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Old 06-21-2007, 09:09 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Thoughts on My Verizon 8830

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After reading this and other forums I thought I would offer some comments about my Verizon 8830 BlackBerry. This is my first post so hopefully I will not make any errors.

I purchased the phone on May 28 and will pay $ 99 after I get my rebate check back. When I entered the Verizon store I was told that all the 8830 phones had been sold. I told them that I had reserved a phone and to check. There was a box with my name on it so I got the phone. I got an email on June 21 that that the rebate was being processed. I think $ 99 is a reasonable price for a multimedia BlackBerry.

Positive Comments:

I find the display to be exceptional as I can read it without glasses most of the time and in bright sunlight. The keyboard is useable in daylight and I have grown my thumbnails a little longer to improve typing. Typing in the dark is nearly impossible due to the blue backlight and my eyesight.

The 8830 has been extremely stable and I have not had to pull the battery.

The size is not an issue as I am willing to have a larger phone in order to have the larger screen and keyboard. I consider the size to be a reasonable compromise.

The media card caused me some problem due to initial errors on the microSD chip and the holder. The first 2GB card I bought did not work so I took it back to Best Buy and got another one. This one also did not work and I could not format it with the 8830. I took the microSD card out, put it into the SD adapter and then put it into the media card reader on a desktop. I used the Microsoft software to do error correction and then put it back into the 8830. It worked. My guess is that the microSD cards have “errors” on them and should be “cleaned” before initial use. The metal microSD holder came off and I had to put it back on. The card holder design could be better.

After getting the media card working I loaded some songs using the included Roxio software with out much problem after I found I had to first import the music using the import function. I was amazed at the quality of the speaker in the 8830. While it is not Hi-fi it is pretty good compared to the old transistor radios of my youth. I wanted a headphone and bought one at the Verizon store as it had the 2.5 mm plug. No issues with use and the stereo sound is very good.

I made a backup using the included software and again the interface is easy to figure out which is good as the documentation is lacking.

While a camera would have been nice to have I recognize that a camera means that I could not take my phone into some of the plants or facilities that I visit. I don’t miss the camera. I had a camera on my previous cell phone and took about 100 low quality pictures in three years.

The battery cover was not an issue as I read how to open it on one of the BlackBerry forums. If you do not know the “trick” it is difficult to open.

The included holster is very good and I see no need to get a different one. The design of the belt clip is very good as the holster does not “ride up” and then fall off the belt.

I have set up a blackberry email account and am not tied in with either my home or work email systems. As a result I have not had some of the problems that have been discussed in the forums.

Initially I had problems with the low volume, even when the profile was set to loud, on ringtones. I went in and found that the actual volume was set to medium which I changed to high in the profile. I do not find that I have a problem hearing the phone ring now.

I have played with the BB maps and find them to be very usable. The ability to enter an address, find the location and then zoom in and out to find out how to get to the location is extremely handy. At some point I will download the Google Map utility.

I have not had an issue with the battery but I initially discharged it and then recharged it. I estimate that with normal usage I would get about 4 days of use before I would need to recharge the battery. I understand that a CDMA phone will have less battery life than a GSM phone. I also notice that my phone seems to handle data faster than people I know with Pearls on T-Mobile or 8800s on AT&T. Again this is a compromise and I carry a charger with me.

Realistically the phone has worked better than expected considering I got one of the first phones sold to the public. Some of the issues discussed in the forums are expected with new equipment, however the problems should be all software updated away by October.

Issues:

I am extremely unhappy with the GPS function being turned off. As a business traveler I was planning on using the satellite GPS function to tell me where I was located. Using cell towers is not a good solution as Verizon does not have service in all areas (like parts of Canada) and in mountains the cell signal can be lost when traveling in valleys or cuts. I would not mind paying $ 10 a month for VZ Navigator if the satellite function was turned on and I could use the GPS function with BB maps and Google maps. I sometimes travel outside of the United States and the VZ Navigator maps do not cover the area. Remember this is a “World Edition” phone. If the satellite function is still crippled after Verizon starts their VZ Navigator service for the 8830 then I do agree that a class action lawsuit is the logical next step. I remember Verizon initially had a website describing the 8830 that had reference to GPS and false advertising or bait and switch may be the basis of a lawsuit.

