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You are here: MacNN Forums > Hardware - Troubleshooting and Discussion > iPhone, iPad & iPod > Why I'm getting a Blackberry Bold over an iPhone

Why I'm getting a Blackberry Bold over an iPhone
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Aron Peterson
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Sep 2, 2008, 07:45 AM
 
Hi folks

Like many of you I followed the iPhone rumors for two years before it was officially announced (even when the iWalk was being ponced about by the founders of SpyMac). I wanted a phone from Apple back when the Newtons were around.

When the iPhone did eventually show its face it looked gorgeous, better than expected in many many ways but sadly lacking in important features and too expensive.

A year later and we've got the iPhone 3G. It's a fantastic piece of kit but still lacking. I need copy + paste, a hardware keyboard, a file manager and Bluetooth file exchange.

Now along comes the Blackberry Bold. It doesn't have the iPhones touchscreen or App Store but it has all the features I need plus an amazingly sharp screen. If it wasn't for the BB I might have gotten the iPhone 3G and waited for the software updates that enable copy + paste, but there would always be the problem of the iPhone's software keyboard. It's the best there is at what it does but typing out long messages can be a chore compared to the Bold's keyboard.

Finally, the iPhones lack of Office file format support and editing, and also a file manager, means it really is very hobbled as a professional phone that can be used for document editing when it isn't practical to carry a laptop around. The quicker Apple remedies this problem the better, but I wasn't going to wait 6 months or a year more for it to happen.
Web dev, Poe, faux-naïf, keyboard warrior, often found imitating online contrarians . My stuff : DELL XPS, iPhone 6
     
Randman
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Sep 2, 2008, 10:51 AM
 
/end blog

This is a computer-generated message and needs no signature.
     
gradient
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Sep 2, 2008, 11:31 AM
 
I'm getting this strange sense of deja vu for some reason...
     
Nodnarb
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Sep 2, 2008, 12:05 PM
 
The software keyboard is great--- I can type WAY faster than on any other phone, including the blackberrys. The text correction is just amazing, I type long emails all the time with no trouble.

But enjoy the blackberry...
     
Mastrap
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Sep 2, 2008, 12:38 PM
 
File Manager - several third party applications exist. I keep and view Word, Excel and pdf files on my iPhone.
Bluetooth file exchange - all of the file managers available use wireless file exchange. No problem there, actually much faster.
Software keyboard is for me far less limiting than a hardware keyboard. It changes usability depending on how I use it. YMMV.
Editing capabilities: Should be released with 2.1 update. This is pretty important, I grant you.
Copy and paste - will happen, although I rarely miss it.

I returned my last BB after three month of use. I found it clunky, unintuitive and just plain annoying. No wireless sync, no gmail support, web browser mediocre at best, hardly any useful applications.

Not for me, but if it meets your needs, enjoy.
     
Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 2, 2008, 01:26 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
File Manager - several third party applications exist. I keep and view Word, Excel and pdf files on my iPhone.
Bluetooth file exchange - all of the file managers available use wireless file exchange. No problem there, actually much faster.
I wasn't aware of these two. Are they from the App Store or hacks? I don't want third party hacks that are unsupported by Apple.

Software keyboard is for me far less limiting than a hardware keyboard. It changes usability depending on how I use it. YMMV.
I had an iPod touch and know how it is and have played with the iPhone for hours. Typing speed can't match the Blackberry Bold which I only played with twice for a few minutes! It's just an incredible keyboard.

Editing capabilities: Should be released with 2.1 update. This is pretty important, I grant you.
Copy and paste - will happen, although I rarely miss it.
I have no doubt it will happen but waiting and waiting for it is something I'm not going to do.

I returned my last BB after three month of use. I found it clunky, unintuitive and just plain annoying. No wireless sync, no gmail support, web browser mediocre at best, hardly any useful applications.
Your last Blackberry wasn't a Bold so it's not relevant here. I've never owned a Blackberry before and only got interested when I saw a Bold in person and asked for a demo. The Boldj ust blew me away (in fact, everything I'm saying about it is echoed in Mac User's review). That's not to say it is better than the iPhone. I think they are equally good in that the iPhone handles media better and has a better interface and Mac integration, but everything else goes to the Bold. I've been tempted to wait for Blackberry Thunder/Storm but there's no official UK release date and I'll always prefer a hard keyboard.
Web dev, Poe, faux-naïf, keyboard warrior, often found imitating online contrarians . My stuff : DELL XPS, iPhone 6
     
Mastrap
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Sep 2, 2008, 01:32 PM
 
Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
I wasn't aware of these two. Are they from the App Store or hacks? I don't want third party hacks that are unsupported by Apple.

.....


Your last Blackberry wasn't a Bold so it's not relevant here. I've never owned a Blackberry before and only got interested when I saw a Bold in person and asked for a demo. The Boldj ust blew me away (in fact, everything I'm saying about it is echoed in Mac User's review). That's not to say it is better than the iPhone. I think they are equally good in that the iPhone handles media better and has a better interface and Mac integration, but everything else goes to the Bold. I've been tempted to wait for Blackberry Thunder/Storm but there's no official UK release date and I'll always prefer a hard keyboard.
App Store apps, fully supported. Check them out.

......

It doesn't matter that my last BB wasn't a Bold. The basic functionality of the BB hasn't changed much since I owned one. Where the iPhone is intuitive, the BB wasn't - for me and I am aware that I am not the be all and end all of usability.

Take BB Maps for example - they are horrible, not only in comparison to google maps, the gold standard, but in comparison to pretty everything out there. There's a reason why the BB never attracted the public imagination the way the iPhone does. The iPhone works the way I work, the BB expects me to work like it does.

