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Old 01-30-2008, 09:34 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 6 Month, 1 Sim Card, 1 iPhone, 1 BlackBerry, a Comparison

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Haven't been here for almost a year. When I came to this great forum last February I was the first 8800 customer and wrote an in-depth review here.


In June I bought and iPhone and had been using both my iPhone and a BlackBerry on the ATT network ever since. Today I have bought a curve, and would like to give a very unbiased comparison/comparative review for BlackBerry and iPhone.

1. How do I do it?
A SIM card with BB Data plan ($40 not including voice plan) can actually work both in a BlackBerry device as well as iPhone, since iPhone really uses an inferior plan. Only thing I have to do is to switch the SIM card. I will not be able to use visual voice mail on iPhone, but everything else (PUSH email on BB and EDGE on iPhone are fine).

2. Why do I do it?
Each phone has its strength and weakness and I will talk about them at length here. It has really become most convenient for me to switch between the two depended on my current needs.

3. Email:
Some people say iPhone has a superior mail. I think they are talking about the HTML capability and attachment reading. As for the email function of the device as a whole, BlackBerry certainly beats iPhone hands down.
a. iPhone has no off line reading of email. This is just incredible. An email that was downloaded once could not be read again, unless the said email is short. I had attempted to download emails that were 100+ pages in length (I dump ebook text into it), hoping to make it into an off line e-book, but iPhone has to negotiate every time.
b. iPhone can't perform search.
c. iPhone email does not automatically check itself, no matter what the setting tells you.
d. iPhone email takes a long time to read, because it does not display a portion of your email until the whole message is downloaded. If I receive a 9mb email with three 3mb pictures, it will freeze for a long time, attempt to download all images, before displaying the text content. This is extremely frustrating and practically rendering reading such large attachment emails impossible in EDGE area.

4. Media:
BlackBerry's media player, like every other cell phone, is childplay when it's compared with iPhone. There is not substitute for seven hours high quality movie/TV show playback on iPhone glass screen on a transpacific flight. Since I bought all my TV shows on iTune, it comes as no brainer to buy iPhone.

5. Desktop paper:
I like how you can get rid of all your icons on BB and display your favorite wallpaper. This is not possible with iPhone.

6. Camera:
iPhone has the best camera I have seen in any phone, period.

7. Volume:
What can I say? Loud volume is simply one of the MAJOR advantages of a BlackBerry. Speaker phone, handset, ringtone, they are so loud you can wake a dead horse. I never worry about not hearing my phone ringing on a screaming airplane.
iPhone on the other hand, completely fails. In fact, I use my BlackBerry every day as alarm clock because iPhone's alarm clock volume is only enough to wake up ants that live in my room.

8. Keyboard:
I still don't like iPhone keyboard. Granted, it's probably the best it could be on a glass surface, but nothing could beat BB keyboard, especially the type on 8700/8300 which each key is separate.
This really comes to me after a while, when I realize that every time when I am using iPhone, I don't have a desire to type emails. With a BlackBerry, o boy, I can write! I would even write essay, draft, on a BB because it has been almost as comfortable as a PC keyboard!

9. Interface:
iPhone definitely beats every non-BlackBerry out there with its extremely intuitive interface. However, due to its limited buttons, I find it frustrating, VERY frustrating actually, to not able to switch program or copy/paste, etc. In fact, I think another MAJOR advantage of BlackBerry is keyboard short cuts: Alt-Back, U-calculator, A-address book, O-option, M-email, etc. Using short cuts I can keep my screen completely empty.

10. Browser:
iPhone spoils me with its browser. I can finally access parts of the internet where BlackBerry is not invited to, such as banking sites, secured company sites, or airlines booking sites.
iPhone however is quite slow in loading those pages.

11. Battery:
Another MAJOR advantage of a BlackBerry is its battery, one that never dies, especially when compared with iPhone. Oh come on, let's not even go there.

