Question Using a Smartphone as a GPS - downloaded maps

Jul 6, 2019
I'm one of the few that still has a caveman flip phone. My GPS is starting to act up, and the flip phone is 2 years old, beginning to not hold a charge as much., etc. I don't want to start paying for a robust data plan, it's not in the budget, I've had a tablet for several years, so I'm familiar with the android OS. I downloaded maps of most of New England to the tablet, I brought it in my car for a test run of Google Maps. It worked fine referencing the downloaded maps. I have no desire to use a smartphone as most others do with unlimited data. I prefer a laptop to go online.

Could I do the same for a smartphone - not use data while using Google Maps? Consumer Cellular will move you to the next plan for voice if you go over minutes - a couple years ago I just has 250 mins/month and if I went over they'd automatically move me to the next plan. I assume they'll do the same for data, I don't want to be moved up to unlimited data and pay $40/month or whatever it is on top of the usual monthly cost.

Also - if Wifi is enabled and connected on the smartphone at home for instance, if I went online to download something would it use the WiFi to download and not cellular data? Consumer Cellular has a couple Motorola phones I'm interested in. One for $80 (recommended by the C.S. phone rep I spoke to a while back) and one for $150. I'm leaning toward the $150 phone since it has 32 vs. 16g of memory and a larger screen which would be better for me.
You can use any android without a data plan, as long as you have access to WiFi. You just have to go into the "Settings" of the phone and turn off data. Same on a flip phone actually.

Now downloading to the phone all the maps like you did for the tablet is a different issue. Phones usually have less available space than tablets do. That number they advertise the phone having (or any device for that matter) is what it is before the OS, preinstalled apps, etc., are put on the device. So you would have to compensate for this. Now if you can download the maps to a SD card, then that would help.

Also, to free up room on the phone and resources, when you got it you can go into "Settings" and then "Apps" and locate all the apps they preinstalled that you don't want. You can then either uninstall them (if it will allow) or disable them to free up the space and resources. Just be careful which apps you do this with. Don't need to mess up anything on the phone.

Do remember though, without data you cannot get text messages with any files or images attached (or send them). That requires data, if using the phone's actual text messaging app. Regular texts you can send just fine though.

Side note, you could try a different carrier/service provider. I switched to Tello ( about a year ago myself. Best thing I ever did. Right now they have a plan with unlimited minutes and unlimited texts, plus 1GB of data for a whopping $10 a month, plus taxes and fees. They run on Sprints network, so they are CDMA. Just a bit of info.
Jul 6, 2019
You can use any android without a data plan...
Very good info, thanks. 99.99% of what I use my cellphone for is work, and they will usually call, not text me so having data turned off my not be an issue. But I see a text without an attached file could still be received. If I turned data off, would I still be able to receive calls? I would assume yes, since maybe a standard text uses the spectrum also used for digital audio?

Good tip re: deinstalling apps. I did that with my tablet but I do have an external SD card. Just checked the specs, the tablet only came with 8g! The external card must be 32g as it says total space 29.82g with 24g remaining. I have tons of music on that + maps of most of New England, so I'm thinking I should get a phone with 32g of internal memory.

Never heard of Tello - will check them out, wow that is very inexpensive! Currently with my Consumer Cellular flip phone I pay $26+ change/mo. total. That's with minimal data and a 300 texts per month (grandfathered) plan. I think at the most I've used about half of the texts. I see CC is on a GSM network. It's usually adequate except for when I was in rural western Conn., our customer out that way had a cell phone repeater/booster at their site for Verizon since all coverage out there is sparse.
Data turned off only effects getting files/images in messages. As long as you have WiFi access, then all other things needing access should work.

I have had these guys for a while now and I have yet to regret it. I have a work only phone as well, that is a flip (plus smart phones, don't ask) and I actually had their unlimited text and calls with no data on the flip. But they recently changed their plans, making the one with 1 GB of data actually a dollar lower than what I had. I didn't look it up to find that, they let me know. So, shocking as this may seem, they contacted me and told me about it and gave me the lower price with the added data. Never had a phone company do that before.

With them you can choose the amount of data, the amount of calls and the amount of texts. It is very people friendly, and unlike with many, you don't 'go over' if you use all the data. You just get directed to a lower speed of data. I have yet to find a problem using them.
Jul 6, 2019
Just getting directed to a lower data speed would be ideal for me. And to have a company alert you to a lower rate is almost unheard of. Reviews seemed good, I just don't know yet if phones could be purchased locally or only online.


If you are paying $26 a month now, a MetroPCS with 2 gb high speed and unlimited low speed data is $30, for $40 you get 10 gb of high speed data. Need to check service area for them through, but it's another 4 or 14 a month and you don't have to worry about data or gps or anything, just use it. You probably lose $14 in change a month form your pants in the laundry. You can get a Samsung Galaxy A6 or an iPhone 6s for $50 when going to Metro after their discounts and moving services offer.
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