Short Review of Dual SIM Samsung GT-C3212

This is my first attempt at reviewing a phone so bear with me.

As some of you already know, I’m yet to join the Smartphone bandwagon which is why when I decided to get another cell phone to replace my stolen Nokia 5130 XpressMusic, I chose to get another non-Smartphone but this time around, with the intention of killing two birds with one stone.

After much research (I hate going to the market without an idea of what I want to buy), I settled for the Samsung Dual Sim GT-C3212.

samsung c3212 2
The Dual SIM Samsung C3212

I’m only going to highlight what I feel are the highs and lows of this cell. For full specifications, do please check out GSM ARENA.

HIGHS
1. The battery takes approximately 2hrs 30 minutes to charge and in my case with so much music playback, java gaming and few calls and text messaging, it lasts 2 days just like the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic (Please note that I disabled some unnecessary features)
2. Ability to record radio shows for listening at a later time.
3. Cheap design/look that doesn’t readily attract “agberos” (touts).
4. Ability to suspend Java applications when a call comes in or you want to quickly do some texting etc before continuing with your games.
5. Supports Music playback (MP3, ACC and WMA)
6. Earphones are of a better quality than the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic, with adequate length and great positioning of microphone for easy accessiblity.
7. Create value for money when you consider cost of buying two new internet/music playback enabled phones.
8. Ability to fake an incoming voice call that sounds real: A ready getaway strategy from those uncomfortable meetings/conversations I unfortunately seem to have a lot of. ;).

LOWS
1. No silence button for unwanted calls: A work around this which I discovered this morning is pressing the down button of the navigation key so as to reduce the ringing volume. Not to worry, this only affects the volume of the incoming call. Once the call ends, the phone’s default volume level takes over ;).
2. Limited Java applications. Java apps weighing a little above 500KB can’t be installed on the phone.
3. Graphical User Interface (GUI) is average but you get used to it after a while.
4. No USB data cable or memory card included: I had to buy them separately costing me an extra N4,500.
5. VGA Camera sucks but I can’t be bothered as I really don’t need the camera feature.
6. No PC Suite installation CD included: You will have to download it from their website. It zapped a whopping 112MB of my Glo Leisure monthly bandwidth.
7. No call recorder function: I loved this function in the Nokia 5130 XpressMusic, as it enabled me keep track of certain conversation/transactions to avoid the “I didn’t say that” scenario.
8. Music player’s album arrangement only works for MP3 and ACC files. WMAs will not be arranged in form of albums.

I guess that’s about it. The MAIN REASON why I chose this particular DUAL SIM was the battery life. The Samsung D880 and D780 where spotting talk times of about 4 hours only while this one boasted of 10 hours.

Do please feel free to ask me anything else regarding this phone. Cheers

50 comments

  1. Good review bro..reminds me of reviews done by dotsisx of symbian-guru.com..the phone is quite adequate, the ability to minimize java applets is really a good addition something nokia has failed to reciprocate in their feature phones, which is nw only bane for not buying their feature phones, dual sim is another plus i so much hate having to carry more than one phone,
    good review

  2. Chukwudi, I got questions: what is web browsing like on this phone? How about email? Can it also be used as a modem with PC? Can both SIMs be used for mobile data?

    Thanks.

  3. @Dayann: Web browsing is done via the phone’s native WAP browser (NetFront Browser v3.5). Email can be accessed via POP3 and IMAP like most internet enabled phones BUT I haven’t actually used it fully as it’s a waste of bandwidth.

    For my browsing and email needs, I use Opera Mini 4.2. Opera Mini 5 is not supported yet :(.

    I tested the modem capability and the first SIM (Etisalat) works fine using Samsung’s PC Suite but I couldn’t test it out on the second SIM using GLO or MTN as their services have been SERIOUSLY epileptic of late in my area. I’ll keep trying and get back @ you guys when I’m successful.

    P.S: Java apps can only be installed via the wap browser/opera mini. Samsung’s PC Suite doesn’t seem to have support for PC Installation of java apps :(.

  4. Java apps can only be installed via the wap browser/opera mini. Samsung’s PC Suite doesn’t seem to have support for PC Installation of java apps

    True. We were unable to install any Java apps via PC or memory card on the Samsung Jet too. All installations had to be done by direct download from the phone’s browser.

