KERIGA | Inspirer 1 | 09.24.2013 6:52 AM

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.


Post #1

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.


Post #2

Meezergeezer wrote:
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 Smiley Happy God bless, be well, Meezer Smiley Happy

mooncat7 wrote:
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.

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mooncat7 | Admirer 2 | 09.25.2013 3:50 AM
It's my first Android phone too, Keriga, although I've had a Nexus 7 tablet for a couple of months. I had discovered Howardforums, and today found more Centura posts at Looking for info, cases, batteries, reviews and etc. the phone is also called the Samsung SCH S738C and the Galaxy Discover S730G. has loads of pretty cases (I've even ordered a bling-y one!) and Amazon also has cases and spare batteries. Going to get a microSD card at Fry's on Saturday, and should be set!
mooncat7 | Admirer 2 | 09.25.2013 3:41 AM
I sent an email to CS when I got home from work about when the phones would ship. Their reply saying it had shipped today, as well as the "It's Shipped!" Notice from HSN arrived a couple of hours later :-) "On or before" Oct 1st. I hope it arrives Friday so I can charge it up and try the porting/transfer call on Saturday.
jr29 | Admirer 2 | 09.25.2013 1:24 AM
I just got an email saying I would get my phone on Thursday. I ordered it sometime Friday night, can't remember exactly what time. Thank goodness! I don't think I could stand to wait until next week lol. As for the Netgear item, I would check out the reviews over on Amazon. Then I'd get the one with the better review. I've got a Roku and I've never had any problems with it.

I think the reason for the slower delivery service is that they've taken to using UPS to the closest distribution point, and then they give it to the post office to deliver, which adds a couple of days to the time. I figure the government must be giving them a tax break for doing this-- gotta use whatever means necessary to keep the post office in business these days. Plus I'm sure it saves on overtime and/or extra personnel during peak periods.
KERIGA | Inspirer 1 | 09.24.2013 11:59 PM

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."

GardenMama | Admirer 2 | 09.24.2013 1:30 PM
This is going to be my 7TH or 8TH Tracfone & everything you said KERIGA is correct. Tracfone also has a Facebook page where you can go for assistance. You can file a support ticket and they will work w/you through your email. If you prefer a live chat, they also offer that on their Facebook page.

Another great place for Tracfone info is HowardForums with the usual before & after. They have all kinds of forums for ALL kinds of phone.

Enjoy your new phones everyone!:d/ .
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Admirer 3
Posts: 89

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Phone on...
no clue now how to do things on it.
Anyone text yet?
How is that done?
Does it use data when we watch you tube?
Inspirer 1
Posts: 341

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

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.

Admirer 2
Posts: 36

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I meant to mention it only after I'd personally looked it up on my phone, but there was much discussion of the "calendar set to Australia" and time reset issues on other forums, and after much teeth-gnashing, someone found the change-your-calender solution. It caused havoc for months until someone stumbled on the solution.
Posts: 12

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Keriga-you certainly are a fountain of knowledge and your persistence is to be applauded; I was not wrong in declaring you Keriga The Intrepid Tracfone Conquerer! So many people will benefit from the information you have uncovered!

It is really nice to see everyone helping each other out. Even though I have had no problems with my phone in setting in up and activating it, I like to come visit to see what everyone else have uncovered and if there have been any success stories. Best of luck to everyone!
Posts: 5

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

So please tell me in a nutshell what to do about issues.....finally got all my minutes transfered but took over 2 hours of arguing with someone at tracfone who didn't speak much english. cant activate voice mail. Tried to activate google play promo but said it wouldn't take code...I did read some one saying there was a way to get available min shown on phone...I need help
Admirer 3
Posts: 259

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

I want to thank all who have helped answer questions. I wish I had the knowledge to do so but this is our first Smart Phone and we are still becoming familiar with all the many functions. When we first tried to redeem the $25.00 card we were not successful but got a reply today from an email we sent and it has been redeemed. We have been able to figure out most functions but won't hesitate to post a question should we get stumped. Thanks again for sharing your knowledge.
Admirer 2
Posts: 58

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

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."
Admirer 2
Posts: 36

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

Good news to report, though not without a wee bit of stress, but just a wee bit. Went to the website to do the porting and transfer. Hit "enter" more than once accidentally and got a "we cannot complete, try again" message. BUT when I started over, it listed my current phone as inactive and the porting apparently in process. I waited a few mins. And tried the *22890 and got a "no can do" message. Made a call with my old number, which was still active. Began girding my loins to call CS. Got the recording that said it's easier if you call from your old phone. Only, now old phone was inactive :-). This time when I dialed *22890 it went through and activated. I called my home line and it rang. Went online to check minutes/data. All transferred over, plus service time ( I had less than 1000). Did the "add airtime" with the 15-digit number on the invoice. Checked my account again. It's ALL there, they must have reprogrammed over the weekend. I did all-automated, and it all worked! The only reason I was antsy was because I wasn't positive it was going through, based on the early error message I'd gotten.

KERIGA - when I go into the SETTINGS as you describe and click on CALENDAR, I only see Force Stop, Disable,storages, cache, permissions, etc. I don't see anything that gives a default location. I don't see anything about Location anywhere in any settings in any app. Waaah!

EDIT - I found it, Keriga, and mine was set correctly :-)

Will do Google Play tomorrow. Time for me to eat dinner and crash!
Inspirer 1
Posts: 341

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

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."

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.

I guess they figure if you want to customize, you'd better buy those ringtones from TracFone only. You really can't fault the offerings: they were extensive and inclusive of numerous musical genres, from classical to popular; TV and movie themes, commercial jingles; holiday songs; celebrity impersonations, etc.

I'm wondering how long it'll take for those new Samsung Galaxy Centura ringtones to appear. Perhaps it'll be late-October for the official launch when the phone becomes available nationwide and on TF's website. The fact that these weren't ready to coincide with the joint-venture HSN-TF soft rollout of the new smartphone is yet another example of how TracFone bungled this in almost every possible way. Extremely poor planning.

Admirer 2
Posts: 58

RE: Samsung Galaxy Centura 738

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.

Well, they've made a do-it-yourself ringtone possible at some point, because I just did it! The following site gives a step by step method on how to do it:

Triple W dot dot h t m l

Replace the "dots" and spaces to get the URL as usual. I used the Ringtone Maker app from Google Play because I didn't much care for the one they linked to. I also emailed it instead of texting and then downloaded it from the email into the "ringtone" folder on my phone. In about 15 minutes I made a Christmas ringtone out of "Deck the Halls." I may actually make another one because the ringtone selection on the phone is pretty dire. And if I can do it, it can't be that hard!

P.S. I don't see why you can't just put the app on your phone, extract the ringtone from one of your mp3's, and copy it to the "ringtone" folder. I haven't tried it yet, but I'm pretty sure it'll work. Now I just have to come up with a good song to answer my phone to.

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