October 27, 2013

Samsung Galaxy Centura Review - Tracfone Smartphone

Review of the Android Powered Centura from Tracfone

This review by TracfoneReviewer will cover the newly released Samsung Galaxy Centura, one of Tracfones first Android smartphones.

samsung galaxy centura
Samsung Galaxy Centura Front
The Samsung Galaxy Centura is one of several new Android smartphones recently released by Tracfone for their wireless prepaid customers.

Tracfone is a prepaid wireless cell phone service provide that offers low cost phones and service. They only recently began selling Android smartphones, and the Samsung Galaxy Centura is one of the first available.

The ZTE Valet, Huawei Glory and LG Optimus Dynamic and Dynamic II are the other Android phones also available. Follow the links to read our reviews of each phone.

If you're looking for more phone options with Tracfone, be sure to visit our Tracfone BYOP page where we give all the details on bringing your own smartphone to use with Tracfone.

Now let's get to the full review of the Samsung Galaxy Centura.

Review of the Samsung Galaxy Centura Smartphone

The Samsung Galaxy Centura is a touchscreen smartphone running on Android 4.0 operating system. It can be used exclusively with Tracfone prepaid wireless service, meaning you can't buy the phone and then try to use it with other service providers. The Centura uses the CDMA network, running on Verizon towers.

You can read more about the difference between GSM and CDMA, and how to determine which is right for you, in our recent post on that topic.

Before we get to far, let's take a look at the features and specifications for the Centura.

Samsung Galaxy Centura Features and Specs
  • Android 4.0 OS
  • 3 MP Camera and Video Recorder
  • 3G speeds
  • WiFi connectivity
  • Bluetooth Wireless
  • Mobile Web
  • MP3 Player
  • Instant Messaging
  • GPS Capabilities
  • Gravity and Tilt sensors
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • Hands free speaker
  • Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting
  • Comes with Battery and Charger
Now let's look at the technical dimensions and specifications for the Samsung Galaxy Centura:

Samsung Galaxy Centura Dimensions and Specs
  • 3.5" Touchscreen
  • Dimensions: 4.4 x 2.4 x 0,4 inches
  • 4.4 ounces
  • 800Mhz Processor
  • Internal Memory: 4GB NAND
  • 512MB RAM
  • Compatible with up to 32GB external MicroSD Card
  • Battery Standby 10 days
  • Battery Talk time 7 hours
The Centura is a phone from Tracfone packed with more features than any other non-Android phone. You can surf the web on 3G or for free on WiFi. You can use thousands of apps from Google's app store. The possibilities are greatly expanded with the Android OS.

To give a balance of the pros' and cons' for the Samsung Galaxy Centura, let's take a look at TracfoneReviewer's short list of Likes and Dislikes about this new touchscreen smartphone. While we don't cover every good or bad thing about this phone, we do strive to highlight enough information to allow you to make a more informed decision when buying this phone.

So let's get to the review.

Samsung Galaxy Centura Review - Likes and Dislikes

We will begin by taking a look at some of the things we really like about the Centura, and then move to some features we didn't like, or thought should have been included.

Likes for the Samsung Galaxy Centura:
There are many features that come with this phone that make it a great value compared to other Tracfone cell phones.
Samsung Galaxy Centura tracfone
Samsung Galaxy Centura Back

We like that the Centura comes with WiFi connectivity, 3G speeds, Triple Minutes for Life and a 3MP camera.

WiFi access on the Samsung makes it possible to surf the internet for free when connected to wireless internet. 3G speeds means that when you aren't on free WiFi, you can still be online at decent speeds using the phone's data.

The 3 mega pixel camera will take both pictures and video recording at fair quality, especially compared to the 1MP camera's on many other Tracfone devices.

Triple Minutes for Life is the best deal offered by Tracfone. (Some of their older phones have only double minutes for life.) What this means is that for every minute you add to the phone, you get 2 more for free. So if you add a 60 minute prepaid card, you will get 180 total minutes!

