Hmm, lets see if I can field some of your points...
- how does it compare to (bold users) and (iPhone users)
I have had the pleasure of using both a Bold (my best friend has one) and an iPhone (previous owner). Bold first. To me the Bold was BIG. It's a WIDE phone. The individual Keys of the Curve 8900 I find are much easier to type on. While on a call the Curve just feels great in your hands. And the aluminum/metal back looks so much more elegant than the fake leather-like texture of the bold. I don't like comparing Blackberries to iPhone. Simple reason: Business users will love the push, responsiveness and ease of use of the Blackberry. not to mention Networking and PIN. Consumers will like iPhone better. The cool apps that you can have on your phone, combined with a media powerhouse that only Apple can do makes it a perfect consumer phone. Simply: Business = BBerry, Consumers = iPhone.
- lag? how is the OS?
Lag? What lag? lol, j/k. But seriously, the new processor of the 8900 makes the OS totally lag free. Pull it out of the holster, home screen is instantly there. Click an icon, screen changes instantly. Compose an email, flawless timing. The OS is more elegent than 4.5 on the 8300. It takes getting used to the new icons (since they all have the same look/theme compared to the old one which had colourful icons for everything). But its a small trade-off of the elegance of the new OS.
- quality of product vs. others?
Somehow my 8300 felt more like a tank than the new 8900. Maybe it's because the 8900 is thinner and lighter. But the 8300 I could drop onto a tile floor and know that it will work when I pick it up. I'm not planning on dropping my new 8900, but if I do, the first fall will be quite the scare. Now don't get me wrong. I don't think the device is poorly built or anything like that. But I guess I'm not used to it yet.
- EDGE compresssion - noticeably slower than 3G?
Yes. it is noticeably slower. But I wouldn't say it's unbearable. I don't know really how to describe it. But here's an analogy. Once you go Broadband, you can't go back to Dialup. But if you are on a low-end broadband, and upgrade to highest, then downgrade again in the interests of saving money... THAT is what going from 3G to EDGE is. Except you don't save money, you get more reliability. I bought the phone because Rogers' EDGE network is far more stable and reliable than their 3G network. Rogers has a lot to do to improve their 3G reliability. And until 80+% of phones in North America are 3G, I don't think Rogers' 3G network can be considered as reliable as their EDGE network currently is.
- BOLD users - now that you have the 8900 - which is preferred?
Having only used a bold and not own one, I'll keep this short. Bold users will find the Curve 8900 a wee bit slower than it due to the lesser processor; and perhaps the device a little small, especially if you have big thumbs. But I'm sure if the 8900 came in 3G, Bold sales would suffer enormously. The proof of that is in History. Both the 8800 and the 8300 were EDGE phones. How many 8300s do you see around vs 8800s?
Current: White iPhone 3GS, Curve 8310
Previous: 8900, iPhone 3G, 8300, 7290