Monday, October 30, 2006

Of Tracfones...The New Ones...And More Tracfones...The New Ones

I've been planning to write this article for a looooong time, but now is first time I've been able to get enough totally homework-free time to do it. But anyway, here's my perspective on what Tracfone is doing and where it's going.

The recent introduction of such phones as the Motorola c261, Motorola v176 and LG 3280 has markedly changed Tracfone's focus, at least in my opinion.By introducing these three phones, they've come back into direct competition with more feature-rich carriers, and their pricing structure is also changing (going lower, it looks like) to actually offer a viable alternative, albeit with tons more coverage, to single-network prepaids.

Why are the Motorola c261, v176 and LG 3280 so great? Let's start with the first phone. Offered now for $50 at a Wal-Mart near you (if you're in an area that has CDMA phones as opposed to GSM), it's pretty darn innovative. You can also get it online now.

For starters, it's the first color CDMA flip phone on Tracfone. Second, it's the first non-Nokia, non-Motorola phone Tracfone has had in a loooooooong time. Third, there is a hundredths place on the airtime balance display...which means Tracfone can now offer more fine-grained services (like pay-per-KB web access).

Fourth, and this isn't known by many people since it's buried in one of the higher-order (out of 144!) code info pages on the phone, MMS and web browsing (which look to be respectively 1 unit per message both ways and 0,5 units per minute) already have billing structures set in place. Waiting only for a firmware upgrade or such on the phone to reveal them in their full glory. That's right...I said firmware upgrade; the phone has OTA (Over The Air) firmware upgrade capability.

Furthermore, the phone has a function, though not enabled yet, for buying airtime directly from the phone (also in code pages are the various values for airtime...which are normal). And there's the new airtime adding function, that has a seperate step for entering promotional codes...yay ease of use!

Personally, the LG 3280 beats the pants off the GSM equivalent (Motorola v170). Everybody go CDMA! :) I like the idea of having a Verizon contract phone without the contract, which this phone basically is...a slightly modified version of the LG vx3300 (like the Nokia 2126 vs. the Nokia 2128i). Viva la SingleRate! Heck, texts are now 0.3 units both 0.30 units...on this phone, which is just as good as the new SingleRate phones. And Tracfones don't charge you for incoming texts until you open them say bye to evil incoming spam message charges...the Erase function is your friend!

OK. Now to the Motorolas that wre introduced on the high end...

The Motorola c261 is, in a nutshell, amazing for Tracfone. First off, it's a really thin phone...well, not like the UTStarComm Slice, but then again this phone has a heckuva lot more coverage than just Sprint's network. And this Moto has a camera. And Cingular (or T-Mobile) postpaid coverage! Yes, I may be a bit over-excited, but it shows a change of focus when Tracfone gets on the bandwagon of such features.

What features? Well, web and picture messaging of course! Picture messages, taken by the phone's 640x480 camera (which is surprisingly OK, from the pix I've seen), are one unit to send or if a picture is truly worth a thousand words you're getting a good deal here...even though while you're sending\receiving picture messages Tracfone is zapping you at half a unit for every minute it takes. You see, the phone also has web access, charged by the minute, at half a unit per minute (so does the Motorola v176 actually...what I would call not quite feature-equivalent to the LG 3280 lol). Though right now it's limited. Ech...I get limited web for free on T-Mobile. But it will change\might have changed already to full access. Woohoo! Also, the Moto c261 has Bluetooth for the soul brave enough to unlock it...though nobody has been able to do that yet.

All in all, you get a lot for the $60 plus tax that the phone costs at Wal-Mart now ($80 is its online price...or $130 with a double-minute card, plus tax and shipping and tax on shipping). With this phone Tracfone has started a move toward new things as far as prepaid goes; it looks like everybody wanta a camera\web phone now and thus Tracfone must oblige to get a bit more income...and a bit more they'll surely get. When the Motorola c257\c261 showed up on PhoneScoop as being slated for Tracfone release, everyone thought that Tracfone would get the cameraless c257...everyone was pleasantly surprised and Tracfone got itself updated!

