Through writing this blog and previous experience maintaining TracFone service for myself and various family members, I’ve had the opportunity to test out a vast majority of the phones offered by TracFone. Many of these TracFone handsets have been a step or two behind those offered by the larger contract carriers in terms of the various features built in to the phones, but the two latest bluetooth-enabled models, the Motorola w376g and the LG 600g, certainly offer far more options than any previous models. However, these two models still lack one element that is, in my opinion, a very important safety feature for some users: voice-activated dialing.
Personally, I don’t recommend that anyone talk on their cell phone while driving, but for those that do I hope that you take the highest safety precautions. Several states and many more municipalities across the country have implemented laws that require drivers to use hands-free headsets if they talk while driving. This is a good safety step, but it doesn’t account for the time that people undoubtedly distract themselves from driving to dial a number. With voice-activated dialing, this distraction can also be reduced.
So I can’t understand why some of the “best” TracFone models eliminate this feature. LG, maker of the 600g, also produces to CDMA TracFone models, and both of those include voice dialing. And Motorola previously manufactured at least one other TracFone handset, the V120, that included voice dialing. So we know that it CAN be done, yet it’s a mystery to me why this option would not be included on the latest and greatest handsets.
If you want a TracFone with hands-free dialing, though, you still have some options. All of the CDMA models currently offered – the LG 3280 and 200C, as well as the Kyocera 126c – include some form of voice-activated dialing. On both of the LG versions, you’ll have to first set up the voice commands for each contact in your list that you want to be able to voice dial, then remember that command when you’re ready to call the person. The Kyocera also allows voice commands to dial a number from your contact list, OR you can speak the phone number digits one-by-one and the phone will then confirm and dial the number you want to call. All of these phones are currently available from TracFone bundled with some form of airtime card.
I also think that this is something worth asking for from TracFone in future handsets. If you share my opinion that voice-activated dialing is an option that’s not only convenient but also a safety feature, perhaps you’d like to let TracFone know that you are concerned about it. You can contact them at the following email address: ERDManagement@tracfone.com. Ask when they will offer a GSM phone with voice-activated dialing, and if they can’t answer that then encourage them to include it in future models. It just might save a life.