A Review of the Samsung Galaxy Centura for TracFone

by pbushx2 on

[Note: after debuting on HSN.com and then showing up on eBay, the Samsung Galaxy Centura is now available from TracFone.com directly. Click here to check it out].

I have had my TracFone Galaxy Centura for almost two weeks now. I started toying around with it right away, but didn’t activate it until about three days later. I’m now on day 8 of using it nearly exclusively, dumping my previous devices into a drawer to get the full experience. So far, I have to say I’m pleasantly surprised.

Samsung Galaxy Centura Review TracFone’s Samsung Galaxy Centura

Before I get too far into this review, though, I should point out that I am evaluating this as a $99 phone, with a monthly cost potentially as low as $7. I don’t have the same expectations for a Centura on TracFone as I would have for an iPhone 5s or Samsung Galaxy S4 on a Verizon contract.

In my opinion a good way to estimate the cost of a phone is the total payments over two years. I’ve seen this done different ways, and of course we have to recognize that contract plans offer a lot more data than what you might use on TracFone. Regardless, the minimum 2-year cost I’ve seen for owning an iPhone 5s on Verizon’s network is $2100.

Compare that to a TracFone Centura, adding a $20 airtime card every 90 days, and the total including the initial phone purchase would be approximately $275 depending on your local sales tax. Even if you went with 450 minutes (which would triple to 1350 minutes, 1350 texts, and 1350 mb of data) every 90 days, the total would be about $750 – a far cry from the iPhone price. (Click here for more details on TracFone pricing.)

Of course there are ways to tweak the numbers on either side, but my point here is that no matter how you might do the math, this Centura with TracFone service will save you significant money against a top-of-the-line smart phone on a contract. So that is how I chose to evaluate this device – as a bargain option for people who are likely to use TracFone anyway, not as a replacement for a high-end phone.

Now that I’ve got that out of the way, I am happily surprised with this device. I previously carried a TracFone feature phone, for voice and text calls, and an iPod touch, for the apps and audio content. I used my iPod for a lot of organizational stuff – email, calendar, reminders, alarms, notes, and minimal web browsing. It also was my source for time wasters like Facebook, casual games, and YouTube. Further, I listen to podcasts, audiobooks, and/or music on a regular basis. But I’m close to home most of the time, so I can usually use all those features over WiFi.

When I heard about TracFone offering Android phones, I was hopeful, but not necessarily optimistic, that one of those Android TracFones might replace both devices I previously carried. (Truth be told, the headphone jack on my iPod recently quit working, so I started using a hand-me-down Android device for audio content, bringing my total daily device count up to three.) So far, I have to say that the Centura is doing the job admirably.

Right out of the box, the Centura looks better than I thought it would. The design style is clearly (to me, anyway) similar to Samsung’s flagship Galaxy devices such as the S3 and S4. In my opinion, it doesn’t look cheap, though it is quite light weight.

Some people might think it feels cheap due to the plastic construction. But to me, it feels well-balanced and sturdy. The battery cover clicks snugly and securely into place, which for me is a big part of what makes it feel cohesive and secure as opposed to flimsy. And having broken a few ipods in the past, I’ve grown to favor more plastic construction over metal and glass, as the plastic absorbs impacts better.

I am also a fan of the size of the Centura. It is very nearly the same dimensions as an iPhone 3gs, or just slightly thicker than an iPhone 4 or 4s. The Centura, like the iPhone 4s and earlier iPhones and iPod touches, has a 3.5-inch screen. The trend over the last several years has been toward increasingly larger screens, and if that is your preference you will be disappointed with this model. But for me, it is perfect. I strongly prefer to be able to operate my phone with one hand. Once you get over the 3.5- or 4.0-inch screen size, depending on the size of your hand, it becomes difficult to reach the upper corners of a screen with your thumb.

Next, of course, is the important question of how well it runs apps. Because I have my Google account configured to automatically download previously used apps to a new Android phone when I add it to my account, I had around 70 apps downloaded right away. I have since added 10 more, bringing my total up to 80.

Everything seems to be running fine so far, with the slight exception of when I played around with a “live wallpaper.” For those of you that don’t know, this is kind of a gimicky option in Android that allows users to make their background image move. When I tried it out, it decreased my battery life and slowed the performance of the phone. Other than that one afternoon, I have not had problems.

