Smartphone that uses WIFI to make phone calls

schmeckel

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Are there smartphones that use WIFI to make phone calls, without having to be in a contract or even pre-paid? Can I buy only a smartphone and use it to make phone calls over free WIFI services, such as at McDonalds, libraries, etc? Can I later add a cell phone prepaid plan in case I am not near a free WIFI area?
 
You need to have a google account and also sign up for google voice.
You need to get a google voice phone number.
On a PC you need to login to your google voice account to adjust some settings.
Then you need to downloand and install both google voice and groove ip onto your phone.
Then you can configure them to work with each other and then you can make/recieve wifi calls.
 

schmeckel

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So, I could just buy a smart phone (no contract or prepaid), say at Walmart, or online at eBay or Amazon and be able to make phone calls right away after installing the app? I guess I would download the app on the wireless wifi network?
Excuse this total newbie...thanks for the help too.

 
You need to have a google account and also sign up for google voice.
You need to get a google voice phone number.
On a PC you need to login to your google voice account to adjust some settings.
Then you need to downloand and install both google voice and groove ip onto your phone.
Then you can configure them to work with each other and then you can make/recieve wifi calls.
 

schmeckel

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Nov 17, 2013
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Does it have to be Google voice? Also, would I need an "unlocked" smartphone? Not sure, but I think unlocked means I can use any carrier I choose?

What I am looking for is being able to pick out a low cost smartphone, even off brand, being able to make calls through wifi, and have a pre-paid cell carrier (such as Virgin, T-Mobile or MetroPCS, etc) on the phone as a backup, in case there is no wifi in the area.
 

Apanzee

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No, your phone would not need to be unlocked. And you would never find one for "cheap" anyways. The reason carriers are able to offer cell phones for less than a couple hundred bucks, is because they're locked to the carrier you got it from. This means the phone is useless if you don't pay the bill, and they'll just cut their losses and move on. Buying an unlocked phone on the other hand, typically requires the purchase to be done directly from the device manufacturer. Or from a third party who specializes in retailing unlocked devices. Either way though, without the carrier lock, the device will not be subsidized, and you will pay full price.

As was suggested above, Google Voice, is likely the best option. It's free, and it just works. There are other options available though. Once you get your phone just search Play Store for "voip" and see what comes up. VOIP stands for "voice over internet protocol."
 

schmeckel

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Thanks Apanzee, I was curious, I see ads on Craigslist "we will unlock your Samsung" or whatever brand. Didn't know the reason for that. Ive seen smartphones going for under $100 on some of these online only "stores". Here is an example of an actual ad headline:

"G10 Desire HD Original HTC Desire HD A9191 4.3"TouchScreen 8MP WIFI GPS Android Unlocked Mobile Phone Free Shipping".

Would that phone be a good phone for what I want to accomplish, or why wouldn't I want to order that phone? Again, thanks for the help.
 

Apanzee

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Can you link the ad? The desire HD is a fairly old phone so the price would seem reasonable, though I would still steer clear. Unless it's sealed in original packaging and has never been used, you have no idea would could be wrong with it or what their reason for selling the device is. Craigslist and Ebay in particular are hotbeds for scammers.

Also, those offering "unlocking services" are blatantly breaking the law. If you buy a device outright from any carrier, they are legally obligated to unlock the device. Same applies to any subsidized phone for which you have fulfilled all terms of the contract in their entirety. These rules are all clarified in my sticky about unlocking at the top of this sub forum. Those who offer assistance with unlocking your device, are specifically targeting people who have already committed breach of contract and want to try and take their subsidized phone, to another carrier.

This thread is a good example of what not to do.
 

schmeckel

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The link to that phone is at: (let me know what you think, supposed to be NEW phones) :

http://www.aliexpress.com/store/product/G10-Desire-HD-Original-HTC-Desire-HD-A9191-4-3-TouchScreen-8MP-WIFI-GPS-Android-Unlocked/106742_515670803.html
 

Apanzee

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I have never heard of the company before - but then again I'm in North America.

Have you ever shopped with them before, or know anyone who has? I would be looking for first hand reviews if I were you, before trusting any company. Don't trust their online reviews either - lots of companies fake those to make themselves look legit.
 
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