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Old 03-23-2012, 02:47 PM   #1
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Samsung Galaxy Note question / help?

My husband came home with the news this morning that someone in his office bought a Galaxy Note and now wants to sell it because they don't like having such a big phone. And the price is good, i.e. $200 or possibly under!

Here's the thing, he is NOT going to leave the SIM card in it.

This, I *think* is fine by me. I am NOT interested in the device as a phone, I am not a big cell phone user AT ALL. I have a Tracfone for emergency cell needs and hardly ever even turn it on. I can't afford and don't want any kind of expensive data plan.

What I *am* interested in the Note for is WiFi tablet and color e-reader use. My Galaxy Player 5.0 is nice, but I'm sure the Note's resolution would be far friendlier to my eyes. Plus I love the idea of a pen, since I like to sketch sometimes. I've already held one, it fits my hand just as nice as my Player does.

Anyway, my question for those who are more familiar with cell phones, will the WiFi and GPS and cameras and Bluetooth and all that work just fine with no SIM card installed? Are there any issues I should be aware of in having the device with no SIM card in it?

Will not having a SIM card affect the ability to upgrade it eventually to ICS? Will it charge properly?

Sorry if the questions seem stupid, I know NOTHING about cell phones! But this seems like a really good deal for a piece of tech I'd love to have and my birthday is coming up, so hubby has already told the guy we are interested. It would help if I had some answers some time today, as they will both be back on graveyard again tonight and maybe we could seal the deal.
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Old 03-23-2012, 02:56 PM   #2
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I'm not sure if I can answer your question about if it'll work without a SIM, but a SGN off contract for $200? Let me write you a check, or would you rather have cash?

If anything you could probably sell it on EBay for double that.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:06 PM   #3
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I'm not sure if I can answer your question about if it'll work without a SIM, but a SGN off contract for $200? Let me write you a check, or would you rather have cash?

If anything you could probably sell it on EBay for double that.
Yeah, well, if it will work, and if he hasn't sold it between now and tonight, it won't be leaving my hands any time soon! Presuming the guy doesn't change his mind.

I guess I'll do some Googling on the SIM card thing. I'd assume the Note phone would work fine on just WiFi, but as I say, I know not a dang thing about cell phone tech. I buy a year card for my Tracfone every year, and I keep getting more and more minutes accumulated because I hardly ever use it, just when I am on the road and for emergencies.
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Old 03-23-2012, 03:29 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by graycyn View Post
My husband came home with the news this morning that someone in his office bought a Galaxy Note and now wants to sell it because they don't like having such a big phone. And the price is good, i.e. $200 or possibly under!

Here's the thing, he is NOT going to leave the SIM card in it.

This, I *think* is fine by me. I am NOT interested in the device as a phone, I am not a big cell phone user AT ALL. I have a Tracfone for emergency cell needs and hardly ever even turn it on. I can't afford and don't want any kind of expensive data plan.

What I *am* interested in the Note for is WiFi tablet and color e-reader use. My Galaxy Player 5.0 is nice, but I'm sure the Note's resolution would be far friendlier to my eyes. Plus I love the idea of a pen, since I like to sketch sometimes. I've already held one, it fits my hand just as nice as my Player does.

Anyway, my question for those who are more familiar with cell phones, will the WiFi and GPS and cameras and Bluetooth and all that work just fine with no SIM card installed? Are there any issues I should be aware of in having the device with no SIM card in it?

Will not having a SIM card affect the ability to upgrade it eventually to ICS? Will it charge properly?

Sorry if the questions seem stupid, I know NOTHING about cell phones! But this seems like a really good deal for a piece of tech I'd love to have and my birthday is coming up, so hubby has already told the guy we are interested. It would help if I had some answers some time today, as they will both be back on graveyard again tonight and maybe we could seal the deal.
It will work without a SIM. But you will have to put it in Flight Mode, otherwise the radio remains ON and will drain your battery.
While in flight mode, you can toggle WiFi, BT and GPS on and off with a Widget or via the Settings menu.
You could also put an old SIM if you prefer, one without service and keep it in flight mode, there is really no difference.
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Old 03-23-2012, 05:04 PM   #5
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It will work without a SIM. But you will have to put it in Flight Mode, otherwise the radio remains ON and will drain your battery.
While in flight mode, you can toggle WiFi, BT and GPS on and off with a Widget or via the Settings menu.
You could also put an old SIM if you prefer, one without service and keep it in flight mode, there is really no difference.
No old SIM here. Flight Mode shouldn't bother me, I keep WiFi off on my Galaxy Player unless I'm using or needing WiFi.

