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Old 04-27-2005, 11:23 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 7290 - How is it really as a PHONE?

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This site has been so helpful - I am about to go out and get my new BB and was dead set on the 7100g when I took some time to compare it side by side with the 7290 and I have to say - I am almost leaning towards the 7290...my main worry is that I keep reading posts that if you want a phone and do some email, get the 7100 but if you want more email and some phone, go with 7290. Well - I need BOTH as I travel and need a good quality cell phone and use email a lot while traveling.

So - my question to all 7290 users - how difficult is it as a phone? Reception, usability w/o a headset (I know it is oddly shaped, but not THAT much larger than the 7100)

I see it does not have the small Send/End buttons, but since you can just type the numbers and push the scroll button, why do you need the send button?
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Well I know everyone has their preferences. I just got my 7250 which is supposedly pretty close to a 7290. I love it. I'm on verizon and so far the phone has been wonderful.

I've been with flip phones, nokia type phones, I even had two different Windows Pocket type phones: Samsung i700 and another I can't remember now. Both crashed, the phone sucked and the so called "data service" was basically dial up.

I've only had my BB for a few days but so far I'd never go back. I love the thing. Bluetooth has been pretty good with a Jabra BT250.

It does take some getting used to. I would not recommend trying to dial while driving. But I have been able to select a number from the list and make it go. I try really hard to never do that though if I can avoid it.

The buttons are small but having everything in one package is a plus for me. When its in the holster on my side it actually is better than a flip phone. It's flatter. I love it.

Probably my only complaint is that it is a slippery beast. I've ordered some grippies for it but it should have those built in.

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Old 04-27-2005, 11:30 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The 7290 is great as a PHONE. Works perfectly. Best RF I've had on a GSM/GPRS BlackBerry and I love it.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:33 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I appreciate the quick responses guys. That's what I am wondering as I like the feel a little bit more than the 7100 as that seems a little too light and "plasticky" to me. So voice quality has been good too?
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:37 PM   #5 (permalink)
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I want to know the same thing too.

Is the 7290 okay as a phone? The last BB I had was the 6280 and the incoming, in-ear sound quality was just okay. The 7290 any improvement?
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:37 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Yes. I've used both a Motorola HS-810 Bluetooth headset and the wired ear piece. Volume is fine and quality is quite good.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:39 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NJBlackBerry
Yes. I've used both a Motorola HS-810 Bluetooth headset and the wired ear piece. Volume is fine and quality is quite good.
What about without a bluetooth headset? Just plan blackberry to ear?

The 6280 had a good deal of hissing (which is okay) but I could hear a good deal of random garble every so often.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I have never had hissing on the 7290. I am on T-Mobile. No garble. The occasional dropped call, like every other mobile phone in the US, where the GSM networks stink.
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:52 PM   #9 (permalink)
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NJ,

That is good to know... !

Any other 7290 fans have the same experience?
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Old 04-27-2005, 11:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Never had hissing on the 7290, but I wouldn't call the earpiece an upgrade over earlier models. I would rate it about the same as the 7230/7280/6280.

If you want a Blackberry with a decent earpiece, you must buy the 7100g/t. It is excellent.

7290 is usable as a phone but a Jabra bluetooth headset is an absolute must. Now with the 7100g I only use the bluetooth when driving.
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Scotty - do you find the screen too washed out in daylight?
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Old 04-28-2005, 12:29 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Default I like it ...

I have a T-Mobile 7290 and it feels and works great as a phone. I used my 6710 as a phone for years w/o any earpiece or headset and it was fine too. I think I can hear a little better on the 7290 since the ear speaker holes are a little bigger. The 7290 is shorter and fatter but it feels pretty good.

I'll be getting a BT headset and a car kit soon.

There's no substitute for being able to combine your contacts, email, calendar and phone in one unit. It's awesome. Mike
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:33 AM   #13 (permalink)
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7290 is a great phone. good for emails and the volume is not bad at all. works well with the hs810 as stated above. Also, very sturdy. mine has taken a couple of falls.....at 10 mph on concrete. yet, minimal scratches and nothing broken. the screen isnt washed in the daytime with the 2nd (most powerful) backlight on. go for it.
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Old 04-28-2005, 01:56 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow fellas. Now I'm really getting the Blackberry itch again!

