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Thread: LG 420G Review and My TracFone Experience

  1. #1
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    Thumbs up LG 420G Review and My TracFone Experience

    I'm a long time tracfone user. I recently upgraded my Tracfone to the LG 420G phone. Since I was not able to find any reviews of the LG 420G before I purchased it, I will provide a brief review here and maybe it will be helpful to others.

    First, some corrections to errors and omissions in the information provided on the Tracfone website:

    Physical dimensions: 3.5 x 1.8 x 0.7 inches. (info missing from website)
    Number of included ringtones: 8 (website claims 64)
    Does not have a flashlight feature as best I can tell (website claims it does)

    My first impressions:

    This seems to be a very good phone for the low low price of $20 and I am very pleased with it. It has a solid feel to it and I like the compact size; easy to fit in pocket. The buttons are relatively large and easy to press accurately. The display size is adequate at 1.7”, and is bright and easy to read. I have tried the web browser a little, and it seems to work well. The browser initially comes up using only part of the screen, but there is an option to go full screen, which is a big improvement. The camera also works well, although it is only 640 x 480 resolution. I can’t state this with certainty, but the charger seems to be the new universal micro USB style which most phone manufacturers are beginning to standardize upon. That will make it easy to get a replacement or an additional charger for the car, home, work, etc.

    Here’s a possible glitch that works to the user’s advantage. When I receive a text message and view it by opening the phone and reading it on the large inside screen, the 0.3 minute deduction is taken. However, when the phone is closed, and a message comes in, I am able to read it on the small external screen by using the volume button on the side of the phone to scroll through it. Reading the message this way prevents the 0.3 minute deduction. Voila, free incoming text messages, just like my old V170.

    The Tracfone experience:

    Surprisingly, very good. My previous phone was the Motorola V-170, with AT&T as the carrier (The LG 420G has T-Mobile as the carrier). It had just over 1600 minutes on it (I don’t use it much and that is what has accumulated as I have added a 1 year card each year). I wanted to transfer both my cell phone number and the minutes to the new phone. I first tried the Tracfone website, put in the IMEIs for the old and new phones, and received a message that a new SIM card was needed and to please call tracfone support. That made my heart sink, as my initial experiences with tracfone support years ago were terrible and I’ve tried very hard to avoid dealing with them.

    This time though – not so bad. I called and was immediately connected to a support person. Not sure if he was in the US or a far-away place. He did have an accent, but he was very understandable and seemed to know what he was doing, as opposed to reading a script. I told him about the “need a new SIM” message that I received, but he said he could take care of the transfer. After taking down the IMEI’s and the Parameter 0 and 30 values, he gave me a code to put in the V170 phone, which wiped out the 1600 minutes. He said to leave the new phone turned on and that the change should take effect within 72 hours. The new phone would have my same phone number and all of the minutes from the old phone plus 20 bonus minutes. I was slightly skeptical, but couldn’t really do anything but wait. That all took place at about 6 PM. Around 11 PM, I called my cell phone number and it rang on the new phone. The minutes still showed as 0 though. The next morning, the minutes still showed as zero, so I tried going to Add Airtime on the Prepaid menu and put in 555 in the Airtime PIN block. This is a special code to retrieve pending minutes. It worked almost immediately, and all the 1620 minutes showed up on the display. I think if I had tried this the night before, it would have taken effect then.

    In summary, I’m very pleased with the LG 420G phone and also with the service received from Tracfone support. My V170 phone used AT&T as the provider, while the LG 420G is using T-Mobile. So far, I have noticed that the new phone does not receive a signal at all inside my office building. The V170 worked reasonably well inside the building. That situation should greatly improve in the next month or two since a new T-Mobile tower is going up nearby. Other than that, the signal has been fine everywhere I’ve been so far with the new phone.

  2. #2
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    Usually you get the activation completed within minutes if you do it during regular (8-5) business hours. 555 is usually used only for Safelink, but since it worked for you, great! As for that texting glitch, don't expect it to work too long. GSM phones auto-reprogram whenever the carrier wants them to.

  3. #3
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    I had not heard of the 555 code previously. But the Services Guide that came with the 420G phone has a section entitled "Getting Pending Updates and Minutes" which says:

    "If you have activated your TracFone and tried adding Minutes but haven't received them, you can check to see if you have pending minutes. This function will send pending minutes and programming updates to your tracfone."

    That sounded like my situation, so I tried it and it worked.

    I hope tracfone doesn't read this forum and turn off the free incoming text message glitch!

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    Elston actually posts here (sporadically), so he may see this thread's title. As the title doesn't advertise the glitch, it is a toss-up whether he reads about it or not. Glad your phone is working and that you have all of your minutes.

