As promised on the other TS thread, I've copied my original answers to your first questions about the new Samsung Galaxy Centura 738 that we purchased last Saturday. Please post any additional questions, comments concerns about the phone specifically and TracFone in general here and I'll try to assist you as much as I can.
This is my 6th handset from TracFone in about seven years. Before that, I had service through Net10, TracFone's sister company after switching from Verizon. Customer Service isn't perfect, but it has improved exponentially from the way it was even a few years ago. My experience can help you navigate the intricacies of problem resolution and I'm more than willing to share this information.
As promised, below are my original posts from the TS thread answering a few of the first questions asked about the Samsung Galaxy Centura 738.
As soon as the clearance prices began appearing on the LG 800g and the LG 840g a few weeks ago, it was abundantly clear that something new and big was about to be introduced. This Samsung Galaxy Centura 738 Smartphone not only met, but exceeded, all expectations.
I'd been checking TracFone's website weekly and still there's nothing. What I noticed were the cut rates on these two former touchscreen stars. The reconditioned LG 800g is listed at $5; the reconditioned LG 840g now sells for $9.99.
It's absolutely true what HSN said about having the Galaxy Centura exclusive. It's not even available yet on TracFone's website.
You can't beat this deal, whether you're a new or existing TracFone customer, where everything rolls over and what are now only Talk minutes suddenly become Text and Data, too.
It's been years since I've purchased an airtime card. I just upgrade my phone every 18-24 months, getting the newest handset with accessories, bonus minutes and this time, that fantastic $25 gift card for the Google Playstore.
I can't wait to get this phone. I feel sorry for anyone who hesitated and missed Saturday's TS (Sept 21st) because today HSN is selling the same package for $149.95, a $20 savings over the MSRP when purchased directly from TracFone or conventional retailers (where it won't be available 'til mid- or late-October), but it's $25 more than the TS price and the ETA is Oct. 7th.
jeannellen your current LG 840g is not a true smartphone, but rather a hybrid built by LG to Tracfone's specifications. I'm sure you've noticed that while it was superior to its immediate predecessor, the LG 800g, there were so many things it simply couldn't do. Limitations regarding access to certain e-mail protocols and restrictions on the size of webpages it could load or even connect with often became frustrating. With this new Galaxy Centura, you'll be able to do everything that you currently do on an Android tablet. In fact, these phones are mini-tablet computers, often referred to a "phablets," for combination phones and tablets. With the 3g Wi-Fi, you won't deplete your stockpile of Data minutes and you can web browse at no cost just like you did on your LG. Always make certain the wi-fi is on and you're connected to a router or hotspot. Of course, if you're not in the vicinity of a freebie hotspot, you'll be able to access the Internet, but it's going to cost you in data mbs.
mooncat7, the best way for existing TracFone customers to port their current number, minutes and airtime to the new phone is to call Customer Service at TracFone. Rather than doing it yourself online, it's good idea to: (1) speak to a TracFone CSR (make sure that you get that CSR's name and ID number as a reference in the event that problems arise). (2) make sure the new phone is fully charged. They tell you that your new cell phone must be turned on during the process, so it's best to (3) call from a landline or another cellphone - not the new one that you're attempting to activate and to which you're porting and transferring. Do NOT turn off the new phone. They'll tell you that it can take up to an hour or more to complete the process. I've done it this way numerous times and it's never taken more than a few seconds to accomplish activation, addition of the bonus minutes and porting my number.
arinta, go to the TracFone website, click Support and click Technical Support followed by FAQs on the drop-down menu. Perhaps someone misspoke in the demo because there doesn't appear to be a third method of phone number porting.
Meezergeezer, you appeared to have some reservations, writing "...I hope if this phone doesn't work out I can transfer the minutes back to my old phone..." Of course, TracFone will allow you go retain your minutes and airtime, as well as re-porting your phone number, if necessary. It's a good idea to: (1) speak to a TracFone CSR (get name and ID number as a reference in the event that problems arise) for help in doing this and (2) make sure you do this before returning the new phone, because you'll be asked for information contained therein. Also note that if you've de-activated the old phone, it may be necessary for TracFone to send you a new SIM card to re-activate, therefore you may find yourself without cell service for several days.
4kitties, you said you're not terribly fond of touchscreen, especially in cold weather. Have you considered using a stylus? I just ordered a mini-stylus for this new Galaxy with a plug on one end that fits snugly in the audio jack, to reduce the chance of losing it. Of course, a screen protector is a must when using a stylus. Were you aware that there are gloves with small pads made of a special fabric at the fingertips that will permit body heat transfer, thereby allow you easy use of your phone, tablet, etc. even in cold weather? Personally, I'd find that cumbersome, so I'd simply prefer to use a stylus. Even when you size the icons and widgets to Normal or Large (some phones even have XLg), there's a tendency to touch more than one, especially if you have long nails.
