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TracFone May Launch An Android Powered Flip Phone Soon

TracFone ZTE Cymbal T Android Flip Phone
It looks like TracFone will soon launch an Android powered flip phone. An interactive tutorial for the ZTE branded flip has appeared on the devicebits.com site that TracFone uses to host help files for its phones. The tutorial includes a photo of the phone along with a link to its User Guide.

The new phone is called the ZTE Cymbal T LTE. It has a device ID of Z252VL. TracFone uses the "VL" suffix for LTE phones that run on the Verizon network. The user guide lists the following specifications for the phone:

  • Operating system Android 5.1.1 (Lollipop)
  • Handset standards LTE/CDMA
  • Dimensions (H × W × D) 4.72" (H) x 2.40" (W) x 0.72" (D)
  • Weight 5.82 oz. (with battery)
  • Internal Display 3.5" 480 x 320
  • External Display 0.96" 128 x 64
  • Camera Rear 5 MP AF; Front 2 MP
  • Internal memory ROM: 8GB, RAM: 1 GB
  • Removable memory card Supports microSDHC card up to 32 GB
  • Battery 1,800 mAh (removable)
  • Continuous idle time Up to 6 days
  • Continuous talk time Up to 10 hours
  • WAP browser version WAP 2.0
  • Bluetooth BT 4.1
  • HAC M4/T4
Based on the instructions in the user guide, the phone is a typical Android device. The screen is a touchscreen and there's an onscreen keyboard that's used for most text entry including messaging and email. The hardware keypad includes physical back, home and recents keys as well as dedicated speakerphone and camera keys. The number keypad only seems to be usable for entering phone numbers and a couple of shortcuts; pressing and holding the # to switch to vibrate-only mode and  pressing and holding the one key for voicemail. The phone's camera doesn't have a flash.

Android flip phones are pretty rare, Samsung has one, but it's only available in Asia. Assuming it's released, ZTE Cymbal will be the first Android flip available in the US. Phones that appear on devicebits usually go on sale anywhere from a few days to many months later but sometimes they never see the light of day.

I'm all for smartphones with form factors other than the ubiquitous glass slab. I'm not sure how much of a demand there is for an Android flip phone, but it definitely has some novelty value.

Source Devicebits via Turk Forums.

51 comments:

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  1. Its an Americans Mobile company
    So I throw it in the trash!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Uh, as much as I detest TracFone, in order to "throw it in the trash," you'd have to buy it first.

      Delete
  2. Love it! Finally! I have my credit card ready.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shame it is with Tracfone.

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  4. The weight is extremely heavy for a smartphone that has a 3.5 inch screen.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Too bad it's trashphone so even if you want to put up with them for a year service ransom you still won't get an unlock.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Most LTE TracFones work out of the box on non-TracFone Verizon MVNOs like Selectel and Boom.

      It's not a GSM capable phone so there's really nothing to unlock anyway. It's only ever going to work on the Verizon network.

      Delete
  6. I know plenty of folks who would love it. Shoot, I might consider it. I miss my flip phone. Smartphones are great, but the big screens are wearing me down.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You'd be quickly worn down pressing an inscrutable combination of numbers just to get one word.

      It's a big blunder not to have an actual keyboard on this thing.

      Delete
    2. > "inscrutable combination of numbers" ?

      It has an onscreen keyboard, so you don't need to use T9.

      > "an actual keyboard"

      You want another Blackberry Pearl?

      Delete
  7. I'd be interested in this if it had a regular keyboard .

    ReplyDelete
  8. An unconventional smartphone with a too-small screen that's locked to the worst carrier of all time?

    Into the trash it goes!

    In contrast to real innovation, this is just reinventing yesterdecade's version of the wheel, for people who somehow can't learn to operate a simple slab of glass.

    I'd rather buy something more forward-thinking, like a screenless smartwatch with a holographic hard-light interface...and at least 6GB of RAM.


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, Sir Trashman. Into the trash it goes. It's a perversely hipster-friendly retro experiment that is a total design failure. Brought to you by the same sort of folks who would make a USB 3.0 8-track tape player.

      Trash it now.

      Delete
    2. Worst carrier of all time? That is an insult to loyal Tracfone users who are part of the largest MVNO. We got savvy and clout sukka!

      Retro can be good, and many want their flip phones back. It's a better form for a telephone than the glass slabs of today that have been forced on many who don't want them. Much like a land line handset that was ergonomically correct for calls. This is a hybrid of form and function. Maybe overkill with all the Android features...could be stripped down some.

      Delete
  9. I'd be interested in this if it had a regular keyboard .

    ReplyDelete
  10. whats next? a bag phone? please.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Replies
    1. Yes, a usable wide side slider qwerty keyboard. Unlike the painfully small one in the awful recent blackberries.

      Delete
  12. I'd try one in a heartbeat for my work phone
    . So sick of my smart phone Butt dialing people plus worrying about protecting the screen...Flip solves both those issues plus is easier to talk on..Only issue.. This provider SUX......

    ReplyDelete
  13. Perfect for my parents because they miss their flip phones but they can use androids

    ReplyDelete
  14. Jeez, 5.1.1?
    Still, kinda neat.

    ReplyDelete
  15. This phone is really groovy. I can use it to call all of my friends and tell them to watch the Beatles the next time they are on the Ed Sullivan show.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Keep in mind that the height given in the specs is when the phone is folded. When you unfold this monster and talk on it, the microphone will line up perfectly with your belly button.