  5. Email can be accessed via POP3 and IMAP like most internet enabled phones BUT I haven’t actually used it fully as it’s a waste of bandwidth.

    Actually, if you set the client to download your mail headers only first, using the mail client is very bandwidth efficient. Then, you can decide what mails you want to read and download those only in full.

    Also consider the advantage of being able to read downloaded mails (for reference) even when you are offline.

  6. @Alireta: The last time I tried that POP3 and IMAP stuff was on my Nokia 5130 Xpressmusic and I lost close to 1MB on downloading 30 headers alone. It wasn’t funny @ all. Ability to read emails offline is a nice thing but I advice anybody looking for that to get a smartphone as I’m sure they have better apps for this. Don’t they?

  7. Chukwudi,

    1mb data used for 30 headers? Wierd. We download 30 complete mails and do not use 200kb.

    Sounds like you downloaded more than headers, with a few attachments thrown in.

    Even on the worst email clients we have seen, downloading headers only is very bandwidth efficient.

  8. Chief you no trust me? LOL.

    Being one who doesn’t find wasting any amount of money funny @ all, I logged out to check if the full messages were downloaded as well. NADA . No attachment no email body. I was weak that day. lol. I’ll try it again later using my normal monthly bandwidth.

  9. @Quam: Yes you can use both sims simultaneously. Just type or select the number you want to call and then press the sim switch button beside the phone to select which sim you want to use in making the call and then dial away. Easy breezy.

    Same with text messages, type out the message you want to send, select to whom you want to send the text, switch sims using the switch button and press send.

    @Dayann: I’ve finally tested both SIMS for mobile data and they work on the phone. Whe the connection behaves again, I’ll test them both on the PC.

    P.S: The phone supports memory cards up to 8GB. MAKE SURE YOU FORMAT THE MEMORY CARD ON YOUR PHONE AND NOT YOUR PC AS INCOMPATIBILITY PROBLEMS COULD ARISE SUCH AS FREEZING.

  10. UPDATE: I’ve been having problems using my MTN sim on this phone. For some reason from the hours of 12 midnite to 6am, the phone freezes and gets somewhat of hot. At first I thought the SIM was getting bad so I did the Welcome Back thing and changed it. Still the freezing continues.

    I don’t think it’s a problem with the phone cos the freezing issue doesn’t come up with other SIM cards from the remaining networks.

  11. Chukwudi,

    That is an odd experience you have there. I wonder what could be responsible for that. Have you contacted the guys at MTN with this?

    Do let us know how this turns out.

  12. Contacted them ke? That Welcome back I did took me over 3 hours to complete @ their service centre @ 1 Opebi Rd Ikeja. Frustration almost got the best of me that day.

    Someday when I have the strength, I’ll pay them another visit to complain about this issue. I’ll keep you guys updated no doubt.

  13. @Dayann: Previously I said I’ve finally tested both SIMS for mobile data and they work on the phone.. Well it so happens that this holds true for the phone’s default browser but when it comes to java apps like Bolt Browser and Opera Mini, the default SIM is the only one that can be used to browse despite the fact that the phone asks you to chose which network you’d like to connect with.

    I’m asking around to see if this is how Samsung phones are wired or if it’s a fault with my phone.

    @Alireta: I’ll probably be heading to MTN Sevice centre tomorrow to complain about the MTN SIM CARD issue.

  14. My trip to the MTN customer service center was not fruitful. The customer care representative told me they don’t handle technical difficulties and when I asked her to refer me to another branch that had such facility, she said ALL their branches didn’t have it @ all. I don tire. I resign to my fate.

    @Yomi: I finally got the laptop battery @ Dabmol Computers for N16,500. Sorry for bugging ;). Have a wonderful evening.

  15. @ Udegbunam Chukwudi

    I am seriosly considering buyin this phone but my usage will be like this :

    I will use sim1 for all calls and messages

    and sim 2 for connecting the phone to a pc and using internet

    Can you pls suggest me if this will work using THIS phone ?

    I mean , this phone DOES work as a modem for connecting to PC through USB cable , RIGHT ?
    And more Important , the modem works on sim 2 as well ??

