Running Gear Review: The LG306 G from Tracfone

I’m a big fan of exercise technology. I just got a Garmin Fenix 3 HR to replace my aging Tom Tom Runner, and I love it. I enjoy data and appreciate the newest gadgets and gizmos and the light they can shed on my running. I consistently read DC Rainmaker’s blog because I’m fascinated with the technology that’s being developed.

But one of my favorite pieces of running gear is the cheapest piece I own: my LG 306G phone. I bought it from Tracfone for only $29.99, and it accompanies me on every run.

Here’s why I love it:

  • It weighs only 3.7 oz. That’s a little more than half the weight of an iPhone or my Samsung Galaxy Edge. Once you put a protective case on those nicer phones, it’s probably less than half the weight.
  • It’s really small. It fits in my flipbelt really easily.
  • I don’t worry about dropping, losing, or soaking it with rain or sweat.
  • And the best feature: only my wife and kids have the phone number. And they know not to call or text unless it’s an emergency.

In every other way, it’s a fairly lousy phone. The camera is pretty bad and the touchscreen is really small. Call quality is fair. Texting on it is time consuming and a real pain in the ass on its tiny touchscreen. But those are all positives in my mind. I’m not tempted to stop and chat, text, or take a picture. I’m not distracted from my run. I carry it with me when I run and when I race, but I very rarely use it. And for those reasons, the battery lasts forever.

I’d love to be completely disconnected when I run and not even have a phone. As a responsible dad and husband, though, I feel the need to carry it. But that doesn’t mean I want to use it.

And yes, it’s cost effective! I’ve had the phone for two years now. It’s a durable little thing. And if you don’t use it very much, you don’t need to buy very many minutes. When you buy Tracfone minutes you also get a certain number of days of service. I found the cheapest way to keep the phone activated is to buy minutes and service directly from Tracfone online. I buy the smallest bundle of minutes (30 minutes and 30 days of activation for $9.99) and then on the next screen I select an additional 365 service days for $49.99. For only sixty bucks I can keep my cheap little phone activated for more than a year.

For less than five bucks per month I can leave (almost) everything behind and just go run.

Please note that I’m not really advocating this particular phone. Any cheap, prepaid phone would work for this, providing piece of mind for a relatively low cost. In fact, I originally began with an even cheaper phone from Tracfone and upgraded to this one so I would have a camera.

One more tip: I print out emergency information and then affix this to the back of the phone with packing tape. The tape is starting to fray a little after two years, but it’s a lot easier and cheaper than a RoadID bracelet.

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