  5. #5
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    Kmart has the LG 420g on sale this week for $14.99. I'd like to know the difference between this phone and the LG600g.

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    Quote Originally Posted by timdennis View Post
    Kmart has the LG 420g on sale this week for $14.99. I'd like to know the difference between this phone and the LG600g.
    I'm fairly certain it's the LG 410 that's on sale, according to KMart's website at least. Maybe there's a regional sale in your area of which I'm not aware.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by timdennis View Post
    Kmart has the LG 420g on sale this week for $14.99. I'd like to know the difference between this phone and the LG600g.
    It is the 420g that is on sale in my area.

    This site has a very good review of the 600g phone:
    http://pbush14.wordpress.com/2008/08...review-part-1/

    I read it, and it pretty much lines up with the features and characteristics of my 420g. So the differences are not huge. It would be great if pbush would review the 420g, as he does such a thorough job.

    A couple of differences that I did notice:

    On the 420g, the volume control on the side of the phone does not activate the camera as it does on the 600g. So you cannot take a photo with the phone closed. Instead, the volume control serves to silence the ringing when depressed for 2-3 seconds. In addition, it can be used to scroll and read an incoming text message on the external screen, which is handy.

    The 600g appears to use GPRS for data. The 420g has a small "E" on the display when I use the browser, so I'm wondering if this means that it is using EDGE for data transfer. Just speculating; I don't have any other info to back this up.

    The 420g has a claimed battery life of 7 hours talk and 23 days of standby, compared to 6.5 hours and 4 days for the 600g. I'm skeptical of the 23 days standby, but even if it doesn't last 23 days it may have better battery life than the 600g, which would be good.

    The 420g is all black, except for a couple of thin silver accents around the camera and navigation button. I think it looks great, better than the 600g.

    According to pbush's review, the 600g browser is very limited and only displays tracfone provided content. I've been able to go to any site using the 420g browser. So that is a significant improvement.

    That's about all I can come up with.

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    Pbush is working on a review of the 420g and will be publishing it this week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe555 View Post
    It is the 420g that is on sale in my area.


    That's about all I can come up with.
    The LG600 has DMFL and the LG420 does not.

    What about PC connectivity via bluetooth or USB? I am talking about BT for PC connectivity, not headsets.

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    I appreciate the hands on information. I wanted to know the difference bwtn the LG 600g and the LG 420g. I did read in the specs the vast difference in standby battery life but don't know if I believe it yet. I see from the comments there are pros and cons for both.



    Quote Originally Posted by TooWildToTame View Post
    I'm fairly certain it's the LG 410 that's on sale, according to KMart's website at least. Maybe there's a regional sale in your area of which I'm not aware.
    No its is the LG 420g. Its in my local Sunday paper. I've found the Company/store websites of Kmart,Target,Walmart,etc. do not always show whats available in the stores. I'm not sure why this is. I posted a thread last month concerning the VZ prepaid MOT W755 and LG chocolate being available at my local Walmart,but don't recall seeing them in their website.
    In addition,thats why "the Sweeper" performs such a valuable service. He finds handsets that are not always shown on websites but has to physically drive around to multiple stores.

  11. #11
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    If I am reading the OP correctly when you open the phone it automatically opens a new SMS? What if you have several new messages? Can you "ignore" a new message and delete it without opening the phone?



  12. #12
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    Can the LG 420G link to a bluetooth laptop to transfer photos? I am trying to decide between this phone and a lg 600g that has double minutes for life.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by 25jive1 View Post
    If I am reading the OP correctly when you open the phone it automatically opens a new SMS? What if you have several new messages? Can you "ignore" a new message and delete it without opening the phone?
    Sorry, I was not real clear in my original post. Opening the phone does NOT automatically open an SMS and result in a 0.3 minute deduction. When you open the phone it tells you how many new messages you have and then you have the choice to select what you want to open. And yes, you can delete one or all of the messages without opening them and no minutes are deducted when you delete unread messages.

    But, if you scroll through and read the message with the phone closed on the external display, you can read it without any minutes being deducted. Next time you open the phone, you can read (or delete) the message on the internal display and still not be charged.

    This only works for SMS texts, not MMS messages.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by msweetpea View Post
    Can the LG 420G link to a bluetooth laptop to transfer photos? I am trying to decide between this phone and a lg 600g that has double minutes for life.
    I'd try this out and provide an answer, but I don't have access to a bluetooth anything. But, I'm sure pbush will cover it all on his blog http://pbush14.wordpress.com/ when he publishes his review.

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    Quote Originally Posted by annepani View Post
    The LG600 has DMFL and the LG420 does not.
    Under normal circumstances I would not buy a phone without DMFL. If I loved a phone I would not spend the $25 to add it. It may be just me but I think a non DMFL phone is just a paper weight.

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