note: this type of thread may have been posted already, but i haven't been around this forum in a few months so bare with me..
This is from a recently posted review of the 7290 based on my 3-4 months of using it. I gave it 3 out 10 stars. There may be some typos and basic mistakes (I wasn't sure of the actual RIM software in the 7290 but I knew the 7230 and 7280 used 3.7 versions) but what do you guys think?
I've been a T-mobile customer since 2001 and I previously owned the 7230 (for 1.5 years), and upgraded to the 7280 (owned that for 6 months or so), Then this June 2005 I upgraded to the 7290 for the bluetooth functions and the hope that the 4.0 software would fix all the minor gripes I had with the previous RIMs (also the 2 stage bright color LCD backlight).
Anyway, little did I know thatT-Mobile recently revamped their entire network from the way voicemail is handled to their signaling towers.
That combined with the annoyingly defunct 4.0 RIM software has made owning this phone a nightmare...read on. PROS:
Compared to the previous blackberries the 7290 has the most prolific screen in terms of backlight brightness (the 2 stage is awesome), and richness of color. The keys are also easy to use and the home or basic menu are very user friendly when combined with the key layout and scroll wheel. The size and OEM case of the blackberries make them snug and easy to clip on carry with just about any outfit from business attire to lounging on your deck with only your boxer shorts on. thats it for pros. CONS: 1:
Bluetooth is awful. It ONLY works with selected Bluetooth headsets. SO if you are planning on trading information between the 7290 and your bluetooth laptop or Palm/Pocket PC like I did, forget about it. It frankly doesn't work and its a waste of extra money and battery life spent for this feature. Even with the best bluetooth headset (Motorola HS820) there is, the 7290's sound clarity, battery life and user friendliness all was very poor. The Bluetooth menus and prompts only slow things down and are useless; the 7290 4.0 RIM software is set up to ask you "ARE YOU SURE?" in a yes/no pop up menu for just about everything it does. And you cannot configure it to not do that. 2:
Battery Life was okay, but way lower than the 7230 and 7280 even with Bluetooth and Back lighting off. After a day of average use (20-40 minutes of talk time with bluetooth on, 10-20 mins online, 5-30 mins of backlight on) you go home with about 60% to 70% battery life left. The next day without charge and similar usage will deplete the battery to about %30 to %50. The third day the phone will die on you.
Not good at all. 3:
Lots of 4.0 RIM Software Bugs + T-mobile = Horrible service, poor/slow/unreliable voicemail and data functions. Some days I have no signal in the middle of NYC for hours at a time. Then between T-mobile and the RIM 4.0 set up, there is NO voicemail notification set up. So if you get a voicemail, you have to dail into voicemail to see if you have voice messages. The 7230 and 7280 would leave a text message notifying you of the time, date and amount of messages you have recieved. The T-Mobile 7290 for reasons unknown to myself and to T-Mobile's poor customer service does not inform you of voicemails. That is probably my biggest gripe. Missing important voice messages because of this has been costing me money, time and friends since I've owned the 7290. 4:
T-mobile's new customer service is also horrible when it comes to smartphones and data plans. If you have a problem you have to go thru some minimum wage farm boy in Arkansas who has no idea of what a smartphone is and then he transfers you to some tech dude in Pakistan or India who tries really well to help you, but may or may not speak english well to fully assist you. And the ONLY help you'll get after 30 minutes of back and forth is "turn your phone off and reset it". I BLAME T-mobile for all of that. I have no idea what they are doing anymore, but I'm switching to the cingular plan. 5:
Poor Build quality: The OEM RIM case actually scratches the grey color off the back of the 7290. I took it back to T-Mobile and the service guy didn't believe me until he took a good close look at his own grey 7290 and saw that his 7290's color was being scratched off by the OEM case. Then a saleswoman in the same store showed us her 7290 and it had the same inherent flaw. $349 spent and wasted...go figure. BOTTOM LINE:
The 7290 is a great smartphone on paper and is an ideal tribute to the infamous RIM Blackberry line of awesome products. However, when coupled with T-Mobile's recent awful service and very limited/poor customer service this phone is not worth $5.00 much less $349.00. All the prime 4.0 software functions such as bluetooth, data software, and battery life have inherent flaws and limits that leads me to reject T-Mobile's 7290 for any possible reccomendations. Do NOT waste your money and time.