TracFone recommendations – Part 1

My First Choice Recommendation – the LG 3280 for TracFone

As I am writing this, all TracFone models vary in price from $15 to $50 for the phone alone. The features vary with each phone, and you may want a specific phone if it includes a particular feature that you want. However, all of the phones available in the bundles will be good at doing basic phone functions – in other words, making and receiving calls. I always recommend getting a bundle directly from TracFone, because you can get the phone and some starter minutes for a very good price. And, all phones from TracFone will automatically get 60 days of service and 20 minutes of talk time when you activate them on the web, so this will further reduce your cost of phone service.

At the moment, TracFone is offering a very nice deal on the LG3280 phone, which is a CDMA phone. Right now, you can get this phone, plus 1 full year of service and 800 minutes for $100 plus tax. Before I show you where to find the deal, here are some of the reasons I recommend this particular phone:

  • It is a flip phone, and I recommend this style as I explained above
  • It is a CDMA phone, so coverage will be slightly better, in many areas, than the GSM models
  • The phone is rated as hearing-aid compatible (U3/M3), which may be important to some
  • This particular phone is very good at picking up a signal, so even if network coverage is spotty, this phone will do a good job of making and receiving calls.
  • It has built-in speakerphone capability, which is a nice option to have.
  • At the moment, it is the only phone that comes with 800 minutes and 1 year of service
  • Voice-activated dialing is a VERY nice feature, but will take some time to set up.
  • The bundle including 800 minutes, one year of service, and double minutes for the life of the phone is a GREAT deal.

Now, for details on how to order this phone (LG 3280), click here.

To Check out other TracFones that you might want, click here.

If you’ve already decided to purchase the 3280 and want to know how to activate your phone, click here

8 thoughts on “TracFone recommendations – Part 1

  1. Dear Pbush, Is the LG 3280 still your First Choise recommmandation ???? What is the date of this Date of this Rewiew ? I am not totally happy with your web site !

    • Hi Jim
      I’m sorry that you are disappointed – if you provide a few more specifics on what you feel is lacking, maybe I can try to help you out and improve the site a little. Everything on this site has been completed within the last 9 months, so it’s relatively current. And, yes, I do still think that the 3280 is a quality, basic, easy-to-use phone and a good way to get started with TracFone, if that helps you out.

  2. Hi,
    I’m using your helpful site to make a choice of phones for my friend who uses Net10. She talks for hours to her daughter in another state.

    I’d like to get her the one with bluetooth so she wouldn’t have to hold the cell phone up to her ear. Net10 sells the LG600G now for $70. I don’t know if that includes minutes.

    Will she have to carry the cell phone around the house with her for the ear thing to work? Is radiation a hazard? Also, will she be able to hear just as well with the ear thing? I guess I’ll have to buy one of those separately. This sounds like it’s getting complicated.

    Maybe there’s a better way? Is Skype more expensive?

    Thanks much from a Grandmother!

    • I’m sorry to say I can’t really answer your question about the bluetooth range – I think that it depends partially on the headset (which will be a separate purchase, by the way). I think that it’s POSSIBLE that she could set the phone down on, say, the kitchen table, and move around the house while still maintaining the conversation, but I wouldn’t rely on that if it’s a make-or-break part of your decision.

      Skype is a possibility, though I can’t fully recommend it because I’ve never used it to make a call to a landline. Also, with Skype, you would either need to purchase a separate device (try searching amazon) that plugs into the internet, or have the computer turned on the whole time. But aside from that, Skype is quite inexpensive for outgoing calls, I think. I want to say it’s around $3-4 per month for unlimited calls to the U.S. and Canada. Definitely don’t take my word for it, though, it’s been a long time since I looked into it. Check it out at and look for the term “skype out.”

      Also, does your friend have a landline phone? Many landline plans now offer unlimited long distance, which would be a great deal compared to the 10 cents per minute for Net10 – so maybe you’d just like to get your friend a nice “regular” telephone to use on her landline while calling her daughter. There are some pretty nice cordless phones out there these days, many with belt clips and wired headsets. So the headset goes in the ear, the phone goes on the belt or in a pocket, and a wire connects the two. Maybe this is the best solution for your friend. (Also, all TracFone and Net10 phones come with wired headset jacks, so if your friend wants a wired headset you can just by the headset itself to plug into her existing cell phone).

  3. Good site and appreciated. I currently have a cellphone with a major carrier which is costing $35.69 a month since last April. The phone has not been used for 60 minutes total since that time. I’m patiently paying and waiting for the year to be over and then am going to make a change. Tracfone seems to be the way to go. So far as Skype is concerned, I have Skype and here is some info on that. $29.50 a year for unlimited calling US and Canada. $30 for a Skype number, $34.90 for a USB to phone adapter. I have a 3 pair cable in the house and have it arranged so Skype forwards calls to its number to the regular landline number. Any phone in the house can dial Long Distance on Skype or be used for a regular phone service call. The phones ring for a Skype call or a regular phone service call.
    I got the cell phone because my sife gets frantic when I am gone longer than she anticipated. I am 80 and she is 87, blind and deaf and dependent on me. But instead of using the cell phone I have been keeping my trips out short, with no problem. I got the phone after she panicked because I was gone for an oil change much longer than expected. Thanks for the info on the site. WSS

    • Wayne – thanks so much for the kind words and even more so for taking the time to share the info about your skype setup. I’d love to learn more about if if you have the time to follow up. If you don’t mind, I have the following questions:
      1. Could you name the USB adapter that you use?
      2. Does this require your computer to be on at all times, in order to receive skype calls?
      3. How is the sound quality on the skype calls?

      Thanks for your input!

      • My reply was erased!! Again – It is now 6/26/11 – An ad today for Walgreen’s offers, for $9.99, a “Tracfone prepaid LG420G, incl. double minutes, bluetooth,camera & web access”. Our Sprint contract will expire soon & I want to switch, since we only us a small fraction of the 60 minutes per month included. Are you still there? Robert

        • I’m here. For $10, that’s a good deal. Keep in mind it will operate on the network(s) provided by AT&T and t-mobile, so your coverage with the 420g will be different than on sprint.

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