Sunday, December 31, 2006

More Tracfone Stuff

To follow up on my review yesterday of the Motorola c261, the phone also activated over the code entry required...which seemed pretty slick for Tracfone, but to be expected of such an advanced Tracfone I'd suppose...

Also, regarding the person who commented about typing in an URL and being able to go to it on the c261, I got the 403 Forbidden edrror when I tried to access other sites than Tracfone's own deck that way...

Now, a side note: for some reason (maybe because I had call waiting at second 0 of a call with the person I was calling!) my LG 3280 crashed, as in vibrated for awhile in spurts then stopped and simply locked up. I took out the battery, then put it in again. Lo and behold, all my airtime was gone! A quick call to Tracfone solved this problem. Something interesting about Tracfone: they can now add to your phone, or at least the LG 3280 and probably the c261 and v176, units in increments of single units. No more rounding up to ten units, but hey, it's an upgrade...

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Motorola c261 & Tracfone New Features

This phone, due to its being washed (ech!), is now sitting out to dry, but nonetheless I should be able to give a pretty good review of this phone, its features, and Tracfone's new Cingular-powered features of its own...

First off, this phone has the new prepaid features that the LG 3280 incorperates, such as a double-digit airtime counter, a rearranged prepaid menu with airtime adding on top and code entry on the bottom.And of course incoming SMS is units each. And now we know why there is a double-digit readout on the airtime display...

...for buying ringtones! Yes, you can buy ringtones and graphics from the convenience of your slick-looking Motorola c261 (especially slick in the matte red I got it in). And the prices aren't horribly expensive...5.97 units per ringtones translates to a maximum of $1.99 per ringtone, with a minimum of $1.19 each if you're looking at 20-cent-per-minute airtime. Sounds pretty good to me, at least compared with $2.99 ringtones on Boost Mobile.

And yes, the phone has web access to get these ringtones, as well as view news stories and play online games and such. Small problems:

  1. It's slow...really slow. Motorola doesn't have EDGE on this phone (wait...they don't have EDGE on the Razr or the Pebl either...geez) and the GPRS seems quite sluggish. Either that or the web portal is serving over cousin Vinnie's DSL connection...serving the 50 people who use web on the c261 all at the same time...
  2. It's limited. Want to go to Facebook? How about Google? HowardForums? No, no and no. Just Tracfone's own predefined WAP deck. T-Zones on Tracfnes anyone?
  3. It costs! Half a unit per minute for any data access, whether it's downloading a ringtone, browsing the news, or sending\receiving an MMS message...on top of the MMS or ringtone charges!

And MMS costs 1 unit per message either way. Not my idea of dirt cheap, but you take what you can get with Tracfone...even though sending MMS messages is a slow in it takes a minute or two to send an 80k message. Bleh.

Not to discount the phone, though. It is svelte, as mentioned before. While it's no Slice, it is slim enough, and its rounded edges make it look like a higher-end phone than the Slice, at least in my opinion. The keypad is easy enough to press, and the phone's screen is nice and large, especially for a bar. With a 128x160 resolution, the screen is big enough to offset the kludginess of Motorola's user interface, and texting is quite viable, though iTAP ain't quite what T9 is in terms of ease of use, at least to my reckoning.

Ohyeah, and the phone has a camera in it, a first for a Tracfone. Yes, everyone thought that Tracfone wouldn't come out with the c261, picking instead the cameraless c259 (I think that's the model number). But the jolly green giant of prepaid wireless put through their first camera phone, and its a passable camera phone, too. We're not talking print-quality photos, but on the highest quality setting the photos are quite good enough for casual emailing and pasting online in random places,albeit via the oh-so-slow MMS system, as the phone's rumored Bluetooth is either nonexistent or disabled and I know of no cable that can hook up to this phone.

Side note: the camera is VGA, and the screen is portrait, so you have an annoying conundrum when setting wallpapers: yours with a border or Motorola's without a border? Anyway, pictures look good, and the screen is maybe half again as large vertically as that of the Slice, on par with the average contract flip phone. Small problem with the screen: it solarizes very easily when viewing photos, at least if you're holding the phone normally. Horizontally, wierdly enough, the images are fine...except they're of course rotated 90 degrees...

