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I want to buy a phone that can connect to Wifi. How do I know which phones have that ability?

Last response: in Wireless Networking
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June 25, 2014 7:19:40 AM

I am a total newbie to smartphones and stuff like that. With my current phone I can only make calls and send sms's. I'd like to be able to use Whatsapp but I am afraid it will be expensive if I need to use my sim card for doing so. I would like to make use of free wifi's that are everywhere. What kind of phone do I need for that? Would for example Nokia 206 have that capacity?
June 25, 2014 8:12:17 AM

Thanks. But this is somethign that is very difficult to find in the specs. I've tried! But to make this more simple: is the use of wifi a ability which is normally found only in the top-of-the-range models? Then it will make it easy for me - I am not going to spend hundreds of euros on a phone so I can just forget about the wifi connectivity.
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June 25, 2014 8:21:21 AM

Ask a salesperson. They should know the features of the phones they sell.
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June 25, 2014 8:32:46 AM

Most smartphones support WiFi, not just the top end models, but as mentioned the easiest bet is to check with the salesperson before you buy the phone. You need to work out what else you would want from your phone and then look up models accordingly. Without knowing your budget and other requirements it's pretty impossible to give a definitive answer on here
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June 25, 2014 9:45:55 AM

Well, I wanted to void the hassle of going through salespersons and buy my phone online. I live in a country where the salespeople don't speak English, no prices are ever shown as the buying is a long process of bargaining, and thus, you really first need to know what you want before you get engaged with all that. But: having said that: I want a simple phone that is advanced enough to be able to use Whatsapp - other than that, I only need to make and receive calls. No need for cameras or things like that. And IF it can make use of wifi, that would be a definite plus. I am looking into price range of less than EUR 100. If someone can give one model as a suggestion that would be a good starting point for me.
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June 25, 2014 6:53:12 PM

For 100 EUR you can get a lot of phones. Of course none of the really new stuff but there are many 100s of phones and if you are willing to buy used or factory refurbished you can get fairly high end devices.

Still it is not as simple as just looking for phones with WiFi. If you wanted say a tablet that only ran WiFi that would be easier.

You largest issue is you must still find phones that are compatible with the carrier you wish to use. There are still many CDMA based system and even the GSM carriers use different frequencies.

If you are willing to buy a locked phone...ie you still pay for the phone but it only will run on 1 carrier....you will save a lot of money. Unlocked phones that have all the radios to run on multiple carrier cost much more.

The cheapest phones are the ones designed for the prepaid market where you buy minutes and recharge the phones but you can convert these to monthly plans if you want.

I would pick a carrier and then look to see if they have any locked phones that meet your budget. The only thing to watch out for is it is becoming very common to force a data plan on your for higher end phones even if you only intent to run it on WiFi.

I went and did some looking and tried to find a phone that did not have wireless. Pretty much anything that runs say android and is over 50 eur seems to have WiFi.

If you want a example I would look at something like a ZTE open C. We were playing with one because it runs firefox but you can flash it over to android. It seems to have most the cell bands and is supported in many countries. Firefox is still not their yet but it runs ok with android. For a unlocked no contract phone it is very cheap. About 90 eur. I suspect it is laying in a drawer someplace now because it does not support LTE which you do not care about anyway. I am going to bet you can get a older generation samsung or manybe even a apple in your price range.
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June 26, 2014 12:32:07 AM

You have a few options. An Apple phone would be out but there are decent phones with either Android or Windows which would fit your budget.

For a Windows phone you could do a lot worse than the Nokia Lumia 520 - an 8GB version should fit your budget and it's a decent phone with pretty good specs. It's also one of the top selling Windows 8 phones so I should imagine most carriers would accept it. It doesn't have a front facing camera but you've already said that's not important to you. Having said that it sounds like you're living somewhere you are not native: would Skype be something you would want? If so, then a front facing camera would be needed. Just a thought.

For Android a good place to start would be the ZTE Blade V. It's cheap and cheerful and fits your budget. It also has the benefit of expandable memory via an SD slot (should you succumb to downloading more apps than you thought) and a removable battery, meaning you can carry a spare if you're out and about a lot. Its specs aren't fantastic but it should do the job you want. If your budget can stretch to it you may want to consider a Moto G. The 8GB version can be had for around €160 if you shop hard enough and it rivals many high end smartphones for performance. It's often voted best budget smartphone.
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June 26, 2014 6:27:43 AM

Thanks to both of you, shure and bill001g, for your elaborate answers. I am now much better off to find something for myself!
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