Samsung r451c Review – First Impressions

I finally got my Samsung r451c for Straight Talk late last week (It’s also available as a Net10 phone). I will review it soon, but it was a crazy weekend so I didn’t have time to put together much info about this model yet. I promise I’ll get to it throughout this week, but for now I wanted to share with you my first impressions of this CDMA handset. To follow along as I post more info about the r451c, please refer to the r451c review index page. I will post links to all new content there.

Before I get into the details, I’d like to note it is also available for Net10, though it seems to be VERY hard to find a Net10 version right now – hopefully we’ll see more soon. And I’ll also point out right off the bat that I have no evidence to indicate that this phone will ever be available for TracFone, despite the fact that many TracFone users are hoping for a model with similar features. I hope I’ll be proven wrong, but for now it doesn’t look like TracFone will be adding the r451 to their menu.

I recently finished up my review of the Net10 T401g from Samsung, and the r451c is very similar in many ways. Both include a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, 1.3 megapixel camera, mp3 player, mp3 ringtones, microSD memory card slot for extra storage, unrestricted bluetooth, and the ability to transfer data to a PC using a USB cable.

They share a similar glossy black finish, and are also nearly identical in the size of the device as well as the size of the screen size. In my T401g, I commented on how heavy that phone was. The r451c, in fact, is even a little heavier, at 4.6 oz for the r451c compared to 4.4 for the T401g. If you’re used to a compact, lightweight phone, something of this size will take some getting used to.

The r451c is also different from the T401g in a few ways. First, the r451c is a CDMA phone, meaning it uses the Verizon/Alltel networks. In most areas, coverage for the T401g will be very similar to the r451c. However, there will be some areas where the r451c will have coverage that the T401g does not, and fewer areas where the T401 can connect to a network but the r451c will be out of coverage.

The other major difference is that the Samsung r451c lacks a video recording option. Despite the fact that the T401g camcorder doesn’t produce good quality video, it at least has the option. The r451c has both a camera and voice recorder, but no camcorder.

The Samsung r451c DOES have voice-activated dialing, which is a feature that I love. For those who opt to use their phone in the car occasionally, I believe it’s a big safety feature to be able to dial with your voice rather than having to take your eyes off the road to dial a call. It’s not as safe as staying off the phone completely while driving, but it helps.

The other differences between the r451 and the T401g are rather minor, and are as follows:

  • QWERTY keyboard on r451c has four rows of keys, while T401g has three
  • minor difference in numeric keypad layout
  • small differences in menu layout
  • r451c has a 2.5mm headset jack for voice calls (though stereo music listening will still require use of the Samsung proprietary port, as with the T401g)
  • r451c has a shortcut key for the mp3 player – press and hold the camera key to launch the music player (functions only when the keypad is unlocked)

I’ll be activating my own Samsung r451c this afternoon, and putting it through my voice call testing routine. This will also be my first experience with Straight Talk, so I’ll also be learning about that service as I go. I hope to be able to put together a nice Straight Talk review sometime soon, too, taking a look at the overall experience with this new wireless provider.

I’ve locked the comments on this page, in order to focus all the comments on this topic into a single location. If you want to post comments or ask questions about the Samsung r451c, please do soon the review summary page.

42 thoughts on “Samsung r451c Review – First Impressions

  1. Very interesting. Hope you have a lot of people to talk to with all those phones! LOL!

    Seriously, tho, I’d like to see a comparison between the Web capabilities and limitation between the 401 on Net10 and the 451 on Straight Talk.

    Would value your observations.

    Thanks.

    • RockinRich – there really is no comparison – the Net10 version is limited to Net10′s “web,” while the Straight Talk is pretty much unrestricted.

  2. I’m very interested in the Straight Talk Unlimited program. The phone will only be used for long-distance talking (lots of it!). No texting, no camera, no Qwerty, etc. Any recommendations between the LG 200, and 220C in terms of audio quality? I’ve read your reviews and have seen the feature comparisons…both rate highly in terms of call quality.
    But what happens if the phone, which will be used out of state, is unsatisfactory? Can it be “exchanged” at another Walmart, or does one have to wait until the 30 days are up and buy a different model? Thanks for any info!

    • remmi – I believe it can be exchanged, but I don’t know how this affects airtime that you’ve already paid for. As for the two phones you mentioned, I really really really like the 220c. If you don’t need a camera, mp3 player, or QWERTY keyboard, it really is a nice little phone. It excels at all the basics like voice call audio quality, reception, and battery life.

      • As with any prepaid phones if you are exchanging phones you can keep your prepaid minutes you already purchased. If you are just returning the phone for a REFUND, you will completely lose those paid minutes and can not get a refund on them. Same loss if you switch prepaid carriers.

  3. The thing I’ve been wondering about is web access. In thier promo brochure it sounds like full internet. If that’s true, Straight Talk would have to be the single best deal out there at a choice of $30.00 a month for 1000 minutes and $45.00 unlimited. I was planning on looking into Boost, but I would rather have a Samsung than a Moto.

