Unlocked Nexus One With AT&T?


Last Updated:

  1. Jay67

    Jay67 Member

    I'm looking for a new phone and I really like some of the phones I saw running Android. I found an unlocked Nexus One on eBay and I'm considering buying but I was wondering about a few things.

    1. If I get this phone, will it work with AT&T?
    2. Can I use it without a data plan? (Can't afford it)

    I don't have much use for a data plan since I am connected to WiFi quite often. If I can't use this particular phone without a data plan, are there any other Android phones that I can do this with?

    Thanks a lot

    Advertisement
  2. Mostly Harmless

    Mostly Harmless Well-Known Member Contributor

    Any Nexus one will work on At&t's Edge network. The problem is when you want to join the 3G network, in that case you have to get the specific N1 for the carrier (T-Mobile uses a different 3G frequency). But since you don't want to use it with a data plan then you could get either one. I think any phone you can get and just turn off the data in the settings (settings-Wireless & network settings-Mobile networks-Data enabled).
  3. woody1

    woody1 Member

    Chances are, if you try to use that phone on AT&T's network, they will detect it as a smartphone and automatically add a data plan to your account, even if you turn off data usage altogether.

    So you could end up in the worst of all worlds: no 3G data and paying for a plan anyway. In your situation, I would consider getting a prepaid account. You will be able to make calls and use wifi and there's no possibility that AT&T will add a data plan to your account. If your phone is unlocked, you put in a prepaid SIM card and you're off and running.

    If you do go the prepaid route, T-Mobile has better deals on prepaid than AT&T.
  4. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery VIP Member

    I don't think that should be the case. AT&T does not have the IMEI to your Nexus One because it's not their phone so they can't detect that it is a smartphone. My carrier couldn't if it's not their phone, unless I TOLD them it was. If you find source to say otherwise, please link it here. The phone is unlock to carriers. Carriers force you on a data plan if you buy a subsidized phone from them. Otherwise they can't force you. If you do use 3G without a dataplan, you end up paying an outrageous fee. If you want to be sure about this, just call up AT&T. I used my phone without data for half a year and it was fine.
    Jay67 likes this.
  5. safeplayer22

    safeplayer22 Well-Known Member

    Agreed.
  6. Jay67

    Jay67 Member

    Since I'm on AT&T the phone can't use 3G right? And is there any way I can stop the phone from using data completely? I have data turned off on my AT&T account but I want to be sure that I won't end up with a ridiculous charge if the phone is constantly using data.
  7. NunyaBidnez

    NunyaBidnez Well-Known Member

    Why do people feel the need to say "unlocked" Nexus One? All the Nexus Ones are unlocked. It's like saying I have an iPod that works with iTunes or a car with wheels.
  8. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery VIP Member

    If you get the TMo frequencies Nexus One, you won't be able to use data even if you wanted to. If you get the AT&T frequencies Nexus One, there's an option on the phone that enables 2G only so it will never go into '3G mode' and thus no data :)
  9. JevyJav

    JevyJav Well-Known Member

    I have a at&T nexus 1 and yes they WILL FORCE YOU TO ADD A DATA PLAN. Once on their network they can detect the nexus imei number and then proceed to rape you. Trust me there is no escape unless you put the phone on a pay as you go plan which would save you the data fees. I was on T-Mobile as well with a T-Mobile 3g nexus and I must say that their signal and coverage SUCKS however they are much cheaper than at&t by far they also provide discounts for customers with unlocked devices whereas at&rape doesn't. Still if I We're you I'd just get the tmo version not unless you are already an at&rape victim I mean customer.

    It boggles my mind the idea of getting a phone like this without a data plan.... wow that's pretty hardcore I mean I did the dataless pay as you go thing on at&t for a while and it drove me crazy only being able to check the net at certain places.
  10. Hook

    Hook Ever since DU... ;-) VIP Member

    Actually, I do just fine with it. My Nexus One is a Gophone. I add 100Mb data bucket which is there if I really need it, but most of the time I use wifi. I roll over the data for $5 a month and probably never spend more that $15 a month for calls, texts and data. I maybe have to add an additional 100Mb once a year. Works great. :)
  11. Jay67

    Jay67 Member

    Thanks to everyone for your help. Unfortunately the eBay listing had an unexpected fee of $400 for shipping. So in order to not be totally screwed over I had to go with a G1 running Android 2.2.1 and the Cyanogen mod. I'm talking to the guy right now to make sure I can use it without data.

