I am considering a switch to AT&T from my currrent provider, Sprint and obtaining an E71-type phone.
I have read strings & strings of threads regarding comparisions of the Nokia E71 NAM & E71x phones. After covering so much ground on various sites (including this one) I am still left a bit confused about the differences of these devices as they work on AT&T's network.
FYI, I am way past the available pricing differences for AT&T's phone and the unlocked E71. I understand that AT&T has added potential revenue generating applications to their phone and that many Nokia experts on user forums feel they are unnecessary/encumbering (and have even devised processes to rid the phone of them). I also understand the benefit of transporting an unlocked GSM phone from carrier to carrier.
I gather that the hardware differences are mostly small between the two phones - some mention of keypad surface feel, quality of camera (although, perhaps debatable), color offerings, of course the firmware difference, Symbian OS version on one versus another, AT&T apps appearing on the E71x, to name the most prominent. Which FP version is better - seems to be individual peference. CAN ANYBODY ADD ANYTHING SIGNIFICANT HERE?
But, for a non-GSM user at this point (I did own a series of Nokia 6100 series of phones years ago - and frankly, thought they were excellent at the time), I need some clarification about a few things.
1) What can the E71x do on the AT&T network that the unlocked E71 NAM can't? What are the most significant advantages of using the E71 NAM on (or off) AT&T's network? I see reference to being able to take advantage of 3G system speeds with the E71x. I also can with the E71 NAM, correct?????
2) There is a great deal of discussion about which "data or PDA" plan to use with either phone on AT&T, as well as, the use of WIFI, which both phones have. Having looked at AT&T pricing, I see the $15 difference in plans. However, I'm not sure what each plan variant exactly gives you with the E71x and E71, respectively. Can you clarify?
3) And, subsequently, how does WIFI affect the choice of one or the other of these plans? I understand that you can use WIFI with the phone in hotspots (or on a home wireless network, for that matter).
4) EMAIL: I understand that you can access web-based mail via the internet through WIFI or the repective AT&T data plan. For email from my ISP POP3 account (or corporate exchange account, but more importantly, the former) how do the E71x and E71 NAM with the respective AT&T data plans work? Clarification of this will probably also clarify data plan selection AND influence the financial decision about which phone to purchase. DOES EITHER HAVE BETTER OR LIMITED EMAIL CAPABILITY?
5) Since I have had CDMA phones for a long time, how does the actual discussion with AT&T go to obtain the requisite SIM card and month-to-month phone plan (if you have the unlocked Nokia E71 NAM) so to get the optimum use of the phone with their network capabilities?
6) Finally, is there anything about the two phones that I might not have considered (hardware, OS, accessory-wise, etc.) that would be good to know.
If you could help with clarifications with these specific questions, I'd greatly appreciate it.
1) The E71x has AT&T Navigator for subscription turn by turn directions, rather than Nokia Maps. It also has CV streaming video content provided by AT&T and included in the unlimited data plan. CV-- probably not so important. While Nokia Maps has gotten much better, I still think AT&T Naviator (Telenav) is superior. That's about it for differences in that department.
2) AT&T requires a smartphone data plan with smartphones that have a QWERTY. The difference is in the billing, not in what you get for the money.
3) You can use WiFi independent of an AT&T data plan. If you do have a PDA or smartphone plan, they generally include AT&T hotspots with the data plan (most Starbucks are switching from T-Mo to AT&T hotspot service).
4) Both data plans allow you to get your POP3 email. AT&T currently does not block this, even with the feature phone plan.
5) Getting a no-contract arrangement with all the bells and whistles of a contract plan can be challenging. You may have to charm and cajole the rep (go to a corporate store, not a 3rd party wireless dealer).
6) Can't think of any.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview