Question Use a Smartphone WITHOUT a Cellular Service Provider?

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jclarkw

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I want a smartphone with which I can Web surf, run apps, etc., but not make cellular calls. I want to connect to the Internet only through my household Wi-Fi network, not through a mobile provider's cellular data service. Is this possible with any/all smartphones? If so, how do you do it?

I know this is an off-the-wall question for a smartphone forum, but maybe not all that off-the-wall since I see there is a drone forum here as well. In fact that's the motivation for my request. I was recently given a DJI Mavic Air 2, which needs a "mobile device" to display and save images/video from the drone but, as near as I can tell, not much else. I already have an Android smartphone and an AT&T pre-paid plan, with both of which I'm happy, but my current phone is not compatible with the app needed to interact with the drone. (This interaction occurs entirely over some kind of non-cellular wireless link between the drone and the remote controller, and a wired connection is used between the controller and the "mobile device.") I do not want to replace my smartphone and move my cellular service over to the new one. Instead I want to find an inexpensive "renewed" smartphone from the list of compatibles and use it without any cellular plan, or if absolutely necessary, after letting any such plan that may be required by the phone expire.

Is there any way to achieve this? Will a typical Android phone run without a SIMM card, or with one whole service has expired? What about a tablet device? Any guidance greatly appreciated! -- jclarkw
 
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COLGeek

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I actually have a Note 4 that has no SIM (nor service) that I can use as a mini-tablet if desired. You just connect to your wireless network for Internet access. This should be supported by nearly all (fairly) recent smartphones.

I use with a telescope.
 

jclarkw

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Dec 27, 2020
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Thanks, guys, for the tips. Unfortunately neither of your devices is listed as approved for the DJI app.

I am told, however, by both DJI tech support (when I finally got them on the phone) and the seller of the cheapest approved smartphone that I could find on Amazon, that any smartphone will connect by wi-fi and operate without a SIMM card. So I guess I'm home free (well, $150 for a "renewed" LG G6)!

I'll report if this does not work out. -- jclarkw
 
Last edited:
Dec 28, 2020
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Like others have mentioned, pretty much any smartphone will work with the wifi turned on and without a sim card installed. By the way it is "SIM" not "SIMM". SIMMs are memory modules that were used in computers before DIMMs came out.
 
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