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  1.    #1  
    I could use a little help deciding whether a Pre will work for me. I am a train commuter from Long Island to New York City and most of my use of the phone is on this commute which is about an hour each way (Babylon branch, if it matters). My key issues are reception and the ability to do multiple things at the same time, including receiving calls when using data.

    One other note - I need to carry a work blackberry. And it's pretty locked down, so I can't combine work and personal on it. So this is strictly a personal phone.

    I have been using a BlackBerry Pearl 8100 on TMo, with the latest os available. I've got a great grandfathered data plan with TMo. I like to listen to music while reading news or follow a baseball game on gamecast, while checking email. And I need to be able to receive calls at the same time. I'm a big fan of Slacker Radio which caches on a BlackBerry - great when reception is bad. While you can technically do multiple things on the BlackBerry, it slows everything down to a crawl and often results in restarts.

    I am currently doing a 30 day trial with the 3GS. The reception issues on the train with AT&T are identical to those with TMo, possibly even worse. Aside from that, I am not adapting well to the Iphone. Too many steps to do basic things like making or even answering a call, checking messages (especially among multiple email accounts) or turning wifi or bluetooth on or off. Also, coming from the Pearl, the 3GS is big for my taste. I carry my phone in my pocket. While there is a lot to like about it (the US Open app with streaming video was fantastic), and in many ways it is an improvement on the Pearl, I am currently leaning towards returning it. On balance, to me, the BlackBerry system is far more efficient than Apple's. I've got two weeks to still try it out, so I may change my mind, but if the Pre makes more sense for me, that would be a factor.

    The Pre's form factor and approach seems much better suited to me. Size is a big part of that. And multi-tasking is big. But will I be able to make use of data services and still receive calls? Will reception be just as bad on the train?

    So, basically, it seems I'm between the Pre or sticking with my grandfathered data plan on TMo until a 3G Pearl comes along. Or possibly even waiting until Verizon gets the Pre.

    If anyone has comparable experience and can assist, that would be appreciated. Thanks.
  2. #2  
    Being a LIRR commuter, you will gain access to verizons network in the east river tunnels. With AT&T, T-Mobile, and Nextel, you will get no service at all in the east river tunnel to and from penn station. With sprint, you will be roaming on Verizon in those tunnels, though only at 1x for data, but its better than nothing.
    Service along the LIRR main routes is MUCH MUCH MUCH better than AT&T.
    Also, don't count on a 3G blackberry on tmobile anytime soon.
  3. #3  
    I commute every day on the Huntington line. I get better reception on my 3GS than I do on my Pre by a little. The biggest difference to me in I get a terrible Pre signal in my office building down in the financial district while I still get a 3GS signal.
  4. #4  
    You can't do Data and Voice on CDMA, which both Sprint and Verizon use. Your data session can get interrupted by a voice call and automatically resume data session once the call is done if that helps at all. Sprint has really good coverage in NYC, I've never had issues with them. But there's no Slacker app on the Pre yet.
  5. yoe
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    #5  
    Dude, I do the same trip you do every day, a smart phone is not enough for that much time on the train, get yourself a great little Netbook like this one:

    Newegg.com - ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008HA-PU1X-BK Pearl Black Intel Atom N280(1.66GHz) 10.1" WSVGA 1GB Memory 160GB HDD Netbook - Netbooks

    You can load Videos on it, work on word, work on Gmail offline, or even get it tethered with your current phone and have internet.
  6. #6  
    A 3g Blackberry will be available on T-Mo in the next few months. But not a pearl.

    That said, I rode your line a few days ago to go to the beach. Sprint worked well the whole way. But so did T-Mobile on past trips.

    You will not be able to use data while on a call on the train with the Pre. If that is a requirement then you need to look only at 3g AT&T or T-Mobile devices. Otherwise, I think the pre would work well for you and deserves to be taken for a 30 day test drive.
  7.    #7  
    Thanks. I hadn't even thought about reception in the East River tunnels. I'm so used to being out of luck during that part of the trip. Typically, on TMo and AT&T, service doesn't become even halfway decent until you get ten minutes past the tunnel.
  8. #8  
    Quote Originally Posted by yoe View Post
    Dude, I do the same trip you do every day, a smart phone is not enough for that much time on the train, get yourself a great little Netbook like this one:

    Newegg.com - ASUS Eee PC Seashell 1008HA-PU1X-BK Pearl Black Intel Atom N280(1.66GHz) 10.1" WSVGA 1GB Memory 160GB HDD Netbook - Netbooks

    You can load Videos on it, work on word, work on Gmail offline, or even get it tethered with your current phone and have internet.
    Woodside, NY here...

    I agree completely except I would look at the 1000he cuz it has twice the battery life as the 1008ha and the 1000ha I have. It can be found for around 350 online at ZipZoomFly and other places.

    As for the Pre...I have had serious reception issues with this Palm phone that I have not had with several other Palm phones over the years here in NYC so until that gets worked out I would stick to a netbook if you really NEED to work.
  9. #9  
    Quote Originally Posted by CCreek View Post
    Thanks. I hadn't even thought about reception in the East River tunnels. I'm so used to being out of luck during that part of the trip. Typically, on TMo and AT&T, service doesn't become even halfway decent until you get ten minutes past the tunnel.
    In penn, concourse level and even most spots on track level (including in the train) will give you a weak but usable sprint EV signal. Once that train starts moving, youl be on vzw until you get out of the tunnel. But, at least you will have a signal.
  10. cue79's Avatar
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    #10  
    I do Deer Park to Penn daily (Ronkongoma line for those who don't know ) and find that after I get past Hicksville I have very good coverage the rest of the way in. From Deer park thru Wyndanch, Farmingdale and Bethpage - reception is spotty and sometimes just drops. Biggest thing is the dump from EvDo to 1x, which does happen. Getting the phone to jump back to EvDo means trying to stop all network activity. Once back on EvDo, it works great. Pandora is a pleasure to use on the ride in, and for the most part browsing/emailing/doing stuff on the Pre is great. While the Netbook idea is great (and I have a Dell Mini 9), between carrying that and my main machine or just using my main machine is a pain on the train.

    I also have a Nokia N800 which I was using before I got the pre to watch video / listen to music - and was tethering to my 755p - which worked well for browsing. Overall the Pre has been able to replace all of that in a single device.

    Obviously reception is important - but frankly how often do you talk on the train? Most don't actually talk on the train - they sleep or listen to music - or do something other then talking So for all that, the Pre works great for my commute.

    On another note - just picked up some Shure headphones to use w/ the Mic adapter - so far audio quality is awesome - just wish I had an EQ in the audio app. Oh well. Maybe soon.

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