Anyway, we all should buy what works for us, not for some stranger from an internet message board. So, enjoy and have fun.
     
danangdoc
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Sep 2, 2008, 01:46 PM
 
I don't own an iPhone or a BB. I use and old RAZR as I don't have that many calls. Used it twice when I broke down on the highway and that's the kind of utility I need - cheap and dependable. I am intrigued as to why file exchange has to be BT for you. The 'gold standard' to me is WiFi. Better range and overall utility. A wireless router is fairly cheap these days. I do most of my e-mail, messaging, and chat from my iPod Touch, and find it to be always fast, no matter where I am in the house. What it the situation you have - trying to exchange with a desktop at work?
     
iomatic
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Sep 2, 2008, 02:05 PM
 
I own a BB Curve and iPhone.

BlackBerry has a great keyboard, and copy/paste; at its core, the same across all BlackBerries.

iPhone is infinitely more useful with the App Store and large touchscreen/accelerometer interface; and its functions easily trump BlackBerry advantages. IMO.
     
Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 2, 2008, 02:29 PM
 
[QUOTE]
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
App Store apps, fully supported. Check them out.
That's promising, but what about mounting the iPhone on the desktop for file transfers?

......

It doesn't matter that my last BB wasn't a Bold. The basic functionality of the BB hasn't changed much since I owned one.
OS 4.6 is as intuitive as any icon based system can be and seems to have borrowed some interface elements from Leopard. OS 4.7 or 4.8 will be the touchscreen version.



Take BB Maps for example - they are horrible, not only in comparison to google maps, the gold standard
Google Maps is available for the Bold.

There's a reason why the BB never attracted the public imagination the way the iPhone does.

The iPhone captured the imagination because of years of leaks to the media and gossip sites and fuelled off the back of the iPod's success. Not to say it didn't deserve it. The iPhone does deserve all the hype is gets, but it is pure wrong to say the BB hasn't captured the public's imagination. Before last month I knew little about the BB because my mind was purely on the iPhone. Since then I've looked at BB's community and use on the street and have seen that TONS of people, especially quite hot chicks, use them because of the BB's support for instant messaging apps. That is set to grow with BB now becoming more interesting in multimedia support, ultra sharp color screens, and 3G.

I think the iPhone's market share will continue to grow and reach all of Apple's targets, surpass them even, but Blackberry's new range really is achieving an astonishing revamp of their product line. Apple and Blackberry are both going to grab a bigger share of the market from their competitors.

Another reason why the Bold won me over is simply on cost. I calculated the cost over 12 and 18 months and the Bold won out on productivity and cost.
Web dev, Poe, faux-naïf, keyboard warrior, often found imitating online contrarians . My stuff : DELL XPS, iPhone 6
     
Laminar
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Sep 2, 2008, 03:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
especially quite hot chicks, use them because of the BB's support for instant messaging apps.
Well, you're more likely to notice "quite hot chicks" in the first place, so this would make sense.
     
mduell
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Sep 2, 2008, 03:26 PM
 
I've made the same decision, but I'm not about to start a thread at a Mac forum over it...

Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
no gmail support
BlackBerries have supported gmail with push for over a year.

Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
It doesn't matter that my last BB wasn't a Bold. The basic functionality of the BB hasn't changed much since I owned one.
Except for the things you complain about above and below.

Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Take BB Maps for example - they are horrible, not only in comparison to google maps, the gold standard, but in comparison to pretty everything out there.
Google maps has been available for the BB for over a year, and supported GPS before the iPhone had GPS.

The web browsing experience has also improved between the Bold and all prior Blackberries.

Will the iPhone ever get something like BB Messenger? Free, every device has it, and data-based. Apple could have done something similar with iChat at launch, but decided not to.
     
Mastrap
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Sep 2, 2008, 03:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by mduell View Post
I
Google maps has been available for the BB for over a year, and supported GPS before the iPhone had GPS.
Except that BB decided against integrating them the way Apple has, insisting on developing their own BB maps.

As I've said above, everybody needs to make their own decision about what to buy. For me the BB is clunky, doesn't offer a fraction of the capabilities the iPhone has and will always be limited by the hardware keyboard. One of the great benefits of the iPhone is that user input can come in so many ways, from the keyboard to a simple nudge of the accelerometer.

Web browsing, just as an example, on the BB is nowhere near as easy and intuitive as on the iPhone. Pinch, double tap, rotate? None of these exist, making browsing a painful experience.

But I'm not the OP, what's right for me obviously isn't for him - remember I owned one and returned it, I am speaking from personal experience. Blackberries are capable machines, and if they do address your needs better than an iPhone, get one. It's a free country.
     
Cincojoe
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Sep 2, 2008, 08:19 PM
 
iPhone = eye candy. Looks great, but that's about it. Sure it has the app store...big whoop. 99.9% of the apps are junk. Most of them cause issues.

BB = functionality. They were built for business use and can't be beat.

Posting a thread like this on here will do nothing start a flame war. Apple fanboys will never admit that Apple has done wrong by the iPhone. So just give up and move on.
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Mastrap
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Sep 2, 2008, 09:16 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cincojoe View Post
iPhone = eye candy. Looks great, but that's about it. Sure it has the app store...big whoop. 99.9% of the apps are junk. Most of them cause issues.

BB = functionality. They were built for business use and can't be beat.
And you expect to be taken seriously posting nonsense like that?
     
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Sep 2, 2008, 09:19 PM
 
Originally Posted by Cincojoe View Post
iPhone = eye candy. Looks great, but that's about it. Sure it has the app store...big whoop. 99.9% of the apps are junk. Most of them cause issues.

BB = functionality. They were built for business use and can't be beat.

Posting a thread like this on here will do nothing start a flame war. Apple fanboys will never admit that Apple has done wrong by the iPhone. So just give up and move on.
Considering your worthless post is the only one sounding troll-like, I'll assume a flame war is what you're looking for.
     
turtle777
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Sep 2, 2008, 09:51 PM
 
Ok, I never understood why you would need file editing on a smart phone.

I'd shoot myself before I start trying to edit DOC, PPT or XLS on a smart phone.
Anyone asking for this is asking for HUGE trouble.

Just imagine how it will raise expectations. Once it's technically possible, you're expected to crank out professionally looking documents on your smart phone while on the move. Bullsh!t. I hope it will never happen.

