I can read Latin but I can't read Tech Specs.
January 25, 2018 11:30 AM   Subscribe

I'm in the market for a Tracfone smartphone, to be used as my primary phone (I don't use my phone much and don't want an expensive monthly contract). After an hour of research, I still can't figure out the substantive differences between the various options, whether I would notice any difference in user experience between them, and which would best suit me. Maybe any of them would be fine for me? Help?

From my research, I think I'm most interested in an Android. In particular, a Galaxy J7 (here and here), a Galaxy J3 (here), or a Galaxy Luna (here). Other options here. Could anyone parse what the main differences are between these offerings, and which would suit what kind of use/person? Thanks for any advice!
posted by ClaireBear to Technology (4 answers total)
I just went through this with my daughter to buy her a new phone for her birthday. Baic rule of thumb for Android is you want 4 GB of RAM and a bare minimum of 16 GB of onboard storage, 32 GB would be better as the Android OS is taking up about 10 GB before you add any apps. My phone averages 2.6 GB of RAM being used, and I don't have Facebook or Twitter apps on it, which are known memory hogs.

In looking at their phones I'm not sure they have an option that comes with 4 GB RAM. I would not buy any 2 GB phone to use with Android, it's just going to be too slow when switching apps, and things like music will be prone to crashing. Can you bring your own phone to Tracphone? You will be better off spending a bit more to buy a better phone on Amazon and then adding the Tracphone account to it.
posted by COD at 12:05 PM on January 25, 2018

Cheaper phones will on average feel laggy; you'll swipe/click/etc and it'll take a moment. On average cheaper phones have much worse screens; the color will be worse, if you view from any angle other than 90* colors will be weird, the screen's resolution will be lower. On average cheaper phones will have worse battery life.

On Storage I agree with COD. Any phone that has equal to or less than 16gb of storage will be annoying. You'll take a picture and install the scrabble app and your phone will be full. If you want the phone to last a couple of years I would go with 32gb.

Currently Motorola makes the best combination of price and performance (without buying something directly from China). You might look at the Motorola E4 Plus with 32gb of memory at $180. That phone will last you several years.

I would also buy a screen protector for you phone and a case.

After buying a phone you go and buy a SIM card from TracFone
. The SIM cards cost something like $1.

After that you activate your phone with the new SIM card, go and setup an automatic pre pay on your phone.
posted by gregr at 12:42 PM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Tracfone seems to buy up inventory of older phones to resell to customers. So their offerings are extremely varied, but not really in order to offer features.
posted by theora55 at 1:05 PM on January 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

I'm in the market for a Tracfone smartphone, to be used as my primary phone (I don't use my phone much and don't want an expensive monthly contract).

Is there a reason not to get a decent spec Galaxy (or better, Moto) on Pay as You Go?
posted by DarlingBri at 5:00 PM on January 25, 2018

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