Apps usually load quite quickly, and swiping side-to-side between home screens or through my pages of apps works smoothly. I’m sure that a Samsung Galaxy S4 or new iPhone makes these transitions faster than the Centura, but for my $100 TracFone, I’m very happy with its speed. I should also add that I’ve had better results with the speed of the OS when I shut the phone down completely every night. Similar to old Windows PC’s, this phone seems to run better when you give it a fresh restart regularly.

TracFone Centura Package Contents

Of course, things happen to operating systems over the course of time, especially as new apps are added and when the phone is used extensively. So only time can really tell how it will perform on a regular basis. But so far, I see absolutely no reason not to recommend this device to someone looking for their first smart phone.

One thing that I definitely need to point out is the operating system here – this phone runs Android 4.0, also known as the “Ice Cream Sandwich” or ICS version of Android. As I understand it, Ice Cream Sandwich is the lowest you’d want to go in terms of buying a new phone now. ICS has since been superseded by Android 4.1, nicknamed “Jelly Bean,” and 4.2 “Kit Kat” is just around the corner. Explaining the differences among these Android versions is subject matter enough to fill an entire website on its own. For my money, though, Ice Cream Sandwich is good enough and will be acceptable for at least a year or 18 months to come, and probably as much as two years or more.

I’ve got a lot more to report on my experiences with this phone, but I’ll publish that in a future article (or two) on this blog. For now, I think that if you are anxious to get this phone and are looking for an objective opinion, my suggestion is to go for it. You can click here to get to TracFone’s website and place your order.

{ 74 comments… read them below or add one }

Marge October 10, 2013 at 3:17 pm

I agree! I’ve had the phone for a week and used it as wi-fi only for 5 days since I was leaving on a trip and didn’t want to risk transfer problems from the LG 840G. Good thing! The number transferred but not the minutes. After about an hour on the phone with Tracfone it was finally right.

As you, I carried an iPod and Tracfone and now only need one. My email with both GMail and a Comcast account sync with no problems, and my calendar from Google syncs cleanly as well. I’ve downloaded a few apps since it doesn’t have the memory my 32 GB iPod had and made a purchase on eBay with the phone. I installed a 2 GB card for music and pictures and it works great, so I’ve ordered a 32 GB micro SDHC card to add more of both. Apps apparently can’t be moved to the card, so you need to keep the phone clear of pictures and such. You can change settings to send pics to the card from the camera.

So far, I’m delighted. I only need one device at last and it’s Tracfone so I save a bundle as noted.

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Chris October 10, 2013 at 3:20 pm

Is it on Verizon or ATT?

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pbushx2 October 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

Chris – it’s Verizon

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Sid October 10, 2013 at 3:31 pm

Hi
I am interested in the Galaxy Centuea from Tracfone
The price shown on their website shows $129.99 for the phone,where is it available fro the $99.00 you state?
Thanks
Sid Krogstad

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Kevin October 10, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Thanks for the review! I’m looking at making a choice between the Centura and the ZTE Valet, which runs Jelly Bean. Any plans on a review of the Valet? It’s currently 30 bucks cheaper than the Centura.

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elijah green April 15, 2014 at 5:54 pm

The valet is an okay phone, but is obviously made cheaper and faster. It also is as slow as mollasis in winter. Much better to buy centura. Many had problemes with the valet screen completely giving up. Hope this is helpful.

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John October 10, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Kevin
You might want to check the reviews on Amazon of the Valet offered by other carriers. I decided to go with Samsung.

I have had the Centura for almost a week now and feel that it is a solid quality phone and worth the extra money. Not a single problem.

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John Bud October 10, 2013 at 8:16 pm

Looked up the Centura just now on the Tracfone web site, and it was priced at $129. Did I miss something?

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pbushx2 October 11, 2013 at 9:46 am

Hi Sid and John –
That was my mistake. I apologize. You are correct; $129 is the price.

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Robert Lacroix October 10, 2013 at 10:20 pm

Kevin
Thanks for your 1st review of the TracFone Samsung Galaxy Centura.
I’ve always used your reviews to help me pick a phone.
I am not familiar with Android yet, but I look forward to read more from you.

