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Showing 1-10 of 513 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 720 reviews
on October 31, 2013
While TF has 4 different Android models to chose from, the ZTE was the highest spec model that I saw.
If you are looking for a hi end or mid grade Android phone dont stop here. ALL of the TF Androids are very entry level phones and as such be prepared for entry level performance.
People look at the listed specs and note a 4 gig SD card but no mention of on board memory. Just for the record my phone after adding a few apps to it has 2.6 gigs of free space on the phone and well over 3 gigs on the 4 gig SD card that comes with the phone. With the size of the OS and what apps I installed I will speculate that the phone has 4 gigs on board and comes with the 4 gig SD. Not bad for a phone that is less than 100.00.

When I first got it out of the box I put my GMail acct on it and started installing my apps. This bogged the phone down fast and for a short while I wondered if this was a bad phone, but remembering past situations even with tablets I just set the phone down and let it do its installs. After I was done installing apps I also downloaded the TF app that notifies you of available Call time, remaining text and available data, it also allows you to add time to your phone from the phone like any other TF, This app is very nice to have in the Google Play Store (GPS) since these Android phones do not have anything like it out of box.

One person above posted that the Valet loses its connection to WiFI frequently and I have to agree, it seems to have a weak wifi antenna.
While it would be great if this was better, it is not a game changer for me. My need for this phone is a way for my employer to reach me through the day. My boss gets on the phone, says what needs saying and is off. Little to no time wasted chatting. I suspect along with being very busy he is trying to save those platinum priced minutes that all cell phone companies charge for.

A quick run down. It is a entry level phone so it has only 512 megs of ram, 1 gig processor and 4 gigs on board memory, touch screen is fairly responsive, it has a 3mp camera and flash on back and I don't remember the MP on the front. The back camera takes fair pictures. But only fair.

Sound could be better, things are plenty clear but volumes could be louder. Again, entry level phone.
In call....Everything seems to work just fine. In call volumes are fine, no echoes or reception problems, the phone is provided for by Verizon so if your in a good Verizon area you should be in good shape. But just keep in mind, if your current phone has bad reception in a given area this one probably will as well. My other work phone which I hope to replace with the Valet is a Straight Talk slider/android also covered by Verizon and the Valet has all the same drops that the other phone has. Seems Verizon just has few towers in some areas.

Long story short, The ZTE Valet is a decent phone for the price. Remember it is a entry level phone at a entry level price and the phone is NOT loaded to the hilt with every bell and whistle. It does have Android 4.1 on it which is a plus and it does run fairly smoothly on a phone wit such low specs. This is a feather in ZTEs cap.

One last note. My current monthly cell cost is 45.00+tax. And there was a LOT of that that was never used because it was strictly a work phone so it was used for 8 to 10 hours a day and then turned off for the evening and weekends.
The Valet will allow me to cut the monthly price down to 20.00+ tax a month.
I call that a win win. it will take 4 months for the phone to pay for itself and then it is pure savings after that, aprox 25.00 a month. and that is 300.00 a year I can use else ware.
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on January 4, 2014
We have 5 of these phones in our household now. 2 were purchased from tracfone for $100 each and 3 were purchased here from Shopcelldeals for $75. We have been longtime Tracfone users. As you can imagine, 5 cell phones in a household would be very expensive through a regular major carrier. We average a cost of $10 per phone per month.

Having the ZTE Valet opens up true access to android apps and the web as well as GPS mapping. I LOVE the easy ability to turn on and off Data, GPS, and Wifi. Data is very cheap and manageable if you DO NOT access streaming music or Video thru the Data connection. Through wifi, stream all you want to and it works fine. I stream Pandora and Netflix on this phone. The phone has good wifi reception. It is not as good as a tablet though.

As I mentioned this phone truly opens opens up web access that previous tracfones attempted to do. With other tracfones, if you checked mail or went to the web, you would eat up minutes as the phone slowly progressed. Now the Valet accesses the web quickly and you don't use minutes. So if it is slow, it does not cost you since you are only paying for data that passes through to the phone. And emails and the web use VERY little data. But if you want to stream music and videos using the Data connection like on an unlimited plan, then you should not have a pay as you go plan. But I understand that Tracfone/Straightalk offer unlimited plans for around $50 a month.

Texting is very manageable but could get expensive if you have heavy texters under the new method of paying for minutes/text. However, I would suggest looking into some of the free texting apps that use wifi/data to send a text and are not counted as texts through Tracfone.

If you want to save battery life, remember to turn off wifi until you need it. Also, out of the package, the screen goes into power saver mode way to quickly. Go into settings and change the amount of time that must pass before it dims the screen. Also, one quirk is that when someone sends me a MMS text with or without an image, I have to turn data on and click on the text before I can view it since it has to download the message using the Data connection. You would think it could use Wifi but it won't. Either way, it does not use much data at all to download the text. If it is a regular text then you just get a text, but a multimedia message is different.

