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-   -   Sidekick LX vs. BB 8320 (http://www.blackberryforums.com/iphone-android-other-handheld-forum/111436-sidekick-lx-vs-bb-8320-a.html)

ubizmo 12-28-2007 03:34 PM

Sidekick LX vs. BB 8320
 
I currently have a Sidekick LX, and I'm considering switching to the Curve. I'd like some information to help decide. First, some information about me: I'm over 50, and I'm an academic. I've had Sidekicks since they came out, starting with the black & white model. In fact, I've never used anything else. So, as you may imagine, there's a fairly strong "habit" factor in place, and obviously I'm not completely unhappy with the Sidekick platform, since I've stayed with it since 2003.

So why am I considering switching? I use email a lot, including several POP accounts. Until last spring sometime, POP email service for the SK was generally quite good. The mail was dependably collected every 15-20 minutes, and there was a keyboard command to force fetch mail in between the regular collections, if necessary. For reasons unknown, this started to deteriorate last spring. Since then, POP mail collection times are unpredictable, varying anywhere from 10 minutes to several hours. I could have mail forwarded to the native SK push account, but in so doing I lose the ability to have it sorted into separate folders. Moreover, when I do that it becomes more complicated to turn mail accounts on and off. I like to be able to do turn off my high-volume university account at times, so I'm not getting work emails in my face 24/7.

I use the SK web browser a lot, and although it's not terrible, there are some sites that don't display right. Google mobile, for example, displays "missing links" on my SK--links that should be there just don't show up. A few other web sites do the same. The SK doesn't really handle frames, and its javascript support is sketchy. Even my bank's *mobile* site doesn't really work well on the SK browser. I've heard lukewarm reviews of the BB's built-in browser, but people seem to like Opera mini. I haven't had a chance to play with it, however, so if anyone has anything they'd like to say about it, or any other browser for the Curve, please do. Does it do different ways of rendering pages, etc?

And incidentally, if one installs a different browser on a BB, is it possible to uninstall the built-in one, to free up space?

I'm not a heavy IM user, but I am an occasional user. I gather, from browsing here and elsewhere, that Jivetalk provides an IM experience comparable to the SK's.

I use the camera a lot. The difference in megapixels isn't important, since I rarely print photos. From what I've seen, the lens/image quality is comparable between the LX (which is much better than the SK3 was) and the Curve. The LX with T-mobile has a 2 MB limit for email photo attachments. Does T-mobile impose the same limit on the Curve? I ask that because the 2 MB BB camera would generate larger image files, which would entail fewer attachments per email.

Video recording is rumored for the LX, and from what I can see it's rumored for the Curve too.

One of the biggest factors in my hesitation to switch is the SK keyboard, which is the best in the industry, in my opinion. The Curve keyboard seems adequate, but I'm not thrilled with having to use ALT to get punctuation and numbers; I guess it's a trade-off. The SK is not much good for one-handed operation. But I'm a very heavy user of auto-text on the SK. I have hundreds of abbreviations of common words, and using these I can type pretty fast. And like many other things on the SK, the auto-text entries are saved on the servers, so if my device resets, or if I upgrade to a new one, they come back OTA. I know that the BB doesn't do OTA backup, but I'd like to know if auto-text entries are synced via the desktop manager. If not, that would be a deal-breaker.

The SK has a calendar and simple to-do list that are, unfortunately, not integrated. I use the to-do list to keep track of when bills need to be paid. How might this sort of thing be handled on the BB?

One of the drawbacks of the SK is that downloads are limited to what's in the Catalog. This is the one place where the "kid" orientation of the device affects me. There are a lot of games and not much productivity software. A decent text editor (never mind word processor) with basic features such as find and replace, would be nice. Is there anything like that for the BB? And is it possible to upload and download files to a service such as Yahoo Briefcase? You can't do this using the SK browser.

I guess that's enough questions for now. Thanks for any help you can offer.

Incidentally, I'm still under contract with T-mobile, so if I do switch, it won't be to another carrier.

LunkHead 12-28-2007 04:40 PM

My 1st advice is to go get the 8320 and play with it... T-Mo gives you 2 weeks to decide... If it's not for you, then return it and get a FULL refund...

Next..... The Sidekick is a toy and the 8320 is a tool

I type like a madman on the 8320 and it is easily the best BlackBerry to date!