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Joe Culfa October 11, 2013 at 12:25 am

I am sitting on a one year, 400 minute tracfone airtime card that I have not applied to my present tracfone (LG800G). If I purchase one of Galaxy Centura phones and apply this card will I get 1200 minutes, 1200 texts and 1.2gb data along with one year of service? What about any remaining minutes that I would be transferring from my LG800G to my new Centura? If I transfer over 500 minutes will I get just the 500 minutes of airtime, or will it provide the airtime along with 500 texts and .5gb of data?

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pbushx2 October 11, 2013 at 9:52 am

Hi Joe,
Yep, it sounds too good to be true, but your 400 minutes would be what I have started calling “triple-tripled.” So your 400 card would get you 1200 minutes, 1200 texts, and 1200 mb of data. As far as transferring minutes, yes, it is supposed to work as a triple-triple just like adding a card. However, some customers accounts I have read about have resulted in just the MINUTES being transferred, but no texts or data. This is NOT as advertised, and can be rectified with a call to TracFone’s customer service. I’d suggest, in that case, either contacting them via the “support” link on their facebook page, or at their “executive resolutions” hotline: 1-800-876-5753. I will be doing a very similar transfer (~400 minutes) next week, and I’ll let you know how it goes.

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Carl October 11, 2013 at 4:15 am

I would be interested in knowing how well this phone runs some of the android wifi hotspot apps

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Ann-Marie October 11, 2013 at 5:01 am

your link came up for a phone for 49.99 w/ qwerty sliding keyboard and then wanted my zip and said not available in my area…. or surrounding areas… don’t think it was even the same phone…. also wouldn’t let me leave the ad to check out other phones… just thought I would mention it. not a problem to me as I can go to the website and look around. Still use my lg phone from many years ago as it is still the only phone that works consistently here. I wish I could transfer the minutes from another phone that doesn’t work unless I leave and go 5-6 miles away but with over 1200 minutes and the horrrible experiences I have had in the past and the fact that I have tried for over 3 years to get them to replace the simm card with one that might work here I just feel ‘blackmailed” into keeping it and adding minutes upon minutes that I don’t use….any “black market” buyers for old tracfones? *smile

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pbushx2 October 11, 2013 at 9:44 am

Hi Ann-Marie,
Thanks for letting me know. I think I’ve got it worked out now. This link should go to the right place.

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pbushx2 October 11, 2013 at 9:54 am

One other thing, Ann-marie – if you want to get rid of your phone, I’m sure you could find someone that would be willing to pay for those 1200 minutes still on it. I haven’t looked into it in a while, though, so I don’t know what the going rate is. eBay is where I’d start if I were you. If you don’t want to do that, you can get in touch with me and I can probably help you find someone.
http://www.prepaidphoneguy.com/contact

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Frank October 11, 2013 at 6:16 am

I have this phone and I am very very happy with it. Perfect balance between a very nice Android phone the cost to operate it. Be aware of 2 things. One: you cannot use bonus codes with TF Android phones whe adding minutes. I can understand this since text messages and data are seperated from talk minutes. It’s like texts and data are included for free when adding minutes. Two: because of this feature if you decide for some reason to return to a non-android phone you will not be able to transfer your minutes back. I’m not to wild about this but this is the way it is. I see this as Tracfone opening the door for even better devices in the future similar to the evlolution to the phone lines on Net10 and Straight talk. Nice!

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Frank October 11, 2013 at 6:22 am

One other thing, I was able to transfer 2650 minutes, 150 service days, and my phone number from my LG840G AT&T network phone, to the Samsung Centura Verizon network phone on the TF web site without having to call CS. It took about 3 hrs. for everything to move over and have total service.

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pbushx2 October 11, 2013 at 9:45 am

Great points Frank, thanks for taking the time to post them. I will add this info to a future post. One question – did you have any problem getting 2650 minutes, 2650 texts, and 2650 mb of data?

