on March 12, 2013
If you are wanting a REAL smartphone phone to connect to the internet, surf the web, check e-mails etc. this phone is not for you. If you are wanting a phone that is WAY better than the flip phone you previously had through Tracfone (plus triple minutes for life!) than it is well worth the $45.00. I've been a tracfone guy for 10 years. I have a land line, I have a computer at work & home and a laptop I can travel with. I don't talk on the phone or text that much (200 minutes a month if I'm lucky). I just couldn't justify a REAL smart phone like an Iphone or droid and a $50+ a month bill when i'm paying less than $15 now. I mainly got this phone because frankly I was embarrased to be seen talking on my flip phone and texting was a joke without a keyboard. I HAVE connected to the internet but you have to jump through so many hoops it really isn't worth it and that's with the Wi Fi. I wouldn't even waste my minutes trying to get on the internet with 3G. I loaded my Mp3's on it, can take pictures and video and it LOOKS like everybody elses smartphone. It doesn't have some features that I would have liked like voice activated dialing and some other things. The real thing I don't like is the fact that when a call comes in it becomes "unlocked", you don't have to finger slide it to unlock it like my wife's smartphone so it is easy to accidently either answer it without wanting to or reject call just by reaching into your pocket to grab it. I could have switched to Virgin and paid $35.00 a month and $400 for an Iphone but for my line of work where I am in the office most of the time and next to my computer it really doesn't make sense at this time, maybe someday, but for now I'm happy with my $45.00 aquisition.
on November 25, 2012
I was able to get this phone for $19.99 on a Thursday before Black Friday special. WOW!! I have owned three previous Tracfones. I started with the candy-bar Nokia 2600 ($30 @ Office Depot) which got dunked in a lake. I moved to a candy-bar Motorola W175g ($6 @ Walmart) which fell in a toilet. Then I had a LG-420g flip-phone ($15 @ Walmart). All of these phones have served the purpose well - inexpensive, low call volume, pay-as-you-go, mobile communication. My wife and I both had double minutes for the life of our phones and we buy the 400 minutes/1 year plans (=800 minutes/1 year with doubling) to minimize per minute costs. I don't need games, apps, cameras, music player, multimedia capabilities etc. And we have reached the point where our land-line is just about to get the boot because of how pleased we are with Tracfones. Don't get me wrong, Android phones and iphones are really outstandingly cool. But I refuse to pay those rates because I don't have a compelling reason to have a smartphone. I am not addicted to texting friends, facebook, electronic books, multimedia consumption, etc. However, I discovered the ability to check my email on the LG-420g was quite convenient. I am a person who can get along without a smartphone but I really appreciate good user interface and user friendliness. So, when I saw that I could get triple minutes on the LG-840g I did some digging. Improved touchscreen interface, Wi-Fi, 3G, the possibility of replacing the 2GB microSD card with a larger one if you do want to store music and photos, AND triple minutes - SOLD.
Now that I have the phone I really like it. Let's remember it is a Tracfone. It is not a smartphone. The touchscreen works very well (with occasional sensitivity behaviors), the screen landscape is like all out-of-doors compared to any of my previous phones. Web pages are much easier to look at than on a Blackberry I once had due to the larger size of the screen on this LG 840g. There is a degree of sophistication with the feedback sounds and touchscreen behavior although there are minor navigation inconsistencies from screen to screen. There is a greater user friendliness and navigation flexibility than with my previous phones. It is far more intuitive. This is a very clean phone. There are just five buttons on the phone - On/Off, Louder/Softer, SEND, RETURN, END. Four of the buttons are flush with the surface and the Louder/Softer button is subtly sculpted to extend just a bit from the side. But, the dependence on buttons typical of the candy-bar and flip phones is nearly eliminated because 99.9% of all the navigation is done on the touchscreen rather than those cryptic menus and multi-function buttons on the candy-bar phones and flip phones.
