Product Reviews

Straight Talk Samsung R451C

The Samsung R451c from Straight Talk is a decent enough phone. I bought this phone last November and have been using it since. I’m a heavy texter and less of a voice user but the voice quality anytime I’ve used it is crystal clear.

For those who don’t know Straight Talk is a relativity new cell phone service offer by Tracfone through Wal-Mart. It’s $45 per month for unlimited everything though with taxes and fees my bill isΒ  $49.49 per month. There is also a $30 per month plan for 1000 minutes and 1000 texts per month. Being a Tracfone fan, I jumped right on Straight Talk though I was disappointed to see only 1 qwerty phone in their line up and it being one of the most expensive it’s still a decent deal for a no contract phone.

Overall the phone feels good in your hand. Navigating the menus and options is simple and straight forward, nothing out of the ordinary. The the full keyboard and mobile web access makes you think it could be a smart phone though it is far from a smart phone. Web browsing is ridiculously slow even in areas with full service.

Let’s go through the features:

Speakerphone: Just works at the highest volume setting it crackles a bit but it’s plenty loud at the medium-high setting.

Camera: At 1.3 mega pixels there is nothing remarkable here, standard low end camera phone picture quality. Decent enough for quick snap shots but not much else.

Bluetooth: The Bluetooth on this phone is actually decent. It’s not locked down like some competing prepaid phones. You can send music and pictures from your blue tooth enabled computer to you cell phone with no problems. I didn’t bother with a bluetooth headset which is what bluetooth is primarily used for so I cannot comment on that.

Web Browser: Very basic, we’re talking 2001 basic. You can login to mobile MySpace and Facebook if that’s your thing. Gmail’s mobile interface works decently. I was not able to access any Yahoo services on the phone though. Keep in mind the internet speed is ridiculously slow on this phone even in areas with full service.

Text Messaging: Text messaging is a breeze with the full qwerty keyboard. The only real complaint here is that the phone stops at 160 characters where as most phones will let you keep typing and just send 2 messages instead of 1, I found that a little annoying but perhaps as it’s prepaid its to stop you from going over your limit. I found one small quirk if you happen to be sending a message just as one comes in the phone freezes and you need to remove the battery to reset it. It’s a rarity but it does happen especially when having conversations with multiple people at the same time. It happened to me a grand total of 3 times.

Music Player: This phone includes an expansion slot for a micro-SD card which I didn’t bother with. Even without the SD card you can put some songs on the phone. I didn’t bother much with this as I have a separate MP3 player but the basic functionality is nice. The included headphone jack is not standard size, instead it’s a ‘PDA jack” so you will need to purchase a converter to plug in your regular headphones/ear buds, these are available from Amazon for less than $10. Here’s the link to the adapter: Headphone Adapter Cellphone PDA 2.5mm to 3.5mm Jack

Battery Life: Battery life on the R451C is okay. On standby (not using the phone ) it seems to last for 4-5 days once you start texting and using the webΒ  a lot the battery is gone in about a day which I guess isn’t too bad. My battery only died on me once in 4 months but then again I charge it every night.

The Straight Talk web site is crappy. You cannot do much aside from activating your phone, checking your balance (if on the limited plan) and signing up for auto-renew. It would be nice if you can stop auto-renew on their website. The ‘My Account’ area is under construction and has been since I got the phone. You get the feeling no one is really working on the website. When you select buy ring tones or graphics on the phone it tells you to online from your PC. Not that I do that, I email ring tones and songs for to my phone, it’s a lot cheaper ;). When you go on the website the selection is limited and prices are high.

All in all I feel the phone is well worth $100 initially and $50 per month. In my area Straight Talk is serviced by Verizon towers and the service has been great. I traveled to Florida with the phone and it worked every where. Unfortunately I’m deactivating the phone next month and going back to the Google Voice and Tracfone combo as I’ve cut back a lot on texting, though I plan on reactivating the phone whenever I travel again.

Do you have a Straight Talk phone or are you considering one? Is there anything else you would like to know about the phone?

107 replies on “Straight Talk Samsung R451C”

I’ve just got the Straight Talk Samsung Finesse and it’s a beautiful phone! It’s got 3G, really high speed EVDO data connection, a cool large touch screen, camcorder, bluetooth and all the bells and whistles! I teamed it with their $45.00pm prepaid unlimited calls, texts and data connection and it’s the best value for money in the US!

