August 15, 2018

How Data Works on Tracfone Smartphones

Guide to Tracfone Data Cards and How to Buy Data for your Smartphone

Welcome to the TracfoneReviewer blog! This post will share specifics on how data works on smartphones with Tracfone. Be sure to also take a look at some of our other posts while you're here.

how does data work on tracfone
How to Buy Data from Tracfone
Note - We created a full breakdown and comparison of Tracfone airtime in this post: New Prices/Changes to Tracfone Smartphone Cards.

Tracfone is a prepaid cell phone service provider that offers both phones and airtime cards. On their newer smartphone devices, you also get data when adding an airtime card which you can use to surf the web when not connected to WiFi.

Data is very useful on smartphones, but how does the data work on Tracfone smartphones, how can you get more, and what can you do with the data you have?

We are going to cover these questions and more in this post sharing all the details about how Tracfone Data works on smartphones.

Some of the popular smartphones that Tracfone offers include the LG Premier Pro, Samsung Galaxy J7 Sky Pro and LG Rebel 3. You can see all the newest devices in our List of the Latest Smartphones from Tracfone (2018).

Or you might be interested in the Tracfone BYOP program, which allows users to bring their own smartphone. Follow the link to learn more, and see a list of the possibilities.

Both the smartphones offered by Tracfone, and the BYOP devices, use data in the same way. So let's get started looking at how data works on these phones.

What is Data on Tracfone Smartphones?

Data is the term generally used to describe the amount (usually in megabytes) you can download or upload on your smartphone via the cell phone network. So data is basically information you download or upload from the internet. This can include many different activities, like checking email, posting photos on Facebook, reading webpages, or watching videos.

Data is consumed based on the amount of megabytes you download or upload. So if you download a 20 MB image, that will use 20 MB of your data. If you visit a webpage that takes 1 MB to load, you will use 1 MB of data. (further down we will share more on estimating how much different online activities will use up your data.)

On older, non-smartphone devices, data was used at a rate determined by the amount of time you were on a website, but this is not the case for smartphones which is a nice improvement.

As you can see, data works similarly to your calling minutes, in that you are charged based on how much you use. But calling minutes are based on time, rather than megabytes. (For example, if you make a 20 minute call, you will be deducted (about) 20 minutes of talk time.)

On Tracfone Smartphones and BYOP devices, airtime is split into three pools, Talk, Text and Data. Learn more about How Airtime Works with Tracfone Smartphones in our recent post.

How Can you Buy More Data for your Tracfone Device?

There are two ways to get more data for your smartphone:

Airtime Cards - You can add both Regular Airtime Cards or Smartphone Only Cards and get a certain amount of data along with talk, text and service days.
Data Only Card - You get only Data, at 1 GB for $10

For most situations you will probably want to add an Airtime card to your phone to increase all your 'buckets' of talk/text/data.

But sometimes you may only want to add data, in which case the data only cards are useful. Let's take a closer look at Data cards to better understand how to use them.

What Are Data Only Cards?

As mentioned above, the Data only card increase the amount of data for your smartphone, without adding any additional texts or talk minutes.

This is similar to the Text only cards we recently discussed.

There are some important things to be aware of the make the Data only cards unique.

First, they can only be used with smartphones, including the Android devices offered by Tracfone, and all phones offered through the BYOP program.

Second, like the Text only card, Data only cards do not triple, so you get the amount listed on the card (1 GB).

Data Card Amount and Cost Per MB Compared to Airtime Cards

Tracfone just offers one Data only card option at this time:
  • 1 GB for $10
This results in 1 cent per MB of data.

Cost per MB for Tracfone Data cards and Airtime cards Compared:

Below is a table with all of the current airtime cards from Tracfone and how much data comes with each one. We've included both Smartphone only cards and regular airtime cards.
how much data do you get with tracfone
Tracfone Data Amounts and Cost per MB
There are two key points to take note of from this Chart:
  • Smartphone only cards come with a lot more data compared to regular airtime cards
  • Smartphone only cards are a better deal for data (except the 1500 and 200 minute cards)

In general, if you only need data, the data only card is a good deal. But if you also need talk and texts, then the 300 or 750 minute smartphone cards are a good deal.