I have successfully used the Wi-Fi with the wireless router in my home. The phone takes you through the process. You just provide the access key. I did use the pay-by-using-up-minutes browser to check the web for prices on one purchase in the hardware store (no scan the barcode - use an app to compare prices opportunity with this phone) which was convenient but not something you don't want to make a habit.
If you are satisfied with the Tracfone concept and don't have business or other demands that dictate the use of a smartphone, then I personally would take a good look at this phone.
Here's a link to download the manual - [...] (Of course like most manuals you don't get the complete picture.)
Update 5-29-2013 I just purchased a Nissan Cube and this phone works with the Bluetooth hands free system on the car!!
on December 6, 2012
I have had several LG Tracfones in the past and they were always quality products. The LG840g is no exception. I got mine to replace a LG500g that I had for over a year. After one week, here are my impressions.
The phone itself is about the size of an Ipod Touch, and similar in shape and appearance. It looks expensive. The "wake" button is recessed which makes it difficult to hit accidentally, and the volume buttons are on the side where they would be on an Ipod. The buttons on the front are capacitive touch, like the screen.
It is not a smart phone and runs a java based proprietary operating system which allows the installation of .jar apps.
Battery life depends on how you use it. I left the WiFi running and the battery drained to one bar in 24 hours. It didn't shut down, but it was definitely low. Only using the WiFi occasionally, the battery is still on full bars after 3 days. I haven't run the phone all the way down yet, but the advertised standby is over 10 days.
The interface is easy to use, and the touch-screen is capacitive, which makes it easy to use. It feels a lot like an Ipod/Iphone. I don't like the pale blue backgrounds for the menus, but there's no way I know of to change it.
It wouldn't connect to my home WiFi, a Belkin router, unless I set a static IP address. If you're having problems connecting, choose "Edit Network" and under IP/DNS Setting, choose "Static". You will then have to configure the settings specific to your router using your keen sense of Google Fu.
One problem is the keyboard. You only get a QWERTY in certain situations, such as entering web addresses, texting, etc. If you go to a website that has input text boxes, such as webmail, you'll be sorely disappointed. One solutiom is to download the free Opera browser that comes with its own keyboard, which always lets you enter text with QWERTY. It's a little sluggish, but usable. It beats the default browser by far.
When you do download apps for this, you'll notice that third party apps will display a navigation keyboard at the bottom. If you use a JAD file to install, open it in Notepad and insert the following at the end:
This will kill the navigation keyboard, which is unnecessary with a touch screen and just takes extra space anyway.
Doing this, I was able to run Opera Mini, Google Maps, UC Browser, and eBuddy in full screen mode. Also, with this phone being similar to the LG T375 Cookie Smart, some apps made for it will run on the LG 840G. Again, using your Google Fu will help you find apps. Download them to the SD card in your phone, find them in the menus and tap on them to run.
Video conversion is easy with Mobile Media Converter, a free video converter from Miksoft that runs on Mac, Linux, or Windows.
Install it and drag and drop your video(s) into the window. From the "Conversion To:" menu, choose "Iphone/Ipod with Subs" and hit the button marked "Advanced" .
The "More Configuration" menu will come up. On both "Audio Bitrate" and "Video Bitrate", the lower the number, the less quality, but smaller the file. Higher numbers will be better quality but take up more space. Video FPS (frames per second) should be set to your preferred quality...a smaller number is more "jittery" but a smaller file, and a larger number is smoother but takes more space. If you're encoding a 4:3 (square) video, make sure "Video Size" is checked and enter "320:240" in the space beside it. If you're encoding a 16:9 (rectangular) video, make sure "Video Size" is checked and enter "320:200" in the space beside it. Audio Frequency: higher is better quality and larger file, lower is lesser quality and smaller file. If you're not using headphones, you can also choose to only have one mono channel instead of a stereo channel, which will also save space.