The biggest like about the Samsung Galaxy Centura is the Android operating system which allows users to have access to over 700,000 apps from Google's Play store. Many apps are free, or a just a few dollars and provide huge features and functionality. You can use Google Maps, play thousands of games, or find time saving apps that make your life easier. Visit the Google Play store to learn more about the apps they have to offer.

There are a few things we are not such huge fans about for the Centura, which we will now cover.

Dislikes for the Samsung Galaxy Centura:
The first thing we are not huge fans about is the new system for splitting up calling minutes/texting minutes/data into three separate pots or pools. What this means is that when you add a 60 minute prepaid card, you will get it tripled into 180 calling minutes, 180 texts, and 180 mb of data.

For many, this will work just fine, and is even a better deal than the previous system where you would just get 180 total minutes for calling/texting/web browsing.

But for those who are heavy text users, this reduces the number of texts you get form a 60 minute card from 600 to just 180. That is a significant reduction. So if you tend to do way more texting than other activities, you may want to stick with older models. For the rest of us, this is simply a new system we must get accustomed to.

Another small dislike about this phone, and all the new Android phones from Tracfone, is that Tracfone Promo Codes won't work on them. You can no longer get extra minutes for free when adding a new prepaid card.

We also dislike that there is no Airtime display on the home screen, but you can quickly and easily find your minutes balance, which we will explain a little further below.

Finally, the Samsung Galaxy Centura is on the expensive side compared to other Tracfone mobile devices. It typically retails for $130 in stores and on the Tracfone website. We will cover more on where to buy this phone, and how to get it for less, at the end of this review.

That covers the main likes and dislikes we found with the Centura, check out the comments, or leave your own, with more thoughts on the pros' and cons' of this phone.

How to Check Your Airtime Balance on the Samsung Galaxy Centura

This is a question/problem we have been seeing a lot, so we want to cover it here for your convenience. As we mentioned above, these is no display on the home screen, but checking your Tracfone balance is very easy.

The first option is to use the new Tracfone app, that will give you your balance. We haven't tested this very much, but you can go directly to the app on Google Play to learn more, and download it.

The other option is to follow this simple process:
To find out the number of minutes/text/data left, you'll need to log on to your Tracfone account and submit a balance request, OR set up a bookmark in your browser (on your computer or phone) to go to "https://www.tracfone.com/direct/CheckBalance?input_phone=1234567890" (replace 1234567890 with your phone number). You'll get a free text message on your phone with your balances. The service end date is not in the text message. It's only shown on the browser screen.

Overall Review of the Samsung Galaxy Centura

samsung galaxy centura review
View on Amazon

The Centura is a powerful phone form a well known electronics company with a history of great devices. The Samsung Galaxy Centura is best suited for those who want their phones to do more than just text and call. With access to thousands of apps, this phones potential is nearly endless, limited only by what the user chooses to do.

For those who prefer a more simple device, check out some of the other phones we have reviewed at our Cell Phone Reviews page.

Overall, the Samsung Galaxy Centura is a great value and provides massive improvements over past Tracfone cell phones. It is one of the first true smartphones offered by Tracfone. The ability to surf the web for free via WiFi and use apps for entertainment, work or social make this a phone with multiple uses and functionality.

For those comparing it to the ZTE Valet, we suggest checking out our post showing the features and specs for both the Valet and Centura.

The Samsung Galaxy Centura typically retails for $129.99 in stores and online. We found the Centura on Amazon at a discount. And you can also read several informative customer reviews there as well.

You may also want to check out eBay and HSN.com for phone/minutes bundles that can be a good deal.

We would suggest you look into getting a case and/or screen protector to help keep your phone in good shape. There are lots of cases and screen protectors for the Centura on Amazon.

This concludes our review of the Samsung Galaxy Centura. We hope you found this useful. Be sure to share this with others who might like it, and leave a comment with any questions, thoughts or corrections.

