May 22, 2017

New to Tracfone? Start Here! - Tracfone Beginners Guide

Learn How to Get Started with Tracfone Prepaid Service

tracfone for beginners
Getting Started with Tracfone
Updated 5/22/2017

If you're new to Tracfone, or trying to learn more about how it works, this is a great place to begin.

We are going to go through the very basics of what Tracfone is, what they provide, and how to get your phone up and running!

We will also give a general overview of the prepaid minutes you need for calling and texting, and also the phones you can buy and use with Tracfone.

Let's get started!

What is Tracfone?

Tracfone is a wireless prepaid cell phone company. They provide both cell phone service, and phones to use with their service.

If you would like more general information on Tracfone, go check out our page, About Tracfone (and then come back).

What Does Tracfone Offer and How Do Minutes Work?

Tracfone offers prepaid cell phone service in the form of airtime cards, with values ranging from 30 minutes to 1500 minutes. Some options are only available online at the Tracfone website, but many prepaid minute cards, like the 60, 120, 200, 450 and 400/1 year cards are available from many different retailers, both in stores and online. (You can find cards at stores like Walmart, Target, Dollar General, Amazon, and eBay)

Unless otherwise marked, most of the airtime cards come with 90 days of service. So, for example, if you buy a 60 minute card (which usually costs $20), you get 60 minutes for calling and texting, and also 90 days of service time

If you use all the 60 minutes, you can't make any more calls or texts. And if you go beyond the 90 days without renewing, you also can't make any more calls or texts. So you don't want either to run out!

The nice thing is that minutes and service days roll over. So if you already have 100 minutes, and 10 service days, when you add a 60 minute card, you will end up with 160 minutes and 100 service days!

So its good to keep track of your minutes/service days.

Many Tracfone devices come with either Double Minutes for Life or Triple Minutes for Life. These are great bonuses that make it so every minute you add to your phone will be either doubled, or tripled. Look carefully at the descriptions for Tracfone devices to see which they include. Most newer Tracfone's come with Triple Minutes for Life, including many of the Android phones (except those using Android 6.0 or newer, and released after April 2017).

Tracfone has recently Changed their Triple Minutes for Life policy, and new phones released after April 2017 will not include that feature. Follow the link to learn more about these changes.

Tracfone service can be very low cost, as little as $10 a month. And there are prepaid plans that automatically add airtime and service days so you don't have to worry about it.

The Tracfone Family Value Plan is a great deal for getting minutes and service days automatically added to your phone each month with no hassle. Visit our Guide to the Tracfone Family Value Plan to learn more!

Tracfone also provides its own phones to use with its service. These include both smartphones and regular phones. They have a number of options, ranging from $10 flip phones, to $100 Android powered smartphones and even several different Apple iPhones. We will cover more details on the phones offered by Tracfone a little further below.

Airtime is deducted for sending or receiving calls, for sending or receiving texts, and also for surfing the web (when not connected to WiFi).

On Android smartphones, airtime is split into three pools, one for calling, texting and data. Learn more about how minutes work by reading our Guide to How Minutes Work with Tracfone Smartphones.

Now, let's move on to activating your Tracfone.

How to Setup Your First Tracfone

Setting up a new Tracfone devices is very easy, and can usually be done in a few minutes, with it taking a few hours to fully activate.

Each Tracfone device should come with a small red card that includes instructions, and the phones serial number which you will need to register the phone.

You can activate your phone by following the directions, and either calling Tracfone or going online to their website. You can choose to either activate your phone with a new number, or transfer your number from your old phone.

The process for activating phones with Tracfone is usually very easy, and doesn't take much time. But occasionally, and especially with BYOP phones or Android phones, you might run into problems that cause it to take longer. The key is to be persistent and patient.

Once your phone is activated, you will be able to manage your minutes on the home screen (except for the smartphones, which can't display that). You can also check your minutes by signing in to the Tracfone website and going to your account page.

Visit our Guide to Activating Smartphones and BYOP devices for more information on these newer phones.

Now that your phone is all set, you can add minutes to it, and start enjoying the freedom and flexibility of a no-contract phone.

Cell Phones Available with Tracfone

As we mentioned above, Tracfone sells their own branded devices for use on their cell phone network. They get these phones through partnerships with many major cell phone makers like LG, Samsung, Apple and others.

Tracfone cell phones generally cannot be used on other networks or unlocked (you can check if you're Tracfone can be Unlocked in our recent guide), but you can bring a variety of smartphones to use with the Tracfone 'Bring Your Own Phone' program (BYOP).

