Saturday, February 9, 2013

Main Screen Turn Off, The Sequel

So, over two years ago, I bought a Tracfone.  I didn't really expect much from a prepaid carrier, but I never anticipated it being as shitty as it was.  Still, the phone worked, so I stuck with it and kept buying airtime to extend my service date.

After a while I realized "hey, Twitter has the ability to post and get tweets via text message" and set my shit up for that.  This would become the primary use of the phone, to check and update Twitter while I was out of the house.  Occasionally I would make calls, but it was mostly text messaging.

At some point during MAGFest, the phone's plastic became cracked.  It had been starting to crack for a while, but it was relatively minor, so I didn't really care.  This crack, though, was a lot bigger and I could see the circuit board inside the phone if I looked at the right angle.  The phone was aging anyway, and I'd seen a newer one at Giant with a $30 price tag and a camera for a while.

I got that phone last Thursday.  Despite not being labelled as such, it was actually $15 with the bonuscard.  For anyone who cares, it's an LG420G.  Took it home and went through Tracfone's process to transfer the number and service from my old phone to the new one, which was actually really easy.  Just fill out a form with some uber-secret values from the old phone and the one identifying value from the new phone, and shit happens.

Things I've noticed:
  • It has an external screen for Caller ID and displaying the time/date/signal/battery life.  I still set it to only answer a call if I open it and press Send, though.
  • It will actually charge off of a USB connection from my computer, unlike my previous phone.
  • Getting used to a slightly different button layout will be annoying.  Both for general use, and text messaging.
  • It has bluetooth.
  • It has a "web browser".  Tracfone charges 0.5 for each minute of using this, rounded up to the next whole minute.
  • It can do wallpapers and MP3 ringtones.
  • It can also apparently send email.  Regular emails cost the same as a text message, but I sent a picture via email and it deducted a whole minute and then half a minute.  I assume that the extra half minute was for the time it took to upload the photo.
  • The camera maxes out at 640x480, and won't let me zoom it in despite having the option to do so.
  • It also came with a TF64SIMC4 SIM card, meaning still on AT&T, meaning still shitty signal in my house.
  • It came with double minutes for life, so I don't need to buy that card again.
  • Being a new phone, the spring in the hinge isn't broken, so I can't just flip it open with the flick of a wrist like with my old phone.
Regardless, it's a much better phone that isn't falling apart, so I'll take it.  I'm going to save up my money and get the 1 year/400 minute card so I won't have to buy minute cards as often.  Those 400 minutes will double to 800, which should theoretically be more than I need in a year.

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