Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

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  1. #1
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    Default Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    Hi all,

    My sister really wants a smartphone. I am thinking to get her one, most likey an Android smartphone. BUT I am kind of worried about mandatory data plan, just like the iPhone. No matter where you buy the iPhone, even used ones, it's still require you to have a data plan no matter what.

    When I bought the Samsung Epix two years ago from a second hand dealer, I just swapped my SIM card to the Epix, and I was ready to go, without getting worried about data usage.

    So yeah, fast forward today, is there any other smartphones that require to have data plan, just like the iPhone?

    Thanks all.

  2. #2
    Hookette's edgy lately
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    Default Re: Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by NetBrakr View Post
    Hi all,

    My sister really wants a smartphone. I am thinking to get her one, most likey an Android smartphone. BUT I am kind of worried about mandatory data plan, just like the iPhone. No matter where you buy the iPhone, even used ones, it's still require you to have a data plan no matter what.

    When I bought the Samsung Epix two years ago from a second hand dealer, I just swapped my SIM card to the Epix, and I was ready to go, without getting worried about data usage.

    So yeah, fast forward today, is there any other smartphones that require to have data plan, just like the iPhone?

    Thanks all.
    What is her usage going to be and are you sure she won't accidentally use data? If she's after apps and games, I would think an iPod Touch with a separate phone would be a safer bet.

    There is the gophone approach I use (see my thread stickied in this forum), but if she is going to do a lot of voice and texting, you'll be paying $60/month for unlimited talk and text anyway, not that much more for a contract that includes data.

    Basically, to have a Smartphone without a data plan, it has to be one that is no longer in the carrier's catalog (older model) or from another carrier.
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  3. #3
    hal
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    Default Re: Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by Hook View Post
    What is her usage going to be and are you sure she won't accidentally use data? If she's after apps and games, I would think an iPod Touch with a separate phone would be a safer bet.

    There is the gophone approach I use (see my thread stickied in this forum), but if she is going to do a lot of voice and texting, you'll be paying $60/month for unlimited talk and text anyway, not that much more for a contract that includes data.

    Basically, to have a Smartphone without a data plan, it has to be one that is no longer in the carrier's catalog (older model) or from another carrier.
    On one hand, this aspect relies on a careful selection of carrier. Is that so, Hook, that there are carriers over there with networks that blow the whistle when a smartphone uses data whatsoever, in order to pull it into a data plan?

    I think that the iPhone's mandatory data plan is more on the carrier side of the issue, but I could be wrong. FWIW, I have a couple of friends that use iPhones with PAYG SIMs.

    OTOH, NetBrakr, I think that the best option would be an unlocked smartphone with WiFi. Unlocked, in order to avoid a mandatory mobile connection on behalf of native and pre-installed apps, and also to avoid wretches and carrier-dedicated pre-installs. Of course, perhaps an unlocked device can turn out to be rather expensive. But it would allow your sister to get mobile-online with a limited allotment of data, just as Hook points out, and get WiFi-online where available. I follow the Hook approach™ for a PAYG data plan (), adapted to a local carrier, but it essentially works fine cause I use an unlocked device, otherwise I'd be struggling with this and that app that demand mobile connection whatsoever. Or, you can also discuss the subject with your sister, and find out whether she would consider a data plan of some nature.

    My Treo 680 behaves fine with PAYG data blocks (and a moderate usage), the only significant lack here is WiFi. My sister has a BB 9550 Storm 2, with non-unlimited data plan, but it has WiFi, so she doesn't need an unlimited one. And I am currently saving in order to get a BB for my mom, cause she's already got the itch for smartphones, but I'm going after an unlocked device, so it's gonna be pricier. I think that regarding data, somewhere in between you can find something that suits your sister's needs

    As of brand, if you're loyal to Samsung, keep on with it. Are there Samsung smartphones with Android and WiFi? Perhaps better if GSM? What's the price in the US for the Samsung Nexus S Unlocked GSM 3G, Android OS? NO, forget it!
    Last edited by hal; 05-19-2011 at 09:28 AM.
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  4. #4
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    Default Re: Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    I think you can do that with T-Mobile if you don't buy the phone from them. She can either get a prepaid SIM or if she wants a regular voice contract, can just ask for a free phone and still pop the SIM in whatever phone she wants.

    She can also go prepaid with WalMart Family Mobile (which is really T-Mobile) and do the same thing, using either one of their phones or a compatible GSM phone, and if she does want data, she can get a prepaid data pak.

    Or she could look into Simple Mobile, which doesn't even sell phones itself but refers you to NewEgg and some other places, or you can bring your own.

    And Simple Mobile also runs on the T-Mobile network.

    If it's Android, you would want to get NoData and do some other setup tricks, which an actual Android owner can explain better than I can, to keep from inadvertently incurring a data charge. There are discussions about that on Howard Forums.

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  6. #6
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    Default Re: Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    That's a good deal for a great phone! For anyone wanting 3G, this is the T-Mobile version, not the AT&T version.
    Hook's Palm TX Help Page

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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    Thanks guys for the responses.

    I forgot to mention she has to stay with our family plan, At&t.

    Hook: In the moment, she got the Samsungg Strive. I didn't teach her to use the phone. So yeah, she is pretty smart to stay away from any feature that used data. And I think she figure out that having two devices is going to be pain, switching back and forth between two devices.

    Hal: I do love my sister, BUT not that much to spend over $700 for a phone.

    LS: I got the NoData program also on my Epix. NoData is also available for the Android??? Cool.

    jig: Awesome price, but I can't decide this for myself. I need to talk to my sister about it.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    OK, my sister bought a device, after we chatted.

    She got an iPod Touch 4g for $150. Why is it so cheap? Cause it's 8gb and it's refurbished but it fully cover by Apple's 1 year warranty. That's really awesome deal. Way to go. Yes, I am proud of my sister.

    PS: Thanks Hook for remind me about the iPod touch.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    Glad you found a solution. Given your constraints of being on a family plan, there is no way that your sister would have been able to purchase a smarpthone (on the carrier deck) that didn't have a data plan with it. In many respects, they are "hooks" into your device purchase.

    An option, not the best, but one that would have undercut the smartphone plan rules that ATT uses, would have been to purchase a mobile such as the Nokia 5230 (Nuron on TMobile), Nokia C5 (and a few more newer Nokias which are ~$200 w/o contract) or a lower-end HTC Android model that's pretty much a year old - both under $200, probably closer to $150. These devices don't usually register into the system as smartphones, and at least in the case of the Symbian devices, you are able to keep the mobile from poking out for data (I believe Androids need to be rooted for that to be the case).

    Side note #2: since she has an iPod Touch, I'd recommend that your family looks into the Peel in a GSM variant. Then let her purchase a GoPhone plan and that way she'd have some of the benefits of a smartphone, without the smarpthone plan - but also a device that can be off the grid when she chooses to be as well.
    If your smartphone is so smart, then why are you spending so much time learning it? Shouldn't it learn you and adapt to your leanings?

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

    Quote Originally Posted by NetBrakr View Post
    OK, my sister bought a device, after we chatted.

    She got an iPod Touch 4g for $150. Why is it so cheap? Cause it's 8gb and it's refurbished but it fully cover by Apple's 1 year warranty. That's really awesome deal. Way to go. Yes, I am proud of my sister.

    PS: Thanks Hook for remind me about the iPod touch.
    You need to borrow her iPod Touch and paint it with a Samsung logo. At a minimum, she needs a case on it with a Samsung logo. Otherwise, I don't see how you two can hang out together.
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