September 08, 2011
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Precedent Review
I thought I was going to have a couple of weeks before I needed to work on my Staight Talk Samsung Galaxy Review. Like I mentioned in my Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Preview, the Straight Talk website (the only place you can currently order this phone) said the phones wouldn't ship for a couple of weeks. I guess 2 to 3 weeks in Straight Talk time is the equivaluent of less than one week of real time because mine arrived today! Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Precedent Box
(Had to put up a URL, picture would not go through for some reason)
I noticed on the bottom left corner that it says CDMA-S and the bottom right shows the map that says Nationwide Coverage on America's Best Networks. The support reps on Straight Talk's Facebook page have stated that the Galaxy will run on Sprint. All signs here seem to confirm that, but I'll verify once I get it unboxed.
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Precedent CMDA-S
Here's the code from the bar code sticker on the bottom of the box:
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Precedent Code
The box itself is pretty standard for Straight Talk with the flap that opens to reveal the phone and list more features.
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Precedent Inside Box
Here are the features in case it's a litte small to read:
* 3.2" Touch Screen
* Android 2.2 (an older version of Android)
* 3g/Wi-Fi Connectivity
* 2MP Camera/Video Recorder
* Instant Messaging
* Hearing Aid Compatible (HACI M4/T4
* GPS Enabled
* 5 Home Screens
* Download over 250,000 Android Apps (Angry Birds?)
* Supports microSD card up to 32GB
* Gravity Sensor/Tilt and Shake
* Battery Talk Time up to 6 hours
* Stand By Time up to 9 days
* Includes Battery, Charger, 2GB microSD Memory Card, Activation Card, Services Guide, and User Manual
Did I just read that it comes with a 2GB microSD memory card?
It's time to unbox this puppy and see how it looks!
Yes, it comes with a 2GB micrSD card. I came in the phone, but I took it out for the pic.
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy 2GB microSD
It also comes with a usb cord and charger and all the standard Straight Talk pamplets (not pictured).
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy usb cable
Here's the unbox video I posted on Youtube:
Tip: Read the instructions and activate on the Straight Talk website before turning on the phone. Otherwise, it sits there and thinks for a few minutes before it comes back and tells you it can't activate. Aside from that, the activation process went smoothly.
One of the first things I did was go to the Android Marketplace and download a free, though it has ads, version of Angry Birds. Success! It plays pretty well, but not quite as smoothly as on an iPhone.
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Angry Birds
Please excuse the lousy photography when I take pictures of the screen. It's hard to take a decent picture of a phone's screen, and the actual screen doesn't have those funny lines.
Here's a new video I made covering some of the main features of the phone.
So far, everything on the phone seems to work as it should, and I haven't found anything that's been locked down like is sometimes the case with TracFone, Net10, or Straight Talk phones.
Tomorrow I'll take a little drive outside of the Sprint coverage area to see if roaming works. <crossing fingers>
I did test of the Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy coverage area, and unfortunately I found that it does not do roaming. Once I left the Sprint service area, I had no voice or data service. Click here to read more about my test.
One thing I did notice was that the GPS worked fine even when I was out of the voice/data coverage area. It's too bad you can't use the GPS satellites for voice and data coverage! One issue was that Google Maps couldn't download the higher resolution maps as I drove along outside of the coverage, so I soon got into an area where the map was a little fuzzy.
Once I got back into the service area, I called home to tell my wife that we were on our way home. I asked her what she thought of the call quality with the Precedent, and she thought it sounded better than the iPhone. I don't know if that's because the phone is better or because it's using Sprint instead of AT&T, but I agreed with her that the call quality sounded good.
I've been asked several questions, so I'll pull together the answers here.
First, I've been asked a few times is I recommend this phone. My answer is that as long as you are OK with the Sprint coverage area, then I do recommend the Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Precedent. Everything works as advertised, and having access to the apps in the Android market is a big plus. Sure, there are more expensive phones out there, but at $149.99 with no contract on the $45/month unlimited plan, I have no problems recommending this phone.
The Precedent does do 3 way calling. If you call the first person, then hit the menu button, you will have the option to add a call. That puts the first person on hold, and if you press the menu button again you can merge the calls. When you hang up, it ends the entire call and hangs up on everyone.
The text messaging is organized into threads, so you can see the whole conversation.
There is a Netflix app that you can download, but I found the playback to be a little stuttery, and it gets a buffering message every couple of minutes. Overall, the Netflix app isn't an enjoyable experience on this phone. Youtube videos, on the other hand, have all played flawlessly for me.
You can configure the phone to unlock using a pattern on a grid of 9 circles, or a PIN, or a password. If you don't configure any lock settings, then you just swipe a little unlock icon across the screen. Here's a picture of the 9 circles thing:
Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy Lock Screen
What you do is configure a pattern through the circles that you swipe with your finger to unlock the phone.
Tomorrow I'll write some thoughts about the voice recognition features, and I'll post the answers to more questions.
More to come...
If you have questions about the phone that you want me to try to answer, please leave a comment!
If you want to order a Straight Talk Samsung Galaxy for yourself, you'll have to do it through the Straight Talk website, since these phones are not available at Wal Mart for the time being.