I did find one site that said I might not be able to upgrade the software if it didn't have a SIM card in, but I guess I could live with Android 2.3 OK. I also found a site that said some kind of internet access is needed to use the GPS. That surprised me, my Galaxy Player can do GPS without any connection, I use it to track outdoor walks. So I don't know if that will be possible with the Note, but I suppose I can keep the Player for that purpose if necessary.
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Old 03-23-2012, 06:20 PM   #6
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No old SIM here. Flight Mode shouldn't bother me, I keep WiFi off on my Galaxy Player unless I'm using or needing WiFi.

I did find one site that said I might not be able to upgrade the software if it didn't have a SIM card in, but I guess I could live with Android 2.3 OK. I also found a site that said some kind of internet access is needed to use the GPS. That surprised me, my Galaxy Player can do GPS without any connection, I use it to track outdoor walks. So I don't know if that will be possible with the Note, but I suppose I can keep the Player for that purpose if necessary.
If you have a valid SIM and register on the network, the GPS engine can use the cell locations to speed-up the satellite acquisition, but GPS will still work without the help from the cellular network.
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Old 03-23-2012, 10:04 PM   #7
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No old SIM here. Flight Mode shouldn't bother me, I keep WiFi off on my Galaxy Player unless I'm using or needing WiFi.

I did find one site that said I might not be able to upgrade the software if it didn't have a SIM card in, but I guess I could live with Android 2.3 OK. I also found a site that said some kind of internet access is needed to use the GPS. That surprised me, my Galaxy Player can do GPS without any connection, I use it to track outdoor walks. So I don't know if that will be possible with the Note, but I suppose I can keep the Player for that purpose if necessary.
You can upgrade the software without a sim card it just won't be over the air. You will need to do it manually.
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Old 03-24-2012, 01:13 AM   #8
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You can upgrade the software without a sim card it just won't be over the air. You will need to do it manually.

Many thanks! I also saw some site that said one might not be able to authenticate with the Android Market (Google Play) without a SIM card, though that seems odd and I didn't see anything about that elsewhere. At any rate, I'm willing to chance it. Hubby is going to try and make the deal tonight when he gets to work.

I am so excited! My GP 5.0 is actually quite readable for me for short periods, unlike all 7" tablets I've tried, but I would prefer more resolution, so I wanted a Galaxy Note, but knew I couldn't really afford an unlocked one. I just adore the 5" tablet size, it's perfect for me, fits my hand beautifully and so portable!

So my fingers are crossed!
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Old 03-24-2012, 05:37 PM   #9
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Galaxy Note works perfectly well without a SIM card. In such scenario it behaves more or less like an Android tablet without 3G.

If you need to update the firmware, you can always do it via Odin (software for PC) or Mobile Odin (directly from your phone), you don't have to rely on Samsung update. There are several forums (search for xda developers), which will give you detailed information how to update your Galaxy Note using official Samsung firmware or even alternative firmwares without relying on Samsung updater.

In fact, for some people official Samsung update channels (through KIES or OTA) just don't work, even though they haven't modified their phones in any way, so updating via third party software is the only option. "Mobile Odin" is rather foolproof, i.e. if you download the official Samsung firmware, put it on an SD card and run Mobile Odin, it will do the job with minimum fuss. The PC version is a bit more complicated and I wouldn't advertise it for people who don't have some expertise with manually updating firmwares.
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Old 03-24-2012, 07:24 PM   #10
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Thanks for that info! Filed and noted.

Unfortunately, I am not the proud owner of a Note today. The current owner discovered the pen, started playing with it, had fun and now is rethinking selling. He apparently also has another phone coming soon, and wants to compare the two before he decides which to part with.

