September 27, 2018

LG Rebel 4 (L212VL/211BL) Tracfone Review

Tracfone LG Rebel 4 Review (L212VL/211BL)

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LG Rebel 4 L212VL
Tracfone LG Rebel 4 Review
Another generation from the LG Rebel lineup has been released from Tracfone - and just six months since the previous version.

The LG Rebel 4 features a 5" touchscreen, quad-core processor, and Android 8.1 Oreo. It brings some modest upgrades to the previous version, the Rebel 3. At this time the Rebel 4 CDMA version is available but we do expect a GSM version (L211BL) in the near future.

The Rebel line of phones has been a popular budget smartphone from Tracfone with a smaller screen size compared to most of Tracfone's offerings. We were a little surprised to see the Rebel 4 released in the same year that the Rebel 3 became available to Tracfone users but it appears that Tracfone is speeding up the release of new phones for the fall season.

There is not a lot that is different between the Rebel 3 and Rebel 4, but we will cover that in detail further on. For now, let's look at the pro's and con's for the Rebel 4.

LG Rebel 4 Quick Facts

What we Like:
Android 8.1 Oreo
Both GSM and CDMA Versions expected

What we Don't Like:
Only 16GB Storage
Only 2 GB RAM

One of the issues that may arise for some users is the low storage and RAM on the Rebel 4. We hope Tracfone will release more devices with increased storage and additional RAM at a reasonable price but that is not the case with the Rebel 4.

It is very good to see the Rebel 4 features the latest Android OS (at this time) with 8.1 Oreo. That's a nice improvement over the previous model, and only the third phone from Tracfone with this Android version.

Now for the full list of features and specs.

Tracfone LG Rebel 4 (L212VL/211BL) Features and Specs

Below are the features, followed by the technical specs.
  • Android 8.1 Oreo
  • 4G LTE CDMA Coverage on Version towers (L212VL model)
  • 4G LTE GSM Coverage on AT&T towers (L211BL model)
  • WiFi 802.11b/g/n
  • S-GPS and A-GPS
  • Accelerometer
  • Bluetooth 4.2
  • Alarm Clock
  • FM Radio
  • Access to over 1 Million Apps on Google Play Store
  • Voicemail, Caller ID, Call Waiting
LG Rebel 4 Technical Specs
  • Size: 5.70'' x 2.83'' x 0.31'' and 4.9 OZ
  • Camera: 8MP Rear Camera (Flash, Autofocus, Burst shot) and 5MP Front Camera
  • Screen: 5" HD TFT 1280x720 display
  • Processor: 1.4 Ghz quad-core (Qualcomm Snapdragon 425)
  • Memory: 2 GB
  • Storage: 16 GB (Up to 32 GB additional storage via Micro SD card)
  • Battery: 2500 mAh (removable) with 16hrs talk time, 12 days standby
While the Rebel 3 and 4 share a number of similarities, the Rebel 4 does have several upgrades that does make it a faster and more desirable phone. We will cover more about these differences further below.

LG is a global electronics company operating in many different segments of the market including the mobile phone market. They are based in South Korea and are well known for offering a variety of different smartphones from high-end to budget that generally have good features and quality.

The LG Rebel 4 is by far one of their most budget friendly options, with many more options available with more performance at a higher cost. The LG V30, for example, has 64 GB internal memory, a larger screen and dual rear cameras, but retails for $499.

LG Rebel 4 Review (L212VL/211BL)

The screen on the LG Rebel 4 is a 5" TFT (IPS) panel with HD resolution (1280x720). Clarity and color are both good for a phone in this price range and the DPI is just under 300 which is also good.

There are not very many new smartphones with a screen this small, as most devices now feature 5.5-6" touchscreen displays. However, not everyone wants such a large device so the Rebel 4 fits the size requirements for some users very nicely. For a slightly larger screen, the LG Premier Pro is an option.

Internal Specs - Processor, RAM and Memory
The Quad-Core 1,4 Ghz Qualcomm Snapdragon 425 in the Rebel 4 is a popular processor for budget friendly smartphones as it provides a good balance between power, performance and long battery life. It is not built to run the most demanding games, but it does a good job on everyday activities like social media apps and games.

lg rebel 4 l212vl review
Tracfone LG Rebel 4

Along with the processor the Rebel 4 has 2 GB RAM and 16 GB internal storage. Most Tracfone devices released over the last year or two have featured this and these days it just really isn't enough, especially the internals storage, to keep up with the needs of most users. We really would like to see Tracfone release a phone along these lines but with closer to 32 GB storage.