There are three general categories of Tracfone devices that we will explain:
  • Feature Phones (non-android)
  • Tracfone Smartphones
  • BYOP Phones
The Non-Android or Feature Phones are the cheapest, and usually include flip phones, some touchscreens, and other 'basic' phones which do calling and texting well, but might not have internet capabilities. These phones may have double or triple minutes included, and often have long battery life.

These phones have been around for a while, and are generally durable and get the job done. Some examples include the LG 530G and LG 306G.

Feature phones are best used as a backup phone, or for people who just want to call/text.

See these and many more phones on our Cell Phone Reviews page.

beginners guide to tracfone
Tracfone Samsung Galaxy Sky
Android Smartphones and Apple iPhones - Tracfone sells a variety of Android powered smartphones ranging form $20 to several hundred dollars for newer, better phones. Android devices have access to over a million apps and can be used for many things.

Tracfone also recently added several Apple iPhones including the iPhone 5S, 6, 6 Plus and iPhone SE. These devices use Apple iOS and have access to the Apple App Store.

Smartphones are great for daily use and Tracfone offers Smartphone-only airtime cards that are a great deal for most users (smartphones can also use the regular airtime cards).

Remember that airtime is split up into talk, text and data and all smartphones come with Triple Minutes for Life (except those running Android 7.0)

See some of the latest smartphones on our Cell Phone Reviews page. Also learn How to Add Texts to your Smartphone and How Data Works on Tracfone Smartphones for more in depth information.

'Bring Your Own Phone' or BYOP, is a program Tracfone offers that allows users to bring their own device to use with Tracfone service. In general, an unlocked phone is required, but some locked devices will also work. There are a wide variety of unlocked smartphones available that offer great performance at a reasonable cost. The Moto G5 Plus is a popular option.
tracfone beginner info
Moto G5 Plus

To activate a phone with the BYOP program you just need your device and a BYOP SIM kit. Learn more about what phones will work and the activation process on our BYOP page.

The BYOP program is great for users who want to get the most out of their phone or enjoy shopping for bargains on unlocked phones.

These are the three basic categories of phones available with Tracfone.

Tracfone Promo Codes

If you're new to Tracfone, you might not know about Tracfone Codes! Basically these are codes provided by Tracfone which will give you extra minutes for free whenever you add a new prepaid minutes card. There are certain codes that work for different Cards.

Visit our Tracfone Promo Codes page for all the codes, and more details.

Additional Tracfone Resources and Helpful Links

We want to share a few more additional resources for learning more about Tracfone, and getting the most from your device. So browse the following links and take advantage of the information.

For the latest deals and sales on Tracfone devices, head over to our Deals and Discounts category which features periodically updated blog posts that share the lowest prices on Tracfone devices and minutes.

If you have a new smartphone, two posts which are great resources are The Best Android Apps for Tracfone, and Tracfone Smartphone Cases and Covers.

Debating about buying a smartphone? Our list of 6 Major Differences Between Android Smartphones and Non-Android phones may help you with that decision!

Well we hope this information will help you out, and be sure to leave a comment if you have questions! Also share this along with a friend who could also use it!

And if you want to keep up with us and the latest news and info, follow us on Facebook.

Thanks for visiting!

May 18, 2017

LG Fiesta (L64VL/63BL)/Fiesta 2 Review - Tracfone Android

Tracfone LG Fiesta (L64VL/63BL) Review

Full details and specs on the LG Fiesta collected and shared by TracfoneReviewer.

tracfone lg fiesta review
LG Fiesta Review
The LG Fiesta was just released by Tracfone with a large 5.5" touchscreen, Android 7.0 and 16 GB memory. It is a big phone with big specs, but comes at a reasonable price.

Tracfone is continuing to add smartphones to their lineup that feature 16 GB internal memory, which is a must for many users. We have been expecting the Samsung Galaxy Sky Pro, which will have 16 GB memory and a 5.5" screen, but there is still no word on when that will be released.

Only the CDMA version (the L64VL) of the Fiesta is available right now, but we expect a GSM variant (the L63BL) to be released sometime soon.

NOTE: The Fiesta 2 is now available, which features the same specs as the Fiesta, except 2 GB RAM instead of 1.5 GB.