Linny535, let me see if I can answer your questions. Data is defined as all the webpages you view, as well as songs, games, books, magazines and apps, etc. that you download.
Currently with your LG 840 g, you buy minutes and that translates into voice and text. When you text, 1 voice minute = 3 text messages. The new Samsung will have a 1:1 ratio of voice-to-text, which is still cheaper than a conventional wireless plan. For example, if you had Verizon now, your basic wireless plan of 350 minutes may cost $39.95/month, but you'd have to add a text plan that could cost another $30/month and a data plan that could cost $30+/month.
With TracFone and this new Galaxy Centura 738 smartphone, whenever you buy additional minutes (whether it's an airtime card, online purchase or you add on through the phone), whatever minutes you purchase will triple automatically (e.g. - 200 becomes 600) and they will also split into 3 separate buckets (e.g. - you'll get 600 voice, 600 texts and 600 mbs of data - all for the same price). When you go to a retail outlet, you're not going to see separate cards for data. Simply add the airtime and TracFone does the rest for you.
Remember, too, that just like your LG 840g with Wi-Fi, you won't deplete your data supply if you web browse, download, etc. while using a hotspot or a Wi-Fi router.
BTW - it's a good idea to hang onto your LG 840g as a reserve even after you've activated your new Samsung Galaxy. Suppose your new phone is lost, stolen or damaged. With the old de-activated LG 840g still in your possession, while you're waiting for a replacement Galaxy, you can call TracFone and request that they reactivate the LG (say it's an emergency and they can do it immediately over the phone) or send you a new SIM card to insert in the old phone and bring it back to life with all your minutes and airtime intact temporarily, until your replacement smartphone arrives. Yes, you'll have to switch back eventually, but you won't be left without a phone.
After you've done your Bluetooth transfers, it's also a good idea to leave your CONTACTS and other important info in the old phone that you've stored carefully in a very secure place until you're absolutely certain that you're going to give it away or recycle it. Then delete your personal information by restoring Factory Settings.
You also asked about buying a new phone from HSN, returning it but keeping the minutes for your old phone. I'm guessing they won't let you do that because the minutes are part of the package. Just buy minutes anywhere from the more than 80,000 retailers nationwide. Or go online or buy minutes through the phone. Often you'll find that Walmart and Target will discount the airtime card. Additionally, unless you tell them to stop, TracFone will bombard you with special offers for airtime, usually coinciding with holidays and back-to-school.
I sincerely hope that clarifies everything for you. If you have additional questions, I'll try to answer them for you.
A huge thank you to KERIGA - you were some complete and thorough in answering all of our questions. My husband and I ordered two - pretty excited to get the new Centura phone God bless, be well, Meezer
Thank you so much, Keriga, you were just as helpful when I bought my 840G last year. Can you imagine what a zoo it will be at Tracfone as HSN customers start receiving their phones, with over 30,000 sold on Saturday?...
You're very welcome, mooncat7 and Meezergeezer. The Centura is going to be my first true smartphone, so I'm going to be learning its inner workings right along with everyone else. It's a simple matter of paying it forward because when I got my first Android tablet, I was ready to pitch the thing after a few frustrating days. There was a wonderful person on this Forum who was so incredibly patient. She answered my questions, offered helpful suggestions and generally got me to the point where I was comfortable with it. I went from wanting to return it to never leaving home without it in less than a week.
I had to laugh mooncat, when you theorized that TracFone Customer Service will be inundated in the next few days as the thousands of HSN buyers begin receiving their new phones. I can tell you from experience that many CSRs are relying on the same manuals that are available to the public online. In fact, in some cases, I found that I knew more about the LG 800g and the LG 840g than the "expert" on the other end of the line.
I'm amazed at how much content we've generated on the Electronics Forum with our LG 840g Q&A. It's pages and pages. As always, I'm happy to help whenever I can. I'll try to do the same with this Galaxy. Since this thread is mainly for the TS and already it looks as if we're going to rival the volume produced on those LG 800g and 840g threads, I'm going to copy the responses that I posted here and transfer them to a new Galaxy Centura 738 thread on the Electronics Forum. That way, after the phones arrive, if anyone has questions, we can explore and learn together without monopolizing this thread. Please post your questions over there.
The main thing to remember is to relax - don't stress - you've got a wonderful, brand new toy in your Galaxy Centura. Play with it; have fun with it. Quite honestly though, I expect it to be a fairly easy transition for those already using other Android devices because the phone has the same OS with widgets and icons. Even if you're upgrading from the LG 840g/LG 800g, there shouldn't be much of a learning curve, because you've already mastered the basics from this semi-smart hybrid phone. If you run into any obstacles, I promise to do my best to help you resolve those issues.