More.... I can care less about cameras on devices, video capture, media cards, and media functions... They mean nothing to me and are nothing more than a gimmick in my book... If I want to take a photo I use a real camera and if I want to record video I use a real camcorder... That's just me and I know many love these features..

More, more..... The BlackBerry is an email and messaging machine! Standard pop email will arrive within 15 minutes on BIS, Gmail and the username @ tmo. blackberry.net email arrive almost instantly.. I have never had a Sikekick so I have no clue about it and can't compare it...

Lastly..... See 1st advise about getting the BB to play with for 14-days... Pop SIM into BB change over to BB data plan and play for 13 days... If you no like, return for full refund.....

Kris

ubizmo 12-28-2007 08:00 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LunkHead (Post 788252)
The Sidekick is a toy and the 8320 is a tool

Quote:

I have never had a Sikekick so I have no clue about it and can't compare it...
That didn't stop you, however.
Quote:

If I want to take a photo I use a real camera and if I want to record video I use a real camcorder...
I felt the same way at one time, but I don't carry a camera with me everywhere, and I've taken hundreds of photos that I wouldn't otherwise have, simply because there's been a camera in my phone. I've come to value that. Perhaps someone can answer the question I asked about attaching photos to emails.

This may not have been the right place to post my questions, but I thought that since it's a "comparison" kind of question it belonged here.
Thanks for the information about the email performance. That's helpful.

Grammer 12-29-2007 12:49 AM

I agree with LunkHead's advice about trying it out for the two weeks, and I am sure that you will fall in love with it.

Email on a BB can not be trumped. It is the best around bar none.

Jivetalk provides a great IM experience, but for your part time needs as you stated the built in clients should work just fine.

As for the camera, there are 3 size settings, as well as 3 quality settings.

Large (1600 x 1200)
Medium (1024 x 768)
Small (640 x 480)

Superfine
Fine
Normal

Taking smaple pictures of the same item with the same lighting, the largest file size was 602kb (large & superfine) and the smallest was 22kb (small & normal). I sent an email containing 8 images with a total size of 2946kb so I do not believe you need to worry about the limit. It did take a decent amount of time to send (several minutes) but it made it flawlessly through to its destination.

Video recording for the curve has been confirmed by a few sources if I am correct with an upcoming OS update, and if you plan to use the camera, video or other media features of the phone buying a micro sd memory card is greatly advised.

You will get used to the smaller keyboard and I personally find that my 8320 if very easily used one handed. Autotext is included, and syncs when you back up your device, so there should be no fear of losing your personlized text shortcuts.

BB's calender and to do lists are integrated, and sync with Outlook or several other programs. There are also many software suites that offer document editing, everything from word docs to spreadsheets.

Sorry about the last question as I have no experience nor knowledge regarding the use of a blackberry and yahoo briefcase.

Hope that helps with your decision, and I am fairly sure a new user will be joining those of us that are addicted!

Happy Holidays!

LunkHead 12-29-2007 05:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ubizmo (Post 788483)
Thanks for the information about the email performance. That's helpful.

I wont reply to the other comments you made.....

Actually the only helpful advice in my entire post was for you to go pick one up for a 14-day trial period...

If you can't see how that's the best option then I have nothing left to say...

Have a great day and welcome to the BBF....

Kris

Dawg 12-29-2007 06:16 AM

Ive used both and the BB smokes the sidekick all day long. I have three friends who swore by the SK, they took my blackberry 7100i at the time and played with it they are now on their third blackberry. They said the same thing that lunk did the sk is a toy the bb is a true work tool in comparison

ubizmo 12-29-2007 06:56 AM

Thanks to all for the info. Knowing that my 100s of auto-text abbreviations of most common words are backed up, in the event of a reset, is heartening. And knowing that T-mobile allows sending of more than 2 mb of photo attachments is also useful. I like to use the highest settings and email photos to Twango for storage. This is the sort of thing I do in the evening, while the device is on the charger, so it's not important if it takes a while.

The SK browser allows uploading of photos to photo sites, but no other uploading or dowloading. Therefore Yahoo Briefcase isn't an option. If I'm traveling, and I use a BB text editor to work on a text, I want to be able to store it on the web. With the SK my only option is to use a web-based tool like Writeboard, which isn't an option on a plane however. That's why I'm interested to know whether the BB browser can upload (and download) things like text files.