Let's have a look at the quick facts about the LG Fiesta

LG Fiesta Quick Facts:

The Good:
Android 7.0
Large 5.5" touchscreen
16 GB Internal Memory
13 MP camera

Not so Good:
Screen Resolution is just 1280x720
Does not come with triple minutes for life

There are a lot of promising specs listed for the LG Fiesta that we are very excited about. A 13 MP camera in a phone at this price range is very uncommon. And the fact that this phone runs the newest Anroid OS (at this time) is also quite good.

It's not all good, as you may have noticed. It appears that Tracfone is not offering the LG Fiesta with Triple Minutes for Life. If its true, it would be the first, and only, smartphone from Tracfone that doesn't have Triple Minutes for Life. We will go more in-depth on this further on.

Before we get into the details, lets look at the full features and specs on the Fiesta

LG Fiesta (L64VL/63BL) Features and Specs

Below are the features for the Fiesta, followed by the technical specifications
  • Android 7.0 Nougat
  • 4G LTE capability (L64VL version uses Verizon CDMA coverage, L63BL version uses ATT GSM coverage)
  • WiFi (only 2.4 Ghz)
  • GPS
  • Access to over 1 Million Apps from Google Play
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Alarm Clock
  • Accelerometer, proximity sensor
  • MP3 Player
  • Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting
LG Fiesta Technical Specs
  • Size: 3.07" x 6.09" x 0.33" (164g)
  • 5.5" IPS LCD Capacitive Touchscreen at 1280x720 Resolution (HD)
  • 1.4 Ghz Quad Core Processor
  • 1.5 GB RAM (Fiesta 2 comes with 2 GB RAM)
  • 16 GB Memory (about 10 GB usable, up to 2 TB external storage via MicroSD card slot
  • Battery: 4500 mAh non-removable with Talk Time 28hrs, Standby 25 days

One feature we haven't seen on any phones in this price range is the larger megapixel camera. The fiesta has a 13 MP rear camera which far exceeds most other Tracfone devices, including the 5 MP camera on the Galaxy Sky.

Not only does the Fiesta have a large camera and large screen, it also has a large battery which is desirable for consumers.

While the specs on the Fiesta look quite good, there are better phones offered by Tracfone, including the Samsung Galaxy S5, S6 and S7. Tracfone also offers several iPhone's, including the iPhone 6, 6 Plus and SE. But these phones all come at a higher (in some cases much higher) price. Have a look at our List of the Best Tracfone Smartphones for more information.

And now let's get to our review of the LG Fiesta with more detailed information about the main features and specs on this device.

Tracfone LG Fiesta Review

Screen Size
The most obvious feature on the Fiesta is the 5.5" touchscreen. This is a popular screen size and a number of smartphones are available at or below $200 with the same size screen. The Moto G4 is one example.

However, the Fiesta only has a screen resolution of 1280x720, while the Moto G4 has full HD 1920x1080. It is a noticeable difference, but LG had to find a corner to cut somewhere, and this appears to be it. For typical users, it won't make much of a difference, but videos and games won't look as good compared to devices with full HD screens.

Internal Specs - Memory, Processor and RAM
Overall the internal specs on the Fiesta are good, with 16 GB memory, 1.5 GB RAM and a 1.4 Ghz quad core processor, the fiesta shouldn't have a problem keeping up with most games and apps, but if you plan to load a lot of media onto the device, you should get a MicroSD card for it because the 10 GB of usable space fills up quickly (especially shooting HD video with the camera). Not that the Fiesta does not allow adoptable storage, and not all apps can be moved to a MicroSD card.

The LG Fiesta 2 comes with the same specs, but 2 GB RAM instead of 1.5 GB, which is a nice upgrade, but not enough of a difference for those who already have the Fiesta to go and purchase the Fiesta 2.

The Fiesta's camera is 13 MP for the rear camera and 5 MP on the front. There is an LED flash, auto-focus, face detection and HDR. Videos are recorded at 1080p 30fps full HD.

Quality is great in good lighting (as are most cameras), but noise starts to really affect the image quality in poor lighting conditions. Overall it is nice to have the extra resolution in the images for better detail.

A big phone usually comes with a big battery, but the Fiesta goes way beyond that with the 4500 mAh non-removable battery. By comparison, the Moto G4 has the same size screen, but only a 3000 mAh battery. The iPhone 6S Plus also has a 5.5" screen, but uses just a 2750 mAh battery.

The Fiesta is advertised to last, 'all weekend', and we will have to see with further testing if this holds true. In general it does appear to last throughout the day without a problem.

