Originally Posted by iamthedonut
I know it's a little late to be chiming in on this, but I thought you'd appreciate an answer.
The ZTE tracfone/straightalk devices cannot be rooted. period. The reason behind this is that the airtime tank info (minutes, service date, etc) is actually stored on the phone itself instead of the network. They had to develop an un-rootable phone so that people couldn't go in and edit their own airtime tanks. It's not an issue on normal tracfones, but android wasn't secure enough on it's own. Perma-locked bootloader, locked kernel.
The only way to root your device is to get a new device. It sucks, but it's the sacrifice of being on a prepaid plan with this company.
Source: My own Tracfone ZTE Valet and a boatload of research and experimentation.
While I don't have the phone, my understanding is you can check the tracfone website for how many minutes/data you have left and not just the app on the phone. If true then the minute tank is not just on the phone but "in the cloud" which to be honest makes perfect sense. Andriod is hard to 100% lock down, sooner or later a hack will happen. It is just the nature of the OS. One reason it is open source, but then again iOS is not and people found ways to jail break/root that. So I am not going to say it is "impossible", and I really think the minutes/data information is stored on tracfone's servers not on the phone. It would cost them too much if they got hacked and were able to add minutes for free.
Now if I am wrong, ok but I doubt I am based on my experience with computers and I don't think Tracfone would take the risk. Also I have found instructions on rooting some Android tracfones by Samsung. So again I think it is possible, just no one has figured out how with this one (yet).
Update: I recently watched a review of this phone on youtube and the person was demonstrating how to see the minutes you have left and mentioned that often it is not instant when you add time/data. And even after using minutes you need to click the refesh to see the latest information regarding your minutes/data. If it was on the phone itself, no update would be needed. It would just be "there". So it is server based, not on the phone itself.