The Samsung r451c came out in mid October, and is currently available for Net10 and Straight Talk. I've been using it with Straight Talk service, and I'm going to give you a quick review of this phone.
This phone was released shortly after the very similar T401g Net10 phone, and it also includes a QWERTY keyboard. Besides the keyboard, it has an mp3 player and 1.3 megapixel camera, very similar to the T401g. However, the r451c does NOT include a camcorder.
The slide-out QWERTY keyboard is a big selling point for many people who are considering this phone. This keyboard has four rows of keys, which are a soft rubbery material.
I have not used this phone quite as much as I use the T401g, but on either phone I do like the addition of the QWERTY keyboard. Especially if you do a lot of texting, it will probably save you some time. Like I mentioned in my T401g review, though, using the QWERTY pretty much requires using two hands to text. Of course, if you want to text one-handed you can always keep the slider closed and use the regular keypad with T9 predictive text.
Now, I'll give a description of the other buttons on the Samsung r451c. On the left side is the rocker switch to adjust the call volume. On some models, these same buttons can be used to change ringtone volume when you're NOT in a call, but that's not the case here. On this model, there's a separate button to open the ringtone settings.
Over on the right side is a dual-purpose shortcut key. It does not do anything when the phone is locked. If the phone is unlocked, a single click of the button loads the camera function. Or, if you press and hold the button, it will load the mp3 player.
Farther up the right side is the connector that is used for the charger, and USB cable. I believe it could also work with a Samsung-branded stereo headset, but I have not tried that personally.
On the top of the phone is a standard headset jack. This is a pretty universal connector type, but if you want to listen to music with stereo headphones, you'll have to be careful to get the right connector. Most music headphones use a 3.5mm jack, while phone headsets are usually 2.5mm. I was also able to use an adapter with my regular music headphones to listen to the mp3 player. Whatever you decide to do, just make sure to get the right size connector if you're buying accessories for this phone.
One other thing worth mentioning here is that under the battery cover is the microSD card slot. You can use these cards to store mp3s and pictures, and to transfer files to and from your computer or other device.
Next, let's take a look at the mp3 player. It's nearly identical to the player on the T401g, and both players are nicer than the Motorola EM326g. The sound is okay through the built-in speaker, which surprised me. Of course, if you're listening for very long, you'll probably want to use headphones. And Bluetooth is also an option for listening to music, if you have a stereo bluetooth headset.
I know that the mp3 player is a big attraction for many people looking to upgrade their phone, so I wanted to say a little more about it. While the audio quality is good, this phone probably is not going to replace your stand-alone mp3 player or iPod. The playlists are hard to use and I could not get my songs to play in the order I wanted – they played alphabetically according to the song title. Even songs on the same album played alphabetically rather than album order. Also, the player does not remember where you left off when you close it out. So there are some significant drawbacks to the music player feature.
Finally, a little bit about the camera – it's pretty standard. There are a few editing features you can do on the phone, but there's no digital zoom, so you'll have to do that with photo editing software after the picture is taken. The camera resolution is 1.3 megapixels, which is probably good enough to do small prints – 3 x 5 or 4 x 6, but certainly no bigger than that. So, it's a pretty basic camera for a modern cell phone.
There's a quick overview of the Samsung r451c. To sum it up, it's a pretty solid phone. In my testing, battery life and reception were very good, and the display is big and bright. Call quality was not quite as good as the EM326g or the LG 290c, but it's still pretty good. And of course, the QWERTY keyboard makes texting really easy. All in all, I like it. I would give it 3.5 stars out of 5.
It's currently selling for $ 80, and it's recently been showing up in some stores. It's also now available from Net10's website, where you can get it for $ 72 using the discounts codes I recommend, and the Straight Talk Version is available from Straight Talk's site. Go to the page linked in the resources box to find more info about any applicable discounts.
Also on that page, you'll find links to my full review of the r451c. I included a lot more detail in that review than I had time for here, so definitely check it out if you're interested in this phone.