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Thread: WiFi only Smartphone?

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    Assistant Site Administrator/Forum Host Jon Twitchell's Avatar

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    WiFi only Smartphone?

    I know that there are some really tech-savvy people out here... particularly when it comes to all of the new smartphones.

    There are some reasons why we might consider getting a smartphone... but the additional data cost each month may be the prohibitive component.

    However, a lot of the places that I go (including home... and the funeral home)... have a wifi network that I can use.

    Are there smartphones that don't require a data plan, but will sync up with the internet whenever they're in range of free wifi?

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    Senior Member Jim Chabot's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    I don't know of any, but I would be very interested as well. I'm currently nursing along an older not so smart phone and mulling over my options. I like the idea of internet portability, but I'm thinking that if I'm going to pay a data charge, then I would like the option of tethering to a larger screen device. This I'm told involves an additional charge.

    So far it appears that the best option for me would be an inexpensive small notebook or tablet with wifi capability and another phone only mobile device. I like the idea of combining them if possible.

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    Host Book, Movie & CE forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    Jon, when we moved here to NJ we couldn't get signal with T-mobile in our home. I called them about the same thing - they no longer offer any wifi phones without a data plan. I had my father send us a couple of his old phones with wifi capability, which we're now using.

    Perhaps if you find some used phones or older models, you could find a way to make it work. I just think the phone companies realized they can make some good money requiring data plans for everything.
    ...just my $.02.

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    Host Gen. Disc. Forum David Pettigrew's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    There's a reason phones are getting cheaper and cheaper. The money is made on the plan, not the device. Even if you're already paying for a data plan on your AT&T iphone, you must purchase a separate data plan from AT&T if you purchase an ipad.

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    Site Manager G R 'Scott' Cundiff's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    I can let you know in a day or two. I got Jackie a smartphone and we put her prepaid T-Mobile sim card in it. It works okay for phone calls, but, as you can guess, even though it had 3G in it she won't be able to use the 3G network without being on the plan. It does have Wi-FI though and it works just great.

    Sometime in the next couple of days I'll see if I can install Sipgate One on it and, if so, it'll make wifi calls using Google Voice.

    http://www.sipgate.com/

    http://lifehacker.com/5349506/make-f...m-google-voice

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    Full Member Jay Stiegelmeyer's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    You might be able to get an older model off ebay or something that would do this. I have a Palm Treo 800W with Sprint service. It has wifi and no data plan required. But, I don't think you can get it directly from Sprint anymore...

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    Senior Member Herb Newell's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    I've been telling everyone I wouldn't buy a smart phone until it was smart enough that I could just talk to it, and it would talk back...
    Finally T-Mobile seems to be taking me up on the challenge.

    http://mytouch.t-mobile.com/demo

    Check out the "genious" button

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Twitchell View Post
    I know that there are some really tech-savvy people out here... particularly when it comes to all of the new smartphones.

    There are some reasons why we might consider getting a smartphone... but the additional data cost each month may be the prohibitive component.

    However, a lot of the places that I go (including home... and the funeral home)... have a wifi network that I can use.

    Are there smartphones that don't require a data plan, but will sync up with the internet whenever they're in range of free wifi?
    That is actually how I use my ipod Touch. It does cause me to carry two devices, but not really a big problem most of the time. I am excited because work is getting me an iPhone to replace my older phone.

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    Site Manager G R 'Scott' Cundiff's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    I got the new phone on WIFI VOiP last night but didn't have time to play with it or to link it to the Google Voice Account. It does work though, using sipgate one I was able to make a call out. On the Nokia e63 you can even make WIFI it's preference, so, at least in theory, anytime you are WIFI connected, you just make the call and it uses the WIFI.

    Setting it up was not especially simple and I had lots of false starts and stops. If I had to do it again, though, it would go faster. My next step is to link the Sipgate (San Francisco phone number) to the local Google Voice number. After that, I'll tackle the incoming call side of it.

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Ryan Scott View Post
    Jon, when we moved here to NJ we couldn't get signal with T-mobile in our home. I called them about the same thing - they no longer offer any wifi phones without a data plan. I had my father send us a couple of his old phones with wifi capability, which we're now using.

    Perhaps if you find some used phones or older models, you could find a way to make it work. I just think the phone companies realized they can make some good money requiring data plans for everything.
    WOW! I thought we were the only ones who had this problem. We don't have a signal in our neighborhood with our Tmobile phones so we got the wifi hot spot for our home. Our simple wifi phones we've had for 4 yrs are dying. Tmobile who we've been with for 8 yrs now have nothing to replace it with...except smart phones. They did try to work with us and we are thinking about their option or changing companies. THey have offered us the black berry phones and not charge the data fee and if we tried to use it for more than phone calls and text....it would be blocked. I read an article recently of companies that will bankrupt or bought out by 2011. Tmobile is one of them. Hoping for a buy out by someone who actually we can get a signal from!!! I"m curious...where can u find used/older model phones?

