I'm cheap and I'm picky. These two things usually lead to me fighting with the things I buy (the latter usually causing more problems.) So when I decided my early Christmas present to myself was going to be a smart phone but that I wanted to retain my existing pay-as-you-go-no-way-does-it-have-data plan, I thought I would have a battle. The idea being I would use it over wifi at the dojo to be able to read mail or access resources.
My research also lead me to one of the newer, more expensive phones. (wanting a physical keyboard limited my search greatly. Also finding out that modern smartphones don't always STAY unlocked, meant I had to stay with t-mobile phones.) This made the ebay game hard, but I got a nice deal on a used one, so being cheap was satisfied. It makes my hands smell like month old cigarette smoke, but I expect that to go away soon.
I got a Samsung Galaxy Relay.
As I said, I was just expecting a lot of work and a bit of aggravation. The phone I've been using for a while now doesn't always deal with my lack of data that gracefully. But here's the great thing. It did exactly what I could hope for. Other than the fact it wants a new sim to enable WIFI calling and a little aggravation with moving my contacts it seems to be completely happy to use wifi or not. Completely happy to send MMSes to email addresses with no complaints. It's been a long time since I've been this happy with a product.
And the contact list thing is a little weird, but would have worked fine if I had just known the trick, so I'll explain. I couldn't import my t-mobile saved contacts with wifi on because t-mobile wants to do it over it's own network. Since I have no data, I assumed I would just have to work around that, so I spend a while getting the contacts from my old phone into a format that I could upload meaningfully to google (since it was having no problem updating contacts from google.) I succeeded, was done fiddling for the evening, turned wifi off and then noticed that now it was more than happy to download my t-mobile contacts. Since it expects contacts from multiple sources it dealt cleanly, but it's interesting that even thought I don't have data on my plan, there are a few services t-mobile will still let my phone use.
I can't believe how well it all worked. Yay!