There are many cases available. Searching for the ZTE Fury case can many times give you more options at better prices. The Fury case is an exact fit for the Valet.

As you can read, just reviewing the phone is not enough. You have to buy into both the phone and the Tracfone service. And i like the phone very much as well as the Tracfone service. All five phones have worked equally well.

Update January 2015. I have moved up to the Tracfone L34C which is made by LG and called the Fuel. Found it for $30 on Ebay compared to around $70 on Tracfone's web site. Found out Qvc currently has a good deal on the Fuel. It comes with one years worth of minutes and if you trade in your old phone you get another 200 minutes. Don't know how long that will run. The Fuel phone has a much faster processor which makes using the phone for web searches or Navigation much faster. Also, for those that did not like the WIFI reception on the Valet, the Fuel is much better at that as well. The only downside compared with the Valet is that the Valet has a slightly better camera and a flash. My wife updated to the Tracfone LG Ultimate 2 which has a very fast processor, a 4.5 inch screen, and two cameras. One of the cameras actually has an automatic focus which the Valet lacks. This is helpful if you want to us QR codes to access product info. Also, now that you have an android phone you can switch phones much more easily using the Tracfone website. What I mean is that you do not actually have to talk to anyone at Tracfone to switch....
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on November 14, 2013
I've been a satisfied Tracfone customer for more than 7 years, and I've been eagerly waiting for an Android Tracfone. I couldn't be more pleased with this ZTE phone, which is perfect for my fairly limited use of cell service. I've accumulated a large number of minutes, which were transferred easily to the new phone, with the addition of messaging and data gifts from Tracfone. I have had no trouble connecting to my home wifi (as far as my back yard) or to several different public wifi services. Really I have only two small complaints--the screen resolution is mediocre, but I don't plan to watch movies on the tiny screen, so for normal use, it's fine. Also, the camera is mediocre (but it has a flash!) and is not autofocus, so no apps that scan bar codes will work with this phone, as far as I can tell. But for less than $100 and for $7 a month service cost, I believe this phone is a fine bargain.
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on November 5, 2013
Update: February 17, 2014
This phone is still good but my fast life makes the sluggishness unbearable so I have transferred my service to Droid x2 (BYOP - Verizon). Wife has limited needs and is loving the valet. It is still a good phone if you are not a heavy user. I miss the Android 4.1.

First Review: November 5, 2013
This is the third smartphone I have had - LG optimus V (virgin mobile) and Motorola Electrify (US cellular) are the others. I have been in search of an affordable smartphone ever since I went to VM from Tracfone. The VM $25 plan was perfect for my pocket but the coverage in my town was very bad. I gave up on them and went to USC - excellent service with relatively affordable plan - $70 a month (no texting), not bad compared to some plans with unlimited goodies but over $100 a month. With the tracfone zte valet, the max I will pay is $20 a month i.e. if I double my USC usage - highly unlikely so I a m looking at about $10 a month. I was able to port my number to tracfone easily - in less than an hour. This was my only concern before buying the phone since I did not want to change my number. A+ to tracfone for that. Now to the phone itself. As one YouTube reviewer said, this phone is just black. While he found "just black" to be boring, I think it is elegant. It is not flashy - that is what I like about it. The size is perfect for me. I find the 4 inch phones to be just too big. As most reviewers have said, the wifi connectivity is a bit weak. I will not call it poor as of now since I get connection at work and at home easily. The available storage of 2.3 GB (internal) and 3.6GB SD card are excellent for me, and to many users. Pictures and videos will require more storage but if you want a phone for videos and pictures, this might not be the best since ZTE valet does not have auto focus. I did not buy it for these functions so I am all good but it wouldn't hurt taking some pictures sometimes. The dedicated camera button on the right hand side is great - some reviewers saw it as a negative but I like it. The only complain I have so far is the sluggishness of the phone. I have to tap everything twice to get a response which makes me miss my motorola, sometimes. But for $50-60 savings, I will keep on tapping twice. I believe tracfone will come out with a more responsive phone in the near future. With the savings I am enjoying, I wouldn't mind replacing my phone every year if something better comes out - but I don't have to. The main reasons I bought this phone is to make calls, check emails, schedule/keep track of appointments, and send about 10 text messages in a month. If you want a high-end phone, then look elsewhere. The zte valet is for those of us who do not use the phone for games, etc and live on a budget. Please note that, a number of reviewers complaining about this phone are new to android OS. Also, the number porting process could be confusing so make sure you know what you are doing. Last but not the least, download the Tracfone My Account from the play store to track your usage.
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on December 14, 2013
I have now had this phone for 1 month and can say that it is a great phone from Tracfone. The seller is very good, this is my 3rd purchase from him and all have been good phones. They all still work, my first was the LG 800G, then I went to the LG840 as that had the wifi and now I have this one as it is an android phone and the google play store is available so it is possible to obtain all different manner of apps. The Verizon cell phone service in my area is better than Sprint or AT &T so I was happy to see that this phone is on the Verizon network. I use this phone at my employment and until now the cell signal was very poor as the building is all metal and glass. With this phone I usually get at least 1 bar and many times I get 2 bars. With the other phones I could barely get 1 bar and had to be by a window in order to use them. This phone came with a 4 gb card which is a big help. The Bluetooth feature works very well and I was able to bring my contacts over from my LG 840G to this phone in 1 step, easy, easy!! The camera on this phone is the best one you can get on any Tracfone and it even has a flash which is a plus. I recommend downloading the free app so you can know how many minutes, texts and data you have left. I transferred my minutes and service days online, however I had to make a phone call to have some of the minutes transferred. Doing this change online the system only transfers 1100 minutes, if you have more than that you will need to call Tracfone but that was accomplished easily in just one call. Be aware that with this phone you now have 3 different "banks" the first is your talk minutes, these are tripled, so if you buy a 60 minute card you will get 180. If you send or receive a text that comes out of your "text" bank and not your minutes. You then get 180 texts if you buy the 60 minute card. The "data" bank is when you go online using 3 G. Tracfone will deduct from your "data" bank when you go online using 3 G. You get 180 mb of data when you purchase a 60 minute card. If you find that you use the data more than anything else and your data is used up before your service days you can buy a data card from Walmart or it can be purchased online just like the regular airtime cards. If you go online using wifi then there is no deduction from your "data" bank so it is better to save your "data" bank for when there is no wifi available. I have been able to view many websites and get my email with this phone, the text messaging works fine and is there immediately.
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on December 11, 2015
The phone works great and has a battery that borders on being eternal. No problems with the phone itself.

