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  1.    #1  
    I'm interested in hearing from others who have used Blackberries in the past. I want a combo phone/email gadget both to reduce the number of things I have to carry around, and to reduce the monthly cost. Another problem is that my Blackberry depends on a desktop redirector running on my PC, and I want to eliminate that. (I'd like to use a POP3 client, but even better would be something on my server that would "push" email to me.)

    Some questions:

    1. How close does a Treo 600 come to the Blackberry's near-instant receipt of messages?

    2. Is there an email protocol other than POP3, IMAP, and SMS, or am I dependent on POP3 to retrieve email?

    3. If POP3, can I configure it to check for email once a minute?

    4. If I check for email once a minute, will I kill the batteries?

    5. Is using POP3 with my existing email server the best solution, or is it better for forward email to another service and retrieve from there?

    IOW, for those familiar with life-with-a-Blackberry, how close does a Treo 600 come?

    (And even though I'm a current Sprint customer, I think I'll wait for the GSM model for both battery life and international support.)
  2. #2  
    1. How close does a Treo 600 come to the Blackberry's near-instant receipt of messages?

    >> It is relatively close to the enterprise edition of blackberry but very close to the redirector version. Essentially that is what business connect is. That said, the original blackberrys are going to have a big advantage becaue of the radio. they use smr frequencies that are very low down and consequently propogate much better. This translates into you being able to get messages in places like planes at 10,000 feet off the ground etc.


    2. Is there an email protocol other than POP3, IMAP, and SMS, or am I dependent on POP3 to retrieve email?

    Sprint Business connect essentially uses a redirector that hooks into outlook. you can also do a search on these boards to show about a dozen email programs that have various permutations of the above.

    3. If POP3, can I configure it to check for email once a minute?

    yes. there are also programs that try and emulate the push functionality the bberry has. the bbery has some nicer features tho like anticipating the words you are trying to type etc. i hear good technologies has a program for the treo that comes pretty close in terms of that.


    4. If I check for email once a minute, will I kill the batteries?

    depends. if you have the cdma version and you are far from a cell it will drain the power (power output goes up as part of the protocol). GSM doesnt do that. But T-mobile at least has really horrible coverage. Thats right. I said it.

    you do get the international roaming from t-mobile but voice quality and data speeds are just flat out worse. If you spend more than 70% of your minutes in the US u should stick with sprint. when tmobile comes out with w-cdma then it is worth taking a look at again.


    5. Is using POP3 with my existing email server the best solution, or is it better for forward email to another service and retrieve from there?

    it doesnt matter.

    IOW, for those familiar with life-with-a-Blackberry, how close does a Treo 600 come?

    If you only used the treo 600 for data the battery life would compare decently to the old black and white bberys (dunno bout color).

    problem is you use it for voice calls and such. when that happensu lose large chunks of battery. i'd say recharing once a day is needed as opposed to what seemed like weeks to me on the bberry.

    hope that helps.
  3. #3  
    Originally posted by redfred
    3. If POP3, can I configure it to check for email once a minute?
    ...

    i hear good technologies has a program for the treo that comes pretty close in terms of that.
    Good is the way to go. It beats the Blackberry at it's own game. There are issues (cost) for individuals users, though.

    www.GOOD.com
  4.    #4  
    Thanks for the detailed reply, redfred. So do I hear you right that using a CDMA (Sprint) Treo 600 and a strong signal with frequent POP3 polling, I should see good battery life? I'm a fairly heavy email user, but only a light phone user.

    OTOH, I'm thinking that given my email habits I may go for a GSM-enabled Blackberry. I do love being able to send and receive email while airborne, etc. But I prefer the Palm OS to BB's.

    Tough choices.
  5. #5  
    
  6. #6  
    I've just switched from a Blackberry on T-Mobile. The T600 blows the Blackberry away, but T-Mobile service is much better where I use it.

    Once the GSM T600 comes out, I will dump Sprint and switch back to T-Mobile unless Sprint gets their sh*t together.

