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Some extra details
on March 24, 2012
This is an excellent step-up from the flip-phones that those of us who rarely use a cell phone were stuck with if we wanted to pay low amounts for a cell phone and usage. There's also a similar Motorola model at Tracfone but it doesn't list under my zip code so I haven't compared the two phones.
I'll upgrade this report after I've become familiar with all the bells and whistles: for example, the specs call for a max. 8 GB micro SDHC card but supposedly the software will only handle 4 GB. The software has been upgraded (see "1" below) and I'm going to test the limits. Meanwhile, here are five key things you may not know about:
1) Software Version:
When you get your phone, make sure you have the improved software version (V10e as of this writing) and not the older, buggy one (V10d) that might be sitting on a seller's shelf for some months:
A) From the main screen press the square with 4 dots at the lower right.
B) On the next screen, press the "Settings" icon in the lower right.
C) On the next screen, press "Phone".
D) On the next screen, scroll down with your finger on the red bar to the very bottom, then press "Information".
E) On the next screen, press "Device Information".
F) At the very bottom, under "S/W Version" it should say "V10e" (or later). It must NOT say "V10d" - V10d is the buggy version.
2) Screen Size: The 2.8" (diagonally measured) screen on the LG-800G is 2 5/16" vertically and 1 3/4" horizontally, held in the standard "portrait" position. For comparison, the view screen on my 2"x2"x4" camcorder is a typical 2 1/8" x 1 1/2", only 79% as much screen as the LG-800G.
3) Needed accessories not included with the phone or Tracfone's Universal Accessories Kit:
A) Micro SDHC card to provide extra memory: the specs say 8 GB max, users say 4 GB max: I'll update this after some testing with the latest software version (V10e). It's needed if you want to store a lot of apps, vids of your kids playing music, soccer, presenting their science project, etc. A 4 GB card is only $4+ with free shipping on Amazon as I write this. The "internal memory" built into the phone is 20.4 MB (0.0204 GB) of which 18.8 MB is free when the phone arrives. That is fine for some pics, messages, a couple of apps, etc. - but not a lot more.
B) Cable for phone to computer USB connection ($2.34 with free shipping on Amazon as I write this): Since you can treat the phone's memory like a hard drive from the computer, you can use the internet service on a computer to download apps, etc. instead of using up cell phone minutes. You can also transfer photos, videos, etc. to and from the computer.
C) many recommend a screen protector: a thin transparent film that statically sticks to the screen. They're anywhere from $1-$6.
4) Comparison Shopping:
If you buy directly from Tracfone and pay the full price, you get an additional "Universal Accessory Kit." But there's not a lot of info as to what it contains so here it is:
It contains a car cigarette-lighter-receptacle charger (the AC charger comes with the phone itself), an earbud with mike for hands free use and adapters for any LG phone, and a clunky, cheap, but shirt pocket wearable pouch with a permanent belt loop attached to it -but whose weak closing strength I'd never trust on a belt loop: it does offer good protection of the display screen, though, in case something would rub against it or it fell our of a shirt pocket.
5) For Existing Tracfone Customers Transferring Phone No. & Minutes:
A) When you transfer phone number and minutes: your expiration date is transferred and 60 days added to it and your all your minutes, no matter if they come from the most recent minutes you bought or from rollovers, are transferred and 10 minutes added to them.
B) It may take an hour or more for the transfers to take place, so don't activate/deactivate the phones if you'll need your cell phone in the following couple of hours. They have a temporary number assignment workaround if you have to do it that way, but there's a charge. All that said, it only took about 10 minutes or so for my new phone to become activated after the old one was deactivated.
C) For those Tracfone customers who upgraded and say they didn't get their minutes transferred:
That INITIALLY happened to me: the phone number was transferred but not the minutes. A call to Tracfone several hours later required about 10 minutes time for them to verify I had had minutes left on my old (now inactive) Tracfone and transfer them. An excellent sales rep who corrected the problem for me said their system is buggy and sometimes cuts off the minutes when the phone number is transferred.