Can you buy an Optimus, never activate the VM account, and still use it for wifi?General

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  1. garybeck

    garybeck Well-Known Member

    my kids are asking for ipod touch. i don't like apple and prefer android.

    i have an LG Optimus and I like it. It seems to me that if I bought them the same phone (or really any android phone) without a carrier account, it would basically be the same thing as an ipod touch.

    i thought about getting them a tab, but they're a bit bigger than i think they need, and they seem to be more expensive with less features (except the bigger screen).

    so i'm wondering, can I buy an Optimus and just never activate the VM account? If I do will it still work on wifi, google play, gps, ....? will it force me to activate the phone? will it be constantly searching for the VM signal and popping up an error because I don't have an account?

    related questions... what's the new Optimus Elite? it's also VM, about the same price, but looks a little different.


  2. Rxpert83

    Rxpert83 Dr. Feelgood Moderator

    I'll admit I don't know what your device is currently selling for, but have you considered a nexus 7?

    It's $200/250, very portable in the 7" form factor, running jellybean 4.2, and updates straight from google the same day they are announced.

    If you want something smaller, you could pick up just about any smartphone that's 1+ year old around $50-150 on craigslist. It'll work as a WiFi device and still have GPS.

    You wouldbt need anything too powerful for what they want
    jerofld likes this.
  3. garybeck

    garybeck Well-Known Member

    thanks, FYI the optimus is going for ~$100 on amazon, brand new. since Ihave twins, going to a nexus at $200 or more would be a lot more cost (two units, not just one). and the 7" devices just seem a bit big.... you can't really stick it in your pocket or clip it on your belt. I think a 4" screen would be OK for what they want.... listening to music, web surfing, games, texting with daddy...

    I think $100 for one of these is an amazing deal. i'm sure they knock the cost down a bit because they assume you're going to pay them $35/month for a couple years. but if I don't activate the VM account I get an amazing tiny tablet for $100.
  4. Phil42

    Phil42 Well-Known Member

    I got my Optimus V for $40 on eBay (used obviously).

    From what I recall the phone did work as a WiFi device before I activated, but I'm not absolutely sure. In addition I don't know if there are any 'nag screens' which would continue to pop up over time asking you to activate.

    If you do decide to go with a used phone try to get one with the Novatek screen, it's more pure colors from what folks have said.

    OTOH, if you're just interested in a cheap tablet-like toy for the kids, why not get a color eBook reader, either one which has a bunch of functionality or one which can be rooted. I seriously considered a $40 7 inch reader which could be rooted. The main factor which made me decide not to was the lack of a camera or microphone. There are lots of $100-ish low-power tablets with some decent capabilities.
  5. 350X

    350X Well-Known Member

    Yep Ive done that with 2 of them myself but I got used one off ebay for $25-$30 shipped, gotta root them to get link2sd setup to have enough room for apps n games, but you don't have to install a custom rom. [ I didn't]

    make sure and get the larger battery

    it will depend greatly on how well they take care of things.
    GF 12yr old boy keeps his in good shape and use, GF 7yr old girl, battery is always stone dead and it full of addware cause she downloads every crappy game without reading reviews.
  6. garybeck

    garybeck Well-Known Member

    thanks for the info. it sounds like there are no problems or issues with having no active VM account? no annoying popup reminding you to activate the account?

    i'm thinking about getting the Optimus Elite.... still only $99 on Amazon, bigger screen, faster processor, camera flash, and a couple other things.

    since you have kids involved can I ask if you have any idea if they are playing Minecraft on theirs? It's a really popular game and my kids want to play it on whatever device I end up getting. I see there is a version in Google Play, but I don't know if it will work on this phone, or if the screen is too small, or...
  7. TX-Dennis

    TX-Dennis Well-Known Member

    My son is using my old one as an "Android ipod". It works just fine on wireless. Just put it on airplane mode, then turn on wireless. Works great.
    Rxpert83 likes this.
  8. RazoE

    RazoE Well-Known Member

    As far as I know, this is how 2.2 and up phones work. Previous versions would require service before you could continue through setup, but eclair introduced setup via Wi-Fi, or the option of just using it as a Wi-Fi device.
  9. 350X

