Voice quality on different BB's
I have had my share of problems with the voice quality on Blackberries and come to a couple conclusions for anyone looking to buy, switch or sell a Blackberry. I have had a BB since 07/05 and started with the Cingular 7100g model. Below are the conclusions I have come to with the 3 BB's I had or tried in the last 9 months.
I had no problems with data service on this model and was very happy with the blackberries ability to receive/send emails from the exchange server. The main problem I had was with the voice quality and people complaining about hearing everything else in the background. I run a business and after hearing friends and family comment on the lack of hearing me I was forced to use a bluetooth headset. The headset was working ok, but I could not leave it in 24/7 and needed to use just the handset half of the time. So I called the warranty dept after Cingular told me it was the phone and to exchange it. I called and got a brand new phone through the 1 year warranty and threw in the SIM card and made a call to find out the same problem was happening with voice all over again on this 2nd BB. I was forced to use the BB7100g until I heard about the launch of the BB8700c. I was one of the lucy ones to get one of the new 8700c when they came out around X-mas and switched over to that one.
I got this BB with all the intention of the voice quality being fixed after reading some reviews. I got the BB and started making calls to some friends only to find out that the same problem was happening again like on the 7100g. So once again, I called Cingular to ask what the problem was and they said call warranty and get a new phone to fix this problem. I called the warranty dept and they sent a brand new 8700c in the box and I had the same problems again with voice quality once again. The same people that I called to find out how it sounded said it was the same type of poor phone quality. People would not even want to talk to me when I was in my car driving, in a restaurant or in a store. The background noise was just draining out the voice quality and was just useless when in a crowded setting. The Bluetooth worked better and the phone ran super fast with edge and the full keyboard. I still have it and use a Razor for voice calls now and use the BB8700 for data.
My friend's wife got this BB recently and he said the voice quality was way better then when I used to call him on the 8700 & 7100g from Cingular. So I grabbed one of these phones to try out and see if the phone was any better on this BB for the 14 day trial Verizon gives when you buy a phone. I was amazed how much better the voice quality was on this BB. People had no negative comments and I could use this BB anywhere I wanted for this past week with success. The BB was just like a regular phone when people heard me talking to them on it. The EvDo was fast like edge and the service was great throughout Arizona. Now I am debating to cancel with Cingular and go back to Verizon so I don't have to carry the 8700 & Razor around with me everywhere. It was like night and day talking to people on the 7130e.
I don't have this BB, but my good friend does. He has all the problems I had with the 7100g from Cingular. Voice is terrible and people were always complaining about hearing him or him hearing them in crowded places.
So my conclusion about the 3 Blackberries I used is that I think Cingular's RF is just not working correctly in Arizona for the BB's I had. I got a Razor to keep on hand for the weekends when I am not getting email and that phone is perfect even with the windows down on the freeway. After trying the Verizon BB7130 I am just positive that the RF is bad with Cingular's BB's since it is pretty much the same BB as the Cingular 7100g.
Based on your descriptions here, I think you eluded to your problem: It must be the area you live in.
I have Cingular service as well. I have used the 7290, 7100g, and currently am using the 8700c here in upstate NY. I have had no complaints with my voice quality on any of these devices.
I have friends who have Verizon and they get weak signals as well as poor voice service all over the area here.
This does support the idea that each service provider has their own drawbacks and it can truely depend on the location(s) you use your device.
Thanks for the review, it's a great one.
Good Luck on Verizon.
In particular, the mic is poorly designed and really does no noise cancelling, making the phone useless in all but quiet environments. I don't answer the phone when I'm outside anymore. The 7130 design is different, so it could be that they fixed the mic problem (and some of the comments in these forums suggest as much). The 8700 has gotten reviews (e.g., see PC Magazine) that describe the voice quality as mediocre - this is pretty common with BBs IMHO. In addition to the work/personal issue, I think the voice quality contributes to why so many BB users carry more than one device.
My conclusion with respect to BBs and voice quality is that the 7100 is horrible, most other BBs are mediocre, and perhaps the 7130 and newer BBs have and will continue to improve on this aspect of smartphones.
I had the 7100t and never had a single person complain about poor voice quality. I uprgraded to the 4.0 firmware and I'm in the New England market. Don't know where all these 7100 users are having problems.
" but the 7100 series is known to have poor voice quality (search these forums and you'll see lots of people complaining, even wanting to write to RIM's CEO)."
My Nextel 7100i is very good for voice quality. I can hear clearly on it, even in DC mode. The people I talk to say I am loud and very clear.
Maybe it's Nextel here or maybe the 7100i, but the above statement is not all inclusive by any means.
I had the 7105t and i'm currently using the 8700g. I've never had anyone complain about my voice quality.
7100i sounds good here in FL
I too saw those complaints before buying mine, but I decided to take my chances.
My partner, who is about as good at evaluating these things as I am after 20 years running sound, says that my transmit audio, both phone and DC, lacks a bit of treble, but is otherwise as clear as you'd expect from a properly functioning digital codec, and my opinion of the receive audio is similar, on both the high and low speakers.
Is it perfect? No. Could it stand to be a bit louder? Can't it always? :-)
But is it serviceable?
Certainly it is.
I have had 2 7100t's and never had any complaints. I haven't used my 7105t as a phone yet (only data) so I don't know it's phone performance yet.
In my opinion the 7130e on Verizon in the New York and New England areas is a great phone.
Oh and its not bad with email either.
From a technology perspective, CDMA is superior at removing background noise. This could account for much of the difference you noted with the 7130e. However, I must agree: RIM needs to do a better job at improving the audio quality on their devices.
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