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Dick October 11, 2013 at 8:59 am

PBUSHX2 –

I’m a little surprised you didn’t address the Centura’s memory/storage. I had a Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V android phone for a couple of years and far and away its most maddening limitation (other than that it ran Android v. 2.1.1) was its ridiculously tiny usable memory — about 379 MB. It was routine for me to enter what the phone called a Low Memory Condition when my usable on-chip storage dropped below 180 MB, and over time — as, I suspect, the apps I had on my phone were “upgraded” and became more bloated — I had no choice but to delete more and more apps to escape this dire situation. And I should add that it was dire because as long as a Low Memory Condition persisted the phone refused to deliver any email or text message … and it didn’t matter whether you were home using WiFi or on the road using the cellular network. Perhaps you’ll address these issues vis a vis the Centura when you get around to enlarging this initial review.

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pbushx2 October 11, 2013 at 9:58 am

HI Dick
Good point, I should have mentioned that in the first review as it is critical info. The storage settings on the centura states 2.75 GB of on-board storage available. This is used by Apps, Pictures, Videos, Audio, Downloads, and “misc.” All those categories except for apps can be stored on the SD card as well, so most of that 2.75 gb should be available for apps. Unfortunately, I cannot find a way to move apps to the SD card like most Android phones allow.

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Joe Culfa October 11, 2013 at 2:16 pm

Regarding moving apps to SD Card. I have an app on my android tablet called Apps 2 SD that is available at the play store for free. It does a good job of identifying and accommodating apps that can be moved. Also regarding not being able to use promo codes on the Centura airtime cards. If that is, true folks might want to consider adding airtime with bonus to your existing phone before transferring minutes and time to the Centura. I loaded a one year triple minute card to my LG840G today and picked up the 250 minute bonus using code 56036. Now when I get the new phone and transfer everything over I will have those extra minutes. Does anyone have any idea or guidance as to exactly what data mb or gb means in relation to time online surfing the net on my Centura? Like is a mb good for 1 minute or 1 hour?

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pbushx2 October 22, 2013 at 12:40 pm

Hey Joe,
I tried Apps 2 SD and it didn’t work for me – first of all it takes a very long time to load the app data, and once it does load the info there is no option to move to SD as far as I can see. I also tried a similar app that could not move to SD either. I’ve yet to find an app to make this work and it seems to me that maybe it is disabled at a deeper level on the phone. I don’t know much about Android yet, though.

Once I get a better feel for this phone as it is sold, I might try to “root” the device and see what new options that opens up for me.

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pbushx2 October 22, 2013 at 12:53 pm

Also, Joe, it depends a great deal on what you are doing during that time. If you are just surfing in a web browser and looking at mobile-optimized sites, you won’t go through your data very quickly. But if you look at a lot of pictures or stream audio or especially video, you’ll start going through data a lot faster. For example, today when I didn’t realize my WiFi was switched off, I streamed a youtube video for my daughter. That used about 6MB of data in 4 or 5 minutes. Other than that, I have used about 185MB in three weeks of having it active. That is what I personally consider to be normal usage – I didn’t modify my behavior at all in an effort to reduce data usage. But neither did I stream any video (except for that one time accidentally) or audio, with the exception of half an hour of Pandora at the gym one time. But a lot of my data was used up by game apps running in the background, things like words with friends and dice with buddies, which were using the cellular data connection to check whether I have any new moves to play in that game. I suspect I can find a way to disable that background usage if I look hard enough. But for the first month I wanted to just use it as it is, to get a feel for how much data I am using.

I am just starting to experiment with apps that will control data usage over 3g, so hopefully I can reduce my usage.

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Michael Marshall October 16, 2013 at 7:55 am

Numerous reviews on Amazon say this phone has a problem with the clock.

Don’t think I’ll be buying one until I hear this isn’t a problem.

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pbushx2 October 22, 2013 at 12:45 pm

Hi Michael
It’s funny, I didn’t have any problems with the clock until at least a few weeks after I bought it. Now it randomly switches to Greenwich Mean Time instead of my actual time zone. Luckily for me I am exactly 6 hours different than GMT so the math is pretty easy, but what an annoyance! It seems to reset whenever I make or receive a call, but until then it screws up a lot of scheduling functions in various apps, so it’s affecting things at a system level. I have not researched much yet as far as a work-around, and I also don’t know whether rooting the Centura might help with that, but I plan to try it out in a few weeks after I have fully explored the stock version of this phone.