I for one am looking forward to how this innovation plan will can mean naught but good to everyone, at least from here on out...nothing worse an happen really now that refer-a-friend is gone...and it'd be great to get the program back.

But anyway, I jsut love how Tracfone is marching forward...anybody with me?

Saturday, October 28, 2006

"They have 7 p.m. Nights!!!"

SOmeone posted a comment that VIrgin Mobile is the only carrier that has 7 p.m. nights. Sorry, but whoever said that is wrong. Dead wrong. A few other carriers have the feature, such as STi Mobile's Plan 3. Look around before saying that X carrier has Y exclusive feature.

By the way, I suppose you could say the Slice is growing on me. I'm still unimpressed by its user interface, but it's thin and is holding up well. My final review will come out when I finally manage to run its battery totally down.

Friday, October 27, 2006

UTStarComm Slice

First off, I'm glad that I have good relations with the guys in the local Wal-Mart connection center, where I got this phone for $48.74 plus tax...I had intended to return the phone after I reviewed it...and now I definately am going to return it.

You see, it is 0.3 inches thick. Yes, that's right, three tenths of an inch in thickness; I think PhoneScoop has their thickness measurement wrong because my handyman dad used a fine-grained ruler...and got around 5\16 of an inch as the thickness. It's a thin phone by any stretch of the imagination, and I think I'll probably carry it around for the next few days just to see how many people say "ooh and aah" at it. That's the pro to it. And that's basically the only pro to it. I still can't get over how thin the phone is...but at the same time I'm disgusted enough with it to take the phone back anyway. You might say that this phone is the poor man's SLVR, but I think you have to be dirt-eating poor to sacrifice as much as you do when you get the Slice. The phone is light too, but I think it feels cheap. But maybe I'm biased.

True, the phone is thin and black and has a keypad backlit to, at first glance, look like the fabled chemical-etched, metallic Razr keypad...but as soon as you touch the phone you know it ain't so. The keypad is decidedly plastic, and is pretty darn hard to press. Furthermore, the keys are close enough together that you might actually press two when you're supposed to be pressing just one. Why couldn't they use the real estate below the screen to give some more space for the keypad? No, wait, the Virgin Mobile logo is there...never mind.

The phone doesn't flex or anything like that under pressure, but yet it still has that cheap feel about it, despite UTStarComm's best intentions. The whole phone, matte or glossy, is a fingerprint magnet, except for the wierd keypad mentioned before. Yes, the phone has the right proportions for talking into, but for some reason I still don't like its whole aspect.

Maybe it's because of the relatively small screen. Then again, I shouldn't expect much for $50, but the screen just seems a bit smaller when it's bounded on all sides by shiny black plastic, and Audiovox doesn't, in my opinion, make good use of screen real estate. It has that generic feel to it, though with a Virgin Mobile twist...that characteristic teeny-bopper feel that limits you to four installed, loud-as-possible wallpapers and four preinstalled ringtones, three of them obnoxious voice ringtones. Ech. There's also a red\electro-blue LED on the front of the phone that is conspicuous when off and flashes when a call or text comes in. I'm left scratching my head why they put it there.

Speaking of ringtones, the phone does have a reasonably good speaker and speakerphone. And reception os OK, but doesn't stand out from the pack at all...though it does connect calls a wee bit faster than my LG 225. So if you're wanting a phone just for voice, this may do the job, but you'll have a heck of a time putting in numbers with the over-stiff keypad. The phone also packs vibrate alert into its small case, and the vibe alert is strong enough, but it isn't synched to the music or any such fun.