You might enjoy reading some of our other recent posts such as Where to Find Tracfone Prepaid Cards or perhaps the Summer Sales and Discounts on Tracfone Cell Phones (2014)

Thanks for Visiting!

Resources:

Interactive Tutorial

Samsung Galaxy Centura User Guide (pdf)

October 16, 2013

ZTE Valet Review - Tracfone Smartphone

The ZTE Valet- Android Powered Smartphone from Tracfone

This review by TracfoneReviewer covers the ZTE Valet (Z665C) from Tracfone.

ZTE Valet review android tracfone
Tracfone ZTE Valet Android Smartphone
It has been a long time coming, but Tracfone has finally released several new Smartphones powered by the Android operating system for use with Tracfone prepaid service.

The ZTE Valet, which we will review here, the Samsung Galaxy Centura, the LG Optimus Dynamic, LG Optimus Dynamic II and the Huawei Glory are the new smartphones offered by Tracfone.

Read our reviews of each of the other phones (by following the links above) to learn more about their features,

Tracfone also recently made it possible to bring your own phone to Tracfone, including smartphones and the iPhone 4/4S. Visit our Tracfone BYOP page for all the details and a list of compatible phones.

Visit our post on Android powered smartphones coming to Tracfone to learn more.

Now let's get to the review of the ZTE Z665C Valet from Tracfone.

Review of the ZTE Valet Android Smartphone

The Z665C is a candy bar style, touchscreen smartphone that runs on Android OS 4.1 and is available to use exclusively with Tracfone prepaid wireless. The Valet is a CDMA phone, and uses Verizon networks, although some Tracfone CDMA phones may use Sprint networks.

Let's take a look at the full feature list for the ZTE Valet.

ZTE Valet Features and Specs:
  • Android 4.1 Operating System
  • 3 MP Camera and Video Recorder
  • 3G/WiFi Connectivity
  • Triple Minutes for Life
  • Alarm Clock
  • Bluetooth
  • MP3 Player
  • GPS Enabled
  • Gravity/Proximity Sensor
  • Instant Messaging
  • Five customizable home screens
  • Access to Google Play with over 700,000 Apps
  • Multi-calling
  • Hearing Aid Compatible
  • 4 GB Micro SD card included, up to 32GB capacity
  • Mobile Web
  • Handsfree speaker, Voicemail, Call Waiting, Caller ID, and Text/Media Messaging
  • Also comes with Battery and Charger
Now let's look at the dimensions and technical details for the ZTE Valet.

Specs and Dimensions for the Valet:
  • 1.0 Ghz processor
  • 3.5" touchscreen
  • Size: 4.6" x 2.5" x 0.5"
  • 4.5 ounces
  • 11 days standby, 5.5 hours batter talk time
Quite a list of feature sand specifications for the Valet, which packs a powerful phone for calling, texting and surfing the web. The Valet is hard to compare with any of the previous non-Android phones offered by Tracfone because of the huge increase in the things you can do with an Android powered smartphone. Even the LG 840G, which has lots of impressive features, can't come close to the practicality of having access to hundreds of thousands of apps from Google Play.

Before we got too far on this, let's look at some of the likes and dislikes for this prepaid Android smartphone.

Likes and Dislikes for the ZTE Valet

ZTE Valet Likes:
First off, this phone comes with three great features we see on several of Tracfone's other top phones: Triple Minutes for Life, WiFi, and 3G connectivity.

zte valet review android tracfone
Back of the ZTE Valet - Note camera w/ flash
With Triple Minutes for Life, any airtime you add to this phone will automatically be tripled. So if you add 60 minutes, you will get 180 total minutes. (We will discuss more about minutes, texts and data rates for this phone below)

WiFi allows you to connect to wireless internet and surf the web for free without using minutes/data. This is a great money saving feature and especially useful if you are often in WiFi areas like you home or work. The ZTE Valet even has a feature that allows you to turn off the phones data, so that you will only connect to the web through the free WiFi whenever available.