There is something fishy regarding these phones though. I buy tracphones constantly due to needing a "local" number for my job when traveling. I bought two of these and get the feeling the SIM has been wiped or the phone has been used and refurbished. When requesting a number off the tracphone site like aIways do, I was asked if I was still in Memphis for one and Miami for the other. Despite my declining the question and requesting a local number, I received a number in Memphis and Miami, basically making these phones useless for me as I don't have time to request new sim cards to get a local number.

If you want a new phone with a number that's local for you, buy your tracphone in a store unless you're wrilling to wait for a new SIM card. You also can tack on an extra $10 to the price of this phone as airtime is a required purchase and $10 is the lowest amount, while the phones in stores are the same price and usually come with at least 20 free minutes. I won't be purchasing these again.
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on February 7, 2014
I'm a long-time Tracfone user, and my previous phone, I referred to as my "almost smart-phone." This one is so far above and beyond that I am absolutely thrilled with it. The touch screen is responsive, it does all I ask of it, it connects to wi-fi, so I can use it without using my precious megabytes of data up... bottom line, I'd cheerfully recommend this phone. If you have previous smart-phone experience, then I can't say (for instance, does it stack up to an iPhone? I don't know.) I felt Tracfone was more than fair in how they converted my remaining minutes (I had 2200 minutes left which they converted to 2200 talk minutes plus 2200 texts plus 2200 Mb in data.) You can turn the "data" "off" so that it won't connect via those precious megabytes, so that they don't get used up "updating" apps. I leave my data turned off, and wi-fi connected, unless I need the data for some reason (no wi-fi available). Seriously, this is a great phone for tracfone users.
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on November 29, 2013
The ZTE Valet is a fun phone to use. Lots of features for a very reasonable price. As a beginner to "smart phones," I'm astonished by all the things this little phone can do. Most amazing to me is the ability to get my e-mail on the phone, update Facebook, and something I just found: the ability to type out a text message by speaking the words. This is a tremendous time saver for me as a medical condition makes it difficult for me to "type" on a tiny on-screen keyboard. I'm looking forward to trying out other features as well. I doubt you can get a better phone for the price.
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on December 24, 2013
I've had the phone for about a month now. It has been a pleasant surprise. The porting of my number from an older Tracfone took less than two hours from me signing into the internet to start the process. Minutes were transferred without any problems. Cel reception is very good. Bluetooth works as advertised. WiFi works better than I expected given the reviews here. The WiFi reception is not as good as my Nexus 7 tablet but the Nexus 7 does exceptionally well. I have used it with some weak signals and am not seeing the problems others have reported.

