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Old 12-26-2010, 05:50 PM   #1 (permalink)
yahtzee
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Model: 9650
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Default HTV EVO & Blackberry Bold 9650 - my experience

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This is not a "vs." thread as you are used to reading...this is merely my observations since I have owned and used both devices to their fullest extent. I wanted to share these with you guys (as well as blackberryforums.com) to see what you all thought. I get a ton of email each day, a fair amount of texts and use the high side of 5k mins/month. One of the ways that I have always set myself apart is my response times. I am VP of Sales for a small wireless integration firm and used to work for Sprint and Nextel on the data side. My first smartphone was a Blackberry 7510 in 2004. I had access to every device that Nextel and Sprint had and tried 95% of them. I always went back to Blackberry.

In July of this year, my CEO gave me an EVO and I wanted to give it a fair shot. I went into with the same mentality as always - that I would be back to Blackberry in a few days. I was wrong. I immediately began reading XDA-developers on how to root the device and after that, it snowballed. I was CONSTANTLY trying to find new ways to enhance the battery life and customize my device to my liking. I played around with many different ROMS and kernels (CM6, Baked Snack, Myn and a couple others) and had found Myn's Warm 2.2 RLS4 with Netarchy 2.1.1 CFS smartass kernel to be the best fit for me. That said, I blew through batteries each day unless I was in my home office had to carry an extra one every where I went. On Friday (12/24), I saw a post on Twitter about OS 6.0 for the 9650 and decided to give it a shot. Here is my comparison based on my usage of both devices.

Screen:

Blackberry: ample size for email and texting. Marginal for video like youtube.
EVO: Gorgeous clarity and perfect for watching videos and looking at pictures.

Battery:

Blackberry: stellar battery life....not only does it hold a charge well it doesn't take long to charge. I carry an extra battery in my bag but I can barely ever remember using it.
EVO: Terrible. I have seen so many posts about how folks are getting x hours of standby or sleep or whatever..point is, it comes down to how long the battery lasts as I use the device. I found myself checking percentage drain after leaving the device on all night after every change I made (kernel, ROM, etc.)....it became rather time consuming if you think about it. Everyone always says, "yeah, but it does so much more?" Well, I got tired of worrying what my battery life was going to do when I turned GPS on to use Navigation. You would have thought that the folks that manufactured these devices would have added a little extra juice.

Size:

Blackberry: nice design...good fit in my hand but keyboard is just a tad small (I wear a XXL golf glove).
EVO: large 4.3" screen great for media but a little big to carry around daily. Until the EVO I was a BB holster guy. Having the EVO on my hip felt like a small TV on my belt. I lost that clip quickly and will never carry ANY device on my hip again.

Keyboard:

Blackberry: quite simply, it is perfect. No device can touch a Blackberry keyboard, IMO. Even other Android devices with sliders are no comparison.
EVO: This was my first time using a touchscreen device for any length of time. I didnt care for stock, tried Swype (eh) and decided that SwiftKey was the best choice for me. I got used to touchscreen with no problem and while I wasnt as fast as I was on my BB, it worked fine.

Email:

Blackberry: again, cosmetics aside, email is great. With Blackberry and BES, you know what you are getting. There is no manual sync just to be sure that all email is there. One downside is the lack of mirrored sync. On activesync, you can delete an email in your inbox and it wont show up anymore on your device. Not so with Blackberry (unless this is a new feature in 6.0). I like how easy it is to reply (letter r), reply all (letter l) and forward (letter f) emails with Blackberry. Attachments are handled ok.
EVO: My company is on Exchange 2003 so no HTML email on the stock android mail app. I bought the Touchdown app and it was just ok. While I liked the HTML email via Touchdown it used a little more battery than the stock app. I like the fact that everything is mirrored (replica of inbox). On more than one occasion I noticed that email would sync only after getting into my inbox. Functionality seemed fine 95% of the time....but not 100%. Another small irritant of mine in Android is the fact that the cc field isn't in view automatically. You actually have to hit a button to put the cc field in and then add your address.

