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Old 03-04-2012, 12:16 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 9300 vs 9360 - wi-fi hotspot (OS 7.1?)

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Sorry, complete noob question here. I'm just about to get a basic Blackberry phone for my daughter (as she wants BBM to talk to all her friends) but I'm an Android person myself <ducks>.

I'm pretty sure I know the answer to this from reading some of the threads here, but just wanted to check with the experts that the OS required to operate a mobile wi-fi hotspot on a Blackberry phone is OS 7.1 (which will allow her to get network connection for her wifi-only tablet occasionally). However the 9300 phone seems to be only able to run OS 6, meaning no wi-fi hotspot, so we'll need to get her a 9360 instead, correct? I know she'll need a reasonable data plan, I'm guessing at least 500MB/month (at home she'll always use our home wi-fi network).

I'm probably going to go with Virgin Mobile UK, as we have our home phone/broadband from Virgin and there's a decent deal with them. Are there are network-specific or locking issues regarding upgrading a 9360 to OS 7.1, or will I just need to download and run the relevant software from this site?

Thanks for your help, and sorry if this is all obvious to the old hands here.

Andre
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Old 03-04-2012, 02:00 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: 9300 vs 9360 - wi-fi hotspot (OS 7.1?)

Regardless of the model you select they all will need a Blackberry Data plan not a standard cell data plan. Once you have the phone, using the available WIFI connections will lower your data use for applications that use WIFI.

Before doing an upgrade in OS be sure you read the various pros and cons. I would never load any OS unless it's absolutly needed.



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andrewilley (03-04-2012)
Old 03-04-2012, 05:45 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: 9300 vs 9360 - wi-fi hotspot (OS 7.1?)

Thanks for the link; I guess that explains why, as someone who likes to be in control of my technology rather than the other way around, I did not buy into either iPhone or BB myself.

But my daughter wants Blackberry Messenger (which as far as I can tell is proprietary, and thus Blackberry's one main killer app) so that's what we need to get. I assume the semi-mandatory Blackberry data plan (why do they feel simple TCP/IP is not suitable for their users I wonder?) is included in the data allowance provided as part of Blackberry tariffs, yes? And that when she's at home, our home wi-fi will automatically be used by the phone for all data traffic, in preference to using the 3G cell connection?

The reason I believed we needed OS 7.1 is, as I understand it, that it's required in order to be able to use a Blackberry phone as a wi-fi hotspot (so her 3G data allowance can occasionally be shared to allow her to use her wi-fi tablet while out and about). Again, at home the tablet automatically logs into our home wi-fi anyway, so wi-fi tethered data usage won't be massive.

Am I correct in the above assumptions? And also that the 9300 cannot handle OS 7.x at all, and thus I'll need to get her a 9360? If the 9300 is sufficient she's actually more than happy to go with that - mainly because it comes in a wider variety of colours! ;)

[Edit] One other quick question (sorry!) - as UK customers, when roaming in the USA obviously we'll turn all cellular data OFF for the duration, but we will have wi-fi access at the hotel and at other times; I assume that everything on the phone will work normally for her in that situation (BBM, apps, POP3/SMTP email, etc)? And texts/picture messages while roaming should go via GRPS so they won't need to use a normal data connection.

Andre

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Old 03-04-2012, 06:02 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: 9300 vs 9360 - wi-fi hotspot (OS 7.1?)

Not all phones can support Hotspot service. I'm not sure but I believe it takes some extra hardware also. I purchased an ATT Elevate to do hotspot support. My Cell service runs good but nothing near the 7 to 9 megs download I get with the Elevate device. I dont know if it available in your area but if this is the primary need you might want to check around and even consider a different cell phone
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Old 03-05-2012, 05:20 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: 9300 vs 9360 - wi-fi hotspot (OS 7.1?)

Thanks again. Wi-Fi Hotspot is certainly not going to be the phone's main function, I just want to ensure that whatever model we buy will be able to do it if/when required. I know the 9360 is compatible with OS 7.1 which supports this feature, but could anyone else confirm whether the 9360 hardware is compatible too? And also that the lower specced 9300 does NOT support OS 7.x?

Sorry for all the questions, as I said I come from an Android background where these things have just been taken as read for many years now, I wasn't aware that Blackberry isn't really a 'smartphone' in the current usage of the term (although it's trying to move that way) but much more of a specialised device that does what it's designed to do very well, but I guess you need to learn what it's meant to be, rather than making assumptions (which is what I'm trying to avoid here).

Andre
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:01 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: 9300 vs 9360 - wi-fi hotspot (OS 7.1?)

I do have a 9360 via O2 and its currently stuck on 7.0 due to O2 not realeased 7.1 as of yet. You are correct in that the 9300 can only go up to 6.0.

You are also correct in thinking that you do need 7.1 to use the Wifi Hotspot feature but as you are well aware, it's up to the carriers (Virgin in your case) to make that available, what ever phone you use.

The 9360 is a lot better of a phone, if not for anything else the screen is 100% better due to more pixels on the screen itself.
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:02 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: 9300 vs 9360 - wi-fi hotspot (OS 7.1?)

Correct, the 9300 will not support OS7. In general, if the device can support OS 7.1, then it will do the hotspot service. However, some carriers in other parts of the world force customers to pay for an additional tethering/hotspot data allowance before the service can be enabled.
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