Where to Buy Tracfone Data Cards

Tracfone Data cards are available form a variety of sources, as is the case for Tracfone Airtime cards. You can find Data cards on the Tracfone website under Airtime.

You can also find the Tracfone Data cards in many retail stores, and even online through other retailers. We have found Data cards on eBay in various amounts.

Now let's cover one more question that we see asked quite often.

How Much Can you Do Online with 300 MB of Data?

A common question we see is, what can you do online with a certain amount of data? This is a very good question, because many people tend to estimate how many airtime minutes they will need, and then buy the airtime card that suits their needs best. But if you're unfamiliar with how much data is used by smartphones, it makes it hard to estimate.

It is a little hard to give a straight answer to this question, it all depends on what you do online  Take a look at this image (provided by Tracfone) to help give you a better idea:

tracfone 300mb of data what you can do
Estimated usage for 300 MB of data with Tracfone
From this table we see you can visit about 245 webpages with 300 MB of data, or send/receive about 4000 emails. Hopefully this information will help you gain a better understanding of how data is used with Tracfone, and where your data is going.

If you notice, doing certain things online, like streaming music, or even more so, streaming video, will use your data quickly, while visiting webpages or sending emails, especially those with few images, will use less of your data.

Another good resource for estimating your data usage is the Data Calculator on Verizon's website. Enter your estimated activities, and it will tell you about how much data you will use in a month.

Remember, that if you want to stop using data, you can go into the settings on your device, select data, and turn it off. Using WiFi networks, like at your home or work, does not deduct from your data.

Tips for Reducing Data Use
Here are some helpful tips to reduce the amount of data you use.
  • Keep track of your data use and set data use warnings to help
  • Turn off background data (learn more here)
  • Download/upload large files over WiFi as much as possible
  • If you use Google Maps often in a certain area, download the map of that area over WiFi. Here is some helpful information about using Google Maps without using data.
  • Download songs/podcasts over WiFi instead of streaming them.
  • Set your Apps to only update over WiFi.
  • Download Images/Videos only when using WiFi
As you can see, the best way to reduce data usage is to avoid using it for large downloads or uploads, which will quickly drain your data. Using free WiFi whenever possible will go a long way in extending your data.

Here is a helpful article on what online activities use data, and some other basic details about data usage from an AT&T Forum.

We hope you found this information helpful, and please leave a comment with any questions, or if you have something to add!

Learn the basics of how Tracfone works with our Beginners Guide to Tracfone.

Find us on Facebook and join over 2000 followers who get the latest news and updates.

Take a look at one of our other popular posts, the Over 30 Great Android Apps to use with your Smartphone.

And check our recent post on 7 Ways to Reduce Your Airtime Usage with Tracfone including some more tips for making your data last longer.

Thanks for visiting!

Originally published 8/2015 and Updated 8/2018

August 6, 2018

Tracfone Deals and Sales - August 2018

List of Tracfone Deals, Discounts and Sales Updated for August 2018

TracfoneReviewer shares all things Tracfone related including news, reviews and promo codes!

cheap tracfone cell phones
Tracfone Deals for August 2018
Tracfone has a number of different phones they offer through many different retailers, and there are sometimes great deals available to be had. However, finding the lowest prices is not always easy.

But we are here to help with the latest list of Tracfone deals and sales, updated for August. New deals are happening all the time, and so we share the latest discounts in one convenient list. Many of these deals include an airtime bundle, which are usually the best deals around.

Both Tracfone devices and unlocked phones are included in this list, as the unlocked phones can be used with the Tracfone BYOP program. We recently shared details about the Moto G6 and Moto E5 which are two great unlocked phone options.

If you like to keep up with the newest releases, visit our List of Latest Tracfone Cell Phones which we update with each new phone Tracfone releases.

Now let's see the list of deals!

Tracfone Deals and Discount List August 2018

LG Rebel 3 (CDMA)
With a 5" screen, 2 GB RAM, 16 GB internal storage and Android 7.0, the Rebel 3 is a powerful little device that is also available at a great price. This phone is a great option for users who don't need or want the larger screen size. Learn much more about all the features on the Rebel 3 in our Full Review.