I already got my M3000 Plantronics BT headset based on the good reviews in the BT thread (what a deal, cheep cheep). Now I need a worthy wireless unit to go with it!
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Old 04-28-2005, 04:36 AM   #15 (permalink)
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I'm using the 7290 on Cingular in NYC. No RF problems, ear piece volume is too low. In a car it is fine but trying to use it on the street in Manhattan is a challange. No hiss in the earpiece but there is a hiss with bluetooth headsets. I've used it with the HS810 and HBH-300, both work very well; fast connection, but noticable hiss.
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Old 04-28-2005, 07:48 AM   #16 (permalink)
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I'm using a 7290 on Rogers, and am very happy with it as a phone and e-mail device... I use a Jabra BT200, and I agree with the comments from others abou the volume being a bit too low for use in some noisier environments, although sometimes that has a lot to do with the person on the other end as well...

Realistically, I don't think that the 7100 has all that much over the 7290 in terms of technical specs as a phone (ie, things like RF signal quality, audio quality, etc). It has a few more phone-like features, such as user-replacable ringers and so forth, but from a purely technical quality point of view, I think the two devices are pretty on par with each other.

I think the real reason that people tend to get a 7100 if they're looking "primarily for a phone" is that the form-factor and keypad is much more like a cell phone, and is therefore attractive to people who primarily want a phone.

As someone else who uses both functions heavily, I would suggest a 7290 as the better choice, simply for the full-size keyboard if nothing else (I've tried the 7100's SureType, and although I'm sure I could get used to it, I wouldn't even think of trading in my full qwerty thumb keyboard for it).
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Old 04-28-2005, 08:24 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I Currently have the 7100 and 7290.

I was a phone guy till I started a new job where we support BB. I finnally got the BB itch and decided to change over.

I cant seen to make up my mind as far as sticking to one device. I seem to change back and forth every week or so.

They are almost the same technically, but different formfactor and screen. What keep drawing me back to the 7100 is the screen is so vibrant and its feel like a phone. But with the 7290 it feel more like a PDA and some days I feel like having a PDA to reply to long emails and add alot of memos. (Its the one currently on BES as well)

I use a HS810 with both and it work flawlessly. I find the reception on the 7100 a bit better. The 7290 seems a bit crackly at times.( I refuse to put the 7290 to my head..lol)


I still cant choose one though. If you a phone guy go for the 7100. if you want a tru PDA then get a 7290
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:13 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by deadfan
I have a T-Mobile 7290 and it feels and works great as a phone. I used my 6710 as a phone for years w/o any earpiece or headset and it was fine too. I think I can hear a little better on the 7290 since the ear speaker holes are a little bigger. The 7290 is shorter and fatter but it feels pretty good.

I'll be getting a BT headset and a car kit soon.

There's no substitute for being able to combine your contacts, email, calendar and phone in one unit. It's awesome. Mike
Somehow T-Mobile CSRs or Sales Reps are unable to definitely say if they are offering the 7290. After reviewing and reading this forum and a few others for the last several days i have decided to get a 7290. but it generally seems like not many sales reps are offering this.

If anyone knows a good source please pm me.
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:19 AM   #19 (permalink)
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I also have nothing but praises for the 7290, it's the first cellular phone I have that doesn't drop calls the second I go inside the elevator in my apartment building. Great volume even for someone that has slight hearing problems and it works great with a Nokia HDW-2 BT Headset.
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Old 04-28-2005, 11:22 AM   #20 (permalink)
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i am a heavy email(2500) per week and a heavy voice user (1000) per week and i use the 7290, with the hs 810 hset, it doesnt matter, what you use the phone is probably the best ive used, as it has the biggest internal antenna onthe market. only problem with the 7100 is the suretype. unless you are a great speller, it will be a pain in the ass a lot of times. if you are a 1-2 line emailer, doesnt matter, but if you use slang or type quite a bit, go with the 90. no regrets. for the time being, stay away from a car kit. we recommend the motorola, but there still are some compatibility issues, the parrot is really ugly. wait on the moto/rim patch and you will love the moto car kit.
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