This one is a real turkey


just got my ZTE Valet and am returning it. It's a total turkey. After turning it on I was able to get it to connect to the wifi in my home but it took a few tries because the on screen kbd keys are so small it was hard to enter the WPA key without making mistakes. My first inclination was so far so good. But then I tried to connect it to my PC to move over contacts from my old phone (an LG800) and that's where I ran into problems doing something that should be a no brainer.

When I connect my LG to my PC with the usb to mini usb cable the PC (running win XP) recognizes the SD drive right off the bat. When I did the same with the ZTE Valet it wanted me to install some drivers. OK, so I install the drivers. 2 drives show up in Windows Explorer. The first is a tiny 12MB partition that has the driver install on it. When I go to click on the 2nd windows says "please insert a disc". For some reason the ZTE supplied driver is looking to windows like a CD-ROM. Not good. Restarting the machine yields no better results.

Next I try going in to the settings on the Android phone and changing the PC connection settings so it won't automatically install the driver. Options are to make it look like a media device or a camera. Either way the SD card won't show up as a drive and the system wants a media application I don't have and don't want to bother installing.

Next attempt was to pull the SD card from my LG and just put it in the ZTE directly. No better luck here because although it did see the mp3s on the SD it would only recognize some of them. So much for wanting to customize my ringtones like I have on the LG.

Then I took a crack at downloading a SW tool from ZTE called "JoinMe". Initially this tool wouldn't even see the phone was there. But then I recalled I'd uninstalled the drivers that the phone had installed. So I went back and changed the setting PC connection setting from Media to Auto Install and once the drivers installed the JoinMe app on Win XP started to recognize there was a phone there but couldn't get the device info. The app had some tips in very broken English that I eventually figured out wanted me to go to the settings, developer options, and activate the developer options and then enable USB debugging mode.

Once I did that it started to recognize the device info and it then wanted to push some driver up onto the phone so I let it. However even after it did that, while the JoinMe tool was able to get the device info that was all it was able to do. All of the tool icons at the top of the JoinMe win XP app stayed greyed out. It was like ZTE's own app for talking to the phone couldn't even communicate with it. And just to get it that far required putting the phone in developer mode and turning on debugging, all of which I'm sure is not very conducive to phone security.

So I never even bothered to have TracFone move my phone number to it. Instead I called the 800 number on the 30 day no hassle warranty and got a return authorization because after trying for 3 hours to do something the LG can do in 30 seconds (even though it's not a "smart" phone) and seeing the meager, miserable documentation in broken English that ZTE has for the Valet I was real sure this phone would be nothing but trouble if I kept it.

If your really want an Android phone from TracFone then spring the extra for the Samsung since it is probably not half baked like this ZTE Valet is. I myself am going to wait a little longer and hope TracFone picks some better models to offer than this turkey...

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