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Buying a tablet without a plan

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Sydroid, Jul 3, 2013.

  1. Sydroid

    Sydroid Newbie
    Thread Starter

    After long bouts of research, I had finally chosen which device was going to be gateway into the Androidiverse. It was the Galaxy Tab 3 8.0, which comes out July 7th.
    However, I just realized, unlike the iPad, it seems very hard to buy such an Android device without a data plan.

    I do not live in the United States, but I am going there for the summer. I intended to pick up the device, WiFi + 3G, and then use the 3G in my country when I buy the SIM. But if I have to buy a data plan, it seems this may be impossible. Unfortunately, I see very little use in buying a tablet if I do not have Internet access where-ever I go.

    Is my research wrong, and one can buy 3G-enabled Galaxy Tab devices without a data plan, or do I have to go for the iPad mini?

    This may help - I only have about a month to burn in the US (returning mid August).

    Thanks for taking the time to read this. :)

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  2. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    How about one of the nexus tablets bro (although im not sure if the US ones work outside the US?)
  3. bubkusjones

    bubkusjones Well-Known Member

    ^I don't see why they wouldn't. Lists the same frequencies the Nexus 4 does, and I don't see anyone having issues with those internationally.

    I was actually about to come and suggest it, myself.
    funkylogik likes this.
  4. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    You have to commit to a data plan to get a 3G/4G tablet in the States now? Can't you just buy an unlocked non-carrier one there now, surely you can?

    As long as the tablet has the appropriate bands for whatever country you're taking it to, nearly always HSDPA 2100MHz and GSM/EDGE 900/1800, insert a data enabled SIM and you should be fine. Which country are you going to, if it's Canada, that uses the same bands as the States AFAIK.
    funkylogik likes this.
  5. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    I'd say check the frequency bands first before buying a tablet in the US. Check if they are the same in your country, otherwise 3G won't work when you go home.
    funkylogik likes this.
  6. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Bit off topic but when i get a tablet, im just gona get a wifi one and tether it to my phone. To hell with swapping sims or paying for another account :thumbup:
    saptech, mikedt and ocnbrze like this.
  7. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Probably the best option, often seems to be quite a price premium for a 3G/4G enabled tablet over the regular WiFi ones. And swapping the SIM around is going to be a PITA. Unless one actually needs the tablet to be on-line at all times, even when one is not using it, in which case one would have to cough up for an additional data plan and SIM.
    funkylogik likes this.
  8. saptech

    saptech Android Expert

    That is exactly what I do. I'm either around wifi or tether it to my phone. :smokingsomb:
  9. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Yeah i tether about 50gb a month through my phone. I dont even have home broadband and my sim only costs
    saptech likes this.
  10. Sydroid

    Sydroid Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Then it seems there is no way getting around this contract.
    I guess then I have one more question left - assuming I am able to nab the tablet, and get a contract that I can, by some sort of stroke of luck, cancel in one month without some colossal fee, would it be relatively easy to unlock the tablet for international use?
  11. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Probably but unlocking is illegal in the US i think man ;)
  12. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    If you don't want to pay the full unsubsidized price for a device, you can't really avoid a contract.

    You might be able to cancel within a month, but the carrier will want the device back. Otherwise they'll take it you've defaulted and they'll blacklist the tablet's IMEI, and so unlocking it won't help you, it just won't work on 3G.

    Can't really help with unlocking on AF, because that's in violation of the DMCA and is illegal.
    Sydroid and funkylogik like this.
  13. Sydroid

    Sydroid Newbie
    Thread Starter

    Jesus Christ, buying an brand name Android device for international use is most definitely more trouble than it's worth. I was really hoping to get into this scene, but it turns out carriers and all their stipulations suck.

    While I wouldn't mind a blacklisted device, as it will work outside the US, I'd probably come back to the United States months later, and wouldn't be to use my device.

    I'd like to thank you all for your help, guidance and nuggets of information, but I'm sticking with iOS - the simplicity of simply buying an unlocked tablet is mouthwatering.
  14. funkylogik

    funkylogik share the love peeps ;)

    Noo dont give up on android man. Surely things cant be that restrictive in the US?
  15. chanchan05

    chanchan05 The Doctor

    The main issue is you're buying in the US. Why not just buy it in your home country? A Tab 2 with 3G for example sells for less than an iPad mini but with more storage. As mentioned previously, if you buy in the US, you cant even be sure the radios would work internationally. US carriers are too restrictive.
  16. Sydroid

    Sydroid Newbie
    Thread Starter

    It'd take several months for the tablets to come to my country, and when they do, they would be obscenely overpriced.
  17. mikedt

    mikedt 你好

    Surely if you buy a carrier contract subsidized 3G/4G iPad in the US, it's going to be locked, and you'll have to find a way to unlock it. And if you buy an unlocked non-carrier one, that's going to be expensive. iOS or brand name Android, would it make any difference?

    BTW what country are you in? Because even here in mainland China, these days premium devices like Samsung or Apple are priced comparable to the US now, there's not much in it. The other thing to remember is, that prices in the US are always shown exclusive of sales tax. Whereas in other countries they include it. So the apparent price may appear to be cheaper, when in fact it isn't..
  18. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Extreme Android User

    See what TMOUS has. They have gone to full price no contract plans.

    Amazon US has some unlocked ones. They won't work on network without a SIM.
    Couple of Galaxies.

    Amazon.com: unlocked tablets
  19. Sydroid

    Sydroid Newbie
    Thread Starter

    I live in Ghana.
    As for the iPad, you can actually buy it without a data plan, and it doesn't add anything to the price. You buy them unlocked if you get no data plan - a good amount of my friends use the iPads they have bought in the US here in Ghana.

    As for zuben el genub's post, thank you very much. It's an excellent list, but absent of the one I really would like to buy so much.

    When I go to the States, I'll see what I can do with these infernal plans. If all goes wrong, I'll just snap up a delicious slice of iPad mini.

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