple sites that will give you specs on the phone.
      hope this helped!

    • It depends on how much you use your phone. If you talk aLOT, then you’ll want to get straight talk. But if you mainly a texter like me then you’ll want to get net10.
      The down side to straight talk though is that there aRe no roll over mins.

    • Sara, there is a java app that you can get for your phone that you can browse the internet with, without using units/minutes.
      just reply if you want more info

    • This is a great phone. The texting on it is fabulous! The keys are spacious and responsive. Very well laid out and super easy to use. All of the numbers and symbols are right on the qwerty keyboard, you just have to hit the alt button first. The keys are well lighted, too. The main keypad is also very easy to use. I love the 4-way button in the center. I goes directly to either texting, contacts, settings, or messages. It also has a button set directly to composing texts with lots of templates to choose from.

      The 1.3 mp camera has lots of features, including 4x zoom, brightness settings, cloudy, flourescent, daylight, incandescent, or auto. The image editor is so much fun because you can choose from lots of frames, icons, and templates to choose from before sending MMS. And with Net10 you only pay 3 cents per MMS.

      The web browser works great and you can get to any WAP site, including Facebook where I had no problems logging on as long as I set the browser to accept cookies before launching it.

      If you get this phone you will love it. The screen is very sharp and has auto-rotate, of course and lots of phone settings to customize it. You can connect via bluetooth to your computer, or to other phones to share images. I don’t know anything about the mp3 player, but my son will soon find out about that. There is a video player for downloaded videos, too.

      • mom4ever,
        You were using the Samsung T401g on Net 10 right, and you were able to access Facebook, outside of Net 10’s locked site. I’ve read so many places that you couldn’t access outside sites, so can you really and I mean really access outside websites, with this phone. Thanks.

      • Hi mom4ever…

        Could you please explain how I can enable cookies on my T401G?

        Your message:
        “The web browser works great and you can get to any WAP site, including Facebook where I had no problems logging on as long as I set the browser to accept cookies before launching it.”

        indicates that this can be done…


  6. hi there, just got my net10 t401g phone which i like very much. just wondering if you used your SIM card reader to transfer your phone book over. i tried and everything looks like it transfers but nothing appears on my t401g phonebook. any suggestions.

    • it would probably only work if your previous phone was also a samsung. if so then the two phones probably save data differently. did you try putting the entries on the micro sd card? that may work.

      • no as it turns out net10 technical support sucks just like tracfone, which are the same right. browser doesn’t work, text charges me .50 instead of .30. i even called the corporate office browser worked for a little while then stops. i thought this text charge thing was an easy fix. they don’t have a clue what to do.but thanks anyway. might try a different provider, tired of the hassle

  7. sorry to hear about your bad experience steve. i understand what you mean, there are some tracfone/net10 reps that you talk to and wonder “how did they get hired?!?!” but if you keep putting pressure on them they will eventually fix the problem(and sometimes i can get some extra minutes out of them).

    so if you do want to sell your phone, im open! my email is

  8. Does anyone know what that G Icon next to the Signal Strength indicator stands for? ( I wish you could edit your Posts after you send them so I could fix my previous posting)

  9. A few times when my battery was low enough to cause the phone to power off automatically but still enough power that I could turn it back on only to have it turn off again as it turned on and got past the Samsung logo screen it would show the Tracfone logo right before turning back off. Has anyone else seen this strange thing happen?
    Once it is fully charged and I turn it back on it won’t do that anymore and shows the NET10 logo on boot up.

  10. Hey if anyone knows how to put mini opera using Java on the phone that would be great! It would be really nice to see the web without using minutes!

  11. hi,

    I bought the T401G last weekend ($39.00) at BestBuy. Where can I buy the accessories (usb data cable). They are not offered on the Net10 website.

    • Ms.,
      i got the same deal at best buy on friday!
      you can get a data cable on amazon/ebay for about 5 bucks. i would really suggest that if you have a bluetooth enabled laptop/pc, just connect it through that. if it is not bluetooth enabled, then i really recommend buying a bluetooth usb dongle. this way you can transfer files and charge your phone at the same time. i got mine in the mail today, and it only costs 3.89 with free shipping on ebay. the seller is in the us so shipping will be pretty swift heres a link if you’re interested.
      also if you do get the bluetooth dongle search the web for a better bluetooth managing software for the pc. the microsoft one sucks.


