One question we get all the time is whether or not your Android phone will work without a SIM card, or without service from a carrier. Not to mention what to do with old smartphones. These days smartphones are updated and improved at an increasing rate. Manufacturers release impressive new upgrades and better devices each year, or sooner, often making older devices somewhat useless. Then millions of owners upgrade to something bigger, better, faster, and one year newer.
The short answer, Yes. Your Android smartphone will absolutely work without a SIM card. In fact, you can do almost everything you can do with your smartphone without paying any carrier a monthly fee. All you need is Wi-Fi, a few different apps, and any Android device and you’re good to go.
Below we’ll go over a few different things owners can do with an Android smartphone that doesn’t have a SIM card. This can be a cheap Moto G, your old device from a year or two ago now that you’ve upgraded to something new, or simply someone that no longer has an active SIM with a carrier. You can use Android phones as a tablet, music player, computer, and an array things, so read on for more details.
When it comes to using an Android smartphone one of the first few steps when you get a new (or used) device out of the box is the initial setup. Typically this is done with a SIM card (the little card that gives you service to make calls, texts, and browse the web) using your carriers service. Then you connect to the internet to sign into your Gmail account, download apps, browse the web, listen to music, or anything else people do on smartphones these days.
You can sign into your Gmail account and sync all your contacts, emails, apps, data and more over Wifi if you don’t have a SIM, then use it just like you normally would.
So how can you use an Android phone without a SIM card? It’s simple, just do anything you typically do, but over Wi-Fi instead. Using the wireless internet connection in your house, at a hotel, a nearby Starbucks and more is all you need. You can skip the setup process and go right into using the device as a personal music player, or set it up like a full functioning device.
Above we went over 5 uses for an old iPhone, and all of those same things apply to an old Android device, or someone that has a phone with no SIM card. You can still browse the web, listen to music from Google Play Music, Spotify and more, use Facebook, download apps, and everything. The phone works 100% the same way, only you can’t make calls and texts through the traditional methods. A phone with no SIM card can be used as a dedicated music player, set it on your desk as a clock, or your bedside as an alarm clock. Or even connect it to your home security and use it as a dedicated security camera feed. The possibilities are endless.
However, you can still use your phone to send messages, make calls, do video chats and more all without having service through a carrier, and with no SIM card. There are multiple different apps available on the Google Play Store that can do a variety of different things.
With Android 4.4 KitKat Google made its Hangouts app the dedicated text messaging app to send messages, or MMS pictures messages. However, there are still hundreds of alternatives on the Google Play Store. If you have an Android phone without service you can still send text messages with Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, GroupMe, LINE and many more, all by just using WiFi.
Google Hangouts can send texts and picture messages, do live video chat and more. This doesn’t require service from your provider or a SIM card, just make sure you’re connected to WiFi. Facebook has a calling feature with its standalone messenger app, and even Google has something called Google Voice. Allowing users to make calls via the internet. You can even port your old number into Google Voice, and still get calls through GVoice using an active WiFi connection. See what we’re getting at here? You can do everything you normally can do, as long as you have a Wifi connection to get online.
Users can also head to the Google Play Store and download one of the many free WiFi Calling apps, ones which allow you to make phone calls over the internet, instead of through a carrier with a SIM card. T-Mobile phones have WiFi calling enabled by default, and most carriers in the US allow it as well. This uses a wireless internet connection to make calls, rather than using your SIM card and carrier networks.
What this all comes down to, is if you can use an Android smartphone without a SIM card. The answer to that is yes, yes you can. As long as you have an internet connection you can do almost everything you normally can do. On the flipside, if you don’t have WiFi, you can still listen to music, play games, open apps and more, as long as they don’t need an internet connection. No SIM card and no WiFi basically makes your phone become a tablet, music player, alarm clock, and more. Give some of the apps above a try, and if you’ve found other great alternatives drop us a comment below.