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  17. I like the idea. With those specs, it should be priced low. It's needs more RAM tho. 1gb is to little. I want to get one as soon as they have it available. I do wish it was on T-Mobile or at&t.

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  18. I want a phone like this so I can call Barney Rubble and see if he wants to go to the Water Buffalo Lodge tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  19. I would like to use it just for kicks but not as my everyday phone,

    ReplyDelete
  20. I read the manual and they have a new onscreen keyboard with a swype ans also one with word prediction on the letters. It's going to be 2 hand operation, I can't see how to text with one hand.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Showed it to my mom and of course now she wants one! Worried about the cost and I really don't want to use Tracfone as the provider. I think the benefit would be the sync with the Google cloud for contacts, photos, files. In a pinch, email and text, especially since it will have the voice recognition, so dictation becomes possible. Wondering which apps will be at all useful. Maybe bank apps. Amazon perhaps?

    ReplyDelete
  22. Why Samsung does not sell "Galaxy Folder" in United States? I think it is better than ZTE. Also... what TracFone? shame...

    ReplyDelete
  23. My mom told me DO NOT BUY CHINESE PHONES

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good luck finding a phone that wasn't made in China.

      Delete
    2. I don't think this phone was made in China. It looks much more like a phone that was made on the planet Mars.

      Delete
  24. Lollipop 5.1.1??? Are you kidding me??? Chinese phone has backdoor ***DO NOT PUT ANY PRIVATE INFORMATION ON THE PHONE***

    ReplyDelete
  25. At least one person in this thread has mentioned butt dialing. Butt dialing and similar problems start with the screen getting inadvertently turned on inside a person's pocket. This problem can usually be fixed simply by flipping the phone vertically, which moves the power button to a different spot in the pocket.

    ReplyDelete
  26. .72 inch thick?! Is this a phone or a Big Mac?!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It's 0.72 in thick with both buns halves stacked, silly ;) . So 0.36" thick when flipped open.

      Delete
    2. "So 0.36 thick when flipped open."

      Thin phones are popular because they do not cause an unsightly bulge when carried in a pants pocket. So the important measurement is .72 inch thick when closed, not .36 inch thick when open.

      Delete
    3. Better stick with a thin glass slab then. Making a flip phone thinner than folding a traditional glass slab in half will require expensive material or be a too easy to break nightmare. And this is a bottom tier TracFone we're discussing here.

      Maybe Apple could come up with an elegantly thin, overpriced flip phone for those with deeper pockets.

      Delete
    4. "Thin phones are popular because they do not cause an unsightly bulge"

      And the huge battery chargers necessary because the too-thin batteries have almost no life aren't unsightly in the pocket?

      No... I think you are missing the point. Phones being so thin that function is severely impaired isn't driven by customer need, but instead by capricious whims in those in the top levels of the cell phone design companies. Those far removed from customers and their concerns.

      The same folks who claim it is "courage" to get rid of the headphone jack or the microSD slot. They damage and limit the design and say it is a good thing.

      It's just a bad idea we have to put up with. And some of is get burned... as it is pretty certain that making the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 way too thin was a contributing factor to so many of them exploding.

      Come on, just give us a half-inch thick phone that lasts a week on a charge and won't explode.

      Delete
    5. "Maybe Apple could come up with an elegantly thin, overpriced flip phone for those with deeper pockets."

      And because it is Apple, they will sell tens of millions of them despite nobody liking it really.

      Delete
  27. The half of the phone that hangs down below the hinge is a useless annoyance when you are doing non-calling stuff like texting and web surfing.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So true... I used to love my Motorola flip-phone with its (gasp!) 3.2 megapixel camera, but definitely from a different era.

      Delete
  28. I really would love to check it out I wish T-Mobile had a larger selection of prepaid phones like Tracedfone.

    ReplyDelete
  29. UPDATE: Appears to be coming soon. On Best Buy website now, but maybe not available just yet:
    http://www.bestbuy.com/site/tracfone-zte-cymbal-t-lte-4g-lte-with-3gb-memory-prepaid-cell-phone-silver-gray/5581014.p?skuId=5581014

    ReplyDelete
  30. people are saying its exclusive to Tracfone and locked to them but they use Verizons network. 2 Questions, if i buy this can i use it with a verizon pre-paid plan? And i notice it has LTE band 4 active. Thats Tmobiles primary LTE band. Most verizon phones with Band 4 work right out the box with T-Mobile would that not be the case here as well.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Locked to TracFone means the phone will only accept TracFone SIMs. Unless unlocked, the phone would reject a Verizon or a T-Mobile SIM.

      Even if unlocked, Verizon would not activate the phone because it's not in Verizon's whitelist. If the Cymbal was unlocked, it would probably work on Verizon using a Verizon SIM activated in a different Verizon phone.

      The Cymbal doesn't support any of T-Mobile's voice bands so an unlocked Cymbal would be a data only device on T-Mobile.

      Delete
    2. @Dennis, I am a bit confused re your answer here and the one posted by you September 20, 2016 at 5:18 PM??

      Do you still think the Cymbal may activate on Selected/Boom?

      Delete
    3. Maybe, my answer was based on Dan Pedraza saying that the Cymbal was locked to TracFone.

      TracFone Verizon devices do usually work on non-TracFone MVNOs. I haven't heard of anyone trying the Cymbal on a MVNO yet.

      Delete
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