12. Services:
Apple wins this one hands down. When my iPhone was broken by a stupid non-iPhone certified stereo, I brought it in to an Apple store, at 2AM. (I was a 24 hrs apple store on 5th ave when I was traveling in NYC.) They immediately gave me a new one in 10 minutes.

13. Toughness:
I wouldn't want to drop my iPhone to the ground.


So far, BlackBerry seems to beat iPhone to the stone age, no? Well, then why do I find myself switching to iPhone sometime?

14. Multilingual support:
Apple is an amazing company. Do you know any electronic device that has built in multilingual support, even at first generation iPod??? I was truly shocked when I saw my iPod mini in 2004 displaying Chinese character correctly on its black and white screen.

Yes, iPhone is amazing when you want to browse foreign websites. Since I receive many emails in East Asian languages, I would sometimes swap my SIM card to access those emails.

15. Secondly, do you know any phone that can receive foreign language text message natively? I don't, except iPhone.

I had used foreign phone in America that could input and output foreign language, but when you send the foreign text message to it within American network, it still fails. Not with iPhone, I can receive foreign text message from anywhere, may it be a Nokia 75 from ATT network or someone from another country, iPhone displays my sms in the correct language!

Simply amazing.

16. When I need to travel for pleasure for a weekend, instead of bringing my laptop, I feel comfortable to bring just my iPhone and a BlackBerry, because I know I can access all websites that I need to, and chat to people from other countries on iPhone for sure.

With Meebo.com on iPhone, I can easily chat with someone in foreign language. (Read foreign language and reply in English of course.)



This concludes my comparison of these two, I hope you enjoy it. I am looking forward to receiving my new curve tomorrow.

By the way, I want to thank ATT Wireless Office of the President as they always work wonders for me!
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Last edited by underskybb : 01-30-2008 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:44 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Very nice review, underskybb. I would say it is a fine detailed compilation of all the other comparison reviews I have read of the two devices head-to-head. I think there are a few things you might have not had knowledge of if you are not currently using a Curve to compare to the iPhone, but minor.

If nothing else, your review is absolutely thorough.

Where are you able to use your blackberry on an airplane, outside of the US, I suppose?

Last edited by JSanders : 01-30-2008 at 09:46 PM.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:55 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSanders View Post
Very nice review, underskybb. I would say it is a fine detailed compilation of all the other comparison reviews I have read of the two devices head-to-head. I think there are a few things you might have not had knowledge of if you are not currently using a Curve to compare to the iPhone, but minor.

If nothing else, your review is absolutely thorough.

Where are you able to use your blackberry on an airplane, outside of the US, I suppose?
You are right, I haven't had the chance to use one, but soon will (tomorrow). Can you tell me more specifically what are those things?
Sorry if this post is redundant...I guess I haven't been here for a while...
could you kindly delete the other duplicate thread I accidentally made? thanks~

btw, when I said "screaming airplane" I meant during taxi, when you are legally allowed to use. in fact, this is not true in foreign airport.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I am very impressed with this detailed comparison
You did an excellent job of pitting the two devices against one another for your specific needs, and I hope this does help many people. As JS said, the curve is a bit of a different animal (same with the Pearl 2) than the 8800, and is more of a Consumer oriented device. That not withstanding, still well done.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sith_Apprentice View Post
I am very impressed with this detailed comparison
You did an excellent job of pitting the two devices against one another for your specific needs, and I hope this does help many people. As JS said, the curve is a bit of a different animal (same with the Pearl 2) than the 8800, and is more of a Consumer oriented device. That not withstanding, still well done.
Thanks for the compliment. Can you tell me what exactly do you mean? Will I experience any drastic change in behavior b/t 8800 and 8310?
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:04 PM   #6 (permalink)
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It is not redundant, at all. It is quite a thoughtful review.

I think the Curve has better video than the 8800, playing full screen, for one thing. I don't think you will notice a "drastic" change with the Curve the 8800, but pleasant improvements.

I think your review proves one big point--that RIM is staying true to its origin as an dependable email machine. Their expansion into the consumer markets has been slower than some new users would desire, but that movement has been slow and steady, at least.

