Tracfone Motorola W175

Basic, compact, and lightweight

The new Tracfone Motorola W175 is a stylish basic phone with a few small improvements that made it a worthy successor to the Nokia 1100 and Motorola C139 when it was introduced. It still retains the advantages of a basic phone: low cost, good reliability, and long battery life. It takes just a few minutes to activate or add minutes online.

Lets start with the basics such as size and weight.

Motorola 175G Cell Phone

Motorola 175G

Basic features

Small and lightweight

Size: 4.45 x 1.65 x 0.55 inches Weight: 2.96 ounces

What's included

In addition to the bare phone, the basic "accessories" included with your Tracfone Motorola W175 are:

  • a Battery
  • the AC Adapter,
  • and the SIM Card

These aren’t really accessories since you couldn’t use the phone without these things.

The AC adaptor/charger fits into a mini-USB slot on the side of the phone. Unfortunately, as expected, you cannot use one of your usb camera connectors to access any of the info on the phone. Out of curiousity, I plugged one into my laptop anyway. It was recognized as a W180-type device, but that was it. Installing the generic Motorola drivers does not seem to make any difference. Oh well.

W175g usb charger slot
W175g found W180 hardware message

Since you’re going to be using a basic phone primarily for talking, it may be helpful to know that this batch of phones comes with a new noise reduction technology.

Crystal Talk Voice Enhancement

This is Motorola’s name for their noise reduction and volume enhancement technology. When first introduced for the Razr2, Motorola demonstrated the technology by successfully making a call in the middle of a noisy racetrack. Crystal Talk tries to both filter out the noise, as well as adjust the volume based on the loudness of the surrounding noise. I can’t wait to try it out at a kids play area! Normally I can’t hear a thing at those places and have to resort to text messaging.

I wonder if it’s active when checking voice mail?

Voice mail, Call Waiting and Caller ID


Unless you check your voicemail from a landline, it will cost you airtime so some people actually don’t bother setting it up. The voicemail system itself is very efficient so it unlikely that you’ll use more than one or two units listening to any unwanted messages. I have set it up because sometimes the messages are important.

While there is a danger you’ll get some junk voicemail that gradually recedes the longer you have your cell phone. When I first signed up I would get a junk voice mail about once every two weeks, then it became once every couple of months, and finally, now I don’t remember the last time I got a junk voice mail.

And if you’ve setup your voice mail, you don’t always have to answer Call Waiting especially since you can see the Caller ID and decide whether you need to pick up.

Call Waiting

Hmm. You know it’s useful, but somehow it’s only until I have to use it on a new phone that I realize I’m not sure how this feature works. If you’re like me, it’s a good idea to . . .

Caller ID

Having Caller ID means you can continue to hit “Ignore” for calls you don’t want.

W175 Manual

Check the Tracfone Motorola W175 manual(pdf) once you get the phone.

Color Screen

Okay this is a given these days even on basic phones. Shown here is the home screen with the "Natural" wallpaper, one of the free wallpapers included on the W175. It's nice.

While there used to be a slight advantage of the lower power usage of black and white screen, it doesn’t seem to matter because it has good battery life.

Good battery life

You can talk for up to 6.5 hours. Who knows how many text messages you can send, but it’s probably a lot.

The standby time is even better: up to 18 days, much better than the usual 10 or so days of some other phones. Of course, it's the standby time we're really concerned about here. If you're going to talk on a cell phone for 6.5 hours, you need a different plan.

A prepaid cell is better for those quick calls when you don't have access to any other means of calling. Like when you're traveling and you realize you forgot to wish someone a Happy Anniversary, you can pull this out and even use the speaker phone.

Hands-free Speaker

This hands-free speaker can come in handy when you want to all wish a friend, “Happy Anniversary,” and your kids are in their “I’m not going to talk on the phone” phase.

The hands-free speaker is not a solution for the car however. You’ll need a wired hands-free accessory for that.

How to Activate Hands-free Speaker

To turn on the handsfree speaker during a call, press the Select Key below where it says SPKR ON. To turn the speaker off, press SPKR OFF.

If you are using a wired hands-free headset, the W175 does not support the "Send" "End" buttons on the handset, you have to use the ones on the phone itself.

Text Messaging

Tracfone charges 0.33 units to send and receive text messages on single-rate phones like this Tracfone Motorola W175. If you're constantly sending text messages, however, then another service that offers messaging packs such as Virgin Mobile may be better.

Phonebook and Ringtones

500 Entries

The Tracfone Motorola W175 allows you to store up to 500 entries unlike many basic phones which allow only 200 to 250 entries. You will still have to manually enter them.

You can choose from among 35 ringtones.

Alarm Clock

Good to have when traveling or setting your routine


W175 games

It actually would make sense to have some awesome games available on prepaid cell phones. If you're not going to use them all that much for calling, you may as well play games when you're bored or waiting in line somewhere.

This Tracfone comes with three games. They are Soccer, Crazy, and Rebels. They'll do in a pinch, however the keypad of the W175 is not really meant for playing games.

Good rates and coverage

There is a single Rate for every call: local, long distance, roaming and even international long distance are included. The international calling to select destinations does not cost you extra, but you do have to activate this feature.