I get the point about trying the BB for a couple of weeks. Before I do so, however, I need to make sure I can get my current plan back if I decide not to keep the Curve. I still have a promotional SK plan from 2003, and it's a very good deal at $39.95 a month for unlimited data, 1,000 texts, and 200 minutes. I don't know if I'd get that plan back. I know I can't come close to that with the Curve, but I'm willing to pay more if I feel the advantages are worth it. I wanted to get some basic info here first. I've used a Curve for an hour or so. I think I could get used to the keyboard, but it would frankly be a downgrade. The Curve's screen is much better than that of all previous SKs, but not as good as the LX's. Keyboard and screen are two vital aspects of any handheld, I think we can all agree. But adaptibility is also important, and here the SK platform loses. Not only is the Catalog selection poor but the *kinds* of apps sold in it are limited. There's nothing, for example, like a dictionary that requires a database installed on the SD card. Speaking of which, I have a 2 gb micro SD that I could use on the Curve.

Edit: this person's email questions, http://www.blackberryforums.com/gene...questions.html never got answers, 2 years ago, but I'd also be interested in knowing the answers.

aiharkness 12-29-2007 08:11 AM

On the questions in that other thread, ubizmo, the blackberry does not send and receive email in the conventional sense. Unless the data network is turned off, email is delivered to the blackberry automatically. One can access web email (say Yahoo) via the browser or, in the case of Yahoo, via Yahoo Go!, but there's no point with a blackberry as it's more convenient to use BIS internet email setup.

I'm not aware of a way to create separate email folders, except I have read here of separating BES email with an after-market app. Otherwise, there will be separate foldes for each email account you have created in BIS. And all email will also appear the messages folder which contains all messages (SMS, MMS, PIN . . .).

ubizmo 12-29-2007 09:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aiharkness (Post 788896)
I'm not aware of a way to create separate email folders, except I have read here of separating BES email with an after-market app. Otherwise, there will be separate foldes for each email account you have created in BIS. And all email will also appear the messages folder which contains all messages (SMS, MMS, PIN . . .).

I'm not sure I understand, so let me describe how the SK does mail and maybe somebody can explain how the BB is different...

Every SK account comes with a native "tmail" account (since T-mobile is the only carrier). That's a near-instantaneous push email account. In addition to that, we are able to set up (up to) three POP accounts, and to specify the folder into which the mail from these accounts goes. The recent OS update allows these folders to be assigned to tabs, if desired. SMS is in a different place.

All email is constantly auto-synced, so that if my device resets (or if I have to replace it), all mail comes back once it's activated. Total email allowance for all four accounts, however, is 6 mb (I am "grandfathered" with 8 mb because I was an early adopter). As I mentioned in my first post, POP mail is theoretically collected every 15-20 minutes, and you used to be able to force collection in between. Last spring POP collection times began to be erratic, but I have to say that this week they've been good again. The force fetch option no longer works.

A lot of people set up a gmail account that forwards to their push tmail folder instantly, and they configure the mail app to reply usng the gmail address. This allows them to use the SK as a gmail device, and to archive the mail off-device. I do this myself and it works well. I also use the POP accounts however, and it's important that the mail lands in the different tabs. If I understand what you wrote above, the BB mail client works similarly. Is there a way to force collection of POP mail between automatic collections?

As I understand it, the amount of mail the BB can hold is limited only by the space on the SD card.

aiharkness 12-29-2007 09:15 AM

Methods of Receiving Email on BlackBerry - BlackBerryFAQ

Email is not sync'd with the blackberry. Email from your @carrier.blackberry.net address, is pushed to the blackberry as it is sent to you. It is only kept at the RIM server until it can be delivered to you. If you delete it, or lose or trash the blackberry, that email will be gone unless you have backed up the blackberry.

Your other BIS email (Yahoo or gmail, your ISP account, whatever you setup) is grabbed (my word) by RIM servers and sent to your blackberry. It still is in your Yahoo inbox or whatever you are using, so this email will not be lost if something happens to the blackberry.