    • Sadly it’s pointless to try to find any Java programs for the t401g because there is no way to run them on the phone, it’s not like the LG600g where you can copy jar files to it’s memory and then install the program. Also you can’t get around using minutes even if you could find another Web Browser for the phone because anytime you connect to the network in any way you use minutes unless you make a call to a busy number or a disconnected number or when you forget to dial the area code.

  12. to all interested in the free web browsing app.

    net10 obviously caught on to what people were doing with the em326g and hid the java folder so people could not use the mini opera app. so as of now the app cannot be transferred to the phone, however there are people working on a way to access the folder. sorry about that wrong info. ill let people know when/if it is possible.

    • ive gotten java apps installed via

      they have opera mini, but it installs into games and i cant seem to get it to connect, sadly maybe net10 made this impossible

      • Sebastian, that’s really interesting. Thanks for sharing – I’ll have to try it out myself and maybe post about it. Can you recommend any apps?

      • How do you go to this webpage using NET10’s so called Web Browser? All I can do is go to the pre set pages that are on the selections of categories like Weather or News or Sports or downloads. I don’t see anywhere where I can type in a specific address.

      • when you press options in the browser there’s an option to type in a URL, and it goes to the site, if it can load it.

        or you can search for it on the homepage i guess

      • I too have managed to get opera on my t401g, but it fails to connect to internet.

        If your trying to figure out a way to install java games/apps to t401g all you have to do is(MAKE SURE YOU CREATE A GMAIL ACCOUNT BEFORE DOING THIS)(I have Straight Talk but this wrks with NET10 too):

        1. download the game/app’s “.jar file” from websites like UMNET(download any game marked 176×220 or 176×208) or MOBILERATED(just google them).
        2. access ur Gmail account(only wrks w/ gmail) and attach .jar files in a message addressed to yourself.
        3. on ur t401g access the browser and go to url and sign in.
        4. scroll ALL the way down till u see “Basic HTML” and then click on it.
        5. Now scroll through the page until you see the unread message you sent urself before and then click on it.
        6. Scroll down and you will see the .jar attachments, now just click “scan and download” and ur phone will ask you for permission to install, just say yes.
        7.Sit back and watch java install ur game/app.
        8.The game/app will be installed under Games.

        Good Luck Everyone!

    • Hello Aaron,

      My son got the Samsung T401G phone in Feb 2010 with Net10 is his provider. Today I found this website and was reading the posts and noticed that it’s been awhile since you spoke about the free browsing app. I’m wondering if you have an update?

      Is there a way to browse the web without burning minutes using the Samsung T401G?

      On another note…
      The reason I found this website is because I’m trying to find information on how to transfer text messages from the T401G to the PC. My son wants to keep some of his text messages and has been doing research to figure it out. There are a couple of websites with information on how to do the transfer, but the phone seems to be the limiting factor.

      Those websites are…

      This website gives several ideas, including emailing the text messages to yourself. Since there are 230 messages it would cost 69 minutes – which is only $6.90, but doing 1 text message at a time would be tedious and time consuming to say the least.

      Solution #2 – Use the file Manager or Synchronization Software That Came with Your Phone to Save Text Messages From Your Cellphone. I don’t recall any software coming with the phone.

      Solution #3 – Use 3rd party Text Backup Software to Save Text Messages to Your Computer. – only has a UK phone number which
      doesn’t seem to work.
      Dashwire sounds super cool, but doesn’t appear to support
      the T401G.

      Solution #4 – Use a Sim Card Reader to Save Text Messages to Your Computer.
      Any recommendation here – one that will actually work for
      copying the text messages to the PC?

      Solution #5 – Subscribe to a Cell Phone Monitoring Service to Save Your Text Messages.

      Solution #6 – Hire a Text-Saving Service

      Any suggestions would be appreciated.



    wingfeather explains it.

    hes right about the “Ads” listed games, i wouldnt go for any of them.

    so far ive downloaded Zelda, g3tr1s, vpoker, galactic attack, and futureforceredux

    zelda is loads of fun, poker/tetris are only soso and i dont recommend them, the last two are sort of space invader arcade like and are really fun.

    once again, opera mini installs into “games”, i could even download it from, but it wont connect to the internet.

    you had the em326, how did it connect, and where was the file in your phone? i’m thinking either net10 blocked something on this phone or it isn’t in the proper place for it to work.

