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designinme 05-24-2009 12:33 AM

Initial thoughts after 1 Month with 8900
I just wanted to give some initial thoughts regarding the 8900 after owning this blackberry for 1 month. I previously owned the iphone, pearl, 8300. I came from the iphone directly. My carrier is Cincinnati Bell.

I use my phone very often, and one of the things I noticed very quickly was the battery life on the 8900 is fantastic compared to the iphone. The difference is night and day. Many times with the iphone I would get to work and the battery was already half dead, and I charge my phones nightly so I am always at full charge in the morning.

Overall operation is fantastic and the improvements of the screen, processor speed, OS, over the pearl and 8300 really make a huge difference. I love the ability of blackberry's to merge all messages into a single folder. The iphone was horrible with messaging, the keyboard really lagged behind my typing speed. While I am on keyboard discussion, the 8900 took me about a month to really get used to, and that was with heavy usage. I have medium size hands, and I knew it was going to take some practice. During lunch hour I forced myself to write emails and text messages using the 8900 as often as possible, along with evening texting and emailing replies. I would average probably 50 texts a day, and maybe 15 emails. After one month of heavy usage I am flying with the keyboard.

Applications. I know the 8900 doesn't have the application support that the iphone does, but for me, I mainly use sms, email, web browsing, music player, mapping.. more on applications in a minute.

Overall at this point I find the 8900 to be the BEST phone I have EVER used. Now, if I could just wiggle my nose and make a few improvements.. I know a dream.. but just out of pure wishful thinking, I think the 8900 with some extra engineering could actually gain some screen space by moving the buttons down the phone into the silver area surrounding the phone. Also.. the screen could be stretched. Obviously this is wishful thinking, but I am guessing in the future blackberry is going to probably increase the size of the screen and try to remove the dead space from top to bottom to gain maximum footprint usage for the screen.... or we can wish.

Back on applications. I will not leave blackberry in my current situation because of one program. I don't care at this point what phone were to come out in the future, unless it is a blackberry, I am sticking with the 8900, or any other blackberry phone for the sole purpose of using IdeaMatrix and ToDoMatrix. These two programs I have been using as a trial for the past few weeks, and I have to say these programs ALONE with make me stick with blackberry. My productivity and task management is amazing with these two programs from personal life to work life, and I find myself using this program 50% of the time the blackberry is being used.

A friend of mine asked me my opinion about the device in regards to the iphone and what I told him was " I was amazed with the iphone, but the iphone didn't have a keyboard.. a real one. I think apple has really limited themselves with the iphone because of the lack of a few extra keys. By not having a few extra keys, not counting a real keyboard... functionality is greatly limited. I can go into greater detail, but I won't. If you use both for a long period of time, things like copying images, pasting in long URLS into emails, typing extensive emails with the keyboard, and battery life just don't make the device truly productive. Now that could have changed.. maybe it has on newer models, but not having a real keyboard is a real dealbreaker for me.

The 8900, is the best phone I have ever used, and will take an amazing blackberry at this point to even get me to consider upgrading. Maybe in a couple years.. but it will be another blackberry, and it will be one that supports the two matrix programs. You would have to pull this device out of my cold dead hands.

Pros -
1.Fast- Check email, answer a call, write a sms, back to web on wifi, I RARELY wait on the phone to catch up to me and what i am trying to do
2.IdeaMatrix ToDO Matrix - A must have if you have not used these programs
3.Screen quality is fantastic
4.Keyboard - Takes time to get used to, but I find it MUCH better than the 8300 series
5. Battery life.. easily 2x better than iphone, maybe 3 times
6. Call quality is fantastic
7. Size and weight is great, I highly suggest a good case
8. Web browsing is much quicker on this device compared to the Iphone 2G
9. The OS is very refined, and overall gives a much better "feel" to the phone over previous models

1. Build Quality - RIM should really consider using better materials in building these phones. These are not cheap devices, and adding a case makes the phone instantly "feel" more durable, but they should put more effort into making the device feel like it is capable of heavy usage for at least a year or two
2. Battery Cover - It wabbles, I shouldn't have to add a small piece of medical tape to a $400 phone to make it not wiggle around.
3. USB port being at the bottom side of the phone makes it hard to type while charging
4. Auto spell checking - I think in a business phone like this, it is a NO BRAINER that this phone should have automatic spell checking on the system level to correct spelling mistakes made by trying to type fast. I mentioned this in a previous thread, but I feel that RIM is really missing out here, and people would not shy away from the keyboard being so small if slight character typos could be automatically fixed without needing to stop your email and go back to check spelling mistakes. I vote for a automatic spell checker/typing correction similar to the iphone

Overall, my cons are small, and the positives far outweigh my nitpicks. If you are on the fence about this phone, don't hesitate.

