Motorola w408g Review

Motorola w408g Review

I haven’t had time yet to get out and buy the Motorola w408g, but I thought I’d take a look at all the info I could find and put together a little “Motorola w408g Review Preview.” Below is what I know now about this model, and I’ll update this page with links to my full review as I publish it (AFTER I get the phone, haha).

This is a GSM model, and it’s worth pointing out that neither Net10 nor TracFone has had a Motorola CDMA handset for a long time. This one appears to be very similar in features to the Motorola EM326g, which was released in June 2009

Here’s a list of some of the important features:

  • Bluetooth
  • 1.3 MP Camera
  • Video Recorder
  • FM Radio
  • MP3 Player
  • Handsfree Speaker

The one thing that really sticks out there is the Video Recorder – that’s the only feature that I’ve noted that was not available on the em326g. Other than that, so far it looks like the Motorola w408g could be just a flip-phone version of the 326.

I’m hoping that this new model shares the excellent audio quality of the em326g. However, that one was a little disappointing in reception, falling short of the Motorola w376/77g. So in terms of reception, I’m hoping for something more along the lines of those older flip phones.

The only way to find out, though, is to actually use the phone. I will do so soon, and publish my findings in a proper Motorola w408g review.

53 thoughts on “Motorola w408g Review

  1. When you do get this phone and you have the ability to do it see if you can transfer your contacts via the Bluetooth from an existing bluetooth enabled phone to this one and from this phone to another Bluetooth enabled phone.

    • Dallas,

      I have the w408g with Net10, and while you can bluetooth contacts to it from another device, the contacts will simply appear on the phone as vcard files (*.vcf), stored in the “Vcard, Vcal” folder under “My Folders”, not under the contacts list. Just contacted motorola about it a few days ago, and they said that importing contacts from another device into the contacts list isn’t supported, and it seems there’s no way to open the vcard files from the phone itself.

      It should, however, be possible to copy the vcards to microSD card on the phone, then transfer the microSD card to PC, where the vcard files could be opened and viewed in a PIM.

      Might even be possible to sync contacts back into the phone’s contact list from PC this way, though I’m not sure what PIM’s, if any, are compatible with the w408g, and I’m not even sure that feature, if present, is enabled on the Net10 version of the phone. But it might be worth a try (hint hint)…

      But even if that doesn’t work, and you simply must automate contact transfer, you might be able to use a sim card reader/writer to PIM the contacts to the sim card by PC, then put the sim card back in the phone, as the phone *does* support contact import and storage by way of the sim card memory. Note, however, that the sim card (or at least mine…) can only hold ~250 contacts at a time (the phone’s internal memory can hold 1000), so if you have a lot of contacts to transfer (more than 250), you might have to repeat this process a few times in order to transfer all of them, which might be rather inconvenient if you sync contacts often. Combination microSD/sim card readers are available all over e-bay for about $10.

      • (Correction to previous post)

        The W408G *does* support contact transfer via bluetooth, the key is that once you’ve transferred contacts to the phone, a “Received Files” list appears, and you must click on and save each contact you want transferred to your “contacts” list.

        All files remaining in the “Received Files” list that are not saved in this way will be copied to the “vcard, vcal” folder under “My Folder.” So far, I have not been able to figure out how to open and view vcard files directly from this folder, and after contacting Motorola about it, it looks like it might not be possible, but if anyone knows how to do this, I’d sure like to know…

      • Hi Y2k,
        What phone model are you using to send the contacts to the w408g? I’ve tried from the LG 620g, Samsung r355c and Samsung T401g, and can’t seem to make it work. It seems that somewhere along the way, all the info other than the contact name drops off.

    • I stand corrected!

      After a little experimenting, I am pleased to announce that the w408g *does* have full support for contact transfer via Bluetooth. Not only contact transfers, but calendar events as well! Here’s how you do it:

      1) open and enable bluetooth on both the w408g and the device you’re transferring from.

      2) select and transfer contacts to the w408g.