3G speeds make this phone fairly quick when not connected to WiFi and, while not as fast as 4G, it is quite adequate for most people.

Two other convenient features for the Valet are the 3 MP camera and included 4GB Micro SD card. The camera on the ZTE Valet is decent, although you would want a better camera if you plan to take a lot of pictures in medium to low light areas. With the included Micro SD card, you can store pictures, apps or music without overloading the phone's internal memory. It is also possibly to purchase up to a 32 GB Micro SD card if you want to expand the memory.

Finally, our biggest like about the ZTE Valet is that it uses Android 4.1 OS. This opens up a world of options and features. You can choose from thousands of apps on Google Play and download them (save money by using WiFi) to the phone. You can use Google maps to get directions, or watch videos on Youtube. The possibilities are impressive and make this phone way more than just a device for calling and texting.

But there are a few dislikes about the ZTE Valet we want to mention in this review.

ZTE Valet Dislikes:
The main dislike we have for the ZTE Valet isn't really a problem with the phone, but rather a dislike about how Tracfone is going to charge for Calling, Texting and Data.

On all of Tracfone's non-Android devices, calling and texting are both deducted from a single minutes pool.

With the new Android Smartphones, calling, texting and data are split into three different pools. So if you add a 60 minute card, it will be automatically tripled, and you will get 180 minutes for calling, 180 texts, and 180mb of data.

The problem is that some people text way more often than call, and with this new break down of minutes, they would run out of texts rather quickly, but still have lots of calling minutes and data left over.

The same would happen for those who mostly use the phone for calling. They would run out of calling time, but have a lot of texts and data left over. The only good news is that all minutes, data and texts for the Valet will carry over to the next month. But this could be an issue for some people.

Another dislike about these new Android phones is that they may not accept promo codes. We haven't tested this extensively, and would appreciate feedback on this.

While there are a few more likes and dislikes we could mention about the ZTE Valet, this covers the major information that would be useful for learning about this phone.

How to Check your Airtime Balance on Tracfone Smartphones

Many are wondering how to find out what your airtime balance is on these new Android smartphones. There is no dedicated display that shows your balance, however, there is a very easy way to check your balance. This information courtesy of an anonymous visitor:

To find out the number of minutes/text/data left, you'll need to log on to your Tracfone account and submit a balance request, OR set up a bookmark in your browser (on your computer or phone) to go to "https://www.tracfone.com/direct/CheckBalance?input_phone=1234567890" (replace 1234567890 with your phone number). You'll get a free text message on your phone with your balances. The service end date is not in the text message. It's only shown on the browser screen.

We recommend you signup for an account on the Tracfone website, which will make managing your cell phone and adding minutes much easier. If you have further questions or thoughts on adding/checking minutes, leave a comment below!

Overall Review and Pricing for the ZTE Valet

The Valet is a powerful mobile phone that offers a number of features appreciated by more tech savvy individuals. While it would not be a good choice for someone who just needs a phone to call and text, it is a great choice for those who like a lot of features, and want access to Google apps. It is a true smartphone, and provides good functionality while keeping costs low by using prepaid. This might be a great phone to use with Tracfone's family value plan.

zte valet tracfone android smartphone
ZTE Valet
on Amazon

In comparison to the Samsung Galaxy Centura, another Android Tracfone smartphone, TracfoneReviewer would choose the Valet for the lower price, included Micro SD card, and better processor. But you should make that decision for yourself. Read our recent post with the feature and specs for the ZTE Valet and Samsung Galaxy Centura to help compare these phones.

The ZTE Valet retails for $99 in most stores, and online at the Tracfone website. We have also found the ZTE Valet on Amazon at a discount.

Learn more about the CDMA network the Valet uses, in our post, GSM vs CDMA. You might also enjoy getting some free bonus minutes by using a Tracfone Promo Code. Although they don't work on the Android phones.

Be sure to leave a comment with any thoughts, reviews, or questions about this phone, and share this review with others who might find it useful.