Both deals below come with airtime bundles with different amounts, but they are each worth more than the cost of the phone, making the phone practically free! The deal from HSN is the lowest we've ever seen for the Rebel 3 with airtime bundle!

Get the LG Rebel 3 with Airtime Bundle for $59 on HSN (Sold Out!)
Get the LG Rebel 3 with Airtime Bundle for $69 on Amazon

LG Fiesta 2 (CDMA)
If a larger screen is what you want, the Fiesta 2 has a 5.5" screen size plus 2 GB RAM, quad core processor and 16 GB internal storage. It also comes with Android 7.0 and a 13 mp camera. Learn more and see the full specs in our LG Fiesta 2 Review.

With this deal from HSN, you also get a year of service and 1500 talk, text and data minutes which is worth over $100. The deal from Amazon costs a little more, but you also get more text/data (and only 60 service days).

Get the LG Fiesta 2 with Airtime Bundle for $75 from HSN
Get the LG Fiesta 2 with Airtime Bundle for $88 from Amazon

Samsung Galaxy J3 Luna Pro (CDMA)
The Galaxy J3 Luna Pro has proven itself as a popular and dependable smartphone featuring a large, 5" touchscreen, 1.5 GB RAM, 16 GB Storage and quad core processor. It also runs Android 6.0.1 and has an 5 MP rear camera. See more specs and feature in our Samsung Galaxy J3 Luna Pro Review.

This deal from HSN includes 1500 talk, text and data minutes plus a year of service which is worth over $100. The airtime bundle from Amazon comes with 1000 talk, 2000 text and data minutes, plus 60 service days.

See the Samsung Galaxy J3 Luna Pro with airtime bundle for $79 on HSN
Get the Samsung Galaxy J3 Luna Pro with airtime bundle for $82 on Amazon

With a larger screen at 5.5" and otherwise fairly similar features, the Galaxy J7 Sky Pro is also a popular option and currently available with a bundle of 1200 talk, text and data minutes plus 1 Year of service on HSN for $99

Unlocked Phone Deals for Tracfone BYOP

Tracfone makes it easy to use almost an unlocked phone with their prepaid service through the 'Bring Your Own Phone' program. All you need is an unlocked phone and an Activation Kit.

We've found the BYOP Activation kit on Amazon for just $1 which is what you will need to get started. You can also get an activation kit from Tracfone or many other retail stores. See our Guide to Activating with Tracfone BYOP if you have any questions on this.

Here are some great unlocked phone options to use with Tracfone BYOP. These phones may be a little more expensive than some of Tracfone's devices, but they offer more in terms of performance, storage and features.

Moto G6
The newest phone in the Moto G lineup, the G6 has a 5.7" full HD screen, dual rear cameras, Android 8.0 Oreo, Octa core processor and 3 GB RAM/32 GB Storage. This phone offers a great balance between cost, performance and features.  It is available unlocked and compatible with GSM and CDMA networks.

See the Moto G6 on Amazon for $234 (Currently available for Prime Members only)

The Moto G6 Play is another great option, and is a little cheaper at $189 (Prime Members Only)

Moto X (4th Gen)
Featuring a 5.2" screen, octa core processor, 3 GB RAM, 32 GB storage and dual rear cameras, the Moto X 4th gen is available at $120 off the original price. It also has Android 8.0 Oreo, is water resistant and compatible with both CDMA and GSM networks.

See the Moto X 4th Gen on Amazon for $279 (Prime Exclusive)

That concludes our list of deals! Be sure to check back each month for new deals, or join us on Facebook where we share all the latest posts, news and deals.

If you have any questions or want to share a deal, leave a comment below!

Be sure to also visit our Tracfone Promo Code list for the latest promotional codes to get free airtime when adding minutes.

Take a look at our recent post on 8 Tips to take Better Cell Phone Pictures.

Thanks for visiting!

