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Old 12-28-2007, 04:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
ubizmo
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Location: Philadelphia
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Default Sidekick LX vs. BB 8320

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I currently have a Sidekick LX, and I'm considering switching to the Curve. I'd like some information to help decide. First, some information about me: I'm over 50, and I'm an academic. I've had Sidekicks since they came out, starting with the black & white model. In fact, I've never used anything else. So, as you may imagine, there's a fairly strong "habit" factor in place, and obviously I'm not completely unhappy with the Sidekick platform, since I've stayed with it since 2003.

So why am I considering switching? I use email a lot, including several POP accounts. Until last spring sometime, POP email service for the SK was generally quite good. The mail was dependably collected every 15-20 minutes, and there was a keyboard command to force fetch mail in between the regular collections, if necessary. For reasons unknown, this started to deteriorate last spring. Since then, POP mail collection times are unpredictable, varying anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. I could have mail forwarded to the native SK push account, but in so doing I lose the ability to have it sorted into separate folders. Moreover, when I do that it becomes more complicated to turn mail accounts on and off. I like to be able to do turn off my high-volume university account at times, so I'm not getting work emails in my face 24/7.

I use the SK web browser a lot, and although it's not terrible, there are some sites that don't display right. Google mobile, for example, displays "missing links" on my SK--links that should be there just don't show up. A few other web sites do the same. The SK doesn't really handle frames, and its javascript support is sketchy. Even my bank's *mobile* site doesn't really work well on the SK browser. I've heard lukewarm reviews of the BB's built-in browser, but people seem to like Opera mini. I haven't had a chance to play with it, however, so if anyone has anything they'd like to say about it, or any other browser for the Curve, please do. Does it do different ways of rendering pages, etc?

And incidentally, if one installs a different browser on a BB, is it possible to uninstall the built-in one, to free up space?

I'm not a heavy IM user, but I am an occasional user. I gather, from browsing here and elsewhere, that Jivetalk provides an IM experience comparable to the SK's.

I use the camera a lot. The difference in megapixels isn't important, since I rarely print photos. From what I've seen, the lens/image quality is comparable between the LX (which is much better than the SK3 was) and the Curve. The LX with T-mobile has a 2 MB limit for email photo attachments. Does T-mobile impose the same limit on the Curve? I ask that because the 2 MB BB camera would generate larger image files, which would entail fewer attachments per email.

Video recording is rumored for the LX, and from what I can see it's rumored for the Curve too.

One of the biggest factors in my hesitation to switch is the SK keyboard, which is the best in the industry, in my opinion. The Curve keyboard seems adequate, but I'm not thrilled with having to use ALT to get punctuation and numbers; I guess it's a trade-off. The SK is not much good for one-handed operation. But I'm a very heavy user of auto-text on the SK. I have hundreds of abbreviations of common words, and using these I can type pretty fast. And like many other things on the SK, the auto-text entries are saved on the servers, so if my device resets, or if I upgrade to a new one, they come back OTA. I know that the BB doesn't do OTA backup, but I'd like to know if auto-text entries are synced via the desktop manager. If not, that would be a deal-breaker.

The SK has a calendar and simple to-do list that are, unfortunately, not integrated. I use the to-do list to keep track of when bills need to be paid. How might this sort of thing be handled on the BB?

One of the drawbacks of the SK is that downloads are limited to what's in the Catalog. This is the one place where the "kid" orientation of the device affects me. There are a lot of games and not much productivity software. A decent text editor (never mind word processor) with basic features such as find and replace, would be nice. Is there anything like that for the BB? And is it possible to upload and download files to a service such as Yahoo Briefcase? You can't do this using the SK browser.

I guess that's enough questions for now. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Incidentally, I'm still under contract with T-mobile, so if I do switch, it won't be to another carrier.
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