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Skeeter October 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm

What about the ZTE VALET? It has a 1 ghtz processor. Does not say anything about GPS capabilities.

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Zaphod B. October 19, 2013 at 1:07 am

On the website they also have a ZTE Valet. It has a faster processor(1GHz) and cheaper $99. Is this a better deal? Is ZTE a good quality phone? How dose it stack up to the Samsung?

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pbushx2 October 22, 2013 at 1:11 pm

Hey Skeeter and Zaphod, I can not site my source any more since I have forgotten where I saw it, but I saw somewhere that there were multiple reports that the Valet is very buggy. But in the week or so since I published my first review (the post above these comments), I have found an increasing number of bugs on the Centura as well. My suggestion – it’s probably worth a look, with the faster processor and newer version of Android.

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Zaphod B. October 19, 2013 at 1:32 am

Hey, Joe C., that is a good question! I have never been able to get a good explination on how data send/recieve rates translate to time browsing online.

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Mia October 20, 2013 at 6:02 am

Do unused minutes, texts, data carry over to the next month?

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Joe Culfa October 20, 2013 at 10:51 am

Mia, everything carries over month to month, but another person has stated that if you buy a new phone you will not be able to transfer everything to the new phone.

Note to buyers. Beware this is a CDMA phone operating on Verizon network. Got my phone and had to return it. I live in a fringe area and had I done my homework online I would have been able to see that the only tower within usable distance for me is AT&T.

Check out http://www.cellphonereception.com for precise information on which network towers are specific to your personal address.

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Joe Culfa October 20, 2013 at 5:02 pm

Actually, this is the site that was most helpful in allowing me to identify location and distance of specific cell towers to my address.

http://www.deadcellzones.com/

One other note, since I am locked out of Android until tracfone comes out with a GSM option, I decided to upgrade my LG800G to an LG840G. At least the 840 is slightly larger, capacitive touch and WIFI friendly. Sure can’t beat the price.

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CrunchyCookie October 21, 2013 at 9:16 pm

w00t, count me among the excited! Geez, the very week I decide to finally leave TracFone for T-Mobile (which up until now offered the cheapest smartphone plan in all the land: $30/month for 100 voice minutes + unlimited Internet), THIS happens!

But is there any truth to the claim by the guy at TracfoneReviewer that Tracfone will also be offering pure data cards? Because as it stands now, it seems like if you plan to actually use this smartphone as a smartphone, you’ll need to be using the $80 card just to get an acceptable supply of monthly data (450 MB), and then you’ll be shelling out $27/month, not much less than the aforementioned T-Mobile or the generally superior Virgin Mobile (300 voice minutes + unlimited Internet for $35).

It seems like only if we can get by on the $30 card (120 voice minutes a month) or $40 card (200 minutes), then tacking on something like $10 for a big-ass chunk of data, will TracFone truly be the ass-kicking value proposition it’s been since the feature phone days.

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pbushx2 October 22, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Hi Crunchy,
Your information was correct. TracFone has data-only cards available from their website in the following increments:

2 GB for $50
750 MB for $20
300 MB for $10

Even at the smallest denomination, that works out to a little over 3 cents per MB – a great deal by any standard in today’s prepaid market.

But I think the real value, if you trust that you are going to be using the phone for a while, is the 1500 minute, 1-year card for $200. That would become 4500 minutes, 4500 texts, and 4.4 GB of data. That’s a LOT of usage for $200, in my opinion. But if you have plenty of talk and texts, then the data-only cards are a solid value as well.

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Chris October 22, 2013 at 12:16 am

New one coming up on QVC this Thursday 10/24 LG Optimius for 99.00 and the same deal as the Samsung. This is an android in black or white plus a cover and accessories. (gingerbread style)

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Chris October 22, 2013 at 12:20 am
Joe Culfa October 22, 2013 at 10:47 am

I was most excited about the LG Optimus until I found out that it is CDMA technology. Certainly they are going to come up with an Android phone with the GSM option. Verizon needs to add a few more towers in the area. Can you hear me now???