Updated for August 2018

August 2, 2018

Tracfone Promo Codes for August 2018

Tracfone Promo Codes - August 2018

Welcome to TracfoneReviewer where we share news, review and more about Tracfone

The end of summer is near and we have collected new codes to share for August 2018. There are promo codes for both regular airtime cards and smartphone only cards.

Each code is for use with a specific airtime card, but some codes, particularly for the regular airtime cards, may be used with airtime cards of greater value as well.

To use a code simply find a code for the airtime card you want to add, and then include the code at checkout in the 'promo code' box. Remember that some codes may be one time use.

If you find your airtime running out quickly, maybe check out our recent post on 7 Ways to Make Your Prepaid Minutes Last Longer which also includes some tips specifically for making data on smartphones last longer.

Don't miss out on what's new from Tracfone with our Latest List of Tracfone Cell Phones and we also recently updated our List of the Best Tracfone Smartphones (2018) to add a new phone or two.

These are the latest codes for August, for even more promo codes visit our main Tracfone Promo Code page.

List of Tracfone Promo Codes - August 2018

For use with regular airtime cards

60 Minute Card enter 12745 and get 60 bonus minutes

120 Minute Card add code 59643 to receive 30 free minutes

200 Minute Card use 51613 for 40 extra minutes

450 Minute Card enter code 31094 to get 50 bonus minutes

1 Year/400 Minute Card use 93133 for an extra 300 minutes

$15 off 1 Year/400 minute card with code 41687 (online only)

Smartphone Only Promo Codes for August 2018
No new smartphone codes at this time, we will update as soon as we can!

These are the latest codes, we hope you were able to find one that worked for you. Leave a comment below with your thoughts or questions.

Join us on Facebook for all the latest news, posts and community help. You can also send us a message with specific questions.

Take better cell phone pictures with our 8 Simple Tips for Better Smartphone Photos!

Lastly, get all the best deals in our monthly Deals, Discounts and Sales on Tracfone devices and more.

Thanks for visiting!

July 26, 2018

7 Tips to Make Your Prepaid Minutes Last Longer

Running out of minutes for your prepaid cell phone is no fun, so here are a few tips to help make those minutes last longer and to get the most for your money. Updated by TracfoneReviewer 7/25/2018

How to Manage Your Prepaid Minutes and Make them Last Longer

how to stop running out of minutes
7 Tips for Saving your Airtime
Use these practical tips to help control how fast your minutes escape from your cell phone. 

1. Keep Track of Your Airtime Balance

One of the best ways to make your airtime last longer is to just keep track of how much you are using. When you are checking it regularly you will be able to notice when you use more than expected or if something caused you to run out of minutes.

On non-smartphones it is very easy to see the airtime balance on the home screen but smartphones are a little more challenging to find.

Fortunately we have shared 4 Ways to Check Your Airtime Balance including several additional tips.

One of the easiest is to dial *777*1# which then gives you your current minutes balance. This doesn't work for all smartphones but is a convenient option if it works for you.

2. Always Use a Promo Code

When you add a new minutes card to your prepaid cell phone, always make sure you use a promo code to get free bonus minutes. 

There are promo codes for both regular airtime cards and Smartphone only cards, so be sure to use the right one.

Most promo codes give you 20-50 bonus minutes on regular airtime cards, and anywhere from 100 bonus talk minutes to 500 MB extra data which is a great deal.

Check out our full list of updated Tracfone Promo Codes and find one to use next time you add minutes to your phone.

For some minute cards, like the 400 minute and 1 year of service card, you can get as much as 250 bonus minutes! That is a huge boost to your minutes, so go check out those promo codes!

3. Buy the Smartphone Only Cards if you Don't Have Triple Minutes

Triple Minutes for Life was a feature many Tracfone devices came with for several years and it automatically triples your minutes when adding a new airtime card. Its a great deal and very useful but Tracfone recently Made Changes to Triple Minutes for Life and stopped including it on new phones.

So if you don't have Triple Minutes on your phone, buy the Smartphone Only airtime cards as they don't triple anyway, and are generally a better deal for most users.

For example, the 60 Minute Airtime Card is $20 and without triple minutes you get 60 talk/text/data plus 90 service days. The smartphone only card equivalent for $20 gives users 300 talk, 1000 text and 1000 MB Data plus 30 service days. Note that you do not get as many service days, but significantly more airtime.

