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 is  $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 web  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?

Dan The Man:

View Comments (107)

  • 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. :)

  • 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. :)

  • 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. mwmalo1@live.com 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