When you set up email in BIS, service books are pushed to the blackberry. Folders for each account are created on the blackberry. Using yahoo as example again, you will have a yahoo folder, but yahoo email will also show in the message folder. The message folder shows everything: PIN messages, SMS, MMS, all emails, and even including phone log, if you enable that setting.

ubizmo 12-29-2007 10:09 AM

This is all very helpful; thanks much. The BB email system sounds similar to the SK's, but with more reliability and options, and no doubt security. I've looked in the FAQ and elsewhere, and I take it there is *not* a way to force collection of POP mail before the next scheduled collection. Another thing that I mentioned in the first post is this: I have one high-volume POP account that I keep turned off until I'm ready to look at the mail. On the SK this is easy enough. In mail settings, there's a check box "Collect mail from this server" and I just have to uncheck it. Can this be done on the BB as well, or do I need to use the Desktop Manager to activate and deactivate POP accounts?

Can voice memos be emailed? I've looked at the FAQ and I gather (not sure, though) that there is some sort of voice note/memo application; I can't tell if they can be attached to emails.

Looking at the threads on this forum, I get the impression that a lot of people prefer the built-in browser to the Opera Mini, and I think I have the answer to my question about uninstalling the built-in browser and using just Opera: No.

If I'm in an area where there's no service and I compose an email and try to send it, does it queue up and send when service becomes available? This is how the SK works, and I've sometimes composed a dozen emails during a flight, which get sent as soon as we arrive. I like this feature.

The OS on the SK LX allows the user to select the screen font size for the browser and for the rest of the system independently. The font itself cannot be changed. It's pretty much the same on the BB Curve, I take it?

aiharkness 12-29-2007 10:23 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ubizmo (Post 788995)
. . . On the SK this is easy enough. In mail settings, there's a check box "Collect mail from this server" and I just have to uncheck it. Can this be done on the BB as well, or do I need to use the Desktop Manager to activate and deactivate POP accounts? . . .

No.

Quote:

Can voice memos be emailed? I've looked at the FAQ and I gather (not sure, though) that there is some sort of voice note/memo application; I can't tell if they can be attached to emails.
I know there is voicemail capability. I don't use it. Don't know the details. Hopefully someone else will answer this.

Quote:

Looking at the threads on this forum, I get the impression that a lot of people prefer the built-in browser to the Opera Mini, and I think I have the answer to my question about uninstalling the built-in browser and using just Opera: No.
There is an entusiastic fan base for OM here. I've tried it several times and never kept it. I believe the two advantages are rendering regular website pages (vs mobile) and access to secure web pages in some instances. But no need to uninstall the native browser (and you probably can't, anyway; for certain only until you have to resend service books). There will be reasons to keep it, anyway (off the top of my head, I'm thinking browser push services, perhaps).

Quote:

If I'm in an area where there's no service and I compose an email and try to send it, does it queue up and send when service becomes available? This is how the SK works, and I've sometimes composed a dozen emails during a flight, which get sent as soon as we arrive. I like this feature.
Yes, to a degree. If you are out of service for a long time, or the service is weak and fading in and out, the send may fail. But you will be able to see that, and you can resend.

Quote:

The OS on the SK LX allows the user to select the screen font size for the browser and for the rest of the system independently. The font itself cannot be changed. It's pretty much the same on the BB Curve, I take it?
The font size and type can be set, indpendently. I believe the browser font is default, only, meaning the default font is used if the web page does not specify the font. I could be totally wrong on that, but that's the way it appears to work.

LunkHead 12-29-2007 05:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by ubizmo (Post 788865)
I need to make sure I can get my current plan back if I decide not to keep the Curve. I still have a promotional SK plan from 2003, and it's a very good deal at $39.95 a month for unlimited data, 1,000 texts, and 200 minutes. I don't know if I'd get that plan back.

From Sidekick dial 611 and ask customer service rep... If they say you can change back to the SK plan if you do not lke the Curve then have them note this on the account and get the persons name..

Kris

ubizmo 12-29-2007 05:57 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by LunkHead (Post 789395)
From Sidekick dial 611 and ask customer service rep... If they say you can change back to the SK plan if you do not lke the Curve then have them note this on the account and get the persons name..

Kris

Yes, I've tried this and got conflicting answers. I'm leaning toward getting the Curve, based on what I've read here. I'll just have to take the risk. There are some things about the SK platform that I like better, but the availability of software for the BB is compelling.

