Talking BlackBerry Encyclopedia
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The OP makes some good points, even if they don't add up to a case for abandoning the BB. I've had a Curve 8320 and then 8900 for a while now, and while I'm generally satisfied with these devices, I have to agree that the BB seems a bit behind the times.
And this comment, "The BB is a business tool, first, not a consumer device such as the iPhone and others," may have been true at one time, but RIM is now squarely in the consumer market. The Pearl and Curve were heralded and marketed as RIM's exit from the "just business" world, so it's perfectly appropriate to evaluate them as consumer devices and to compare them with other consumer devices.
Consider email. The BB has a reputation for being the best email device. But why? I came to the BB from the Sidekick LX, which people endlessly like to call a "toy." And yet...the email features on the SK were better than what I've had to get used to on the BB. I say features, mind you, not service. At the time, Danger was experiencing fairly frequent, though short-duration, email service outages. I don't know how it is with them at present, now that Microsoft has bought Danger. To explain my point here: On the SK, I could easily edit quoted text in an email, which was (optionally) presented with '>' prefixes, automatically formatted. The SK didn't force me to top-post when replying to emails, and to include everything. Some email lists have rules about trimming quoted text to only the relevant minimum, and rules against top-posting. With my BB, I'm out of luck.
On my SK, when composing an email, if I typed a few letters from the name or email address of someone in my contacts, I'd get a list of matches to choose from. The BB only matches on names. On my SK, it was a simple matter to "turn off" email accounts, during international travel for example, to minimize data roaming charges. I didn't have to go into BIS to do it. On my SK, if I tried to send an email while in an area that had no coverage, it would stay queued up in the Outbox until there was sufficient coverage to send it. And if I was in and out of coverage, with perhaps a large photo attachment, it would get sent in chunks, until it was all sent. There was no red X with a "resend" option. If I was on a long plane trip, I could just write several lengthy emails, hit "send" and forget about them, knowing that when the plane was on the ground and I had service again, they'd get sent. On my BB, I have to compose then save them, then re-open them and send them myself. On the SK, it was a simple matter to select several photos to attach to an email. On the BB, I have to go through the whole "attach file" dialogue for each one.
The BB's poor browser may not be a dealbreaker, but that doesn't alter the fact that it really hasn't kept up. Expectations for mobile browsing have gone up; the BB's performance hasn't.
I haven't said anything about the iPhone, since I don't have one. But I'm comparing the Sidekick in 2008 to the current BB. And yes, the SK has push email, as well as the option to create multiple polled email accounts. I don't see what makes the BB the "best" in email anymore.
My wife has a T-Mobile MyTouch Android phone. It's really a very nice device. I'm not quite ready to take the plunge and go with a virtual keyboard. Moreover, the absence of auto-text really is a dealbreaker for me. But the Android OS feels modern, intuitive, and efficient. It's not perfect--my 8900 has a much better camera--but I'll be taking a serious look at the Nexus.