November 28, 2016

Samsung Galaxy Luna (S120VL) Review - Tracfone Smartphone

Tracfone Samsung Galaxy Luna (S120VL) Review

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tracfone samsung galaxy luna
Samsung Galaxy Luna Review
The Samsung Galaxy Luna is a budget friendly smartphone released by Tracfone in late 2016 to use with their prepaid cell phone network.

The Luna features a 4.5" touchscreen, 8 GB internal memory, 1.5 GB RAM, 5 MP rear camera and runs on Android 6.0.1. It has 4G LTE capability and uses Verizon's CDMA network. In general, it has pretty standard features and specs for a Tracfone smartphone device, with a few improvements.

Tracfone continues to release a variety of smartphones, including the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus (as well as the iPhone 5S). The Samsung Galaxy S5, S6 and S7 have also been available through Tracfone for several months now and offer high-end performance at prices of over $500.

But they are still heavily focused on budget devices listed between $50-$200 because that is where the largest demand among Tracfone users exists.

Don't forget that you can also buy an unlocked smartphone, and bring it to Tracfone. We just created a list of the Best Unlocked Phones to use with Tracfone BYOP so take a look if you want some ideas. You can also visit our BYOP page for more information on how it works.

let's get back to the Luna, and look at the quick facts:

Samsung Galaxy Luna Quick Facts

The Good:
-Android 6.0.1
-Reasonable Price

The Not So Good:
-Only 8 GB Memory
-5 MP Rear Camera

One of the key features on the Luna, and the reason it may be a good phone to upgrade to for some Tracfone users, is that it comes with Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow. This is a very recent version of the Android operating system, and has some nice improvements over past versions which we will explain more about later.

The majority of Tracfone's low cost smartphone devices have only 8 GB internal memory and 1 GB RAM. This includes many of the recent phones we've reviewed like the ZTE Citrine, LG Rebel and LG Treasure. If you have used smartphones with limited memory and run into the problem of filling up your storage, you may want to consider a phone with more internal memory, such as the ZTE ZMAX 2 or unlocked phone options.

We've just added the Luna to our List of 10 Tracfone Gift Ideas, follow the link to see the other Christmas gift ideas!

Lets take a look at the full list of features and specs for the Samsung Galaxy Luna, followed by our review.

Tracfone Samsung Galaxy Luna Features and Specs

Below are the features, followed by the technical specifications

  • Android 6.0.1 Marshmallow
  • 4G LTE Capable using Verizon CDMA Cell Network
  • WiFi
  • GPS
  • Bluetooth 4.1
  • MP3 Player
  • Alarm Clock
  • Access to over 1 Million Apps on Google Play Store
  • 5 MP Rear Camera and 2 MP Front Camera
  • Caller ID, Voicemail, SMS, MMS
  • Triple Minutes for Life (on regular airtime cards)

Samsung Galaxy Luna Specs

  • Size: 5.22" x 2.73" x 0.35"
  • 4.5" Touchscreen at 800x480 resolution
  • 1.2 Ghz Quad Core processor
  • 1.5 GB RAM
  • 8 GB Memory (with MicroSD slot for up to 128 GB additional memory)
  • Battery: 2050 mAh with 19hrs talk time, about 20 days standby

There are a couple of interesting features to notice about this phone. First of all, it appears to have 1.5 GB RAM with a 1.2 Ghz quad core processor which is a step up from many other low cost Tracfone smartphones and will allow it to multitask much better. The Luna also has a long standby time, which is due, in part, to the newer operating system.

The Samsung Galaxy Luna is one of several great Black Friday/Cyber Monday Deals we've shared, so take a look so see where you can buy it at a discount, and some of the other phones available for super low prices.

Let's dive into our full review of the Samsung Galaxy Luna where we will share the key features on this phone that make it good, and any drawbacks that might exist.

Samsung Galaxy Luna Review

What we Like about the Luna
This is a phone that comes with a few small improvements over other recent smartphones released by Tracfone that actually might make a big deal for some users. We like that the Luna comes with 1.5 GB RAM, Android 6.0 and a reasonable price.

tracfone luna review
Tracfone Samsung Galaxy Luna Review

We would like to see more phones from Tracfone with 2 GB RAM, which allows the phone to run more applications at once, and generally means better performance. But this is a lot to ask for in a budget smartphone, and 1.5 GB is an improvement over 1 GB which is what almost every other recent smartphone from Tracfone offers.

