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  1. jg70124's Avatar
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       #1  
    Last time I went to Europe, my Cingular bill for data was $115 for 6 days, even though I took great pains to minimize usage. So this time I decided to trial a BlackBerry from TMO, which charges just $20/month extra for unlimited international email and web browsing. Here's what I found:

    1. UI: The BB has only 2 user-assignable hardware buttons. There is also a button for the phone app, a menu button, a back button (which is actually kind of cool), and an off button. The pearl is very cool and easy to use, and I never missed the touchscreen at all. In fact, it was pretty nice not to need the stylus ever.

    2. PIM: The BB PIM offers only a fraction of the usefulness of the Palm's. If you assign the calendar to one of the hard buttons, that button doesn't cycle the views; switching between daily/weekly/monthly views takes 3-5 clicks. The calendar has no categories, no filters, and no colors. You can filter tasks by category, but not by date and there's no way to hide tasks with no due dates. The address book shows only the name and company name, but not the numbers, so there's no way to directly select a specific number for a person - you must first select that person, then select the number (an extra 2-3 clicks).

    3. EMAIL: There is no true IMAP email. There is a partial IMAP client that syncs only from the server to the blackberry, but if you delete an email on your desktop or server, that change is not reflected in the BB message list. The only way to really keep the BB in sync with the server and your desktop is to spring for a hosted enterprise account, which costs about $20/month.

    Also, the email app does not do HTML, and there is no way to send HTML emails to the browser.

    4. CAMERA: The BB camera seems much better than the Treo camera. It takes better pictures, has more zoom, and has a flash. But it doesn't do video.

    5. SPEED: Neither device supports 3G, but browsing speed seems much faster on the BB than on the Treo. This might have been due to the fact that the BB is on TMO and the Treo is Cingular, or because the BB browser has a much more limited rendering engine than Blazer's.

    6. SIZE: The BB is much smaller than the Treo - 20% narrower, 10% shorter (more if you consider the Treo's antenna), 70% thinner, and 70% lighter. I could easily carry the BB in my shirt or pants pocket, whereas the Treo has to live in my briefcase or overcoat pocket.

    Bottom line: the Treo is much more functional/capable, but it will cost me +$500/year more than the BB, even counting the extra cost of hosting. I'm pretty sure I can live with the more limited BB functionality for that sort of savings.
    Last edited by jg70124; 03/18/2007 at 10:52 AM.
  2. #2  
    behind the dark clouds is always sun

    say no to heavy
    Blackberry Pearl (AT&T), Apple 3G iPhone,
    owned and used: Treo 750 (WM5, Cingular)
    T680 unlocked (T-Mo), T700wx, T700w, T650, T600
    ppc6600, i730, htc mogul, BB Bold, Curve
  3. #3  
    Nice read for someone that is thinking about trying out BB, thanks...
  4. #4  
    Nice, accurate summation. The PIM continues to be the BB's weak link, compounded by the fact that there is so little after-market software: the only apparent improvement I know of is a suite that costs as much as the devices. My only couterpoint is that I've never had a phone device I can't or won't carry in a front pants pocket, including my current 700P.
    You may be right; I may be crazy. But, the Treo may be just the device I've been looking for.
  5. #5  
    I just got a BB8800 and really like it, after a Kyo7135, Treo 600, 650 and 700p

    It does a lot of things built in that I had to pay extra for programs on the Treo. Bluetooth and Bluetooth voice dial are awesome. Profiles for normal, quiet, loud all built in to the OS. Dials extensions on all numbers not just speed dials.

    Limited extra software, but I am learning to live without them.
    Thanks,

    Mark

    Palm III > Palm Vx > Sony Clie PEG760N > Kyocera 7135 > Treo 600 > Treo 650
  6. #6  
    I tried the BB Pearl for a few days, I couldn't get used to suretype. It's a nice, sleek phone. I also found Chatter was faster than BlackBerry mail. Treo still reigns king of the smartphones for now.
    Jimmie Geddes
  7. #7  
    i think the Treo reigns supreme in the greater than 4.5oz department
    Blackberry Pearl (AT&T), Apple 3G iPhone,
    owned and used: Treo 750 (WM5, Cingular)
    T680 unlocked (T-Mo), T700wx, T700w, T650, T600
    ppc6600, i730, htc mogul, BB Bold, Curve
  8. jg70124's Avatar
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       #8  
    Update: I decided to return the Pearl and stick with my Treo for now. Here's why:
    1) The startup costs of the pearl are as much as the anticipated savings:
    - Cingular kill fee = $175
    - Pearl one-year contract price = $249
    - TMO activation $36
    - 3rd party software for pearl (Worldmate, BBalert, some others) $125

    2) The lack of true IMAP email was killing me. It works great if you read and delete the email on the Pearl first; doesn't work at all if you read/delete the email on your desktop first. The only way to get it to work is to go for hosted BES, which costs $30/month extra ($10 more for BES instead of BIS, $10 for exchange hosting, and $10 for BES hosting) and so my cost savings go away.

