Samsung t404g Review

by pbushx2 on

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.

Samsung t404g Review Picture

Samsung t404g

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.

Another very significant problem I had with the t404g is the charging/headset port. Samsung has incorporated a connection type that is specific to Samsung devices. Conversely, the LG uses a universal connector. This makes a difference to the user in three ways.
LG 900g, my preferred alternative to the Samsung t404g.

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.

TracFone

The LG 500g is a better TracFone handset than the Samsung t404g.

LG 500g

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.

Click here to learn more about each phone at TracFone.com.

TracFone Promo Codes

{ 18 comments… read them below or add one }

Andrew January 13, 2012 at 1:16 pm

I have the Tracfone LG 500 G and I am really happy with it. It has excellent reception and some great features. I have not looked at the double minutes versus triple minutes math. Perhaps that will persuade me to change.

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pbushx2 January 13, 2012 at 10:34 pm

I think that the 500g is a very nice little phone, especially at that price. But only you can really do the math to figure out how long it would be before you’d recoup your investment in the new t404g. Plus, I like the 500g better, as I mentioned above. But it’s not so simple because of the TMFL math.

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Jim Lloyd January 13, 2012 at 5:21 pm

I have the LG 500g on Tracfone and am very happy with it. I had considered the Samsung T404g to get the triple minutes, but may wait a bit now after seeing your review. The 500g does so many things right that I hesitate to switch just yet.

HSN has, from time to time, had the LG 500g with 1200 minutes/1 year of airtime with triple minutes for life for basically the price of a 400-minute one-year card (a bit less on a special event, a bit more on their regular price). Hopefully they will do that again. At this time they have the old Samsung T301g with 600 minutes/90 days of airtime and Triple Minutes for Life for $79.95, and the newer Samsung T330g with 1200 minutes/1 year of airtime and Triple Minutes for Life for $129.95 (wait if you can, neither of those are special event prices). The T301g has a QWERTY slider but only a VGA camera; the T330g is only a keypad slider (no QWERTY) but has a 1.3 Megapixel camera, video recorder, MP3 player, games, and may be Java app capable. But I can’t find any reviews on the T330g to know for sure.

All that to say this – If you really like the phone you have, hang in there a while and you may be able to find it with triple minutes eventually. And we can always keep hoping that Tracfone will offer a triple minute for life card for sale in the future!

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Chris January 13, 2012 at 8:11 pm

I started out with an LG600 (flip phone) and went to the LG800 (only double munnutes so I doubt I’ll ever get rid of it since it now can be bought for same $$ but with TMFL and mine att aht time only had DMFL) I believe I tried the LG900 but not crazy that there was no querty board and texting was still same as using the LG600 which I still like the best (for me) I liked the LG800 but it kept turning the browser on and would eat my minutes. I still am the controller of the flipphone and if it had a built in querty board would be the perfect phone for me. (I do all the fancy other stuff with my iTouch )

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Terri January 14, 2012 at 6:02 pm

One upside for some…with the Samsung phones, I find the reception to be many times better than LG, with the Tracfone service. With LG, I cannot get a signal in my home – a big issue, as we long ago ditched having a landline. My Samsung 404g is my 2nd Samsung, and has an excellent reception most anywhere. Yes the size is an issue, but it is honestly not much larger than many of the newer smartphones. Thanks for giving a the review :)

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Fran January 15, 2012 at 1:12 am

Hi, Thanks for the always great reviews. I have the LG500 and like it, but I’d like to download some Java apps. When I find an app I want they ask for the model of the phone. Tracfone has it’s own numbers and they don’t coincide with the regular LG numbers so I can’t figure out how to get the apps I want. (Bar Code reader, etc) Someone said the LG500 is the same as the 100c but that’s not true. I ordered a holster for it using the LG100c model but it’s way shorter. Are the components the same so that an app would work?

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pbushx2 January 16, 2012 at 2:20 pm

Hi Fran,
I didn’t do a lot with apps on the 500g, but I did try a few. If I remember right, I downloaded by looking for java apps that fit the screen size of the LG 500g, which I believe is 176 x 220. You could also try searching by LG-C105, which is what LG calls this model.