The phone has text messaging, and even has a progress display for when you're sending the message. But the user interface seems dreadful to me...not enough soopthing gradients or something...or maybe I'm just spoiled. Also, there's web. But I know people that could grow beards waiting for the pages to load in the Openwave browser. I was going to test how fast the 1xRTT data was on the phone by visiting such sites as GMail, but then decided against it...things went way too slowly for me to do that.

I don't know about battery life yet, as I just got the phone tonight, but I do know that the charger is pretty darn huge, compared with the models that ship with the likes of LG and Motorola phones. Maybe I'm picky, but this sideways wall-wart is a bit on the obese side, just as the Slice is emaciatedly thin.

Maybe I'm overreacting to the phone's keypad and stark user interface, but I come off with a felling that, even though this phone is paper-cut-inducing thin and cheap to boot, I'd rather go with something a bit thicker in exchange for better features and such.

My final verdict is that this phone, if you want a fashion icon on the cheap, may be fine for calling and maybe a text or two...and maybe, must maybe, for web in a pinch. But the keypad is a pain in the neck, and when you can get the Kyocera K10 with nearly the same features, bu for the size, for 30% of the price this phone seems like a pretty bad ripoff. Heck, you can get a flip phone, the Kyocera Oyster, for 40% of this phone's price, shipped to your door...and it's a flip phone!

But then again, to be fair, some people think that thin is in beyond all reason and for them this is a cheap way to go thin. Also, I need to test out battery life; if the phone turns out to last a long time I may change my opinions. But right now I'm mildly disgusted with this new entry onto the Virgin Mobile scene...if only because of the keypad and the fact that the calculator is only seven digits and goes down to only two decimal places (yes, I'm a math nerd)! But anyway, don't buy this phone from it from a place where you can return it if you want to buy it at all. And I'll have the rest of the review up fairly soon, meaning battery life and conclusions with battery life in mind! I've yet to put the $50 phone through its full paces, and so you'll see more info on it soon.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Virgin Mobile - Phone Deals

Not that I'm a fan of Virgin Mobile's pretty high rates, or their limited Sprint service (pretty much every prepaid now has better coverage than Sprint prepaids)...but some people just might want their $10-for-1000 texts deal or whatever...which leads me into what phone deals Virgin Mobile has right now online...

*For $25 you can either get a Nokia Shorty or a Kyocera Slider...with $25 in airtime on it! The Slider is out of stock...but I'd rather have the the Slider is refurbished
*For $80 you can get the Audiovox Snapper. Not that you'd want it, but then again some people just have to have cameraphones and this is the only camera flip for Virgin Mobile in a normal form factor available online...and it is okay in price.
*The Kyocera Oyster is now a mere $20. Not bad for a flip phone! Except that it doesn't have a caller ID display...but then again neither does the LG 3280 and the two phones are quite similar in target...and the 3280 is $30 more expensive. But then again, you get a lot more coverage for the 3280.
*The Kyocera K10 Royale is...gasp...$15...including shipping! Sheesh...they must want to really get rid of this phone! But hey, it is a pretty old bar phone so I can see their rationale. Heck, if you want a color phone of any sort to delve into prepaid with this would be least in my opinion...if you were on a shoestring budget that is. It's also my opinion that the Nokia 2126 deal currently available with Tracfone is a heckuva lot better than anything Virgin Mobile has to offer, beating up the Nokia Shorty, at about the same price.
*The is still $130...not that anybody'd want to buy such a hunka junk anyway...sorry but the phone looks butt ugly!
*The Kyocera Slider Sonic is now $100...with $20 in airtime included! If you want a fast-looking phone, viva la Sonic! Not that I'd personally sell my soul back to Sprint service...let alone 18-cent-a-minute Sprint service, but then again this is a reasonably nice phone\mp3 player combo that is reasonably cheap. I mean, I don't see any other prepaid selling mp3 phones for $80 effectively.

More For Sale!

Just to let everyone know, I now have Motorola c155s, unlocked and unbranded, for sale, at $25 shipped apiece! Which is pretty darn cheap, considering that the phone is color and has web access and other such fun. Also, the T-Mobile SIM has a lot more airtime on it...for an even better price! Take a look!