Thanks for the comment Keegan. I’ve read about the Samsung Finesse but haven’t actually played with one. Three things turned me off, they are: price, no physical keyboard, and it’s all touch screen. I’ve found that outside of Apple devices touch screens are really hit and miss as far as quality and responsiveness. I just couldn’t bring myself to pay $330 on a phone that I cannot at least try before I buy. πŸ™‚

Hey Dan, You seem to confuse the phone with the service. As you said, Straight Talk is a great service, and you can get various phones , depending on what you want to pay and what you want from your phone. The service itself, at $45 per month, is the best deal on the market. One of the advantages is that you can deactivate it when you want, as you are going to do, and then reactivate when you need it. Try that with a contract phone.

Thanks for the comment Russel. I’m not confusing the phone with the service. I agree that the service is great overall. As far as I know the R451C is also available with other carriers though not with the same exact firmware due to the prepaid aspect of Straight Talk. My review was written as a review of the phone and service though focused more on the phone itself. πŸ™‚

Yeah, I’ve got a Straight Talk phone! I’ve been loving the service since middle last year and although I still keep my eyes out for offers from other carriers I’ve not come across anything better than Straight Talk.

Man, you just can’t beat the winning combination of Verizon network and ST low prices.

Because I was really happy with the service for several months I took the plunge and bought the Finesse in December. It is a bit expensive but SOOO worth it. No worries about the touchscreen – it is really clear and very responsive. Still not the best solution if you text a lot but a great phone nonetheless.

The Samsung TouchScreen is really the way to go. I have it connected with the unlimited everything $45 plan and am always using the web browser. I am constantly downloading stuff. My bf has the Sprint Smartphone and hates that he has to monitor how much he downloads and how much time he spends on the internet. I definitely recommend the $45 plan, especially in places where Verizon is popular (Straight Talk uses the Verizon network, so it gets the best coverage… like Verizon, but super affordable.).

I have the Samsung Finesse with Straight Talk and I have to say that I am very impressed with it. I was actually thinking of getting the R451C, but I decided on the Finesse because I wanted something IPhone like without the price. The Finesse is very user friendly, the touch screen is large and clear, the features are better than I expected, and its navigates really fast on the ST Verizon network. In terms of price, I felt it was comparable to an IPhone’s price without contract issues – that’s why I went with it instead of the R451C. You should really give the Finesse a try – the price may seem a bit off-putting, but I feel that it’s worth it.

kimberly you made a smart choice. the samsungr451c is a lousy phone i had mines passed the return date trying to get it to work properly it sucks. mp3 doent read the sd cards and tring to send a message is like trying to walk to Japan from the US. You can walk around in the mall and talk it will drop ur call soon as you walk inside a building NO NO NONONONONONO DONT DO IT

Does Any One Know Where I Can Get The Samsung Finesse For Straight Talk ??? Ebay Is Nearly Impossible To Find One For Straight Talk And When They Say Its For Straight Talk The Picture Posted Is Clearly For Metro PCS And Straight Talk Will Not Activate It Unless Its Absolutely A Straight Talk Phone And Not Another Carrier Thats Been Unlocked . Anywho I Been Searching High And Low And Was Told They No Longer Are In Production And Are Sold Out Everywhere So If Anyone Is Aware Of Any Place I Can Get My Hands On The Samsung Finesse It Would Be Greatly Appreciated. Thnks

I’ve been seeing a lot of good comments on StraightTalk. $45 for unlmited talking/texting is more than reasonable. I’m seriousy leaning towards purchasing the Finesses…and would appreciate some more pros and cons. Anyone?

i have the samsung r451.. well anways ringtones are not very loud, when i download them it sounds good, but once it gets into my sounds it’s not so i’m very confused why it does that??

As for the volume on the samsung 415c if you set your speaker phone on which is located right by your send button the ringtones are extremely loud when you recieve a call just shut it off this is the only way i found to make it louder …. Hope this helps


so all i need is an earbud converter to listen to my music? i searched radioshacks website and i couldnt find anything. is it called an earbud converter or something else? plz help me! thnx

I have a R451C Straight Talk phone. How do you get music onto the mp3 player. I know you need a usb cable for it but where do I find one and how do I do it. If anyone can help I would greatly appreciate it.