-t
     
Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 3, 2008, 07:13 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Except that BB decided against integrating them the way Apple has, insisting on developing their own BB maps.
Google Maps is available for download. I agree Apple has integrated the maps API very nicely presentation wise but that's the only thing it has over other companies. Functionality remains the same.

For me the BB is clunky, doesn't offer a fraction of the capabilities the iPhone has and will always be limited by the hardware keyboard.
The Times, Mac User and other prominent publications have placed the iPhone and Blackberry Bold on an equal footing. There's nothing on the market that compares to both offerings.


Web browsing, just as an example, on the BB is nowhere near as easy and intuitive as on the iPhone. Pinch, double tap, rotate? None of these exist, making browsing a painful experience.
The new Blackberry browser and Opera Mini for the Bold offer more or less the same thing. You zoom in where you want, read, then zoom out. The iPhone's tactile zoom gives you the illusion of doing it faster because you are manipulating it directly with your fingers. They are all good, and on a side note The Times and Mac User found the Bold faster than the iPhone (also because Vodafone's 3G network is quicker and more stable than O2's).

Blackberry is also releasing a full touchscreen model known as Thunder (or Storm in Verizon's case).

Where they all agree the iPhone beats the Bold, it is on the media playback interface. The Bold however supports more formats and has upgradable memory.
Web dev, Poe, faux-naïf, keyboard warrior, often found imitating online contrarians . My stuff : DELL XPS, iPhone 6
     
Mastrap
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Sep 3, 2008, 09:26 AM
 
As I've said, good for you that you've found a tool that does what you need doing. Competition is a good thing.

Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
Google Maps is available for download. I agree Apple has integrated the maps API very nicely presentation wise but that's the only thing it has over other companies. Functionality remains the same.
Apple has done far more than use google for a pretty presentation, it is using them in a way that is entirely useful and intuitive. And best of all, many, many other application can now use that integration for their own purposes. BB maps? Not so much. I find it utterly confusing that BB decided not to go with google and insisted on developing their own walled garden mapping app. Functionality is far from complete as google's offering.

However, I suspect that we could argue the benefit of the various platforms forever and I doubt either of us would change his mind.

Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
The Times, Mac User and other prominent publications have placed the iPhone and Blackberry Bold on an equal footing. There's nothing on the market that compares to both offerings.
Interesting, but for me personally hard to understand.

Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
The new Blackberry browser and Opera Mini for the Bold offer more or less the same thing. You zoom in where you want, read, then zoom out. The iPhone's tactile zoom gives you the illusion of doing it faster because you are manipulating it directly with your fingers.
Manipulating an object in real time on a screen will always be faster than using a keyboard interface and menu interface to achieve the same thing. It is also far more intuitive. Which leads me to my biggest gripe about the BB, it forces me to think like a BB. The iPhone works the way I think. Just as an example, when I had the BB my wife, who is as non-geeky as you can get, picked it up maybe once, played with it for minute, declared that she had no use for it and never touched it again.

I bought an iPhone on the Friday it came out, on Sunday morning my wife declared that she wanted one as well and bought it on Sunday afternoon. The BB could have delivered similar functionality to her, but because it is cloaked in an interface that doesn't work like a human being it never managed to communicate these benefits to her - or rather the benefits were of insufficient interest to her because of the learning curve involved. The iPhone on the other hand made it easy and she now frequently uses VoIP, mapping apps, travel guides, games etc, etc.

MobileMe is a brilliant tool to keep all data in sync, all of the time. The integration with my MBPs alone makes the iPhone a clear winner for me.

Anyway, you're happy with your choice and that, at the end of the day, is all that counts. Maybe I'll change my mind sometime in the future, maybe you will. Until then, have fun with what you've got.
( Last edited by Mastrap; Sep 3, 2008 at 09:35 AM. )
     
turtle777
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Sep 3, 2008, 09:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
I agree Apple has integrated the maps API very nicely presentation wise but that's the only thing it has over other companies. Functionality remains the same.
See, that's the problem people like you have. They will never effing understand that SAME functionality does NOT matter if the GUI and APIs suck.

Will you EVER learn the lesson from the iPod: ALL major competitors had better and more functions than Apple's iPods, throughout the years. Apple won by a sleek UI and tight integration of soft- and hardware.

The majority of the people don't give a rat's ass about features like "upgradeable memory" and "more formats".

-t
     
Mastrap
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Sep 3, 2008, 09:38 AM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
See, that's the problem people like you have. They will never effing understand that SAME functionality does NOT matter if the GUI and APIs suck.
Quoted for truth. This is the secret of Apple's success: Take something that is a good idea but poorly executed, execute it brilliantly and watch the resulting product fly off the shelves.
     
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Sep 3, 2008, 10:00 AM
 
     
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Sep 3, 2008, 10:36 AM
 
Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
Google Maps is available for download. I agree Apple has integrated the maps API very nicely presentation wise but that's the only thing it has over other companies. Functionality remains the same.
Functionality is utterly meaningless if it's too annoying to bother.

Why is it so hard that functions are worth NOTHING unless they're implemented such that people will actually WANT to use them?

I have no money and time to waste on things that annoy me.
     
Le Flaneur
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Sep 3, 2008, 11:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
That's promising, but what about mounting the iPhone on the desktop for file transfers?
DataCase from the AppStore offers that right now. The others currently use WebDAV or ftp.
     
Mastrap
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Sep 3, 2008, 11:54 AM
 
Probably the best review I've seen so far:

If there’s ever been two devices so closely pitted against each other, it would be none other than the BlackBerry Bold and the iPhone 3G. Heck, people we’re even putting the original iPhone against the Bold. We’re going to break down each device piece by piece and give you an unbiased comparison of both. We’ll give you our personal opinion at the end, but besides that, we’re going to be completely accurate and fair. Hopefully this will help you make up your mind on what phone you’re going to get. You know, if the Bold is ever released, and the iPhone 3G is ever in stock. Hit the jump for the craziness!