      3) ***Key Step*** After the contact transfer is complete, the w408g screen will display the contacts in a “Received Files” list.

      4) Now, click on the first contact in the list. You’ll see the contact name and number open in a new screen. Then click again, or tap the “Save” soft key. ***This will save the contact to the “contacts” list***

      5) If there are more contacts, the “Received Files” list will reappear, but with the previously saved contacts grayed out. ***You will need to click twice on each contact in the list that you wish to transfer to your “contacts” list.***

      6) Once you’ve saved all of the contacts you want this way, exit the “Received Files” list. All contacts that were not double clicked on in step 5 will appear as .vcf files in the “vcard, vcal folder” under “My Folder” Note that these can be copied/transerred between the microSD and phone memory, bluetoothed, messaged as attachments, or transferred to PC (via microSD or USB). So far, I have not been able to open these files from the phone directly, however.

      Also note that vcard and vcal files can be downloaded from the web, e-mail, or from text messages, and automatically get added into the contacts list (or calendar) this way.

      • OK Thanks for the info but I’ve desided to look into Straight Talk as a possible replacement for my Parents Cell Phone Service once their contract with the evil Verizon blood suckers is up. I have the LG220C (Uses Verizon’s Towers) picked out for their on the road phone because Verizon has coverage in the hospital my Dad goes to for routine checkups and Verizon seems to have decent coverage on the road in the open but crappy service at their home(And my home too) so I have the LG420G(Uses AT$T’s towers) as their Home Phone because my NET10 Phone always gets a good strong signal at their house (And my house too and no I don’t live with them)plus they have LG phones right now so they can use the car charger they have now with the LG420G and the LG220C plus both phones seem to support contacts transfer via Bluetooth according to the Tutorials on theses phones.
        Right Now my parents pay for my Verizon Cell Phone Service on a 3 phone family share plan so to save some money they could just pay for my Samsung T401G NET10 on the 750 minutes and 30 days of service for $25 and that would save over 24 bucks per month. Their current average monthly Verizon bill is 116 a month for 1400 Shared minutes between 3 phones.

      • Hello. I realize that your post was from last year but I hope you see this. I recently bought a car with bluetooth technology. I know little about these things but was able to pair the phone with the car. I am unable to transfer phone numbers from phone to car. The process starts and after a few seconds stops and says transfer failed. Any suggestions? Many thanks.

  2. I can’t wait to see the review of this one! This phone looks really nice and I can’t wait as I’m looking to upgrade from my LG CG255.

    I have almost the same question as Dallas above, will anyone be able to comment on if this phone can work with the Ford Sync system in the Ford vehicles? Can anyone name any specific models that do?

    I know Pbushx2 has said in a previous review that he isn’t able to review this aspect of the phone.

    I am dying to be able to use Sync but it seems that without a proper cell phone plan or a uber-expensive “smartphone” (which replaces Sync anyway) it doesn’t seem possible. :(

  3. Are there any newer phones being offered by Tracfone that are the same or better than the Tracfone Motorola w376g? I am looking for a replacement/upgrade and am having trouble finding a phone that has at least the same features as my Tracfone Motorola w376g for less than $20. I can’t find a new w376g for under $20 anywhere even on ebay…

    I’ve been with Tracfone forever and am very skeptical about switching to Net 10 or anyone else for that matter at this time. Even if this phone doesn’t “fall short of the Motorola w376/77g” I’m afraid to leave Tracfone. Something about the devil you know is usually better than the one you haven’t met yet…

    Thanks in advance for any recommendations you might be able to provide.

    • Hi Judy
      What aspects of the w376g don’t you like? I know it doesn’t have a lot of bells and whistles compared to recent phones, but it has excellent reception and audio quality, two very important aspects of a phone. If I know what you are looking for, I might be able to point you in the right direction. In general, though, there hasn’t been much development as far as new phones on the TracFone side of things.

