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Old 03-23-2008, 12:30 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My Impressions on Switching From BB to iPhone 7 Months Later

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So last August I took the jump - went from a VZW 8830 to an iPhone with AT@T.

Was it the right decision for me? Ultimately, the answer is yes. But that doesn't mean I don't miss the hell out of using a BB.

What I like about the iPhone over the BB:

Web browsing. It's not even worth arguing - there is no browsing experience on any smartphone that can touch the iPhone's. If I ever switched back to a regular smartphone, I don't think I'd even bother looking at any sites unless I needed a score, the weather, or directions. The iPhone's browser and UI is incredible and incredibly fun. Even months after the newness of it wears off, I still find myself looking up things on my phone even when near a computer.

Multimedia. Yes, this really is the best iPod ever made. I can't tell you how fantastic it is to walk about town with just a single device on my person. I'll walk to the gym listening to some music. I'll get on a treadmill and watch a movie or TV show, then I'll go work out weights to some music again. Oh wait, wife is calling to remind me of something, bang right back to music - all without missing a beat, pun intended. It woks that seamlessly, that easily.

Calendar. The best calendar I've used. Because of the screen size, you get a monthly view along with that day's tasks. Setting up apps and tasks is super easy. Now, I want to be clear that in this catagory it's almost a push, but the iPhone's screen size gives it a slight edge.

Data package. Only $20/month for unlimited browsing/email. Sure, it's on EDGE but I have to say I've been pretty impressed with EDGE speed. Full websites actually download at a pretty decent clip. WiFi is also fantastic on the device. I strongly doubt the 3G version of the iPhone will charge only $20/month for unlimited, though.

As far as a phone, I've been very happy. This area I'm not going to bother going into beyond what I've just said because so much of it depends on your area's coverage. I will say that switching to AT&T has been problem-free. My coverage is as good as it was with VZW, and call clarity is virtually identical. Merging calls on the iPHone is a breeze, incidentally.

Okay, so what do I miss about my BB?

Email. Sigh. There really is nothing like BB email. However, I didn't need access to time sensitive email, thus it's not enough of a draw vs. the browser and iPod to bridge the gap for me. But I will tell you that for email there is no comparison between the two devices. Yes, I can get HTML email on my iPhone, but it doesn't matter because it's not PUSH and their email is as flaky as hell. Also, have I mentioned I can't mass delete on my iPhone? Granted they're correcting that in June, but it's just insane that so simple a feature wasn't included in the get go.

PIN messaging. My wife has a BB and this feature was invaluable in trading quick messages.

Curve. It's just a flat out sexy device and to this day I look at it somewhat longingly.

So now about the keyboards. Here's the deal: everything you've heard about iPhone's keyboard hasn't been accurate, at least to my experience. I two-thumb it very easily and my mistakes are practically zero. Jobs was right - once you learn to trust the keyboard and the autocorrect, you really do fly. I thought moving from a physical keyboard to a virtual one would be a huge pain, but that hasn't been the case at all. I'm now at a point where it would probably take some time to readjust to using a normal keyboard.

So there you have it from this iPhone switcher. The reasons I switched devices have been reconfirmed during the course of the last few months. I will say though that anyone thinking of switching over in a corporate environment when the iPhone gets Exchange support should think twice. This is a great device, but it is *not* as good as an "assistant" as a BB. That may all change once the App Store opens for business in June, but until there are more productivity elements available for the phone, I can't help but see it as mostly a consumer device, bordering on prosumer.
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