Design:

BlackBerry Bold:

Some could agree the Bold is the sharpest and cleanest-looking BlackBerry ever to come out of Waterloo. With a complete black face, chrome border and sides, and faux black leather back, the device looks great. From all the matching chrome accents all over the phone to the simple and not confusing layout, RIM has designed a great BlackBerry which should set the bar for future devices down the road.



iPhone 3G:

If there’s one iconic handset design in the last couple years, it would certainly be an iPhone. There’s not too many people on earth who couldn’t easily recognize the device. The iPhone 3G is a logical extension of the previous model, still holding true to its original design roots. While there are two color choices, each both work marvelously well with handset’s design. It would be hard to find a more solid and sexy design on a phone. From the gorgeous screen to the matching black (or white) back, you’ve definitely got a true Apple product — totally minimalistic, yet offering enough access to the most commonly used functions.

Even though the Bold is definitely a looker, we’d be hard pressed to find anyone who wouldn’t give the design award to the iPhone 3G.

Build quality:

BlackBerry Bold:

The BlackBerry Bold is built extremely well. Not including minor screen scratches and things of that nature, the Bold should be able to last you as long as you want to keep the thing. The unit is a little lighter than it looks and there no creaks or anything to get you worried about. The only negative thing we’d have to say, it that the build quality on the BlackBerry Curve slightly trumps the Bold. We’d ever go as far to say that the 8800 does too. But not the Pearl. Hell no.

iPhone 3G:

Unless you’re talking about military-grade handsets, we don’t think you’d have an easy time finding a handset as well built as the iPhone. From precision-laser-cut glass, to the absolute stunning engineering on the inside of the device, we see the iPhone 3G lasting you a very long time. Even with key scratching and concrete-dropping, the iPhone 3G definitely holds its own.

The BlackBerry Bold’s build quality is great even if its not as good as the BlackBerry Curve, but we can’t help but feel the iPhone 3G will last the average user longer. You know, there’s no moving parts. That alone gives the iPhone a head start, and since the screen is proven to stand up to a lot of abuse, the most fragile part on the device is actually the strongest.



Size:

The Bold is the biggest BlackBerry to be released in a pretty long time. Well, since the 8700. It is larger in every way than the BlackBerry 8800 and can sometimes feel a little hard to hold in one hand. It’s definitely no Curve. Comparing it to the iPhone 3G, the iPhone is a tad bit taller than the Bold, but less wide, and thinner. The iPhone 3G feels much better when holding it and using it, but since the Bold’s keyboard makes use of the larger size, we’re going to call this one a tie because of the pretty comfy Bold QWERTY.



Screen:

As much as we we’d love to say the iPhone’s screen is better, it isn’t. Not in terms of displaying graphics, text-based content, or even videos. Everything looks better on the Bold due to the incredibly dense ppi ratio. You have to see it to believe it. Honestly. On the other hand, the iPhone’s screen is a close second, with a vibrant and large 3.5″ display. When you’re not using the on-screen virtual keyboard, the entire screen is your oyster, and you can make full use of it. We’d rather look at awesome MP3 album images, watch videos, web browse, and even look at our email on our iPhone rather than our BlackBerry Bold. This is going to be another tie, fellas. We’d rather use the iPhone specifically looking at the screen side of things, but we’d rather look at the Bold’s screen.

Applications:

You probably already know the answer to this one, but we’re still going to break it down for you. RIM has some very loyal developers working on applications for them, but the tools the developers use are outdated, and don’t give them enough access to core APIs on BlackBerry handsets. Ever notice how the nicest applications are always ones made by RIM? An outside developer could never create the BlackBerry Facebook application in a million years, again, because of the API access. We heard RIM is actively trying to listen to developer’s cries for help, open up some APIs, give them newer and better tools, and possibly include things such as OpenGL graphics support. But it’s still extremely difficult to develop for BlackBerry devices and distribute those applications. Desktop loading, OTA loading — it isn’t the most straight forward way to handle things. On the flipside, we have Apple who as you all should know, finally released their own SDK and have launched the App Store. Not looking at distribution for the meantime, we can honestly say that the iPhone is the easiest device to develop applications for. We’ve only worked on our BGR Mobile application for around a day, and even with some of the cool features like geo-tagging photos, commenting on posts, and more, it’s been a breeze. More on the BGR Mobile application another day. But don’t listen to us, listen to the thousands upon thousands of developers that have created beautiful games with full 3D graphics, or awesome instant messaging clients, and so forth. While the BlackBerry Bold is prettier than other BlackBerrys, the applications and tools to create them are the same. Without a doubt, this round goes to the iPhone. Scratch that, the iPhone wins over any other handset in the world in regards to applications.

OS:

BlackBerry Bold:

This is a tricky and sensitive subject for a lot of people. Many of us live and die by the BlackBerry OS. Some could say we even know it better than we know some of our significant others… But therein lies the problem. While RIM has been on a mission to revamp the BlackBerry from the old school “pager” into an all-in-one communications device for consumers and business alike, we can’t help but wonder when the OS will get a real makeover. Not a Mariah Carey cover page airbrushed makeover, more like a Carnie Wilson 300lbs to 150lbs makeover. But, we do have to say that RIM has a great thing going. The BlackBerry minions have figured out every single tip and trick there is to squeeze every ounce of usability out the operating system, and for a lot of people, the OS is fine. It does what it is supposed to, and there is nothing wrong with that. It’s just that the market has changed so drastically in the last year and half. People want to be connected more, they want to do more while doing less.

iPhone 3G:

Whether you believe Apple’s words of the iPhone OS actually running a scaled down OS X or not, it’s very difficult to rip apart the iPhone’s operating system. Sure, we’d absolutely love copy and paste, and it’s pretty sad we even had to write that, but for the most part, this is the finest and most technologically advanced mobile operating system on the planet. That’s not even open to debate, ok? There is always room for improvement, however, and we have no doubt that Apple will begin addressing some of the shortcomings of the operating system pretty soon.

iPhone 3G wins by a landslide.

