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I have a situation similar to Can I use an Android phone without an Internet access plan? but with one key difference, I don't even want to use it as a phone. Just a PDA.

I have an original VZW droid, the phone powers up and I can start apps etc; however, I cannot even connect to WiFi (it tries and fails with an error that just says unable to connect, try again). Is this a limitation of the phone being not activated? I used to use this phone as my every day driver, but I've since upgraded to a new phone, but would still like to use this droid as a wifi web browser around the house.

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Don't know why it would prevent you from being on Wi-Fi. Try putting it in Airplane mode then turning on Wi-Fi and connecting again? – jlehenbauer Jun 19 '12 at 21:30
@jlehenbauer Thanks. That sounds like a good test. I'll try that and report back. – Nate Jun 19 '12 at 21:31
stock motorola's usually want you to log into motoblur but apart from that it should just work – ce4 Jun 19 '12 at 22:08
@ce4: The original Droid did not have Motoblur. – Al E. Jun 20 '12 at 1:15
I use my Droid for wifi-based apps without any problem. It's been off contract since last October. Perhaps try a battery-out power off; if that doesn't work, try to forget your Wifi network and then re-add it. – TomG Jun 20 '12 at 2:59
up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes you can, there shouldn't be any problem for using your phone as PDA only.

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There shouldn't be any problems using WiFi without having an active account on your og Droid. There's a pretty good discussion of this same question on the thread "repurpose old android phone".

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I had the same issue with my HTC Hero. Even though I could toggle Wifi on and off while in Airplane mode, it would fail to connect. Turning Airplane mode off solved the problem.

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