  4. pbushx2,
    I LOVE my Tracfone Motorola w376g but it’s beginning to show some signs of wear and I’m afraid I didn’t buy two when they were available everywhere. I can’t find another one anywhere for less than $20 (even on eBay) and would like to be prepared to buy something if I need to. Thanks for your personal attention to my question and thanks for all the great information you have already provided !


    • Judy,

      I too still have my Tracfone Motorola W376g and it has been a great phone for my needs and difficult to replace as well. If your really stuck on it, I think they are still for sale at the Tracfone site as refurbished and sometimes even with double minutes, but why get the same technology when there are newer and better phones coming out.

      I am looking at the Motorola W408g which is also a clamshell phone. It looks similar to the W376g. It still has the things that made the W376 great like camera, bluetooth, speakerphone and FM radio, but with some extra bells and whistles. At first glance, it has an external display with the time and probably shows the incoming caller id, just like the old Moto V60 used to. I really missed that with the W376. It also offers a MP3 player a better quality camera and a video recorder. These things were unheard of not that long ago for a clamshell phone from a prepaid service.

      Plus Net10 is part of Tracfone and acutually offers a plan for more minutes for less money than the best Tracfone monthly plan offers, even with double minutes on the phone. The choice is pretty clear to me. I am just waiting on Pbush’s review of the phone. Good luck in your next phone selection.

  5. I don’t mean to change this discussion topic altogether, but I just checked ebay again and there might be a refurbished Tracfone Motorola w376g available now. My question is, is there a way to tell on an unopened package what type of SIM card is inside?

    I went through hell when I first bought my phone from Tracfone because they sent me one that did not work in my area and I spent many, many hours on the phone with their horrible customer service until they finally sent me an AT&T card weeks later. (Also in the process they said they had to change my phone number which still irks me.

  6. Will this phone do multiple mp3 ringtones as caller ID’s? Unfortunately my old Moto W376g would only do one mp3 at a time.

  7. FYI someone posted at Howard Forums that the w408 is available at Best Buy for $19.99 plus free shipping. Looks like a good deal.

  8. This is a really good phone — just got it at Best Buy on Sunday for $19.99. Really a big step up from my Nokia 1600.

    It does have a MicroSD card slot and a 2.5mm headset jack.

  9. Hi, I just finished my own testing with the w408g, and i am happy to say that the reception is much better than the w377!

    My wife is using the Net 10 w377 and it worked pretty well, except there where a few area she would drive through that she could not call from, or if she was on a call, would get disconnected.

    I bought the w408g last Friday at best buy,thanks to the post by M.

    My wife took it this morning and drove past all the areas she could not get reception with the w377 and it worked everywhere!

    Also i like the buttons on this better – the buttons are larger, yet the phone is smaller.

    I was also able to easily transfer photos and music to this phone by way of Bluetooth from my computer.

    Not to take anything away from your excellent reviews Pbushx2,
    but i just wanted to tell of my findings with this phone and am waiting for your review of this phone as well. – Thanks, Ed

    • Hello, The manual for the Motorola W408g says it can used a 2G micro card. I was wondering if the anyone have use an 8G micro card in their Motorola W408g. Thanks

  10. Judy R, I was told if the unopened package has “P4” on it, it is AT&T sim

    You can now get the refurb W376g again from directly. You can get free shipping, a free 60 min card, and $3 off with code 23444

  11. Question: If I have a phone shipped to me, do I have to activate it within a certain period of time? In other words, I dont need to phone until Dec 1, but would like to lock in on the deal. Can I delay a month before activating without losing any days of activation or minutes with Net10?

    Thanks for the blog!

  12. I just got the 408 to replace my dead em326g. While the reception might be a touch better the em326g is a much better phone. The 408 has a better menu system, the bluetooth is a bit easier to use. But for me that is where it ends. The phone is much more cheaply made. The voice quality is lacking even turned all the way up. My car is a diesel and the noise level is a bit higher than a gas car and the phone is almost not useable in the car. I hated it so much I went and found another em326 to buy and went back to the older style phone. The power plug/cable connection is a MICRO usb plug, not a regular sized one. The headphone jack is a 2.5mm one, not the same as the headset your computer would use. I am afraid it lacks some features that the 326 has. It costs less and now I know why! If you just want a phone it might be ok if you can deal with the low volume. Anybody need a 408 for cheap!

