Pros: It's Cheap, and Gets Great Reception
Cons: Navigation can be haphazard, and it "Butt Calls" at will.
It's not that this is such a bad phone, it's just that it isn't a particularly good one either. It pretty much does most of what I ask a phone to do, and a little more. My only problem with it is it's failure to deliver on a few of the minor fronts. After all, today's smart phones can do things like take quality pictures, down load apps, and even provide for some seriously accurate GPS Tracking. I don't need a phone that can do all that, but I do have a few bones to pick with it as far as the "Amenities" are concerned.
Reception and Call Quality--5 Stars
I have never had a problem with Tracfone. Let's get that one out into the open. Seriously people. What is the main reason we buy cell phones in the first place? I don't know about you, but I bought mine to make and receive phone calls while I am on the go. My wife and friends like to text--but I find it annoying. They also like to take pictures, play video games, and all the other cool things smart phones can do. Sadly--my 8.5-10 cents a minute service gets much better reception than her $100 a month AT&T Service and i Phone get. In fact, I often have to lend her my cheap little TracFone so that she can make calls from our residence. --Can you believe that? So for the basics--this phone is a real gem.
Yes all the buttons are there, so you don't have to use the old antiquated form of texting, which was trying my patience. One of the main reasons I bought this phone was that my texting skills are questionable at best, and I thought a genuine "QWERTY" keyboard would help. Hey--it's not bad, unless of course you happen to have the same over-sized bass player hands and fingers I've got. I have trouble typing on a regular computer keyboard, much less the tiny little buttons on this thing. It's functional, and it works, but it is very tiny, and my personal choice is to not carry one of those little stencil devices.
The center button for main selection of options and highlighting is surronded by a ring to move the highlighted choices on the screen probably looked a lot better on paper than it performs in reality. Seriously--I can move the ring up and down, but it's reaction time is often delayed so that I often navigate right past the selections I thought I made. The "Unlock" and "Yes" buttons also suffer from delayed reaction times, so that you often end up relocking the system, or accidentally hitting the "Browser" button which begins sucking down minutes faster than you can calculate. This gets to be a major annoyance as it makes you go through 2 or 3 more functions to disengage the damned thing.
Overall Value--3 1/2 Stars
I may sound like I'm complaining to the point of calling this a 2 star phone, but once again, the price of the phone--$30, also included a camera (which is barely worth mentioning resolution wise) but at least it is functional. The phone also came with "double minutes for life", which really makes the purchase price more than worth it. As I said--the main reason I bought the phone was to get a nice affordable form of incoming and outgoing phone calls on the go. But as I said, the amenities are almost toy like in quality. I could see Disney marketing this thing as "The Mickey Phone" or dressing it up in Pink and calling it "The Tinkerbell Model." Last but not least--I need to mention that if you hate "Butt Calls" you are going to despise this phone. Even with "Lock" and "Unlock" modes, I have Butt called more than my fair share of bewildered relatives, or had the phone answer itself while I am driving. --It can be more than just a little a little unsettling to have voices coming out of your pocket when you are still waking up in the morning.