LunkHead 12-29-2007 05:59 PM

Ask to speak with a manager and get them to approve you changing back to the SK plan if you do not like the Curve... Have manager note this in the account... That way you can at least get the old plan back if not happy with the Curve...

ubizmo 12-29-2007 06:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aiharkness (Post 789006)
No.

No I can't do it or no I don't need the Desktop Manager to do it?

aiharkness 12-29-2007 06:38 PM

Wirelessly posted (8700g: BlackBerry8700/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

Quote:

Originally Posted by ubizmo
Quote:

Originally Posted by aiharkness (Post 789006)
No.

No I can't do it or no I don't need the Desktop Manager to do it?

Sorry, I meant no to the first part of your question.

There is the ability in options to disable data while leaving voice enabled. This will prevent email delivery while in disabled state, but so is all data (i.e. browser) also diabled. However, email will be delivered when data is enabled again.

aiharkness 12-29-2007 06:45 PM

Wirelessly posted (8700g: BlackBerry8700/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

I should add, I don't follow your reasoning for wanting to shut off email because of high volume, so you can look at it when you are ready. I think it would be better to let the email be delivered, but set a profile that either turns off all email alerts, or just turns off alerts on the high volume email account,

ubizmo 12-29-2007 07:10 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by aiharkness (Post 789459)
Wirelessly posted (8700g: BlackBerry8700/4.2.1 Profile/MIDP-2.0 Configuration/CLDC-1.1 VendorID/100)

I should add, I don't follow your reasoning for wanting to shut off email because of high volume, so you can look at it when you are ready. I think it would be better to let the email be delivered, but set a profile that either turns off all email alerts, or just turns off alerts on the high volume email account,

The latter option would do the trick.

ubizmo 12-30-2007 10:11 AM

I'll probably get the Curve today for a 2-week trial. The pros and cons of each are too close to call without a road test. Here's the way I see it at the moment:

1. Screen. LX wins, with 3" and 400x240.

2. Keyboard. LX wins with spacious layout, dedicated numbers and punctuation.

3. Email. Looks like a tie. The LX does push mail and three POP accounts. The Curve can handle more accounts but the number of accounts is not a big deal for me. LX is a bit better at completing mail delivery in intermittent service conditions. Curve can handle photo attachments greater than 2 mb. I don't use Outlook and don't need Outlook sync.

3. Online access. I can access my LX calendar, notes, and to-do list from any computer on the web, anytime, and I can edit and configure them from there. I think LX wins on that score.

4. Camera. Curve has 2 mp to the LX's 1.3, so that's a win for the Curve. However, the difference in megapixels is only relevant for printing photos, since a 1.3 mp photo will fill most computer monitors, at 1280x1024 pixels. So it's quality that matters. From what I've seen, the Curve takes very nice photos in good light. So does the LX, which is much improved from the SK3. In low light, both are mediocre at best, an inevitable limitation of the tiny lenses.

4. Video. Curve wins. It can play video and will be able to capture video. It's not a huge deal for me but I know I'll have fun with it. It is rumored that the LX will get video capture and playback, but who really knows?

5. Battery life. Curve wins bigtime, from what I hear.

6. Browser. Curve wins. The LX browsing experience is not bad. Speed varies, depending a lot on server load, since everything is proxied and reformatted on Danger's servers. Some sites reformat well; some don't. The browser on the Curve seems roughly equal in quality, and also seems a bit faster over Edge. But over wifi it should be much faster. The Curve has the option of Opera Mini as an alternate browser; the LX has no such option.

7. IM client. I'll call it a tie, since Jivetalk looks about as good as the LX built-in client.

8. 3rd-party applications. Curve wins. The LX Catalog is limited to what T-mobile approves (or other carriers overseas), and this is tipped more toward games. I read complaints about the lack of BB software compared to WM, but it's still better than what's available for the LX.

9. PIM. I'm not sure, but I think the Curve wins. The LX calendar works well. The to-do app is simple and not integrated with the calendar. For those of us who don't use Outlook, being able to schedule things from any browser and have them instantly sync to the device is nice, however.

10. Sync. LX wins. The way the LX is *always* synced (as long as there's service) with its web-based Desktop Interface is an under-appreciated feature. I've spent hours on a flight typing notes for a presentation, knowing that when I land they're available online from a browser without my having to do anything (and even if my phone falls in a puddle).

So there it is. Time to see what trumps what in actual use.


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