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    Assistant Site Administrator/Forum Host Jon Twitchell's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    Bringing this back up... as I'm starting a more detailed search for phones/plans... (Our contract is up in December).

    One of the things I notice about AT&T is that you can get a 2GB dataplan for $25, or a 200mb dataplan for $15.

    However, it looks like texting is not included on those dataplans... if I wanted texting, I'd have to pay an additional $5+. I don't know if that's a problem... since I don't really do any texting now. But maybe with a smartphone, I'd find myself more inclined to do so.

    Here's what I really want...

    1) To be able to sync with gCal
    2) To be able to check email on the road.
    3) To be able to have a phone.
    4) To look things up on the interwebs. I don't expect to use it to stream video or spend lots of time browsing the internet...

    Pretty much everything else is gravy.

    Questions:
    1) Can an android phone play music? Can it sync with my iTunes?
    2) Does anyone have a Samsung Captivate (Galaxy S)? It seems to get some pretty good reviews, as compared with the iPhone
    3) What sort of data usage are you using?

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    Senior Member Jeremy D. Scott's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    Jon, I don't know if you saw this other thread, but a lot of helpful information from others is in there. Meghan and I will be in the market soon too. As of right now, I think we'll wait as long as January to see what is coming from Apple's next iPad and/or the CDMA (Verizon) iPhone. Who knows...maybe Google/Android will even beat Apple with a phone-capable tablet. It could be coming direct from Google (phone) and T-Mobile (carrier) soon.

    1) Yes and I believe so
    2) I do not, but your friend and mine Ray Walters has the new Vibrant, which is in the same series. He loves it. (Incidentally, for any Android fans, Ray writes for www.androidguys.com and is a Nazarene pastor.)
    3) I'm on unlimited T-Mobile, so I've never checked. But Gary answers this question about his iPhone in the thread linked above. I believe he said that he's never had a problem with going over.

    (Oh, and as for texting, I text all the time without using actual messages by using Google Voice. If you're willing to get a new number, when you get a new phone would be a great time to do it. Android is slightly better for G-Voice than iOS.)

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    Assistant Site Administrator/Forum Host Jon Twitchell's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    So... an interesting thing happened...

    I called T-mobile customer service to find out when our contract expired....

    (I was just gathering information... but they probably view that as a potential cancellation/retention department call...)

    The CS rep offered that we could keep our current plan (1000 shared minutes for $49.99 (which is a GREAT plan that I don't want to lose)), and simply add unlimited data for $20/month/line. And we could get Samsung Vibrants for $150each. That's vastly different from any of the plan offerings I was finding on t-Mobile's website... and is suddenly a pretty attractive offer.

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    Senior Member Jeremy D. Scott's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Twitchell View Post
    So... an interesting thing happened...

    I called T-mobile customer service to find out when our contract expired....

    (I was just gathering information... but they probably view that as a potential cancellation/retention department call...)

    The CS rep offered that we could keep our current plan (1000 shared minutes for $49.99 (which is a GREAT plan that I don't want to lose)), and simply add unlimited data for $20/month/line. And we could get Samsung Vibrants for $150each. That's vastly different from any of the plan offerings I was finding on t-Mobile's website... and is suddenly a pretty attractive offer.
    That is a great deal compared to what's out there. And some say that the Vibrant is the second best Android phone out there (this week...of course). If you're near one, you should go to a T-Mobile store and check it out. It's a great phone (iPhone knock-off in terms of look/feel, but great nonetheless).

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    Host Book, Movie & CE forums Ryan Scott's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jon Twitchell View Post
    So... an interesting thing happened...

    I called T-mobile customer service to find out when our contract expired....

    (I was just gathering information... but they probably view that as a potential cancellation/retention department call...)

    The CS rep offered that we could keep our current plan (1000 shared minutes for $49.99 (which is a GREAT plan that I don't want to lose)), and simply add unlimited data for $20/month/line. And we could get Samsung Vibrants for $150each. That's vastly different from any of the plan offerings I was finding on t-Mobile's website... and is suddenly a pretty attractive offer.

    If you're with T-mobile, call them and ask for the "customer loyalty department." I called last week because of wifi phones were dying and we were ready to switch to verizon because t-mobile didn't offer smartphones without a data plan.

    I explained the problem to two different reps and finally ended up at the "customer loyalty department." I didn't even have to ask - the rep immediately offered to drop the data plan requirement and, when she found out we were out of contract, offered us two smartphones absolutely free.

    Katelynn got a Blackberry curve and I got a Shadow 2. There's a lot of learn and its overkill without the data plan, but we do have internet access when wifi is available and we got to keep our old plan.

    (They also hooked katelynn up with an unadvertised texting plan for $5 a month.)

    All we had to do was get to the "customer loyalty department" and they were pretty much authorized to do whatever it took to keep us with the company.
    ...just my $.02.
    Thanks Jeremy D. Scott - "thanks" for this post

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    Senior Member Bob Evans's Avatar

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    Re: WiFi only Smartphone?

    Droid

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