4. Don't Answer Calls from Unknown Numbers

While you might be tempted to answer every call you get, this quickly uses up your minutes. 

So check the phone number before you answer, and if it is unfamiliar, it might be better to not answer and wait to see if they leave a voicemail. Just be sure that you have your voicemail set up.

It might just be a lot easier to listen to any message they leave, and then determine if it is worth your time.

If you can avoid two calls from telemarketers or other unknown numbers each week you could end up saving quite a lot of airtime in the long run.

5. Don't Give Your Number Out to Everyone (Except your Friends)

Avoid as much as possible giving your number out online. Try not to post it on any websites, or when you signup for accounts unless it is required. 

The more often you give your number out online, the more likely it is a telemarketer will find it, and try to call you.

Also be careful who you give your number out to. If you are checking out at a store and they ask you for your number, think twice before giving it. Offer your email instead.

We are not suggesting you stop giving your number out to friends and family, that would eliminate the whole reason you got the cell phone! 

Just be mindful of where you share your phone number as you could start getting more phone calls than you really want.

6. Use a Video Calling App to Make Calls to Friends and Family 

Making a call to friends or family? Don't use your prepaid minutes, instead use one of the many calling apps that are available for free.

Skype, FaceTime, Google Hangouts and Facebook Messenger all offer free video calling (or you can turn off the video) to anyone with a connected device.

You will need to make sure you are on a WiFi network otherwise it will use up your data.

7. Save Your Data with these Four Steps

For many of us, the mobile data seems to disappear the most easily. This is because there are a number of ways a smartphone might use mobile data without you knowing, or sometimes inadvertently.  So here are four ways to curb your mobile data use.

1. Track Your Data Use, Set Limits and See Which Apps use the Most
You can monitor your mobile data consumption on your phone and actually set warnings when you go over certain limits which can be very helpful.

It is also possible to see how much data each specific app is using on your phone, allowing you to know which apps are the worst offenders in making your data disappear

See how to view your data usage Here for Android, and Here for iPhone.

2. Turn Off Background Data for Data Draining Apps
Most apps will use background data to check for updates, send location information, or a variety of other things that can slowly deplete your mobile data.

Turning off background data helps keep apps from doing so unless they are connected to WiFi and you can also choose specific apps to turn off/on background data.

3. Use WiFi for Big Downloads and Uploads
This tip saves the most data by far - use a WiFi network when you have large files to upload or download. If you have pictures to upload to Facebook, or want to download music to your phone, use WiFi instead of your data and it will make your data last much longer.

Also avoid streaming videos or music unless you are connected to WiFi as these will quickly use up your data.

4. Turn Off All Data when you Don't Need it
Our final tip is to just turn off all Data usage on your phone during times when you don't need it. You can do this in the settings menu under Data or Cellular Data.

Be aware that you won't get notifications from apps and you won't be able to send or receive group messages or picture via text.

For more helpful information about mobile data visit our post on How Data Works with Tracfone.

That concludes or tips for making the most of your Tracfone airtime. We hope this information helps you save money! Leave a comment with any thoughts or questions.

For more money saving see our latest Deals, Discounts and Sales on Tracfone Devices.

And keep up with the new phones from Tracfone in our List of the Latest Tracfone Smartphones. Or you may be curious about the 5 Best Tracfone Smartphones in 2018.

Lastly, we just shared 8 Tips for Better Cell Phone Pictures to make the most of capturing memories on your smartphone.

Thanks for visiting!

July 18, 2018

8 Simple Tips to Take Better Cell Phone Pictures

How to Improve your Cell Phone Photography with 8 Easy Tips

Here at TracfoneReviewer we share news, reviews and promo codes! Take a look around if you're new!

camera phone photo tips
8 Camera Phone Tips
All cell phones include a camera which is very convenient for snapping photos of friends, family and daily life, but can be annoying when the photos don't turn out very well.

Cell phone cameras are improving, especially for high end smartphones, and more and more people are relying on them to record important events and memories.