Now to the important parts about any phone that's supposed to be used as a phone: reception and battery life. Reception-wise the phone is great, as far as receiving calls goes. Cingular's network works well with this phone in that respect. Transmission? Not so much, but I'm thinking that the problem is more network-related than due to the phone itself: Cingular "razes the bar" once again! I actually had to switch phones (used my dad's Verizon-powered Trac Nokia 2126) when talking to someone due to my cutting out on his end, even though I had a signal that was quite good.

Battery life is okay, though merely okay. Three or four days seems to be hwo long it lasts with light to normal usage, which would be on the good side for CDMA but is merely fair for GSM. If you're looking for great battery life, look at the LG 3280 or something like that, not at the most feature0laden phone that Tracfone offers.

In my opinion, this phone is a big step forward for Tracfone, being as how it puts web and MMS on the table as network features and a camera as a phone feature. The phone's onboard apps and games are nice, too. But there's no reason to get this phone over another Tracfone unless you want the camera and the ability to get ripped, download ringtones and graphics and view news storeies...if you want GSM and just usually talk and text the Nokia 2600 is still a great choice. If you want more coverage while still being SingleRate, the LG 3280 is best. However, if you do want a camera, and an okay one at that, Tracfone now gives you an option, and now it's at a fairly palatable price ($49.99 plus tax currently from their site for a black one, and you can get a red phone, which looks really me, I own one :)...from Wal-Mart's site for around the same price). Heck, maybe BabbleBug still has one in stock...e-mail me if you're interested and I'll ask.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Tracfone Referrals - Back Up!

Remember the Tracfone backdoor that I used to get refer-a-friend emails sent? Well, it's working again! So anyone who wants can look back to that post, follow the instructions, and get back into the refer-a-friend game! Viva la chance! And if you don't have a phone to refer the other phone, drop me an email and I'd be glad to shoot a refer-a-friend email your way! Hope this helps everyone!

Kyocera K7 "Rave"

People have been wanting a review of this phone for awhile, and now I'll give it. Hope this helps someone out there...though the phone has been surmounted by, at last check, the K9...

First off, this is a very old phone, as cell phones go. That's not a bad thing necessarily, but you aren't going to get the new features you'd have on newer phones, such as full web access and suchlike.

However, this phone does have polyphonic ringtones and an LED flashlight, as well as a relatively large black-and-white screen with a user interface clear enough that you can use the phone fairly well, for what it does.

The typical "tools" are on the phone (calculator, etc.) plus the flashlight, which is reasonably bright. The phone is definately basic, but it's okay for people who will only talk and text a little anyway.

With regard to texting, the phone's keypad is okay for the pursuit, though Kyocera's T9-clone input system is another thing to learn...

For voice quality, suffice to say that it's pretty good. Which it should be, considering this is a PCS-only phone on a PCS-only network. But then again the phone isn't incredibly loud. No speakerphone, either.

As far as battery life goes, I'm really not sure about how long it lasts (a friend now has the phone). But battery life, courtesy the phone's refurbished-ness, seems quite short. As in a few days on standby. That's what's not to like about a refurbished phone, but what can you honestly expect for $10? You have to have something that gives...

But other than battery life, the phone is solid for what you'd use a $10 phone for: taling and texting. Hope this miniature review has helped someone.

By the way, if you want to help out the site and are going to activate a Virgin Mobile phone, put in 830-456-2634 as the person's phone number who referred you. That way, I get a "kickback" from Virgin Mobile. And as an added bonus, for every $10 I get in kickbacks (the first person I refer gets me $10, everyone else gets $20) I'll lay away $5 to buy something from Virgin Mobile to the tune of phones, so I'll have something else to review. Again, hope this review helped!

P.S. More reviews are coming soon...

UTStarComm CDM7000 & Movida Unlimited Service
Motorola c261 & Tracfone's New GSWM Services
Nokia 2366i (see below)

One note about the Nokia 2366i: I'm not activating it...for myself, at least. But if anyone wants it I'll gladly sell it for $70 shipped activated on PagePlus...or Verizon INPulse, whichever you want. But anyway if anyone wants the phone emailo me, and I'll send it on when I'm finished with my review!

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Sold Out...Again!

Well, I got the rest of my airtime cars in today...and am selling one on eBay and the rest to a bulk buyer. So I'm sold out again! But I'll probably have some more cards back in stock in a couple of weeks...

Friday, December 15, 2006

Tracfone Cards - Now Available!