Darla no you dont need that. This type phone is expercing a lot of defect problem i stayed on the phone two hours with Straight talk and they couldnt figure it out either the dummies told me to get a cheaper sd card than $ 9.00. i told them i have a 1gb card a 2gb and a 4gb card none works in the phone how bout he told me to get one lower there is none i woulnt recommend this phone to anyone not even to throw in a casket with the deseased

Hey Dan, I bought the R451c and loaded music onto it. I bought 2 different adapters and plugged headphones into the phone, yet sound is only coming through one ear or no sound is coming though at all depending on how far I plug the adapter part into the headphone jack. I tried the headphones on my friends phone and they work perfectly. Also I tried two different headphones… I have a feeling I may have a defective phone…
You have any problems with the headphone jack? Also, Straight Talks customer service is a joke. I talked with a representative about them sending me a new phone and they agreed but said I had to send my phone back and then they would send me a new one. What a joke… I would have to be without a phone for 2 weeks AND pay for 2 weeks of service I didn’t use… How messed up is that??? By the way I bought the phone off the website. I wonder if I could get away with bringing the phone to Walmart and say that I bought it there and don’t have a receipt… may they would swap out my phone for a new one there???

Any idea on the problem or what I should do???


Justin i feel you i had the same problem. Talk with them but to no avail they are funnier than funny. And i work for walmart please dont do that its not the right thing to do and futhermore you will need a reciept and the serial number will be keyed in to verify purchased from a walmart store (Think WWJD ) AND IF YOU DONT CARE ABOUT jESUS THEN DO THE WRONG THING BUT I KNOW YOU WILL MAKE THE RIGHT DECISION . Straight Talk suckered us lets not take it out on someone else

Hi Nina there are no dedicated instant messaging apps on this phone however AIM/AOL will allow you to sign in and communicate with your contacts via text message. I think it’s a great phone for a prolific texter the full keyboard makes texting a whole lot easier then a regular cell phone.

Thanks Dan for looking into this. From what the forum is saying, I need the adapter with the three black rings around the 2.5 post on the adapter. It seems like someone has had luck with that from an amazon product they bought. I was going to buy the same thing that he posted a link for on Amazon, but it was like 7 bucks total for the adapter. I found one with three rings that was similar on EBAY for 1 dollar, so I decided to try it first. I hope I have the same luck as the other guy, if not I might have to bite the bullet and get the expensive one that he got from that Amazon link. I appreciate you looking into this problem for me, hopefully the solution will work. If not, I’ll have to check out a few other methods the people on the forum thought would work.

Thanks again,

Ebay is a good place for stuff like that. I found this one. the seller has a great rating although I’ve never dealt with them. A simple Google search for “Samsung r451c Replacement Battery” will help you find other suppliers. πŸ™‚

I am looking to get the samsung r451c from straight talk and I had a few concerns. I am curious what the camera/photo quality was like? Also I hear that the sound (for ringtones) is not very loud. Is this true?

I’ve gotten lots of comments that when camera quality is good for a camera phone. Pictures in low light conditions aren’t very good though.

As for ringer volume, when on the loudest setting the ringer is progressive it starts out low then gets louder as it rings long. Overall I think the ringer is loud but it’s not the loudest I’ve heard.

I just got the Samsung R451C from ST and so far it’s seems like a good phone. I put an SD card in it for the music player, but it doesn’t recognize that anything is on there. It recognizes that the card is inserted, but won’t register the songs. Any ideas? I’m not very good with some technology stuff like phones. Thanks! (Please email me: I probably won’t be able to find this site again even if I look for it! πŸ™‚ Thank you!

I have had my straight talk phone since december. I love my Samsung R451C other than i have definately abused is… The one complaint i have about straight talk in there is no insurance on the phones and my screen is so scratched up you can hardly read it anymore. is there any way to replace just my screen without having to buy a new phone and what about faceplates that are not snap on so i can take the black off of it so i can personalize it a little more??