For those looking for more internal storage, consider getting an unlocked device like the Moto G6 and bring it to the BYOP program.

While the camera specs on the Rebel 4 are similar to the Rebel 3, there are some improvements and additional features. The rear 8MP camera has flash, autofocus and burst shot while the front 5MP camera has selfie light, gesture shot and more.

Take a look at our recent Guide to Taking Better Photos on your Phone.

With a relatively small 2500 mAh battery the Rebel 4 can't keep up with phones like the Moto E5 as far as battery life, but it will generally last through a full day with low to moderate usage thanks to the smaller screen and efficient processor. The battery is removable, which is nice to see.

Android OS
Android 8.1 Oreo brings a number of graphical changes and performance improvements over previous versions. It is used by most Android phones at this time with the newer, Android 9 Pie, currently in the works.

Tracfone doesn't update the OS on their smartphones, so it is always a good idea to buy a phone with the latest Android version when possible to avoid possible security issues.

Triple Minutes
The Rebel 4 does not include Triple Minutes for Life because Tracfone stopped including this with newer phones in 2017. Learn more in our post, Tracfone Ends Triple Minutes for Life.

The Rebel 4 is a budget friendly smartphone with a smaller screen compared to most phones and good performance and specs to keep up with most daily activities. It doesn't really have and features that 'wow' but rather is a solid smartphone like the previous versions.

At $99, it is hard to recommend it over the recently released Moto E5 which shares a number of the same specs (like Processor, RAM, Memory) but has a larger, 5.7" screen, larger battery and is also $99. But for users who don't like such a large screen, this may be a good option.

LG Rebel 3 VS LG Rebel 4

How does the Rebel 4 compare to the Rebel 3 it replaces and is it worth upgrading? Let's take a look.

Both phones have a quad-core processor but the Rebel 4 has a newer and slightly faster version. They share the same amount of RAM, internal memory and screen size, but the Rebel 4 has more resolution for better clarity.

The Rebel 4 see's several other small improvements including newer Android OS, slightly higher Mega Pixel count on the rear camera, and newer Bluetooth connectivity.

We expect to see some deals available in the near future for the Rebel 4 but until then wouldn't really recommend upgrading to it if you already have the Rebel 3 as it would be a modest upgrade.

Where to Buy the LG Rebel 4

The LG Rebel 4 (CDMA) is available from several online retailers including the Tracfone website. We expect to see a GSM version available on the Tracfone website as well.

QVC has the LG Rebel 4 with airtime bundle (1500 minutes) for $99

We also found the Rebel 4 on Amazon.

 That concludes our review of the Rebel 4. We will update with additional retail locations as we find them.

For more information on the Rebel 4, view the User Manual.

If you have any thoughts or questions, leave them in the comments below.

Don't miss out on our Guide to Making your Airtime Last Longer with special tips included for using less data on your smartphone.

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And for more on new phones check out our Latest List of Tracfone Smartphones.

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Anonymous said...

I bought the Rebel 3 from hsn on July 4 when it was on sale for $49.95. I agree that its
not worth an extra $50 or more for the Rebel 4 when the upgrades are very modest, unless
you want the GSM version which is not available with the Rebel 3. I like the size of this phone because it fits comfortably in my pocket. I will keep the Rebel 3 until TF
offers a 32GB phone in this price range.

bookzfan said...

Thanks for the reviews! I think I'll wait for the LG Stylo 4 to become available. The 13 MP camera in the Stylo 4 is much improved over the Stylo 3. There's a good demo for comparison on YouTube.

Anonymous said...

I have a rebel 3 gsm,got it at Walmart

Unknown said...

I was in chat with Tracfone today and was assured by 2 people that if I buy the Rebel 4 Tracfone and activate it with a Tracfone I have that has Triple Minutes For Life (TMFL) that the TMFL will also transfer to the new Rebel 4 Tracfone. From Chat transcript:
You : You are saying that if I have a tracfone that already has triple minutes for life, and I transfer that number to a new phone to activate it, then the NEW phone will have triple minutes service for life?

Noami : That is correct!
.... and "
You : I understand that if I buy a Rebel 4, and activate it with a Tracfone that has triple minutes for life feature, that that feature will also transfer over to the new phone. Is that right?