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Jim Lloyd January 19, 2012 at 9:18 pm

For those who like the LG500g, HSN now has it with Triple Minutes for Life and 1200mins/1year airtime $109.95 (plus $11.95 shipping, unfortunately). So you don’t have to go to the Samsung t404g to get Triple Mins for Life with a QWERTY.

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marilynne wirsig March 2, 2012 at 7:15 pm

First time at prepaid phone guy.com; I think I’m going to like it. I need help in choosing a new phone/plan so I’ll keep on reading.

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pbushx2 March 7, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Hi Marilynne
Welcome! Let us know how we can help make your decision easier!

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Barry March 3, 2012 at 12:25 pm

MARCH 3, 2012

WHEN WILL TRACFONE BE ADDING MORE “G” PHONES. THEIR LIST SEEMS TO BE GETTING SHORTER EACH WEEK!

I LOOK FORWARD TO YOUR REPLY.

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pbushx2 March 7, 2012 at 4:36 pm

Barry,
As far as new phones coming out, your guess is as good as mine. But typically they release a new batch of phones each spring, so I would guess that sometime in the next month or two we’ll see some new choices.

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M April 26, 2012 at 8:05 am

As far as transferring pictures and music between phone and PC one way we do this at our house is not with a data cable but we have a miscro sd card in the phone and we can take that out and put it in a card reader and transfer files to/from PC easily that way.

I have been waiting for a qwerty slider on the gsm side of Tracfone to come out, I have one for Net10 (T401g) but it costs $14/mo minimum for service and Tracfone only costs about $6/mo if you buy your refills at Callingmart with their monthly coupons of 7% off.

I recently saw at the Att Gophone website that they had the Pantech Ease qwerty slider for $25 refurbished and I got that for my son and the service is about $7/mo ($25 card at Callingmart with 10% discount is $22.50 and that’s good for 90 days). He will be texting some and not calling much at all, so I can go with the $5 or $10 texting feature pack for him.

So that can also be an option if you want ATT coverage and Tracfone doesn’t have the phone you want or it costs too much.

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pbushx2 April 26, 2012 at 1:30 pm

Good point. It’s been a while since I’ve looked at the GoPhone side of things, but it sounds like their prices are falling in line with Trac/Net10, so maybe I’ll have to give them another look.

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J D Phaup November 13, 2012 at 9:12 am

Have a Samsung T404G bought as Straight Talk. I have a T-Mobile account. Can the same phone be switched over to use with my T-Mobile account rather than purchasing more Straight-Talk minutes? If not, why is this? If so, how do I do it. I don’t need it at the moment, but would like to use it to replace my current phone if anything happens to it. Would use it on my existing line.

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pbushx2 November 19, 2012 at 9:43 am

I haven’t recently tried switching a phone like this from Straight Talk over to T-Mobile. Honestly I’m not sure how this would work. I would suggest asking at a T-Mobile store or kiosk or whatever to see if they could do it for you.

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laurie August 8, 2014 at 8:15 am

Every review on the Samsung SGH-T404G says this it is the best thing since sliced bread. However, I am having issues with clear connections and dropped calls. My battery is now low and I’m debating whether to buy a new battery or new phone. I’ve had Tracfone with this phone and the last one, the old phone got better service so I’m wondering if I bought a lemon.

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pbushx2 August 8, 2014 at 11:29 am

Hi Laurie,
Your comparison depends a lot on what previous model you owned. For example, the Motorola w376g probably used the same network as your current t404g, but that Motorola was a signal magnet. Many loyal TracFone users to this day regard that phone as the gold standard in GSM signal reception, so any phone will have a tough time living up to it.
It’s also very possible that your previous phone used a different network altogether than your t404g. The t404g uses AT&T (probably) or T-Mobile, possibly. It’s possible that you went from AT&T to T-Mobile, or vice versa. Or if your previous phone was a model that ended in “c” such as LG 220c, for example, then it used Verizon network, and you would definitely notice a change in coverage while moving a model “g” phone.
Do you recall what model your old phone was?

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