1. Download our Official Android App: Forums for Android!

Using as a PDA with no data plan?

Discussion in 'Android Lounge' started by JeffinCA, Jun 25, 2011.

  1. JeffinCA

    JeffinCA Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    75
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011

    Jun 20, 2011
    75
    8
    16
    Male
    Sunny Southern California
    I have a PDA and a prepaid cell phone. The PDA is ancient and annoying, so I am looking to replace it with an Android device.

    I do not need, or even want, a phone/data plan that costs ~$50 per month. I am quite satisfied with the cell phone costing me only $15 every 90 days.

    The PDA functions I need are Outlook sync for Contacts & Calendar, GPS for my CoPilot nav software (it pre-loads map data in memory), video for TV shows or movies I watch while traveling and occasional WiFi.

    There are many Android smartphones for sale on eBay that state "Bad ESN" and warn that the phone can only be activated by flashing to MetroPCS or Cricket.

    Will all the other features of these phones work without being activated? If it depends on the phone, I am considering the Droid X2 and the HTC EVO or Thunderbolt.

    Thanks in advance,

    Jeff
     

    Advertisement

  2. sitlet

    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    213
    Posts:
    5,867
    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010

    Apr 11, 2010
    5,867
    633
    213
    They should. Usually when a carrier flags a device with a bad esn, it just means you can't activate on their network. Everything else should still work, besides the phone and texting, and everything data wise can be done with wifi.
     
    JeffinCA likes this.
  3. JeffinCA

    JeffinCA Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    75
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011

    Jun 20, 2011
    75
    8
    16
    Male
    Sunny Southern California
    Thanks. That's pretty much what I thought, but I have read some (slightly confusing) warnings in some of the postings.

    I would appreciate any specifics from people who have been burned (or at least annoyed) by this in the past.
     
  4. SeekerOfTheWay

    SeekerOfTheWay Android Enthusiast
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    78
    Posts:
    607
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2011

    Jun 12, 2011
    607
    80
    78
    Bealls
    Florida
    Have you considered getting a wifi only tab? I'm thinking of getting one, with a pre paid cell when data costs on smartphone rise.
     
  5. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    443
    Posts:
    7,413
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011

    Jan 24, 2011
    7,413
    2,654
    443
    If you pay full price or bring your own phone to TMO - you can avoid a data plan and use wifi only.
    I use the min. data plan just in case, but use less than 1M each month. I'm waiting until we go out of town on a vacation.

    My rooted SGS4G is a glorified PDA! I rooted to get rid of the social stuff.
     
  6. EcoOne

    EcoOne Newbie
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    15
    Posts:
    13
    Joined:
    Jun 24, 2011

    Jun 24, 2011
    13
    0
    15
    Find a GSM android on craigslist, and problem solved. If it requires a sim, just get a dummy sim or buy a $20 prepaid one.
     
  7. takeshi

    takeshi Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    163
    Posts:
    3,354
    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009

    Dec 6, 2009
    3,354
    283
    163
    Don't count on that out-of-the-box. As always with Outlook sync, check out SyncDroid.
     
  8. kendrid

    kendrid Lurker
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    5
    Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    May 2, 2011

    May 2, 2011
    4
    0
    5
    I use a Galaxy S Vibrant with T-Mobile prepaid and the main use of the phone is as a PDA. I used to carry an iPod Touch and prepaid flip phone and condensed that down to just the Vibrant. I've been happy with it.
     
  9. JeffinCA

    JeffinCA Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    75
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011

    Jun 20, 2011
    75
    8
    16
    Male
    Sunny Southern California
    That is similar to what I plan. I already have a pre-paid cell, but the tablets I have seen are too large (I want something that will fit in a pocket).

    Jeff
     
  10. JeffinCA

    JeffinCA Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    75
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011

    Jun 20, 2011
    75
    8
    16
    Male
    Sunny Southern California
    T-Mobile's cheapest Prepaid plan is $10 per month (at $0.33 per minute). Boost Mobile is a minimum of $10 every 90 days, and $0.10 per minute.

    Their $1.49 data plan is quite nice, however (if it only charges that on days that you use data).
     
  11. zuben el genub

    zuben el genub Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    443
    Posts:
    7,413
    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2011

    Jan 24, 2011
    7,413
    2,654
    443
    I'm postpaid EM+. I had 4 lines when I switched to TM, and they had the best family plans at the time. Now I have 3 lines, and probably will go to 2.

    Biggest problem - I do use talk, text and web, and the other user is phone only. I could let him use the Galaxy 3 (unlocked from Amazon) w/o a data and text plan. He could still use our wifi to go online with no charge. He is using a phone which originally qualified for the 5.99 internet plan.
     
  12. daveybaby

    daveybaby Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    93
    Posts:
    919
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009

    Sep 21, 2009
    919
    105
    93
    Software engineer
    UK
    When i got my first android phone (HTC hero) my ancient SIM card was, for some reason, incompatible with it. For the couple of days before i got around to getting a new one the hero worked just fine without any SIM in it at all (apart from not being able to make phone calls or use 3G data, of course).
     
  13. JeffinCA

    JeffinCA Well-Known Member
    Thread Starter
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    16
    Posts:
    75
    Joined:
    Jun 20, 2011

    Jun 20, 2011
    75
    8
    16
    Male
    Sunny Southern California
    I bought an EVO 4G on eBay last week. I've been too busy to do anything more than play with it a little (I do have Facebook and Gmail working). Today, I got a Notification from Sprint about signing up for one service plan or another.

    The next time I checked, I didn't see any Notifications.

    Puzzling.

    Jeff
     
  14. jeffthemartin

    jeffthemartin Lurker
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    25
    Posts:
    7
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2011

    Jun 28, 2011
    7
    0
    25
    Goshen, IN
    I have an HTC Droid Incredible that I bought on eBay. I agree, data plans are outrageously expensive, so I have not activated it on any cell network. A lot of people will try to tell you that some functions will not work without a data network, but they are WRONG. All functions that require my droid to connect to a data network (email, calendar sync, android market, etc, etc.) work perfectly as long as (obviously) I am connected to wi-fi.

    GPS also works, because (best-kept secret that the phone companies don't want you do know!) GPS works via radio signal--completely separate from any cell networks. (Make sure the device you buy is GPS capable--not all smart phones are.) The only thing to be careful of with GPS is you need to be connected to wi-fi to load your map (I use google maps/navigation). Once you leave your wi-fi network, the device can still guide you along your selected route using GPS, but it can't make any alterations to your route, or load any live traffic info or anything like that.

    As far as phones with a bad ESN, yes it should still work as a wi-fi device, and yes, you should be able to flash it to another network. But 2 things to consider:
    1) A phone with a bad ESN may have been stolen.
    2) The shady characters who sell bad ESN phones usually charge just as much as people selling phones with good ESNs.

    --Jeff in Indiana
     
  15. daveybaby

    daveybaby Android Expert
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    93
    Posts:
    919
    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2009

    Sep 21, 2009
    919
    105
    93
    Software engineer
    UK
    Erm. What?
     
  16. kschzhd

    kschzhd Lurker
    Rank:
    None
    Points:
    5
    Posts:
    3
    Joined:
    May 4, 2010

    May 4, 2010
    3
    0
    5
    Flerm. Eh?
     

Share This Page

Loading...