Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Tracfone News

Sorry everyone. I'll start posting more regularly now...

First, Tracfone has some sweet deals:

1. Refer-a-friend is now 120 minutes instead of just 100, probably due to the fact that the $30 card is now 120, instead of 100, units. Plus, promo code 54604 adds 30 minutes to the previously "un-promo-able" airtime, or any other airtime card for that matter, though you can only use the code once per phone. In short, this means that you can get a new Tracfone of any sort and start out with an amazing 170 minutes on it. And if you are willing to use a refurbished Nokia 1100 as your phone you'll get at least 60 more units (plus any promos on 60-minute cards you can scrounge up) for a total of 230. Even with tax and shipping this will get you fairly close to 10 cents a Tracfone is coming out with some new phones! And one of them is...yeah I know God forbid but I saw it with my own two eyes on Tracfone's website...a camera phone!

Tracfone recently release the reasonable svelte, reasonably modern Motorola c139 bar phone for $30, then marked the price down to $20. I've said ut before and I will say it again: this is probably their replacement for the aging c155.

And it's a pretty good replacement, but for one thing: incoming text messages now cost 0.3 units, just like outgoing ones do. I guess Cingular gave Tracfone Cingularitis, that is to say, started charging Tracfone for incoming texts just like they charge their own GSM prepaid options. I am going to review this phone; see item 3...

So what's next? Why, replacements for the Nokia 1100 and Motorola v170 of course! Plus Tacfone's first cameraphone! Looks like GSM is much cheaper for Tracfone to buy minutes with or something to that effect, and thus they're pushing GSM to surpass the standard set by their excellent CDMA Nokia 2126. One note of warning though: all new GSM Tracs deduct 0.3 units for incoming texts, even the welcome message as I found out, just like the Motorola c139. Bleh; no more Yahoo SMS messenger using Tracfones...

First off, the Nokia 1112. It, naturally, is a step up from the long-toothed but still good 1100. The most obvious addition is a 4-way D-pad and the now-standard two-navigation-button system found in, well, all of Nokia's mainstream phones. This is to be contrasted with the 1100's menu system, which uses the much older, albeit still quite usable, Navi system, which has a select (Navi) key in the center, up\down buttons on the right and a clear button on the left. The older system dates back to the 5125\5165\5185 phones (circa 1999 I think...but maybe 2000 or 2001 at the very latest). Okay, the two-button navigation sytem dates back to the higher-end (6160 etc.) models of the same period, but they weren't\aren't as common as the Navi interface, and the 4-way D-pad looks to be a more modern creation. Anyway, I'd expect the 1112 to replace the 1100 eventually at $20 new or $20 refurbished plus a 60-minute airtime card.

But wait! I just looked and the phone also has longer talk time (5 vs. 3 hours, though standby time is 15 vs. 16 days) than the 1100 and can hold 200, instead of just 50, contacts in the phone's address book. Oh, and the site says the phone has polyphonic ringtones. I at first thought 'fat chance' and was about to write the same here, since the Motorola c139 is incorrectly marked as having poly tones (it doesn't). But then I looked on Nokia's website and sure enough, the phone has poly ringtones. Sweet. It also has a groovy white backlight. Oh, and the phones is thinner and lighter than its old counterpart. That's always good. And the phone's end button is also its power button, something that most other cell phone manufacturers have done for awhile but something Nokia is just now starting to do.

Below are the links to Tracfone's 1112 page and Nokia's:

http://www.tracfone.com/content/nokia1112.jsp

http://nokiausa.com/phones/1112/0,7747,feat:1,00.html

Next up, the Motorola v176. I'd like to call it "the poor man's PEBL" mainly due to what it looks like on the outside: rubberized...or at least nice and black. In other words, Tracfone has come out with a pretty stylish phone in my opinion. The trend seems to continute with the c261...but anyway the other features that set this phone apart from the v170, the phone it will probably replace, are a speakerphone (yay...no wait...it's half-dublex...listen-only...dang), a color display that actually deserves to be on the inside of a flip (yay! down with the postage stamp on the v170) and a little bit smaller form factor. This phone may come into the market at $50, but then again it may start at a higher price because of its better features.

Tracfone and Phonescoop links, respectively:

http://www.tracfone.com/content/motorolav176.jsp

http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=708

Third and last, but certainly not least, the Motorola c261. Yes, it has a camera. Yes, it's 640x480. No, I don't know whether the ease of GSM data roaming will facilitate Tracfone picture messaging, and of course no I don't know how much it will cost to send a picture message. But this is one slick phone, especially for Tracfone. It looks like it shares the v176's 128x160 screen, which is huge for a bar phone, as well as the v176's half-duplex speakerphone. Oh, and it has a camera; the v176 doesn't. And, last but not least, the dang thing is thin. As in thin...0.59" thin, which is actually 0.01" thinner than the original CDMA Razr (v3c) and only 0.05" thicker than the GSM Razrs and the new CDMA Razr v3m. Not bad for a Tracfone; not bad at all. It even looks somewhat stylish! I don't know how much this will cost, but if it's even relativly cheap I'm going to pick it up. Looks like a sweet phone to me, and one giant leap ahead for Tracfone-kind. :)

Phonescoop and Tracfone links, respectively:

http://www.phonescoop.com/phones/phone.php?p=858

http://www.tracfone.com/content/motorolaC261.jsp

3. I actually ordered and have received the Motorola c139 phone, and a review will be coming soon, after I finally finish my reviews of the Samsung a820 and the Siemens a56\MovilListo. I also got the Nokia 1100 refurb deal, and again that review will be coming soon.

4. Right now (at least until Thursday I think) Tracfone is including a "Deluxe Starter Kit", aka a headset (wired of course; no Tracfone has Bluetooth), car adapter and leather case, with all new phone purchases (Moto c155, which is incidentally still $30, Moto c139, Nokia 2600, Nokia 2126, I guess some TDMA models but don't know). Of course this rules out the Nokia 1100 refurb deals (the phone is free with both 60-minute and 1-year cards) but these accessories, in my opinion, are nice perks rather than necessities, especially considering the long battery life of all the phones. By the way, looks like there are no more new Nokia 1100s for sale. Get ready for some 1112s! Hmmm...and the v170 is gone too. Guess we know what its successor is!

And now let me call it a night. I hope this post was worth the wait and dead silence this blog has been experiencing. But if it wasn't, don't worry; I'll have more posts coming tomorrow!

1 comment:

Zoami said...

Oh thank you for your reviews! I find them very helpful and informative...thanks again for taking the time :)