    I will be very thankful for your opinion

  16. @Mustan: This might sound a bit complicated for you so I hope you get the message some how.

    The modem will only work on SIM 2 if SIM 2 is set to be the default PRIMARY SIM CARD.

    Normally SIM 1 is the default PRIMARY SIM CARD but you can switch them by pressing the button on the side of phone and selecting SIM 2 as the default PRIMARY SIM CARD. This will reboot the phone and then make SIM 2 available for use as a modem.

    Surprisingly enough, it’s the same issue with Java applications on this phone. The Java apps are only allowed t connect to the internet via the default PRIMARY SIM CARD.

    Hope you got the message. This seems to be the norm with Samsung dual sim phones as shown in this review: Samsung SGH-D880 Dual Sim Mobile Phone Review.

    Feel free to ask me further questions.

  17. @ Udegbunam Chukwudi

    thanks for the reply , really appreciate it

    i got your point clearly, but I am very surprised to know that the phone switches off when you press the button ??

    because i thought that is only for older samsung models, this new one operates without switching off. i even read a few review about it on other sites.
    so pls confirm that – even before making a call , i want to use sim 2 and i press the button , it will switch off ?

    AND you confirm that this phone does have a GPRS modem ? means i can use it to connect to the internet on my Laptop ?
    it connects using the normal data cable ? do i need phone suite also installed on the laptop ?

  18. Mustan,

    The phone does not reboot when you choose what SIM to place a call on. It reboots only when changing which SIM the phone should register as your default SIM.

  19. @Mustan: Alireta has said it all. It reboots only when changing which SIM the phone should register as your default SIM..

    For browsing on your laptop, you’ll have to get a data cable for about 2,000 naira and download PC suite from their site which is like 110MB.

  20. Chukwudi,
    I can see that you seem to enjoy using this phone from your various comments.
    I bought one at the Computer Village in March and seem not to be enjoying it as much as I ought to.

    Pls, help me as I am unable to switch between the two SIMs using the switch at the side of the phone. I have to go to the SIM Auto-switch menu and select the “start” and “end” times for each SIM before I can switch between the two SIM cards. This could be frustrating!
    Second, at times, when I am making a call, I can hear the voice at the other end but the caller will not hear me.
    Is there anything I can do before returning it to the Place of purchase as it is still under one year warranty. (I hope this warranty thing works with these Computer Village guys).
    Anxiously waiting for your expert advice.
    Thank you and God bless.

    1. Joseph, while you wait for Chukwudi’s response, I am betting that the warranty on the phone is a manufacturer’s warranty. This means that you take the phone to the manufacturer’s service centre, not the retailer.

      Cheers.

  21. @Joseph: Sorry to hear that you ain’t enjoying your experience with the phone. With regards switching SIMS you ned to deactivate SIM Auto Switch under Settings >> SIM Card Management >> SIM Auto Switch >> Activation OFF.

    Once you turn off this feature, all you have do whenever you want to make a call or send a text message, is to select/dial a number then press the SIM selection key @ the side of the device, to select the SIM from which you’d like to send the text or make the call.

    Another issue with this phone is that for some reason, it stores messages on the SIM ONLY and this is a problem with MTN ’cause after 15 messages, incoming messages will not be received and unlike Nokia which alerts you “Message Full”, all you’ll hear is your phone beeping/ringing when a text message comes in but you’ll see no text.

    The voice issue sounds like a technical wahala so I suggest you take it back to them. If you got it from a reputable company like SLOT, you’re safe with regards to the 1 year guarantee thingy.

    All the best man

  22. chukwu. Pls can you tell me the amount of hours the phone can record radio shows at a go. Pls reply ASAP, so one wants to get it for me. Tanx in advance.

  23. @tarasankardas: This phone ain’t for hitech stuff such as watching Youtube videos.

    @Mark: I can’t really tell the maximum hours of radio shows that can be recorded. If I’m not wrong it all depends on the amount of memory left in phone /memory card.

  24. i guess one can record as much as 4hours or more with an 8gb card. Right? Pls practicalize it with any memory card you have.

