I have had this deal called to my attention today thanks to yet another helpful suggestion from a reader. Today only, Home Shopping Network (HSN) is offering the Tracfone Acatel OneTouch Pop Icon with 1 year of service, 1200 Minutes, 1200 Texts and 1200 MB of Data all for $99.95 or 4 FlexPays of $24.99. In addition, shipping is free, and the bundle also includes a basic accessory pack with a case (choice of three colors) and car charger. Here’s the link to the deal.
I am not a huge fan of this phone. And there is a chance that we will see 4G phones coming out soon, which could be another reason to hold off. But if you want this phone, this is the best price I have seen. Since the retail price of this airtime alone is $100, this phone is essentially free IF you need the airtime anyway. At this price you can afford to buy it to use for a few months until something better comes along, or keep it longer if you decide you like it.
One last thing to know about this deal is that if it is unclear whether the airtime included here must be added to the phone purchased the bundle, or if it can be applied to a different phone.
I have a few different bits of TracFone news here, and I will start with a coupon code I recently found out about.
The $5 TracFone promo code I recommended a couple of times recently, “FRIEND1,” has stopped working as of the end of April. However, a new code is now available, limited to a bundled phone/airtime purchase of $89 or more. Enter promo code TFMRET20OFF at checkout to save $20 on that purchase. This offer is good until the end of May, and is limited to one use per order, regardless of how much you spend.
In addition to the code, TracFone has extended their free shipping promotion through Father’s Day weekend. That makes shipping free only on the FedEx overnight option. Keep in mind that FedEx will require a signature on delivery for TracFone shipments, so this option might not work for everyone.
Take note here that this discount code does NOT apply to purchases of airtime alone – you must include a phone for it to work. I tried this for myself and was able to get the code to work (on a purchase of the LG Lucky and an airtime card), but I had to first clear out my cookies. If you are trying for the code, you can clear your browser cookies or try using a different browser.
There are not currently any free reconditioned phones on TracFone’s site, but if they do show up, you could buy the large airtime card of your choice along with a free reconditioned phone, and get $20 off that airtime card. Or you could use it now on a $10 phone, and get effectively get $10 off your airtime.
In addition to the TracFone code, the following similar codes have been reported to work for TracFone’s sister companies:
Next, TracFone has released a pair of new phones in recent weeks, and I am planning to review each of them.
TracFone Samsung Galaxy Stardust
The first one to come out was the Samsung Galaxy Stardust. I have one of these active at the moment, and put together an unboxing video on YouTube:
Here are some of the key features and noteworthy tech specs:
4″ touch screen (TFT)
1.2Ghz Dual Core Processor
1 GB RAM
8 GB Internal Memory
Dimensions of 4.77″ x 2.46″ x .41″ and 4.1 oz
1500 mAh Battery, which Samsung claims will deliver 12 Hours Talk Time/ 11 Days Standby
Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
3G (Verizon only, and no 4G LTE)
Gravity and Tilt/Shake sensor
Hearing Aid Compatible
Up to 64GB MicroSD Card Compatible
The one feature that really sticks out is the 8 GB of internal memory, which is the most offered by any TracFone yet. I have done pretty well with more limited memory configurations by simply istalling a larger SD card, but the internal storage is nice to have. Other than that, the specs are pretty unimpressive. The Stardust, it seems to me, isn’t going to compare well to the LG Ultimate 2 or the Moto E, which can be had for about the same price. The screen resolution and Android version both fall short of the aforementioned models, which have been available for half a year now.
My early impressions are consistent with my guesses based on the specs. The Stardust is a long shot better than the Galaxy Centura, the last Samsung device produced for TracFone (and, incidentally, the first TracFone Android device). But it still feels a little laggy to me. It’s not a huge margin, but I’d say your money is better spent on either the Ultimate 2 or the Moto E. In fact, even the little LG Fuel seems snappier than this latest TracFone Samsung. The Stardust carries a suggested retail price of $129.99, but it has been available on eBay as part of a bundle for a significant discount. Click here to check availability.
