The ZTE Valet- Android Powered Smartphone from TracfoneThis review by de9w2dsl covers the ZTE Valet (Z665C) from Tracfone.
|Tracfone ZTE Valet Android Smartphone|
The ZTE Valet, which we will review here, the Samsung Galaxy Centura, the LG Optimus Dynamic, LG Optimus Dynamic II and the Huawei Glory are the new smartphones offered by Tracfone.
Read our reviews of each of the other phones (by following the links above) to learn more about their features,
Tracfone also recently made it possible to bring your own phone to Tracfone, including smartphones and the iPhone 4/4S. Visit our Tracfone BYOP page for all the details and a list of compatible phones.
Visit our post on Android powered smartphones coming to Tracfone to learn more.
Now let's get to the review of the ZTE Z665C Valet from Tracfone.
Review of the ZTE Valet Android SmartphoneThe Z665C is a candy bar style, touchscreen smartphone that runs on Android OS 4.1 and is available to use exclusively with Tracfone prepaid wireless. The Valet is a CDMA phone, and uses Verizon networks, although some Tracfone CDMA phones may use Sprint networks.
Let's take a look at the full feature list for the ZTE Valet.
ZTE Valet Features and Specs:
- Android 4.1 Operating System
- 3 MP Camera and Video Recorder
- 3G/WiFi Connectivity
- Triple Minutes for Life
- Alarm Clock
- MP3 Player
- GPS Enabled
- Gravity/Proximity Sensor
- Instant Messaging
- Five customizable home screens
- Access to Google Play with over 700,000 Apps
- Hearing Aid Compatible
- 4 GB Micro SD card included, up to 32GB capacity
- Mobile Web
- Handsfree speaker, Voicemail, Call Waiting, Caller ID, and Text/Media Messaging
- Also comes with Battery and Charger
Specs and Dimensions for the Valet:
- 1.0 Ghz processor
- 3.5" touchscreen
- Size: 4.6" x 2.5" x 0.5"
- 4.5 ounces
- 11 days standby, 5.5 hours batter talk time
Before we got too far on this, let's look at some of the likes and dislikes for this prepaid Android smartphone.
Likes and Dislikes for the ZTE ValetZTE Valet Likes:
First off, this phone comes with three great features we see on several of Tracfone's other top phones: Triple Minutes for Life, WiFi, and 3G connectivity.
|Back of the ZTE Valet - Note camera w/ flash|
WiFi allows you to connect to wireless internet and surf the web for free without using minutes/data. This is a great money saving feature and especially useful if you are often in WiFi areas like you home or work. The ZTE Valet even has a feature that allows you to turn off the phones data, so that you will only connect to the web through the free WiFi whenever available.
3G speeds make this phone fairly quick when not connected to WiFi and, while not as fast as 4G, it is quite adequate for most people.
Two other convenient features for the Valet are the 3 MP camera and included 4GB Micro SD card. The camera on the ZTE Valet is decent, although you would want a better camera if you plan to take a lot of pictures in medium to low light areas. With the included Micro SD card, you can store pictures, apps or music without overloading the phone's internal memory. It is also possibly to purchase up to a 32 GB Micro SD card if you want to expand the memory.
Finally, our biggest like about the ZTE Valet is that it uses Android 4.1 OS. This opens up a world of options and features. You can choose from thousands of apps on Google Play and download them (save money by using WiFi) to the phone. You can use Google maps to get directions, or watch videos on Youtube. The possibilities are impressive and make this phone way more than just a device for calling and texting.
But there are a few dislikes about the ZTE Valet we want to mention in this review.
ZTE Valet Dislikes:
The main dislike we have for the ZTE Valet isn't really a problem with the phone, but rather a dislike about how Tracfone is going to charge for Calling, Texting and Data.
On all of Tracfone's non-Android devices, calling and texting are both deducted from a single minutes pool.
With the new Android Smartphones, calling, texting and data are split into three different pools. So if you add a 60 minute card, it will be automatically tripled, and you will get 180 minutes for calling, 180 texts, and 180mb of data.
The problem is that some people text way more often than call, and with this new break down of minutes, they would run out of texts rather quickly, but still have lots of calling minutes and data left over.
The same would happen for those who mostly use the phone for calling. They would run out of calling time, but have a lot of texts and data left over. The only good news is that all minutes, data and texts for the Valet will carry over to the next month. But this could be an issue for some people.
Another dislike about these new Android phones is that they may not accept promo codes. We haven't tested this extensively, and would appreciate feedback on this.
While there are a few more likes and dislikes we could mention about the ZTE Valet, this covers the major information that would be useful for learning about this phone.
How to Check your Airtime Balance on Tracfone SmartphonesMany are wondering how to find out what your airtime balance is on these new Android smartphones. There is no dedicated display that shows your balance, however, there is a very easy way to check your balance. This information courtesy of an anonymous visitor:
To find out the number of minutes/text/data left, you'll need to log on to your Tracfone account and submit a balance request, OR set up a bookmark in your browser (on your computer or phone) to go to "https://www.tracfone.com/direct/CheckBalance?input_phone=1234567890" (replace 1234567890 with your phone number). You'll get a free text message on your phone with your balances. The service end date is not in the text message. It's only shown on the browser screen.
We recommend you signup for an account on the Tracfone website, which will make managing your cell phone and adding minutes much easier. If you have further questions or thoughts on adding/checking minutes, leave a comment below!
Overall Review and Pricing for the ZTE ValetThe Valet is a powerful mobile phone that offers a number of features appreciated by more tech savvy individuals. While it would not be a good choice for someone who just needs a phone to call and text, it is a great choice for those who like a lot of features, and want access to Google apps. It is a true smartphone, and provides good functionality while keeping costs low by using prepaid. This might be a great phone to use with Tracfone's family value plan.
The ZTE Valet retails for $99 in most stores, and online at the Tracfone website. We have also found the ZTE Valet on Amazon at a discount.
Learn more about the CDMA network the Valet uses, in our post, GSM vs CDMA. You might also enjoy getting some free bonus minutes by using a Tracfone Promo Code. Although they don't work on the Android phones.
Be sure to leave a comment with any thoughts, reviews, or questions about this phone, and share this review with others who might find it useful.
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