One surprise with the Fiesta is that despite the much larger battery, the phone is only slightly heavier than the Moto G4, and actually lighter than the iPhone 6S Plus.

Android Operating System
Android 7.0 Nougat comes on the LG Fiesta, which is the latest operating system available at this time. It comes with a number of performance, appearance, and security improvements including optimization for extending battery life.

With Android OS, access to over a million apps on Google Play is possible and there are apps for nearly anything you can think of, with most of them free. See our list of the Best Android Apps for some ideas.

No Triple Minutes for LIfe
This came as a surprise to us, and everyone else. It appears that Tracfone is not offering Triple Minutes for Life on the LG Fiesta, and any phones with Android 7.0 or newer.

At first take this seems like a big negative, but when considering things further, it might not be such a big deal. Triple Minutes only works on regular airtime cards (60, 120, 200, 450, etc.) and these cards generally aren't as good a deal as the smartphone only cards which Tracfone now offers (take a look at our Comparison of Tracfone Airtime Cards for details).

So for most users, buying the smartphone only cards is a better deal, and the lack of Triple Minutes on the LG Fiesta won't affect them. But if you do prefer to use regular airtime cards, you should probably avoid the LG Fiesta.

Up until this point, all smartphones, including those on Tracfone BYOP, came with Triple Minutes for Life. If you already have a phone with Triple Minutes for Life, nothing will change for you.

We are going to continue investigating any changes to Triple Minutes for Life on Tracfone smartphones and will be sharing what we learn in the near future.

LG Fiesta Overview and Where to Buy

Some of LG's budget smartphones have been known to have quality issues, such as the LG Treasure and Rebel. Time will tell if that is the case with the Fiesta, but at this time it is a very attractive phone for the price.

Comparison Chart (Click to View Full)
While some consumers may not want such a large phone, for the majority this will be a great option to upgrade to from older Tracfone smartphones. The large screen takes a little getting used to, but pretty soon it is hard to want a phone with anything less.

The Fiesta is fairly similar to the Samsung Galaxy Sky Pro and ZTE ZMAX Champ, but comes with the improved camera and newer Android OS. See the chart on the right for a breakdown of the key differences between these phones, which all feature a 5.5" touchscreen.

The Fiesta has a larger screen, better camera and more internal memory compared to the LG X Style. However, the X Style does offer a slimmer, more stylish appearance. And as for the Alcatel OneTouch Pixi Glory we recently reviewed, the Fiesta is better in just about every way, and available for a similar price.

Where to Buy the LG Fiesta

  • Amazon: Find the LG Fiesta on Amazon for $99 including 1000 talk minutes, 2000 texts and 2 GB Data.
  • HSN: The LG Fiesta is currently available with 1500 minutes from HSN for $119 (usually $139). This is a great value, as the airtime bundle is worth over $125..

The HSN bundle does include a cover for the phone, but if you are looking for more options, the LG x Power 2 is the same size, and there are a number of cases and more on Amazon

That concludes our review of the LG Fiesta (L64VL/63BL) from Tracfone. Take a look at the user manual for specific details on using the phone and leave a comment below with your thoughts or questions.

Take a quick look at our latest list of Tracfone Deals and Discounts which includes some good prices on unlocked smartphones

And learn about unlocking your Tracfone device (or if you qualify for a cash refund)

Keep up with our latest posts, news and other info by following us on Facebook!

Thanks for visiting!

May 10, 2017

Tracfone Deals and Sales - May 2017

List of Deals, Discounts and Sales on Tracfone Devices - May 2017

Here are the latest and greatest collection of discounted Tracfone devices and unlocked smartphones on sale. 

best price tracfone smartphone
Tracfone Deals and Discounts - May 2017
We know it can be a challenge to find the lowest price when you are shopping for a new phone, so we monitor and share the best deals from around the web here. 

We've included both Tracfone smartphones and unlocked devices that can be used with Tracfone BYOP. If you are not sure how bringing your own phone to Tracfone might work, visit our BYOP page or see our Guide to Activating a Tracfone Smartphone or BYOP Device.

One of the best ways to get a good deal when buying a Tracfone is to get it with an airtime bundle, which several websites offer. With a bundle, you usually get both airtime and a phone at a discounted price.

Let's take a look at some great deals on Tracfone Smartphones bundled with airtime.

