Well, after a long hiatus, I am back to blogging. Starting things off here is a review of the LG 505c for TracFone, Straight Talk, and Net10. I realize this phone is not exactly new as it has been out since the spring of this year, but hopefully this review will still be helpful to some of you especially since it is the most feature-rich Verizon-based phone on TracFone.
This review is another collaborative effort between myself and fellow phone guy, “Otis 226.”
This is a review of the LG 505c from TracFone – the first touch screen model offered by this division of American Movil. It is a CDMA handset, working on the Verizon Wireless network. It is the first time; to my knowledge, that Tracfone has offered a CDMA phone in my zip code. This eliminated having to order from a CDMA only zip code, and then having the phone shipped to my home zip.
This handset features a slide-out, full QWERTY keyboard, giving you the option of inputting data via the touch screen or the physical keyboard. The phone measures 4 x 2 x .65” (3.25” wide when keyboard is slid open). It weighs in at a fairly hefty 4.37 oz., and the screen is approx. 2.75”, measured diagonally.
Accessories include an AC battery charger and a LGIP 520N, 1000 mAh, 3.7 V battery. It is rated for 10 days of standby time, and up to 2.5 hours of talk time. This handset uses the same battery charger (Micro USB) as many other LG models – 231; 100; 220; 420; 500 & 290 to name some I own and checked it with. The LG 505c is available from TracFone, Net10 or Straight Talk for $89.99:
A big plus is that the phone features “triple minutes for life,” which works out to be a great bargain for most users. Additional features include blue tooth capability, call waiting, 1.2 MP camera (no video mode), a color, resistive touch screen, games, graphics, downloadable ring tones, hearing aid compatibility, speakerphone, mobile web, MP3 player, text and picture messaging.
I don’t think anyone seeing this phone will confuse it with an iPhone or other smart phone. In my limited experience with the latter, the screens are noticeably larger. Another big difference is that TracFone has opted to place its swirl logo just under the screen. It makes no pretense of being anything other than a TracFone, and I’d say it looks pretty much like a TracFone.
The external display seems fairly standard, with the exception of a clock and coin icon. When touched, it shows the airtime balance and service end date. There is also an arrow on the left hand side of the screen. If this is touched, you have the option of customizing the external display with choices such as clock, calendar, memo pad, alarm clock, drawing pad, text messages, camera, or images. You may simply drag any of these icons onto the main screen and they will stay there. It took me a minute to figure it out, but by dragging these icons over to the arrow, which then turns into the trashcan icon, these same functions can be deleted from the main screen.
Finally, there are 3 dots near the top center of the display. If you ‘swish’ your finger to the left, you are given the option of adding up to 11 contacts or groups here that will be available immediately the next time you go there. If you ‘swish’ to the right, you are brought to your text messages and you may send, reply to or delete messages. You can get back to the main screen by either ‘swishing’ to the center position or using either of the ‘pwr/end’ or ‘cancel’ buttons.
For a quick rundown of the external buttons, there are only 3 on the handset face: send, cancel/spkr, and pwr/end. On the top left side of the phone, there are holes for a lanyard, below this is the micro USB port for charging the phone and communicating with a computer, if you have the proper cable. Below this are the volume up and down buttons. This is also the side that the QWERTY keyboard slides out from.
On the top right side is the standard headset jack, then a button that allows the phone to be locked or unlocked, a very handy feature on a touch screen model. Next comes the covered mini SD card port, (nice to have this out in the open instead of under the battery!), and finally a camera button, that actually takes you to the multimedia section. Here, you can use the voice recorder, go to ‘my stuff’ (for images or sounds), go to your music selections or take a photo. On the back is the camera lens on top and the speaker output at the bottom.
The 505c seems to have good quality construction, on a par with my LG 290c, which I’ve been using for over a year without any problems whatsoever. The slider here pulls out nicely, there seems to be very little play in the component parts, and it slides back in with a positive click. The keyboard has a good feel to it with what I’d consider the proper amount of pressure needed to activate individual keys as well as good ‘recoil’ when released.
The touch screen is more responsive than I at first expected it to be, in general. I found that sensitivity dropped off slightly in the upper area of the screen. There is a calibration mode in the settings section for use in adjusting the touch sensitivity. How well that works is a matter for discussion, but all things considered, I generally like the touch screen function, even with my large thumbs.
The rounded edges and smooth finish on the phone makes it rather easy to slide in and out of jeans pockets and such. I have little doubt that this model will be as durable as any of the TracFones I’ve used in the past years. I’m the guy who is still happily using a Nokia 1100b because I like the free incoming texts, and I can get free weather reports daily that way. Basically, if you’ve ever carried around the LG 290c, you’ll have no problem at all getting used to this model.
That concludes the first section of this review. I’ll be posting three more segments of the review on this blog in the coming days. To jump to other segments of the review, check out the LG 505c review index page, here.