questionscan i get a cool phone without getting a data…

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If you drop the dataplan before the required term is up, you'll be hit with a bill for the full price of the phone instead of the promotional rate. They only give you that discounted price because they've got you on the hook for 2 years. (I just read in the news that they're dropping their 1-year contracts.)

BUT

I assume that since you say, "I don't need the data plan" that you're planning on just using WiFi for data. I mean, if you don't use any data, there's really no point in having a smart phone.

SO

What you want is either an unlocked smart phone or a used smart phone. A new, unlocked smart phone won't be cheap. I'd advise that you check your local craigslist and look for a used android. That way you can activate it and just use WiFi for your data.

NOTE:

If you're sticking with Verizon, be sure that you get a CDMA phone. If you don't know what that means: http://www.google.com/search?q=cdma+vs+gsm

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I just switched from AT&T to a contract-free monthly plan with Virgin Mobile. They have a decent selection of phones, including an Android phone (LG Optimus V). Just don't expect to get the phone for free like you would with a 2-yr contract. I think the Android phone runs about $200 up front.

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I picked up a Galaxy S for free around Dec and now use that on a contract free plan from TMobile. Runs me total around 50 bucks for unlimited everything.

Lots of people have had success with Virgin Mobile, Boost, etc They all are about the same nowadays, so look for price point on plan vs phones and there you go!

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@anotherhiggins: Verizon DOESN'T let you use a smartphone without the data package. You CANNOT drop it. Even if you have a non-contract phone.

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I have a T-Mobile prepaid account with a Huawei Comet:
http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00466HQC4/ref=pd_lpo_k2_dp_sr_2?pf_rd_p=486539851&pf_rd_s=lpo-top-stripe-1&pf_rd_t=201&pf_rd_i=B004B8VM9A&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_r=0XJ1B9Z6RDMYYDHS4NCS
I think it is like $1.49 for 24 hours of unlimited data but I have never used that. It does have Android 2.2 (I think) and Wifi so I can use the data at home. It isn't great but the price is right. I'm not sure how long I'll be able to keep the T-Mobile prepaid due to the merger (if that is even still happening). It takes really horrible pictures but everything else about it is decent.

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@anotherhiggins: Yes, that's correct. Aside from the commute, all of my time is spent within a WiFi zone. I really don't see the need for a data package. I just want a cool phone that takes good pics, does good video, and plays some awesome games. And one that I can surf and get email on when near WiFi.

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I just got one off a deals woot from geeks.com for $75. It was a china phone but does WIFI in a bar OK.

Deal extreme also has chinaphones. Tmobile is quadband.

You can also get used g1 android for $60 from craigslist then use tmobile pay as you go, or get a used phone from hock shop or those little used phone shops.

You may have to pay up to $200 to get something bleeding edge.

Remember that Tmobile is the supplier to Virgin and all those cheap no plan phones so they may disappear in about 18 months when ATT finalizes the deal/

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As a happy Droid owner/Verizon customer, I feel odd saying this, but... haven't you just described an iPod Touch? It's basically an iPhone sans phone. Install one of the apps allowing for calls over WiFi, and you're covered except for the commute.

Then, get a pay as you go phone and keep your cellphone in the glovebox for emergencies.

... or am I missing something?

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If you do get a smartphone with no data plan (I as well follow this route. 30 bucks a month is a money suck compared to the features I want on the phone that don't even involve any internet data) be sure to turn off every way the phone has access your provider's data network. For a month my phone kept sending 'phantom' data even though I never touched the browser or other internet apps and at the premium no data plan price, even 100 kbs every now and then hurt my bill. I don't have a problem now though.

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@heymo: Yeah.. I like to travel light. I don't want to carry 2 different devices in my pockets. I still need my phone on me for calls, texts, etc. But, I want to be able to browse the web and receive email while in WiFi.

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Just chiming in to say that I have also been looking for the solution to this. Haven't found it -- it was a nasty shock to discover that all the carriers will charge you for a dataplan if their systems recognize that your phone is "smart".

Obviously, I'm looking for an inexpensive option -- if money were no object, I'd just get the free smartphone with the pricey dataplan.

Maybe the right question is: What's the cheapest dataplan out there?

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@coolphilip04: D'oh!

My wife was thinking of dropping her data plan after her contract is up and just using WiFi for her Droid. That sucks that they wouldn't allow it. But thanks for pointing it out.

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@anotherhiggins: This might be a solution for your wife (and possibly for the rest of us). Read the review by Darth Tesla. Please let me know what you think.

http://www.amazon.com/Palm-Pixi-Plus-Verizon-Contract/dp/B004IPAC10/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1302641340&sr=8-1

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I have a Samsung U370 with verizon. Purchased it thru Best Buy and is ONLY availabe from Best Buy ! It is a smart phone for Dummies. NO DATA PLAN ! Love the phone good video, pictures, call quality, loud, full screen and slide out keyboad ! Wouldn't trade it for a smart phone, my sister bought one also and has the same fealings. Check it out before they run out of them... wickedgood.

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Sharp Kin TwoN requires no Verizon data plan but has WIFI. As for all those responders who suggested going to a different carrier, that is NO answer to the original question!

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As ia3d said, the Kin Two does have wifi without requiring a data plan (Verizon), but it is a terribly limited phone.it has absolutely no ability to add apps or any thing not included when you pull it out of its box. Even browsing is pretty brutal. (I own this phone)

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i am on the same boat doing same research: my conclusion is that tmobile offers the least expensive data plan: going from voice only (no data) to voice plus data (200MB per month) is $5 extra. This is their value plan. The downside with Tmobile's value plan is that there is no discount phone. You will have to purchase an unlocked phone elsewhere.

Among the big four, I think that is the most reasonable. ATT's data plan starts at $20 per month for 300MB. Verizon is $30 per month.

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One of the previous users commented saying that you could use an iPod touch for all of these features, and I would like to draw it out for anyone and everyone who is interested in saving money.

Smart phone with data monthly cost $30 per month.
New/used smart phone price $100 (minimum)
2years x 30 + 100 = 820 (plus 50 tax), so 870 for a smartphone with data over 2 years on the cheapest package.
Total
$870 at least

Non smart phone without data, plus 1/4th cost of unlimited fam texting (unltd fam txt is 20 for AT&T) cost $15 per month.
New/used nonsmartphone costs 0 - 100 (just get a free used one from a friend or a free phone from the store.
Used iPad/new iPad cost 300/600 (not hard to find, and the original iPad works just fine, it's just less new.)
Optional iPad data 15 per month (instead of a phone, only do this if you're in wifi 99% of the time)
Total (using non smart phone for calls, *only 10 per month because you don't need texting if u have the iPad, and iPad for,rest):
$540