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Thread: Are Tracfones still locked out of OS upgrades and patches?

  1. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by zapjb View Post
    Jailbreak is an ios term. Rooting is the comparable Android term.
    I didn't realize that term was platform specific, I learned something new.

    Quote Originally Posted by rpz1 View Post
    @OldGeek I didn't see you mention the OS you're on now? I think your phone came with 4.4. You can check the LG website and see if they have anything newer but I doubt it. If they do, there's a tool on there where you can download it from them to your computer, then to your phone.
    That sounds about right. There isn't anything for it on LG's site.

    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    The Ultimate 2 may have been one of TF's better options at the time but it was not a high end phone back then.

    The L41C has a 1.2GHz Snapdragon 200 chipset and 1 GB RAM, 8GB storage.

    High end phones then would have a SD 801/805/808/810 at 2+ GHz, with 2-4GB RAM and 32GB storage. Phones like the LG G3/G4, Galaxy S5 and Note 4, Nexus 6.
    If I remember correctly it was newly released and one of their most expensive offerings, but compared to non-Tracfone offerings it's not high end, but if I remember correctly, BYOP wasn't an option then.

  2. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGeek View Post
    If I remember correctly it was newly released and one of their most expensive offerings, but compared to non-Tracfone offerings it's not high end, but if I remember correctly, BYOP wasn't an option then.
    The L41C was a "high end" TF branded phone at the time. But, BYOP had been available for some time. When BYOP was first made available, I had an HTC Rhyme under that option. I used it for about 6 months before I replaced it with the L41C.

    I did root the L41C and used a custom rom on it until I replaced it with a BYOP Samsung S4. Nobody is doing any rom development for it now.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGeek View Post
    If I remember correctly it was newly released and one of their most expensive offerings, but compared to non-Tracfone offerings it's not high end
    Just because it the best they offered, it's not high end.

    If you get the best, most expensive room in a budget motel it's not going to compare to a high end hotel. You don't expect amenities that a high end hotel offers.

    Even now security and OS updates are high end amenities. They've trickles down a bit, but support for low end devices still lags way behind.

    Treat any sub $100 device (not counting discounts/refrub) as short term, throw away devices, they aren't going to get OS updates and security patches will be few and far between.

    Mid range (up to $350-400) will get more regular security patches and 1 OS update.

    But you'll be spending $800+ for monthly patches and 2 OS updates.

    Sure some exceptions exist, but they are exceptions.

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    One exception that comes to mind is the Pixel 3a. It's currently (at this moment) $324.47 at Amazon, and was recently on sale for $249 if you also purchased a $100 Amazon Gift Card.

    At Best Buy it's been as cheap as $199.99 several times, and once briefly for $179.99, if you play the Sprint activation/cancellation game. Best Buy also has Open Box and Refurbished units available at varying prices.

    The Pixel 3a was released in May, 2019, came with Android 9, was updated to Android 10 in September, 2019, has received security updates every month, and will continue receiving Android version and monthly security updates until at least May, 2022. So the Pixel 3a could end up with Android 12 before it's done getting updates.

    It seems like some of the older Pixels got updates for longer than guaranteed, but of course you can't count on that for newer Pixel versions.

  5. #20
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    Exceptions. I said that trying to cut off all the posts about this and that don't fit.

    Going in with a new device you can't assume an exception will occur. You have to set expectations properly and exceptions aren't to be expected.

    But not surprising that the device made by the OS developer is better supported (see Apple and iPhone).

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    It's just a slightly less expensive option to an $800+ flagship for anyone that doesn't mind BYOP on TF and that values Android version and security updates.

    Not to mention the Pixel 3a best in class camera that even comes close (almost) to the camera quality of the newest Samsung and Apple models.

    Anyway, options are always good.

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    Since we only have a cellphone for in case of emergency use (haven't needed it for that yet), are trying to keep costs down (both phone and airtime), and don't feel comfortable having another insecure android device, we're probably going to get a feature phone from Tracfone to replace the Ultimate 2 instead of another smartphone.

    Thanks every one for taking the time to respond it's appreciated.

  8. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldGeek View Post
    we're probably going to get a feature phone from Tracfone to replace the Ultimate 2 instead of another smartphone.
    What makes you think feature phones now are more secure?


    For that matter, what feature phone?
    I see 2 flip phones on the site. the Z233 which I think is based on Android 4.4 or 5, and the MyFlip which is another OS but likely less secure due to it's limited use/development (and has apps)

  9. #24
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    Another option to consider if you want a balance of saving money, security and a decent versatile phone is to get a Tracfone smartphone bundle deal off eBay or HSN. They have recent model low cost smartphones that come with a year of service and 1500 minutes 1500 text and 1.5gb of data. Some of them are as low as $49.99 including a moto e5, samsung j2 and lg rebel 4. Many of these come with a minimum of oreo 8.1 and have recent security updates. One can always update the phone (buy a new bundle) in a years time to get more time and service and a fresher OS situation if desired.
    Last edited by tomseys; 02-27-2020 at 01:32 PM.

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    What makes you think feature phones now are more secure?

    I see 2 flip phones on the site. the Z233 which I think is based on Android 4.4 or 5, and the MyFlip which is another OS but likely less secure due to it's limited use/development (and has apps)
    I can see an Android phone (regardless of physical format) being vulnerable to malware infected through the Google ecosystem or the Internet. But if OldGeek just uses a MyFlip phone for emergency calls, and not downloading apps or accessing the Internet, I don't see how it can be less secure.

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    We don't know know that a feature phone is more secure, it just seems that since it has fewer points of attack and a smaller user base that it would be. We just want a cell phone for emergency use that's all.

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    If you've used the Ultimate 2 all this time without security *issues*, there is no reason to think you are less secure with a current gen Tracfone model. Ultimate 2 IS a smartphone.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_ View Post
    If you've used the Ultimate 2 all this time without security *issues*, there is no reason to think you are less secure with a current gen Tracfone model. Ultimate 2 IS a smartphone.
    We used the "smart" features at first, but after regularly hearing about vulnerabilities with no fixes, we stopped using it and have it for if it's needed in an emergency. We don't want to buy another smart phone that's not supported with "security fixes" at a minimum, hence we're considering a "feature" phone.

  14. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by hpham View Post
    I can see an Android phone (regardless of physical format) being vulnerable to malware infected through the Google ecosystem or the Internet. But if OldGeek just uses a MyFlip phone for emergency calls, and not downloading apps or accessing the Internet, I don't see how it can be less secure.
    Well if an android has data off and apps aren't installed/used then it's about the same as the same.

    The MyFlip is not particularly more secure than an android limited to the same features. And if data is on and/or apps are used then it could be more vulnerable since it doesn't get as much attention w/r/t patches (or even skilled developers)

    Security through obscurity doesn't really work.


    And when did a flip phones like the Z233 and MyFlip start being called feature phones?

  15. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by ST Dog View Post
    Well if an android has data off and apps aren't installed/used then it's about the same as the same.

    The MyFlip is not particularly more secure than an android limited to the same features. And if data is on and/or apps are used then it could be more vulnerable since it doesn't get as much attention w/r/t patches (or even skilled developers)

    Security through obscurity doesn't really work.


    And when did a flip phones like the Z233 and MyFlip start being called feature phones?
    That's pretty much what we've done with the Ultimate 2 for the last few years. We've also kept WiFi turned off as well as data.

    I don't know when they started being called feature phones, but back in 2004 when I was looking at info on cell phones here, the discussions referred to non-smart phones as feature phones. I guess it also applies to the ones that don't "flip" as well.

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