Samsung T201g Review Part 3

Please note that this is a follow-up to my Samsung T201g review part 1, which you can find here, and Part 2, here.

Connectivity

Samsung T201g, LG 600g, and Motorola w376g

Samsung T201g, LG 600g, and Motorola w376g

There are many cables available to connect various Samsung phones to a computer via USB port. Some of these even claim to allow the phone to be used for dial-up internet access. None of these cables are specifically advertised as working with any of the Samsung models that are available for TracFone and/or Net10, but I tried out some of them anyway. Unfortunately, the Net10 and TracFone Samsungs cannot be connected to a computer by these cables, in my experience.

Extras

As we’ve seen with all previous TracFone and Net10 models that include a web browser, the browser on the Samsung T201G can access only content available at TracFone/Net10’s mobile site. The site was redesigned and that added a few features, but the fact remains that you won’t be able to use the browser on this phone to get to anything outside of TracFone/Net10’s offerings.

[NOTE: I didn't download any ringtones with the T201G, but I was able to do so with both the T101 and T301, so it shouldn't be a problem with the T201. For the remainder of my “ringtone” portion of the review, please keep in mind the testing was done on the 101 model:]

One thing that I did with this phone, though, was to download a couple of mp3 ringtones from TracFone’s mobile storefront. The experience wasn’t too bad. Of course the browser is pretty slow, so if you have the option to search for tones from your computer rather than through your phone, that is definitely the way to go.

But I downloaded a ringtone while away from the computer, and the T101G did fine downloading it. In all, it took me probably 6-8 minutes to search for and download the tone, and that process chewed up 3 minutes of airtime. The ringtone itself cost 17.94 minutes in my case, although that will vary depending upon which airtime card you last added to your phone. I’ll try to work out a post on this in the future, but the basic idea is that the bigger your last airtime card, the more it will cost you in airtime units to buy a ringtone from Tracfone.

The ringtone I downloaded was 118 kb, compared to the phone’s memory capacity of 2,465k. That’s a pretty good amount of space if all you’re downloading is ringtones (and maybe wallpapers) from TracFone.

I should also point out here that I was unable to get pics or ringtones from any source other than Tracfone’s storefront. The ringtones are saved as mp3 files, which seemed promising, but I couldn’t find any way to get any data files onto the phone.

The organizational tools are pretty standard among modern phones. The tools menu offers the following:

  • Calendar – This function offers quite a few features, with the ability to enter an appointment, anniversary (meaning a repeating event, I guess), task, or miscellaneous items. The calendar can then be viewed by day, week, month, or item type. The calendar can store up to 100 items, and repeating events (i.e. the same item occurs every day at the same time) take only one memory slot regardless of how many times it repeats. I did have a couple of minor gripes with this function, but they may not be of great importance to you: 1) I couldn’t find a way to set the default entry mode in the calendar subjects to be T9 entry. Every time I set a new calendar event, I had to switch to T9 before proceeding, and 2) I could not find a way to set a “snooze” function on the calendar events.

  • Calculator – This calculator is the easiest to use of any cell phone calculator I’ve ever used, mainly because each function is assigned to a specific key, and the map to those keys is displayed on the screen at all times. Also, the calculator allows for parentheses to be used, which means you can do some basic algebra on here if you really want to.

  • Tip Calculator – Enter the total cost of your meal, enter the tip percentage you want applied, and then enter the number of people splitting the bill (if applicable). The calculator then will determine the amount to be paid by each party.

  • Converter – Another very handy feature. Convert between different units of Currency (although I’m not sure how the phone determines conversion rates on this one), length, weight, volume, area, and temperature.

  • Timer – Enter a time and the timer will count down, alerting you when the time as elapsed.

  • Stopwatch – Count-up type timer, with up to 30 splits possible.

  • World time – Find out what time it is around the world.

  • SIM app. – I haven’t played around with this yet because I didn’t want to risk disabling my TracFone, but this appears to be the function that can unlock the phone for use on other services. With TracFone or Net10, though, it’s important to note that if this feature is indeed functional, there will be no going back to TracFone/Net10 if you do unlock it. Anyway, I suspect that the phone cannot really be unlocked, as has been the case with all phones released by TracFone or Net10 in the last two or three years.

  • Games – none. I was surprised to find no games whatsoever on this model, nor is there any possibility to download any from what I can tell. I suppose that ultimately helps with the battery life, but I also know that some people are very interested in what games are on a phone, so I had to point that out.

Summary

In my opinion, this is an adequate, but pretty uninspiring device at this price point. It’s a good size, light weight, the appearance is good, and I like the features that it offers, including the organizational tools and fast text sending. On voice quality, though, the Samsung T201G comes up short in comparison to many of the cheaper or similarly-priced options that are available.

If you’ll using the phone primarily for voice calls, you would be better served by a the cheaper w375 for Net10, or if you’re looking for more features you won’t be disappointed if you spend a little more to get the LG 600g or Motorola EM326g. Click here to see what’s available from Net10.

On the TracFone side of things, I recommend one of the Motorola w-series models, the best of which is the w376g and has recently been offered in appealing bundles from TracFone.com. The LG 600g is also an option on TracFone, and the Samsung T301G is better than the 201 model in many ways as well. Click here to see what’s available from TracFone in your area.

If you’re sure you want this phone, and want to find out how to save $8 on this phone, click here.

14 thoughts on “Samsung T201g Review Part 3

  1. The biggest issue for me with this phone is the poor connectivity if you live in an apt or are visiting someone in an apt. I have to go near my balcony door to make a call. Secondly, I can’t view pic attachments in txt msgs. Brutal. And the keyboard is clumsy when messaging (very slow clicks) and the symbols insertion is unbelievably awkward. It may be a cheap phone, but it is of questionable value, even if inexpensive.

  2. i have a question, How do you access Bluetooth on this model????? I have one, and can’t seem to figure it out.

    thank you, Bella

  3. I just received this phone. When I call this phone it does not ring, I go right into voicemail. Do you know how to correct this? There seems to be an icon of a phone with a red line through it on the top of the screen. Thanks, Geoff

    • Geoff, it sounds like the the phone is not connected to the network. This means either you don’t have a good signal, or the network is available but isn’t correctly associating your phone number with your new phone. Does the phone show any minutes? If so, that means the phone has been activated and the network should at least “know” that your phone is out there. But it might still need to update your phone with more info.

      After you’ve verified that you have a good signal, try turning the phone off and then on again, then wait a few minutes. Try this a couple of times. If it still doesn’t work, you’ll want to get in touch with Net10 customer support. Try working with “Elston,” who you can get in touch with through the email I put on this page:
      http://pbush14.wordpress.com/2009/08/30/tracphone-support/

  4. You are right about the signal. I found out about it after reading the manual.
    I wish Net10 would include all the details from the Samsung manual or post it on its web site.

    Geoff

  5. i just purchased the T201G phone yesterday; and activated it yesterday. Today(the next day) the phone still doesn’t have a phone no. Why?

    Also, I was playing with the phone earilier today and can’t set the clock or date function. How do you do that?

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