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experiences with unlocking the tracfone lg classic flip

i can finally cancel my tracfone plan lol

1 april 2022 •  technology 

the lg classic flip is (in my opinion) one of the best android-powered flip phones sold in the US market, weird workarounds for applications and all. it’s got a nice compact design, has great t9 support, and is just an absolute pleasure to use overall. the one big catch though is that it’s carrier locked to tracfone…. and only sold through tracfone….ugh.

i bought this phone around july of 2021, when tracfone’s unlock policy mandated that phones must be active for a year (!) to meet the eligibility requirements for unlocking. you could pay to unlock before the year was up, but you’d most likely incur fees into the hundreds (!!!) if you were still pretty early into your service plan. this wasn’t ideal, but thankfully, this has changed.

a tip on the dumbphones subreddit led me to discover that tracfone actually changed their unlocking requirements! i assume this is due to them being bought by verizon, but let’s get to the gist of it: phones on tracfone activated on the verizon network after some time in november 2021 can be unlocked within 60 days of active service. given this revelation and the fact that the lg classic flip is sold with a verizon tracfone sim, i purchased the cheapest tracfone plan available and left it active for 3 months. today’s the 60th day of service, so i gave unlocking a try.

a few days before, i had checked the unlock eligibility checker on tracfone’s website and it said my phone wasn’t eligible. i tried again today, and to my amazement…

it actually said my phone was eligible! this actually contradicted my attempt on that same other day to ask customer service about unlocking requirements, in which someone told me i had to wait a year and then sent a link to the website i got the updated unlocking requirements from…. man isn’t that something?

anyways, it prompted me to enter information to submit an unlock request, but i decided to contact customer service again. after waiting for a couple of minutes (long ass queues), i got through to someone who provided me with an unlock code right after i did the security verification thing they make you do. it honestly blew my mind how quick the entire ordeal was once you got past the queue.

they send you an email with the information and codes you need to unlock the phone. on the LG classic flip (and maybe other tracfones too), you have to dial a code that takes you to a SIM unlocking application where you have to enter the codes provided. once the codes are entered, the phone restarts and it’s free to be used with any carrier!

this phone actually has the LTE bands to work with any carrier in the US (not just verizon) and is also whitelisted for use on AT&T! you can take this to pretty much any carrier and it should work. i’ve tested this with a google fi data sim and that worked fine. i even tested it with visible, a verizon mvno, and it worked near flawlessly! it took a few minutes for everything to kick in, but when it did it worked fine and even downloaded the right APN settings. i’d always thought visible did some weird provisioning stuff that wouldn’t make it work with some phones, but i’ve clearly been proven wrong here. MMS doesn’t seem to work for me, but apparently this can be fixed with a factory reset:

now that the phone is unlocked, i’ll probably see myself using it more. in total, this was just 30 bucks to unlock (10 for each month of service), which factoring in the price of the phone (i think it was 30-40 dollars when i bought mine) is an absolute steal imo. yeah im a happy little camper with my happy little flip phone.