Just to let everyone know, I have a large (42 cards in all) shipment of Tracfone airitme cards in right now. Grab 'em while they last!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Virgin Mobile & Tracfone Airtime

First off, Virgin Mobile now has the Snapper refurb deal back online, as well as the K9, available for a cool $10 + tax. I think the main difference between the K7 and the K9 is that the K9 has MP3 ringtones or something like that...I'd buy one, but it wouldn't get to me in time for Christmas...going on a trip starting Friday (the 22nd).

Second, I'm getting in half my boatload of airtime cards tomorrow :). Grab 'em while they last...they'll all be gone by the middle of next week, if not sooner! In which case you'll have to wait another few weeks before I have some in stock...

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Virgin and Tracfone Shake Up Their Lineups

Over the past few days Tracfone and Virgin Mobile have changed their available online deals...Tracfone first...

The biggest news here is that not one but three phones are now $15, down from $20 or $30. These three phones are the Motorola c139, Motorola c155 and Nokia 2600. All are new. My choice, out of personal experience from all three of these phones? The 2600, by far. It's old, but it's good. The c155 seems to ahve reception issues, and its bulbous form factor isn't quite pretty. The c139 only has mono ringtones, though it has great battery life, and there have been many cases of people's units just disappearing on that phone. The Nokia 2600, the GSM, older, equivalent of the 2126, has neither problem. If you need a Tracfone on GSM and want a $15 phone, the Nokia would be it.

One gotcha: $15 doesn't include shipping. Unless you bring your order total above $19.99. But hey, the 2600 is an okay deal even at $20, with the Nokia 2126 at $30 new. Anyway, buying two phones would alleviate the shipping charge. But, in a nutshell, the Nokia 2600 just became a better deal than ever.

As an aside, the Motorola c261 is down to $50 plus tax on Tracfone's website, in black. The v176 is still $60. Interesting...the phone was $80 when it came out! Is Tracfone not getting enough sales on the phone? Or are they trying to push picture messaging and web access to the masses because it's very profitable for them? Not to mention ringtones...

Now to Virgin Mobile...

First, the bad news. The refurb Snapper, which was a mere $40, is now sold out. Maybe, however, they'll reinstate the deal when there are enough refurbs to start shipping again. Personally, I'll stick with my Slice, but then again I got the phone for $20 plus tax. Also, the $10 phone is temporarily no more, though it too might pop up again, in the form of the Kyocera K9 (the K7 was the last deal).

Second, the blah news, or maybe it's good news. But anyway the Audiovox "Vox" 8610 is now a mere $25 plus tax. People don't seem to like this phone, but they seem to dislike the Kyocera Oystr even more, citing batery life concerns (by the way, this phone is $20). Then agsin, the Vox doesn't have web's a toss-up.

Now to the pretty good news. Virgin Mobile now has two "free" phones: the Nokia "Shorty" (2116i) and the Kyocera K10. Okay, they're $20 with $20 in airtime added as a bonus, but it's airtime nonetheless so I'll still call the phones free.

My choice between these two phones? It depends. The Shorty, being made by Nokia, is a very solid phone, and it's very small. But it has only a black-and-white screen, and there's no web access...and the Kyocera K10 has both of these. Just depends on what you want.

By the way, this is the first post on the new Go4Prepaid blog. It should run faster for everyone, and should have more features and such. Hope everyone likes it!

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Sold Out!

Sorry everyone, but I'm completely, at least for now, sold out of Tracfone 60-minute cards. I will, however, have some in the Monday after next. Sorry for any inconvenience.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Answer to Slice

Responding to the person who commented on the Slice...