The thing is the phones are so cheap ($100) compared to a contract phone if bought straight out ($300+) that insurance really doesn’t pay. Your better off putting away $10 a month on your own and in less then a year you can replace the phone if need be. πŸ˜‰

I haven’t seen anything for customizing the phone nor replacing the screen. You might be able to get a wrap ( for a similar sized phone and cut it to fit though.
.-= Dan´s last blog ..Another Desk Reorganization =-.

I bought the Samsung R415C. I really do like this phone, the only thing i did not like is how the ringtones were so low when people called or texted me, So i was thinking things are louder on speakerphone so i put my phone on speakerphone and now my phone rings louder. Hope this helps anybody that had this problem. Overall best service ever, and wow 45 bucks a month unlimited everything Awesome!!!! πŸ™‚

Fantastic solution! Just can’t figure how to do the same. Setting the phone to ring via speaker, ingenious. Good Night To You.

i just bought the Samsung but going to face book it says my browser or java or soothing wont let it log in. any ideas? but i love the plan it rocks

I just got the r415c and I love the keyboard and the unlimited plan pricing, but the reception is the worst I’ve ever heard. My area is supposed to be covered and I’m just wondering if I got a bad phone or does the coverage map lie? I’ve seen reviews where people claim this phone is crystal clear but mine sounds awful and I’m only getting one bar that blinks in and out. Can you hear me now? Apparently not πŸ™‚

I’ve had good luck with reception even in areas around me that don’t get all that great service. You might just have a lemon on your hands. πŸ™‚

karen your phone sucks when it comes to music service and mp3 its in the phone and St wanna say its us. I got one and could have shot my own butt in the butt

Thanks Dan, I’m thinking of returning it to walmart for another just like it and see if it will work then.

Good luck with it. Make sure you write down your current phone’s serial number so you can call straight talk and have them transfer the subscription to the new phone or else your going to have pay another $45 for a new card.

Generally if you have good Verizon service in your area you’ll get good Straight talk service since ST runs off Verizon’s network. πŸ™‚

Karen i returned my phone also and still having the same problems try another phone cheaper is good and sometimes better

hey i have this phon and i bought the sd card and everything..but i dont know hot to get music on it or work the music player at all..please help

Jean i tried 4 sd cards and none of them worked.I called ST and they stayed one the phone with me two hours just to not give me any clearification

i had alot of typos there..anyways yeah i have no idea how to get music onto it i mean i know how to get ringtones but not music on the music player and i already have the SD card..please help thanks

When i plug my Samsung R415C into the wall charger, it will charger for a couple seconds but then it says, “No Battery” and will keep that message on the entire time. It doesnt make any sense, do you have a possible solution other than calling Straight Talk? It takes too long to get ahold of a service rep. and they can barely speak english. please help!

i have the samsung R451 tracfone i love it but its stuck on silent mode and i have no idea how to get it off that please help!!!!

I love my r451, I download new ringers off the browser and am able to get onto facebook and other web sites. Straight talk is an awesome value, I love not having to monitor my minutes or texts. Does the Samsung Finesse work as well for texting? and is the browser not so pre historic? I’d love to get a touch screen phone.

Also does anyone know how to get music on my sd card?? It sees the card but will not recognize my music. Thanks

Agreed ST is awesome. πŸ™‚ I’ve heard 50/50 reviews on the Finesse. Some say it’s the best thing since sliced bread others say the text input is horrible and that the screen doesn’t track well.

I don ‘t have an SD card to test but you probably cannot put over 100 or due to file system restrictions.

i have a samsungr451c and i got it wet at my friends pool it only works if i plug it in im gettin a new battery or a new phone….i dont need any help…i dont like the servvice it doesnt work where i go a lot and it hangs up in the middle of calls.

Yes I have a question how do you send a picture to your myspace or facebook straight from your samsung R451C?

Hi Mari,
You have to enable Facebook and Myspace mobile on their website by putting in your phone number and plugging in a confirmation code sent to your phone via text message. Once that’s all setup you for Facebook you send pictures to (instead of a phone number) and MySpace gives you a random email address to send it to.

What I do add the address to my phone’s address book so I’ll always have it and can put pics online with just a couple of button presses. Better yet is setup a group for Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter so you can send to all at once.

