I had initially looked at the details of this phone and decided not to do a Samsung t404g Review when it first came out. After having a lot of people ask me questions about it, however, I decided to give it a try. After using it extensively, I can say that I probably won’t be doing a full review, as I believe there are simply some better options available for prepaid users. This is probably the most extensive Samsung t404g review I’ll publish. In short, I don’t feel it’s worth my time to write a lengthy review.
If you are considering purchasing the Samsung t404g for TracFone, Net10 or Straight Talk, there are some very important points you should consider first. There may be some better options for you. I’ll start with the Net10 and Straight Talk options, but if you are a TracFone user you can also read through, but pay special attention to the “TracFone” section at the end of this review.
Over the past 4 years, I’ve reviewed most of the new TracFone, Net10 and Straight Talk handsets released. Usually I find something to like about pretty much every phone, and find a niche that each phone will fill. As I completed my Samsung t404g review, I came to the conclusion that no matter which of the three companies you use for your service, I think you can find a better option than the t404g.
The LG 900g (for Straight Talk and Net10) or LG 500g (TracFone) offer almost all the same features as the Samsung t404g, and in many cases accomplish them better. For starters, all phones use the same network (AT&T with roaming on T-Mobile, or vice versa). All offer a qwerty keyboard, camera, bluetooth, and mp3 player.
The first shortcoming I noticed in my Samsung t404g review was the size of the phone. The slide-out keyboard adds a lot of weight and bulk. The 900g is comparatively sleek and lightweight. The t404g weighs 4.55 oz compared to 3.4 for the 900g, and the t404g is also about a tench of an inch, or roughly 20%, thicker than the LG 900g. This is a difference you’ll definitely feel if you carry the phone in a pocket.
Next, I had problems with the keyboard on the Samsung. I found that the top row of keys, when the slider was pulled out, remained too close to the side of the phone. This made it hard for me to type. Further complicating things was that the keyboard often registered two touches of a key when I touched it only once. The result of these two problems is that I much prefer typing on the LG 900g.
First, when you listen to music through the mp3 player, with the LG you can use a standard headset that you probably already own. On the t404g, you’ll have to buy a separate, special headset. (It is possible to buy an adapter, but in my experience adapters like that either fall out easily or soon end up lost.)
The second way that this special “Samsung-only” connection is bad for consumers is when it comes to chargers. If your want to buy a car charger, or a spare wall charger, you’ll need to buy a special one to fit this phone. On the 900g, the connection type is universal (called “micro-USB”), so you’ll be able to buy cheap generic chargers, or quite possibly even use one you already have.
The final negative impact of the connector type relates to a data cable. You very well might want to buy a USB data cable to transfer files like music, pictures, and ringtones between your phone and computer. Once again, this cable will be easier to find for the universal micro-USB than it will on the Samsung.
The screen on the LG is both bigger and sharper than on the Samsung. The Samsung probably isn’t bad enough that you’d think it was bad if you were just looking at it alone, but if you compare them side-by-side, you’ll see the 900g is definitely better.
The final difference between the two is the price. Going by the regular suggested retail price, the LG 900g is currently $40 less than the Samsung t404g for either Straight Talk or Net10.
In all the important ways that I can see, the LG 900g is a better value than the Samsung t404g. Click here to shop for the LG 900g from Straight Talk, or click here for the Net10 version.
As I’ve pointed out above, I’m not a big fan of the Samsung t404g. However, in the case of TracFone, the decision might not be quite as concrete. With TracFone, my preferred alternative to the 404g is the LG 500g. I definitely prefer the LG in terms of the phone itself, for all the same reasons that I listed with respect to the 900g above.
However, one different element that the TracFone version of the t404g adds is Triple Minutes for Life. With this feature, you any minute card you add will automatically be tripled. So if you add a 200 minute card, you’ll actually get 600. The 500g is only a “double minute” phone, so effectively your minutes will end up costing you more with that phone.
I believe that this Triple Minutes element can be a powerful money-saver, and if you are spending more than $10 per month on average for TracFone minutes, you’ll make up the price difference between the Samsung and the LG. Therefore, it’s up to you to decide whether the weaker features of the Samsung are worth tolerating to gain the benefit of Triple Minutes for Life.