    • Hi, i had the em326g as well but for me, at least in my area, the reception was horrible.

      I then went to the w377 and got better reception, but since i have been using the w408, the reception has increased dramatically. – I guess it depends where you are.

  13. I’ve had the 408 for a couple of weeks now and really like it! Still trying to figure out all the bells & whistles,But gives me something to do since the Manuel isn’t much good!!! LOL

  14. Dallas,

    I have the w408g, and while you can bluetooth contacts to it from another device, the contacts will simply appear on the phone as vcard files (*.vcf), stored in the “Vcard, Vcal” folder under “My Folders”, not under the contacts list. Just contacted motorola about it a few days ago, and they said that importing contacts from another device into the contacts list isn’t supported, and it seems there’s no way to open the vcard files from the phone itself.

    It should, however, be possible to copy the vcards to microSD card on the phone, then transfer the microSD card to PC, where the vcard files could be opened and viewed in a PIM. Maybe even be sync’d back into the phone’s contact list this way, though i’m not sure what PIM’s, if any, are compatible with the w408g, and I’m not even sure that feature, if present, is enabled on the Net10 version of the phone, but it might be worth a try (hint hint)…

  15. The w408g form net 10 does not come with 300 minutes for $19.99 like most other net 10 phones. They only give 10 minutes to start with. But they do give you an extra 100 minutes the first 3 times you purchase minutes. That is different.

  16. Pbushx2,

    After using the Motorola 408g a few weeks myself, I have a few tips you might consider as you prepare your review.

    First, note that the “messaging” function on the phone has both text and e-mail capability, both send and receive. Maybe I’m mistaken, but this is the first time I’ve seen e-mail support on a net10 phone… Anyway, your e-mail address will be something like, well lets say you’re phone number was (800)867-5309, then your e-mail address would be Or at least it was for me.

    Second, while playing a video file (which might need to be converted to the .3gp video format), pressing the “up” nav key will change to full-screen mode. Tapping the “down” button will restore the video player console.

    Third, note that for certain parts of the phone, you can cut, copy and paste text, which in my experience has been a rare feature on anything less than a smart phone. To use this feature, while typing into a field, select the “options” soft key to bring up the “entry mode” menu, which will display options for “cut”, “copy”, etc. Note that not all screens have this, unfortunately the text message body screen being one of them.

    Forth, it is possible to read .pdf files off the web. Nothing fancy, just the text, as far as I could get it to work. Similarly for text files, which when received as attachments to text messages, get converted to multipart (“slide show”) messages. Though all of this appears (to me, at least) to be a conversion done by the net10 service, not a capability built into the phone itself. That is, .pdf and .txt files seem to be converted to “readable” HTML and text message pages by net10 before actually reaching the phone. I can’t confirm that the phone has any capability of reading .pdf or .txt files directly.

    Fifth, note that the phone has some lite multitasking capabilities; most notably, you can play music in the background (most of the time). I’ve also noticed that while in, say, the browser, if you happen upon a menu option or something that, lets say, brings up the text message function, then when you’re finished with the text message function and exit, the phone will typically bring you back to where you were in the browser. Again, this kind of multitasking is present in some cases, but not all. Note that there is no multitasking button to switch between applications or anything fancy like that (why I said “lite multitasking”…

    Now for the bummer, sixth, the phone doesn’t have java support, and from what I can tell, you can’t install add-on apps. Note, though, that the phone comes with sudoku and tetris, which I for one can’t really complain about…

    Hope this helps!

  17. Hi there,

    I have had prepaid service with T-Mobile and a Samsung t139. It’s a great little clean, fast phone, with great call quality and volume.