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Super Duper TMo Deal

In short, you get a $50 card for $35. Which is 30% off! And if you call T-Mobile Customer Service you can "stack" two of these refills to make a $100 refill. Which gets you 1000 minutes and a year of service for $70! Needless to say, that's really, really good. Have fun! I think I'll get two of these as well.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Clarifications for Tracfone

1. Just because you don't have a local number on your Tracfone doesn't mean you have to pay long distance to call from your Tracfone to other phones that are local...long distance on all Tracfones is free!

2. Just because you're roaming doesn't mean you're getting charged extra for a call; all GSM phones, plus the LG 3280, are "SingleRate" which means both home and roaming calls cost one unit per minute.

3. If you want to get T-Mobile's selection of phones rather than Cingular's in a GSM area on Treacfone, substitute GSM5 for GSM4 in the URL of the Tracfone orders website.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Local Number? Roaming?

To answer a question just posted here, you won't get a local number is Tracfone, in its coverage map area, does not list phones of your technology (GSM or CDMA). If, for example, you have a GSM phone (like I did) in an area that Tracfone doesn't have down as being GSM (only CDMA phones show up on the coverage map view), you will not be able to activate phones using that zip and, unless another, GSM-enabled zip near you has numbers local to your zip, you won't get a local number.

About roaming, CDMA Tracfones are programmed with specific "system IDs" (SIDs for short) in which the phone will register as in home service. Everywhere else, whether your phone is still on the network it was activated on (usually Verizon) the phone will say it's roaming and charge as such (this is the big advantage of the LG 3280: roaming costs nothing extra!). I'm a little bit more fuzzy about GSM roaming, but I'm pretty sure that the phone will only say it's roaming if it's actually on a different provider's towers than the one it was activated with. Not that it matters anyway though; while roaming features and rates are the exact same for SingleRate GSM phones.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tracfone Refer-A-Friend - What Cometh Of It?

Sorry, but I don't know the answer to this question. However, general belief is that, in a month or so, maybe a month in a half, but in time for December\Christmas, Tracfone will put out some new form of refer-a-friend. It will likely have more restrictions than the previous one, but such is life. At least they'll likely make rates better. BUt that's basically all I know.

Monday, October 16, 2006

Clearing Up Confusion...LG 3280 Roaming

Just to let everyone know, from personal experience (I have this phone) and from peering into the phone's prepaid parameters, the LG 3280 is definately a SingleRate phone, except with a CDMA twist. It's SingleRate in that, even if you're roaming, you're still charged at one unit per minute of airtime used. And yes, I've tested this. And text is 0.3 units, like with the newer GSM SingleRate phones (Motorola c139, v176, c261).

The CDMA twist is that, if your outgoing call isn't longer than 15 seconds, you won't be deducted airtime for it. Incoming calls, though, cost from second one. But anyway, just clearing things up. If I've helped anyone, click an ad or two for me. :)

At the Risk of Getting Sued...You've Got Questions, I've Got Answers

Someone in a comment asked whetehr you could unlock the Nokia 6030 from T-Mobile and put it onto Cingular. So far, all reports I've heard give a resounding "Yes". You should just be able to unlock it with a normal unlock code generator, but I would do a Google search just to make sure.

And yes, you can use a postpaid Cingular SIM in any prepaid Cingular phone, or t'other way around, with no modification of any sort.

Hope this helps anyone having questions!

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Target Deals

Only at stores, rumore has it that they're giving away Nokia 6030s if you buy a $100 card on T-Mobile To Go. If Target was in my area, I would already have bought this deal, but alas they aren't. If anyone does have Target in their area, this is a great deal!

Saturday, October 14, 2006

My 3280 is Activated!

Just to let you guys know, my LG 3280 is now activated! I will put a review up after I have fully drained the battery, which will be a hard thing to do on a flip with no external display, mostly in standby :).