    • Pete –
      It is full internet. I just got my first ST phone set up a few days ago, and I was able to log in to facebook, gmail, hotmail, twitter, and espn.com. I’ll keep testing it for my review, but for now it seems to be pretty much unrestricted as far as where you can go.

    • forgot to mention, though, that internet is slow. It uses Verizon 1xRTT, as opposed to the newer, faster EVDO network.

    • Pete, I currently have a boost mobile phone…it absolutely sucks for coverage and I’m in one of their supposedly heavy covered areas. The coverage of that straight talk phone blows boost out of the water. Plus Pete…why would you purchase a boost 50.00 unlimited (actually costs 53.10) that has restricted internet as simplistic as the old Atari graphics, when you can pay straight talk only 45.00 and have full unrestricted REAL INTERNET??? That would be a serious waste of money on your part after losing 5-8 dollars EVERY month and not get the FULL use you’d enjoy.

  4. Once you activate this, you’ll be able to do a more complete comparison. Looking forward to it!

    @Pete
    When comparing Straight Talk with other providers, do keep in mind that there are no daily fees or roaming charges with Straight Talk, unlike others.

  5. The 401G and 451C are both now available from the Net10 website. Both are priced at $79.99.

  6. I picked one up a week ago today (Straight Talk version). It took a few days/phone calls to get the number port/forward from my old VMobile prepaid accomplished. Since then however it has been working flawlessly. Only a few minor annoyances for me. First the camera button on the side right where I’ll push it while talking or even picking the phone up is annoying! This is not an issue as long as the keypad is locked. Second I haven’t found a case to fit it yet that I like, this is more my being picky than an actual shortcoming. Coverage to date has been great (only used in Mich so far) , I actually can use it at my house which I couldn’t do with VMobile. The less expensive plan is going to work fine for me. The “web access” is a bit of a joke but doesn’t matter to me anyway. I plan on getting the Net10 version for my wife at some point in the future, the rates are better for texting at net10 than VMobile (.05 instead of .15) and the coverage is much better around here (thanks Verizon).

  7. I see you said “no camcorder function” for the 451. I’m looking at the Net10 site right now and it says:
    “1.3 Megapixel camera and video recorder”

    I assume you’ve used it enough now that you can verify 100% if it is or is not present.

    thanks for all the work you put in!
    Byron

    • byron, if it’s there I sure am having a heck of a time finding it! It’s also not advertised on the phone’s box anywhere, and I don’t see anything about a camcorder mentioned in the manual.

    • You’re right Byron, I’m reading it right off the details page at Net10. They say the Samsung R451C includes a “1.3 Megapixel camera and video recorder.”

      So does the R451c record video or not?

  8. Looks like a great deal for the unlimited. Kind of a bummer about the report that it uses 1xRTT instead of EVDO. Have you tried doing phone-as-a-modem on the 451C yet? I’m really curious if its even possible on this device. Also, any clue where I can get the drivers for the 451C? Thanks for reviewing this product and ST service. I look forward to reading more of what you have found out.

    Sincerely,

    Ego

  9. Thanks so much for the feedback, but JUST as I was all set to buy the LG220c with Straight Talk, I went to the Walmart site which warned me that this phone model is “not operable” in the zip code I entered (33066). Same for the LG100! The LG200CM is okay, though.

    Now I’m afraid to take a chance, but wonder why some models are inoperable despite Straight Talk claiming unlimited long-distance, no roaming, etc.

    • hey, yea i had the same problem, i did sum research and actually they say they are not opperable there BECUS they area u are in do not have straight talk phones in stock, so it comes back saying it wont work, but it actually will, if you go to the straight talk website and type in ur zip it will work, it works almost anyware becus it works from the verizon phone towers, and they have great service, plus the fact straight talk does not charge for roaming so this phone shuld work just about anyware any cell phone does

  10. I jus got the R451C a couple days ago, and on both the Samsung site and ST it says it has Embedded Java games…but how do I access them or unlock them?

    • I would also like to know this. Its very frustrating to have to resort to that, but if they don’t offer it, they shouldn’t advertise it.

  11. I have a few questions about this model compared to the t401g. How is the music organized? Can I put java programs on it (games)? Also about the sdhc port (wats the maximum it accepts)? Can you put individual ringtones to contacts (and put your own mp3 ringtones on the phone)? Thanks for the help.

    • Also I’m not talking about the straight talk version of the phone, I’m talking about the net10 version of the phone.

  12. If I buy the Samsung R451C from Net10 and use it for the free 60 days can I then switch it to the Straight Talk service (get a new phone number) and continue using it? Or do I have to purchase the R451C specifically for Straight Talk?

