Last Updated: Nov 02,2011
No, there is no way to use a smart phone with any of the carriers without a data plan. They are required to use these phones. However, I do remember reading one of the carriers (sprint i think) is coming out with an android pay-as-you-go phone, so that might be an option for you.
keep the track phone, buy an itouch or PSP or something like that.....
Looks like what she needs isn't a phone, but rather a phone-sized device running android
WTF are you talking about?
I use my Behold 2 in the way he describes. I have free apps running that I downloaded via WiFi, its a great phone, plays music... and TMo KNOWS I have it sinc a rep noted 'Hey I see your running a Bh2 now, nice'.
NOT ONCE did I have to upgrade my plan to anything, so just to be clear I have a family plan for two lines and 750 minutes a month, $5 texting on one line. Thats it.
So the plans are not required to use the phone on TMo, and I doubt on other carriers as well. I just cannot use 3G on TMo's network.
sitlet, that is not true. You can use any phone without a data plan. Although blackberries kinda suck without them.
Not true. I have a Galaxy S Captivate with NO data-plan. You just have to buy it no-contract which is $500-600. You can pick up any phone off-contract. It is better to get a SIM GMS phone so you can swap it with another SIM and switch carriers easily.
In fact, I am using it with a T-Mobile pre-paid SIM. When I want, I swap it out with my AT&T SIM which has an unlimited data grandfathered plan.
Thats the key, you pay full price at $500 for a phone without the data plan. $500 / 24 months is $20 a month, data plan is $29, so if you look at it that way I'm only paying $9/month for data.
Not everyone pays full price. At launch, AT&T had a mix-up and had the Captivate for $350 no-contract or $199 contract.
I got it for way,way,way less than that mix up price.
Some Costco still have the $350 price. There is a thread on it in the Captivate forum. I only quoted the retail price. If you are willing to commit the time, you can definitely get a phone off-contract for way under retail.
Furthermore, how do you get $29? That is data on-top of the voice plan. You are still tslking $60 plus a month. With a no-contract phone, you can buy a pre-paid sim and use it for 3 months. When I was testing some phones, I paid $20 for 3 months and only used the phone for text messaging and as a dedicated phone in the car. Either way, no-contract is the way to go.
If I recall correctly, when I talked to Verizon not too long before ordering my Incredible, the data package was required in addition to the cellular service plan when buying a smartphone. I would suggest getting a new Ipod Touch for your dearest spouse and upgrading the old phone to one of the many freebie phones many of the carriers provides to their customers.
Yes, technically you can use it without a data plan. But I know for a fact, you CANNOT activate an Android phone on Sprint or Verizon without a data plan. Maybe TMO is different, But on Sprint and Verizon you cant even activate it without a data plan.
As indicated by this thread, it actually depends on the carrier.
...and of these carriers, TMO's probably your only choice. You might want to confirm with the carriers.
Thanks to all who replied. Special Thanks to mrspeedmaster, justanotherguy and Eugene who provided thought and solutions in their posts.
The up shot of all this now is that we have not yet decided, but will either go with a Virgin Mobile or bite the big bullet and pay the $80 plus a month on a big carrier for voice + data. The Virgin Mobile is $25 a month and $150 for an LG Rumor Touch (almost a smart phone, but not quite).
There is a lot of details I simply don't have time to type out here. Thanks again. Please consider this thread closed.
I should have worded mine generally, because there are always exceptions to the normal as someone pointed out with the special deal.
When I did my calculations I only considered the cost of the data plan because I assume you already have a voice plan, again generally speaking.
There really is a large demand for an Android 'ipod touch', i.e. a phoneless android PMD/PDA/Whatever you want to call them.
With Sprint or Verizon, its impossible. The phone must be activated through their system before use, and they can see if its a smartphone or not. With GSM phones (that use SIM cards) and networks, the situation is different. Your service is attached to the card so you can change phones without carrier intervention.
T-Mobile and AT&T are your only choices in the US. Buy a free phone on contract, then buy an unlocked Android phone online. Then you don't need data.
PROTIP: Make sure you disable the mobile network data setting before use! Or else you'll get huge data charges!
Here in Thailand only iPhone and Blackberry come with data plans, my Acer Liquid E carries the same old SIM card with the same old plan that now needs to be changed to something more data friendly.
I spend about 22 hours a day near landlines and wifi but it drains battery like there's no tomorrow if I have wifi on all the time instead of "on demand". I'd rather pay for data plan than worry about recharging my battery every day or so.
How much data one would consume running only background apps like twitter and gmail, maybe occasional internet browsing?
They have all kinds of plans here, both volume and time based.
Lowest volume is 30 MB which sounds like enough to me. Next step is 150 MB.
Time based plan also sounds interesting with things like 30 or 50 hours per month. I don't know whether the phone would always stay online to run those apps or would it turn gprs/edge on and off automatically for every app that wants to ring home. That might be quite a bit of a hassle to control.