The documentation that came with the phone is a joke. Luckily a lot of the phone functions can be figured out as they are logical. The amount of documentation on the Verizon and BlackBerry websites currently leaves a lot to be desired. My guess is that someone who would write an “8830 for Dummies” book could become fairly well off financially.

The current version of the system does not read and translate the new Microsoft Office documents. I received a .docx document as an attachment and could not open it. I assume that BlackBerry is working on this and cannot fault them unless it takes more than a couple of months to get the system updated.

I have not been able to load any videos into the phone and see them. This may be an issue of getting the proper software for my desktop to convert file types. Again the documentation issue rears its ugly head.

I am surprised at the amount of cleaning the screen requires due to my natural hair oil and ear wax. I wonder if the iPhone users will become unhappy as they will be dealing with both hair oil and finger prints. In any event I am not sure that I would want a phone with a touch screen.

Conclusion:

Overall I am extremely happy with the 8830 with the exception of the GPS issue. I do not plan on returning my phone because of it because the rest of the phone has met my requirements.

I am still trying to figure out what the two copper pads are for on the left side of the phone under the Convenience button. Anyone know? I have looked at the BlackBerry (RIM) and Verizon websites and have not found a clue.
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Old 06-22-2007, 12:14 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBOLTRAM View Post
After reading this and other forums I thought I would offer some comments about my Verizon 8830 BlackBerry. This is my first post so hopefully I will not make any errors.

I purchased the phone on May 28 and will pay $ 99 after I get my rebate check back. When I entered the Verizon store I was told that all the 8830 phones had been sold. I told them that I had reserved a phone and to check. There was a box with my name on it so I got the phone. I got an email on June 21 that that the rebate was being processed. I think $ 99 is a reasonable price for a multimedia BlackBerry.

Positive Comments:

I find the display to be exceptional as I can read it without glasses most of the time and in bright sunlight. The keyboard is useable in daylight and I have grown my thumbnails a little longer to improve typing. Typing in the dark is nearly impossible due to the blue backlight and my eyesight.

The 8830 has been extremely stable and I have not had to pull the battery.

The size is not an issue as I am willing to have a larger phone in order to have the larger screen and keyboard. I consider the size to be a reasonable compromise.

The media card caused me some problem due to initial errors on the microSD chip and the holder. The first 2GB card I bought did not work so I took it back to Best Buy and got another one. This one also did not work and I could not format it with the 8830. I took the microSD card out, put it into the SD adapter and then put it into the media card reader on a desktop. I used the Microsoft software to do error correction and then put it back into the 8830. It worked. My guess is that the microSD cards have “errors” on them and should be “cleaned” before initial use. The metal microSD holder came off and I had to put it back on. The card holder design could be better.

After getting the media card working I loaded some songs using the included Roxio software with out much problem after I found I had to first import the music using the import function. I was amazed at the quality of the speaker in the 8830. While it is not Hi-fi it is pretty good compared to the old transistor radios of my youth. I wanted a headphone and bought one at the Verizon store as it had the 2.5 mm plug. No issues with use and the stereo sound is very good.

I made a backup using the included software and again the interface is easy to figure out which is good as the documentation is lacking.

While a camera would have been nice to have I recognize that a camera means that I could not take my phone into some of the plants or facilities that I visit. I don’t miss the camera. I had a camera on my previous cell phone and took about 100 low quality pictures in three years.

The battery cover was not an issue as I read how to open it on one of the BlackBerry forums. If you do not know the “trick” it is difficult to open.

The included holster is very good and I see no need to get a different one. The design of the belt clip is very good as the holster does not “ride up” and then fall off the belt.

I have set up a blackberry email account and am not tied in with either my home or work email systems. As a result I have not had some of the problems that have been discussed in the forums.

Initially I had problems with the low volume, even when the profile was set to loud, on ringtones. I went in and found that the actual volume was set to medium which I changed to high in the profile. I do not find that I have a problem hearing the phone ring now.

I have played with the BB maps and find them to be very usable. The ability to enter an address, find the location and then zoom in and out to find out how to get to the location is extremely handy. At some point I will download the Google Map utility.

I have not had an issue with the battery but I initially discharged it and then recharged it. I estimate that with normal usage I would get about 4 days of use before I would need to recharge the battery. I understand that a CDMA phone will have less battery life than a GSM phone. I also notice that my phone seems to handle data faster than people I know with Pearls on T-Mobile or 8800s on AT&T. Again this is a compromise and I carry a charger with me.