Pepi : Yes, that is correct.

Pepi : The triple minutes can be transferred to the new phone.

So apparently they now accept older TMFL phone transfer for activation, which would make the new Rebel4 a TMFL phone as well.

Kathleen C said...

Im not sure where to ask my question about transferring from a GSM phone to a CDMA. (I'm a novice when it comes to smart phones). I'm considering upgrading to the LG Premier Pro or the Samsung Galaxy J7, both on QVC. My current phone is the LG Sunset which uses AT & T. So I would be changing from GSM (ATT) to CDMA (Verizon). Can I do that with Tracfone? Does anyone know if Tracfone will handle that carrier transfer smoothly? I'm already concerned about how well the transfer will go. I mostly text (with hangouts) but need to trust that a phone will be easy to receive calls for medical reasons; my current phone may not be trustworthy (and Hangouts stopped working). This site is a great source of information--without it I would never have tried tracfone, and I've been satisfied for 2 years. Thanks for reading this long post!

Unknown said...

Bought a Rebel 4 from Tracfone on Oct 9th and activated it with my old Rebel Tracfone a LG L44VL. After activation I added a 60 minute card to it and it gave me 180 minutes, so still triple minutes for like, even though it's a brand new model.

Catherine A. McClarey said...

Between the LG Rebel 4 ($50 at Target & Shopko for Black Friday) and the Samsung Galaxy J3 Orbit ($65 at Shopko), which would be better as a first smartphone for my son, who used a TracFone feature phone all through law school?

Anonymous said...

Some things to note that should be in the review:
-Wifi is 2.4 GHz only
-Power on/off/wake button is on the back under the flash, may take getting use to.
-Would recommend turning off Knock On feature as you may accidentally turn it on and the default screen timeout is always on.

Otherwise, fantastic fast phone with good enough memory and storage.

Unknown said...

Why do some rebel 4 models go by Lm2212vl instead of L2212vl

Anonymous said...

I have a Rebel 4 phone. I always go to the Software Update section and update the software etc. So I am not sure why I get service messages from Tracfone saying "your phone requires one or more software updates. You will receive notifications on your phone. Please click install to update it's safe and secure". Does anyone know what this means? I am so sick of this. I have called tracfone before, they act as if they have never seen this problem before. I can't send messages anymore right now. I got this message several days back. Today I am trying to send a message, and it won't go although I have tons of minutes, data and emails. If anyone can help, I will truly appreciate it please. Tracfone is closed for the day, I also don't expect they will be able to help.

Uncle Fester said...

Reply to Anonymous of March 2: I just bought a Rebel 4 (Best Buy, $40) and after I transferred my service to it, I also got the text message you mentioned. It came from 24719 and it said "ServiceMsg: Your phone requires one or more software updates. You will receive notifications on your phone. Please click 'Install' to update. It's safe and secure." A download started automatically, followed by a prompt to install an Android System Update. It installed in two parts with a reboot in between, then a message "Update Complete".

After that was complete, my Settings - System - Update Center (Check for app and software updates provided by LG Electronics) - Software Update - Update History says that "Last Update" is today's date. I was surprised to see this because I don't think my previous Tracfone (LG Ultimate 2) ever got any system updates.

Then I pressed "Check for updates (Connect to server)" and it said another update of 99.62 MB was needed. Same process to download and install it. Press "Check for updates" again, another update of 113 MB. Then "Check for updates" finally said "No update available." So that's it for now.

I hope others will find this useful. It seems normal.

Unknown said...


Anonymous said...

In your July 2019 Tracfone Deals listing you show the LG Rebel 4 @ Amazon for $49. But for $10 more ($59) which an option to choose on the same page adds the $40 airtime bundle, which is 1000 mins, 2000 texts, 2GB of data and 60 days of service.

Pat said...

I have the Rebel 4 and am constantly receiving text messages about news items and/or ads but messages from friends do not ping on my phone nor do they show up on the screen with a number indicating I have a text message.

Also, a friend called and it went straight to voicemail even though it never rang on my end, however she did hear it ringing on her end.

Unknown said...

I need know how to fix the webview app

Anonymous said...

Does this phone have notification reminders for missed text messages, calls, or voicemails that you can set to go off say every 3 minutes? if so, how do you turn them on.

Unknown said...