Call quality:

Let’s assume we’re talking about voice-calling over a 3G network, ok? If that’s the case, then we think both devices held up pretty well against each other. The iPhone 3G sounded a tiny bit better and more natural than the BlackBerry, and wasn’t distorted as much. But that’s relative. Both devices fared extremely well with voice-calling, and you’d be pleased to use either one of them as your phone. Aww, how sweet!

Battery life

While the Bold has taken its fair share of battery life criticism, we’re happy to report than we don’t have a battery issue with the Bold at this point. The latest hardware and software are pretty top-notch when it comes to battery life, and you’d most likely get the same amount of usage out of the Bold as you would from your current BlackBerry. Now, going up against the iPhone, we’d say the Bold wins. Not by too much, but definitely by a little bit. Again, there isn’t too much of a difference that we’re finding, but the Bold does last a little longer in everyday usage. We’re not talking about talk time vs. talk time, or web browsing over 3G vs. web browsing over 3G. Just general everyday usage, and the Bold wins on this one.

Keyboard:

Let’s face it, virtual keyboards aren’t for everybody. Check out our personal thoughts and impressions at the end of the article for more information. The BlackBerry Bold holds true to RIM’s roots with their excellent QWERTY keyboard execution. The layout, key travel and feel make RIM’s keyboard a winner. But not so fast. Plenty of people don’t want a QWERTY keyboard. A lot of iPhone buyers came from a simple phone like a RAZR, and they rave about the keyboard. Well, it can’t take the place of a hardware keyboard, no matter how we try and convince ourselves. And if you’re going after a real keyboard on a mobile device, RIM is going to win. 9 times out of 10.

Email:

BlackBerry Bold:

Listen, you can’t throw around the word “BlackBerry” without thinking about email. That’s RIM bread and butter, and we don’t see that changing for a very long time. There are probably 500 competitors vying for the title of “Best. Email. Ever.”, but they’re not coming close anytime soon. While Windows Mobile offers some of the same feature-set, there is nothing like using a BlackBerry for email. From changing your out of office message, to configuring email filters on the go (what, you think we actually get all 6,000 comments from our iPhone 3G giveaway post on our BlackBerry?), to remote searching (awesome!), RIM has perfected email on the BlackBerry for the most part. When new features like full attachment viewing and HTML get introduced, though, it gets a little murky. Instead of viewing attachments natively off the bat on your BlackBerry, RIM’s data network will compress and send you what you need bit by bit. There is also a clear separation between RIM’s BES services and BIS services, and they are totally unnecessary. There is no reason we should have the ability to view HTML on BIS, but not on BES yet (unless you hacked that in), and there is no reason file type support is so convoluted. For instance, we can listen to our voicemail MP3s on our BIS email, but not on BES because even the latest BES service pack still doesn’t support the encoding used in our MP3s. Things like this really confuse users and there’s no reason for it. BIS features should mirror BES features as much as possible and be upgraded at the same time. If we have to email an attachment from our BES to one of our BIS email accounts one more time… One last thing, RIM. Please for the love of everything holy, allow us to edit forwarded messages. Please. Pretty please.

iPhone 3G:

Up for much debate is how well the iPhone 3G competes in the email arena. They have made strides in regard to improving the email application, even going as far to supporting full Exchange 2003 and 2007 email, but Apple has left a lot to be desired when working with anything other than simple POP and IMAP accounts. Forget the sexy stuff like filters and out of office messages, there is still no access to remote email search, or heck, email search period. There’s no way to mark multiple items read or unread, and if you have multiple email accounts, have fun switching back and forth to check them. Things aren’t localized like they are on a BlackBerry, and you don’t have the fun keyboard shortcuts to make things easier and get to them faster. When it comes to how email is rendered and behaves, though, the iPhone probably beats any other device out there. The HTML rendering is second to none, it murders the BlackBerry HTML, attachments can not be saved locally which is a real pain, but in terms of viewing them, it offers the most organic way of looking at them or playing them. From flipping the device to goto landscape mode, to double-tapping and zooming, the iPhone makes email a pleasure to read.

No question who the winner is here. RIM’s email can’t be touched, but for not-so-hardcore email users, Apple’s iPhone definitely offers a great experience, even with an Exchange server or their MobileMe service.

Corporate usage:

BlackBerry Bold:

RIM has made the BlackBerry the hands-down winner for a perfect desktop extension. Pretty much whatever you can do from Outlook on your Exchange server, you can do from your BlackBerry. In addition to looking at the device specifically, RIM’s BES server offers the now standard way of managing, controlling, and deploying devices across a corporate infrastructure. Their BES servers allow IT admins to tweak and configure every possible setting, making this is the ideal solution for mid-to-large businesses and government agencies. RIM’s focus on security also make the BlackBerry the most secure device on the planet to use in a corporate environment.

iPhone 3G:

The iPhone still has a lot to prove to corporate entities. Apple has made device deployment tools, but they aren’t as easy to use as RIM’s setup. While the iPhone is pretty secure, it’s security has not been fully tested, and there are many corporations still wary of allowing iPhones on their infrastructure. Sure, it has things like remote wipe and password enforcement, but it doesn’t come to offering the customization abilities of RIM’s BES servers and security.

Again, corporate usage goes to the BlackBerry. Heck, without corporate users, we don’t think RIM would still be in business. We don’t see the iPhone 3G making BlackBerry users in mid-to-large corporations switch that quickly, but we do see the iPhone being a possible device choice for small businesses that don’t rely so heavily on RIM already.

Pricing:

BlackBerry Bold:

Bold pricing has not been fully announced, but we’d wager on it being $199-$299 with a 2-year service agreement. Probably $299, but let’s see what happens. We know RIM went back to the negotiating tables after the iPhone 3G pricing was announced, as they were going to price the device much higher.

iPhone 3G:

You have a choice of $199 (8GB) and $299 (16GB) for the iPhone 3G. People have said that the pricing scheme is confusing because of the eligibility factor and upgrade factor, but that’s how mobile operators have worked since we can remember. So, that’s not new to 99% of people. Some will have to pay more, some will get to pay the aforementioned prices, just like with the Bold.

