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Re: Add contact without using gmail
Welcome to Android Central! What phone do you have? Some phones allow you to enter contacts into a "Phone Account," which doesn't sync to Google. So they remain private and local, but the downside is that if the phone gets wiped for some reason, then you've lost all of those contacts, unless you did some other kind of backup process.
You could always create your own Google account just to store contacts. It will have a Gmail account as well, but if you never use it, you won't get any spam or other junk on it. After you create your own Google account, go to Settings>Account, and tap Add Account. Choose Google, and input the credentials for the account you just created. If you only want Contacts to sync, you could uncheck everything else in that Sync screen.
Once the new account is linked, open the People app again, tap the Menu button, then Contacts To Display, and select the new account. If you enter any contacts into the phone, it should default to that personal account, but always double check--those contacts will then get synced to the personal Google account in the cloud. If you go to Google Contacts on the web and enter contacts there, they will get synced to your phone as well.