The one area missing from your review might be security.

Thanks again for your time and offering your review to our BBF users.

Last edited by JSanders : 01-30-2008 at 10:08 PM.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:13 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Wirelessly posted (BlackBerry8800/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

This is an excellent review! I will show this to customers considering each!

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Old 01-30-2008, 10:14 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSanders View Post
It is not redundant, at all. It is quite a thoughtful review.

I think the Curve has better video than the 8800, playing full screen, for one thing.

i think your review proves one big point--that RIM is staying true to its origin as an dependable email machine. Their expansion into the consumer markets has been slower than some new users would desire, but ithat movement has been slow and steady, at least.

The one area missing from your review might be security.
Thanks, I was worrying you would tell me that there is no more keyboard short cut. One thing I notice in 83xx is the usage of old 8700 battery. Do you think these batteries are outdated? I find the green battery in 88xx lasting longer than 87xx, but I might be wrong.

Speaking of RIM market, it still the best selling smart phone with iPhone being #2. I really don't worry about its consumer market, because I believe in the quality of its product. I think people will gradually realize when they have hand on experiences with both iPhone and BB. With iPhone, it attracts customers really well, but people generally find gaping holes in its function. With BB, it's more of a steady growing love as they discover how intuitive and reliable RIM's technology offers over a long period of time.
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Old 01-31-2008, 07:40 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The 88xx battery should last longer then both the 83xx and 87xx batteries.

I agree with almost all of your review. The only exceptions would be:

Battery life: I find the iPhone to have just as good battery life as my 8310.

Durability: Being all metal and glass the iPhone is tougher then it looks. Dropping it might make it look a little less sleek, but it probably wont break it.

Easy install of apps: Blackberry officially supports adding applications. Apple doesnt, yet.

GPS: I love that in my 8310. With the iPhone you need to leave wifi on to get an exact location. Even then it only really works well in areas skyhook has mapped out, like cities.

It is a very good comparison. Personally if the iphone got a little bit better for email (push, off line viewing, mass delete, copy/paste), got louder and had real GPS I would make the switch. I am very happy with my 8310, but you are right when you say the iphone is almost a laptop replacement. Oh well, we will see what the 2nd generation brings for the iphone!

Until then I have the best of both worlds with an 8310 and a iPod touch!

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Old 01-31-2008, 08:55 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Excellent comparison. I only had my iPhone 10 days before I moved on to the 8310, and but for the big glass screen (and Web experience) the Curve is superior in all ways. It's a shame you can't have the class and spice of the iPhone and practicality and reliability of the Curve. The problem is most likely that screen. The iPhone's screen is its blessing and curse - you just can't do that AND give someone a quality PHYSICAL keyboard in the same device, at least not yet.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:01 AM   #11 (permalink)
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This is a really good comparison. The problem with the other comparisons/reviews I have read, is they come from a devout fan of one of the devices, and really skews the review. This review appears to have none of that. Thank you for taking the time to post it.
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Old 01-31-2008, 09:07 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underskybb View Post
14. Multilingual support:
Apple is an amazing company. Do you know any electronic device that has built in multilingual support, even at first generation iPod??? I was truly shocked when I saw my iPod mini in 2004 displaying Chinese character correctly on its black and white screen.

Yes, iPhone is amazing when you want to browse foreign websites. Since I receive many emails in East Asian languages, I would sometimes swap my SIM card to access those emails.

15. Secondly, do you know any phone that can receive foreign language text message natively? I don't, except iPhone.

I had used foreign phone in America that could input and output foreign language, but when you send the foreign text message to it within American network, it still fails. Not with iPhone, I can receive foreign text message from anywhere, may it be a Nokia 75 from ATT network or someone from another country, iPhone displays my sms in the correct language!

Simply amazing.
Just an FYI. The BlackBerry also has great east asian language support - both reading and input. I receive numerous e-mails in Chinese daily. Simplified and traditional chinese displays perfectly on my 8320 (and on my previous 8700). I also can input chinese characters on my 8320 (and on my previous 8700) through all the various input methods.