    I just purchased the Motorola 408g on Net10 b/c it looks like I can get 1500 minutes for $100 (as opposed to $100 for 1000 on T-Mobile). This phone has some great features, and the call quality is good (not *quite* as loud as the Samsung, but still very good).

    My only question is this… Is anybody else’s extremely laggy? When I text, the keypad can’t keep up with me half the time, and it’s a big hindrance – especially on letters that require 3 or 4 taps of the button to get to. Maybe I’m spoiled with the Samsung which is snappy and instant all the time. I want to like the 408g because of its features, but the slowness is really hampering me. Is anybody else noticing this? Am I just spoiled?

    • I definitely notice the lag when texting. It’s a problem that also turned up in the Moto w376g and EM326g, among others, that came before the w408g.

      I agree on wanting to like it, but this is a pretty big issue if you text a lot.

  18. Is it possible to take a picture with this phone and send it directly from the phone to a regular email address? Or are MMS and Bluetooth the only options?

  19. Just brought the w408g and haven’t activated it yet, but have been experimenting with the menus & settings.

    I’ve discovered how to avoid having the browser load when accidentally touching the right soft key.

    Go to: Settings> Keys> Right Soft Key

    Then select a different function for the key. I set mine to “Contacts”.

    I also notice that the logo on the phone indicates TracPhone. I called support and they assured me it doesn’t matter what the logo is, the phone will work with Net10

  20. Does anyone know where to find a leather case ofr the W408G. one that has a ratcheting belt clip and you can still see the external display…ie: don’t want a “UNIVERSAL” case

    • Try ebay. I found a USB cable for the phone there and noticed some cases were available as well.

      I bought a simple belt-clip case for a buck at Dollar Tree also.

    • You should find one at Walmart. It won’t have the w408g listed with all the other Motorola phones on the package, but it’ll work. At least it does for me!

  21. If you’re referring to the 2 gig mini SD card the phone can use, no you don’t have to have one to use the phone for calling and texting.

  22. HSN currently this in a combo pack 1 RED 1 SILVER – 2 of everytthing for 79:99 + tax, ship inc: phone/home chargers, black case, 300 Net 10 minutes GOOD FOR A YEAR. Phone has 1 yr man fac war & you can pick up an additionlal 2 year for $14. If you split it with someone that’s less than 4 bucks a year to make sure it works. The one thing they couldnt tell me was whether the case was leather. The item # is:119-731. As far as I can tell it does everything my E71 does but send videos and mp3s- may do that. Im transferring an old moto to it but no Bluetooth. Is there way to copy contacts from E71 to the 408 instead of transfer-ring? Ive had to program & reprogram due to faulty phones & would really appreciate not having to do it again. Have read above already & know this is much later. Would appreciate any help. For guy looking for cheap 408g phone:$10:68 with tax not counting warranty and after minutes deducted. Beat that. I only got Straighttalk because Net 10 adds up if you use it a lot and @ time I had a sick brother and needed it. Built up several yrs of service & with this plan Ill be covered in case my Straight-talk goes funny until 2016. If you just need the service all you have to do is leave 1/2 a minute on phone & you can can still access voice mail from another phone: Turn your phone off. Call # & key in * + your mail box code. Then turn it back on. Cheap for you & builds their customer base..

    • Thanks for the heads-up on the HSN deal, Debra. As you may have seen, I posted this deal as a new post on the blog. Did you end up buying it? I’m just really curious about the minutes “good for one year.” That seems almost too good to be true!

      I’ll have to do some experimenting with the contact transfer between the E71 and w408g.

  23. How do I store and view pics? Once picture is taken, no options appear. Also, how do I get rid of the camera menu @ the bottom of the screen?

  24. I have a fairly new Motorola W408g which rolls over to voicemail after 13(!) rings. I have been unable to find a way to change that number to a smaller amount (I want 8). Anyone have a clue?

  25. OK – I just figured it out. Transfer your ringtone .mp3 from your computer to the “Music” folder on the micro SC card. Then go to Menu >My Folder >Ringtones >Downloaded Ringtones and select the file as your current ringtone.

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