This phone charges differently for data than other TracFones I've had previously. The old ones used to charge for time, regardless of data transfer. Meaning, 1 minute of web brwosing was .5 units. This made it dangerous to leave the browser on for long periods of time! Then new one seems to charge for transfer, but I can't figure out the ratio exactly. Regardless, I can load a page and actually have time to READ it. The pages I visit are mostly text, so this works out better for me. There are differing theories on what the actual cost per KB are, and TracFone's website is no help. You'll have to blow a few minutes and do experimentation to figure out what your frequently visited sites cost to browse.
The email program is simple, but works slickly enough with Gmail. I haven't tried it with another provider.
YouTube works only in the default browser, and even then, it is scaled down to a size not much bigger than a postage stamp. This wouldn't be so bad if they allowed you to scale the video up to a reasonable size, but they do not, so you're forced t watch a 1.5"x1" video in the middle of a much larger black screen.
It also has a Social Networking Service app that allows you to access your Twitter, Facebook and Myspace accounts.
All in all, the LG840G is a nice, solid phone, and leaps and bounds better than TracFones of the past. I will be updating this review later, but as for now, I can recommend the LG840g, especially if you handy and don't mind tinkering a little to get added functionality.
UPDATE 5/13/13: I added some pictures of what this phone can do. Note that some of the features, like Opera and Google Maps, must be downloaded and installed by the user, and may require the modification to run in full screen as shown in the pictures.
As far as day-to-day usage goes, there are quirks, but it is still pretty darn good.
Sometimes, when using Opera, the connection to the browser drops, even while the phone itself is still connected to the internet. The solution is to stop the browser and re-start it, something of a hassle. On occasion, the phone itself crashes and restarts, but this is rare - once every couple of months or so.
Even so, Opera is worth the trouble of installation. With Opera Turbo running, it compresses data and makes it possible to browse occasionally without burning through too many minutes. I can usually browse a few sites and kill 5 minutes here and there for 2-3 units. It also can tell you how much data transfer (and therefore, money) it is saving you. It also speeds thing up significantly.
Call quality is good, but reception is not what it was on my LG 500G. I can't talk in some places that I used to be able to, like when camping. For around town, though, reception is adequate. And, in those places, I can get 3G, which makes surfing much more enjoyable.
Wifi kills the battery pretty quickly, like 24 hours or so. It is easy to forget and leave it on, which could drain your battery in an emergency situation. With the wifi off, the phone will go for days at a time between charges.
After living with it for five months, I can recommend this phone to those looking for a good deal on a prepaid phone, but want something that doesn't look like your grandparents would use it, or something from 2003. It is great for talk, text, and occasional web browsing, especially with the Opera upgrade. If you have any other Tracfone and upgrade to the 840G, you won't be disappointed.
on October 21, 2012
This is supposedly the TracFone successor to the very popular LG 800G TracFone. So if you are familiar with the LG 800G, then perhaps the best way to think of this phone is as the WiFi/3G/plus version of the LG 800G. It is already available in some WalMart stores, and now on Amazon. Check out the Turk Forum for actual pictures of the bubble pack.
It is NOT a smart phone, and doesn't run Android. But if it is anything like the LG 800G (which is one damn fine feature phone), it will be a runaway hit with the otherwise minimal phone use crowd that TracFone attracts.
What it has (that the venerable LG 800G it replaces does not) is WiFi and 2G/3G data. And it has all the well-executed built-in widgets (Music Player, Audio, Picture Viewer, Video Recorder, Voice Recorder, Calendar, Notepad, Tasks, Stopwatch, Calculator, Tip Calculator, Unit Converter) that came with the LG 800G, incuding a 2 MP camera. In addition, the LG 840G has an external microSDHC card capacity up to 32GB, versus 4 GB for the LG 800G.
Sorry - no GPS. But you might be able to hook it to an external GPS if (and that is a big IF) you can find a Java app to process the GPS output. I don't offhand know of such a Java app. But then again, I was a long time in realizing their was a java app for facebook.
The touchscreen on the LG 840G is larger (3.0") than the LG 800G (2.8" -- 320x240 pixels). No info yet on the LG 840G screen resolution.
