Used Smart Phones
June 24, 2010 9:48 AM   Subscribe

Looking at purchasing a used I-phone / smart-phone what should I know? Anyone have experience using the device via wifi without the data plan?

Currently I am with Telus. I would like to keep my current monthly plan which does not include the data plan but switch to a wifi capable smart phone...

I would like to purchase an older iphone from the people who are upgrading to the new 4G phones.... what should I know when purchasing an older iphone? What price should I expect for different models. What would you suggest for a used different version of a smart phone that I could do the same thing with?

I've heard it is possible to use the Iphone via wifi, but how do I do this while still using my existing plan with telus? (making it so I never accidentally use the data plan) Is an unlocked phone going to give me issues when connecting to the telus network? (extra information, I do not have a sim card if that helps out)

I know little about the smart phones, please help, I am open to suggestions and direction. Note: I do not want to pay for a data plan when wifi is readily available in most places (school, coffee shops, work, home)
posted by MechEng to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've never used my iPhone via wifi without the data plan... But I *have* used it via wifi with cellular data turned off (I turned off data roaming when I was in Ireland, and used it in my sister-in-law's house via wifi). AND, at least with the new iPhone OS, you can actually turn off cellular data entirely, so you don't have to worry about accidentally using it.

And without a sim card, you will not be able to get an iPhone onto your Telus network at ALL, incidentally. Price-wise, you'll probably still be looking at prices close to subsidized-by-contract prices for used iPhones - at least that's been my experience when trying to find one for my wife (I decided to just wait till the iPhone 4 came out).

Really, the Smartphone choice is a very personal one... Android is pretty amazing, and there's lots of sweet Android phones out there (particularly on Telus), but so is the iPhone.
posted by antifuse at 9:55 AM on June 24, 2010

One thing about the iPhone (1st gen and 3G versions) is the little switch that toggles ringer / vibrate mode wears out. So test out that switch before you buy it.
posted by jeffamaphone at 10:00 AM on June 24, 2010

Response by poster: Can you not purchase the sim card when transferring the regular monthly plan to the new phone? (or does that change my phone number?)

And the reason for looking for a used smart phone is so I don't have to purchase the data plan, which I believe is still too expensive for the little amount of data being transferred...
posted by MechEng at 10:02 AM on June 24, 2010

I have an old iPhone that a friend gave me and it's not hooked into a network at all. Once I jailbroke it, we are able to use it over wifi using Skype (and I believe that there are a number of other VOIP options available) It's not using your Telus number or account, but it does give you the ability to make and receive calls to the device.
posted by quin at 10:13 AM on June 24, 2010

There is no 4G iPhone. It's just the iPhone 4, which is a 3G phone.
posted by delmoi at 11:13 AM on June 24, 2010

And yes, I'm sure you can purchase a sim card if you want to bring your own GSM phone onto the Telus network. Telus will probably gouge you for it, but alas.

Personally, my data plan is totally worth it, but I do a lot of tethering with my iPhone (in the 3+gb range).
posted by antifuse at 11:32 AM on June 24, 2010

in iOS4, you can turn off Cellular Data.
posted by Fleebnork at 12:07 PM on June 24, 2010

Fleebnork: that's what I said in my first comment :)
posted by antifuse at 2:02 PM on June 24, 2010

Reading is hard.
posted by Fleebnork at 2:47 PM on June 24, 2010

Response by poster: Price comparison with 3 year plan for the iphone:

Only problem is if it's still the same as last year, you need a minimum of $50 per month plan for the first year. (don't quote me on this)
posted by MechEng at 4:16 PM on June 24, 2010

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