But we have all probably experienced trying to capture a moment only to see the image turn out poorly. Well we are sharing our best tips to help you capture better photos with any cell phone camera.

Obviously more expensive smartphones tend to have much better quality cameras which makes taking a good photo easier, so if you really enjoy shooting with your cell phone, we suggest looking into phones like the iPhone SE, Moto G6, iPhone 8, and Samsung Galaxy S9

Camera Phone Photo Tips Outline:

1. Use the 3x3 Camera Grid
2. Clean your Lens!
3. Avoid using Flash (when possible)
4. Look for Good Lighting and Use It
5. Zoom with your Feet
6. Tap to Focus
7. Hold it Steady!
8. Edit your Photos

Budget phones are still capable of capturing good photos and these tips will help you do that!

8 Tips to Improve Your Cell Phone Photography

1. Use the 3x3 Camera Grid
how to take better photos with your cell phone
Rule of Thirds - Cell Phone Camera Tips
Just about every camera app should have an option in the settings to display a 3x3 grid over the screen. This is helpful for a number of reasons, particularly photography's 'Rule of Thirds' which says that the intersecting points of the 3x3 grid is where you should put the main subjects in your photo. Additionally the grid is helpful for keeping the horizon level.

See the image on the right and how the grid helps line up the islands in the photo and keep the horizon level.

2. Clean your Lens!
Many a photo has been ruined by a smudged or dirty lens and quick wipe before you go to take a shot can go a long way in avoiding one possible reason your photo didn't turn out as well as you were hoping.  The edge of a t-shirt or other soft cloth is great for this and don't forget to wipe the lens on the front of the phone for selfies.

3. Avoid using Flash (when possible)
Many phones now also have a flash which is helpful for lighting up night scenes. However, flash can also leave parts of the photo overexposed and nasty shadows. Try turning the flash off and shooting with the available light first, and use flash as a last resort. Your photos should look more natural and people in your images will appreciate not getting blinded.

4. Look for Good Lighting and Use It
Photography is all about light but you don't need to be a great photographer to understand light, simply look for ways to have the subject in your photo positioned so they make use of the light available. For example, if you are inside a room with a window, try positioning the subject so that the light from the window falls on their face and naturally brightens it. Try to avoid bright lights behind your subject as they will tend to cause your subject to be too dark.

Taking a moment to reposition your subject before shooting can go a long way towards creating a better image.

If you are taking pictures of a landscape, sunrise and sunset are the preferred times to shoot as the light is the most unique and softer than mid day.

5. Zoom with your Feet
Although cell phone cameras have zoom, don't use it (as much as possible). It is much better to move your feet and get closer rather than using the phone to zoom as the quality of the image will degrade significantly.

6. Tap to Focus
Most cameras allow you to tap/touch to focus on a specific subject in the photo and this is great for shooting any closeups. Additionally, this may help your camera expose more properly for the subject you are shooting.

7. Hold it Steady!
Keeping the camera steady goes a long way to getting a sharp image. Hold the phone with both hands when possible, and even try bringing your elbows in towards your body to add more stability. You can also try setting the phone on a table or railing to help stabilize further.

Another great tip is to set your camera's timer for two seconds to further avoid shaking the camera.

8. Edit your Photos - Lightroom Mobile
Going beyond an Instagram filter and actually editing your photo can make a noticeable difference and sometimes recover details in an over or under exposed image.

There are lots of free and paid apps for photo editing, but we have found the free LightRoom Mobile app is very robust while also fairly simple and gives users significant control over photo editing.

Bonus Tip! Try Third Party Camera Apps
Did you know you can download other camera apps to take over form the standard camera app that came with your phone? This can be really fun and helpful if you are looking for certain features or just want to try something new.

That's it for our cell phone photography tips, we hope these will help you shoot better images! Leave a comment below with any questions or your own tips!

Join us on Facebook with a community of over 3000 members where we share the latest news and reviews and are available to answer your questions.

Looking to upgrade your phone? See the best Tracfone Deals, Discounts and Sales on smartphones and unlocked devices or visit our Latest Tracfone Smartphone List (2018) for all the new phones available.

Thanks for visiting!