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So, I'm ditching my phone plan. Get GrooveIP/Google Voice? Which android phone?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by ShockT327, Apr 22, 2012.

  1. ShockT327

    ShockT327 Lurker
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    Hello everyone,

    Not sure if it's totally possible, but I want to cut out my cell phone plan and make calls over my wi-fi. So, from what I've read, I should get GrooveIP and Google Voice, correct? I really don't use a whole lot of minutes on my current plan, maybe 20 per month, and I mostly call from home -- so I might as well just use my wifi network. But, I'm not totally sure how to carry out that plan -- specifically which phone I should buy. I'm looking to simply get one off E-Bay; but I'm going to need some suggestions cause there is way too much out there. So, I have some questions, listed below, that can hopefully narrow it down.:


    1) Will Wi-Fi work on a phone without having a data plan? Cause I really want to just buy a phone off ebay and set up the GrooveIP account and Google Voice...and leave it at that. But I'm not sure if it works that way. Can I simply connect to my home wifi network by simply

    2) So, do I need an unlocked phone for this to work? Also, I do want to keep open the possiblity of adding a pay-as-you-go plan (maybe T-mobile, Boost, or Verizon); in case solely relying on GrooveIP doesn't work as well as I expect. So, I guess that's another reason for unlocked.

    3) On a lesser note, I want bluetooth for playing music over my car stereo (I'm upgrading my car's head unit) so I'll need a phone that can handle that too.

    So, what else am I missing? Is it an achievable senario? Or is there something I'm just not getting. Or is there anything else about the phone that I'd need to take note of....

    But the biggest obstacle right now is actually buying a phone, cause I'm not yet sure what to get...
     

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  2. kevindroid

    kevindroid Android Expert
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    tmobile has a 25 dollar 100 min unlimited text and data prepaid dont bet the farm on that voip app test it not really good feedback and echo best buy has the 4g exhibition for 250 dollars boost mobile has several android i use the marquee good luck
     
  3. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast
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    Sure. I think you do need to have the Google Voice linked to a working number, though (can be your landline), before you can use it for calls. I do suggest still getting some form of cellphone service, though. What would you do if your car breaks down on the highway or something with no Wi-Fi available?

    Verizon won't be an option. You can't activate smartphones on their Pay As You Go prepaid plans. T-Mobile and AT&T would both work. Just need to get a GSM phone and a SIM card from T-Mobile or AT&T (or, if you're fine with the prepaid smartphone offerings from either network, you can go with that).

    If you only use 20 minutes per month, service would be cheap enough that you won't even need Google Voice (except if you want it for texting or totally don't want to pay anything for cell service). Both AT&T and T-Mobile have $0.10 per minute Pay As You Go plans. At 20 minutes per month, that's just $2. The minimum you could pay for service for AT&T is $100/365 days or you can spread it out to $25/90 days. Same with T-Mobile, except after you reload a total of $100 to your account, you become eligible for Gold Rewards status and any refill (even as low as $10) would extend your service another year. The balance rolls over on both carriers as long as you reload your account before the current load expires.

    For extremely low usage, it looks like Boost is more expensive than either AT&T or T-Mobile if you want Android.

    That's actually $30/month, 100 Talk, Unlimited Text & Data (throttled after 5GB). However, if you don't use the cellular data much, that plan will cost $260 more ($360/year) than if the OP goes for Pay As You Go ($100/year).
     
  4. ShockT327

    ShockT327 Lurker
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    Ok, so I should go with a pay-as-you-go plan; I had an inkling that this might by the case....

    So, what about the data plan then? Don't they charge a flat rate (per day) just for a bit of use? Can I use wi-fi without getting a data plan too? Basically, my biggest reservation is, like, simply checking my email (or simple browsing) and having to pay .35 cents or whatever it is...
     
  5. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast
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    You can use Wi-Fi. Actually, that's the only way you'll be able to get internet on Pay As You Go now. Neither AT&T nor T-Mobile offer internet on their Pay As You Go plans anymore.

    AT&T used to have data plans available for Pay As You Go (pretty pricey at $25/500MB, $15/100MB, $5/10MB) but the nice thing was they rolled over. For simple email checking and just the occasional web browsing, I was able to stretch the $25/500MB for 6 months just by adding $5/10MB every month (which just gets deducted from the refill balance that I wasn't really using for calls or text :p). Unfortunately, they got rid of that starting 4/18 and now require you get a monthly prepaid plan (min $25/mo) in order to subscribe to data.

