Excellent 14-hour battery life. Colorful and bright 4.7-inch HD display. Touch ID security. Water-resistant. Sharp 12MP camera. Records 4K video. Speedy processor.
No headphone jack.
Has substantial battery life for increased usage before charging. Contains 32 GB of built-in memory, but supports up to 512 GB with the use of a microSD card. Features include an HD infinity display screen, rear and front facing cameras, and connectivity to WiFi and Bluetooth.
Doesn’t have the best speaker system.
Boasts 6.4-inch HD screen and 1.8GHz octa-core processor. Solid 13MP rear and 8MP front camera system. Runs Android 10.0 with 32 GB of storage. Capable of 4G LTE and Bluetooth 4.2. Includes 30 hours of talk time.
Not 5G capable. Carrier locked. Not GSM compatible.
Incredible 29-hour battery life. Especially affordable. Fast performance. Wide 5.5-inch HD+ display. Detailed 13MP camera. Headphone jack. Water-repellant design. FM radio.
Only features 32 GB of memory.
We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.
If you are like the majority of people, you probably depend on a cell phone for communication. Maybe you use it to make occasion calls when you are away from home; maybe you keep it close by at all times for calls, texts, and social media. You may even be looking at it right now.
In recent years, the cell phone has evolved from a luxury item that few could afford to a necessity that most users couldn’t imagine living without. But the costs and restrictions associated with contract plans are not for everybody. What’s more, the cancellation fees associated with prematurely ending a contract leave many customers feeling trapped if they want to change carriers before terms have expired.
If cell phone contracts have left you frustrated, you have another option. TracFone is a no-contract wireless carrier with quality pre-paid phones that offer reliable coverage and flexible monthly minutes, texts, and data. When you use TracFone, you free yourself from the restrictions of wireless contracts.
If you’ve never used a no-contract cell phone plan, the idea of trying TracFone for the first time or switching from a contract carrier may seem overwhelming. You may have questions about the service. You may not know where to start when it comes to selecting the right TracFone for you.
BestReviews is here to help!
We understand the needs and concerns of consumers because we are a team of consumers, too. We purchase hundreds of products and test them in our labs. We use data from our tests and other research to help readers make informed shopping decisions.
Because we never accept free products from manufacturers, you can feel confident that our honest, informative advice is here to help you make the most of your money.
If you are ready to free yourself of the constraints of contract wireless service, we can help you find a TracFone that fits your communication style and budget. Please continue reading for more information.
Though many wireless customers prefer smartphones, not everyone is into the latest technology. TracFone has a variety of smart Android options to choose from, but the company also carries several basic “flip phone” models.
The best option for you depends on your budget, what you use your cell phone for, and how frequently you call and text.
Smart TracFones, including Samsung and LG options, have a large internal storage capacity of up to 32GB. These phones have features and functions that many other smartphones do, including a camera and the ability to download your favorite apps.
Basic “non-smart” flip phones, on the other hand, have limited internal storage. Although they have cameras, they lack the intuitive technology that smartphones offer. However, if you don’t use your cell phone very often or you’re not a fan of technology, this type of phone may be worth considering.
Offers some of the latest technology.
Lots of storage space for photos, videos, and apps.
Appeals to tech-savvy consumers.
Pricier than basic phones.
Requires data for web access.
Easy to use, especially for anyone who only uses wireless for calls and texts.
Limited storage, which could be problematic if you take a lot of photos.
Battery life tends to be shorter.
Lacks the capabilities of smartphones, such as useful downloadable apps or GPS.
When it comes to phone prices, TracFone offers a variety of options to fit your budget.
If you’re looking to spend as little as possible, you can find TracFones for under $100.
There are even some TracFones that sell for $50 or less; these tend to be non-smart flip models.
If you want to spend a little more, you can buy a popular Samsung or LG model with smart technology for around $100.
If you want a top-selling smartphone with ample storage, you can expect to pay in the neighborhood of several hundred dollars.
Once you’ve found the right TracFone, you are ready to begin enjoying your prepaid wireless access. With a few easy steps, you’ll be talking and texting in no time.
Activate your phone
Select a plan for your smartphone
Prepaid plans are available to suit a variety of needs and budgets. TracFone prices may vary, but the following is a general guideline as to what to expect.
Smartphone plans start at 30 days. They may include 200 to 300 minutes and 1,000 texts and cost around $15 to $20.
60-days plans may also include 1,000 texts. Minutes may vary from 500 to 750 for $25 to $35.
90-day plans may include 750 minutes with the choice of 1,000 or 1,500 texts for $45 to $50.
At the time of this writing, TracFone’s 365-day plan includes 1,500 minutes and texts for $125.
All smartphone plans include data that ranges from 500MB to 2GB. Extra GB and text plans are available as needed.
Select a plan for your basic phone
If you have purchased a basic phone rather than a smartphone, you’ll still have some decisions to make. Again, the following are general guidelines that may fluctuate.
90-days plans are available for a bit more money (around $20) and may include 60 airtime minutes. There are also 120-minute plans, 200-minute plans, and 450-minute plans. The prices go up incrementally.
If you prefer a year-long plan, TracFone has some options for you here as well. For example, you may be able to purchase around 400 minutes of airtime for $100 or 1,500 minutes of airtime for $200.
Set up your phone with your plan
A major concern of wireless customers who are considering switching from a contract to a prepaid plan is network coverage.
After all, what good is an affordable, flexible phone plan if you frequently experience dropped calls or dead zones?
However, with one of the largest 4G coverage areas in the U.S., TracFone offers a network that’s comparable to those of contract carriers.
Regardless of the type of TracFone or plan you choose, these tips will help you make the most of your phone and service.
Keep your budget in mind. The newest smart TracFones have a lot of impressive features, but they are also the most expensive offered by the brand.
Keep your number or get a new one. TracFone allows you to keep the number all your friends and family are used to. Or, if you prefer, you can start from scratch with a new number to go with your new phone.
Refill your talk, text, and data as needed. Just because you select a specific prepaid plan doesn’t mean you are limited. If you run out of airtime, need more texts, or approach your GB limit, you can easily add more of what you need to keep you plan going.
Don’t let your plan expire. Always remember to refill your plan to keep it activated. For example, if you have a 60-day plan, you will need to refill it with another plan once the 60 days are up even if you still have minutes, texts, or data you haven’t used. They will roll over to the next month, so you will never lose what you haven’t used when you keep your plan activated.
Think about any extras you may need. If you make a lot of international calls, text excessively, or use data for video streaming, TracFone has add-ons that you can purchase to customize your wireless plan.
Help is available if you have questions. TracFone offers several platforms, including text, phone, and online support.
Q. I’ve always had a contract cell phone, so I’m concerned that the need to refill my plan will be a hassle. Is it difficult to do?
A. This is a common concern among cellular customers who are transitioning from a contract to a prepaid plan. However, refilling your plan after it has ended is not difficult. Simply select the refill product you want, follow the prompts on the TracFone website, and you’re good to go.
Q. What happens if I let my plan lapse?
A. While you can simply re-activate your TracFone if you let it expire, keep in mind that you have to keep your plan continuously activated to avoid losing unused talk minutes, texts, and data.
Q. How do I reach customer service if I have questions about my phone or plan?
A. TracFone customer service can be accessed by phone, text, or online chat to help you when issues, concerns, or questions arise.