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Prepaid Phone as Android powered music player

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by dchrist21, May 22, 2011.

  1. dchrist21

    dchrist21 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    OK, let me lay some background info by letting everyone know that I have no experience with any android devices or anything similar. That's why I'm asking for help from those of you with some first-hand knowledge.

    My current MP3 player is a 20GB iPod 3G that I bought used in 2005. It still works fine but it uses a mechanical hard drive, so it tends to skip if I want to use it while exercising. I was looking at buying a 32GB refurbed iPod Touch as a replacement. After doing a bit more research, I see I can get a lower-end android phone for about the same price (Virgin Mobile LG Optimus V).

    My goal is to have an iPod Touch-like device, possibly with GPS functions but with no recurring monthly charges. So I would buy the device, but not buy minutes or pay for a monthly plan. All of my "data" usage would be via WiFi.

    How much of this is possible, ie., how many android apps/features require the device to be an active phone and how much hassle is it to make a device work in this manner. If it's possible, are some devices better suited to this task than others? For example, would I be better off buying a used verizon Droid...

    Thanks for any advice and personal experiences.


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  2. dchrist21

    dchrist21 Lurker
    Thread Starter

    Ok, so I didn't get much feedback from folks here, but I did go ahead with this idea and here's what I learned...

    First, I bought an LG Optimus V (Virgin Mobile) from Best Buy. I also bought a $25 prepaid card, but I haven't used it yet.

    When I got home I charged up the battery and got it online with my home wifi. Browser, Gmail, Email, Youtube all worked great...basically everything that needed a data connection worked right out of the box. And I still haven't even activated the phone.

    Next I tried navigation. I'm almost certain that it was set to use GPS by default, but all the location based apps worked great from my wifi with GPS-based location. Google maps, navigation, latitude, etc. all worked. Since then I have tried using cell-based navigation (still without activation of the phone) and I'm pretty sure that works also. Unfortunately, I need a wifi data like at the same time, so I can only use location based services while connected to a wifi network. Not the most useful, but good to know.

    The first night I re-charged the phone and set it aside for the night. When I woke up the battery was half dead. Turns out I left the GPS on all night. I used that experience to do a little power conservation research and installed an app called "quick settings". Works great and gives easy access to all of the most-used settings like wifi, bluetooth, GPS, backlight, etc. I highly recommend this app.

    That night I installed doubleTwist...probably the biggest single reason I went ahead with this idea was doubleTwist. I installed the desktop version on my iMac and imported my iTunes library and playlists. After I plugged in my Optimus and selected the playlists I wanted, it synced with the doubleTwist app on the phone and voila!...all my favorite music and playlists from iTunes on my new mp3 player.

    Today I wanted to test the battery life when used as a media player. I got to work at 7 and by 7:30 I had plugged in some headphones and started up the music player. I had the volume set somewhere just under 50% and I checked in on it ever few hours to make sure it was still playing. I let it keep playing music even after I left work. When I finally shut down doubleTwist at 7:30 pm I still had 50% battery left. Its now 9:45 and my wife has been playing games since I turned off the music. battery is down to 27%. During the whole day I used "Quick Settings" to keep the backlight turned down and most other functions turned off.

    And I still haven't activated the phone. I plan to do that tomorrow so I can use 3G data and navigation for the next month when I will be traveling.

    The bottom line is it works, and it works well. For $200 and the cost of a microSD card I have the equivalent of a $300 iPod Touch. And IF and WHEN I choose, i can spend $25 and get unlimited 3G data use. A huge advantage over the iPod. And the battery life is great compared to my antique 3rd generation iPod.

  3. cds0699

    cds0699 Android Expert

    Glad its working out for ya :) Welcome to the Android forums.
  4. AndroidSPCS

    AndroidSPCS Android Expert

    Yes it works very well. I've been doing this since I have several Android devices laying around. Gotta love Android!!! :)

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