Messaging:

Blackberry: Blackberry messenger is awesome, no doubt. Problem is you are limited to those that use it. Texting on the Blackberry is fine also. In fact, I like it as much as Android because it acts just like the email app.

EVO: Until the EVO, I had very limited interaction with texting. Literally, 90% of anyone I communicated with was on BBM. I tried the stock app, Handcent and then finally ended up with ChompSMS. Texting vs. texting it's a wash on both devices.

Browsing:

Blackberry: browsing has gotten a bit better with 6.0 but it doesn't compare to the EVO. It gets the job done but it's just ok.

EVO: I love browsing the web on the EVO. I like the auto text resize capabilities of the stock browser and the overall experience is much better.

Calendar

Blackberry: Never had an issue with the calendar on a Blackberry.
EVO: I can count 8-10 specific events that just didn't show up on my calendar on my EVO...All from Exchange and all events were in Outlook. I need to know this will work 100% of the time. Period.

Contacts

Blackberry: KIS -Keep is simple is exactly what they do. Never an issue with contacts. Always integrated nicely with the other aspects of Blackberry. In 6.0 you can see all conversations/activities within each contact.
EVO: The "people" app on the EVO was ok. When I first got the EVO, everything wanted to integrate with more than one source....it listed Google, PC, Exchange......and I only wanted Exchange....again, never felt 100%.

Apps:

Blackberry: App store is just ok...nothing great to mention here.

EVO: Android market is awesome....lots of great choices for the many things that can be done with Android.

UI
Blackberry: Simple and non-descript. 6.0 adds a good amount to it but it isn't on par with Android.
EVO: I love the time and weather widgets on the home screen. I definitely miss that on Blackberry.

Social Media:

I manage my company's Twitter account as well as our Facebook account (along with my personal accounts of each). I simply love TweetDeck for Android. With Blackberry, I haven't found a combined app that functions anywhere close. I tried HootSuite but it wasn't a combined app...I had to go into Facebook and then into Twitter. (if anyone has a recommendation here, by all means speak up).

Security

Blackberry: No contest here. If I left my Blackberry in a cab, I would not be concerned at all knowing that I could call my IT dept and have it shut down immediately.
EVO: Not so much. I know there are IT policies that can be implemented and it's "pretty" secure. I am not the IT department BUT I just don't feel as secure knowing that it isn't a BES.

Miscellaneous:

I think it's only a matter of time before Blackberry puts a much better camera in their devices. That is a big part of my satisfaction with the EVO. I am a huge amateur photographer and take pictures virtually everywhere I go. Earlier today as was driving my father in-law's 4-wheeler in the snowstorm pulling my 5 and 8 year old girls on saucers I pulled out my Blackberry and could easily turn around and snap a few shots as i was driving. Safe? probably not but I couldn't have done that as easily (if at all) with the EVO. Another thing I noticed was the ability to dial numbers from websites and calendar invites. On Blackberry, it just works. On the EVO, it was hit or miss.

Overall, the EVO is a great device. I travel a fair amount so having a device like that that could entertain me on a plane was a great draw. I loved Angry Birds, Kindle app and a few more. Problem was I would use all of that and then land and not have any juice to actually work. One of the biggest irritants of the EVO was having to hit the power button on the top to turn the device on. Sounds petty, but that bugged me.

Last week, I ordered an iPad with some Marriott points and I have a feeling that it will serve as more than enough entertainment on planes (hasn't arrived yet). I switched back to my 9650 this past Friday and because of the nature of my business I just think that Blackberry is the better device for me.

I will leave you with one stat that I pulled directly from Xobni (those not familiar with this app for Outlook, you should definitely check it out). It's a great organizer for email within Outlook but also has some analytics that will boggle your mind. It may sound petty but from the first of the year until the day I switched to my EVO my average response time was less than 3 minutes for email. From the day I switched to the EVO until this past Friday my average response time was just under 6 mins....

Ultimately, there isn't one perfect device (in my opinion). For me and right now, it appears that a Blackberry will better serve my needs from a business perspective. Thanks for everyone's assistance on this and other Android forums....you all have been great....Happy New Year!

Last edited by yahtzee : 12-26-2010 at 06:02 PM.
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