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Old January 12th, 2013, 09:48 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Android phone as a personal computer off of a carrier

ALSO POSTED AT androidcentral.com with no responses as of now.

I'm looking to spend around $70 or less. Preferably around $40-50 or less. Even a bad esn HTC desire for $25 on ebay would probably fine with me. I would love to go out and buy a Samsung Galaxy Note or Galaxy S3 but they are way out of my budget and would defeat the purpose.

I've done a lot of reading and other research, but if people would like to chime in feel free.

Background:
After paying a monthly data package for my wife's phone I can't see myself being able to afford one for myself. She needs and would use one more anyways. Ideally, I'd love to ditch my current "dumb" phone, buy an android and connect it to verizon without a data package. I've read off and on about it but generally, it seems impossible to do so. Their phone reps have confirmed the same. Though, there was a large thread about it on verizon's forums. It went on forever and I never had the time to read it all to see if anyone has done it with success.

Android phones offer a lot of things I'd like out of the house: GPS, web, music, camera, video, notepad, microphone, occasional games, instant message, email, etc.

Obviously like I stated above, I could just get a data plan. I can't justify the cost. like many other people, I'm usually at work with wifi or at home with the internet. I would rarely need a data plan. Moreover, I would rarely need an android phone where I have no wifi. If I need to make a mobile phone call I'll use my verizon serviced "dumb" phone.

With that in mind, and my wife's old Droid X's hardware issues (locking up and showing black holes in the display output) I heard an AMOLED based phone is a good idea and may not have the "black hole" problem her old Droid x does. Though, I'm sure there may be other technologies that aren't susceptible to the issue as well. She always kept her phone away from high heat and treated it really well.

List of the features I'd like, with varying degrees of importance. ones in bold are a "must":
android OS + able to run either OS or app based encryption
anywhere from small to a larger ~5.5" screen (looking to carry this on me and nearly everyday and needs to be able to fit in big pockets or smaller cargo pockets)
Slate style
AMO/LED Screen (or something else very durable and reliable)
removable storage, such as MicroSD
GPS
camera/video
removable battery without tools (i like the ability to buy extras and swap them out if I'm away from home for a while)
easily rooted
good community support


My dream device would be a 5.5" ubuntu based mil-spec heavy duty style tablet/phone with the specs above. It would be way out of my price range though!

Any feedback is appreciated! Thanks ladies/gents!

Some research pointed me to a few phones that may work:
HTC Desire
HTC Droid Incredible / ADR6300
HTC Incredible S

What else would you guys recommend?

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Old January 13th, 2013, 04:38 AM   #2 (permalink)
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So basically you want a 4-5 inch reasonably specced Android tablet, that has good support.

Have you looked at Samsung Galaxy Player? Think that would fit your list of requirements, and it's not a phone, which means it's significantly cheaper. Think there's a new Galaxy Player coming out pretty soon, similar to the Note but without the phone.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 07:28 AM   #3 (permalink)
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I too would recommend looking at a Galaxy Player or one of the newer Sony Players running Android. Basically these are like iPods, no cell service, but runs Android. Then you can keep your dumbphone and no data contract.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 01:28 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Thank you two for the feedback.

I'll check out the Samsung Galaxy Player. Though, the HTC desire has the same CPU clock speed and higher RAM for about 1/2 the cost or less.

It still seems that used, old smart phones have better specs for the cost compared to stuff like the Samsung Galaxy Player, ipod touch, etc.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 01:44 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Android phone as a personal computer off of a carrier

I get an extra year of life out of my old phones by using them as a wifi-only appliance, good for everything you mentioned.

And grabbing an older model is a smart move for the budget.

SAMOLED vs LCD is a personal choice. Any phone can go bad, and there's advantages and disadvantages to each, don't believe any differently.

Please don't go with a bad esn phone though. Some of those came from a contract not fulfilled, but many come from theft, and I think you want to avoid those types. Our forums are filled with issues from buying bad esn phones, you just don't know what you'll really get.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 03:50 PM   #6 (permalink)
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EarlyMon,
Thanks for the info on bad ESN phones.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 06:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Android phone as a personal computer off of a carrier

Another option would be to get a free dumps one with a GSM carrier like AT&T or Tmobile and then swap the sim card over to your budget smartphone.

Or look into a PDA/get on a PDA forum to find out what the budget PDA/PDA like devices are and buy one off ebay/craigslist.
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Old January 13th, 2013, 09:34 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dralways View Post
Another option would be to get a free dumps one with a GSM carrier like AT&T or Tmobile and then swap the sim card over to your budget smartphone.

Or look into a PDA/get on a PDA forum to find out what the budget PDA/PDA like devices are and buy one off ebay/craigslist.
Good call on that. My current verizon dumb phone has no sim as it's really old.

What about buying a verizon micro sim on ebay and walking in and having them activate it? I wonder if they will activate one without seeing the phone it will go in.

I've heard of people trying that and then getting enormous data charges if they were not careful.

I'll look into this. Thanks!
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Old January 14th, 2013, 12:55 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Android phone as a personal computer off of a carrier

I just sold my HTC evo 4G.. That is over 2 years old.. For $140 on Craigslist.
So the chances of finding a good used phone that is in good condition and meeting your requirements that is below $70... Not looking good.

Your idea is sound but may need a little budget increase.
If you can push the price to $150.. You might find some good used 7 inch tablets.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 02:36 PM   #10 (permalink)
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You never know. The Evo 3D is a far better phone than the Evo 4G, but you can often find them for less because they weren't as popular as the Evo 4G - just to show one example.
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Old January 14th, 2013, 04:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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You never know. The Evo 3D is a far better phone than the Evo 4G, but you can often find them for less because they weren't as popular as the Evo 4G - just to show one example.
ok.. good ..

then that is a great option.
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Old January 15th, 2013, 03:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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I just sold my HTC evo 4G.. That is over 2 years old.. For $140 on Craigslist.
So the chances of finding a good used phone that is in good condition and meeting your requirements that is below $70... Not looking good.

Your idea is sound but may need a little budget increase.
If you can push the price to $150.. You might find some good used 7 inch tablets.
Try a simple ebay search of completed auctions for the HTC desire (or a little more expensive: the HTC droid incredible)

They are around the prices I stated in the first post. I always investigate ebay for stuff like this very early on for a project like this.
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