Tracfone Smartphone Deals

Samsung Galaxy Sky - $109
One of the best affordable smartphones from Tracfone at this time, the Galaxy Sky comes with a 5" touchscreen, Android 6.0, 16GB memory and 1.5 GB RAM. It is a popular phone for good reason, and available from QVC bundled with 1350 total minutes plus 1 year of service, which is worth over $100. View our Review of the Galaxy Sky to learn more about the specs.

LG Premier - $89
The Premier features a 5.3" touchscreen, 8 GB memory, Android 5.1 and 1 GB RAM. The specs aren't quite as good as the Galaxy Sky, but it does have a larger screen and is capable of most everyday needs. It is available with 1350 minutes and 1 year of service (over $100 value) for just $89. Visit our Review of the LG Premier to see full specs and details.

Samsung Galaxy Grand Prime - $89
While the Galaxy Grand Prime has been available for about a year, it still delivers some great performance at the price, featuring a 5" screen, 8 GB memory and Android 5.0. This bundle comes with the Grand Prime and 1350 talk/text/data minutes plus 1 year of service for just $89.

Now for a few unlocked smartphones that are available at a great price, and can be brought to Tracfone BYOP.

Unlocked Smartphone Deals

Moto G4 Plus 16GB - $$189 or 64GB - $219
While the Moto G5 Plus was recently released, the G4 Plus still packs great value and now can be had at a discount. The G4 Plus features a 5.5" full HD touchscreen, Android 6.0 (with upgrade to 7.0 now available) an octa-core processor and 12MP camera. Visit our review of the Moto G4/ G4 Plus to learn more about what this phone offers.

Moto G4 Plus 16GB on Amazon - $189 ($60 off)

tracfone moto g5 plus
Moto G5 Plus 
Moto G5 Plus - $184 for Amazon Prime members
The best budget unlocked smartphone, the Moto G5 Plus has a powerful 2.0 Ghz octa-core processor, 5.2" screen Android 7.0 and 32 GB memory. Visit our Moto G5 Plus page for full specs. It is listed at $229, which is a reasonable price for the performance this phone offers, but Amazon Prime members can get a $45 gift card, reducing the price to $184.

Moto G5 Plus on Amazon - $229 (Amazon Prim members get $45 gift card with purchase)

Visit our list of the Best Unlocked phones to use with Tracfone BYOP if you are looking for more smartphone ideas. We also recently updated our list of the Best Tracfone Smartphones - 2017

If you have any questions, leave a comment below. And please let us know if you find any great deals on unlocked devices or Tracfone smartphones.

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May 2, 2017

Tracfone Promo Codes for May 2017

Tracfone Promo Codes - May 2017

New Promo Codes for May gathered by TracfoneReviewer. We share more than just codes, check out all our news, reviews and information!

Tracfone promo code
Tracfone Promo Code
Each month we collect the latest promotional codes from Tracfone and share them here for our readers to use and enjoy.

Promo codes can be used with the regular Tracfone airtime cards and each code is meant for a certain card amount, but can also be used on cards of greater value.

Tracfone recently changed their website which is making it hard to tell if a code will be accepted or not before adding it. If you're concerned about ensuring you get the bonus minutes, we recommend calling Tracfone and adding the airtime over the phone.

We work hard at providing just the newest codes that are valid and working for everyone, but sometimes promo codes don't work because they are limited to certain phones, geographical areas, or are one time use.

If you would like to view more promo codes, visit our full Tracfone Promo Code page.

These promo codes are npt supposed to work on Android smartphones, but sometimes they do so it is worth trying.

If you're considering a new phone, be sure to check out our list of the Top 5 Phones from Tracfone in 2017. You can also visit our Cell Phone Reviews page to see all our recent reviews.

Now, let's get to the codes!

Tracfone Promo Code List - May 2017

60 Minute Card use code 12745 for 60 bonus minutes

120 Minute Card enter 72218 to get 30 free minutes

200 Minute Card add code 34024 and receive 40 extra minutes

450 Minute Card enter code 97437 for 50 bonus airtime minutes

1 Year/400 Minute Card use 16806 to receive 300 additional minutes (only on the Tracfone website)

Get $15 off the 1 Year/400 minute card with code 42273 (only on the Tracfone website)

These are the latest codes and should all be valid through May 2017. Let us know in the comments below which code you used and how it worked.

We recently created a guide to Unlocking your Tracfone Cell Phone for those interested. Not all phones are able to be unlocked, but there is an easy way to check.

Join us on Facebook where we have a helpful community and also check out our YouTube channel.

And you might want to see our list of Tracfone Triple Minute Cell Phones if you don't already have one!

Thanks for visiting!