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Can unactivated android phones be used with WIFI for web browsing ?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by Mike 99, Jul 23, 2011.

  1. Mike 99

    Mike 99 New Member
    Thread Starter

    Jul 23, 2011
    Hello all

    I need a small hand held web browsing device like a Archos or Ipod touch to be used mostly for web browsing.The archos and the Ipods run over 220 but I found new older model smartphones like the Motorola DEVOUR,htc hero,samsung moment,etc for around 100-150

    I was looking to save a few bucks and thought about buying a new older model smartphone like the ones mentioned above without getting phone service activated and using the device with a WIFI mobile hotspot to surf the net.

    Does anybody know if this would work ? I would hate to buy the phone for this purpose and not be able to use it


  2. I occasionally use all of my ex-phones for wifi enabled web browsing (except for my Eris, which I gave away).. also to continue some games I have in each one, etc. ;)

    Yes, as long as you have a good wifi connection, you're good to go. No need for a data plan for just internet.
  3. Mike 99

    Mike 99 New Member
    Thread Starter

    Jul 23, 2011

    Thanks.Does the phone have to be activated at all with a voice plan ? (I'm asking because you mentioned just data).I want to use it straight out the box for WIFI web browsing and never have it activated with a phone service provider

    Thanks again
  4. Harry2

    Harry2 Well-Known Member

    Jun 3, 2010
    Black Forest
    With my HTC, I need a SIM to start the phone first times. Then I set up WiFi and signin at my Google account.
    Now I can use the phone via WiFi without the SIM.

  5. jerofld

    jerofld Fixing stuff is not easy

    May 10, 2011
    I fix stuff
    Over there <points>
    My Droid X would surf wifi without being activated after I SBF'd. Would wait on reactivating until I got all my settings correct before bothering to activate the phone.

    May only be the case for CDMA phones, though.
  6. Guamguy

    Guamguy Well-Known Member

    Apr 12, 2010
    I use all my "deactivated" phones for wifi browsing.

    If its CDMA, it practically becomes an Android iPod Touch.

    If its GSM, it acts like a mere SIM less Android iPod Touch.

    If the phone is brand new, you have to set up your Wifi settings first, then login with your Google account. The phone becomes activated, but not with the carrier, only with Google.

    You don't need a data plan to for the phone to be used with Wifi internet.

    You don't need a voice plan either.

    The phone becomes a mere handheld internet device. You can browse, do email, IM and apps with them. Literally an iPod Touch. Well, at least one that can still take pictures.

    Final note: some apps won't appear in the Android Market with a SIM. Not a lot but some. They will appear though if you put a SIM into the phone, even if the SIM itself is expired and deactivated. The Paid Market won't appear without a SIM. Yes, you can also use a pure voice and text only SIM, activated or not, and the paid apps will appear. Plus the SIM can merely be a prepaid one.

    Additional note on the above; the region of the SIM will dictate the currency signs of the Android Market. Put a SIM from the Philippines for example, you get Philippines peso signs. Put a SIM from Canada, and everything becomes Canadian dollar. Some apps are regionally filtered too, and regionally filtered apps may appear and disappear with the SIM installed.

    Finally, you know those prepaid data SIMs used in 3G dongles for laptops, and increasingly on tablets? You can use them on the phone too, and once you activate the APN station, the smartphone turns into a pure mobile internet device without voice and text. Sort of like a mini 3G tablet.
  7. ThomasSt.Moore

    ThomasSt.Moore New Member

    Jul 25, 2011
    Can you make a recommendation for a device that I can purchase for the sole purpose of using wi-fi?

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