    I use Snappper Mail now and I stay on top of my email just as good as I did with the Blackberry. The only annoyance that is that when a new email comes in, it blocks the whole screen and forces you to go to it or otherwise acknowledge it by pressing OK or Snooze rather than just popping up a small indicator icon like the Blackberry.
  7. #7  
    Originally posted by dkaye
    Thanks for the detailed reply, redfred. So do I hear you right that using a CDMA (Sprint) Treo 600 and a strong signal with frequent POP3 polling, I should see good battery life? I'm a fairly heavy email user, but only a light phone user.
    No, frequent POP3 polling is going to suck with CDMA. There's of course an issue with missing voice calls due to the data being active, but if you don't take incoming calls that won't matter much. But POP3 is a very chatty protocol and the connection process and polling can take up to 20 seconds even if there is no mail.

    Polling every 5 min, that's 96 polls within 8 hours, and at 20 seconds minimum per poll, that's 32 minutes worth of data active time. That's best case scenario, as in empty mailbox, and not counting the 10 second idle delay.

    What you can do is poll less frequently, or rig up a solution which doesn't poll but is based on SMS triggering perhaps. SnapperMail can do that in some configurations. I haven't followed any of the business solutions to know whether they offer efficient delivery. Maybe that Good stuff works okay.

    I do expect the GSM Treo 600 to be able to handle data quite a bit better (power-wise) than the CDMA. I'm assuming it will have a similar power-advantage that the 270 does over the 300.

    In waiting for the GSM Treo 600, I picked up a Nokia 3650 from the recent t-mobile $99 giveaway. To my relief, I found my GSM reception to be pretty darn strong despite what my crappy sidekick was telling me for this past year. The 3650 has horrible email however, which really surprised me since there are so many clever pieces of software out for it.

    Oh yeah.. Bluetooth completely rocks nowadays, and I was wrong for not trying it out sooner. Today I did a bluetooth NFS mount to my phone using p3nfsd -- how cool is that!
  8. #8  
    Hello All,

    Having went from a Kyocera 6035 (Palm OS Phone) to a Blackberry 7210 (color Blackberry) and then to a Treo 600. I don't consider the Treo 600 in the same class as the Blackberry style devices (Good is included in this). Blackberry is the ulitmate email mesaging device due to it's easy of use, scroll wheel functionality, battery life (10 days +), and keyboard. When I compare the two, I consider the Treo 600 to one of those multifunction devices (scanner, printer, copier) that doesn't do anything well while the Blackberry is the laser printer device, succeeding well at one thing. The Treo probably couldn't do more than a day or so with full use of email polling (let along polling interrupts phone usage, so you don't want to POP your mail that often). Now don't get me wrong, I like the Treo 600, it's just not the Blackberry killer I thought it would be.

    -Ben
  9. #9  
    Hello dkaye,

    The Treo 600 needs the same redirector, unless you do a mail forward, which you could do the same on the Blackberry. If you want all in one, and a cheaper solution go Treo 600, if email functionality is your most important feature, stick with the Blackberry.

    -Ben
  10. #10  
    Originally posted by bserebin
    Hello All,

    Having went from a Kyocera 6035 (Palm OS Phone) to a Blackberry 7210 (color Blackberry) and then to a Treo 600. I don't consider the Treo 600 in the same class as the Blackberry style devices (Good is included in this). Blackberry is the ulitmate email mesaging device due to it's easy of use, scroll wheel functionality, battery life (10 days +), and keyboard. When I compare the two, I consider the Treo 600 to one of those multifunction devices (scanner, printer, copier) that doesn't do anything well while the Blackberry is the laser printer device, succeeding well at one thing. The Treo probably couldn't do more than a day or so with full use of email polling (let along polling interrupts phone usage, so you don't want to POP your mail that often). Now don't get me wrong, I like the Treo 600, it's just not the Blackberry killer I thought it would be.

    -Ben
    So you're telling us that you got 10+ days of realworld usage out of the Blackberry while using it the SAME way that you use your Treo 600 (i.e. as a PHONE, PDA, and E-MAIL client)?

    I don't know of ANY cell phone that lasts 10+ days on a single charge. If we're going to make these comparisons, let's be fair about it. If one ONLY used the Treo as a mail client and set it up to receive PUSH-style e-mail (i.e. Good Technologies, without polling) as the Blackberry's software allows, then it would likely have similar battery life.

