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Thread: Motorola C261

  1. #1
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    Motorola C261


    As a plain old cellphone that always gets a signal, has good voice quality, has a decent speakerphone, and is small and easy to stick in my pocket, this phone has been great for the last four years, maybe five. Problem is it won't hold a charge very long anymore. I've bought new batteries, several over time, but whether charged from my car charger or from two wall chargers I use, it just doesn't last very long. One solid hour of talking will put the battery icon in the blinking stage. Standby will last two days or so.

    Is this something in the phone that can be fixed? Are my batteries just wearing out fast? Is this phone known for having this problem over time?

    I'm reluctant to buy something new, although I've sure been shopping. If I didn't have this battery duration problem I'd not even consider anything else - except when I eventually upgrade to a smartphone someday, if I ever do.

    I read somewhere along the way that the "charging port" might be going bad, or is already there. Does that make any sense to anyone?

    Thanks,

    Mike

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    I had this model, and I noticed that it wasn't very good at getting a signal. The harder the phone has to work to get a signal, the faster the battery will go down. The radio will change its power to adjust to the conditions. So if you are now using it in a more fringe area, the power will have to increase and use up the battery faster. It seemed to struggle for me even in a good area. I had to get a different phone because of the No Service issues even outside a major hospital in a state capital.

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    Try a new battery. Once the battery gets past a certain number of charging cycles the performance can drop quickly.

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    Quote Originally Posted by texbiker View Post
    Try a new battery. Once the battery gets past a certain number of charging cycles the performance can drop quickly.
    The OP said he has gotten several new batteries and even new batteries don't hold a charge. It sounds like it is the phone.

    OP, have you thought about replacing the phone with an exact duplicate? Or try an electronics repair chain like UbreakIfix. http://ubreakifix.com

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    Thanks for the feedback on this issue. I have noticed when travelling between San Diego and Las Vegas that the phone will need charging by the time I get to my destination, so I figured distance from towers had something to do with battery life.

    I wonder if this issue doesn't apply to all cellphones though, not just this one. Don't they all work the same in this respect?

    I really have liked the candy bar form factor (smallness and lightness) of this phone. Maybe I should get another one (they are still on TF's inventory even though they are so old).

    I've seen a little black candybar from TF (Samsung?) that is even smaller than this C261. If it has the same features as my current one I'd probably like that one even more. I guess I need to do some research on that one.

    This C261 has had great reception all along the way, so maybe there's some quality differences in manufacture or, more likely, mine is activated on Verizon instead of AT&T? I keep reading that Verizon is better, but then TF apparently contracts with just about everybody for roaming so maybe it doesn't make any difference.

    Anyway, thanks for the response!

    Mike

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    There are two main cell phone technologies in this country. One is GSM and the other is CDMA. They are not interchangeable. A Tracfone/Net10 handset is made for one or the other. It's like gas and diesel for cars.

    The main GSM carriers are AT&T and T-Mobile. The main CDMA carrier is Verizon. Your phone is GSM. It works by using a SIM card for a specific carrier. Your phone has either an AT&T SIM or a T-Mobile SIM. If you tell us the first six digits of the SIM serial number, we can tell you which one you have. This makes a difference because the two companies have different coverage, especially if you are outside of metro areas.

    GSM has to roam on another GSM. CDMA has to roam on another CDMA. That is the only way the phones can possibly work.

    As far as I know, all cell phones will tweak their power level appropriate to the reception they are getting. This can certainly run down a battery if the signal is weak.

    Considering your travel path, you might consider getting a CDMA phone. This is typically the technology for rural areas because of the way it works better over distance. You are more likely to encounter a signal because GSM doesn't usually bother putting towers in remote areas. So your phone might be struggling to find a GSM signal whereas CDMA would be there for the asking.

    There is not as much phone selection for CDMA because it's a more expensive proposition for Tracfone. But if you just want something basic, you're set. And supposedly the phone needs less power, I think. There is no SIM card. The phone just gets programmed over the air with Verizon programming, probably, at the time of activation.