Friday, October 13, 2006

GoPhone Pricing

I just checked Cingular's GoPhone website and their offerings are slimming down to subpar (in my opinion) or rancorously expensive handsets for their Pay As You Go offering. For example, you can't get the Nokia 6030 refurbishe ($35 now) on Pay As You Go; it's either $70 new or with Pick Your Plan. The Motorola c139 is $30, with Pay As You Go...and that's too much in my opinion. Other than these few things, the lineup remains the same...except that I'm pretty sure both Pantech handsets, the flip and the bar phone, have been hiked by $10 inb price. And the c300 flip looks like it's only available now to Pick Your Plan! Sheesh...

Tracfone...The Deals Just Got Better!

I just checked Tracfone's website and their deals for phones are still there (which is really, really good) with two new of which is out of stock right now but simply rocks.

This deal is that you can get a Motorola c261 and a double-minute card for just the price of the double-minute taxc and shipping and tax on shipping but have a $80 phone there! Counting the phone at face value ($80) and factoring in shipping and tax, it's like you're getting the double-minute card for $60 or so. Which is 10 cents a minute! Why ten cents? Because the promo code 50809, valid until the end of November, applies not only to 1-year cards (giving them 450 minutes) but also to double-minute cards! Which makes this a pretty good deal, albeit an expensive one up front. But you do get a nice, thin camera phone with it. I'm strongly tempted to take advantage of this deal, but then again I just got the LG 3280...

Yes, I said I just got the LG 3280! My local Wal-Mart had them for $49.98 plus tax, and now the Tracfone website has them for $49.99 plus tax and shipping too (that's the other deal Tracfone's online store has now). I actually got the phone yesterday, but haven't activated it yet...I'll do that Monday; hopefully they'll have some semblance of a refer-a-friend program up by then.

And don't worry; I'll be reviewing the first single-rate CDMA Tracfone, the first color CDMA Tracfone flip, the first LG Tracfone, the first Tracfone with hundredths of units on the display, the first non-Nokia, non-Motorola Tracfone in maybe five years (all the same phone), the LG 3280, in the near future. Stay tunes, and maybe click a few ads so I can get back the cost of this phone. Or maybe buy some of my other phones...

But anyway, the things above don't even tell all the info about this please stay tunes! Because, in my opinion, this is one pretty sweet piece of polyphonic plastic. Though not a cameraphone or anything, it's still really neat. Again, come back soon for my full review on why I'm so very infatuated with it!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

STi and T-Mobile

Just a little bit of househeeping:

Effective now, or rather about a week ago, STi activations get new, slightly better plans. They're still annoying to me, but they are better. The 10 cent per day plan is now 10 cents flat per minute, instead of 10\12. And the 7.9 cent per minute plan is now 25, instead of 39, center per day. Also, the "you have $xx.xx and xx minutes" reminder at the beginning of each call is gone (yay). You can listen to it by dialing *555 from your STi phone.

Also, has $50 T-Mobile refills for $44.99. Nice as it is, especially when you remember that, by calling T-Mobile To Go customer service, you can "stack" two $50 refills into one $100 refill. Which gets you a $100 refill for $89.98...a cool 10%\$10 off. Granted, CheapPhoneCards has the same card, without the whole stacking bit, for $92.22 or so, and you get $2.63 or so in reward points for the purchase, but if you want your airtime for less outright you can use PosaTec.

Hmmm...interesting how I'm selling both an STi Mobile phone and a T-Mobile To Go SIM card right now... :)


OK. I'm getting the LG 3280 and that will become my primary line of service. And since the phone costs an extravagent $50 plus tax (and I need money for a senior trip in a few months...and I have too many phones) I'm selling most of my cell phones. Take a look at them on the "For Sale" page (see the righthand link bar). They're priced cheaper, to my knowledge, than anything on eBay, my object being not having to sell them there. So please, if you think you could turn a profit on them by eBaying them, be my guest. And if you just want the phones, which are in good if not near-perfect condition, to use for yourself, that's great too. Anyway, take a look at the phones for sale.