We strive to provide useful, informative and accurate reviews for your convenience. But we make no guarantees and you take full responsibility for how you use this information. If we made a mistake, let us know in the comments! Thanks for visiting.

October 7, 2013

Tracfone ZTE Valet and Samsung Galaxy Centura Smartphones

A Comparison of the Valet and Centura Galaxy from Tracfone

The Samsung Galaxy Centura and ZTE Valet are both in stores and online, including Amazon, eBay, and Tracfones website. We want to give you a quick comparison of these two new android powered smartphones.

review samsung galaxy centura tracfone
Samsung Galaxy
 Centura
These phones are just the first two of a total of four phones Tracfone has released that use Android OS, as we mentioned in our recent post covering Tracfone Android Smartphone Rumors.

Check out our review of the other two smartphones, the LG Optimus Dynamic and Huawei Glory to learn more.

The Samsung Galaxy Centura and ZTE Valet both come with Triple Minutes for Life, WiFi Connectivity and many more standard features that are also available on phones like the LG 840G.

What these two phones offer that has not been available before is the Android operating system, which allows users to access thousands of apps for almost anything you can think of. Tracfone will also be offering data cards alongside their normal prepaid minutes and service days.

Now, let's just cover some of the features that make these two phones stand out among the rest of Tracfone devices. We will do a full review for the Samsung Galaxy Centura and ZTE Valet in the near future, once these phones are a little more 'tested'.

Samsung Galaxy Centura Features and Specs

This touchscreen smartphone is pretty standard when comparing it to other smartphones with a 3.5 inch screen and standby batter life that will last 10 days (but battery talk time of only 7 hours). It comes with Android 4.0, which is one of the newest versions of the Android OS.

As we mentioned above, this phone has WiFi connectivity, which means that when there are wireless networks around, you can connect and surf the web without using up your data. So if you are usually in an area with WiFi, this phone could be very budget friendly.

tracfone android samsung galaxy centura
Samsung Galaxy Centura - Click for full size
Other great features for the Samsung Galaxy Centura:


  • Uses Verizon 3G Networks (CDMA)
  • 3MP Camera
  • 800 Mhz processor
  • Mobile Web
  • MP3 Player
  • Micro SD card slot (for up to 32 GB - But no card included)
  • Triple Minutes for Life
  • Airtime Display for Prepaid Minutes and Service days
For more features, specs, details and opinions, read our full Samsung Galaxy Centura Review.

Obviously, compared to older Tracfone mobile phones, the Samsung Galaxy Centura has a lot of powerful features. The most important features it comes with for us are Triple Minutes for Life, WiFi, and Android OS.

This phone (and the ZTE Valet) finally bridges the gap between cell phone and smartphone for Tracfone prepaid users. If you like the incredibly low cost of Tracfone ($6 a month for some) but want a newer phone with powerful features, this phone is a great option.

The Samsung Galaxy Centura is available at several locations online, including at HSN.com and eBay, but it retails for $129.99 at the Tracfone website.

We have also recently found the Samsung Galaxy Centura on Amazon for around $120.

Now, let's take a look at the ZTE Valet, which has a few nice surprises, and a lower price!

ZTE Valet Features and Specs

The Tracfone ZTE Valet comes with many of the same features as the Samsung Galaxy Centura, like a 3.5 inch touchscreen. The Valet has a slightly better processor, at 1.0 Ghz and it uses a slightly newer OS - Android 4.1.

Tracfone zte valet review android
ZTE Valet - click for full size
Features for the ZTE Valet:
  • 3G and WiFi
  • 3MP Camera
  • Mobile Web
  • MP3 Player
  • 4 GB Micro SD card included (expandable up to 32 GB)
  • 11 days Standby batter life, 5hrs talk time
  • Tracfone Airtime balance display - to track your prepaid minutes
  • 4.65 x 2.46 inches (height/width) and 4.5 oz.
  • CDMA Network

For more features, information, details and specs, read our full review of the ZTE Valet.

