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Comparing Android vs Non-Android Devices from Tracfone

Should you buy a new Android smartphone from Tracfone? Is it worth upgrading to these powerful devices that have recently become available to use with Tracfone prepaid service? We want to answer questions like these with this guide to understanding Android including 6 important differences to other Tracfone prepaid phones.

Let's start with a basic but important question:

What is an Android Phone?

android tracfone
Tracfone Android vs Non-Android
Any phone that uses the Android Operating System is considered an Android device. Basically, it is a standardized operating system for phones, like Windows OS for PC's.

Android allows users to have access to hundreds of thousands of different applications through the Google Play store and other locations. These apps provide added functionality, and many are free to download and use. There are apps for nearly anything you can think of, ranging from music and radio streaming, to games and entertainment.

For more about Android OS, here is a link to the Wikipedia page on Android.

Now, we want to mention here that there are three categories of phones form Tracfone at this time:

Three Types of Phones for Tracfone:
  • Android - Cell Phones that use Android OS
  • Non-Android - All other phones from Tracfone (visit our /p/cell-phone-reviews.html">Cell Phone Reviews page to see them)
  • /p/tracfone-byop-phone-list.html">BYOP Phones - A new program from Tracfone that allows you to 'Bring Your Own Phone'. (follow the link to learn more about this program) including iPhone and Android devices
So there are a few different types of phones to choose from, but we won't get into that. We will focus just on Android smartphones, and comparing the difference between them and all other phones offered by Tracfone.

So let's get to the main question, how are Android smartphones different from other Tracfone devices?

6 Key Differences Comparing Android vs Non-Android Devices from Tracfone

A list comparing the major differences between phones with Android operating system, and all the rest that are available from Tracfone. Use this list to help choose whether an Android phone may be right for you.

tracfone android
Find Apps for Android
1. Access Thousands of Applications with Android Smartphones
Androids are called smartphones because of their increased functionality with access to standardized applications (apps). These apps can do many of the same things that computers programs do, including web browsing, photo editing, games and much much more.

Apps for Android phones are available from the Google Play Store and many are free or just a few dollars. There are over a million applications and they do quite a number of different things.

Access to applications gives Android phones almost unlimited functionality because you can always download and install a new app to do something you couldn't do before. Non-Android devices from Tracfone are usually limited to the features that come with the phone, like an alarm clock, web browser, etc.

Visit the Google Play Store to see some of the apps available to use with Android.

2. Minutes are Split into Three 'buckets' for Android Phones
One of the major differences between Tracfone's Android devices and their non-Android phones is the way minutes work. 

android tracfone
Use the same prepaid card for Androids
On the non-Android phones (such as the /2012/12/tracfone-review-lg-840g.html">LG 840G or /2014/04/lg-306g-tracfone-review.html">LG 306G), when you add a 60 minute card, you get 60 minutes (or 180 if you have Triple Minutes for Life) for talking, texting and web browsing all in one 'bucket'. Also, texts cost only 0.3 minutes each.

For Android smartphones (like the /2013/10/zte-valet-review-tracfone-smartphone.html">ZTE Valet or /2014/04/lg-optimus-dynamic-ii-review.html">LG Optimus Dynamic II), a 60 minute card will be split into three 'buckets' and give you 60 minutes calling, 60 texts, and 60mb data (and these will all be tripled to 180 with Triple Minutes for Life). So you get the same number of calling minutes (180), plus texting and data (180 of each)!  

However, if you use texting almost exclusively, this may not be a great deal because you would only have 180 texts on the Android versus a total of 600 for the non android (180 minutes divided by 0.3 per text). But there are apps available on Android that text for free - like TextPlus or several others.

So prepaid minutes work a little differently, but for most, this is very beneficial.

3. Touchscreens on All Tracfone Android Smartphones
Not everyone likes to use a touchscreen, but all of the Android powered phones from Tracfone have touchscreens at this time.

Most smartphones these days only have a touchscreen, it is very common. But if you prefer the feel of buttons under your fingers, then you might want to stick with Tracfone's like the /2013/02/tracfone-review-samsung-s390g.html">Samsung S390G or /2014/06/moto-ex431g-tracfone-review.html">Motorola EX431G which both have full QWERTY keypads.

Additionally, you can visit our /p/tracfone-byop-phone-list.html">Tracfone BYOP page to learn about how you can bring a smartphone to use with Tracfone, including some phones with sliding keyboards. Visit the BYOP page for a phone list and all the details.

4. Android Phones are (generally) Newer
Most of the newest phones from Tracfone are all Android devices. And while /2014/07/tracfone-android-list.html">Tracfone's current Android smartphone selection has mostly phones that are a few years old, their non-Android phone selection includes phones from 5-10 years ago.

If you're looking for a newest phones from Tracfone, Android is where you should look. There are a couple of new smartphones we are excited about which are the /2014/06/samsung-galaxy-ace-style-s765c-coming.html">Samsung Galaxy Ace Style and /2014/06/lg-l34c-optimus-fuel-review.html">LG Optimus Fuel.

5. Android Phones are (generally) More Expensive
Because the Android phones from Tracfone are newer and have more features, they also tend to be more expensive. Typically the phones will be priced above $100. There are a variety of online stores that offer some great deals, including deals with minutes. So shop around when searching for a phone.

But not all of the Android smartphones are expensive, you can even get the LG Optimus Dynamic for $20 on Amazon right now.

6. No /p/tracfone-promo-codes.html">Tracfone Promo Codes for Android
The last, and probably most disappointing difference between Android and other Tracfone cell phones is that the Android phones won't accept promo codes which you might be accustomed to using with other prepaid phones.

For a long time, Tracfone has provided special promotional codes which customers can use when buying new prepaid minutes to get extra minutes for free. This is a great deal, and you can get as many as 250 free minutes.

But these promo codes are not available for Tracfone Android Smartphones, which is too bad.

Bonus Point! You are Charged for Every Text You Receive on Android Phones
Thanks to David for mentioning this in the comments - On the Android phones you cannot choose which incoming texts you read (and are charged for). You are automatically charged for every incoming text, whether you read it or not.

On non-Android Tracfones you can choose not to read a text, and thus not be charged for it. So be aware of this, and if you receive a lot of spam texts, you may want to change your number when changing to an Android phone from Tracfone.

This concludes the list of key differences between Android smartphones and the regular cell phones offered by Tracfone. We hope these points will help you choose if an Android phone is best for you. If you have any questions, or additional points to add, leave a comment below!


View all the android phones for easy comparison on our new /2014/07/tracfone-android-list.html">Tracfone Android Smartphone List.

Thanks for visiting, and we hope this information was useful!

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