Smartphone Without Mandatory Data Plan

Discussion in 'Smartphones' started by NetBrakr, May 19, 2011.

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  1. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    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. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    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.
     
  3. hal

    hal itchy and cold feet hal

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    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 :)p), 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? :eek: NO, forget it!
     
  4. LandSurveyor

    LandSurveyor LandSurveyor

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    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.
     
  5. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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  6. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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  7. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    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. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    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. Antoine Wright

    Antoine Wright Neighborhood Mobilist Super Moderator

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    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.
     
  10. jigwashere

    jigwashere Life is a circus!

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    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. :eek:
     
  11. lelisa13p

    lelisa13p Your Super Moderator Super Moderator

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    Blood is thicker than electronics. ;)
     
  12. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Hahahaha...:p Now there is an idea. :D

    If my sister buy a Mac laptop, ohhhh let just say I am going to be one unhappy brother. lol jk


    Anyway, continuing on with the subject.

    If I buy an Android smartphone (3rd party, new or used, At&t locked), Can I just pop in my SIM card in the phone, ready to go without paying the data charge (although I have to be careful)?

    I asked this because my Epix (WM 6.1 Pro) is locked with At&t and from the beginning, I wasn't charge for any data.

    Is this making sense?
     
  13. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    The real answer is-- only AT&T can answer that. Your Epix might have or been grandfathered under a different plan than they are allowing for modern Smartphones which are making more and more demands on data. Chances are, you might be able to get away with it for a while, but not sure how long that would be. Or maybe they wonb't care. However, I think you are going to have to find out from the source if you want assurances.
     
  14. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Hm, that make sense, thanks Hook.

    I think I will have better luck w/ discontinued smartphones, hehe.

    Oh btw, yes I do want to know what is in your pocket, Hook. :D
     
  15. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    I'm not entirely sure about this--I haven't tried it with any Android devices. I do know, however, that AT&T will not require data on certain older Windows smartphones. Possibly newer ones as well, but I haven't been able to try that out.
     
  16. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Don't forget, I got my Epix 2 years ago, modern smartphone at that time.
     
  17. Adama D. Brown

    Adama D. Brown Brighthand Reviewer

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    The newest WM device I've tested on AT&T without a data plan would be a bit older than that, more like two and a half years.
     
  18. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    My Epix = middle age...hehe.
     
  19. NetBrakr

    NetBrakr Gone With The Wind

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    Guys, I just thought of something...what if I still using the old Cingular SIM card? *look below*

    Is it possible that At&t won't detect the newer phone such as Samsung Captivate?
     
  20. Hook

    Hook Hookette's edgy lately

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    I'll confess i don't know for sure, but I doubt the age of the SIM card makes a difference. It really comes down to, is the ESN in their network as a current contract smartphone? So my guess it that all this turns on the phone, not the SIM card.

    Adama probably knows more about this than I do.
     
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