Pricing looks to be pretty even between both devices, so we’ll call it a tie.

Device longevity:

This is hard to speculate on, because we’re not talking about which device will physically last longer in terms of not breaking. We’re talking about how long the device can last you, the consumer, as a phone. And how long you’ll want to use it for. Taking a peek at RIM’s road map, we know that they’re coming out with four new devices (including the Bold), all likely to appear before the year’s end. We’d also bet on them churning out update replacement handsets a lot quicker if they can manage to. There will also likely be a new iPhone in a year’s time, or even less. Assuming you don’t upgrade to a new handset, we’d say the iPhone will last longer as you have an ingenious method for doing software updates and upgrades, and you have the App Store which will constantly be fresh with newer and better applications.

Personal Opinion:

Here’s where we’re going to voice our opinions of both devices as we kept the head-to-head review completely unbiased. True BlackBerry fans will want the Bold. It honestly is the best BlackBerry ever. There is no other choice — it’s the Bold. Plus the Bold spoils you. We cringe at the sight of our friends using Curves now. From the screen, to the keyboard, to the OS, which hate it or love it is pretty darn solid, the Bold is fantastic. But when you throw the iPhone 3G in the mix, it’s gets pretty difficult. A lot of early criticisms surrounding the original iPhone have been addressed. Corporate email, 3G, GPS, price, 3rd party applications, and so on. The honest truth is that if we had to use only one of the two devices, we’d be happy enough with whichever one you gave us. We could deal with the email shortcomings on the iPhone, and we could deal with the improved but not incredible browser on the Bold. It really comes down to what you need more in a phone. While the Bold certainly has improved media and other consumer features, it really is a business device at the end of the day. The iPhone 3G is a consumer device that happens to play nice with a lot of corporations, and we honestly think you won’t find many people dropping their BlackBerrys for an iPhone. They’ll carry both as long as they can afford it.
     
Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 3, 2008, 12:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Probably the best review I've seen so far:
A review that states the Curve has better build quality than the Bold must have been pulled out of the writer's rectum. Nevertheless it is balanced. I've read tons of reviews by now though.

Being a Briton I get my Blackberry for free and pay £38 a month for the privelage. The iPhone's pricing can't beat it and I won't be productive at all on the iPhone without a proper keyboard and support for professional applications.

Apple would do wiser by having a range of phones. A basic smaller iPhone, the classic iPhone 3G with large touchscreen, a model with hardware keyboard and a clamshell. That's what the new Blackberry range is going to be like by December with Bold, Javelin, Kickstart and Storm/Thunder. It's a magnificent revamp on hardware and software levels.
Web dev, Poe, faux-naïf, keyboard warrior, often found imitating online contrarians . My stuff : DELL XPS, iPhone 6
     
Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 3, 2008, 12:15 PM
 
Originally Posted by Railroader View Post
Mac User and The Times have it the other way around. It's completely dependent on who your service is from. I'm getting the Bold on Vodafone's 3.5G 7.2mbs HSDPA network.
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Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 3, 2008, 12:21 PM
 
Originally Posted by turtle777 View Post
See, that's the problem people like you have. They will never effing understand that SAME functionality does NOT matter if the GUI and APIs suck.

Will you EVER learn the lesson from the iPod: ALL major competitors had better and more functions than Apple's iPods, throughout the years. Apple won by a sleek UI and tight integration of soft- and hardware.

The majority of the people don't give a rat's ass about features like "upgradeable memory" and "more formats".

-t

Cmon that's total bullshit in this case. Google and Blackberry Maps are totally usable on Blackberrys/ies despite lacking fancy animations. And the last sentence that people don't care about upgradable memory or more formats is the biggest crock. If that were true you would never upgrade your hard drives and never have to bother with watching those Divx and Xvid files everyone seems to adore.
Web dev, Poe, faux-naïf, keyboard warrior, often found imitating online contrarians . My stuff : DELL XPS, iPhone 6
     
Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 3, 2008, 12:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
Manipulating an object in real time on a screen will always be faster than using a keyboard interface and menu interface to achieve the same thing. It is also far more intuitive. Which leads me to my biggest gripe about the BB, it forces me to think like a BB.
I've had an iPod touch and played with the Bold twice now. It was no easier zooming in on sections of a web page on either device. Pointing out an area to zoom in on is a tad quicker on the iPhone because you simply point your finger at it instead of moving a cursor to the area. Zooming in is faster on the Bold because it is immediate without a special zooming effect. Clicking hyperlinks is hit and miss on an iPhone depending on the size of the text and your finger tip. On the Bold it is easier because it uses the traditional click on it with the cursor.

Basically web browsing on the Bold is like using your desktop and mouse/trackpad/trackball. Blackberry aren't forcing you to think like Blackberry as you state. You're doing the same thing you have done on the desktop for years.
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Mastrap
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Sep 3, 2008, 12:39 PM
 
Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post

Being a Briton I get my Blackberry for free and pay £38 a month for the privelage. The iPhone's pricing can't beat it and I won't be productive at all on the iPhone without a proper keyboard and support for professional applications.
For free? From Vodafone? Are you sure? The Bold is the new flagship and from my own experience with Vodafone (I lived in the UK for a while) I find that hard to imagine. I am not doubting your word in any way, but I'd double check that.

What professional applications are you missing? We've established that the iPhone can display, but not edit at this point, MS Office docs, pdf files, movies and images. For other apps, maps etc, the iPhone is at least on par, often way ahead of the BB.

Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
Apple would do wiser by having a range of phones. A basic smaller iPhone, the classic iPhone 3G with large touchscreen, a model with hardware keyboard and a clamshell. That's what the new Blackberry range is going to be like by December with Bold, Javelin, Kickstart and Storm/Thunder. It's a magnificent revamp on hardware and software levels.
Not at all. The iPhone is the iPhone and offering different models would do one thing only - confuse the market. Different drive sizes is really all that's needed. A hardware keyboard would significantly limit what applications you could develop for the iPhone, so I can't see that happen, unless it is offered as an optional extra.