All of the apps I have downloaded from Google Play have worked well. This device uses Android 4.1.1. I have been a Google user for many years and am familiar with Gmail, Drive, Voice. If you are not familiar with Google apps or Android, it will take you a while to get used to it. Are there better smartphones on the market? Yes, but I don't think there are any better at this price level. My review is based on this phone being a low cost smartphone and with that in mind, it is a pleasant surprise.
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on May 6, 2014
ZTE Valet TracFone. Verizon towers, Android, large enough without being a mini-tablet. Have now owned it and used it enough to have formed an opinion on the phone. It is my first ZTE, and over all, it is a good basic smart phone with a few issues.

- Android
- screen size
- price
- battery life (see below)
- no contract service
- fairly capable

- Camera is a bit sub-par compared to LG and Samsung smart phones
- Wireless, BT and Signal indicators radically inaccurate (see below)
- Only works best once Snapdragon controller app installed (see below)

- first, about battery life. The phone has good battery life, provided you don't leave Synch, Data, BT, GPS and Wireless on. I typically turn off Synch, Data and WiFi when I leave the house (I use a BT ear piece and car system, and a couple of apps use GPS) and when I am at home, I turn off BT and GPS. With that done, the phone can (and has) gone six days on a single charge, with an average of three calls per day of sixteen minutes average duration. If I leave GPS and WiFi on at home, the phone still gives me a solid 4 days. However, if you leave all the boards lit, you are realistically looking at about 30 HOURS - max. More so if you have an app running that is hogging radio usage.

- second, signal strength indicators. The phone has Wifi, BT, Cell and 3G indicators. I discovered rapidly that they are only vaguely accurate, even after installing the Snapdragon controller app. First few days, the phone was running bare under T&E protocol. It was in a location with a cell signal booster and a commercial-grade wifi unit that gives full signal to all radio devices in the location (laptops, iPhones, Samsung Android phone, tablets, Roku, CDMA and GSM phones of different makes). The ZTE showed two bars of cell and one bar of wireless. After loading a signal testing program, I discovered that the signal app detected excellent to good signal everywhere - even in a few places where the phone showed no signal at all. I have made calls in rooms where the phone shows no cell signal, and I have streamed test video footage over the network in locations where the WiFi shows no signal. Caveat: both times, if I tried to initiate the call while the indicator said 'no signal' the phone refused to even try. At first, I just used a signal app (OpenSignal) to refresh all my wireless, but I later installed the Snapdragon app. Doing that fixed the problem, although if you started a call in a different area, you could walk into the 'no signal' area and the call never dropped, faded or broke up - even when the indicator said 'No Signal'. The signal app showed average signal in that area, btw. So, the indicators are at best suspect, if not flat-out wrong.

- Next, the Snapdragon app. I found this app in Play by searching for ZTE Valet app. The Snapdragon app is basically a CPU manufacturer controller app that runs the Snapdragon CPU in this phone differently than the OEM controller. And it works surprisingly well. Battery life, signal, stability, speed - all went up (though not all by the same amount). Once I installed it and got the baseline established, the signal indicator problem went away by and large. So did the issue constant -reconnecting to the WiFi AP. Battery life went up, and the GPS functionality got a lot more stable. The app also reminds you to charge your phone, and it seems (no proof, just seems like it does) to make the entire phone more responsive, almost as if were clocking the CPU differently or increased the efficiency of the app handling in and out of queue. Also, I have never had to reboot the phone after the Snapdragon app was installed, though in all honesty, I only had to reboot it once before the app was installed due to hung system error.

- Finally, GPS issues. Not sure what is going on here. Certain apps I use a lot (OpenSignal, SignalSniff, etc) that usually work flawlessly on smartphones and tablets seem to have issues with the GPS handling in this phone. I do not use my phone for navigation (my Garmin simply out-performs all phone-based navigation - especially iPhone nav) but it is necessary for certain tasks (Snapdragon app uses it, which is the only reason I leave it on any more). Not sure if this is a phone issue, an OS issue or a software issue, but it is an issue for me, at least.

Final thoughts:

This phone is hard to beat in the price range and in no-contract phones. Great? Not really. Good? Yeah, once you get it set up right. TracFone's new smartphone airtime policy is a bit of a departure from the old system, but nothing shocking. As CPUs go, Snapdragon isn't bad, but it isn't a Hummingbird either. If you keep your expectations realistic and want a work phone rather than a bit of snob-bling, this phone is probably right for you. I know that if I ever lose my phone like my colleague did, I will just shrug and buy another one, instead of having to sell my car to buy another iProduct status symbol. It would be nice to have an upgrade path for the OS, but it is hardly necessary. My work tablet is still running 2.3 and it works perfectly fine, after all.

Yeah, I'd buy this phone again.
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