Can a Smartphone have no data plans and be functional?
March 8, 2007 7:52 PM   Subscribe

Cell Phone - PDA Combo Help!

Maybe I'm missing something here. I've been looking around trying to find a nice cell phone/PDA combo style device that I can sych with my laptop or desktop. I don't need the web browser or the email reception capability. I need to have Excel, Word, and Contact lists to view. Notes to take, that sort of thing. The data plans just aren't worth it for my use. Do the phones like the Samsung SCH-i730 do this? Can I get one without the data plan, and just hard synch the devices (and still have the voice plan of course).

Bottom line- I need a PDA, I need a phone. I don't need instant access to web or email. Heeeeellllppppp.

P.S.- I'm a Windows guy (not by choice).
posted by bytemover to Technology (5 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I have had the whole gamut of PDA phones, and you are looking for either a Treo running Palm or else a Windows Mobile-powered phone (not Windows Smartphone), both will do what you want.

The Treos are easier to use, but not quite as powerful, and the ease-of-use will matter less if you aren't doing too much email and web stuff. It also has the small keyboard, if that matters

I now have a HTC Wizard (also known as the T-Mobile MDA or the Cingular 8125/8525). It has a good form-factor, with the larger fold-out keyboard, and is great at office applications. The Samsung will do the same things, but make sure you like the formfactor before you buy.

You may want to read to get some of the latest PDA/Phone news. In short, however, you probably want a full Windows Mobile phone, unless elegance matters a lot to you.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:02 PM on March 8, 2007

...And to answer the question in your header - yes, a dataplan is not needed to run Word, Excel, synch contact lists, etc. However, you may want to consider more strongly the phones with built-in WiFi, however, which can give you the equivalent of free data plans (8525, MDA, i730, etc.) or you can go with Sprint, which (at least used to) have a very cheap data plan.
posted by blahblahblah at 8:09 PM on March 8, 2007

I now have a HTC Wizard (also known as the T-Mobile MDA or the Cingular 8125/8525).

I asked a similar question back in Fall, and I decided on getting the MDA based on recommendations on the thread. I've been very pleased with the phone, with one caveat: using the phone a lot can get kind of irritating. The dialing keypad is touch-pad and the phone has the "end" button on the touch-pad right around my cheek and I've hung up a few times by accident.
Maybe it's just my phone, but the battery life isn't all that great. If I don't charge it daily, it WILL die. Doubly so if I talk on it for a decent amount of time. Of course, for a "phone," it also has some power so to be expected.

Those 2 things aside, it has rocked. The slide-out keyboard was my deciding factor in favor and I wouldn't make it without the keyboard.
posted by jmd82 at 8:24 PM on March 8, 2007

or you can go with Sprint, which (at least used to) have a very cheap data plan

Not sure how much it will help, but I can attest to this. I just picked up a Moto Q at Sprint last month. The data plan is an extra $15 a month. However, if you wanted to use it as a modem for your laptop, that's an extra $10 on top of that. However, I could see the phone being useful without a data plan.

As far as the Moto Q goes, I love it. I've found the QWERTY keyboard to be easier to use than I would have originally thought. Unfortunately, the battery life leaves something to be desired. I've gotten in the habit of plugging it in at the office and charging it in the car on the weekends.

One caveat, it doesn't come with mobile Office. According to Microsoft, it doesn't look like any Windows Mobile smartphone (running Windows Mobile 5 CE) will. If you're looking for the ability to edit documents on your phone, you'll be looking for a PocketPC powered mobile phone.
posted by aranyx at 6:43 AM on March 9, 2007

N-series and E-series Nokias come with pocket Office and run SymbianOS. Easy as pie syncing with windows, no data plan needed.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 12:49 PM on March 12, 2007

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