And seriously, would you call a phone Kickstart or Thunder? Heh.
     
turtle777
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Sep 3, 2008, 01:07 PM
 
Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
Cmon that's total bullshit in this case. Google and Blackberry Maps are totally usable on Blackberrys/ies despite lacking fancy animations.
Dude, did I attack your grandma personally, or what's your issue ? I never said that Crackberry maps is unusable.

Way to blow nothing way out of proportion. But you still didn't get my general point.

Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
And the last sentence that people don't care about upgradable memory or more formats is the biggest crock. If that were true you would never upgrade your hard drives and never have to bother with watching those Divx and Xvid files everyone seems to adore.
WTF, dude ? Can we stick to discussing smart phones, please ?

-t
     
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Sep 3, 2008, 03:47 PM
 
Let me know when your Blackberry can act as a seismometer.



From the Dad of a four iPhone family.
     
Poppakap
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Sep 4, 2008, 01:25 AM
 
If I told my brother who uses a BB on the corporate level to get an iPhone he would laugh.

and

If I told my hipster friends to get a BB instead of the iPhone they would laugh.

Point being they are two phones that people will find different values for.

That being said I came from BB to iPhone and I miss my BB alot of the time.

- it is very slow
- gmail doesn't push at all
- email in general is much more limited
- my keyboard lags about a quarter of the time I use it- rendering it almost unusable
- it doesn't time stamp every text message
- the copy/ paste thing drives me nuts
- it has no search
- is there a way to jump to the bottom of the screen?
- it drops calls way more than the BB
- less ring/ vibrate modes
- app store hasn't given me anything that I "need", or especially even want

I realize that some of my problems may also be specific to my iphone. I was told by support to load the update and it would be fixed (it hasn't).

This is compared to an 8700 BB. My iphone barely beats the 8700 out for my use. But, I am a person that would give up some iphone media centric features for rock solid e-mail. I want to use a Bold before switching. I may just unlock my 8700 and use it.

I don't mean this as an iphone bashing but just to show that some people's priorities would make a BB the better device for them.
     
Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 4, 2008, 05:41 AM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
For free? From Vodafone? Are you sure? The Bold is the new flagship and from my own experience with Vodafone (I lived in the UK for a while) I find that hard to imagine. I am not doubting your word in any way, but I'd double check that.
It's free on Vodafone's £38 tarrif and above and on Orange's £40 tarrif and above. You can check their websites. Vodafone is also including a free Bluetooth headset.


What professional applications are you missing? We've established that the iPhone can display, but not edit at this point, MS Office docs, pdf files, movies and images. For other apps, maps etc, the iPhone is at least on par, often way ahead of the BB.
There's no doubt the iPhone is ahead on other things because it is a newer operating systems with advanced programming libraries compared to the legacy stuff that the Blackberry is currently based on. But the Blackberry Bold is just more productive at this point because of copy + paste, multi-tasking apps, synching documents/folders on the memory card with the same on a computer, IM apps over 3G, Skype apps, voice dialing, use as a tethered 3G modem without extra utilities, etc. Apple needs to open up the iPhone a little more and implement professional features soon.

A hardware keyboard would significantly limit what applications you could develop for the iPhone, so I can't see that happen, unless it is offered as an optional extra.
Not if the keyboard was a slide out model. Sony's Experia coming next month and HTC's Touch Pro do this, except they run the slow and clunky Windows Mobile 6.1. On that note I also played around with the Samsung Omnia (slow, clunky OS but good features), HTC Diamond (loading multiple apps results in sluggishness all round) and the Samsung Tocco (horrid interface, awful touchscreen T9 entry, no qwerty option).

And seriously, would you call a phone Kickstart or Thunder? Heh.
That's no worse than naming operating systems after chaotic and often daft wild cats!
Web dev, Poe, faux-naïf, keyboard warrior, often found imitating online contrarians . My stuff : DELL XPS, iPhone 6
     
Aron Peterson  (op)
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Sep 4, 2008, 08:51 AM
 
Correction: Orange charges £45 a month and if you want Blackberry Push email it is an extra £2.50. Also, Orange's unlimited internet fair use policy is only 250MBs compared to O2 and Vodafone's 500MB. Orange also charges for data over 250MB whereas Vodafone doesn't. Forget using Orange no matter which 3G phone you go for!
Web dev, Poe, faux-naïf, keyboard warrior, often found imitating online contrarians . My stuff : DELL XPS, iPhone 6
     
philm
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Sep 4, 2008, 09:31 AM
 
Originally Posted by Aron Peterson View Post
But the Blackberry Bold is just more productive at this point because of .... IM apps over 3G....
I use Palringo on my iPhone which is an IM app which works fine over 3G. In fact, it's rather nice.
     
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Sep 4, 2008, 10:45 AM
 
Originally Posted by philm View Post
I use Palringo on my iPhone which is an IM app which works fine over 3G. In fact, it's rather nice.
I've read nothing but bad things about Palringo.
     
philm
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Sep 4, 2008, 11:07 AM
 
Well it gets 4/5 stars on the iTunes Store from 213 ratings (UK store). So most people obviously think it's OK/good/excellent. Personally I like the way you can 'chat' with an artificial Palringo person called 'Samantha'. She answers you and everything. I think we are meeting up for drinks next Tuesday.
     
iomatic
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Sep 4, 2008, 11:14 AM
 
I'm at the corporate level and ditched my BB for the iPhone. I'm laughing. At your assessment.



Originally Posted by Poppakap View Post
If I told my brother who uses a BB on the corporate level to get an iPhone he would laugh.

I don't mean this as an iphone bashing but just to show that some people's priorities would make a BB the better device for them.
Bullcrap.
     
blicked
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Sep 4, 2008, 11:50 AM
 
I can't wait for the Blackberry Bold. I currently use a Blackberry Curve that I've had for about two years now.

