I was looking at getting a Sidekick for my daughter for Christmas. I have no desire to get her a data plan though. She has unlimited text messaging already but she wants a "cool" phone. We are on T-mobile. If I get her this phone or another smart phone that has wifi, will I be able to use it on my plan without getting a data package? How does that work exactly? Do I just swap the sim card? Also, if I buy a phone off of ebay or craigslist, are there any precautions I need to take or anything I am supposed to look for to make sure the phone will work for us? I appreciate the advice and I always rep for helpful information. Thanks!
IIRC, T-Mo will be discontinuing Sidekick data at the end of this year (or sometime next year, maybe), and therefore no features will work. Getting a Sidekick this late in the smartphone game seems kind of silly as Danger OS is pretty weak compared to Android or iOS. Not sure how T-Mo works if you use a smartphone--they may automatically add a data plan once the IMEI is detected (that's what AT&T does)...it would probably be best to call and ask before you jump into anything.
As far as whether or not said phone will work with a T-Mo SIM: If the phone was made for T-Mo, it will work. If it was made for another GSM carrier, it will have to be unlocked in order to work.
On most providers the price you see the phones advertised is only if you sign a contract for 2 years WITH a data package. You may have to pay retail prices if you get phones from TMobile. Usually this makes more sense when you are given the phone or buy from a 3rd party.
Maybe I am not being clear. My plan is to buy a used (or new) phone from someone (craigslist, ebay, friend, etc.). Here are the questions I have.
Can I use this phone on tmobile without a data plan if I don't buy it from them?
Are there any precautions I need to take when buying a phone from a third party? Like how do I know if it is stolen, going to work, etc?
I am not interested in buying a new phone from tmobile since I know how that works. I am trying to get my kid a smart phone without a data package so she can use it on the line she already has. Obviously, she will only use data when hooked up to wifi.
Generally, for used phones you can call the ESN number into the provider's customer service and they'll tell you if it's good. Some providers have online lookups.
If the T-mobile thing doesn't work out, you can use pretty much any Verizon phone you want on Page Plus. Without a data plan, just use an app and/or change the internet dial number to a fake one so it will never try to connect and even if it does it won't connect.
Some sites have the G1's (not sure if these are still around) and G2's for sale unlocked they are usually around $100, they are typically new or returns. Im sure you could do better but thats just a suggestion. I bought a new G1 about a year ago and use pay as you go on TMobile. Its a little slow but works well for my needs updated to 2.2.
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