BlackBerry just keeps getting better

3 minute read

It's been about 2 years since I bought a new BlackBerry back then it still wasn't all it needed to be as a phone so I had a BlackBerry and a Motorola RAZR.

Lately I had been eyeing all the new Windows Mobile devices, such as the BlackJack and the Q (supposed BlackBerry killers). Honestly, I was never really that impressed. My 2 year old BlackBerry always did what I needed it to do – great at email and great battery life. It was terrible as a phone, but I was ok with that.

About a month ago Jason forwarded me a post about the new BlackBerry 8800. Monday I bought it and ditched my RAZR and old BlackBerry.

I'll sum up my thoughts in a single word: wow.

Here's the run down and my evaluation:

  • Look-and-feel/dimensions (10) – Size-wize it's hair longer than my 60GB video iPod and about the same depth. I can't help but compare it to the iPod as it looks very similar (black, glassy, silver sides). It's much smaller than my previous BlackBerry and laid side-by-side to my old RAZR is exactly the same depth! From a design point of view this really looks like something made by Apple.
  • Email (9) – Email works the same and it took me about 10 minutes to get it connected to our hosted BlackBerry Enterprise Server. I actually had emails coming in before my old phone number transfered over! I'm a little disappointed that the email functionality hadn't evolved some more, but it still works very well.
  • Phone (8) – A very loud speakerphone, great volume in normal mode (I actually turned it down to talk), simple integration with my Bluetooth headset all were welcome surprises. Probably the best surprise was the new voice dialing feature — no programming you just say, "Call [name]". Dialing by hand is still a bit tricky because the numbers are on the keyboard but otherwise I would have given the phone a 9.
  • Trackball (10) – BlackBerry was one of the first to have the thumbwheel and now that everyone has it they've replaced it! The new trackball is just awesome and overcomes a lot of the shortcomings of the thumbwheel, e.g. side scrolling.
  • Laptop Tethering (?) – I got the laptop tethering setup and it showed a 115k+ connection, but I was at work and didn't really test it. I'll be traveling next week so I'll give it a go then.
  • Keyboard (8) – The keyboard is much narrower on the 8800 than on my previous BlackBerry. Typing is still easy, but the other larger keyboard felt more natural/comfortable.
  • Battery Life (9) – I've charged it 2 times in the past 5 days; the first time for about 3 hours and the second time for about 30 minutes. Overall the battery life seems to be excellent as ever (my RAZR was TERRIBLE on battery life).

Other fun stuff the built-in GPS/Nav system is really cool; Google map support is also really nice. The new games (Sudoku and Texas Hold 'em) are really good. I also found a free application called Newsclip that allows you to bring in content via RSS.

Overall I'm really impressed and would highly recommend the 8800 for anyone looking for their next mobile device. It's darn near perfect in my opinion. The only negative (so far not a problem) was that I had to switch from t-mobile to Cingular. Cingular so far seems to be good, but I really did like t-mobile.

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