1 - Write-up and Photos
The Tracfone Samsung T245g is a basic flip phone with good reception. If you care about calls more than features, check out this phone. With a VGA camera and Bluetooth headset capability, this phone is almost identical in appearance and capability to the T255g available from Straight Talk – in fact I can’t find any differences really other than having Tracfone’s airtime system on it. The main strength of both these phones is that they seem to be good at acquiring a signal even in so-so coverage areas. This would be the main reason to consider this over the LG 420g, 430g, and 440g series of phones.
The Samsung T245g has a VGA resolution camera which means it takes 640 x 480 pixel photos. To get the pictures out of the phone you have to send them via picture message either to another phone or to an email address. If you send them to another phone, the resolution is trimmed down to 320 x 240. You get the full resolution if you send it to an email address. You do this by creating a contact in the phone’s address book with an email address.
This phone does have Bluetooth capability so you can pair it for use with a Bluetooth headset or other hands-free device. You cannot, however, transfer your photos via Bluetooth.
This Samsung flip phone does have mobile web access. You can check your mail on yahoo, msn and even login to Facebook to check your newsfeed. This feature is actually pretty good considering the small size of the main screen.
You can send text and multimedia messages (photo or audio).
The audio can be a saved audio file or you can record an audio message while composing a message. Recorded audio can be up to 2 minutes and 35 seconds in length. In fact, that’s actually the only way I found to access the voice recorder on this phone. There doesn’t seem to be a separate voice recorder in the menu. However, audio that you record from the compose message menu does get saved in the Recorded Audio folder whether you send it in a message or not.
The main screen is small, but more importantly does not have the same color range and resolution of other phones like the LG 420g flip phone. In addition the basic faint yellow wallpaper/theme makes it a little hard to see the icons.
The external screen lights up to show incoming calls, messages or alarms. The external screen also shows the date and time. However, the body of the phone has no external buttons either on the side or the front. This creates a problem because you can’t get the screen to light up to, for example, check the date and time, without flipping open the phone.
The flip-style body is fairly convenient to hold in your hand, and you can flip it open with one hand fairly easily using your thumb.
The keypad is well-spaced and the buttons feel distinct so you know when you have pressed a number. The navigation buttons are standard but convenient. Clockwise from the top, you get access to creating a text, the sound profiles, your contacts, and the camera.
Battery life is rated at 5 hours talk time and standby time of 8 hours. Since you’re probably not going to be spending a whole lot of time surfing the internet on this phone, these times should be fairly accurate.
The phone is fairly lightweight at 2.9 ounces but still manages to feel pretty sturdy.
You can store (only) 200 contacts in the phonebook on the Tracfone Samsung T255g. Eight of these contacts can be assigned to Speed Dial (#1 is reserved for voicemail). You can store the mobile, home and office numbers plus an email address. You can assign both a picture as well as a particular ringtone. You can organize your contacts by assigning them to groups. Pre-existing groups are Family, Office and Friends, and you can create your own groups as well.
The “C” button gives you quick access to the calendar. There you can create events for appointments and anniversaries as well as a task list.
Other tools available in the Tracfone Samsung T245g include a calculator with standard arithmetic functions plus the scientific or trig functions via the options menu. There’s a basic (no split checks) tip calculator to calculate percentages quickly. Finally there’s a converter for currency and metric to std. units for length, weight, volume, area and temperature.
You can set multiple alarms. For each alarm you can choose whether it rings or vibrates or both. For the sound, you can choose the sound volume for the alarm as well. There is a day picker so you can choose which days of the week the alarm sounds. You can check whether to enable snooze, and if so, how many times you want the alarm to repeat. So if you need alarms, this is pretty good.
There’s a countdown timer, a stopwatch and a world time clock. The timer (which is not on most LG phones) can be set once and then you can close (not turn off) the phone, and it will keep running with an alarm sounding at the end.
Overall this appears to be a good, reliable basic flip phone. In terms of features, it doesn’t compare that well to the LG 420g, but it does have a couple of features (countdown timer for one) that isn’t on the LG phone. The phone originally cost $19.99 but the price has dropped, so you may have to get two to qualify for Free Shipping.
Here are a few alternatives to this basic flip phones.
The T245g is just one of several Samsung handsets available from Tracfone. Some of these are part of the same T-series, while others are from the newer S-series such as the . . .
The Samsung S390G is one of the more full-featured handsets available from Tracfone. It features a QWERTY keyboard with a trackpad and WiFi access.
As mentioned in the main article, there are a few LG phones including flip phones that are options. These phones tend to have good features, though some have complained about the signal strength.
The LG 840g represents how close a handset get to smart phone status without actually being one.