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Smart Phone without Data Plan?

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Journeyman

Smart Phone without Data Plan?

First off, I apologize in advance because I am 99% certain this question has been asked before, but the forums here are set up in such a way that I cannot easily go back through and search.  Also, since plan features seem to change constantly, it seemed like a good idea to ask.

I am in the market for a smartphone, but I have ZERO desire for a data plan.  Any time I need to access the internet I'm within 5 feet of a wireless hotspot.  I tested this by carrying around a T-Mobile G1 by HTC for a couple months without connecting it to T-Mobile's network, and found I never had the desire to access the internet any time where that wasn't possible.

So, short version, is there any way for me to have a phone like the HTC Evo 4G on Sprint's network without paying for data?  I'm more than willing to pay for the phone outright with no discounts, if that's all it takes.

I have been told that "these phones can't be activated without a data plan," but that sounds like absolute rubbish to me, since, to my knowledge, the phone maintains separate antennae and hardware for wifi and the cell networks.  It's not like the phone operates entirely as a mobile VOIP ap.

Can this be done, or will I have to go back to T-Mobile?

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21 REPLIES
Wizard

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

Interesting question.  There are features of the phone that you cannot use through Wifi such as Sprint Navigation.  Some apps want to be able to send and receive data, and some phone updates require a data connection.  I guess you could just pay for that data as needed, but I am having a hard time imagining a world where you almost always have a WiFi connection.  I travel a lot, plus spend time in a car, plus walking between buildings, etc.  I use tons of data, and I would say I am a moderate business user.  You might regret not having a data plan with the Evo.  I guess if you are not interested in the significant mobile features, you might be better served with a different phone.

Wizard

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

Tony6785 wrote:

First off, I apologize in advance because I am 99% certain this question has been asked before, but the forums here are set up in such a way that I cannot easily go back through and search.  Also, since plan features seem to change constantly, it seemed like a good idea to ask.

I am in the market for a smartphone, but I have ZERO desire for a data plan.  Any time I need to access the internet I'm within 5 feet of a wireless hotspot.  I tested this by carrying around a T-Mobile G1 by HTC for a couple months without connecting it to T-Mobile's network, and found I never had the desire to access the internet any time where that wasn't possible.

So, short version, is there any way for me to have a phone like the HTC Evo 4G on Sprint's network without paying for data?  I'm more than willing to pay for the phone outright with no discounts, if that's all it takes.

I have been told that "these phones can't be activated without a data plan," but that sounds like absolute rubbish to me, since, to my knowledge, the phone maintains separate antennae and hardware for wifi and the cell networks.  It's not like the phone operates entirely as a mobile VOIP ap.

Can this be done, or will I have to go back to T-Mobile?

Maybe you should check out the i1.  It is an Android phone that was recently released and can be activated without a data plan.

Journeyman

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

cityw4 wrote:

Interesting question.  There are features of the phone that you cannot use through Wifi such as Sprint Navigation.  Some apps want to be able to send and receive data, and some phone updates require a data connection.  I guess you could just pay for that data as needed, but I am having a hard time imagining a world where you almost always have a WiFi connection.  I travel a lot, plus spend time in a car, plus walking between buildings, etc.  I use tons of data, and I would say I am a moderate business user.  You might regret not having a data plan with the Evo.  I guess if you are not interested in the significant mobile features, you might be better served with a different phone.

If I'm in a car, I'm driving, and thus should not be on the web or utilizing any phone applications.  I have a GPS built into my vehicle, and would not benefit from Sprint Navigation.

I'm not sure where you live, but quite literally if I'm not in my car I'm within a 5 minute walk of wifi.  My law school has wifi, as does every other building on the graduate school campus.  In fact, I've been able to pick up my law school's wifi signal more than 4 blocks away.  The local coffee shops here all have wifi - and yes, it's free.  Caribou Coffee is popular in Minneapolis and is more prevalent than Starbucks.  Caribou is nice enough to completely unlock their wifi to customers and the world.  Seriously, though it may be hard to imagine, I assure you wifi is darn near everywhere I care to go.

Perhaps I might regret not having a data plan,  but if that becomes the case I would gladly add the plan later.  I would not be better served with a different phone.  I want an Android smartphone for a variety of applications which do not require a constant connection to the internet.  Those applications which DO require a constant connection I can use when I'm at a hotspot.  As I state above, I have been carrying both my current cell phone and an HTC G1 from T-Mobile for the last couple of months.  I do use the G1, quite a bit, but I've never found myself lacking net access.  I simply want to merge my two items into one without paying for data I don't need.

So, thank you for your input, but you didn't answer my question at all.

Message was edited by: Tony6785

Message was edited by: Tony6785

Journeyman

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

wasbakntyme wrote:

Maybe you should check out the i1.  It is an Android phone that was recently released and can be activated without a data plan.

I'll check it out, thanks!

Wizard

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

OK.

I would recommend chatting online with  Sprint Customer Service to ask them if you can activate the Evo on a non-data plan.

From the Sprint website, the answer to your question is not clear.  See the link to Evo Plans.

Master

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

The answer is NO. The Evo cannot be activated without one of the new data plans.

Journeyman

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

Then I likely will avoid the EVO.  Do you happen to know of any smartphones other than the i1, mentioned previously, which do NOT require a data plan to be activated?

Highlighted
Master

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

Re: Smart Phone without Data Plan?

Levi4u wrote:

Sprint

BlackBerry® Bold™ 9650 smartphone non-camera

BlackBerry® Bold™ 9650 smartphone

Samsung Intrepid™

Centro™ by Palm® (Refurbished)

Nextel

BlackBerry® Curve™ 8350i Smartphone (No camera)

BlackBerry® Curve™ 8350i Smartphone

But I don't believe any of them have WiFi. Your going to have to check the specs.

More than half of that list is wrong.

All of the phones should have a data plan and are supposed to, but some can be activated without them, from experience.

The Blackberry Curve 8530 and Bold 9650 require an Everything Data plan. The Palm Centro and Samsung Intrepid can be activated without a data plan, but are supposed to have a $25 data plan or Everything Data plan. In addition any Windows Mobile phone (eg HTC Touch Pro 2) should have the same limitations at the Intrepid. The Blackberry Curve 8350i also requires either a Blackberry data plan ($30+), or an Everything Data plan.

The Nextel phones however don't have the same exact checks in the system as the CDMA devices due to the SIM cards versus ESN/MEID. If you manage to get any of these activated without a data plan be ready at any time for the loophole to be fixed and for there to be a data plan added because it is supposed to be a requirement for all of these devices.

All of those models have WiFi with the exception of the Palm Centro.

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