  13. Help???
    I have only one reason for holding off on Straight Talk R451C…

    So far I have found nothing anywhere that indicates that one can sync or use any utility to easily input or transfer your contacts (in my case nearly 700, including multiple phone #s, Email addresses, and a physical address). I have found a hint that the Motorola V3a can use the standard Motorola phone tools software to do this.

    Can anyone update us on the actual limitations of contacts on these Straight Talk phones.

    Thanks…

    • I have spent hours on the phone with Samsung, Straight Talk, and even more time searching online. They all say that there is no way to sync the phone with any PC software. In fact, samsung says they have no plans to modify their present software for the r451c.

  14. Well, it says on Net10′s website that has a mobile web in addition to the ringtones, graphics, and games you could download. It also says that for the samsung t401g, but not for any other phone, even the ones that do have the restricted internet access with the downloads feature listed on the website!

  15. i bought the lg220c strait talk from walmart and it wont let me transfer (bluetooth) my contact list in any shape form or fashion from my other phone to it.. the coverage here in my area for the phone is ridiculously bad, i had cingular before and i got full bars where i live and now im lucky to get one bar. using it to get on the web..yeah unlimited.. but getting it to connect?..another problem. what im wondering is if the higher priced phone, the samsung r451c gets any better reception..has a better built in antenna maybe? or, even though i live in arkansas about 100 miles from wal marts home office where you would think something like this should work really well since they sell it (lol) if i should just go back to buying minutes on cards for another service?..any help appreciated.

    • Brian, there is a code (I believe *228) that will make most CDMA phones pick up towers not already programmed into the phone. Give it a try to see if it helps. I have the Tracfone version of this phone and have great reception in my remote area, so the antenna is not bad (unless you got a bad phone).

  16. I just bought an LG220c and the browser doesn’t work. I keep getting a message that says network connection lost. Has anyone else suffered this problem? Is there anything I can do about it (without having to call them)? Any help is appreciated, thank you.

  17. I just bought the R451C from the Straight Talk Service and there isn’t any game options, does anybody have a clue how I can put games on this?

  18. Although Samsung’s website lists the phone as being Java capable, this being a CDMA phone running on Verizon’s network, it’ more likely that it uses BREW (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Binary_Runtime_Environment_for_Wireless). For some reason a lot of BREW phones get advertised as being Java capable. BREW is a lot like Apple’s App store or Verizon(closed source), where you can only download and run programs from the store ( in this case Straight Talk); as all BREW apps have to be approved by both Qualcomm (maker of CDMA chipsets – my Samsung Blackjack II has a Qualcomm 3G HSDPA chipset – so we know Samsung used Qualcomm) and the carrier. There is a way to port J2ME/Java to BREW, if you are a developer. It costs about $400 for the BREW SDK (even though I’ve seen it called open source). Just the the iPhone SDK requires a Mac.

    I wonder if you can run the Java Virtual Machine from the SD card?

  19. Update on the Motorola V3am Phone. It does synchronize with Outlook using Motorola Phone Tools v5, both with USB and Bluetooth. Granted the Contacts list is a dumbed down version of what my V3xx can do but good enough for me. No Physical address or notes fields.

    It can handle data fields for: Full Name, Category, Work, Work Fax, Home Phone, Mobile, Pager, Work Email, Main number.

    This Translates to Outlook data Fields: First, Last, Category, Business Work, Business Fax, Home Phone, Mobile, Pager, Email (1), Primary.

    The calender does sync, and reminders appear to work normally but I have not checked into the complete details.

    I just got the phone this evening (visiting parents in AZ) so haven’t even paid for service yet. I am pretty far east of Mesa, where my ATT 3G phone is getting poor (2 bars) reception, and this Straight Talk phone has full signal (5 Bars).

    Will further test tomorrow and provide more updates.

    BTW, the return policy on the phones, according to the “guy behind the counter” is 15 days to any Walmart, with all parts and packaging.

    • I had a motorola Razr and used the Motorola softare you mentioned before changing to the Samsung phone. After many failed attempts wih the Samsung software I did go back and give the Morotola software a try just got the heck of it . I could not get it to read the phone contents at all – nothing. I tried it again a few minutes ago and got a message saying the phone was incopatable with the motorolas software. I can use Windows Explorer to read and write to the Samsung optional memory card I put in the phone but all it contains is folders for pictures, ringtones, etc. The contacts are no where to be found on that card. Can you give me any special settings you used with the Motorola softeware so I can give it a try again. I really need this feature. Thanks for the update and I do hope I can get this to work. I rally appreciate your info.

    • Billy, That’s great info. Thanks so much for taking the time to post about it. I know a LOT of people are wondering how they can transfer their contact lists to new Straight Talk phones without manually entering everything. This should help some of them. Thanks again for sharing.

  20. I just bought the R451c so far it has been a good phone overall. One thing is that the internet is very slow.So if your bored and want to browse the internet your out of luck, but if you want to jus look for something specific your okay.Rick the R451c does have internet.(If you have not used all your data mb)