Hope it helps,

I have a new Samsung R451C Straight Talk phone & cannot connect to AOL at all. I keep getting “Network Error” messages. What am I doing wrong?

Thanks Dad
I’ve read where it does have a browser & works with AOL. That’s the main reason I purchased it. It even has AOL listed under the email websites.
Do you know if AOL has just a mobile section for emails. I don’t have to get on the internet or would just using the AOL url work?
I’ve been able to access Fox, Cnn, & Ebay so far.
Thanks for any help anyone can give me.

hehe No problem about the name mess up.. I got a little nervous there for a minute, lol. πŸ˜€

Check out this link: click on the orange “send to mobile” enter your phone number and it will text you a link. It worked for me and I was able to login to my AIM mail account.

Alternatively you can point your phone’s browser to

Let me know how it works out for you. πŸ™‚

Neither of the options worked for me to access my AOL mail. Which is weird. I’ve had the phone for two months. The first month it worked just fine. I could access my mail and all was good. But now I just keep getting the “network error” message.

I have the R451c Phone, and I don’t know what happened, but when I get a call or when I call someone, they cannot hear me. I can hear them, but all they say is “HELLO… HELLO!!!!” I’ve tried putting it on speaker, and if I turn it on speaker and pretty much yell into it when I talk, they can hear me a little but they say it sounds like im 50ft away from my phone when im talking… How can I fix this problem so that I can talk into it like normal again? Like I said, I don’t know how it happened, but it really sucks. I can’t afford another one, and it has been way over 60 days since I got the phone. Please help!!!

Sounds like you have a bad Microphone in the phone itself. Not much you can do besides buy a new phone. You might be covered under Samsung’s warranty though, you should look into that.

When I go to the Straight Talk website, and enter my zip code the Finesse is not an option. Is it because it’s not available in my area? Or, do I need to seperately buy the phone or what? I’m pretty excited to start this plan, and I think the Finesse would be pretty cool.

I have the Samsung R451C, which I just bought yesterday. I’ve fully charged it twice since then; but I’ve been trying to charge the phone for over two hours now and it just won’t work. Whenever I plug in the charger, it’ll charge for a few seconds then disconnect. Then it will proceed to reconnect, disconnect, reconnect, disconnect, etc. I don’t know what to do. I rely on my cell phone a lot, we don’t have a land line here. Please, help me and tell me what I should do.

I have had the R451 for about 7 mo. The phone is great for texting. The PC connection with a cable only appears to work with a memory card installed. The phone has to format the card and use the folders named as it formats it. Battery life is good but could be better, volume of ringers is all in the files you use – you can edit the amplitude of the files on a pc and reload them. Plenty of speaker volumn. The headsets are available in samsung brand for less than $5 on ebay. The internet is limited and slow on phone but functional. Camera works good for what it is and I have not figured out how to export the address book. You can email to the phone under 160 characters and you can email from the phone under 160 characters. It does send and recv. pictures. I am upgrading to the new E71 and will be selling my R451. It was a great bargain on the all you need plan for $33/mo.

ok i’ve got a problem with my phone..when i call someone u can’t hear anything i have to put it on speakerphone to there something wrong with my phone or is there a button that needs to be pressed to get it back to the way it’s supossed to be..i have the samsung slider phone please help..thank you

I was wondering, If anyone knows how to find out what zip code coverage Straight Talk has, they have a map but its extremely vague. I live in the Hastings & constantia NY area and i dont want to waste the high $$ on the phones if they will not work where i need them to. Thanks.

I also need to know which phones anyone knows will be loud for ringtones. My sister has the Samsung qwerty phone & the ringtone quality is so low she misses almost every call.

This phone has a graduated ringer meaning the first ring is pretty low by the time the third ring comes through it’s pretty loud. You can easily hear it over the radio in the car.