BallHawk3 05-24-2009 01:48 AM

The phone have spell check. The first one is autotext. Which automatically changes "common" mis-spelled words. But that's more of things like if you type "a c n" instead of "can" it will change it. Try it, I'm typing from my bb and it won't let me type "a c n" (type without spaces) cause it keeps changing it. Then there's the option for spell check where it gives suggestions if you hit the menu key and do spell check. You can also have it active while typing. So it will be like microsoft word where unrecognized words will be underlined as your typing. That's under options and spell check and make sure "check spelling while typing" is checked.

lovescakemix 05-24-2009 02:47 AM

i think the build quality is a lot better than the previous curve

dankarlinski 05-24-2009 05:27 AM

Wirelessly posted (My Bold)

Good to hear that we snagged another from the iphone. Love that you love the berry.

and even though the berry has a much smaller app size than the iphone, and they do usually cost more than on the iphone, I personally guarentee that they are much better integrated and much more effective on the berry

rifleman 05-24-2009 09:39 AM

Glad to see another convert from the blasted iPhone.

o2mpx 05-24-2009 11:18 AM

Very nicely written review. Completely agree.

I use an iphone during weekends, and when traveling so I can listen to podcasts, music and view videos on planes. During the week, it's Pearl 8120.

I've tried many other devices, trying to upgrade and just wanting a change as I've used a Pearl since 8100 then now 8120. Nokia E71/E63/E75, Palm Centro Pro, BB Storm 9500/Pearl Flip, but always came back to the Pearl for its small size and larger keys for ease of typing. The iphone main flaw is keyboard, for business email, and my volume is roughly 20-40 a day, the virtual keyboard lacks the tactile confirmation. The Storm had the tactile but was very heavy and weighed down in my pant pocket. The Nokia's all had keyboards, but again, suffered from weight, and their keyboards are nowhere near as easy to type as the larger, since there are 2 letters to a key, Pearl suretype.

I just ordered a Curve on eBay, it'll be my second try at it. The last one I had tried for about a week, and since the keys were smaller than the Pearl's, perhaps I didn't use it long enough during the less than a week's trial, as it was ordered for someone else at work. Hope it works this time after I give it more time.

orangepit 05-25-2009 09:33 AM

I wholeheartedly agree with your comments. Nicely written and sums up the pros and cons of the phone quite well. Being a long-time Nokia, Motorola, and WinMobile Devices, recently switched to BB (8900), I find the phone very pleasurable to use.

There's a but coming...

I'm rather astonished at the rather poor implementation of message notification management at this point in the development of blackberries. I work in an environment that relies on VM as much as e-mail and text messaging, yet there's no practical way to distinguish an incoming Voicemail aside from getting the standard text message stating such receipt. Why can't RIM add a "voicemail" feature to the tone profiles is beyond me. No other phone I've used - EVER - had a missing audible VM notification system. None! Rather baffling that RIM doesn't address this issue.

Regardless, the phone is a very nice unit and very capable as well. It suits my needs but there's much to get used to in terms of the VM issue (I find myself missing VM's on a regular basis - sometimes dealing with irrate clients that believe I'm purposefully ignoring their voicemail messages).

Ah well.

2Curious 05-25-2009 10:18 AM

Wirelessly posted

If VMail messages are that important to you and your business, I'd suggest subscribing to a type of service. Then you could get your messages sent as wav attachments to an email. Then listen to it right on your BB.

o2mpx 05-27-2009 02:50 PM

Been on the Curve for a couple of days now. Working out well. Don't know what happened when I tried it last time, but now I feel the phone is not too heavy, downloaded several Today's themes free from Dylan's Themes (thanks Dylan), as I like having upcoming calendar entries and messages listed without going into the apps to check that the Today's themes offer.

Reception seems to be better than the Pearl 8120 and browser is faster as well.

Still not sure why the center where the trackball is and the surrounding 4 keys are concaved into the body of phone. Getting more used to the full qwerty compared to the suretype although I can still type faster on the suretype.

Have set it up on BIS to make sure I like it before having the IT guys put it on BES with enterprise activation. Using BT sync with laptop for calendar and contacts. Since I'm using 1 work and 3 other personal emails, had to wipe and reset 3 times as I was getting multiple calendar entries between Outlook for work, and the livemail calendar until I read a forum post about either deleting the CAL service books for the email addresses I don't know calendar functions for.

Bought an 8GB memory card, will try the media sync with itunes is next.

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