There is a 180 page user guide (90 pages in English, 90 pages in Spanish), which is quite an improvement on the next-to-nothing user manual for the LG 800G.
The LG 840G comes with triple minutes for life.
It is too early to tell if all the LG 800G fanatics will migrate to the LG 840G. But based on the high popularity of the LG 800G, I betting the LG 840G will be a hot seller. If you are a minimal cell phone user, better get your TracFone version before they are gone. If you are a moderate to heavy cell phone user, you might do better with the Net10 or Straight Talk versions.
EDIT (26 Dec 2013):
The Lg 840G continues to be THE most popular feature phone. It is the most popular cellphone purchased on Home Shopping network (HSM.com), and the most viewed and commented on Turk Forum. Its staying power comes from its relatively low price, triple minutes for life, sensitive touchscreen, WiFi, Bluethooth, and 2/3G data capability, as well as the many well-executed built in features included.
on January 7, 2013
The new Tracfone LG 840G touchscreen is by far the best "poor man's" phone out there. I have no major complaints with this phone since I bought it for $30 just before Black Friday, 2012.
Like all of my previous tracfones, the LG 840G has awesome coverage and reception. The Wi-Fi connection works very well and it enables users to connect to the internet, check email, etc without getting charged valuable minutes by connecting with 3G. However, I have connected with 3G on occasion and it seems to work very well. I've only connected for brief periods of time (all under 5 minutes) and it doesn't seem to deduct huge amounts of pre-paid time -- but I'd never trust myself to surf the web with 3G. However, since it has Wi-Fi, and Wi-Fi is available pretty much everywhere now days, there is no worry.
The Touchscreen works pretty much flawlessly. It does take some getting used to, but it works very well. The camera and video are -- well, they're not great, but they are okay.
The phone also has MP3 capabilities which I love, and comes with a micro SD card, which is expandable up to -- I believe 32GB.
Now, you'll probably see a lot of people complaining that the phone isn't as good as an I-Phone, or a full blown android smartphone -- DUH! It's not. But for what this phone is, it is very good. For those of us who can't afford $50 a month for a full fledged Android service, (or those who just think $50 a month for a cell phone is a ridiculous amount of money) this is the phone to have. Can I shoot HD video, and upload 6MP pics to facebook in 10 seconds? NO! But that is not what this phone is meant to do.
It is basically an "almost" smartphone and can get people a touchscreen, easy to use, multi-function phone without the huge costs and commitments associated with I-Phones or full blown Android phones.
There are a couple of other better options out there in the pre-paid markets, that are actual Android phones -- but again, the monthly costs go up. If you're on a tight budget, but want something that has a lot of the bells and whistles of higher end phones, then this model of worth checking out. The bells and whistles on this one aren't clad in gold and silver, but they do work and are a lot of fun to use.
on November 28, 2012
I just got my new LG-840 Tracfone. It took me well under ten minutes to activate the new toy. I used the toll-free number on the SERIAL NUMBER card (the RED one) that was included to accomplish the following needed steps:
- Transfer the phone number from the LG-800 to the new LG-840
- Transfer the days-of-service remaining to the new LG-840
- Transfer the minutes remaining to the new LG-840
- Add the "1200 minutes" of time and the one-year of service to the new LG-840 (This number is on an included sheet of paper)
- I also mentioned the "promotion code" of 24572, which was reported to add 250 minutes in a YAHOO USER GROUP, when coupled with a one-year service card. (This may have added more time, but I have not taken the time to do the math. The lady at Tracfone offered no comment or resistance, so...)
The bottom line is that I got more than I had assumed, as follows:
- On the OLD '800 Tracfone, I had 924.80 minutes (High-resolution readout, it seems!) of time remaining, and was set to expire on 8-1-2013.
- On the NEW '840 Tracfone, I now have 2390 minutes of time remaining, and it will expire at the end of September of 2014.
-----> WAY better than I had assumed, in other words.