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pbushx2 October 22, 2013 at 1:17 pm

Joe, I’m with you on this one. I really honestly believe that this MUST be just an introductory/testing phase for smart phones on TracFone. I can’t imagine that the technology is a big holdup with moving to GSM. It’s only been a month since the first one came out – I think there must be more to follow. And especially since traditionally CDMA phones have been harder to come by for TracFone, I am thinking it won’t be long before we see a GSM Trac Smartphone.

I’m actually hoping that TracFone will eventually have a bring-your-own phone option. I would be thrilled if I could buy a gently used high-end phone on eBay and put it on TracFone service for $10-$15 a month. I think that LTE service could be a stumbling block for this, though.

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CrunchyCookie October 22, 2013 at 3:48 pm

Hmmm I guess it’s a good deal, but maybe not a great one. Assuming every 3 months you pick up a $30 card + supplement it with one of these $50 2 GB data cards, you end up paying $27 per month for 120 voice minutes and 787 MB of data.

Makes sense if you’re consistently minimalist and don’t care about quality, but it kind of seems better to take the extra $8 step to the $35 Virgin plan and get 180 additional voice minutes, 4G, more than triple the data, and better phones.

On that last point, it doesn’t help TracFone’s case that people on Amazon have been reporting frequent crashes/freezes with this Samsung (as has been happening with the 2011-era Samsung I just bought). Hopefully TracFone can add some Ice Cream Sandwich-powered LG or HTC in short order.

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pbushx2 October 28, 2013 at 3:21 pm

Crunchy,
I agree completely with your analysis in terms of price. If you are using that much data, then another plan will probably be a good idea. Virgin does have some favorable pricing, but also runs on the Sprint network, which doesn’t provide sufficient coverage for a lot of people (myself included). On the Verizon side of things, Page Plus has a nice plan in the $30 range that offers 500 mb of data.

I’m also holding out hope that TracFone might allow “bring your own phone,” which would level the playing field in terms of potential devices.

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Joe Culfa October 25, 2013 at 12:10 am

Since I could not get an Android phone to use in my area, I gave myself a treat and got an LG840G as an upgrade to my LG800G. This is a very nice upgrade for someone like myself who has been using an LG800G for a couple years now. After reading some of these Samsung stories, I may well be better off for another year or so. LG840G phone packages are available at Ebay for just about the cost of the minutes that come with the phone. Thanks all for the informative posts.

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pbushx2 October 28, 2013 at 3:23 pm

Hi Joe
I also have the 840g, and have been using it for a few months now. I really don’t like it. I find texting to be extremely difficult, and much of the interface is confusing to me. But it’s been two years since I used the 800g. Do you feel like it was a worthy upgrade from that phone?

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dave October 26, 2013 at 9:57 pm

Bought the galaxy centura 15 mins. after hsn introduced it on 9/21. Rather annoyed when they started selling the tf ZTE a few weeks later for $30 less. Problems so far: I live in a rural area and get poor Verizon signal. Clock widgets will not run. Tracfone account app doesn’t work and neither does “check your balance” on mobile site, must go to full site. Haven’t been able to get $25 play store credit that comes with phone. If you’ve ever dealt with Tracfone CS then you have served your time in hell.

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hank October 28, 2013 at 7:48 am

i bought my centura through e-bay. 129.00 but you get 200 min. card that transfers to 600 min. so theres your 30 doller diff. from 129.

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Joe Culfa October 28, 2013 at 11:11 pm

My first impression is that the 840G is an inexpensive upgrade and improvement for a few reasons. The capacitive touchscreen vs resistive. The slightly larger screen size. The 800G always locked me out during active calls which made it extremely difficult to access the dial pad without learning two hand gymnastics. I also like the size and the weight of the 840G. The 800G is much like handling a small bar of slick soap. Now having said that, I will eventualy switch to a Tracfone android phone, but only after the come out with a GSM version and I patiently allow for all of the complaints I am already hearing get ironed out. A screen size of at least 4″ would also be nice too.

