The prices on the TracFone Motorola W175 and the TracFone Motorola W260g are certainly attractive, but are these entry-level TracFone's worth buying? Are they inexpensive, or just down right cheap? Keep reading to find out.
The TracFone Motorola W175 and TracFone Motorola W260g are practically identical in every way except form factor, hence this dual review and comparison. The W175 is a standard candy bar style of phone, while the W260g is a flip phone, but their screens and software seem to be the same.
TracFone models from left to right: Motorola V170, Motorola W376g, Motorola W260g, Motorola W175, and Motorola C139.
While the TracFone Motorola W175 is longer than the Motorola W260g, and most other TracFones, it also somewhat thinner. So in that respect is slips into a pocket a bit easier.
Of course, since the TracFone Motorola W175 is an open-faced phone, you have to be more careful about not scratching the screen than you do with a flip-phone like the TracFone Motorola W260g.
The best feature of the TracFone Motorola W175 and Motorola 260g
Without a doubt, the defining feature of these phones is their long battery life. I know that's not as sexy as bluetooth capability or a built-in camera, but for day to day use, a long battery life is a real benefit.
My wife currently has a TracFone Motorola V170, and I have to recharge that thing every 3 or 4 days, even if she just leaves it turned it without even using it. My testing with the TracFone Motorola W376g and the TracFone LG600 has shown that they both need to be recharged every 4 or 5 days.
The TracFone Motorola W175 and TracFone Motorola W260g, however, will last a full 9 or 10 days between recharges. You have to recharge a bit sooner if you make or take calls on them, of course, but it's quite nice to have a phone that actually keeps its charge for more than just a few days.
This feature alone make the W175 and W260g an excellent choice for those of you who simply want an inexpensive cell phone for emergencies or occasional short phone calls. Their long battery life helps to insure that the phone will actually have some charge left if its ever actually needed in an emergency.
The worst feature of the TracFone Motorola W175 and Motorola W260g
One reason why these phones have such good battery life is that they don't have a lot of drain on the battery with features such as bluetooth or a bright screen.
This picture shows the difference between the TracFone Motorola W376g screen (left), and the TracFone Motorola W260g screen (right). Note that the TracFone Motorola W175 screen looks identical to the W260g. It's easy to see that W376g has a brighter and sharper screen, which is also a little larger.
It's not that the W175 and W260g have terrible screens, and when you look at them on their own, you don't notice that they are particularly inferior. But when you compare them to the W376g, you immediately notice that its screen is simply better in all respects.
Since the TracFone Motorola W175 and Motorola W260g are entry-level phones, they also don't come with more advanced features such as bluetooth capability, internet access, a built-in camera, built-in Double Minutes For Life (DMFL), or the ability to play mp3 ringtones.
Standard TracFone features on the Motorola W175 and W260g
Being TracFones, these phones come with the standard features such as voicemail, caller id, call waiting, vibration alert (vibrate mode), 35 pre-loaded polyphonic ringtones, alarm clock, calculator, stop watch, games (Rebels, Crazy, and Soccer), calendar, currency converter, handsfree speaker, phone book with up to 500 entries, and of course they both show right on the screen how many prepaid minutes and how many days of service you have remaining.
The both come with a charger, TracFone user guide, and a plastic envelope that can be used to mail an old phone back to Motorola for recycling. Note that the TracFone user guide is not really a full manual describing every feature on the phone, but these phones are simple enough that it's not hard to figure out anything you need to know just by trial and error.
If you want to see the full manual, you can click here to see the TracFone Motorola W260g manual. The link on the TracFone website for the W175 manual is currently not working, but its software is the same as for the W260g, so you can read the W260g manual to research most questions you have about the W175.
TracFone Motorola W175 and TracFone Motorola W260g Comparison
The main difference between the two phones is that the W260g is a flip phone and the W175 is not. The W260g does have some external lights that alert you to low battery, missed call, or awaiting message.
The keypads on the two phones are also slightly different, which you can see in the picture to the right. The phone on the left is the TracFone Motorola W260g, and the phone on the right is the TracFone Motorola W175, and as you can see, the keys on the W260g are slighty bigger. The fact that it is a flip-phone gives it more real estate to play with for the keys, and the designers at Motorola put that extra space to good use. (The screens don't look as washed out in real life as they do in this picture.)
One other minor difference is that the W260g has little covers for the charger port and the headset port, and the W175 does not. This probably would never be an issue, but I suppose it's possible for crumbs or chewing gum or something to get jammed up into one of the ports on the W175.
Speaking of the charger port, the phones use the same type of charger and the same type of battery. The charger port on the phones of the mini usb style, but it is only used for charging the battery. You can't hook up a usb cable and copy ringtones or wallpapers to the phones.
Since the W260g is a flip-phone, you lock the keypad by simply closing the phone. Easy. You lock the keypad on the W175 by pressing and releasing the round 'menu' button and then pressing the * key. It's easy to do, but it's also easy to fat-finger it and hit one of the arrow keys instead.
After the W175 is locked, you can press any key and the screen will illuminate again for a few seconds, which is long enough to check the time and how much battery life you have left. On the the W260g, you have to open the phone to check such things because there's no external screen, so the checking-the-screen process is just a bit quicker and easier on the W175.
The call quality and the signal reception on the TracFone Motorola W175 and TracFone Motorola W260g is acceptable and basically the same on both phones. During my test calls on the way back and forth to Wal Mart, my wife's voice sounded just a little muffled, but she said she could hear me fine. We had no trouble understanding each other.
These are GSM phones, and they have the TracFone single rate plan, so all your calls cost one minute of airtime for every minute you talk, no matter where you are in the country.
Final thoughts about the TracFone Motorola W260g and TracFone Motorola W175
Surprisingly, I have found myself really liking these basic entry-level TracFones. Their entry-levelness makes them simple to use, and the long battery life is awesome for those of us who only make occasional calls. Let's face it, an emergency phone won't do you any good if the battery is dead, and these phones give you some breathing room on how often you have to recharge.
If you care about impressing your friends, well, these phones won't. On the other hand, they won't outright embarrass you either. The TracFone Motorola W175 and TracFone Motorola W260g are simple, inexpensive cell phones that look fairly nice and get the job done.
If you are looking for an inexpensive phone to keep with you for emergencies, or if you simply can't afford a more expensive phone, then the W175 and W260g definitely belong on your short list of phones to consider.