The unit works a LOT BETTER than the LG-800 that I retired. The wi-fi works nicely. The WEB BROWSER is extremely quick, compared to the LG-800. Also, the web browser on the '800 was always informing me that this was an untrusted site/app, whatever. -No matter if I had just been using this same app, accessing the same web site! I have not seen this at all on the new LG-840, which is really nice. (And, EXPECTED, I must add!)
I REALLY LIKE the responsiveness of the '840's screen! It is about like what the coveted iPhone has, or really close. (And this is GOOD!) The '800's pressure-sensing screen worked, but not as nicely as this one. The '840's screen is of the "capacitive" sensing design; -What this means is that it takes just a light touch to click or drag.
The camera is easy to operate. The LG-840 has a 2 Megapixel camera, where the LG-800 series has a 3 Megapixel still camera. -So, a bit of a step-down, but still just fine for me.
Getting the still pictures and the movies from the camera (cell phone) to the computer was very quick and easy with the '800 phone. It assume that the '840 will do as well! (I just have not tried this, yet. The images DO SHOW UP, when I hook the LG-840 to my iMac with a standard USB cable; The camera shows up like an external hard drive or flash drive.)
I do miss the three mechanical buttons that the '800 had just below the screen. This is a small loss, as the LEDs under the '840's "button area" go OFF (time out, but are still active) as needed, it seems. -But they do come back ON, if one taps the body of the '840 phone, so not much loss there. The one convenience I do miss is the way that the '800's "real buttons" would wake up the phone, so one could press the "unlock" button on the screen. Now, with the '840, one must tap the POWER button on the top of the phone's body. It is entirely possible that NOT having the mechanical buttons is a better design, as if a button is accidentally pressed while the phone is in a pocket, it would allow the screen to light up, but fortunately would not proceed further. (Maybe, maybe NOT...) The button press of the newer '840 is a lot more secure, so I will offer that this is BETTER.
The LG-840's screen is larger than the '800, but not by much. It is bright and easy to read.
All in all, I am EXTREMELY PLEASED with the LG-840.
on December 3, 2012
I have been a long time Virgin Mobile user since I only needed a phone for emergencies. My daughter arrived last year and as a result my cellphone usage slightly went up but still not high enough to justify a contract phone with the monthly bills. My wife has a company IPhone and from time to time I do envy her ability to get online just about anywhere. Too bad that tracfone doesn't offer a smartphone, and the LG 840g is probably the closest that they have.
I bought this phone for $99 from Amazon with the 1200 minute package, with the additional 250 minutes coupon code (obtained directly from tracfone's own website) this is a very good deal. Considering normally the 400 minute time card would cost you $99 (this is a triple-minute phone, hence the 1200 min), I basically got the phone for free.
After having played with the phone for a few days, here are my findings. First the positives:
1) In terms of functionality, this is just what I am looking for. Long standby time, touch screen, a web browser that I can use to check some info when needed, an email client, and the optional Google Maps app, a good-enough camera/camcorder. Nothing fancy, but something that does the job in a pinch.
2) The phone has a high-quality feel to it. People will believe you if you tell them it's one of those Android smartphones, unlike the previous prepaid phones that I had, which all looked low-cost.
3) I have managed to install the signed (and touch-enabled) versions of UC Browser, Opera Mini 4.4 and 5.1 (7.1 is too sluggish), and Google Maps. All apps run fullscreen without the virtual keypad. The trick is to download the signed jar and jad file, and append to the JAD file the following lines
Save, copy both to the phone via data cable or bluetooth, use File Manager to browse and install JAD file. Everything works beautifully.
4) Putting music/video/photos on the phone is as straightforward as copying to directories once you connect the phone to the PC using a microusb data sync cable. The included 2G microsd is plenty for my usage.