First off, I just don't think that the Slice is a $50 phone. True, it's thin, really, really thin, but that's pretty much its only merit. Not that it needs other merits, but it's so thoroughly average otherwise that its thinness is its only redeeming quality. And due to its thinness, plus the cost-cutting measures involved (and there are some measures involved) you get a phone that seems a tad on the glitzy side, with a keypad that feels none too good. nThe phone may be thinner and lighter even than the SLVR, which is expensive, but you're taking out a lot, and I mean a LOT, of features. Which people may or may not need\want anyway, but the only thing you can compare with the SLVR and the Slice is thickness. The Slice is a cheapie phone, simply put.
About CDMA users settling for expensive handsets and minutes, some people like to have their phone working everywehere, even if it's more expensive. However, CDMA isn't necessarily better coverage-wise, or more expensive, than GSM. Sprint actually has a quite small coverage footprint, somewhere around that of T-Mobile, maybe a little bit more. However T-Mobile now has roaming agreements even on prepaid, and thus you can get their service at 10 cents a minute or less in a lot of in A LOT of places. :)
In this case GSM is cheaper than CDMA, but Cingular GoPhone is WAY more expensive than Virgin Mobile (25 cents a minute vs. 18 or $1 a day for 10 cents a minute + M2M versus roughly 28 cents a day for the same thing minus M2M). This is about the cleanest analogy possible, as comparison between AirVoice and a comparable CDMA carrier would lead into comparison with "indie" carriers like STi Mobile and its league. Heck, Tracfone GSM now charges the exact same per minute as the LG 3280 on Trac CDMA, though GSM does have more features.
Another look at things and you'll find that Virgin Mobile's text rates are becoming the cheapest in the industry. everyone is starting to charge 15 cents per text, which is absolutely annoying to the point of death. Virign is looking like it will stay at 5 cents per message both ways. If you don't get on a texting plan. Which I'm actually doing very, very soon (as soon as I top up). I will then have 2.5 cents per text message, better than anything in the GSM arena, as far as prepaid goes, has to offer, to my knowledge. And what phone am I using for this? The Slice.
In short, I'm not bashing the Slice for being what it is. I'm just bashing it for being what it is an being $50. $40 would be okay in my opinion, but not $ that point you're looking at higher-end phones, and even this phone's thinness doesn't quite rank it as higher-end.
By the way, I actually don't like any of the ringtones on the Slice really. All of them are pretty obnoxious, even the normal ring. Same with the backgrounds. But I'm going to live with them since I'm not even going to use this phone for voice calling. The big idea from Virgin mobile here is that people, fed up with the lousy offering of 'tones on this phone, will pay their horribly high rates to download new content that is actually normal and bearable an suchlike. And it's probably going to work, making the net cost of the phone even more ($65 including tax anyone?) for people who actually want to personalize it. Nice business model, Virgin. Ah well.
Well, have to go. Homework. Hope this clarifies things for everyone considering getting the Slice. It's a nice buy for $20 but not for $50.
By the way, I found out why there was a hundredths place in the new Tracs' airitme display...buying ringtones! At least for the Moto c261. Not that I needed another ringtone, but The House of The Rising Sun is still neat to have on a Trac, and the ringtone speaker on the c261 is nice. The only beef I have is the time it takes for things to load on the phone (seems like GPRS Class 0, lol) and thus the airtime it uses in loading things. Ah, but such is life...more on the c261 later.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006


I solved my dilemna about the ringtone. Just heard the same progression in Nickel Creek's This Side. Anyhow, I'll be eventually putting up some photos I've taken with the c261. They're okay in quality, for a camera phone, but GPRS is so dang slow (maybe because I'm roaming?) that it's really expensive to send pix messages (0.5 units per minute of web time required + 1 unit per message...gotta love the ripoffs).

Ringtone - Motorola c261

Well, I just had t0 put up on here one of the ringtones on the Motorola c261. Why? Because I know the song from somewhere...and I don't remember where! Comment on this post if you know what the 'tone is. Sorry about the quality of the mp3, but hey, it's that much quicker to download! Anyway, I'll put up a picture from the phone's camera as soon as I find out what the dang ringtone is (it's hotlinked in the title of this post).

Tracfone Cards For Sale - Delivery Within 24 Hours! - Again!

Well, the 60-minute cards are back again. Get them quickly, or you'll not be able to get them at all. Just click on over to the Cheap Tracfone Minutes link to order one, two, or however many (though i don't have very many actually) you want. As usual, they're just $12.50 apiece.


P.S. I just got a red Motorola c261 yesterday (as part of Black Friday's double-minute card deal; the double-minute card went to my dad). Of course, the review will be forthcoming. Interestingly, it too has a hundredths-place airtime counter. Interesting...and red...:)

Sunday, December 03, 2006


I really need to do a variety of things on this site, but I haven't had the time. The podcast, and putting the podcast on iTunes, will likely have to wait till a few days from now. Same for updating my sale page (the ESN minutes are gone, but I think I could get some 60-minute cards for $12.50).

But to help some people out, the LG 3280 has a vibrate mode. Just press and hold * and voila, Manner Mode. :) Do it again to switch back to normal mode.