    T-Mobile does have Pay By Day plans with internet access ($3/day for 4G, $2/day for 2G) but the daily charges can add up quickly and is quite expensive if you're the type to make a 1~2 minute call or send a couple of text messages several days a week. Even if you just make 10 minutes worth of calls, if you used your phone for just 5 days, that would already cost you $10~15 as opposed to just $1 on Pay As You Go.
     
  6. Sideman

    Sideman Well-Known Member
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    I had this same dilema last year. High data rates, text rates, plus the 3G plan, fees, and taxes (arrggghhhh!!!). My bill for my original Droid, and my wife's clam shell phone was about $150 a month!! I got sick and tired of it!

    So, I got both of us an inexpensive clamshell cellphone, and I bought a Samsung Galaxy Player 5.0. The SGP5 works with WiFi only, but has all the other capabilities of the best smartphones. Now I can afford the phone bill, and I've got all the data access I want through WiFi connections.....FOR FREE. Plus, I use GrooveIP and Google Voice for FREE texting (no limit) and FREE phone calls to anywhere in the USA. And I have lots of apps that make life easier and more productive. Add to that real GPS, great music player, good camera with flash, camcorder functions, etc., etc.

    This setup isn't for everyone, but it sure is for me! I'm a happy guy and just love my SGP5!!!
     
  7. ShockT327

    ShockT327 Lurker
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    So, based on the responses, it seems that T-mobile would be the best option for me....

    1) So should I get a new phone through T-mobile, or get one off ebay? Cause what if I want to cancel my plan? Do I get to keep the phone? How do I get it unlocked?

    2) Now that I'm adding a T-mobile phone, what's the best way to port my existing number (with my old verizon account) to Google voice? Is there anyway I can just have one number?
     
  8. fpu4eva

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    buy a old school droid 1 or 2 or even a devour on ebay(under 50) and as long as u have wifi u can have free calling and texting through googlevoice/groove ip i did it for my dad with his internet being stolen from the neighbors using a repeater perfect quality , its a great 40 dollfar investment, and u can have it so if someone rings ur home phone or cell phone it can also ring the wifi phone u make alot of features with it like certain times to call check it out its going to blow up, i have unlimited 4g from verizon i canceled my testing and im down to 700 minutes i wonder if they will let me lower it more so i can use data only
     
  9. idoun

    idoun Newbie
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    I'm in a similar situation except have been using Groove IP for a while with Wifi and 3g on the LG Optimus V with Virgin Mobile (also unlimited data plan and text messaging from virgin mobile). Even with a strong Wifi connection I am told by others that there is a delay on the line, whereas if I make a call through my computer using Google Chat or Skype the quality is excellent. Also the 3g connection is not good enough to make calls.

    There was a mention here of 4g, has anyone used GrooveIP with that? I know there is some debate whether 4g is really possible now. But it doesn't seem that GrooveIP works well enough without a really good connection, more than standard 3g. If there was an option I would switch phones and plans, I thought that 300 minutes/month with Virgin Mobile would be good enough since I would get unlimited free minutes with GrooveIP, but the quality just isn't good enough.
     
  10. rui-no-onna

    rui-no-onna Android Enthusiast
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    That really depends on the quality of the 3G signal. If you get low latency and a strong, consistent signal and fast enough bandwidth, VoIP works quite well. Heck, I've used FaceTime on the iPod Touch a few times while tethered to my smartphone and with a good enough signal, it was pretty smooth.

    Unfortunately, if you're getting high latency and just 1-2 bars, forget it.
     
  11. MyndCTRL

    MyndCTRL Well-Known Member
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    I use sipdroid with Google voice. The WiFi in my house is strong and I never had a problem with delays in calls and such. I was able to text and everything. Only thing that I found out I wasn't able to do was text to short codes. Which I do almost daily to check when the city bus comes through town. But that's when I just grabbed a copy of it in PDF format and shoved it on the SD card. It really worked great, and I mainly used it when I wasn't able to pay my phone bill for a few months when money was tight, especially after I had surgery and I wasn't working. It could very well be a replacement for cellular service. I had it setup on my old rooted HTC hero with cm7 installed. Every now and then I go back to it if my cell service is weak in the house which happens alot for some reason.
     

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