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Joe Culfa October 28, 2013 at 11:44 pm

I left out one of the most obvious improvements on the 840G, the wifi connection. With an active connection to my home wifi I can actually learn how to best interact with this less than user friendly internet access system without burning up a bunch of cell phone minutes. I have already experimented with Opera, Firefox, Bolt etc. By the way, not too crazy about any of them so far, but still trying to learn and set up some bookmarks to bare minimum sites for use when I am away from home. Tracfone people don’t live through their phones like many in the community. Sometimes I just need to check email or news headlines.

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pbushx2 October 29, 2013 at 2:34 pm

Thanks for your insights, Joe. I have to agree that WiFi is a worthwhile addition. In fact in many cases it is easier to use even the standard browser on the 840g vs. Chrome or some other option on the Centura, simply because the 840g will load the absolute lightest-weight version possible from whatever site you are visiting. Meanwhile, sometimes it seems like my android browsers are biting off more than they can chew when it comes to loading certain websites, resulting in a long wait time. My personal pet peeve on this one is the major sports leagues scoreboards. When I go to the scoreboard of Nfl.com or mlb.com, I want the SCORES! Not thumbnails of a dozen different videos, options to play their fantasy games, twitter feeds, etc. But I digress. I take your points about the 840g. And I, too, will be on the lookout for a GSM version of a TracFone smart phone.

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dave October 29, 2013 at 1:07 am

To add a few things to my post of 10/26: Even tho Samsung makes this phone, Samsung cs flatly refused to help me with some technical issues, said it’s all Tracfone’s responsibility. In other words you’re on your own ’cause no way can tf cs help with tech problems.Really getting concerned about battery. Admittedly I use this phone more than any cell phone before, but I have to recharge twice per day.Wonder how long battery will last at that rate. Anyone else have battery concerns?

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pbushx2 October 29, 2013 at 2:43 pm

Hi Dave
I use my phone a LOT as well, and only once have I even been close to depleting the battery in a single day – when I had bluetooth turned on for a while, and also was out away from WiFi and using 3G for a good portion of the day. Other than that, I have no problem whatsoever. I plug my phone in to charge over night while I sleep. Currently I am almost exactly half way through my day and I am still at 86%. Admittedly I have been using it more sparingly than normal, but regardless I feel that’s a pretty good safety buffer.
In what way are you currently using the phone the most? Voice calls, certain apps, streaming music? My two biggest tips are to turn off bluetooth and GPS when not using them – both accessible through the widget on the top of the home screen to the left of the center home screen. You could also dial down the screen brightness with that widget while you are there, or find a widget in the play store that offers more precision for brightness control.
One other tip, that I have been using to save units on background data, is a handy widget I’ve found called “Data ON-OFF.” I put this widget on my home screen and keep 3g data turned off most of the time. This keeps apps from constantly checking the 3g network for new info in the background, but the widget makes it extremely easy to switch on the data when you want to actively use 3g.

Here’s a link to that app:

https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=it.miabit.android.dataonoff&hl=en

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DonD October 29, 2013 at 1:22 pm

Pat,
Did an airtime and service app appear on your Centura today? It did on my old EX124G and it works.

With the many apps you have loaded on your phone, I am curious about phantom data charges from apps checking for updates, etc.

Looks like I will not be updating to Android until they offer it for AT&T. Too few cell towers and coverage locally.

Don

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pbushx2 October 29, 2013 at 2:45 pm

Hi Don
I didn’t get any app pushed out to my phone, but I have heard that there is one available in the Play Store. Just didn’t remember/get around to adding it yet. But your comment prompted to me to install it just now. If it works as well as the old home screen airtime display, it will alleviate many people’s concerns about this device.

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Mia November 2, 2013 at 4:17 am

I heard from another blog that Centura cannot be enrolled in Family Value Plan. Can someone please verify?

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DonD November 3, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Mia,
I was told by Tracfone that you CAN be enrolled in the Family Value Plan. I would double check by calling 800-876-5753 though, now that the dust has settled.

DonD

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Mohler November 22, 2013 at 5:04 am

Does keeping GPS on , so can get “local”, use data?

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pbushx2 December 3, 2013 at 5:00 pm

No, GPS will not use data. It will, however, reduce your battery life.

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Janice December 10, 2013 at 12:22 pm

Got my Samsung galaxy centura last 2days. I tried to download apps like fb and viber using wifi it always says error to download.

