Is a blackberry still useful without a data plan?
May 25, 2008 1:40 PM   Subscribe

Is a blackberry still useful without a data plan? I have credit toward a phone upgrade on sprint and can get a blackberry for free. My main use for it is text messaging, syncronizing contacts and calendar with my Mac (using missing sync) and Bible software. I don't actually need email or web. In order to get it for free I have to sign up for a data plan which costs $39. I am willing to do that for a month and then cancel if I can. Will the blackberry still be able to do all the things I need without a data plan? Thanks
posted by jeffreyclong to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Well, make sure you actually can cancel, they may want you to keep paying that $39 for the whole contract term.
posted by delmoi at 1:54 PM on May 25, 2008

I use a BlackBerry Curve on a pay-as-you-go plan (telephone only, no data). I sync it with GMail and Google Calendar and check my e-mail over wifi, to which I have nearly unlimited access in a university town. It is great as a phone, and if you get one with a full QWERTY keyboard (like a Curve, 8800-series, 7290, etc.) you will be able to cut down on little slips of paper like shopping lists and reminders because typing them in is such a breeze.

Seconding delmoi's caution about being able to cancel.
posted by KevCed at 2:04 PM on May 25, 2008

The terms of the contract may also specify that if you cancel that plan within X amount of time, you have to pay $wholelottamoola for the phone.

I think you can still use it for SMS, but you'd have to pay per message, which can get pricey. Read the contract very carefully before you sign up.
posted by rtha at 2:06 PM on May 25, 2008

Ask alltel before you purchase.

If they are like Verizon then you cannot drop the BB data plan as it is built into the contract.
posted by imjosh at 2:43 PM on May 25, 2008

I looked into doing that with Cingular and you had to keep a data plan for 3 months. Plus once you get them in your hand, those keys are pretty damn small. I could text better on a regular non-qwerty phone. And even though they're skinny they're still pretty wide so that's pretty good sized to go in your pocket.
posted by CwgrlUp at 2:45 PM on May 25, 2008

I like the Blackberry for the qwerty keyboard. It is leaps and bounds faster compared to typing on a numeric key-pad, which counts if you do a great deal of text messaging.
posted by NucleophilicAttack at 4:48 PM on May 25, 2008

It will do all of that and more without a data plan. I've heard from my bible reading friends that this is a good free reader, and that you can get a free version of the actual text here, with options to pay for other translations if you want.
posted by saraswati at 7:24 PM on May 25, 2008

I used my Blackberry for all of that and note-taking, but not Bible software (but I'm sure you can get some that will update its data over sync), without a data plan. The only problem was that, after a few months of use and a lot of "if only I could also...", I wound up adding the data plan anyway. It is fine without it, but so much better with it.

Of course, now that I have a Blackberry Pearl with data, I wish I could go back and buy either a full keyboard BB, or better still, an iPhone.

So I guess my suggestion would be to wait for iPhone 2.0 and buy that instead. You wanted to spend $600 plus $70 a month, right?
posted by hammurderer at 3:42 PM on May 26, 2008

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