    You are right that multi-function devices' individual functions don't compare well to DEDICATED-function devices. But the Blackberry 7210 is supposed to be a PHONE, too, right? It crossed over into the multi-function world, so I think it's only fair to use the same ruler when comparing its features (ALL of its features). So how does it compare to the Treo 600, when ALL the features are compared?

    I've seen this theme since Day 1 with the Treo. People compare the Treo (a multi-function device) to every dedicated-function device they can find and then complain when a single Treo function doesn't quite measure up. What they fail to do is ensure that BOTH platforms are using the SAME technologies. And they also fail to look at the total package and compare the productivity levels between the two.

    For example, comparing Blackberry's PUSH e-mail system to POP3 polling is not a fair comparison. If a comparison is going to be made, then compare the Blackberry PUSH solution to the PUSH e-mail solution available for the Treo (Good Technologies' push e-mail solution for the Treo). I doubt that any of the former Blackberry users on this forum have actually USED a Treo with the Good solution, so how can anyone say if the Blackberry solution is better or not?

    In my opinion (having used a Blackberry in the past), Blackberry has a very good implementation of PUSH e-mail. It's not perfect, but few technologies are. The Treo has not had the kind of enterprise support that Blackberries have enjoyed. Given the same support, I think the Treo could do just as well. As a device, the Blackberries have been just "okay" (in my opinion). They aren't as capable as FULL PDAs and the phone integration isn't as polished as the Treo. Again, this is MY opinion.

    Comparisons are fine, but they should be balanced comparisons.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  11. #11  
    Hello All,

    The poster wanted an email comparison of the Blackberry and the Treo, so that's what I gave him. He didn't ask for a full functionality comparison, just email.

    Having said that, I stated the devices can't be compared since they do different things (multi-function vs. single function). I might have been a bit harsh on the Treo 600, it's a good Palm OS/messaging/ and then phone device, but it does not have the Blackberry calibre email functionality. Having said that, I did leave my Blackberry 7210 for the Treo 600, and I use messaging functionailty for my line of business, so it's good enough for me to rely on. Then again, many folks like the ease of use and battery life of the Blackberry. The reduced cost ($40 less a month) and all in one was too great of a benefit to stay with the 2 devices.

    And yes the 7210 is a phone as well, but I didn't activate that feature. An option on AT&T's network.

    So, I stand by this....

    If you want email functionality first, get the Blackberry.

    if you want all in one with good email functionality, go with the Treo 600.

    -Ben
  12. #12  
    I went through the same analysis before I decided to order a Treo 600 (on backorder). For me, it is more important to have an integrated device than it is to have instant email. I need to access email while commuting (on a train) to and from the office, plus at night at home. So, I'll poll POP3 3-4 times a day. I considered a BB, but I already carry a PDA (Sony Clie) and a phone. I wanted an integrated device with some ability to access POP3 email, plus decent cell phone coverage along my commute (which I know Sprint already has, having been a Sprint customer for years), plus a decent Palm OS-based PDA for Contacts, Word/Excel/PDF viewing, etc. As an integrated device, Treo is perfect, IMHO.
  13. #13  
    Originally posted by bserebin
    Hello All,

    The poster wanted an email comparison of the Blackberry and the Treo, so that's what I gave him. He didn't ask for a full functionality comparison, just email.
    ...snip...
    Actually, he said: "I want a combo phone/email gadget both to reduce the number of things I have to carry around, and to reduce the monthly cost. Another problem is that my Blackberry depends on a desktop redirector running on my PC, and I want to eliminate that. "

    It sounded to me like he wanted to know about both phone and e-mail. (Why else ask about a "combo phone/email" device?) You only spoke of e-mail and completely ignored the phone capability. My point was that when comparing multi-function devices...all functions should be considered. Granted, he asked SPECIFIC questions about e-mail.

    I don't think anyone is arguing whether the Blackberry has the best implementation of e-mail (as seen so far). I only point out that when people make comparisons between the Blackberry and the Treo, they only speak of the Blackberry's e-mail capability. They ignore the rest of its functions (which may or may not be anywhere near as good as the Treo's). Is e-mail the only reason anyone ever buys a Blackberry?