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pbushx2 December 10, 2013 at 6:18 pm

Hi Janice
This sounds strange to me, and I can’t figure out the problem. How far are you getting? Did the app store open alright? We could try here to walk you through it, but you’re probably better off getting help from TracFone’s tech support either on their 800 number or on their Facebook page under the “support” tab.

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Janice December 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm

Got my samsung galaxy centura last 2days and activated it yesterday. Tried to download apps using wifi at home but it said error and now I added 300mb data today and now I don’t have internet connection on my phone. What should i do?

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Lyne` December 19, 2013 at 3:31 pm

I was just given a Samsung Galaxy Centura EXACTLY like the one above. It was purchased through StraightTalk. Can I hook up to TracFone with it?

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pbushx2 January 2, 2014 at 4:31 pm

Sorry Lyne, I know this is probably too late to help, but just in case, and for anyone that might be looking this up in the future:
No, you cannot activate a Straight Talk phone on TracFone service.

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Troy December 22, 2013 at 4:15 pm

My Centura cannot accept pictures/group texting from my iphone friends. BUMMMER! I bought music from google play store, and want to turn it into a group ringtone. I can’t. BUMMMER AGAIN!! Don’t buy this phone.

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Barb December 29, 2013 at 9:34 pm

Aloha, just activated the Centura yesterday. How can spread screen like the I phone? May not have this feature. ?

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pbushx2 January 2, 2014 at 4:35 pm

I’m not familiar with the term “spread screen.” Could you explain it to someone who is not familiar with the iphone? :)

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Patty January 4, 2014 at 12:07 pm

Do you have to buy Centura smart phone from Tracfone or can you buy the same Tracfone from Amazon and still work in my area?

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pbushx2 January 7, 2014 at 5:46 pm

Hi Patty
You should be able to use the Amazon version, as long as it is specified as working with TracFone. For example, this one shows that it will work with TracFone (there is also a Straight Talk version, and that will NOT work on TracFone).

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Tim March 21, 2014 at 4:58 pm

Buy it from walmart…. $60

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Nicole January 27, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I have the same phone, but for some reason my music won’t play I don’t down load it I just sync it from the computer to my phone and whenever I tap play it says ‘music playback error’ does anyone know how to get this fixed I only had for a few months and it never played music ever since I got it, and music is one of the most things I use on it but for now I use you tube.

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pbushx2 January 28, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Hi Nicole,
What app are you using? The standard google play music app? I have had trouble with that too. Not that it doesn’t work at all, but it seems buggy and slow. I use WinAmp instead, but I’m sure there are many other apps to choose from. I’d suggest trying a different music playback app.
Another potential cause for this issue is that maybe the sync process didn’t work quite right. Have you tried redoing that process? I have not personally ever used any automated “sync” capability, but instead I just use a micro USB to USB cord to connect the phone to my computer, and drag-and-drop the music files I want from the hard drive to the phone.

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John Waaser February 10, 2014 at 12:46 pm

I have the Centura from Straight Talk, which is a unit of Tracfone. Costs me $45 per month with “unlimited” everything except international calling. I use close to 2 gigs a month of data, so that is important to me. It is also on Verizon’s towers. AT&T is closer to my home, but not much. Neither Sprint nor T-mobile can find my home with a signal, so while I greatly preferred my Virgin HTC One, this seemed like the best deal for me. The keyboard is Terrible! I bought the smart keyboard app within a day. It acts like it is out of RAM when I keep at least 500 MBA free. It locks up repeatedly and the only way to free it is to remove the battery. Clock frequently resets to GMT. WORST cell phone ever. Looking for something to replace it.

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pbushx2 February 11, 2014 at 4:32 pm
kathy March 19, 2014 at 8:05 am

I have the Samsung galaxy centura tracfone, and I down loaded a ringtone but can not figure out how to get it to my ringtones. Can anyone help with this or maybe the phone can’t do it!! Any help will be great. Thank you

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Leon April 13, 2014 at 1:55 pm

Does anyone know if I can upgrade my zte from 4.1.1 to 4.2? Where?
Thanks!

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elijah green April 15, 2014 at 5:49 pm

Do not buy the valet. It is crap. It has better stats, but sucks anyway.

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