I got the original iPhone when it came out, and used it for about 3 months. Then I SOLD/GAVE IT TO A FRIEND FOR $20. It's beautiful and fun to use, but the keyboard sucks. I can pound out a full email on my blackberry without looking at it once, but on the iPhone touch-typing is risky. Not to mention drunk-typing— on an iPhone once you've had a few drinks, typing reliably is a challenge— YMMV.

The app store is great, sure, but really, do you really want to be playing battery-draining games/apps on your iPhone when it's a challenge to make it through the day on a single charge, period? My Blackberry can go through two days easy on one charge, where with an iPhone to make it that long, I'd have to BARELY use it. Forget it.

I'm a Blackberry person. The shortcuts, the keyboard (is it really that hard to discern it's vs. its, apple? do I really have to type out we'll, when on a BB I can just type "wel", and it'll autocorrect to we'll?), the email reliability. The CUT AND PASTE, the multimedia messaging, the EVERYTHING.

I can't wait for the Bold. WHOO!!!

Also, I can travel international on a Blackberry with UNLIMITED data for cheap. I don't know why Apple is letting AT&T screw them/you, but AT&T is riding all iPhone users, HARD.
( Last edited by blicked; Sep 4, 2008 at 11:55 AM. Reason: forgot a point:)
     
Kfunk
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Sep 4, 2008, 12:03 PM
 
Easy, iomatic. What Poppakap said makes perfect sense, imo.
     
Mastrap
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Sep 4, 2008, 12:23 PM
 
Originally Posted by blicked View Post
The app store is great, sure, but really, do you really want to be playing battery-draining games/apps on your iPhone when it's a challenge to make it through the day on a single charge, period? My Blackberry can go through two days easy on one charge, where with an iPhone to make it that long, I'd have to BARELY use it. Forget it.
That is incorrect. The Bold's battery life has been one of the major issues BB needed to fix - the jury is still out on whether or not they managed to achieve that. An iPhone with a properly calibrated battery will easily work for two days. This includes web browsing, email and phone calls. My wife, who uses hers mainly for phone calls gets three days without issue.

Auto correcting on the iPhone is excellent and is being consistently praised. I am sure that BB's works just as well, but to say that the iPhone is inferior in that respect is just wrong.

As far as apps are concerned, I use a number of apps that I consider productivity apps. I read industry news using an RSS reader, I make meeting notes via a fully featured voice recorder, I make VoIP calls from abroad. When I am travelling for business I find decent local restaurants to take clients to without having to ask, and I can listen to my favourite Toronto radio station wherever happen to be.

On a bus, in a cab, on a plane I can watch a movie or listen to music, I can play a game or read MS Office docs. Recently I needed to measure volume levels, so all I did was download a decibel meter from the app store and all was good. When I am out and about the iPhone can record my position so when I come home I can geotag my photos.

I never had problems with email reliability and there are numerous multi messaging solutions available, including AIM, twitter and others.

It's fine to be a fan, but don't let it cloud your judgement.
     
Mastrap
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Sep 4, 2008, 12:27 PM
 
Originally Posted by iomatic View Post
Bullcrap.
Come on. Some people prefer the BB. So what? What's right for me isn't automatically right for everyone. I use the iPhone in a corporate environment without any problems too, but others might find themselves limited in some way.
     
blicked
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Sep 4, 2008, 01:06 PM
 
Originally Posted by Mastrap View Post
That is incorrect. The Bold's battery life has been one of the major issues BB needed to fix - the jury is still out on whether or not they managed to achieve that. An iPhone with a properly calibrated battery will easily work for two days. This includes web browsing, email and phone calls. My wife, who uses hers mainly for phone calls gets three days without issue.
If the Bold's battery life is as bad as that, I'll probably just end up getting the updated Curve.
     
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Sep 4, 2008, 01:13 PM
 
Originally Posted by iomatic View Post
I'm at the corporate level and ditched my BB for the iPhone. I'm laughing. At your assessment.





Bullcrap.
You can be as cocky as you want. I would be interested in how a your corporate level address book works for you in the iphone. My point was that they are different devices that serve different purposes albeit with a cross-section.
     
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Sep 4, 2008, 05:54 PM
 
Originally Posted by blicked View Post
I got the original iPhone when it came out, and used it for about 3 months. Then I SOLD/GAVE IT TO A FRIEND FOR $20.
You are either VERY generous or very stupid.
     
BoingoBongo
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Sep 4, 2008, 07:17 PM
 
Blackberries are great and iPhones are great. Use whatever works for you.

It's odd how somebody's choice of phone is taken as some sort of statement about their character.
     
darkmatter
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Sep 4, 2008, 07:31 PM
 
Hello
I don't want to offend anyone on this forum but sincerely I don't think that neither the BB nor the iPhone can
be regarded as productivity devices. I get nervous of only imagining to answer an urgent email with such a small
piece of hardware or even trying to read an excel file or a white paper

Can't understand why there are on the market monster HD TVs and at the same time ultra tiny devices to watch films
I frankly accept that the GPS/Maps features are good for the people that get lost in the city or that the build in
micro camera can help to get a quick shoot of a document but other than those for what else are these devices productive?

Best wishes!
     
analogika
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Sep 4, 2008, 07:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by darkmatter View Post
Hello
I don't want to offend anyone on this forum but sincerely I don't think that neither the BB nor the iPhone can
be regarded as productivity devices. I get nervous of only imagining to answer an urgent email with such a small
piece of hardware or even trying to read an excel file or a white paper
Your nervousness will completely evaporate once you actually try USING one of these devices to do that (or, in fact, *need to* because you don't HAVE an assistant who'll take care of it for you).

Until then,

Best wishes etc.

-chris.
     
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Sep 4, 2008, 08:08 PM
 
Originally Posted by darkmatter View Post
I get nervous of only imagining to answer an urgent email with such a small piece of hardware
Why would you be nervous about this? Your email will fly through the tubes™ from a phone just like it would from any other internet-connected device.
     
 
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