Realistically the phone has worked better than expected considering I got one of the first phones sold to the public. Some of the issues discussed in the forums are expected with new equipment, however the problems should be all software updated away by October.

Issues:

I am extremely unhappy with the GPS function being turned off. As a business traveler I was planning on using the satellite GPS function to tell me where I was located. Using cell towers is not a good solution as Verizon does not have service in all areas (like parts of Canada) and in mountains the cell signal can be lost when traveling in valleys or cuts. I would not mind paying $ 10 a month for VZ Navigator if the satellite function was turned on and I could use the GPS function with BB maps and Google maps. I sometimes travel outside of the United States and the VZ Navigator maps do not cover the area. Remember this is a “World Edition” phone. If the satellite function is still crippled after Verizon starts their VZ Navigator service for the 8830 then I do agree that a class action lawsuit is the logical next step. I remember Verizon initially had a website describing the 8830 that had reference to GPS and false advertising or bait and switch may be the basis of a lawsuit.

The documentation that came with the phone is a joke. Luckily a lot of the phone functions can be figured out as they are logical. The amount of documentation on the Verizon and BlackBerry websites currently leaves a lot to be desired. My guess is that someone who would write an “8830 for Dummies” book could become fairly well off financially.

The current version of the system does not read and translate the new Microsoft Office documents. I received a .docx document as an attachment and could not open it. I assume that BlackBerry is working on this and cannot fault them unless it takes more than a couple of months to get the system updated.

I have not been able to load any videos into the phone and see them. This may be an issue of getting the proper software for my desktop to convert file types. Again the documentation issue rears its ugly head.

I am surprised at the amount of cleaning the screen requires due to my natural hair oil and ear wax. I wonder if the iPhone users will become unhappy as they will be dealing with both hair oil and finger prints. In any event I am not sure that I would want a phone with a touch screen.

Conclusion:

Overall I am extremely happy with the 8830 with the exception of the GPS issue. I do not plan on returning my phone because of it because the rest of the phone has met my requirements.

I am still trying to figure out what the two copper pads are for on the left side of the phone under the Convenience button. Anyone know? I have looked at the BlackBerry (RIM) and Verizon websites and have not found a clue.
Great review thanks. My 8830 is working fine also. Like you I want gps enabled all the time.
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Old 06-22-2007, 03:53 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Ditto on the copper pads. My guesses: a Bluetooth antenna or some kind of microphone... Possibly a tether for a camera-strap (feed it through one copper pad and out the other side, then feed the handle through the eyelet....does this make any sense?)
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Old 06-22-2007, 04:19 AM   #4 (permalink)
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This is only a guess - but I believe the brass contacts (copper pads) on the sides are for the Powerstation charger.

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UR
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Old 06-22-2007, 06:55 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleRobin View Post
This is only a guess - but I believe the brass contacts (copper pads) on the sides are for the Powerstation charger.

BlackBerry Accessories Store - Product Detail

UR
That was my understanding as well.
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Old 06-22-2007, 09:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Price?

How the heck did you get the 8830 for $99? I am out of contract and eligible for "discounted" pricing, but if I go online I only see $399 as the price with possibly a $100 rebate (not sure if that rebate applies). Is it cheaper in the stores? I was holding off buying one because of the price (my boss probably won't like me expensing that much, and if I don't expense it my wife won't like me paying that much out of pocket ) but if VZW can sell it to me for $99 net, I'll pay for it in a heartbeat.
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Old 06-22-2007, 11:36 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Default How Did I Get the 8830 for $ 99

Advertised price minus two year upgrade rebate as I was due a new phone and I went from regular cell phone to unlimited data service rebate. In addition my contract had been up for about 6 months and Verizon was upfront with what they would offer for me to sign up for 2 more years. It was very hard for me to turn down the offer as I figured that I would use most of the features of the 8830. This is in Houston and I do not know what may or may not be done in other areas.

I have been with GTE/Verizon for about 10 years and continue to use them because their network is better than the competition for the areas that I travel to. In addition, my family has four regular cell phones on a seperate Verizon family plan and that makes it difficult to move to another carrier.

My opinion is that Verizon is the least worst of the services for cell phone service. I will not offer an opinion at this time of their business ethics due to the chance that they may see the errors of their ways in regards to the GPS issue.
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