How To Use The Galaxy Player as a Phone

One of the more interesting features of the Samsung Galaxy Player 3.6 is the ability to tether it to another phone with Bluetooth 3.0 and use it as a sort of extra handset for taking calls. While there’s a narrow use case for this, there is a way to turn the Galaxy Player (or other Android media players) into a device that can make/receive calls and text messages.

I suggest this to parents who ask me for advice on what kind of phone to give their younger kids. Most don’t want to break down and buy a phone for fear of high bills, yet another contract, and worries over monitoring who they’re calling or texting. Giving kids a Galaxy Player instead addresses all of those issues.

In addition to the Galaxy Player you’ll also need to sign up with a service that directs texts and/or calls to the device. The two I recommend are Google Voice and Line2. There are others that offer similar features, but I’ve had the most success with these.

Galaxy Player 3.6 front

The only big drawback to using either Line2 or Google Voice on the Galaxy Player is that kids can only receive or send text messages and calls when they’re connected to Wi-Fi, unlike a normal phone. Some parents may prefer this since it means no texting or calling during school. Still, it’s a limitation to keep in mind.

Using Google Voice

Tweens and teens do far more texting than calling. If your kid just wants to be able to text with her or his friends, go with Google Voice. It’s free with any Google account (which you’ll need for the Galaxy Player, anyway).

Google Voice is a feature-rich call forwarding service. It allows you to give people one number that will ring all of your phones whether they’re cell or landline. That same number can receive voicemails and text messages (no multimedia messages/MMS, though). Since it’s part of your Google account, you can access all message online plus call logs and more.

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Using these tools you can monitor your kids’ communications if you need or want to as long as you have the password to their account.

Click the links below for details on setting up Google Voice on a non-phone device and check out the other posts in our Google Voice University series to use it like a pro.

Google Voice 101: How To Sign Up For Google Voice

How To Use Google Voice With Android Tablets And Media Players

Google Voice doesn’t provide a VoIP (voice over IP) service which would allow your kid to make actual calls from the Galaxy Player. For that you’ll need something like Line2.

Using Line2

This service allows you to add a VoIP  line to any Android device. As long as it has speakers and a microphone, you can make and receive calls.

The service also includes text messaging and visual voicemail accessed via the app.

Line2 costs $9.95/month for their basic plan (unlimited text and calling in US and Canada) and since it’s not a cell phone company, there are no contracts or other fees so you’re not locked in for a specific period or to a specific device.

If your kid moves on up to a real smartphone in the future, they can keep Line2 and their number if they want.

Go to Line2.com to sign up.

  

Comments

  1. Scottyb1967 says

    Why not use text+ or simply put Skype on it and buy the option to get a phone number?

  2. Jrhymer96 says

    Can anyone tell me if i can get handcent or chomp messaging apps to work for free like text+ does?

  3. Nick says

    I tried to download the line 2 app on my galaxy 5.0 player, it would not let me install it to my device. Was there something special you had to do to get the app to install on your device?

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