East Asian language support is not included in an American cell phone carrier's version of their Blackerry OS. However, it is very easy to download and upgrade your Blackberry OS to one that natively supports east asian languages (Chinese, Japanese and Korean).
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Old 01-31-2008, 10:39 AM   #13 (permalink)
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To chime in as another blackberry to iphone back to blackberry convert I think this review really does hit on numerous key points.

I've had the curve for 48 hours and I'm already at ease with my conversion. As an early adopter of all the latest and greatest devices I can happily say I can see myself sticking with the curve for the foreseeable future.
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Old 01-31-2008, 06:20 PM   #14 (permalink)
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1. Thank you guys for your inputs, and I have learned much!

2. Since GPS is not included in iPhone, I am not going to compare the two, otherwise there are many other things one could compare and say one is better than the others (e.g. push to talk for BB, multitouch for iPhone, etc.)

Furthermore, BlackBerry GPS (I used 8800 in comparison) is quite slow. In Google Map for example, often time the location wouldn't update, or update slowly, not real time as my Garmin. Also, if you forgot to exit Google Map, GPS is left on and the battery drains quickly. iPhone, although lacking GPS, has the new triangular method, that does not require wifi. This only gives a general location, not exact as BlackBerry.

3. I just discovered the world of OS hacking and installed (successfully) the Chinese OS onto my curve (just now!). I am really, really happy to see Chinese characters on my BB! Oh Gosh, now I can read hours of Chinese ebooks from website! That's awesome!

4. Battery life for iPhone is good as BB, IF you don't watch movie or access wifi on it.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:13 AM   #15 (permalink)
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underskybb,

Can you recommend some websites for Chinese ebooks.

Sorry this is sort of off topic here.



Thanks in advance.
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Old 02-01-2008, 02:14 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Hi, sorry I don't really know any. Only Chinese ebook I read is Jin Yong and I have all 40 vol in html. I just make my own "ebook." I read them over and over and over...probably 12x already in the past 15 years. I never get tired of reading them!

Jin Yong - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 02-01-2008, 09:07 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by underskybb View Post
2. Since GPS is not included in iPhone, I am not going to compare the two, otherwise there are many other things one could compare and say one is better than the others (e.g. push to talk for BB, multitouch for iPhone, etc.).
Could you please include items that were not compared since they are features found on one device and not the other? Even though they cannot be compared, the list is still a factor in deciding what device to go with.

I would really like to see this be as complete of a review as possible, so I can use it with clients and associates when they are trying to make the decision.

Again, great job on the review!
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Old 02-01-2008, 12:27 PM   #18 (permalink)
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This review is very helpfull. I carry around my ipod touch and bb 8800. Typing on the ipod touch is actually good for me. The mail application is incomplete thought. I use it to send pictures to famliy from my ipod. I just wish you could create an email then attached all the pictures you want in one email. The email app is whats killing me. until apple figures that out i will always carry both.
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Old 02-01-2008, 01:39 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Wow. Excellent. Thanks for taking the time to do this review.
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Old 02-07-2008, 05:22 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramsy View Post
Just an FYI. The BlackBerry also has great east asian language support - both reading and input. I receive numerous e-mails in Chinese daily. Simplified and traditional chinese displays perfectly on my 8320 (and on my previous 8700). I also can input chinese characters on my 8320 (and on my previous 8700) through all the various input methods.

East Asian language support is not included in an American cell phone carrier's version of their Blackerry OS. However, it is very easy to download and upgrade your Blackberry OS to one that natively supports east asian languages (Chinese, Japanese and Korean).
Ramsy: I too have the 8320 and (in spite of trying many times) have not been able to get the CJK to work on the Curve. How did you do it? I really need Japanese reading/input, but I would settle for reading only. If I can't get it to work, I will probably switch to iPhone--precisely for the reason that Underskybb makes, that iPhone with Safari is natively capable of reading/writing in many non-English languages.
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