Both the ZTE Valet and Samsung Galaxy Centura have access to Android apps through Google Play (with over 700,000 apps available). Both phones also have Google Maps and other online Google services.

These two phones are fairly similar, but there are some important differences we want to point out.

review zte valet tracfone
ZTE Valet from
Tracfone
The ZTE Valet comes with a 4 GB Micro SD card, which the Samsung Galaxy Centura does not come with. The Valet also has a faster processer, and uses a slightly newer version of Android.

But perhaps the most interesting difference between these two Android smartphones is the price. As we already mentioned, the Samsung Galaxy Centura goes for $129. The ZTE Valet is available in stores and online for a retail price of just $99.

You can also buy the ZTE Valet on Amazon for about $90.

So while you will have to choose for yourself which of these two Tracfone smartphones you prefer, based on price and features, we at TracfoneReviewer prefer the ZTE Valet.

Both phones can be found and purchased at the Tracfone website, under 'shop for phones'. Just enter your ZIP code and you should be able to browse these phones and others. If you can't find the phones, leave a comment below.

We hope you found this useful, and we will be trying to put together full reviews for each of these phones in the near future. Be sure to share this with friends or family who might want to know about these new Android prepaid phones!

More articles on Tracfone that might be useful: Learn about the Difference between GSM and CDMA Tracfone Cell Phones and which one is right for you. Also check out our Tracfone Promo Codes for October 2013 but you may want to see the full Tracfone Promo Codes page where we list lots of codes to get free minutes whenever you add airtime to your phone.

We've got lots more info on Tracfone phones and service, so just take some time to browse! Thanks for visiting!

October 2, 2013

New Tracfone Promo Codes for October 2013

Tracfone Promo Codes for October 2013

tracfone promo codes october 2013
Tracfone Codes for October!
Below you will find Tracfone codes valid for use in October 2013 when adding minutes to your Tracfone device. We strive to make this as easy as possible, just browse the list below and choose your code!

We maintain a full list of Tracfone Promo Codes with many more codes for each minute card, but these are just the codes verified to work for the month of October.

Tracfone offers these promotional minutes as an incentive to buy and add airtime to your Tracfone cell phone. All you need to do is enter the promo code that corresponds with the amount on the minute card you are adding, and when your minutes are added to your phone, you should also get the bonus minutes.

For October 2013, there are several new codes released from Tracfone, as well as several codes that are still working. Visit our main promo code page for the complete list of codes.

New Promo Codes for October 2013

Most of these codes are new for October, with some tested and still working form last month. Always try to enter your promo codes online, where you can try more than one code, in case the first code doesn't work.

For a 60 minute card, code 72685 is working, and will give you 30 extra minutes

On 120 minute cards, the new code is 93760 for 30 bonus minutes

For 200 minute cards, use 23154 to get 40 bonus minutes

Also for 120/200 minute cards, use 74316 to get 60 bonus minutes! This code is an older code, but still working in October and gives more free minutes than other codes! (use on the 450 minute cards too)

For 400 minute/1 year cards use code 48334 to get 250 minutes for free added to your phone

On the 450 minute card, use 93528 to get 50 bonus minutes

13037 is an untested code for 200 minute cards that gives 20 bonus minutes

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This should have you covered for October 2013! Be sure to visit our main Tracfone Promo Codes page where you can find more codes to use. You can also read through the comments to help you know which codes are working for people.

If you enjoy these free codes, share this with your friends and family and spread the word about free minutes! Also leave a comment with which codes are working for you!

If you are interested in learning more about Tracfone, check out our recent articles that cover a wide range of important topics:

Learn about the New Android Powered Phones Coming to Tracfone or read our full guide on the Difference between Tracfone GSM and CDMA phones, and which one you should buy.

You might also find our report on the new ZTE Valet and Samsung Galaxy Centura Smartphones available now from Tracfone very interesting.

You might also find our cell phone comparison, LG 840G vs LG 530G useful if you are shopping for a new phone.

Thanks for visiting!