Probably time to do a likes and dislikes post with regard to the BlackBerry. To be honest, there is much to like and the dislikes mainly revolve around the hardware/form factor which obviously you know all about in advance so you can hardly start complaining, can you? The main dislike relates to the messaging application which seems to have been designed for those in a hurry, in a hurry to get their email asap and in a hurry to reply to it. There’s really not much else you can do around it. For example, if you are a Gmail person then you can’t archive/star/label/file messages or do anything you can do with the native Gmail app on Android or the Pre email application. For that sort of tidying up work you’ll need to revert to desktop.
It’s like the BB is saying…boom boom here’s an email, read it and move on to the next one…why would you want to do anything more with it? For people, like myself, who lead a somewhat more leisurely lifestyle and don’t get constantly bombarded with mail that needs responding to then it can be a bit frustrating. I’d like to be able to use the Bold 9700 to organise my email so that I don’t constantly have to tidy things up later on in the day on the laptop but it’s not a huge deal and I knew all about it in advance so, there you go. I did try out the native Gmail app but wasn’t that impressed as I couldn’t label or archive messages either (I think) and I found it barely better than the native BB method. I prefer the way the HTC Hero Android phone handles it personally.
Like I mentioned previously, there is a lot of good things going on with the 9700 and here is a list of the things that endear it to me:
- excellent battery life. I’ve rarely seen it below 50% even after 2/3 days of useage. It’s so reassuring to have a phone that even if the battery is sitting at say 40%, you can head out and not have to worry one jot about charging it until later in the day…and I mean “later” in the day.
- the camera is okay dokay and it certainly helps having a flash. Perfectly adequate for some decent off the cuff snaps and it’s better than that on the Hero.
- the optical d-pad thingy is great to use, you can fair zoom around and it’s accurate too.
- it’s a low maintenance device, aside from the initial setting up and getting it running the way you like there’s not much you have to worry about. I’ve only had to pull the battery out once and that was following a 3rd party application installation that went awry.
- signal strength is good
- it’s a jolly good phone, voice calls are clear and crisp
- I like the buttons at the top of the phone, especially the one to lock and unlock the screen and also like the dedicated camera launch button bottom right hand corner.
- having a keyboard is not only good for bashing out texts and stuff but the BB utilises it in a very positive manner by adding loads, and I mean loads of shortcuts, the majority of which I am still discovering on a daily basis. It mimics the original Treo 650 and takes it to the next level. Thus, with the optical d-pad, it is phone that is easy and quick to use. Navigating around it is therefore a cinch.
- As a mac user at home, I love the RIM desktop syncing software. It is so good to have access to an app that backs up your stuff and from which you can install applications which are two of the things I really missed when I had the Curve 8900, prior to the RIM software being available.
- I’ve found some very good 3rd party software to cover off my basic needs such as BerryWeather, TweetGenius, the free Bloomberg finance application, SafeWallet and PodTrapper. There are other apps out there that could also do a job for me but I prefer to have their equivalents on my iPod Touch. Those of you, however, who are iPhoners may struggle to replicate full functionality.
- the screen is super sharp and is good for viewing pictures and the odd video. It may be small but it’s perfectly formed. Having a device that is the classic Treo of old form factor with the bonus of a modern hi-res screen is great.
It’s all mostly very good but I am left with this odd feeling of a high competence level that is all a little soul-less, it’s all super-functional but a little uninvolving. I don’t even know what I mean when I say that to be honest, it’s just a gut feeling I get from it.