The most notable feature on the Luna in our opinion is that it comes with Android 6.0.1. This version of Android was released in 2015, but only newer phones are using it. Most of Tracfone's other smartphones use Android 5.1 or older.

Android 6.0 brings several improvements, including a 'doze' feature which does a number of things to improve battery life (and leads to a much longer standby time compared to most other smartphones). Android 6.0 also allows greater external memory support, which were lacking in several of the previous Android versions. What this means is that the 8 GB of internal memory may not be so limiting, and users should be able to load apps, music, photos and other content onto the external MicroSD card (once the card has been set as 'internal memory').

Finally, the Luna is widely available for about $109 with an airtime bundle from HSN and QVC, or closer to $80 for just the phone from Target, BestBuy and other retailers. (Target offered the phone for closer to $40 on Black Friday)

The Samsung Galaxy Luna is a smaller phone, but packs some good performance and features for the price, and we would see this phone outperforming many older Tracfone smartphones.

We we Don't Like
What is key to remember about the Luna is that it is a budget smartphone, which means that certain corners are cut to keep the cost low. In the case of the Luna, it comes with a somewhat small screen, low resolution camera, and low internal storage.

Screen size on a smartphone is a matter of personal preference. Many smartphones now come with a screen size of 5.5 inches or more, which is great for viewing photos or videos, but may be bulky when trying to fit into a pocket or purse. The Luna has a 4.5" touchscreen which is a little smaller, but may be more convenient for some users. The screen appearance and resolution is good, but nothing fancy.

Samsung Galaxy Luna only comes with 8 GB memory, which for many, isn't enough if you plan to run a variety of apps, store music and photos, or keep other content. However, the Luna does support up to 128 GB external MicroSD card, which should allow users not to expand the internal memory, although we haven't fully tested this yet.

Finally, the front and rear cameras on the Luna are more of an afterthought. And while they do a reasonable job, they can't compete with most modern smartphones camera capabilities. If you only plan to use the camera for occasional photos in good lighting, then it should be fine. Otherwise, consider a phone with an improved camera.

That concludes the main drawbacks we noticed on the Samsung Galaxy Luna. It performs very well compared to many of Tracfone's other smartphones, but isn't going to keep up with smartphones like the Moto G4 or iPhone 5S (but they are twice the price).

Overview and Where to by the Samsung Galaxy Luna

The Luna is a small, but capable smartphone that is ideal for low to moderate smartphone users. But it has potential, with the ability to integrate the external storage, it could end up with the ability to store quite a lot via a MicroSD Card.

Compared to the LG Rebel, which also has a 4.5" touchscreen and retails for a similar price, we would choose the Samsung Galaxy Luna for the newer Android OS, more RAM and overall better value.

Compared to older smartphones like the LG Ultimate 2, LG Sunset, and Samsung Galaxy Stardust, we would also recce mend the Galaxy Luna simply because of the newer Operating System which has a number of performance and security updates.

The Samsung Galaxy Luna is available from several online retailers, and from retail stores like Target and WalMart.

Find the Samsung Galaxy Luna on eBay Bundled with airtime for $69
Find the Samsung Galaxy Luna on HSN bundled with airtime for $109
Find the Samsung Galaxy Luna at Target for $109
Find the Samusng Galaxy Luna at BestBuy for $109

There are also several Cases on Amazon available for the Luna.

View the Samsung Galalxy Luna Interactive Tutorial.

That concludes our review of the Samsung Galaxy Luna, we hope you have found it useful and let us know if we've missed anything, or if you have any questions.

If you're new to Tracfone, check out our Beginners Guide to Tracfone which provides details on how Tracfone prepaid service works, and some other helpful tips.

We've also created a Guide to Activating or Transferring service to a Tracfone Smartphone or BYOP device.

We will also be sharing details soon on the Samsung Galaxy Sky, a very similar phone with a 5" touchscreen also available through Tracfone.

Thanks for visiting!


HOODY said...

The LG Phoenix 2 I just picked up for 30 bucks beats this one hands down. I've only had this for a couple days now, its a neat phone for the money, It did go back up some since Black Friday, its now 49.99, still a good price for a phone like this considering it was just over 100. I activated it on Trackfone using the BYOP Sim Kit.

Only irritation I've had was with AT&T, on their free unlock page, they were no help at all trying to get a unlock code for it, said it had to be used on their service for 6mo first, BS, I told them that Trackfone also uses AT&T and as a GSM phone that's what I'll be using, and I didn't need it unlocked to do it, I just wanted to have it unlocked for future use.

Too bad this LUNA just couldn't squeeze out that 16g internal, and a better camera front and back. Samsung has so many variations of phones out now they could have easily bumped up the specs and made it a better buy for that 100 bucks they seem to be charging.

Anonymous said...

Very pleased that I ordered the Luna from for under $40 on Thanksgiving.
Haven't received it yet, but I think I'll like it. Mainly wanted the slightly smaller screen than the 5in. I currently have, which is just too big to carry in my pants

HOODY said...

I hear ya on the screen size thing, I also like the 4.5" size best, maybe by next year these phone makers will start to add better specs to that size phone and stop with the "bigger is better" stuff. We all don't watch movies on a constant basis on our "phones".

But for now this 5" screened Phoenix 2 will do :), but yea, I have no plans to going to anything larger.

I'll be looking for a pay as you go phone by next Black Friday with something like 2g ram, 16 internal men, 4.5" HD screen, and a decent 1.5 to 2g quad core processor, maybe a 12g rear and a 8g front camera at a Black Friday best buy price :))

Anonymous said...

Bought it for my kids to download games and watch Netflix and stuff. Bought VR headset. Bummed out because phone has no gyroscope so VR apps do not work! Nice phone though. Bought an SD card for extra storage. Great deal on black Friday for 20 bucks at WalMart!

Unknown said...

I did pick up this phone from Target and it is very nice. The issue I have, though, is the 8GB of internal memory fills up quick. I bought an SD card to increase it but I can only format it as portable and not internal storage. Not all of the apps I have will transfer over and I was hoping to be able to download more than my previous phone would. Any thoughts would be appreciated! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

Android 6.0 added a feature to make SD cards "adoptable", so that they behave like internal memory and can have apps installed on them. Did Samsung somehow turn that off in their phone?

Unknown said...


Supposedly the newest update to Marshmallow nerfed that feature for Samsung phones. That was the reason this phone was such a superb deal at the price. It does make me think two things, though:

Perhaps the fact that the update will not allow an SD to be seen as internal memory is why Target sold the phone at such a discount, not just for Black Friday.

I wonder if this feature was enabled so that customers would pay more for a Samsung phone with a higher internal memory count. Then if you are someone who needs storage instead of buying an economical phone and an SD card Samsung can get you to just spend a lot of money on one of their phones. Smart thing to do but it doesn't work for the customers.

I just wish I had known this ahead of time as I would have waited for a better offer.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone answer these questions about the Samsung Luna?

1. Is the screen surface made of glass, or is it plastic?

2. Can the battery be removed and replaced by the end user?

3. Is there a setting to prevent outbound Caller ID info from being sent, so that ALL outgoing phone calls are anonymous?

Anonymous said...

Just got the luna for Christmas. Quick note: only 1gb of ram. I thought this had 1.5gb of ram. I'll be keeping my LG Power after all.

Ombibulous said...

1. Glass
2. Yes
3. No, there isn't a global setting to block outgoing caller ID. You'd have to prepend it to each number in your contacts or when you dial.

Anonymous said...

Do you know where to get unlock code for luna?

Unknown said...

Why does it say 8gb of storage yet once everything is set up you only have less then 4gb to use?

Unknown said...

Does the Samsung Luna allow for WiFi Calling and Texts? I occationally leave the country to GSM based networks in Europe and I am looking for solutions to receive texts and calls. Wifi Calling would be perfect. I have heard that TF does not offically support it but that is seems to work?

Unknown said...

What is the mount/system option for an mean??

Gregory said...

This is just what I needed to help me decide whether or not to purchase this phone. Thanks!

Unknown said...

I'm looking to upgrade the memory to 32gb. Will this allow me to do that or is it a waste of money? Current issue is I'm out of space on this phone and I obviously need more.

Unknown said...

Does the Tracfone Galaxy Luna support USB OTG?


Steve said...

The preloaded apps that came with the phone take up 4gb of space right away,that's why.

Anonymous said...

can someone tell me how I can record music on my luna?