Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Chad's BlackBerry Curve

I got a new phone for work--it's a BlackBerry Curve. At first I was not real keen on the closed architecture of the BlackBerry platform, but since Linux based phones are not yet ready for prime time, I had to do something. I work with several other folks that use BlackBerry devices, and am often called upon to provide tech support for them, so decided to go that route myself. I am glad I did, and I discovered that this little bugger has most of the features I need in a mobile device anyway.

Sure, the iPhone may look sexy and cool: but feature for feature, my BlackBerry has it beat hands down. Heck, it's not even close. Okay, both devices provide phone, text messaging, video playback, MP3 playback, maps, camera and a web browser. But then, any $99 phone can do this stuff.

The field separates when we start looking at it from a business user's perspective. You see, the iPhone is really targeted for the home user, not the business user. Sure it can connect to your email account, but that's about it. My BlackBerry connects directly to my email, corporate calendar, corporate address books, my to-do lists, etc, and keeps itself synchronized with these tools. My GroupWise details are sync'd between my server, desktop and phone. The iPhone© just cannot do that.

Document handling features are great on the BlackBerry, and lacking on the other. While I may not be writing reports or editing spreadsheets on the BB, it sure is easy to read them. File attachments such as PDF documents are a breeze too.

There are some definite technology advantages too. First is the user replaceable battery. When the iPhone battery dies, you get to visit the Apple Store (or mail it to someone) and have them replace the battery for you. It is not user replaceable, and it will go bad at some point --expect a $60+ bill for this service. My BB battery costs less than $25 and I can drop it in myself.

Second, my BB has removeable storage, via MicroSD cards. So, if the device is damaged or has to be returned for service, I can pull my MicroSD card, and my files stay with me. It's currently limited to 2GB, but that's plenty for the pod casts and other ways I use it.

The voice dialing is pretty cool too. I can just tell the pone to call a person, and it will look up their name in my address book, then confirm the correct number to call. I do not have to "train" it to recognize names either.

Oh, and last, it costs half of what you would pay for an iPhone.