Now a few minor downsides:
1) The qwerty keyboard is not enabled everywhere---I wanted the qwerty keyboard in a touch screen phone. I understand the rationale since the screen resolution is relatively low and a T9 keyboard would result in bigger buttons. But Opera mini 7.1 can display a full qwerty keyboard even in the portrait orientation just fine, so it's certainly doable. At least I would have preferred an option to use the qwerty keyboard by default every time, even if it means switching to landscape mode
2) 3G speed is hit-and-miss depending on where you are. At my home I get usable speed, at my office it's too slow. But I don't consider that a reflection on the phone, but rather on AT&T, which is my local tracfone carrier.
3) Unlocking the phone is a two-step process, which I don't like. You have to first press a button and then swipe to unlock. Again I understand the rationale, but the unlock button is very small and almost flush, so it's rather unlikely that you will press the button while it's in your pocket. Again, an option would be nice here.
4) The phone disconnects wifi when you are not using it to save battery. Therefore, when you unlock it, you should wait for the wifi icon to show up before you try to use any internet features, otherwise you'd be paying with your tracfone minutes.
UPDATE 1: having had the phone for a month now, I am glad to say that my impression hasn't changed. I actually used its 3G capability twice in the past month, in both cases it worked just fine. BTW, tracfone seems to charge your 3G usage by transfered data volume, not by how long you stay online. UC Browser is now my browser on this phone, much better than the default browser client, which was very limited. For those who want to install a signed fullscreen copy of it, here is my packaged file that you can use:
download, unpack, copy both files to your phone, then install the JAD file.
on December 28, 2012
If you're not me and you don't require a super fancy phone with tons of gadgets, widgets and apps and you're just looking for a phone that will get the job done, then look no further than this phone. It's a very good phone and it gets great reception no matter where I'm at, inside or outside. This little baby has 5 bars of strong signal everywhere I use it. And while it's not one of the "I just gotta have it" phones, you won't be disappointed by it's functionality. It has everything you need from a pretty decent camera with a zoom function, Wi-Fi, 3G, Games, and a Music Player. This phone comes with a 2GB mini storage card but it has the capability to use up to a 32gb card. The storage card is used for your music. You download your tunes to the card, put the card into the phone and viola, you have music on your phone. Not hard to do. It's a good deal at a great price.
on February 4, 2013
This phone is great all around runs on ATT's network with roaming as a MVNO. Battery life and build quality are good along with an easy and responsive user interface. This phone can run some java apps such as opera but dont expect to really surf the internet it will cost you a ton and most sites are broken at this resolution. Its a great phone but if you need or want a smartphone you can get an android for the same price on straight talk (Same company different name)and do a lot more however if want a basic (call/text) phone this is a great modern looking option. UPDATE: About six months later this phone is still working like new with great battery life no regrets on buying it.
on February 9, 2013
I am a Tracfone fan and had a basic Motorola phone but wanted to be able to access email and the internet when traveling. I liked the fact this one had 3G and WiFi as well as triple minutes for life. It is a well built phone. I already had a USB to micro USB cable and car 12V plug so didn't need to buy one of those. I spent the first couple days playing around with the Browser over my home WiFi (phone not activated yet). I saw on youtube how to download the Opera Mini browser and easily did that. Admittedly the viewing screen for the web is small but it works ok. I set up my gmail easily in Opera Mini and like the interface there. After I activated the phone I set it up on the phone's email app which is also decent.
Call quality is good. Speaker phone works well. i easily dragged and dropped an album onto it. It's an ok for music.
Pictures and videos are grainy but the camera is easy to use and can readily email or text pictures. I liked that the phone will store phone numbers and email addresses for contacts.
Setup thru the tracfone website went well and I got my minutes and days transferred.
I didn't have trouble signing on to WiFi or transferring my old phone number. Sure it uses minutes when on the web via 3G but they don't get sucked right out of the phone as some reviewers implied. But practice your web usage, email, sending pictures on WiFi to get efficient before going 3G.
I had been thinking 'gee I should spend $400-600 then $45 per month for the Walmart iPhone' but now don't feel it is necessary. For a casual user like me, this phone does what I want and I am glad I got it.