You can listen to music, download and play game and Java apps with the LG 500g.
With the mp3 music player, you can listen to your favorite songs. You can sort your tracks by artist, albums, and genres. You can create different playlists for different occasions or settings – when you’re hanging out with friends, spending some (relatively) quiet time by yourself or even at work if that’s okay.
This LG phone has a
regular earphone jack so you don’t need a special adapter to listen to
your songs. If you car stereo has an input jack you can listen to your
songs while you drive. You can even listen to music through the phone's speaker.
You can have the music play even while you're in texting mode. This is an advantage over the LG 800g where the music player shuts down when you are messaging.
The web browser on the Tracfone LG 500g has been the most annoying thing about this phone so far. Actually, not the browser itself that's annoying, but rather the browser button soft-key which sits right next to the PWR/End button. Half a unit of airtime is immediately deducted when you hit that key.
On some earlier Tracfones like the Samsung T301g, you could get out of the browser after an accidental key press before any airtime was deducted. You had to be press the END key quickly. Unfortunately, that does not work on the 500g.
You cannot reassign that button. Still, you can use the phone lock to prevent some accidental browser key presses.
Other than that frustration, I’m actually pretty happy with the browser. If you go through the main menu, you would see that the top-level options are: Home, your Bookmarks, Facebook, Twitter, and Orkut (a surprise there – maybe the designer was from Brazil where the service is more popular).
Anyway, I wish that soft-key activated this browser menu rather than going straight to the internet.
You can run not only Java games but also Java applications, and you can directly access the games and apps menu with the top nav button.
Two games come pre-installed on the Tracfone LG 500g: Chequered Flag and WordAttack.
Chequered Flag, as you might guess, is a racing game published by Com2Us. For a free game, it is pretty good. While the graphics are not that great, the controls are pretty complex as you control the racing cars gears with the navigation keys. You can also go in for a pit stop.
The game can be played it with or without sound and vibration. The speed setting is set to slow in the beginning. You can increase that as you get better with the game.
WordAttack is a language based game which sounds awfully educational, but my kids actually liked playing it when we were in the car.
Both these games are self-contained games on the phone and do not cost you airtime to play them.
You can download and install mobile java applications. Just like the 800g, it doesn't have any apps pre-installed. The first application I usually install to check that everything’s working is the Google Maps application. This application is somewhat useful in that you can get directions if you type in all the address information. However, because the phone doesn't have a GPS, you don't get turn-by-turn directions as you would with an Android phone.
The Tracfone LG 500g comes with a standard set of tools and utilities. There are your basic organizer functions such as a calendar, alarm clock, to-do-list, Notes (and password-protected Secret Notes). There is a calculator, stopwatch and date finder.
You can convert units and currency and check the time around the world. Interestingly, they’ve killed the “Tip Calculator” figuring you can do the math on the regular calculator or in your head.
There is a voice recorder at the bottom of the My Folder menu that is set to record for up to 2 minutes 58 seconds so that you can send your recordings via MMS message. You can increase the duration to more than an hour just on the phone’s memory if you adjust the duration and quality settings. If you use a memory card, you can records many hours of audio.
This phone is compact and lightweight with good battery life. The phone weighs just under 3 ounces with a length of 4 and 3/8 inches, a width of 2 1/4 inches and a thickness of about 3/8 of an inch. You can talk for about five hours on a charged battery and keep it on standby for up to 9 nine days.
Tracfone provides a quick start guide and an interactive tutorial. There's also a basic manual available from LG.
The Quick Start Guide is basically a fold-out guide that's formatted on the screen as a wide document. This makes it a little irritating to read because you keep having to zoom in and out. The guide does have a description of the most common screen icons.
You can use the Interactive Tutorial to find out how to do most of the things you need to do on the phone.
Finally, there's a Basic Manual available on LG's support site.
The Tracfone LG 500g is a nice, affordable texting phone that's also good for listening to music, taking photos, playing games and more.
It now costs just $9.99 so it's below the 19.99 cutoff for free shipping unless you combine it with another purchase or get the phone plus airtime bundle.
If you prefer the flexibility of switching to a monthly plan, you can consider getting the Net10 version.
The 500g is notable for being almost as narrow as a regular brick phone at the cost of a smaller QWERTY keyboard. The 900g mentioned in the review has a bigger screen and keyboard.
The Moto EX431g takes a different tack by offering a kind of squat appearance with a wide but not too deep keyboard and a screen to match.
The Samsung R355C offers a more traditional layout and trusts that you'll live with the size in exchange for the convenience of use.
If you decide you don't need a physical keyboard for texting, you can consider a touchscreen phone, and you have quite a few options without going all the way to a smart phone which are good but usually have a higher monthly cost.
The LG 840g has the most features of any prepaid phone with a touchscreen including WiFi access.