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    Thanks everyone, especially Lisme for the primer on how the systems work.

    > "If you tell us the first six digits of the SIM serial number"

    Is that the same number as an IMEI number? Looking under the "Prepaid" screen on my phone I see my IMEI number is 010911*********. Looking up "IMEI" on Google Wikipedia says IMEI is used by GSM systems to identify devices so I guess that means my phone uses GSM, which means I'm on AT&T and not Verizon as I assumed. I assumed Verizon since I read that Verizon has better coverage than AT&T. Whether they do or not, TF apparently contracts with enough carriers that I have NEVER (that I know of) been without coverage since I bought my first Tracfone back in the late 90's. Coverage has always been without the slightest problem. When I got my first one (Nokia 5125) I used to try and find places when traveling cross-country (like out in the middle of Utah's Bryce Canyon area) where I couldn't get coverage.

    I recently bought a Straight Talk LG900G as a gift for a friend, along with a one-year unlimited service period. The serial number on that one is 012882*********. Which carrier is that one using?

    Thanks again everyone.

    I just ordered three new 820mAh batteries for $1 each on eBay so since I had some eBucks I was going to lose if I didn't buy something I'll try and work with my battery problem by just carrying extras. Eventually I'll move up to a phone with usable internet access but this old C261 has been very practical and I'm reluctant to give it up. Yes, I could buy another (new) C261 and will keep that option in mind if I have further problems with my current one.

    Mike

    Does anyone know if I can transfer my minutes from my current Tracfone to a new Straight Talk phone if and when I buy one? Since they are the same company I'm thinking this might be possible?

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    [QUOTE=MikeSSS;1479693Does anyone know if I can transfer my minutes from my current Tracfone to a new Straight Talk phone if and when I buy one? Since they are the same company I'm thinking this might be possible?[/QUOTE]

    You cannot transfer anything except for porting the phone number. Straight Talk, Net10 and Tracfone are sister companies but they are not interoperable.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeSSS View Post
    Thanks everyone, especially Lisme for the primer on how the systems work.

    > "If you tell us the first six digits of the SIM serial number"

    Is that the same number as an IMEI number? Looking under the "Prepaid" screen on my phone I see my IMEI number is 010911*********. Looking up "IMEI" on Google Wikipedia says IMEI is used by GSM systems to identify devices so I guess that means my phone uses GSM, which means I'm on AT&T and not Verizon as I assumed. I assumed Verizon since I read that Verizon has better coverage than AT&T. Whether they do or not, TF apparently contracts with enough carriers that I have NEVER (that I know of) been without coverage since I bought my first Tracfone back in the late 90's. Coverage has always been without the slightest problem. When I got my first one (Nokia 5125) I used to try and find places when traveling cross-country (like out in the middle of Utah's Bryce Canyon area) where I couldn't get coverage.

    I recently bought a Straight Talk LG900G as a gift for a friend, along with a one-year unlimited service period. The serial number on that one is 012882*********. Which carrier is that one using?

    Thanks again everyone.

    I just ordered three new 820mAh batteries for $1 each on eBay so since I had some eBucks I was going to lose if I didn't buy something I'll try and work with my battery problem by just carrying extras. Eventually I'll move up to a phone with usable internet access but this old C261 has been very practical and I'm reluctant to give it up. Yes, I could buy another (new) C261 and will keep that option in mind if I have further problems with my current one.

    Mike

    Does anyone know if I can transfer my minutes from my current Tracfone to a new Straight Talk phone if and when I buy one? Since they are the same company I'm thinking this might be possible?
    We need the SIM`s S/N from the prepaid menu, not the phones S/N (IMEI). The SIM determines the native carrier, not the phone. 890126 = T-Mobile and 890141 = AT&T. Never post a complete S/N of any kind.

    If you are ordering off brand batteries instead of Motorola for your C261(G) that may well be your problem. Off brand batteries tend to be low quality.

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