So, this post isn't going to be terribly constructive, though I hold out slim hope that someone will point something out to fix these issues. Let the ranting begin.
Basically - WTF, BlackBerry?
I started out in '04 or so with a 7100, and fell in love with it. The browser was pretty limited, but at that point web and email access was such a novelty that it was just wonderful - and the keyboard, user interface, and reliability were fantastic. The thing just worked
From there I went to an 8700, which was even better. The full qwerty keyboard kicked ass, I could type 30 words per minute, email was rock solid, and the browser was vastly improved, though a bit behind the times. OK, things were a tad slow, and there were occasional glitches - off-with-a-red-light, or a browser restart necessary to get things going again. But on the whole, a wonderful device.
Before a recent trip to Japan, I upgraded to a 9000 in order to get 'world phone' capability. I was worried about the trackball and the keyboard - but I needn't have been. The 8700 had become second nature to me, but I adapted to the 9000 almost instantly; the trackball was fantastic, the screen is just beyond gorgeous, and the browser was improved hugely. I was absolutely thrilled.
This thing is absolutely horribly unreliable. I bought a blackberry because I need a tool, not a toy, and I need something solid that will always work. That's blackberry's raison d'etre, right? I've been trying to give it the benefit of the doubt, but the device is becoming nearly unusable lately.
The recent network-level outages have gotten me very close to the tipping point.
Even before RIM managed to kick EVERYONE off their network, this phone has been a nightmare for usability.
It crashes randomly. It blinks off and comes back a few seconds later during random operations for no apparent reason.
And then there are the Battery Pull Scenarios:
-Wifi will stop working for no reason. Resetting connections won't fix it. BPS.
-The browser will, randomly, require you to request every link twice. BPS.
-The browser will stop working entirely. BPS.
-The browser will not only stop working, but crash, not responding to any input. BPS.
-Mail will stop coming in. Why? Who knows. BPS.
-Won't get a data network connection. BPS.
-Won't register with BlackBerry network (during the times when it's actually up). BPS.
And after every BPS? Wait 90, 100, 110 seconds for the device to take its sweet time starting up. I can fire up two Vista machines to desktop in the time it takes my BB to get to its home screen.
At this point, I'm pulling the battery in my BB two or three times a day, just to get its web browser, email, or WiFi working.
What's particularly frustrating about the browser issues is that, at the best of times, link requests are absurdly slow, and it's not unusual to wait 30 seconds for a page to finish 'requesting' under normal circumstances. So I spend two minutes trying to determine whether it's just par-for-the-course wretched performance, or a real BPS.
And half the time, the network itself is actually up and running - I can use Google Maps, jmIRC, or midpSSH while BlackBerry's mission-critical ultra-reliable infrastructure is refusing to feed me essential emails or let me check things on the web. But I can IRC.
I own a small business, and I'm one of the guys out there who actually DOES need to be in contact with people, to-the-minute, all over the world. I bought this device because I needed a tool that would always be working, something that would show an email coming in when it came in. I didn't need a toy that would be great at chatting, taking pictures, but fall over on itself and be unusable for work.
Now I can't look at my phone after I come out of a movie theater and say, "No mail - no fires I need to put out." Because I have no idea whether I got mail or not. I've taken to tweaking my damned spam filter down so I can tell whether it's broken or not - no spam means it's... time for a BPS!
I've got the thing updated. It's so locked down that it's impossible to blame some third-party app for screwing up the system, and I barely have any anyway. If there's something I can do to fix the device-side problems, maybe I can live with RIM's apparent inability to keep its own house in order.
But barring that... does someone want to remind me why I got this thing again?