TracFone LG Lucky L16C
The other new phone, which is more recent than the Galaxy Stardust, is the LG L16C Lucky. This release is a little puzzling, as it appears to not offer much differentiation from the LG Ultimate 2 or it’s smaller sibling, the LG Fuel. In terms of screen size, it falls in the middle with a 3.8″ screen, while the Fuel offers 3.5″ and the Ultimate 2 is far larger at 4.5.” The “Lucky” also has a slightly different design than those previous LG devices.
I have not received my LG Lucky yet, but here are the specs from the TracFone website:
3.8” Touchscreen Display
Android™ 4.4, KitKat®
1.2 GHz Dual-Core Processor
3MP Camera /Video Recorder
4 GB microSD™ Card (included in phone)
Bluetooth® 4.0 Wireless Technology
Hearing Aid Compatible (HAC) Rating: M4/T3
Supports microSD™ Card up to 32GB (not included)
Battery Talk Time up to 7.3 hours†
Standby Time up to 9.9 days†
Compared to the Stardust, the Lucky does offer the Kit Kat operating system (Android 4.4, vs. 4.3 on the Stardust), while the Stardust has a higher-resolution, auto-focusing camera and, it appears, more internal storage. The Lucky also has a slightly smaller screen, a lower price, and includes a 4GB SD card with the shipment. I will review them side by side for the purpose of identifying the pros and cons of each.
More new TracFone phones coming?
In addition to the two phones that are now available for purchase, some pages of TracFone’s website reference more new phones (this page, for example). While little is known about these phones, it does appear that some may be 4G devices, which would be a first for phones directly from TracFone. Further, some might be AT&T 4G, which would be the first time TracFone has offered AT&T 4G coverage.
I have to temper this by saying that in the past, we’ve seen “tutorials” show up for phones that took months or years to actually hit the store shelves, so it’s speculative at this point. However, I think TracFone will certainly offer 4G devices, and likely AT&T 4G as well, at SOME point in the future. This news is just a hint that the debut of those offerings might be getting closer. Of course, I will let you know if these rumors become more substantiated in the future.
I apologize if you are sick of hearing about this, but I feel like this such a good deal that I have to share it again now that it is back. If you missed it last time, or if you want to load up on a few more bundles, now is your chance. A few […]
TracFone has corrected what may have been the biggest flaw in the bucket system, as they now sell an airtime card that only adds to your text message “bucket.” On their website, you can add 1000 text messages to your account for $10.00.
In case you missed out on this deal yesterday when the 60-minute card went out of stock, I wanted to share this again. At this time (3:40 P.M. Eastern Time), the 60-minute card is back. Click here if you need to review yesterday’s post, otherwise you can just head straight to TracFone’s site and use promo code […]
I just wanted to give a very quick heads-up about a great deal that just came up on TracFone’s site. Today you can get a free reconditioned LG Fuel when you buy a 60 minute card at a 25% discount. This is a great little Android device
First, I’d like to thank those of you who took the time to get in touch and let me know that my site was down last week. As luck would have it, it went down on the day I was ready to leave for vacation, so I would not have noticed the issue if not […]
This is a-follow up to my blog post from last week, where I told you that 4G LTE might be coming to TracFone. Now I can tell you that it has been confirmed – kind of. So far I know of exactly one person who has activated an LTE-capable phone on TracFone service. He posted about it here, on […]
There are a couple of new developments in the TracFone world that I would like to share with you. Several may have a direct impact in the very near future, especially if you are thinking about buying a new phone soon.
Below is my in-depth comparison of the three TracFone smart phones released in the fall of 2014: the LG Ultimate 2, the Motorola Moto E, and the Alcatel One Touch Pop Icon. My goal in doing this review was to be able to answer the question “What is the best TracFone?” I ended up with […]