  14. Samsung now has a more complete manual than the one from net10.

    I am very interested in putting video onto the phone. I tried one free 3pg converter and it wouldn’t play on the phone. At least it was closer than the m4v format, but trying other settings hasn’t worked. Any body taking video and putting it on their phone?

    I did get the mp3 files to play by making sure the ones I downloaded were unzipped and following the suggestion that I change the setting in phone setting, usb mode from what comes on to the mass storage setting.

  15. NET10 and Straight Talk are the same is officially confirmed. I purchased 150 minutes with Easy Minutes and the charge that appeared on my debit card was from NET10 STRAIGHT TALK NET10.COM FLUS – BILL PAYMENT so it’s offical they are the same and are not trying to hide that fact from the public. So now is Tracfone going to also be considered owned by NET10 and not the other way around?

    • Interesting – my Straight Talk purchase in December showed up on my credit card as being from TracFone. I don’t think it really matters that much; I think they’re just sloppy about some things.

  16. Can anyone share what type of battery life they are getting out of the Samsung T401G? We got two of these from Net10 for Christmas and so far we are getting about 5 days of battery life from them. This is with approximately 10-15 minutes worth of talk time, 1/2 dozen or so text messages, very little bluetooth usage, and limited amount of navigating menus.

  17. Is the Samsung T401G both CDMA & GSM? I currently have a Tracfone LG3280 and it is. Really enhances it coverage since it runs on both networks.

    • Allen – The t401g is GSM only. The LG 3280, as far as I know, is CDMA only. Could you point me to some info you’ve found indicating it can do both? I’m not very experienced with that model. I thought that CDMA/GSM dual coverage is a pretty expensive feature in a phone, so I am surprised it might be in a TracFone handset.

  18. OK, I just had to share this info. Since I purchased my Net10 Samsung T401g about six weeks ago I have been trying to figure out how to get free Ringtones, Games, Java Apps, etc. on the phone and today I came across the following info:

    It really works, I have already downloaded and installed a couple of games, a wallpaper, and even an App that all loaded and work just fine. Try it out and let me know if it worked for you as well.

    Enjoy … MosesX

    • MosesX – thanks for sharing that link. Like someone mentioned in that HowardForums thread, some people seem to run into problems for some reason, getting 403 errors on the umnet mobile site, as well as some others. I am one of those that gets the 403 error. However, I’ll be doing a post about this soon to demonstrate the possibility for other t401g owners. Please let me know if you have any additional input for that future blog post.

      • pbushx2 – please let me know when you post the blog discussing the 403 error. As I have some friends with the Net10 T401g that are also getting this error. Does anyone have a workaround?

      • If your experiencing 403 error and want to add downloaded Java games to your phone try the following:

        Use GMAIL to upload Java Games to Samsung T401g:

        1. On your PC, login to gmail, and attach your favorite 172×220 .jar file to an email and send it back to your own gmail account.

        2. Now on the T401G go to browser, email and networking, gmail. while there you might add this to your favorites, to save a couple of page loads.

        3. Login to your gmail account.

        4. In order to download the attachment while on the mobile site, go to the bottom of the gmail site and change to “basic

        5. The page will be a litle jumbled up but navigate to your message near the bottom of the page, then click the message that contains the attachment.

        6. From there you should be able to download the attachment, and run it. It will from then on show up in your games. Enjoy!

      • MosesX, thank you once again for sharing this info. Are you the same one who posted it in HoFo? I’ll be writing a post about it, and want to give proper credit.

  19. Web browsing question: I’ve been able to access Facebook on my t401g from the time I purchased it (November) until just recently. As far as I can tell, several other external sites (Myspace, Twitter, eBay and others) are still accessible. Does anyone know if/why Facebook specifically has been blocked?

    • Luisa, that’s really odd. I haven’t noticed that problem myself, but I’ll be interested to hear whether anyone else has had a similar problem.

      • The main Facebook page is not blocked, but when I try to log in, I get the 403 Forbidden error message. I’ve been able to sign into my email and eBay with no problem. I haven’t tried Myspace or Twitter (don’t really use them), but their names are listed under My Portal–>Email and Social. I’ll try logging into those and see if they are blocked as well.

      • Seems like the Facebook problem was a bug that has been fixed. I’m happy to report that today I was able to use the same t401g to access FB without the 403 Forbidden error being displayed. I’m really glad to see that Net10 hasn’t intentionally blocked Facebook access.

