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Old 11-26-2005, 02:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default My Amateur Review of the 8700r

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Specs:
GSM/GPRS (EDGE) Quad Band 850/900/1800/1900
Estimated talk time: up to 4 hours
Estimated standby time: up to 16 days
Display: Large (320 x 240 pixel), bright high resolution LCD colour screen with light sensing technology
Keyboard: Backlit 35-key QWERTY keyboard with dedicated send, end, convenience, power and mute keys
Processor: Intel® PXA901 at 312 MHz
Memory: 64 MB flash memory plus 16 MB SDRAM
Bluetooth v2.0

RIM has again, proven why their devices are so affectionately referred to as "CrackBerries".

Form Factor:
The 8700's form factor is a bit of a hybrid in that it is not as wide as 7290 but not as thin as the 7100, enabling it to avoid the compressed keyboard of the 7100. The keyboard is a bit more cramped but it just took some getting used to, I am at 90% of the speed I am on my 7290. A very nice feature taken from the 7100 was the dedicated "Send" and "End" keys, I too often hung up on people by accident while trying to wrestle my 7290 out of its case. With these two above improvements it definitely gives the 8700r more of a phone like feel but without having to sacrifice the fully functional keyboard. For the first time on a BlackBerry there is not only one, but two programmable convenience keys. One sits between the "End" and "Send" keys and the other, ominously sits on the side... where a Push-To-Talk button might sit. hmmm.

Screen:
One of the most notable and noticeable changes, is the screen, boasting 360 x 240 pixel resolution, up from 240 x 160 pixels on the 7290. It also has an intelligent light sensor which will adjust the backlight brightness based on your lighting environment. This is a great improvement over the 7100 which had a similar bright, vibrant screen but you couldn't see anything on the screen in sunlight. Despite the dazzling screen, battery life is as good as the 7290. Impressive.

Performance:
This device is indeed EDGE enabled which means blazingly fast data transfer. Now for alot of people this probably isn't a huge deal, but for geeks like me, it makes a world of difference. With EDGE this opens the door for me using my BlackBerry as a modem, for Instant Messaging, with a multitude of 3rd party applications (with or without BES) and surfing to forum, directory or mapping sites. Something that is never mentioned in BlackBerry reviews is it's reliablity, it has become assumed that BlackBerry creates devices that are stable and reliable. Well this unit is no different, its just about time someone noted it in a review, instead of just assuming.

Pros:
In BlackBerry OS 4.1 they have now added a feature that allows you to hide your sent messages, you can now mimic your inbox exactly without your sent messages cluttering it up.

Being able to create Exceptions under profile to assign a ringtone to a specific caller

312 Mhz Intel Processor

Cons:

They put the SYM key to the right of the Space key where the CAP key used to sit, this took me a long time to get used to for some reason.

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Old 11-28-2005, 09:09 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Battery is same as 7290!? thats a great great great thing!
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Old 11-28-2005, 09:20 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rjharary
Battery is same as 7290!? thats a great great great thing!
It depends on usage.

If you use it a lot at maximum brightness level, then battery life could become shorter than 7290.

If you use it at backlight brightness levels similiar to a 7290, battery life can be better.

If you use it the same as an average 7290, battery life seems similiar.

If you keep it on standby quite a lot and only turn on the screen occasionally, battery life is much better (Something like up to 2 weeks standby time, I heard?)

The 8700 backlight at minimum setting (10%) is still brighter than the 7280. I recommend setting backlight to 30-40% and if you need 100% backlight occasionally, just press the power button twice to get max backlight brightness only when you need it.

Do not forget to account for the 'novelty' factor -- you will use your 8700 a lot more in the first few days. That will artifically lower battery life usage. The fact that battery lasts longer for some users despite this, is good news -- however, some first time users browse for hours and that really eats up battery life (not to mention, bandwidth!)
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Last edited by Mark Rejhon : 11-28-2005 at 09:23 AM.
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Old 12-01-2005, 11:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Features:
1) Send appointments over MMS

2) Assign ringtones to specific people

3) Hide sent msgs

4) Mp3 with limitations

5) BT desktop sync

6) Snooze option in Calendar
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:09 AM   #5 (permalink)
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After 2 days with my 8700r, I prefer it to the replaced 7290 & 7100r.

The only thing I am seeing negative is that battery life does seem down.
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Old 12-02-2005, 12:22 AM   #6 (permalink)
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try using marks guidelines above.. it definitely makes a difference.
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Old 12-03-2005, 03:33 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Ohh I have had a few BlackBerries in my day but this one takes the cake! Once people see the new 8700 it is going to be like when the iPod mini came out – people will say yup I NEED ONE! I have had mine for a few days and I could not be happier with it. The only thing I miss is the arrow keys – I can’t find them anymore – I know ALT Thumbwheel but it is just habit and I find myself entering in @ a lot .

Cheers,

Eric
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Old 12-04-2005, 08:16 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I'm also pretty happy with it.

I do worry about the 25 Mb cap with the rogers 'unlimited' plan - its going to be real easy to bust that.

Battery life seems down. I managed in a heavy usage day to drain my battery almost 100%. I never got close on my 7290, although I think I did manage to get close on my 7100.
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Old 12-04-2005, 08:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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what's an Ipod mini?
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Old 12-05-2005, 10:28 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by robhawley
I'm also pretty happy with it.

I do worry about the 25 Mb cap with the rogers 'unlimited' plan - its going to be real easy to bust that.

Battery life seems down. I managed in a heavy usage day to drain my battery almost 100%. I never got close on my 7290, although I think I did manage to get close on my 7100.
I heard a rumour from a good source that Rogers will be changing their BB plan to true unlimited for $60.
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Old 12-05-2005, 03:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by carsmovies
I heard a rumour from a good source that Rogers will be changing their BB plan to true unlimited for $60.
That should better d**n be true. About time! (I said goodbye to $1,000 last year in overage bills)
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Old 12-05-2005, 04:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Default Not so lucky I think

Mark,

I think what they are doing is that there is UNLIMITED for the first 3 months when you sign up. Following that the two asterisk rule applies:

** Rogers Wireless reserves the right to limit usage and charge $7 per additional MB for excessive usage over 25 MB of data per month.

Who knows – I read your discussion on this and I think they are still going with the overage charges. With the EDGE and a few good apps that take advantage of being a wireless device you may see a change of heart. If they can have unlimited voice calling for evenings and weekend – I don’t see what the big deal is for the loyal users. Perhaps they are afraid of VOIP on the BlackBerry and then that would cut into their voice side. VOIP on EDGE – uhhh I don’t think so – not yet .

Cheers,

Eric


Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Rejhon
That should better d**n be true. About time! (I said goodbye to $1,000 last year in overage bills)
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Old 12-06-2005, 09:09 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Rogers is seriously considering it now for two reasons

4.0 uses up more data

8700 high speed. its like dial up to high speed. people will use it more now. I heard its coming as well they are trying to put together a case for it.
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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It's also to compete with the less expensive Bell data prices.
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Old 12-06-2005, 12:56 PM   #15 (permalink)
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No slot for an SD card, or any type of card fro that matter. No WiFi. No camera (not that I am complaining).
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Old 12-06-2005, 03:20 PM   #16 (permalink)
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i have never checked out bell prices are they cheaper then the Rogers ones. I just don't like CDMA
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Old 12-06-2005, 08:06 PM   #17 (permalink)
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I'm interested to see my first full bill with the 8700r. I was usually about 15-20Mb on my 7100/7290 and it _seems_ like I am using a good amount more, but how much I am not sure. I would assume most of my data is e-mail and that really shouldn't be different.
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