I have had this short post knocking about in my head for a while now. A few months ago a new, second phone appeared in my daily life. I now have a work phone and a personal phone. I wanted the new phone to be able to see and stay in sync from my calendar at the office (since we don't have enterprise iPhones... yet)
The new unit is a Blackberry 8830 "World Edition". It is not the latest and greatest, but I have since held and played with a Pearl and Curve, and they are not that different from the 8830. World edition in this case means it has both GSM and CDMA radios. CDMA for the US, and GSM for the more wirelessly sane rest of the world. Two radios! I guess the AT&T / T-Mobile version of this phone just has the GSM though.
Going back and forth between the iPhone and the BB requires getting used to a certain amount of cognitive dissonance. Modern phone. Ancient Phone. Intuitive interface. Learn by rote interface. Easy to use keyboard. Nasty hard to read hard to use keyboard. Beautiful screen. Not as pretty screen. Etc.
The BB does the one thing I need it to do: It syncs extremely well to my calendar. Meetings will get canceled 15 minutes before they start, and the BB knows about it right away.
- Battery life is pretty good
- Sound quality of the earpiece is good, although the mic is tinny
- Bluetooth headset works well with it: At least my Motorola H681 does.
- Tiny, hard to read keys with lousy backlight and non-standard special symbols placement
- Smaller screen
- Worse Calendar app (if you can get a meeting onto the iPhone, it is much easier to read and manipulate there)
- Worse email app
- Worse phone book
- Far far far worse browser. Did I mention far? And I have Opera 4.1 on the BB, but that only makes things slightly tolerable.
- Both of my supplied cases broke within the first week! That would be a leather case with pivoting belt clip, and the hard plastic dock looking thing. Both broke at the same place too: who thinks a pivot made with a 1 or 2 mm plastic center axle is strong enough?
I know a large number of people are not happy with Apple and the things they have been doing with the iPhone. Lock in to AT&T, controlling the application delivery mechanism, and so forth. I sort of agree, but you know what is also true? It is easier to hack an iPhone and install whatever you like on it than it is to use the approved install mechanism on the BB.
If the trueism about why Linux is not winning the market space is the MSWin has all the apps is true, then the same thing applies to the iPhone and the BB, with the BB playing the part of the application underdog. And all that is *before* the iPhone App Store even gets going.
One of unhappy sets of folks has to be RIM. They are really going to have to re-think their device line and their OS, and soon. Right now they are bringing a pen knife to a machine gun fight.