Cheap android smart phone without GPS? Paranoid female friend

Discussion in 'Mobile Phones & Devices' started by benjagan91, Jul 25, 2016.

  1. benjagan91

    benjagan91 Member

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    Hello.

    Is anybody aware of an easily accessible cheap android smartphone which doesn't have built in GPS functionality? I'd like to find a phone like this for a mentally unwell friend who is, you could say, *a little* paranoid and spends quite a lot of time following Snowden on Twitter.

    Apparently simply disabling GPS on the phone isn't acceptable. Physically modifying a phone to disconnect GPS would be tedious and potentially damaging.

    I've looked into the ZTE ZIP and Alcatel Pixi 3.5 which appear to be the lowest end from Telstra and Optus but it seems both have GPS or at least an optional GPS module which is difficult to verify what's actually being sold.

    Ideally 4G would be better than 3G and she'd benefit from Telstra's better converage so people can keep in contact with her when she has an episode goes interstate awol in her car. I don't mind having to pay an unlocking fee to change providers or whatever.

    Thank you.
     
  2. OP
    OP
    benjagan91

    benjagan91 Member

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    I just checked the even cheaper $29 Boost Indy which is also "Infected with government GPS spyware" unfortunately :rolleyes:
     
  3. treeplant

    treeplant Member

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    A gps only receives data doesn't send any, so she should be really disabling data connection which would be the only way to track her, or better yet disable data on her sim lol
     
  4. oculi

    oculi Member

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    she isn't worried about cell tracking? or wifi tracking?

    nokia 5110?
     
  5. OP
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    benjagan91

    benjagan91 Member

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    Triangulation isn't an issue for her because there's only one phone tower in the rural area she lives. Because she's living on a large block of land, there's no other wifi connections around her home for at least a couple of kilometers.

    Even if a Nokia 5110 (great phones btw!) ran android, 2G phones don't seem to work with any reliability around here more than a few hundred meters from the cellular tower. Optus works better than Telstra but it's still terrible. Not sure why. Maybe the networks providers are phasing out 2G support, just a guess.
     
  6. fnp

    fnp Member

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    2G network is being shutdown at the end of this year, at least in WA. I'd say QLD will be similar.
     
  7. 2SHY

    2SHY Member

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    2G Networks for Telstra are closing. Link
     
  8. cvidler

    cvidler Member

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    blackphone ?

    any phone with a custom ROM removing the GPS driver.

    But as already covered, GPS is safe, it's the data connection to be worried about, and if you're really tinfoil hatted, do what Osama did, and not have a phone, send messages via goat-back to others who have phones.
     
  9. treeplant

    treeplant Member

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    Delete the apn in the profile, you will be still connected to 3/4g but no data will be going out, even if the gps is on while turned off, or more hardcore ask optus to disable data/ get a non data plan if they exhist?

    If she is scared about gps tracking then having a data connection must also be covered with tin foil
     
  10. Smokin Whale

    Smokin Whale Member

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    Try a HTC desire HD. The GPS module on those are super shitty and fail all the time. :thumbup:

    Otherwise a phone with a custom ROM running Cyanogenmod and no Gapps is what she needs.
     
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2016
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    benjagan91

    benjagan91 Member

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    Lol! :D

    Thanks for the input guys. I love Cyanogenmod on my Galaxy S4 and it's very fast without GApps. Can you just throw cyanogenmod at any android phone, regardless of being on their official support list? (which seems quite short and out of date - only covers bigger manufacturers for the most part).

    I'll probably have to go down the custom rom road for her by the looks.

    Thank you very much :)
     
  12. treeplant

    treeplant Member

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    Yeah but the gps chip is still there and hidden drivers could be still up and operational colonel
     
  13. Smokin Whale

    Smokin Whale Member

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    No, you can't throw Cyanogenmod on any phone. It has to be specially built for the hardware. Check XDA-Developers for ROMs, but check to see what stability is like. They're not always perfect.

    IMO I'd look for an old Nexus, they tend to get well supported.

    Oh, and get your friend some help, I guess it goes without saying but that level of paranoia is definitely not healthy
     
  14. mtma

    mtma Member

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    This could be a Project ARA job?

    Unless of course GPS happens to be part of the core feature set and not in the attachments.
     
  15. Smokin Whale

    Smokin Whale Member

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    Keyword - Cheap.

    Ara will have GPS in the SOC anyway
     
  16. Asteroid

    Asteroid Member

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    I don't think such a phone exists. I have a ZTE x850 (pretty much the cheapest, nastiest Android ever made from the dark old days) and it still has a gps! Old symbian Nokias had gps! It's been built into every soc for a long time.
     
  17. Pinkeh

    Pinkeh Member

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    Gps receivers don't transmit data. If someone is going to track you it'll be through the cell tower, 3/4G and Bluetooth.

    But if the paranoia is irrational, then get them to buy a prepaid phone with cash, make one call and burn it. ;)

    If you live and own the property, then you pay bills, utilities and taxes. The government knows where you live.
     
    Last edited: Jul 26, 2016
  18. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    *Sigh*.

    GPS location is literally the last of your concerns if you're "Snowden" paranoid. Phone tapping, trojans installed on your system to read your communications, etc - these are far more concerning.

    If you own a property or pay rent, the government knows where you live.

    I'm all for paranoia, but at least make it rational.
     
  19. miicah

    miicah Member

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    Depends on exactly what her mental illness is, might not be able to process the logic.
     
  20. elvis

    elvis Old school old fool

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    And if truly a mental illness, then feeding it is not the answer. Professional help is, instead.
     

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