1. js10's Avatar
    I know this is probably a very basic question but it's something I genuinely don't know. Basically, I would like to get a second phone, only for a few specific apps, that I use only with Wi-Fi. In other words, that would connect to the Internet, but without activation or a phone plan. I can't just buy any phone I want for this purpose, can I (let's say, for example, an older refurbished model of a Samsung Galaxy)?

    If no, is a prepaid phone what I want to look for? Would ANY prepaid phone work for this purpose just by being a prepaid phone?

    Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thank you!
    09-19-2018 08:19 PM
  2. L0n3N1nja's Avatar
    Any phone would work for that purpose whether new or used. Even a carrier locked phone would work for WiFi only.

    I'm guessing you've never kept ad old phone after upgrading? Cause your old phone would still do everything on WiFi with no problems, just can't get mobile data or talk/text.

    Or another way of looking at it, an old phone functions like a WiFi only Tablet when on WiFi.
    09-20-2018 03:16 AM
  3. Chuckcell's Avatar
    Interesting discussion. I'm thinking the OP might want to know: when you turn off the old phone account don't you see a notification popping up about not having cellular plan & access and how can you get past or, better yet, nullify it completely?
    09-20-2018 07:09 AM
  4. hallux's Avatar
    when you turn off the old phone account don't you see a notification popping up about not having cellular plan & access
    No. If you leave the SIM card in, you'll get a message about an invalid SIM or no connection. If you pull the SIM card out, you get an image of a SIM card with a / through it, to indicate there's no SIM (in place of the signal meter). I have a Verizon Moto X at home, no SIM in it, it just says "Emergency calls only" where the carrier name would normally be.
    09-20-2018 10:36 AM
  5. js10's Avatar
    Thanks everyone for the responses. Ummm, believe it or not, I'm shockingly new to the whole smartphone thing (resisted for a while for various reasons) and I'm still on my first smartphone! So, I've never had the experience of deactivating an old phone!

    So I can really get ANY phone for this purpose? Almost seems to good to be true, especially how cheap some phones are. Does that mean I have to go taking out the SIM card, though? I wouldn't even know how to do that. Sorry again for the novice questions.
    09-20-2018 09:33 PM
  6. hallux's Avatar
    You don't have to remove the SIM card, it'll just be deactivated by the carrier.
    09-21-2018 07:16 AM
  7. js10's Avatar
    So if this is all true (and I have no doubt that it is if you're all saying so), what would stop me from getting a phone listed for free (I'm assuming with the expectation that the buyer will then activate it and pay for service) and using it for this purpose? Again, it's like it just seems to good to be true, like getting a free (or very low-cost) mini-tablet.
    09-21-2018 01:15 PM
  8. ManiacJoe's Avatar
    If the "free phone" is offered by a carrier, then the service and activation are a requirement of the deal and you will be billed for them.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    09-22-2018 11:16 PM
  9. js10's Avatar
    Which just makes this all the more confusing! I mean, in how many other industries is the stated price not really the price?

    Okay, so you say "if the 'free phone' is offered by a carrier." So what about a not free but low-priced phone offered by Best Buy? Should that price actually be what it says it is, or is there a catch there as well?

    Maybe another way of asking the question is this: what phones do NOT require service and activation?

    Thanks again.
    09-23-2018 03:33 PM
  10. hallux's Avatar
    In all honesty, you don't want those inexpensive phones. They're cheap for a reason. I'm looking at Best Buy's site and I see (as an example) the Samsung J3 for $80. Software updates aside - you get what you pay for. Basement-level processor, minimal storage, little RAM (so no multitasking), horrible screen. Those aren't even worth it to get a feel for Android for someone considering moving from iOS as they're so horrible those people will RUN back to Apple.

    You won't find a phone for free unless it's part of a package with a carrier, which then comes with a requirement to activate and maintain service with that carrier for a certain amount of time. Very often those will fall into the description above, especially with a pre-paid carrier such as Cricket, Family Mobile, etc...
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    09-23-2018 04:00 PM
  11. js10's Avatar
    Hallux,

    That makes sense, except that as I said in my initial post, this would NOT be my full-time phone, and I only want it for a specific purpose -- a specific app. The reason I don't use my full-time phone for this purpose is that it apparently doesn't have all of the hardware required for it.

    So, again, what I'm looking for is basically what would be for me a single-purpose phone (with the necessary components, which it sounds like most newer phones have) that I could buy cheaply and then just not activate. So, again, is there any way to know that a certain phone for sale does NOT come with a requirement to activate?

    I guess I'm just a bit confused because if you look at this entire thread, there are kind of two (I think, somewhat contradictory) themes: 1. Any phone can be used solely in conjunction with WiFi), 2. Phones have to be purchased with a plan.
    09-23-2018 05:54 PM
  12. hallux's Avatar
    Depending on what those hardware requirements are, you may or may not get what you need with one of those phones that's cheap without a plan. I saw a phone for $80 outright at Best Buy, no plan needed, but if your daily driver phone doesn't have the hardware needed for the app you need it for that $80 device almost certainly doesn't have it. Cutting features is how they get to those price points.

    We can't suggest a device if we don't know what the specific hardware requirements are. Also be aware of this - if this need is a long-term need, there's a chance that app could get updated and require a newer OS, something that cheap phone is almost certainly not going to see. Some app developers have even made it so older versions no longer work, forcing the users to update.
    09-23-2018 06:28 PM
  13. js10's Avatar
    Hallux,

    We can't suggest a device if we don't know what the specific hardware requirements are.
    Fair enough:

    1. Accelerometer
    2. Gyroscope

    Basically, as you may or may not know, these are for sensing movement. As I said above, this phone would be for a specific purpose, and that purpose is an exercise/physical therapy device I'm very interested in (so I would just buy the phone, put it in the device, and keep it there). The product only works with a phone, that phone needs its corresponding app, and that app needs these components in the phone in order to function. Hope that makes sense.
    09-23-2018 07:53 PM
  14. Rukbat's Avatar
    Okay, so you say "if the 'free phone' is offered by a carrier." So what about a not free but low-priced phone offered by Best Buy? Should that price actually be what it says it is, or is there a catch there as well?
    The price of the phone is what's stated - but if the price is subsidized by the carrier, it's only subsidized if you sign up for a plan. You'll see a lot of phones listed as $20/$15/month for 24 months/$360 cash, or something similar. They'll sell you the phone with no plan, but at the cash price, not the subsidized price.
    Laura Knotek likes this.
    09-24-2018 06:33 PM
  15. hallux's Avatar
    I suggest running each model you're looking at through https://gsmarena.com to see in depth what features it has. For example, the $80 Galaxy J7 I mentioned before has an accelerometer but no gyroscope according to that site.
    09-24-2018 08:25 PM
  16. js10's Avatar
    Thanks, hallux! Was not familiar with that site, believe it or not. Looks like it could solve some problems, though. However, I'm still just a little worried that I'm misinterpreting price data and will end up with a surprise. But I guess we'll see.
    09-25-2018 06:31 PM

Similar Threads

  1. When I plug my phone into my computer, the window of options doesnt show up!
    By Android Central Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 10-31-2018, 07:35 PM
  2. Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-21-2018, 05:39 PM
  3. Why won't my apps open since my phone did an update?
    By Android Central Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-21-2018, 05:12 PM
  4. Replies: 2
    Last Post: 09-19-2018, 04:35 PM
  5. My phone repeatedly shows me scamming websites
    By Android Central Question in forum Ask a Question
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 09-19-2018, 02:31 PM
LINK TO POST COPIED TO CLIPBOARD