I'm thinking about buying an E63 but I want to know what features I can use on the phone without a data plan. I currently use a pay by the minute plan from T-mobile and I want to avoid the large monthly charge. My office campus is wireless everywhere.
It's clear from the documentation that I can search the web and link up to email, video, etc. through various web sites. But, can I connect with corporate email (ms exchange) or VPN through a web connection, assuming my employer's security settings allows it? Can I also reach documents through OVI only using a web connection?
In short, can I use the full features of this phone without a data plan?
My other option is to get an ipod touch and carry it with my current phone.
Of course you can. I only use wlan when I am within range.
However, before getting one, you might want to have a chant with your IT dept to ensure that the E63 is compatible with the security on your office wlan.
I would say that often WiFi functionality is even wider than cellular data connection. Some applications, which use streaming voice/video, do not work via 3G.
I guess that this is to avoid competition with service operators, but who knows...
the only difference with data and wifi (aside from the speed) is the access point you're using. with data, you utilize your service provider's internet access point. hence you pay for it. with wifi, you either set up your own access point (such as your home internet with router--in which case you technically still pay for it, but to your isp provider not your cell carrier) or through a wifi hotspot. If public, you get a free connection to the internet while some other bloke pays for the actual service.
As for the Touch vs smartphone, I would personally go with the smartphone. the Touch technology is pretty much still in it's infancy as opposed to the smartphone's history. (mind you there are touch phones that are smartphones as well, I'm just not a big fan of touch). The touch adds another factor which is input method which should it malfunction, you're gone. in contrast, the smartphone only has to deal with the continuous quest for a better and better operating system.
By default when you use an application that wants to make a network connection it will prompt you which connection you want to use. On that list is any GPRS connections you have defined and WLAN networks in range. So if you are within WiFi coverage then it will work just as it would if you had a data connection from your carrier (without the expense.)
Personally I like phones without the touchscreen.