One promise: if I sell all the phones there by the end of the month, I'll buy the Motorola c261 and review it, for the enjoyment of all.

LG 3280...Available!

Yes. It's here, with pictures coutresy Eric...thanks Eric...that show that this puppy is indeed the first CDMA SingleRate Tracfone (click here for the other picture, showing the front of the phone; Blogger idn' working correctly)! Granted, text messages cost to receive, but hey, things rock when roaming is all free. If my Wal-Mart has this phone, which is $50 or so retail, it's mine! I will post a review of it soon, as soon as I can get my grubby paws on it. Even with the dissolution of the old refer-a-friend program, this will likely be a nice, cheap phone for me. And it's on Verizon in my area (though Verizon is PCS-band here) with a local number!

Rest assured, if I get this, I will provide a thorough review on it to everyone here. Stay tuned!

By the way, the 60-minute cards are likely backordered further than I thought. But I'll honor anybody's purchases if they're made before I get the cards. And if anyone wants to sell their 60-minute cards that they got with the recent Tracfone deals, I'll help them! Email me!

Sold Out and Standing Offer

Just to let everyone know, I just sold out of 60-minute cards. One eBay buyer bought all six of them, at $14 apiece! However, I just ordered another bunch of phones (Nokia 2126s). So I should have another batch of 60-minute cards in about this time next week. But don't wait...preorder the card(s) today so that they won't get bought up again before anyone can get some!

Also, if anyone can\knows who can reflash Nokia 1100s and\or Nokia 2600s, I'll gladly pay $5 plus whatever I pay for shipping per phone to get that done. Same with Motorola c155s.

Monday, October 09, 2006

60 minute cards in!

Just got the Tracfone Nokia 1100s I ordered. If anyone wants the 60-minute airtime cards that came with them, they're for sale in my airtime store now for $12.50 apiece. Which is $1.50 cheaper than I'm selling them for on eBay ($14). So get 'em while you can!

Sunday, October 08, 2006

QuickBlip: Rapid Refill

Just to let everyone know (including the person who commented on this), all new Tracfones, from the Motorola v120 (which is oooold) on through to all the phones that Tracfone currently sells except the mystery Nokia 5180, have the ability to do Tracfone Rapid Refill (where you put in your PIN and promo code on the phone and they text you the minutes; no more dealing with the website to add airtime), with the exaeption of TDMA phones, which aren't sold anymore anyway. And most are enabled to do it. Which means that the LG 3280 will naturally be able to do it too.

Tracfone Internatinal Long Distance - Free!

Tracfone now has calling-card style international long distance...for free! As in it doesn't cost any more to use it from your Tracfone than normal. Which, I have to say, is great for the few of us (not me) that use that sort of thing. Here are the steps to do a Tracfone ILD call:

1. Call 1.800.706.3839 from your Tracfone (making it an address book or speed dial entry are two good things to do).

2. Press 1 for English or 2 for Spanish. You will hear dialing instructions, which you can skip over by proceeding on to...

3. Dial 011 + country code + city code + phone number. FOr Canada, just dial 1 + city code + number.

That's it. You now have international long distance that doesn't cost anything above your normal Tracfone minutes! Though they're still a bit expensive...unless you want a 60-minute card from me or get one of the current Tracfone deals (see the previous posts). By the way, until tomorrow, when I get them, they're $12 instead of $12.50 (since they're preorders).

Here are the countries you can call to with this service (the table is copied directly from a Tracfone email forwarded to me; the second columns of each table are the country codes):

Andorra 376
Argentina 54
Australia 61
Austria 43
Bangladesh - Chittagong 880
Bangladesh - Dhaka 880
Bangladesh - Sylhet 880
Belgium 32
Brazil - Belo Horizonte 55
Brazil - Brasilia 55
Brazil - Fortaleza 55
Brazil - Recife 55
Brazil - Rio de Janeiro 55
Brazil - Salvador 55
Brazil - Sao Paulo 55
Bulgaria 359
Canada 1
Canada - Cellular 1
Chile 56
China 86
China - Cellular 86
Colombia - Armenia 57
Colombia - Barranquilla 57
Colombia - Bogota 57
Colombia - Bucaramanga 57
Colombia - Cali 57
Colombia - Cartagena 57
Colombia - Medellin 57
Colombia - Pereira 57
Cyprus 357
Czech Republic 420
Denmark 45
Estonia 372
Finland 358
France 33
Germany 49
Gibraltar 350
Greece 30
Hong Kong 852
Hong Kong - Cellular 852
Hungary 36
Indonesia - Surabaya 62
Ireland 353
Israel 972
Italy 39
Japan 81
Malaysia 60
Malaysia - Cellular 60
Mexico 52
Mexico - Cellular 52
Monaco 377
Netherlands 31
New Zealand 64
Norway 47
Peru 51
Poland 48
Portugal 351
Russia - Moscow 7
Russia - St. Petersburg 7
San Marino 378
San Marino - Cellular 378
Singapore 65
Singapore - Cellular 65
South Korea 82
Spain 34
Sweden 46
Switzerland 41
Taiwan 886
Taiwan - Cellular 886
Thailand 66
Turkey - Istanbul 90
United Kingdom 44

Note that most countries bill incoming calls on cell phones as free, and outgoing calls to cell phones as more expensive than usual. Hence, you may or may not see "cellular" on the list of countries for whatever country. If you don't, you can't call cell phones in that country with Tracfone's ILD scheme.

And that's about it. Enjoy!

Friday, October 06, 2006


I jsut looked, and it appears as though all the refurb Tracfones, even CDMA, are SIngleRate! !?! I'm not quite sure what this means, but it sounds good. The SingleRate moniker is promoted more with the old Nokia 2285 and 5180 than with the new 2126s, but that's just another reason for me to get some 2126s to try 'em out!

Tracfone Deals...They's Grrrreat!

Just letting everyone know that, though Tracfone is probably doing a nasty overhaul to its refer-a-friend program, they have some absolutely sweet deals on airtime\phones right now! Furthermore, they have deals wregarding CDMA phones!

On the GSM side, there are two "hot deals". One of them is on fire, the other is not. But anyway, with either you get a "free" Nokia 1100. Refurbished, of course. With one, you buy a 1-year card. With the guessed buy a 60-minute card and get another one free! I'm going to start selling 60-minute cards soon off of this nice little bundle. Yes, they'll be $12.50, but eBay sellers usually charge $15+. I'll get in the first six cards Monday. I'm taking me!

On CDMA, the real fun begins. Tracfone has had an all-too-long track record of having one, just one, CDMA phone available: the Nokia 2126. This is a nice phone, yes, but there's no variety; with GSM you have your choice between six (!) phones, spanning the range between $19.99 and $79.99. Anyway, you now have a choice!

But first, the hottest deal of 'em all, at least in my opinion...the Nokia 2126 is being offered free, a la Nokia 1100 on GSM, with two 60-minute cards, for $20! Everyone should know\does know that this phone is simply fabulous for reception etc. as far as CDMA\analog service goes. Okay, it's not the Nokia 6015, but it works quite well. Even refurbed, I daresay it alone is worth the price of the bundle. Once I sell off the coming bunch of airtime cards, I'm in for a bunch of these, if they're still around.

Next on the website is a one-year deal, this time for the Motorola c343. Not the the c343 is a great phone or anything, but if you're a Motorola fan\freak, here's your chance, though it's a rather expensive one.

