I'm interested in buying an Android phone for Xmas. Currently my pick is LG Optimus One.
I will be using it without any Internet access plan, only using Wifi wherever possible.

Some questions that I have:

  1. Can the phone be usable even if I don't have any Internet access plan, or there will be severe usability issues? (eg: features that will not work)
  2. Do I have offline access to Google Calendar and GMail, auto-synchronizing whenever it detects Wifi connection?
  3. Is there an option to block any attempts from apps/phone to connect to Internet through GPRS/3G (thus slashing my credit from the carrier, since I won't have an Internet plan...)?


  1. YES. You will use it as a regular phone, but will be disconnected from the networks (Facebook, Twitter, IMs, Sync, etc)
  2. YES. You can access your calendar offline. And yes, you can sync when Wi-Fi is available.
  3. Yes, you just disable data traffic.
  • Great! That's what I needed to go buy the phone. Thanks! – Nelson Reis Dec 21 '10 at 12:22
  • how about you have to sign in to google account, in order to be able to use the phone? – Louis Rhys Dec 29 '10 at 4:44

While its physically possible to use a phone without a data plan I don't know a single carrier in the US that will allow a smart phone be activated on their network without a data plan.

Edit: just saw that you're not in the US so this may not apply to you.

  • 1
    For info, I have a friend who's just picked up a Desire HD without a data plan (in the UK). He has Wifi at home and office, and his network allows you to add a short-term data add-on on to the contract as and when needed which he plans to use for holidays, etc. – GAThrawn Dec 21 '10 at 13:16
  • I've forgot to add info about that. I'm in Portugal, and it's possible to use any phone without data plan. As said by @GAThrawn my network allows me to get 1 day of Internet when needed (but for 1 euro and 10MB of data... not a good deal, but can be useful). Thus my 3rd question. Thanks. – Nelson Reis Dec 21 '10 at 14:22
  • Matt's right about the US though. I had the reverse situation -- data only, no voice -- and my phone stopped working after 3 days. T-Mobile somehow detected my device type and claimed regular plans "don't work" with Android smartphones. Total BS :P it's just an excuse to make you pay for a full voice+data plan. – Matthew Read Dec 21 '10 at 18:50
  • That's good to know. I was toying with the idea of getting a Nexus S and only running Data on it (using SIP for calls). – Matt Dec 21 '10 at 19:40
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    I have an android phone bought SIM free over the Internet. I just walked into a phone network shop, bought a pre-pay SIM and used it. No problems. Whenever I want data access I buy a minimum cost (£5) top-up and get, in addition to voice call credit, 128MB data that expires after 3 months if unused. Most of the time I just rely on WiFi for data. – RedGrittyBrick Dec 21 '10 at 21:11

If you unlock your GSM smartphone, you can use it in the US without a data plan. I have a smartphone unlocked from AT&T (not Android) now on TMobile with data blocked, so even if a button gets hit accidentally, it won't go through. No extra charges. Even if your company "detects" that you have a smartphone, they are not allowed to force you to buy a data plan unless you are getting a new phone from them.

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