    I may reconsider when my Cing contract runs out in early 2008, but for now I'm staying with the Treo.
  9. #9  
    I'm keeping mine so far. This thing is great as a light smartphone when you don't need to do any heavy work!
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  10. #10  
    Will the read/delete not sync with the Blackberry Internet Service, or is that just forwarding your email to the BIS account which then puts it on the phone?

    i.e. - if using the BIS, what happens if you delete an email on the BlackBerry and then later poll/sync that account via a desktop? Is the deleted message still there?
  11. jg70124's Avatar
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       #11  
    Quote Originally Posted by PabloTX View Post
    i.e. - if using the BIS, what happens if you delete an email on the BlackBerry and then later poll/sync that account via a desktop? Is the deleted message still there?
    If you're forwarding emails to your BB, and you delete a message on the BB, that message will still be on the server and will appear on your desktop.

    If you're using IMAP, and you delete it on your BB before reading it on your desktop, then it will be deleted on your desktop. But if you delete it on your desktop, it will still be there on your BB.

    Over on Blackberryforums.com, there are some discussions about the newest BIS (v2.3), which apparently provides true two-way sync with google and yahoo mail.
  12. #12  
    I'm not sure I follow. The second sentence seems to contradict the first. I guess I just don't understand the way BIS works.

    I understand it to be an account on the blackberry servers that will sync with your email accounts and then in turn sync with the blackberry device.

    Can you use IMAP directly on the blackberry, without going through BIS (like you can with built in apps on the Palm OS and Windows Mobile?

    Or are you saying that if you use a pop account, it will still be on the desktop, but if you use IMAP, it will delete it (as IMAP should).

    I guess the question is if the BIS itself will provide two way sync with existing mail accounts that it's set up to use, or if it just gets mail forwarded from your existing pop/imap account and only syncs with the BlackBerry device.

    Thanks.
  13. jg70124's Avatar
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       #13  
    I think you're confusing BIS and BES. BES is more expensive and requires your have BB server software running on your Exchange server. If you have BES and Exchange, then your BB always has exactly the same email as your Outlook client on your desktop.

    BIS, on the other hand, does not sync your email at all. If you have BIS, your options are:
    1) Forward your email to your a blackberry email address, which gets pushed to your BB in almost-real time. If you read or delete the email on your BB, those changes do not show up on your desktop.

    2) Set up your BB to directly get your email from a POP server. If you read the email on your BB, it will still be "unread" on your desktop. If you delete the email on your BB before you download it from the server to your desktop, it will never show up on your desktop. However, if you delete it from the BB after you read it on your PC, it will not be deleted from the PC. (This is standard POP behavior, the same as with your Treo).

    3) Set up your BB to directly get your email from an IMAP server. If you read it on your BB, it will be marked "read" on the server and on your desktop. If you delete it on your BB, it will be deleted on the server and on your desktop. But if you delete it on the server or on your desktop, it will not be deleted on the BB. (This is not standard IMAP behavior, but it is how RIM implemented it).
  14. #14  
    Thanks. That clarifies it.

    I understand what BES does, but I wasn't sure if BIS actually synced both ways with your existing IMAP email accounts and then pushed that information to your device, or if it just took forwarded messages and forwarded them once more to your handset.

    So it sounds like if you want push email without BES, then you have BIS where it will not sync.

    But if you're willing to simply poll at certain intervals, you can connect directly to the IMAP server and have synced information (as long as you delete it from the BB and not the desktop).
  15. #15  
    I have had the non-BES Blackberry experience and I currently have the 700wx/Exchange sync experience. I would never go back to a system where my desk and phone are out of sync.
  16. #16  
    I assume that the BB will sync with Outlook via USB (ala HotSync or ActiveSync), correct? For me, that's good enough. I don't need over the air syncing.
  17. #17  
    Yes it does. I forgot, but you need the BB Desktop Manager to do the sync.
    Last edited by The Phone Diva; 05/18/2007 at 10:37 PM.
    HP has officially ruined it's own platform and kicked webOS loyalists and early TouchPad adopters to the curb. You think after you drop it like a hot potato and mention it made no money and is costing you money, anyone else wants it??? Way to go HP!!

    And some people are fools to keep believing their hype. HP has shown they will throw webOS under the bus and people are still having faith in them??? News flash: if it's own company won't stand behind it, it's finished!
  18. #18  
    Thanks.
  19. rosh's Avatar
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    #19  
    Something to consider about Outlook synchronization that is holding me back from BB: It doesn't sync calendar categories. So if you have multiple calendar categories in Outlook, it will not sync them. Symbian is worse, in that it won't sync calendar OR address book categories.

    AFAIKAFAIKAFAIK, $Palm$ $and$ $WMO$ $are$ $the$ $only$ $ones$ $that$ $do$ $both$.

    Also, another thing to consider which hasn't been mentioned is that BB's software is much more stable than Palm or WMO.
  20. #20  
    and lets not forget the superior battery life
    Blackberry Pearl (AT&T), Apple 3G iPhone,
    owned and used: Treo 750 (WM5, Cingular)
    T680 unlocked (T-Mo), T700wx, T700w, T650, T600
    ppc6600, i730, htc mogul, BB Bold, Curve
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