Still absolutely giddy at the prospect of receiving the Galaxy Centura; can't wait! I checked the status of my smartphone and still it says "Packaging." I wondered has anyone's status had changed to shipped? I placed this order online at about 2 AM. I know HSN was inundated, but they should've anticipated the overwhelming response. I'm wondering why it's taking so long? If shipping is so delayed now, this doesn't bode well for the holiday season. Perhaps we all need to order extra early to ensure our gifts arrive on time.
Recently I've noticed that it takes longer to receive HSN orders. I purchased a Netgear Media Streamer on Sept. 19th and it seems as if it took days to process. Now the order status is showing that it should be delivered on the 30th. That's even slower than the usually snail-like pace of QVC.
Coincidentally, Target has a Roku this week for the same price - $99. I'm thinking of cancelling the HSN order because it took too long to arrive. Also, with Target, I don't have to pay S&H and get a 5% Red Card discount. (If you're interested, check Sunday's circular - pg 13).
ShopNBC is about the fastest, followed byThe Liquidation Channel, which has the best shipping rates. I ordered a pair of Tanzanite earrings last Thursday, paid $1.99 standard shipping and the package arrived today with a DHL label.
UPDATED 10:54 PM - Status: "Shipped."
09-30-2013 08:39 PM
You're all so fantastic! I'm learning a lot from you. Thanks for sharing the information that you've discovered about the new Galaxy Centura smartphone.
I edited yesterday's (09/29) post, adding some paragraph headers that will make info easier to locate. Time permitting, I'll do the same for previous posts.
runnomore, it's great to hear that mine wasn't the only one set to AWST. How the heck was that chosen as a default? Until you discover the sub-menus in SETTINGS, you honestly think you're losing your mind. As for the $25 GOOGLE PLAY card, yours was a scratch-off, but msmickey's was a peel-off. Since they look virtually identical, good luck to us figuring out which is which without ruining them.
Here are a few other things I learned today:
The ringtones that you've bought previously for other TracFone handsets (e.g. - LG 840g or 800g) cannot be transferred manually or via Bluetooth to the Galaxy. They must be re-purchased and downloaded again from TracFone. Unfortunately, no ringtones for the Galaxy are yet available for DL. The software is still being developed and the DOWNLOADS website section still is Under Construction.
If you can't launch your BROWSER, you'll need to reset the phone. To do this:
1. Turn it off.
2. Immediately turn it on again.
3. Enter *22890.
Your desired web page should launch.
Last night, I left the phone DL-ing a large file from Audible. This morning, only two of 21 chapters had completed. Additionally, I couldn't access any other websites. I verified that my modem and Wi-Fi router were functioning properly. TracFone TSR Cookie said whenever this happens, simply follow reset procedure. While it's not difficult to reset, I'm wondering why this is necessary and how often it occurs?
As previously stated by others, when you turn on the phone, there's a TEXT showing current balances of MINUTES, TEXTS and DATA. I didn't register for this service, but it's good since there's no way to check balances on Android as we did in PRE-PAID on the other models. I don't know whether TracFone established this as a means of keeping people aware of balances. TracFone texts to you are free, whether it's a balance advisory or promotional information; they won't be deducted from your balance. I noticed that little green BALANCES banner across the top that appeared when you turned on the phone has vanished, replaced by these daily TracFone texts. I'm guessing daily, but perhaps they appear each time you place a call, send a text or web browse on 3g.
I'm not a big texter, Linny535, so perhaps someone more experienced can offer additional help you with the advanced features, but here are the basics:
1. Tap the MESSAGES icon to go to New Message screen.
2. Indicate the Recipient's name/e-mail address on the To: line; tap Next.
3. Type your message in the box below.
4. You can add attachments by tapping the paperclip icon.
5. When complete, tap Send.
Linny535, you won't deplete your DATA as long as you're in a hotspot or connected to Wi-Fi. It's only when you go on 3g that you're going to use your minutes accessing websites such as You Tube.
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10-01-2013 02:46 AM
I don't use custom ringtones much myself, but there are literally dozens of mostly free apps on Google Play Store with even more ringtones. There are also apps that allow you to create your own ringtones from your music etc. They won't let me post a link, but all you have to do is go to Google Play Store and search for "ringtones."
10-01-2013 05:43 AM
jr29, even in the good old days - BC (Before Centura) - TracFone prohibited the use non-TF ringtones, even for the LG 800g and LG 840g. TF barred anything from GOOGLE PLAY and all other outside sources. They won't even allow you to use your own original compositions.