    350X Well-Known Member

    I bought clean ESN used phones that were wiped clean like when you get them new, all I did was root them, install programs and start using them. when you use WiFi it has nothing to do with activation, you just can't make calls.

    and minecraft is a simple dumb game that works on even a $9 special smart phone

    and well a cell phone isn't ideal for games if you ask me, it can be done but you really want a 7in tablet to play games once youve done it, I have no idea how I could even play games before on that 3in screen. I have 2 tablets now.

    pick up 2 first gen Kindle Fires, they are on sale for $129 now and all through xmas, even less as they clean out the old stock as the HD version is the new hot one.
    jerofld likes this.
  10. AnciusD

    AnciusD Well-Known Member

    I get the occasional activation notification on wifi but I have an older OV.

    Also, I've tried out Google Talk and GrooveIP Lite and it seems to make phone calls well enough.
  11. sammyz

    sammyz LG Whiz Kid Guide

    I have an Optimus V, you can use it as a wifi only device. Mine currently is a wifi only since I don't have service right now. I bought my used Optimus V for only $25 with a bid auction on eBay. To get rid of the activation popping up, you can install a custom ROM.
  12. garybeck

    garybeck Well-Known Member

    hmmm.... kindle fire doesn't have Google Play. I really would rather have the full on Android OS and access to Play.
  13. 350X

    350X Well-Known Member

    you can root them and side load google play, a tablet is a tablet, they just "blocked" it but its as easy as rooting an OV for my game room.
  14. Phatninja55

    Phatninja55 Well-Known Member

    Before I got rid of my other v, I thought of making a rom with all the phone features hidden making it more like a mp3 player with internet.
  15. Encerspay

    Encerspay Well-Known Member

    Very interesting idea, as I like both ecosystems (Google's and Amazon's) very much.
  16. a5pe4

    a5pe4 Well-Known Member

    Virgin was selling the HTC One V on cyber Monday for 50 bucks. Outstanding deal.
  17. ph37rd

    ph37rd Member

    I've been thinking about this very same thing. Tuesday should bring the delivery of my $50 HTC One V. I have two OptiVs, one being my daily driver and the second (with broken GPU) being a backup. My 3yo daughter uses the back up as a media player with a nice Eddie Bauer SmartShield holder. Since both OptiVs are already rooted, it's been suggested on another forum to just remove telephonyprovider.apk, mms.apk and phone.apk from your ROM of choice.

    Doing this should disable the modile data side of the house. Killing the possibility of her calling 911 when she's put in timeout.;) In order to complete the look and feel, I was thinking of using LeWa or a MIUI ROM. She mainly watches movies I rip and compress or plays some of the Dr Suess titles I found on the Play Store when they were $0.25.

    The OV is a beast of a phone in a small package. It's done everything and more I've asked of it. Usually I have around 100 apps installed without any memory issues. I'm hoping my new HTC can step up and fill the OV shoes.
  18. dwappo7851

    dwappo7851 Well-Known Member

    it doesn't run on the Optimus V.
  19. Phatninja55

    Phatninja55 Well-Known Member

  20. Encerspay

    Encerspay Well-Known Member

    I also believe adamhos on Android Central has some threads about accomplishing the same thing.
  21. h4x0rj3ff

    h4x0rj3ff Chemist

    the Samsung galaxy player is only 100, 130, and up depending on the screen size. maybe you would want to consider of one of these?
  22. iwantbruce

    iwantbruce Active Member

    If you don't want to root, just pay for one month to activate, register a gmail account on the phone, let the virgin mobile account lapse, and never reset the phone. WiFi will always work.
  23. sammyz

    sammyz LG Whiz Kid Guide

    Nah you dont have to activate it, there are ways around it.
  24. Phatninja55

    Phatninja55 Well-Known Member

    You don't have to activate it to use it as a WiFi only device, all you have to do is add a gmail account and then connect to wifi.
  25. bob60626

    bob60626 Well-Known Member

    I still have mine even though I went to T-Mobile. It still works fine as an "iPod touch". Putting it into airplane mode seems to help with battery life.

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