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General HTC Desire with prepaid voice and no data, what to expect?

Discussion in 'Android Devices' started by y2y, May 2, 2011.

  1. y2y

    y2y Lurker
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    Hi all. I'm extremely new to the smartphone game having rocked the same old Nokia since 2004 and, while I'm not completely ready to jump in as far as many others have, I have a few basic questions regarding my journey into the world of phones with fancy futuristic things like cameras, colors, and actual ringtones.

    I am an American expat in Germany and I have been surviving on prepaid cell service for 4 years now. It costs me around 15 Euro per month because I barely use it at all. For the last year or so I've been seeing someone and we basically only call each other and send about 20 texts per month. Strangely enough, she's in a similar situation with her phone (prepaid) and we're both looking at Desire HDs as our entry into the smartphone world. Since we would like for our monthly costs to remain as low as possible, we are entertaining the idea of using a simple prepaid voice only SIM in our new phones. The reasons for this are twofold: A) We travel extensively and do not wish to get involved in the incredibly expensive and confusing details of roaming data and B) We find that nearly everywhere we go (work, home, fav restaurants/coffe shops) we have wifi available. Therefore, if we can get by with prepaid voice and wifi only data that is the way we want to go.

    That said, here are a few questions.

    We want these phones to enhance our traveling experience in several ways. Two of those major ways are through GPS and translation software. Regarding GPS, can the GPS on the Desire be used without a data connection? Regarding translation software, I've seen demos of people taking pictures of signs and such and having the signs translated. Does that capability (not sure the app name) require data? If so, can anyone recommend a robust and capable translation app of any kind that DOES NOT require data.

    If my plan turns out to be doable and wifi is the exclusive means by which I use my phone for data purposes, will my device be able to receive software updates via wifi? I'm assuming from what I've read that when (for instance) an OS upgrade is available it will be delivered over the air, so could this happen over wifi instead of cell data? To piggy back off of that question, can I install apps via wifi as I would via cell data?

    Lastly, will not having a constant data connection improve my battery life? I'm not interested in having to charge my phone every 7 hours lest it become a brick.

    I appreciate the time taken to read all of that crap. I guess the tl;dr version would be this:

    I want to use a prepaid voice only SIM in a Desire HD and use only wifi for data. Please give your stories/advice/warnings about that idea.
     

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  2. El Presidente

    El Presidente Beware The Milky Pirate!
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    Not having a data plan is probably doable, just keep mobile internet turned off and make sure everything is set to manual sync. I rarely use my 3G connection, predominantly WiFi and according to 3G Watchdog, I've only used 26MB since the 22nd April (my billing date) but that could easily be less if I didn't check things like email/FB whilst out.

    I've never used the GPS stuff on the phone so I can't confirm if that will use data. Google Navigation isn't supposed to as it has maps pre cached to the phone, but again, I've never used GPS so can't confirm.

    As for the translation apps, not seen them on Android, althought I have seen an iPhone ad where this function is shown, could you be mixing them up? I can imagine you'd need an internet connection though. There's an app called Google Goggles which allows you to take pictures of things then search for them on the internet using the picture. It's real time though so you couldn't take the pic, save it, then go to location with WiFi and search that way.

    Pretty much everything you can do over the 3G connection can be done over WiFi too so there's no issues there. When doing SW updates, they actually recommend you use a WiFi connection for OTA updates.

    tl:dr versrion - It's doable if you're very careful.
     
  3. {LCD}Stelios

    {LCD}Stelios Member
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    I use a PAYG sim in my DHD, I still use GPS it doesn't cost any thing,and my home WIFI or a connectable ap when out.
    IF out and about and you use things like google googles then you will use data, just don't use things like that.
     
  4. y2y

    y2y Lurker
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    Thanks for the replies.

    El Presidente - It is possible I am mixing iPhone and Android apps regarding the translation capability. I'll look in to that again.

    {LCD}Stelios - That's exactly what I need to know, thank you. I'll start digging for PAYG sims in Europe now.

    Any other stories?
     
  5. Xyro

    Xyro 4 8 15 16 23 42
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    Keep in kind that the stock google maps app doesn't store map data, it pulls it from the internet every time. Do whilst gps is free, you need an app that caches maps to the sd card in advance.

    But yeah, wifi is the superior option to 3g anyway, so you can do everything with it (except when on the move).
     
  6. dan_hin

    dan_hin Member
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    The HTC (stock, and also free with some exceptions) navigation app is the one that caches the map data so you don't need to hammer your data connection when you're out and about. Pretty much every app you can think of will use a data connection by default unless told not to.

    IMHO it seems like a waste of money to buy a phone like the DHD without using it to it's full potential. In the UK you can pick up a SIM from 3mobile with unlimited data for
     
  7. y2y

    y2y Lurker
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  8. ninja_reject

    ninja_reject Android Enthusiast
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    The app you want is camtranslator. It is free on the market. It does use data.
     

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