Not into tech stuff, but wanted an up grade from my not so smart LG phone. Also wanted AT&T service the Rebel 3 has it. So far works great and once I figure it all out I am sure it will be great. Got it directly from trac Phone for $19.95, go ahead beat that !

Anonymous said...

Received my Rebel 4 from HSN recently. The Google assistant seems to have trouble understanding me. This was not a problem with my previous 2 LG and 1 Samsung Tracfones. This was the first phone where the Google assistant had a setup where it asked me to say "OK Google" and "Hey Google" twice so it would learn my voice...yet it performs worse than previous phones in understanding me asking "what time is it" as my standard test. Also, going to the camera, there is no obvious way to take icon for videos at the bottom of the display. I have to push the "stop" red dot and then it can start a video. When it finishes a picture or video it seems to ask where to save it, Gallery or Photo, but it is confusing about how to get it to display pictures or play the video. This was not the case with previous phones. Confusing. So far, I do not like this phone.

Unknown said...

A small change, but could be significant for some is the location of the power button. On the Rebel 3 it was on the side and very easy to press when you didn't want it. The Rebel 4 has a small recessed button under the flash, which is harder to press inadvertantly (good) but hard to find sometimes when you want it (bad). On balance I like it better than the Rebel 3 button. I don't like the knock on feature either as it seems to turn on when I don't want it to. With modest battery you don't want it to turn on inadevertantly.

One thing Idon't like is the over sensitive google assistant. Very often when I'm listening to audio (a book or music or FM radio) it seems to think I'm saying "OK Google" and tries to trigger Google assistant...which stops the audio for the book, music, etc. This is pretty common use, you would think they would have tested this..not sure what it is doing, if microphone is picking up something from headphone or ? to trigger google assistant when it isn't needed. Almost as bad as windows cortina coming up too often. Other than that, I like the phone, but I'm not a demanding cell phone user, much prefer a PC to work on (either haven't learned how or maybe I find cut and paste masochistic on a phone...also no delete function, terrible editing on a phone. Guess I do too much typing and not enough voice recognition...but it doesn't seem to work too well for me..maybe my accent?

johnd2000 said...

I have this phone. When a call is in progress, the screen that has the red button to end the call quickly replaced by some other screen. It's like I'm touching something to bring up another app.I don't know what I'm touching. I was trying to edit the contact list. I can't select a contact to edit without the phone initiating an unwanted call. Then I can't end the call cus the screen that allows it gets replaced or times out. I can bring up other apps, I cant get the call screen back. It's 3am an unwanted call is dialing and I'm frantically pressing buttons and unable to stop the call. Even the power button won't end it. When I'm making a real call it is usually ended when the other person ends it.

Donald Huschle said...

I have never had a Smart phone but when traveling international I ran into the problem that I couldn't access my bank or brokerage accounts without them sending me an authorization code to my cellphone or home phone. Since Tracphones do not work outside the US I could not get the code. The only alternative was their apps which necessitated me getting a Smartphone. I called Tracphone and asked about Smartphones and said I wanted one that could be unlocked and that would accept chips from other carriers in other parts of the world. They recommended the LG Rebel. I waited the required year to have my phone unlocked through Tracphone. I am now in Mexico and wanted to us the Telcel chip. I was told my phone was indeed not unlocked, could not be unlocked and wouldn'twork outside the US since it was CDMA not GSM. I was told by Tracfone the Rebel was GSN. Further research showed this:Tracfone LG Rebel 4 (L212VL/211BL) Features and Specs
Below are the features, followed by the technical specs.
Android 8.1 Oreo
4G LTE CDMA Coverage on Version towers (L212VL model)
4G LTE GSM Coverage on AT&T towers (L211BL model)

I've now confirmed mine is the L212VL and that the Mexicans who told me this were correct. I have now bought a phone here which is GSM and will work with chips from around the world.

If you plan to travel be very careful which phone to get, do your own research, do not rely on the Tracfone rep to steer you right. Hope this keeps someone from making the same mistake I did.

Unknown said...

I have a Rebel 4 that will not connect using mobile data since activation. Have been with TracFone customer service for 2 lengthy sessions, trying updates, network, factory, and master resets to no avail. They claim to see no network issue, but offer no reason for mobile data to not connect. I have wifi, phone, and text. Could it be a bad sim card?? TracFone customer service is no help.

Unknown said...

Just got my new tracfone Lg rebel 4 lte and try to connect it to bluetooth with no luck (no device found) what is wrong with the phone