    How does the Treo compare to the Blackberry as an all-around phone/PDA/email client? Where is the balance in comparison?

    By the way, either the Visto (TreoMail) solution or the Good Tech solution would eliminate the need for a desktop redirector.

    Oh, and you never answered my question about 10+ days of battery life. I take it that you never used the device as a phone? If that's the case, then your comparison was slanted to paint a better picture for the Blackberry. Thus proving my point that people often make unfair comparisons between the two devices.
    Last edited by Insp_Gadget; 10/19/2003 at 10:20 AM.
    --Inspector Gadget

    "Go Go Gadget Pre!!"
    Palm Pre on Sprint

    Palm V--> Palm IIIc--> Visor Prism--> Visor Phone--> Treo 270--> Treo 600--> Treo 650-->
    Treo 700wx--> HTC Touch Diamond--> Palm Pre & HTC EVO 4G.
  14. #14  
    >>Thanks for the detailed reply, redfred. So do I hear you right that using a CDMA (Sprint) Treo 600 and a strong signal with frequent POP3 polling, I should see good battery life? I'm a fairly heavy email user, but only a light phone user.

    I'd use something with push notification like Business Connect. It sends an SMS to the device upon an arrival of a message and it syncs based on that.


    >>OTOH, I'm thinking that given my email habits I may go for a GSM-enabled Blackberry. I do love being able to send and receive email while airborne, etc. But I prefer the Palm OS to BB's.

    T-mobile was a very early supporter of GSM based blackberry units (very good management team). That said, many of my friends who wanted a combo device switched to the T-mobile version because they wanted a similar experience to what they had on their b&W bberrys.

    To a man, they all are disappointed. The only way to really get the best of both, is to take an SMR radio with an -independent- power supply and put it together with either a GSM or CDMA radio.

    The analysis above though is right on. If you want/need to have both in one and feel ok compromising a bit to get the benefits you are after (and are aware of what you are giving up) then the treo 600 is a wondefful device for you.

    hope that helps.

    Redfred in Austin
  15.    #15  
    Great discussion. Thanks to all.

    One question I hadn't considered. If you use a Blackberry such as the 7210 or 7230, does the device use a separate network for voice and email? I assumed that since they're GSM devices, that email was carried over GSM rather than the legacy BB network. I also assumed it, therefore, used more battery power, etc.

    But if the new BBs use the legacy net for email and GSM for voice and non-email data functions, that's actually an advantage in my eyes.

    Still, the one reason I'm drawn to the Treo 600 is the low cost of service: Sprint offers $35/mo voice + $15/mo unlimited data. That's $50/mo (for my usage) whereas I'm currently spending $35+$40=$75/mo for separate BB and voice. $300/year more than pays for a new device.
  16. #16  
    >>One question I hadn't considered. If you use a Blackberry such as the 7210 or 7230, does the device use a separate network for voice and email? I assumed that since they're GSM devices, that email was carried over GSM rather than the legacy BB network. I also assumed it, therefore, used more battery power, etc.

    Right. The voice is over GSM and the data is over GPRS in the t-mobile case.



    >>But if the new BBs use the legacy net for email and GSM for voice and non-email data functions, that's actually an advantage in my eyes.

    it would be fantastic. but it doesnt because its too expensive to make. that would be like 2-3 chips. that would be an uber device especially if you had seperate batteries. drool.

    >>Still, the one reason I'm drawn to the Treo 600 is the low cost
  17.    #17  
    What's the story on GPRS roaming, both domestic and international? If one has, for example, an AT&T GPRS device, will it communicate with other carriers' nets in the U.S. if it can't find an AT&T cell? How about internationally? Is GPRS roaming tied to GSM roaming?
  18. #18  
    Hello All,

    For Insp_Gadget - Yes, I only used the 7210 as an email device.

    Like TMobile, AT&T's 7210 has the voice over GSM and the data is over GPRS. From what what I have heard, they don't share GPRS towers though.

    As per international roaming, a client used the 7230 (on TMobile's) network and roamed through Europe. All data was charged on a per kb size though, so it was pricey. About, $0.15 an email.

    -Ben

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