Then there's the normal Nokia 2126, new, unobtrusively sitting there for $29.99, plus tax and shipping (everything, in fact, has tax and $4.95 shipping and tax on that shipping added to it). Great phone. But it's eclipsed by the refurb deal.

Now, on to the older phones. Yes, we're talking old now. Exhibit A is the Nokia 2285, which comes free with a 120-minute card. Yep, it appears as though Tracfone is trying its utmost to clear out stock on old phones. And the 2285 isn't too bad. Though, again, it'll only sell after the Nokia 2126 deal goes out. I'm betting it will eventually be given out in a similar deal. The perk of this phone is that it has a pretty big screen with a blue backlight...and an extendable antenna!

And last, and maybe least, is the Nokia 5180. Yes, that Nokia 5180. The one you used, what, five years ago? Well, it comes free with a 60-minute card. But it will have to come free with two, and be the only one to do so, before I get it. Sorry, but that's one old phone. But hey, if you need analog this phone will outlast all the others, by virtue of its ginormous battery. Plus, it's CDMA, with an extendable antenna if I remember rightly. Nice way to soup up your geek factor.

In closing, Tracfone now has some pretty nice "let's clear these puppies out" deals on right now, likely to get ready for the LG 3280 and the Nokia 1112. Go on and take advantage of them. And remember: I'll have 60-minute cards in Monday. And if you pre-order today (Friday), I'll take the price from $12.50 to $11.75! If you preorder Saturdy or Sunday it'll be $12. Email me!

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Motorola c155 Review...Finally!

Sorry. I have, for literally over a month, been wanting to write this review. And now I'm going to do it:

The Motorola c155 is But one side note is that the c155 doesn't randomly go to 0 minutes rightly a few model numbers higher than its newer brother the Motorola c139; it has a feew features the $20 new phone doesn't. Like polyphonic ringtones. And a screen that doesn't totally black out when the backlight turns off.

Okay, those are the only two advantages over the newer phone, which also gets better battery life and looks better (the c155 looks, frankly, like a bigheaded alien, a true grandpappy phone...sorry people but it doesn't have the least touch of style). But then again, the c155 doesn't have the problem of suddenly losing all its minutes and setting the expiration back to 01\01\2001!

Another okay thing about the c155 is design, quite distinct from good looks. The buttons are easy enough to press but not too easy. Which is definately nice. Battery life seems to be okay, though battery life for refurbished phones seems to be a good bit less than life for new phones. But anyhow the phone has a standby time of several days. Which is fine. Also, the phone has an interesting chat over SMS function, which can be found on other phones but is generally rare. Coupled with the ease of button presses and free incoming (and cheap outgoing) SMS you'd think that this would be the ideal texting phone. Then you remember that the phone has a teeny screen and Motorola's wierd-as-it-gets iTAP text input systemk, and you'll think again.

Worst of all, the phone has the worst shortcoming a phone of this calibre could have: bad reception. Granted, I was on a fringe area, but it was downright horrifying the amount of garbled words and even outright, dead, staticy silence I experienced...with two bars of signal if I remember correctly! I'm 99% sure any of my other phones would've fared much better in this arena. But then again I have to give Cingular some of the for the abysmal network quality I experienced.

So, in a nutsell, the Motorola c155 is an okay phone for everything except calling. This may seem surprising, but I'd much rather have the monophonic, black-and-white, older, cheaper Nokia 1100 than thi phone. Especially with the wierdo styling of the c155. But anyway, that's the end of my review\rant. If anyone has anything to add, comment here! I like feedback!

Monday, October 02, 2006

Tracfone Promo!

Tracfone is putting some more good phone deals online again. Namely the Nokia 1100 refurb phone with two 60 minute cards for $19.99 per bundle. Not as great now since refer-a-friend ain't up and free shipping expired as of yesterday, but it's still okay. The 60-minute cards that I'm going to get with the three 1100 bundles I just ordered are all spoken for, but I'll sell any cards anyone else gets through this promo, for the benefit of all. Email me if you want to do that...