  20. I am still wondering if I should get this phone it sounds awesome! But, I am worried about the internet browser….I hope someone can list the information about getting to update your browser. Thanks for the advice.
    P.S. Do you think this phone would be good for a ‘Teenage Texter’?

    • Hi PhoneNerd
      I’m not sure exactly what info you’re looking for regarding the “update to your browser.” Basically, you will not be able to access the “whole” internet, just some mobile sites listed by Net10. Here’s a list of what I can currently see on my phone:
      Igoogle, Yahoo Mobile, MSN Mobile, Net10’s downloads section, Hotmail, Yahoo mail, Gmail, AOL, Twitter, MySpace, Weather, Yahoo Sports, Fox News, MSNBC, Super Pages, Moviefone, Wikipedia,, eBay mobile, Amazon mobile. I also am able to get to facebook mobile by manually typing in I’m sure there are some other mobile sites you can get to by entering their mobile address.
      Basically, yes, I think it would be good for a “teenage texter.” The QWERTY is really nice to have if you’re doing a lot of texting.

  21. Is there a way to prevent access to the web browser? I got this phone for my 11 year old, and I don’t want her to access the social networking info on the browser–especially under “My Portal.” If I could put a password or lock on any part of the browser, or at least forbid access to the “Email and Social” part of My Portal would be enough.

    I’m not getting anywhere with the Net10/Tracfone folks–not sure that they understand what I need to do. Seems that I need a data block for them to set, but I can’t get them to do it.



    • Hi Chel
      I don’t know of anyway to block the browser. I think you could ask Net10 to block all data, but as far as I know that would disable the entire browser as well as any MMS messages.

  22. Hi again,

    Got a small problem here. I am trying to set up a bluetooth connction with my T401g and I forgot the “passkey” that the phone is asking for to establish (a parity?) in order to connect to my Win64 Vista laptop. Now it shows the name of the computer under “BlueTooth Devices” in control panel and the phone in turn sees the name of the computer…but they aren’t talkin.



  23. Does anyone know if Straight Talk has regular full Internet Access or is it like NET10 where you are limited to their special Internet sites that aren’t really the true Internet?
    If not is there a discussion group for Straight Talk?

  24. Hey everyone, I just wanted to say I tested out getting jar apps on my T401G through the Gmail method, and it worked! I used about 6 or 7 minutes in the process, but its better than paying 50 minutes for a game.

    I got Zelda on my phone, its sweet! Thanks everyone! :)

  25. This phone can actually access Facebook with the URL “” I think some other data-enabled Net 10 and TracFones can access Facebook using this URL…

  26. I noticed a lot of these comments are….old.
    Today there are lots of website and answer on the internet for your cell phones. Just do a search on the internet for your problem or phone and there will be tons of links.
    My fovorite website for my Samsung T401G cell phone is this website: It has more than enough free games and applications for your phone. It has more than one way to download and install these java stuff to your phone. It also has a cool forum that can answer almost all your questions and answers you have. If not…post it and someone wioll probably asnwer it for you. I have contributed to this site and forum.
    Lots of goodies for your phone is here including Androd phones stuff. This as of AUG 12, 2010(today). Good luck and check it out! :-)

  27. I just got the t401g for Straight Talk and I’m having some serious battery issues. Fully charged it will only last half a day without any use at all just from being on standby. Has anyone else been having this problem?

  28. has anyone else been having the problem of the phone charging like 5.5 minutes for a picture message? because mines been doing that since i bought it and i was gettting mad so i called it in and they gave me codes that didnt work if anyone knows how to help me with this issue,plz contact me at my email!! my friends kept sending me picture messages and i lose minutes very fast plz help!!!! My email:

  29. maybe you covered this already, i haven’t read every post. if you have, i apologize.
    i just bought this phone and am looking for some sort of cover for it, not a case, but a cover. i tend to drop my phones and would like some protection for it.
    do you know where i can buy a cover?

  30. I have a Motorola EM326g Net 10 phone. I cannot get gmail to work. Its not on the list of Mobile Web sites, but I can get there by entering the URL. It allows me to enter my logon id and password, then comes up with the “forbidden” error. I’m only trying to access my email–seems ridiculous if I can’t even do that. Anyone know how I can fix this?

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