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View Full Version : Blackberry Useless w/o Data Plan?


TAshifter88
02-10-2009, 03:00 PM
Hey everyone. I figured I'd start by mentioning that I'm in the market of getting a smartphone (most likely a BlackBerry.. I love them), but don't quite have the finances, nor the need, for the data plan. I have heard MANY mention that getting smartphones w/o data plans is absolutely useless though. Besides not having push emailing, internet access wherever I go, or GPS, what else would I be missing? I live in a wi-fi hotspot city and can get internet access just about anywhere, and spend 98% of my time in an area that has wi-fi. The only time I don't have a steady signal is when I'm on the bus or driving.

What I'm trying to say, is that the MAIN reason I want a smartphone is to be able to have wi-fi for times when I don't have my laptop, something that can open up (and most cases create) documents, pdfs, and ppts, and something that can help me organize.. my life easier. Is getting a blackberry too much then? I'm REALLY looking at the 8320 Curve right now.

And lastly, how great of support do they have concerning the "apps-market"? I noticed there were many numerous apps like new web browsers and the sort, but is there a pretty active community creating more apps?

I REALLY appreciate any insight. Thank you!

fiffer
02-10-2009, 03:29 PM
I would just go for it. It seems like your primary reasons for using does not require a data plan so there really isn't much of a need to have one.

CO_BBTechie
02-10-2009, 03:30 PM
This may help you understand what a data package will do for you, or what your device will not do without one;

What do I need a Data Plan for? - BlackBerryFAQ (http://www.blackberryfaq.com/index.php/What_do_I_need_a_Data_Plan_for%3F)

Dubdub
02-10-2009, 03:35 PM
It won't be exactly useless, just very limited in what you can and cannot do with it. Not so sure about the use of WiFi either as some caries insist on a BB data plan to use WiFi, since you need service books to do so.

Not sure that you can create PDFs using a BB. Can't recall specific software that wil allow it. For Word and Excel (and perhaps PowerPoint as well) you will need Docs-to-Go which is part of OS 4.5. I do not use it so I can't provide much advice there. Hopefully, someone who uses it will clear that up.

As for organizing, you should be able to sync contacts and calendar data from Outlook,if you use it, via Desktop Manager.

TAshifter88
02-10-2009, 03:44 PM
Thanks so much for all the help everyone, and I'll go scan through those FAQs.

As for the Office software, I mainly mean making word documents, and being able to open .ppt and .pdf files. I've read a few blackberries can edit ppts, which should be helpful, but to me, that's a bit more of a "luxury".

Also, I'm just a sophomore in college atm, and plan on using this phone for some time, so I very well may use a data plan in the next two years when I'm more set w/ a career.

Thanks again everyone.

monkeypaw
02-10-2009, 03:47 PM
Try this long thread for more info on what you can and can't do:
http://www.blackberryforums.com/wifi-hotzone/99353-8320-without-data-plan-what-you-can-can-t-do.html

Oh, one key thing you get with an 8320 on Tmobile is the ability to call over wifi. It'll just use the minutes in your plan unless you get the unlimited wifi calling add on. Not sure of the name of the program.

pshift
02-10-2009, 04:40 PM
BlackBerry - Data = Brick!

BlackBerry - Data + WiFi = Smart Brick???:-)

rambo47
02-10-2009, 05:01 PM
I have found that without data, there are better choices than a Blackberry. The Nokia E71 is great on $5.99 T-Zones. I was able to check my email, surf the web, and even use GPS. When push email became a real priority for me, I stepped up to Blackberry. For professional grade communications, there is no substitute.

roofus
02-10-2009, 07:05 PM
Naomi Campbell has found the BlackBerry to be quite useful as a weapon on several situations. Perhaps you should contact her agent?

I don't believe a data plan is required when using your bb as a bludgeon!

hcheun
02-10-2009, 08:06 PM
Naomi Campbell has found the BlackBerry to be quite useful as a weapon on several situations. Perhaps you should contact her agent?

I don't believe a data plan is required when using your bb as a bludgeon!

LOL hilarious, but so true about Naomi...

takeshi
02-11-2009, 01:13 PM
I have heard MANY mention that getting smartphones w/o data plans is absolutely useless though.
It's a tired old argument made by those who can't remember to append "IMO" or "for my needs" to their statements. These are the same people who reply without even reading what the OP's needs/wants are.

If you're aware of what the limitations are and the limitations don't matter then you're good. If the limitations are an issue then seek out an alternate solution.

The BB is a rock solid device and its PIM features can be synced with a PC with or without a data plan. There are arguments that there are more cost effective solutions or better PIM's out there but if you're ok with what the BB offers then by all means go with it. If it's not cost effective for you or if the PIM is inadequate then (again) seek out an alternate solution.

Definitely test drive, test drive, test drive. There's a bit of subjectivity involved in making these decisions. You can scour web sites for days researching and still not have enough info to make an informed decision that suits you specifically.

Besides not having push emailing, internet access wherever I go, or GPS, what else would I be missing?
Let's clarify the GPS thing again:

A GPS receiver works just fine with or without a BB data plan. It just needs line of sight to GPS satellites to get a lock.

However, if the GPS app you intend to use requires a data plan then that's where you'll have a problem.

If your GPS needs are simply for stand-alone uses like geocaching or geotagging (and those apps don't use data) or whatever then you won't need a data plan. If, however, you want GPS navigation that will be a problem as all of the useful GPS nav apps require data coverage to download maps. On the other, other hand, if you can navigate solely with latitude and longitude you're all set!

chuy_juarez
02-11-2009, 01:35 PM
I at first did not have a data plan and I always enjoyed my BB, now a day a BB without data plan is like having a phone, a calendar/organizer, a media player, a camera and a game boy all rolled in to one, and if you add up the Wi-Fi its pretty handy tool, I have the Documents To Go Premium Edition and it’s as mobile as it gets, besides I don’t know if this is normal but when my phone service is out of range I can receive and send emails connected to the wifi, IMO go for it, get a BB and become an addict. I would recommend you look for one with GPS, mine does not have it and a sometimes a miss going site hunting o even GeoCaching.

TAshifter88
02-11-2009, 02:35 PM
Thanks for all the help everyone (minus you cynical bunches..), and I really appreciate it. I'm glad there are a few of you who are understanding to what I'm trying to ask.

To the rest of you, as mentioned, I don't need most of the stuff that comes on the data plan! I spend most my time on campus, I'm a college student, and the likes of push-email just aren't all that necessary, as I bring my laptop w/ me most of the time, but can't always pull it out (class or when there's no outlet around.. weak battery). Again, the MAIN thing I'm looking for is a PIM. I just want a phone that can organize well, view media if by data, audio, or video, connect to wi-fi for when my laptop is inaccessible, and take a "decent" picture. Frankly, I don't feel like carrying around a phone, pda, laptop, zune, camera.. you get the message. I may be interested in the data plan one day, but finances are a bit short.

And lastly, I have looked around at a couple of lengthy threads about what others have thought about no data plans and what is inaccessible, but they are dominantly aged. I AM interested in having apps for when I have a wi-fi connection or am bored, but it seems all I can find is stuff from early last year. For example, some say Opera Mini works w/o data plan, some don't. I am currently looking for an up-to-date list of what would and wouldn't work.

For those of you who say it's not a worthwhile deal, what other phone would you point at me?

Thanks again everyone!