How much data the phone consumes a month, the ball park figures? Would 30 MB be enough for me? What would 150 MB get me if I go for that instead? An occasional youtube foray? Anything else I should be aware about? Over the limit charges are steep.
You could always do what I do with my droid; use it as an ipod touch replacement and setup:
sipdroid+sipgate+Google Voice+GVCallback and you have a free phone with no data plan as long as you're in wifi. I bought my Droid for $50 on Craigslist too, so all-in-all my 3 months of Droid awesomeness only cost a one-time fee of $50
I can help you out with whatever you want/need to know involving setting it up if you want. You still use a normal cheapo phone, but if you calculate it I'm saving $360 a year not having a Droid on my account but only using it as a PDA. It does everything a normal Droid does except I need wifi and can't get 3G access. Oh well, worth it to carry two phones! Plus since I'm in wifi almost 24/7 (woot for college!) I almost never need my normal phone with me unless I'm driving somewhere
Or you could look up Page Plus, Verizon's pay-as-you-go alternative. I think it comes out to about $20 a month if I remember right. I'm active on this blog post I found.
I'm looking for an estimate monthly data usage for background apps and occasional browsing to help choose a data plan. I use wifi for all the heavy lifting but need things like twitter and gmail to update themselves via GPRS/EDGE without draining battery power in wifi mode.
I think something like 500 MB would be way over the top.
"500MB being way over the top" to be taken sarcastically or literally? Personally, I don't see how having what you mentioned you want pushed taking up even more than 10MB a month unless you get a lot of attachments in emails. That's why I assume you meant literally (but there are sarcastic people on the forums, you can never be sure! ).
I don't know if you read through the Page Plus post I mentioned earlier or not, but check it out! I think their limit (probably where you got it) is 100MB a month, so that would be perfect! And in the update on the blog (I just noticed) it says there's a new app called 3G Watchdog that warns you when you are close to your limit. Pretty cool!
That dude signed up for 50 MB per month even if he is not going to use any data transfers at all.
My current Opera cache folder on my PC is 18 MB but it doesn't store a lot of things and cleans itself automatically, but I also use it for heavy browsing six-eight hours a day.
Generally, it looks like 30 MB per month should be sufficient for my needs.
On the other hand, if I watch even a couple of youtube movies then 30MB is absolutely nothing and twitter is filled with links to youtube videos. In over the limit state an average clip would be be about $2 here.
It looks like I better sign up for 150 MB just to be on the safe side, extra 120MB cost $5 more, a lot less than potential extra charges.
Ok, signed up for 150MB, got traffic counter app, and now, in less than 24 hours, it's showing 3.6 MB already.
I noticed that even sudoku was fetching google ads from the net.
Now trying to figure out how to control the net access in Network and Sync menus so that only gmail and twitter work, and nothing else, without explicit permission.
Battery life improved significantly, one day cost me a quarter in american money.
Oh, and I signed up for GPRS/Edge 2G data service, 3G use would have defeated the goal of saving battery life in the first place. Gmail and Twitter and other assorted simple stuff work on Edge just fine.
Youtube craps out, however.
On the other hand, no youtube means a lot less data transfer.
Urgh, I probably should get used to plugging the AC adapter in every day.
Oh, yeah, Ikea 100 cats commercial won't play on Edge but works flawlessly on proper wifi.
Got 5.42 MB so far. A bit more than the average of 5 MB per day as my plan prescribes but still manageable. Whoever implied that 30MB a month should be enough was wrong.
Didn't read the thread close enough, but 30 MB a month is a joke for an Android phone. Good thing you went with the 150 MB.
1 day battery life is pretty typical for these phones. Don't worry about forgetting to plug it in. Its a habit you get into.
If I remember right, the poster in the blog I linked to (aka. "the guy who says 30MB is enough") turned off all 3G etc. and only turns it on when he needs to check something on the net real fast. From a technical standpoint, if you're only looking at 10 text-based webpages a day that shouldn't be more than maybe 100kb or so. I think he also selectively has apps on such as gmail or google voice. If he's only dealing with text, again, that's only about 100kb to up to 1MB a day if he's going overboard (assuming those programs push text only).
I don't know, I'm not going to speak on the guy's behalf as I don't know his exact situation. But I guess what I'm saying is if you really tried /had to, I'm sure someone could wein down to 30MB a month and mooch off wifi as much as possible, but what fun would that be?
It's been 4 days and 14 MBs of mobile traffic and some 50 MB on wifi.
Just for "today", and it's only 8AM, the phone synced some 500 KB of data without me starting any apps at all. Sync is set only for gmail and twitter.
Some gaming apps also download ads while running, like sudoku. However small amount of data, it builds up, I guess, if I spend an hour or two playing puzzles or something.
Over the weekend the phone needed charging every night. On weekdays it lasts for two days. I understand it's kind of normal.
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