  25. helllo friend nice veiws about phone. ihave bought this samsung gt-c3212i and worried about its net capablity
    i my questions regarding this are
    1.is this support Opera mini?if yes from where i can download it
    2.can i use the google talk or any other messenger.
    3.is it a really good supporter for email
    4. can use it as modem to use internet thorught my PC.

    ps give me answer for these question as soon as possbile thanks alote for ur wonderfulview
    and i want these view it again

    thanks you
    regrads
    vicky

  26. Regarding switching between sims

    Thank for lot of information abot C 3212.I have purchased this mobile 2 day back.
    (1)I could not yet understand ,as to how i can change between two sims without reboot.
    I understand and it works when u type the phone number and then press the switch,it changes the sim without reboot.But if i want to use the number in the contacts,then how to use this function of switching between the sims?i.e. if I wnat to use contct number of deault sim and contact from the other sim,how to do it?
    (2) If i want to see the contacts in the second sim how to do it?without rebooting?
    (3)In one of your post you said “switching SIMS you ned to deactivate SIM Auto Switch under Settings >> SIM Card Management >> SIM Auto Switch >> Activation OFF.”.
    What happens if sim auto swith is “off” and when it is “on”
    Kindly guide me.and sorry for the trouble.

  27. @Shrikant
    1. Click on contacts, scroll down to the number you want to call, press the switch key for your preferred SIM then dial the number.

    2. Click on contacts, then click the forward arrow button to see your contacts in SIM 1 or SIM 2.

    3. SIM Auto Switch is just to enable you switch the default sim at certain times of the day. Left to me alone, it’s not a necessary feature.

    @Vicky
    1. It works with opera mini.
    3. It has email support though I don’t use it.
    4. it can be used as a modem on your PC.

  28. Regarding switching between sims-Thanks very much.

    Pl tell me how to increase the volume of ring tone/alarm tone etc.
    sorry to trouble u.

    users manual is clumsy.can i get the information about how to use this phone other than through users manual,any where?

  29. Is is possible to change the timing of auto key pad lock of C3212.
    Key pad locks very frequently.
    It does not appear that there is a provision.
    Kindly guide me.
    2)If mobile is hanged it is necessary to take out the back cover and replace the battery.whether there is any shortcut method?
    thanks

  30. The auto keypad lockpad lock has no timing setting which is why I don’t use it as it fronts too frequently.

    When the mobile hangs, you have to remove the battery and put it back in again 🙁

    For ringing tone volume, go to Settings > Phone Profiles > click on a profile > scrol down to call alert volume and adjust.

    Cheers

  31. Thanx for the review 🙂
    I have encountered the hanging problem frequently 🙁
    is there any solution to it? this will help a lot of users I guess.

  32. this cell is favorite bcoz i downloaded google app for easy & fast navigation..
    but sometime it struck then u hav only one chance has to remove BATTERY , then again insert it..
    if u want to download .. goto this link.. first type in google searching text as jet jar

  33. @ Chukwudi,
    I walked the lengnth of computer village and could not find a compatible data cable for my samsung c3212, the ones I tested only charges the phone but could not connect to the pc suite ( I installes samsung pc studio 7, about 51mb+).
    The cable I bought at berger iacknowledged by the pc but do not connect to pc suite.
    Please what do I do now,
    which version ofpc suite are ou using?
    Is there difference between what you are using and samsung pc studio 7?
    My own version is 54+ mb while you said yours is 110mb, please can you place the link of where you downloaded it from?
    Thanks and expecting your urgent reply.

    @ MobilityNigeria,
    I donot mind your professional recommendations too.

  34. @Adinosway: Try SLOT LTD, that’s where I bought the phone/cable and they should probably still have the data cable for sale. If you can’t get it there, I advice you to go the Samsung Electronics branch on 79 Allen Avenue (I think).

    The PC Studio you are using might also be an issue as there’s a new one now called Samsung New PC Studio. Download comes in @ 165MB and can be downloaded @ the Samsung Nigeria website

    I wrote a tutorial on my blog detailing how you can connect to the internet using the phone. Cheers 😉

  35. Bro, also face similar problems. I’ve used this phone 3yrs now & now the battery is weak. I went to one of their offices in my area & was told the model is outmoded & can get its accessories. Any time am browsing, it says certificate failed making browsing boring & also can’t even download anti-virus.

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