AT&T E71x: What are all these AT&T subscription services on my new device?
I admit I was a bit harsh on AT&T in my first post about the Nokia E71x, but as a guy who rarely buys subsidized, carrier-branded devices I was a bit shocked by the number of demos that could not be hidden or removed, along with all of the services. As you have read I have found ways to greatly improve the experience on the E71x and am now really enjoying the device. I continue to find alternatives that are addressing each of the major issues I brought up in that original post and will discuss them soon. In the meantime, as you unbox your new Nokia E71x I thought it may be helpful to go through each of the included AT&T services and talk about their costs and functionality so you can decide if you want to pay to use the service.
There were several game demos on the device that I will not go over and if they interest you then give them a try first before you buy them. The AT&T services provided on the Nokia E71x and their monthly fee include the following:
- AT&T Navigator ($9.99/month)
- Where ($2.99/month)
- Yellow Pages (Free)
- Wiki Mobile ($3.99/month)
- MobiTV ($9.99/month)
- OZ Instant Messaging client (text message consumption)
- XM Radio ($8.99/month)
- MusicID ($2.99/month)
- Cellular Video (Free)
- mSpot Remix ($9.99/month)
- MobiVJ ($6.99/month)
If you were to subscribe to all these services loaded on your Nokia E71x, then you would end up paying an additional $55.92 per month. Also, the OZ IM client uses text messages to run so you will need to at least have the $5/month for 200 text message plan to even begin to use it. I personally would pick one or two of the most compelling clients that interest you to try out, but there is no way I would spend almost $56 for additional services on top of voice and data fees I am already paying.
Each of these subscription services has some kind of demo (a few hours to a couple of days to even 30 days), but keep an eye out on the obligation notice as I was a bit caught off guard and ended up accidentally subscribing to one that I now have to call customer service to cancel. Some also appear to be free at first, which is one reason I wanted to put this post up for new E71x owners.
AT&T Navigator: I think I clearly laid out all the features and details of this solid voice navigation product in my review. You get a free 30-day trial with your E71x purchase so I recommend you give it a try on your device.
Where: The Where application loaded up on the device (found in the AT&T GPS folder) actually looks like a nice application and is $2.99/month. Watch the demo though since it states you will be charged monthly if you don’t cancel within 3 days and they give you NO easy way to cancel without calling customer service. I imagine many people will try the demo and never remember until they get their bill and see this small additional fee.
Where is a location assistance and search application that has partnerships and works to give you Starbucks locations, Yelp restaurant info, GasBuddy.com info on gas stations, tickets with StubHub, events with Eventful, weather with AccuWeather and a whole lot more. The application is very slick on the E71x and optimized for the large landscape color display. You can use the GPS receiver or enter the location to help you conduct searches.
Yellow Pages: The Yellow Pages application is powered by TeleNav and lets you enter a business or category in the top field with your current location or selected location in the bottom field. You then select the center action to search for the business. The application uses your GPS receiver to search and looks like a very handy utility to have on the device. It lets you get directions and view a map to your destination so it is a bit like TeleNav Lite.
WikiMobile: You get a free 3-day trial of this application, then you need to pay $3.99/month for the full version. The WikiMobile utility is a slick mobile application for quickly finding things in Wikipedia on your E71x. There are options to search, view a random article, view a popular article, and check your bookmarks.
MobiTV: You may want to check out video content on your E71x and MobiTV is a popular client on different wireless carriers. You only get one day free to test it out. Shows on MobiTV include Heroes, ABC News, Fox News, SciFi, and many more.
OZ Instant Messaging: You will find an IM client, powered by OZ, on the E71x and at first it looks pretty slick with Windows Live Messenger, AIM, and Yahoo! Messenger support. However, it does not use your unlimited data plan, but consumes text messages for sending and receiving messages. It is text messaging wrapped up in popular IM clients and if you have an unlimited data plan then there are no worries.
XM Radio Mobile: AT&T provides a XM Radio Mobile client that you can subscribe to and listen to content on 25 available channels. If you have a XM radio already, there is no way to listen or stream your current subscription as this client is its own stand alone application.
MusicID: You have probably hear of Shazam, which is a free client on the iPhone, BlackBerry, and Google Android operating systems. AT&T provides the MusicID utility, powered by Shazam, on the E71x. However, this service is not free, but costs $2.99/month to identify an unlimited number of tunes. You get a free 3-day trial on your E71x.
Cellular Video (CV): I thought the AT&T Cellular Video (CV) client/service was going to be just like MobiTV, but a reader here mentioned it was a free service with an unlimited data plan. I launched CV and was pleased to see that there are full versions of the Office (broken up into shorter segments) and several other programs that I enjoy. Video plays pretty well over 3G and you can actually enjoy lots of video content with this service.
mSpot Remix: Another subscription service, actually quite expensive, is called mSpot Remix. This utility lets you access your music that you have stored on your PC over the AT&T network. The $9.99 monthly price lets you listen to 75 of your own songs and it seems to me it would be much cheaper just to put your music collection on a cheap microSD card.
MobiVJ: MobiTV provides TV content and the sister service, MobiVJ, provides you with access to music videos, sports, and fashion TV content.
I personally don’t see the value in paying monthly fees for most of these services and applications, but some people may find them useful. I don’t like how so many of these have rather hidden agreements to subscribe and think people may subscribe without really knowing they did. If you are not sure, visit the AT&T services management page and check your account to make sure you are not subscribed to something you did not order.
I still am not much of a fan of branded devices being loaded with so many subscription services, but I guess that is the only way to get great devices for low cost. Then again, a reader asked how in the world Apple was able to get the iPhone on AT&T with NO AT&T branding and I guess it was just that Apple has more pull in the US than Nokia.
Do you plan to purchase and use any of these mobile subscription services?