    Once again thank you all so much
  12. Mostly Harmless

    Mostly Harmless Well-Known Member Contributor


    I HATE HATE HATE when people pull that crap and it's happening more and more on ebay. Ebay really needs to put a stop on all these items that have a cheap for sale price with a huge shipping fee.
  13. jbrinkley

    jbrinkley Well-Known Member

    astt forced me to up my plan also, they did in fact know i was using a n1 on att 3g. Took them a while, but they did force it on me.
  14. Roze

    Roze Hiding behind a mystery VIP Member

    If you're in an area with WIFI the majority of the time, do you really NEED data?

    You were using 3G though. That meant you had the old 2G data plan (or whatever it's called) right? So I can see them forcing you to pay for 3G as you're using it. I've heard other members complained about this at the beginning of the year.

    Maybe I should stop arguing this since I am not with AT&T but the logic doesn't make sense to me. You buy an unlock phone that is not 'paid for by the carrier'. Usually when you buy a subsidize phones, you have to agree to THEIR terms, which is you need a data plan to get the phone for cheap.

    I google the AT&T data terms, and you're right Jevy :mad:
    I'm still wondering what what they mean by designated smartphone? Is it just THEIR phones since smartphones are smartphones unless some smartphones are smarter than others :rolleyes:

    The carrier I'm with was AT&T in Canada but is now Rogers. If I buy my phone outright and I don't want to use data, I am not forced to pay data. Makes sense to me.
  15. okstate707

    okstate707 Member

    Hey, if you're still looking for a phone, I have an AT&T Nexus One that I could sell you for about $200. It has a cracked screen, so you would need to fix that, but it all works still, even with the cracked screen
  16. Jay67

    Jay67 Member

    Thanks for the offer but I just bought a phone last night.
  17. vadrian

    vadrian New Member

    This sounds exactly like what I'm after. I have an AT&T El Cheapo GoPhone from WalMart; I want to move to a smartphone (e.g. nexus) and just slide my sim into the new phone.

    I went to a BestBuy Express phone store, and the rep there allowed me to slip my GoPhone sim into his T-mobile N1. The phone got 5 bars, but went to "emergency calls only." The man was perplexed and assured me I should have been able to get this to work. (He was disappointed since a potential sale just walked out his door.) From other posts, I see this is probably because AT&T's 3G is somewhat different from T-Mobile's 3G. Silly me, expecting it would just work.

    What I reasonably want:

    • Continue to "pay as you go"

    • Sync my calendar and contacts when in a WiFi hotspot
    • Use Skype when I'm in a WIFI hotspot.
    • Develop Apps for the N1.
    What I don't want:

    • Pay more than about $15-$20 (which is what I now pay) a month for communications, calendaring, and addressbook. And tide tables. And Sudoku. etc.
    • Have to cary multiple electronic devices in my pockets (I still have an old palm pilot, in addition to my GoPhone)
    From this thread (and esp your post), it seems I can get what I want if only I buy an AT&T-specific N1. Is that correct?

    I have a few other questions:

    • Given this phone, supposing I'm out of range of any cell tower, will the GPS function still work?
    • I once had a GoPhone that could text. My son still does. My current GoPhone won't text -- I have to upgrade my "plan." So, this means texting must somehow be encoded on the sim. There must be something missing from my son's SIM's software that permits it to text -- was something added to the protocol that disallows texting with newer sims? If so, are older sims available "out there?"
    • What is different about the AT&T Nexus 1 and the T-Mobile Nexus 1? It's not just the sim. Is it the actual radio hardware? Is it a driver? Doesn't "unlocked" mean you're not obliged to stick to a particular carrier?
    And now just a quick rant: I really despise how we as consumers are at the total mercy of communications companies. Maybe I'll just go back to carrying around a paper calendar and HAM (I'm not talking about lunch meat).
  18. Munchausen0

    Munchausen0 Active Member

    I was on AT&T and when the N1 came out (Tmo) I bought one (had a older dumb phone). I new I was not going to get full 3g out of it on AT&T (but the edge was ok)..

    AT&T still charged me full 30.00 for unlimited internet (which was ok for I turned around a few weeks later and bought the AT&T version which rocks).

    So the bit of 'If they dont sell it you dont get charged xxx' line really dosen't work.

    All in all it's ok for me. Nice to have a plan that has unlimited data (for when ever I want to get another phone/upgrade on AT&T.) Was thinking on getting a Atrix but after reading on alot of different forums I have decided to wait for a while (N1 still rocks..but my lady is eying my N1 for she knows she will get it when I get a new phone). Samsung S II has caught my eye (yes yes I know they are rock bottom on updates).
  19. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    It should have been able to sync with AT&T's network, just not 3G data as T-mobile operates at 1700 MHz and AT&T is 1900 MHz. Exactly how old is the SIM in your dumb phone?

    Might need a new SIM for that one.

    All fine

    T-mobile N1's work on AT&T's network EXCEPT for 3G data, so if you never intend to use 3G on AT&T, it should not be a factor.

    The GPS antenna will continue to receive the satellite information, however you need data to download the maps unless you have purchased an app like Copilot that stores map information on the SD card.

    The texting feature can be turned on or off as a feature tied to the account associated with that particular SIM but it's not on the SIM per se.

    It is the antenna frequencies supported by the radios. Both are quad band GSM phones, but AT&T uses 1900 MHz for 3G while t-Mobile uses 1700 MHz. FYI, most European carriers use 2100 MHz which both phones support.

    To a degree ... as far as price, it's what the market will bear. Consumers are still willing/able to pay for what is essentially a luxury service so there will be little pressure to drastically change the fee paradigm. I'd like a $20/month cell plan with data, $1.00/gal. gas and a 25 hour work week. But, I accept $60/month cell phone plan, $3.00/gallon gas and a 50~60hour work week because, even with all the moaning and groaning we lead pretty damn comfortable, long, safe and healthy lives.
  20. vadrian

    vadrian New Member

    The sim doesn't have a datestamp on it, though it does claim to be a 3G sim. To my recollection, I bought it about 2 years ago, for about $25 (complete package go-phone). Whatever the case, when the sim is placed into a T-Mobile Nexus, it did not permit me to call..

    Lacking data, would it be able to show my direction and speed of motion, and my lat/lon? Maybe there's an Android Java library that gives me lat/lon?


    I see. Thanks for the explanation on that.

    Yes, yes. Of course -- it was a superficial rant at best, and I shall dwell no longer on it in this forum.
  21. lunatic59

    lunatic59 Moderati ergo sum Moderator

    Not trying to be a smarta$$, but are you sure you had the SIM in the correct direction? The notch side toward the battery.



    Sure plenty of gps apps in the market. I'm sure yo'll find one that comes close to what you want.

    Download My Tracks for your Android phone on AppBrain
  22. vadrian

    vadrian New Member

    I'm sure I put the sim in properly.
  23. Dolmangar

    Dolmangar Well-Known Member

    I had the same problem when I switched my N1 from AT&T to T-Mobile. I had bought the N1 before the AT&T version was out and then got around to changing carriers.

    You need to go to Settings -> Wireless and Networks -> Mobile Networks -> Network Operators.

    The phone will search for what it can find, and then you can just select the right carrier. In my case I couldn't do anything until I picked T-Mobile from the list with my new T-Mobile SIM.
    NunyaBidnez likes this.
  24. jimf42

    jimf42 Member

    They fixed it now...they now figure final value fee (as of April 19) on the total price including shipping, so the seller can't save the final value fee by jacking up the shipping price.
  25. JeepWK2

    JeepWK2 Active Member

    Yes, there is an option in settings to disable data. I use mine on AT&T and it works great!

Share This Page