Very informative put up, love the best way you write and I feel that the knowledge helps in a way. I do not usually say this, however I feel it is a nice job done. In the event you like to alternate hyperlinks, I would be very happy to supply a hyperlink back to your site. Hope to listen to from you soon. Cheers

I am having trouble with the mp3 player to play songs i have put in it please help it won’t show them what do I have to do I have the samsung r451c from straight talk if anyone has any input please share I tried formatting the card and that didn’t work so confused!!!!!!

im having problems with my samsung R451c from straight talk..the phone works but the problem is,it that the screen is really dark i can barely see anything..theres no damage & when i called straight talk they said ill have to get a new phone but i dont have anything on a memory card..what do i do

Hi Deanna you can get a refurbished phone on the straight talk website for free all you pay is for the card depending on the plan you have is either going to be $30 or $45 I bought three and they work great so if you don’t want to spend the money this would be your better option. Hope this was helpful! the website is go to shop on the left hand corner just put the cursor there don’t click on it you get a drop down list then click on phones input your zip code there and hit enter there you will see all the phones offered and the refurbished ones too sometimes they offer free overnight shipping and 3 day shipping for free too. Happy shopping!!!

MP3s play fine in mine but how do you turn up the volume? I’ve never seen an MP3 player without a volume control. What am I missing here?

well… I have had Samsung R451c since they first came out on the walmart shelves.
The Good:
Reception has been great, I have had not one drop call since I got it. MP3 player, I use an SD card and have had no problems with it. I use it to play music through my car’s stereo on my daily commute (1hr each way). I have dropped it several times and it still works well. Clarity is good. Ringtones, I make my own using ringtone software and I make it louder so I have had no problems with that. I use a bluetooth earpiece and after fiddling a bit to get it to recognize the piece, it has not given me any problems. Texting, I have nothing bad to say about texting, It has functioned superbly here, nice keyboard also.
The bad:
Like it has been stated above, the website is kinda crappy trying to do things with it (I tried to upgrade to a different phone and gave up for now). Customer service, like all the carriers, be prepared to stay on the line for a while and also be prepared to answer the “canned” questions asked until they get to your particular problem (kinda robotic). “My Images” takes a long time to load up on to the screen, especially if you have a lot of pictures. Web Browsing is marginal to say the least. I check my yahoo account and facebook when I don’t have a pc available but it does try your patience. No Apps. none, zip, nada…..
So, if you want a working cheap phone that you can talk and text to your heart’s content and look at some webpages in an emergency, this is it…… If you want a phone that you can do that and surf the web…. this is not for you.
Overall, I have had the phone and ST service going on a couple of yrs now (time to upgrade?) and it has served the purpose well,,,,,, cheap and reliable…. but for 99.99 on the phone and 45.00 a month I would say that it is not a bad deal.

I went out and bought a micro sd card for mp3 player but I can’t get anything to load on phone.. anything I hafta do to enable player?

The card can only be up to 2GB. You have to put the songs on the card first. They have to be in MP3 format, not wav or anything else. You can’t load them straight to the phone. You need to put them on the card first I think. I forget the exact process, but it does play mp3s fine.

You need to put the card in your phone first and let it read it then take it out and it should work after that. I did and had the same problem.

I also own this phone and yeah it does the work. I mean all i do is text and talk so it’s good for me. However in all these months i have been using the service i have a question why does straighttalk not offer international calling? I though they were part of a big international company? Aside from that the service has not failed me, descent reception for what i pay, so no complaints.


I have gmail and used in on my old LG flip phone that served me well for more than a year. When I switched to the Samsung $98 phone (LG was $39) I can sign in to google mail and I can download the app. Can’t get in through web direct. I was easily able to check my e-mail Gmail&yahoo, but I am stranded with the new phone. LG screen is dark (broken switch on hinge) or I’d switch back.

New to this phone. Can anyone tell me how to pick up roadrunner web mail with it. So far haven’t been able to do it

My straighttalk phone lasted for 2 1/2 months and the battery went completely dead. Wouldn’t take a charge.

Where do I get another bettery?

How do I keep it from going permanently dead? (I kept the phone charged)

Will I still have the same phone number?

I’m going traveling again in a few months.

You’re best bet for a new battery is to look on eBay or just buy a new phone if you have a cheaper model. You shouldn’t keep the phone plugged in all the time, that’s probably what killed your battery.

If you kept active service you will have the same number. If not, it depends after 2.5 months you will probably be issued a new number.

PLEASE! Why won’t the music show up on the R451C phone once the music has been dl to an SD card? This is aggravating as calling someone will get me no where since I can’t understand them!!

i have this phone its great just when i make a call or get a call i cant hear anything the phone will not switch to speaker phone either any ideas?

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