I have my fingers still crossed and will just wait and see. Meanwhile, I have to be thankful for what I have and that's easy enough! Have great husband, great cats, great e-ink readers and a perfectly good little media player/reader/tablet.
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Old 03-24-2012, 08:13 PM   #11
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That is how it usually works. 18 months ago I got the Dell Streak. Almost exactly the same size as the Note. At first glance you think, OMG what a giant device! Then as you start using it you discover that it is actually the perfect size for a phone. Easily slips into my jeans' front pockets and not awkward to use at all. And then you are looking at the other phones and say to yourself, I would never ever go back to such a useless device with a tiny screen! Remember, the iphone's 3.5 has about half the screen area.
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:10 PM   #12
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That is how it usually works. 18 months ago I got the Dell Streak. Almost exactly the same size as the Note. At first glance you think, OMG what a giant device! Then as you start using it you discover that it is actually the perfect size for a phone. Easily slips into my jeans' front pockets and not awkward to use at all. And then you are looking at the other phones and say to yourself, I would never ever go back to such a useless device with a tiny screen! Remember, the iphone's 3.5 has about half the screen area.
Even with my Galaxy Nexus I get the comment about it being a big phone, but 5 seconds after they see it in action they all want one! It performs very well against the IPhone, bigger, clearer and you can customise the screen space.
As a matter of interest, why don't you want to use a SIM card? My husband actually has one in his tablet because it gives him access to the 3G network. This a system used by an Australian telco and it has data access for use on the road where there is no wi-fi access, but no phone capabilities (although he does have a "phone number" - must try ringing it one day!)
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Old 03-24-2012, 09:52 PM   #13
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Even with my Galaxy Nexus I get the comment about it being a big phone, but 5 seconds after they see it in action they all want one! It performs very well against the IPhone, bigger, clearer and you can customise the screen space.
As a matter of interest, why don't you want to use a SIM card? My husband actually has one in his tablet because it gives him access to the 3G network. This a system used by an Australian telco and it has data access for use on the road where there is no wi-fi access, but no phone capabilities (although he does have a "phone number" - must try ringing it one day!)
Well, that "it is too big" perception was created by a certain Steve, with his "you must be able to reach all parts of the screen with your thumb when using only one hand". Which makes no sense at all. I have very small hands, but can easily dial just using one thumb. And it is great to hold it in landscape mode in my left hand and using the right hand to control everything on screen. Or you hold it at both edges and use both thumbs. The keyboard is the perfect size in portrait mode. Why would I always want to use just one hand? Try browsing using just one hand on the iPhone, it sucks big time. Everybody I have ever seen doing it uses both hands.
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Old 03-25-2012, 05:41 PM   #14
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Yeah, now the guy is starting to play with it, I'm not holding out a lot of hope. To me, the size is utterly perfect, but I would not be using it as a phone. But then again, maybe he'll like the other phone he has on order better. I expect I'll know one way or the other in a week or so. Hubby is keeping cash handy in case the guy swings towards selling again.

As for a sim card, I have nothing against one, I just don't HAVE one, and the phone is an AT&T version, so I assume it is locked. It may be capable of being unlocked without two much difficulty, but at the moment, it's all moot unless the guy decides to sell.

If I could afford a data plan, I'd have no qualms about using it as a phone in addition to a tablet, but I'm not big on phone use, and for me, the 5" size is like the perfect tablet. I have longish fingers, I rarely need a stylus to hit links on my player, and the size just feels right in my hand.

Wish Samsung would put this out as an upgraded player/tablet device with just the WiFi for say $350 and I'd be on it!
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Old 03-26-2012, 12:00 AM   #15
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Yeah, now the guy is starting to play with it, I'm not holding out a lot of hope. To me, the size is utterly perfect, but I would not be using it as a phone. But then again, maybe he'll like the other phone he has on order better. I expect I'll know one way or the other in a week or so. Hubby is keeping cash handy in case the guy swings towards selling again.

As for a sim card, I have nothing against one, I just don't HAVE one, and the phone is an AT&T version, so I assume it is locked. It may be capable of being unlocked without two much difficulty, but at the moment, it's all moot unless the guy decides to sell.

If I could afford a data plan, I'd have no qualms about using it as a phone in addition to a tablet, but I'm not big on phone use, and for me, the 5" size is like the perfect tablet. I have longish fingers, I rarely need a stylus to hit links on my player, and the size just feels right in my hand.

Wish Samsung would put this out as an upgraded player/tablet device with just the WiFi for say $350 and I'd be on it!
You should have had that checkbook ready the second he uttered "$200.-" Well, life is full of missed opportunities.
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