Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Why my Blackberry Tour is awesome...

I can recall discrete points sprinkled over the timeline of my existence where I knew that something that I encountered would be life-changing. Examples: when a grade school teacher told me about a device called a "modem," the first time I opened in Netscape Navigator 1.0, the first time I heard of a DVD player, when I first met Noell, etc. (Noell, you should be honored to be listed among these other items :) )One less dramatic instance of this phenomenon was when I upgraded to my new Blackberry Tour.

Before upgrading, I had two iterations of the Palm Treo (650 and 700), which I loved. It was tough to make the move away from the Treo, but when my contract was up, I decided to give Blackberry a try. The verdict: why did I wait so long?

The Tour is awesome. And I will tell you why:

1) Form-factor - the Treo was one of the best phones I have ever used from a perspective of form-factor. I could walk around and use it with one hand and it had a tactile keyboard. The Blackberry is *almost* as good. The keyboard is great (nice textured keys) and I can use it with one hand, but I often get the urge to tap on the screen to select something - the Tour does not have a touch-screen.

2) Applications - I will do a separate blog post about some of the apps that I like, but here are the highlights:
- Google Talk
- Google Maps
- UberTwitter
- Facebook
- Bloomberg
- Pandora

3) Message aggregation - All alerts (IM's, email from different accounts, Facebook alerts, etc) are visible in my messages screen. This weirded me out at first, but I have grown to love going to one place to see all alerts.

4) Battery life - I can get about 36 hours of good use out of a charge

5) The browser murders the Blazer web browser that haunted the Treo

Things I don't like:

1) BIS email - I hate that I can't set the interval of mail checking. It kills me that my email shows up around every 10 minutes or so. This will hurt my aspiration to keep up an email response time similar to my friends Al and Ira (around 2 min, on average [but it's only that high if you average in sleeping time]).

2) That it doesn't have or that I can't find speakerphone. I need that for conference calls.

3) That I cannot find a Yelp app for it

4) That the trackball thing can be a little unresponsive sometimes

5)And the biggest one, that Verizon attempts to charge monthly fees to use the device's built-in GPS and visual voicemail.

Overall, it is a great phone and I will certainly be posting more about it. I *highly* recommend that Tour if you're looking for a new phone.

Oh, man, I cannot tell you how much I love being able to Twitter anything that I find interesting as soon as I think of it (I live in perpetual fear that others will be deprived of my constant stream of clever thoughts). And, how much I love being able to IM while walking between buildings. And, how much I love listening to Pandora at the gym while answering email. And,...



Dan said...

I keep telling Ira that he doesn't know what he's missing! As far as the "don't likes":

1) Run a BES or switch to AT&T (their BIS is better).
2) I think it's the '$' key on the tour. You can also activate speakerphone interactively with the menu key.
3) Maybe
4) Given that it's new, I'm assuming it's a processor thing (The UberTwitter/Google Latitude combo makes my pearl slightly unresponsive occasionally). Once it gets older and dusty, that's a different issue...I've found cleaning it with a sticky note usually works fairly well.
5) See #1.

Let me know if you have any other questions... :)

Chris Mustazza said...

Thanks, Dan! Responses respectively:

1)Just got a new Verizon contract and I'm not sure BES works with UNIX mail setups. I think I am stuck until I get my mustazza@wharton account. :)

2) Aha! I will try that.

3) Nice! I will try this too.

4) I think you're right about it being a processor lag issue. And, good tip about the sticky note.

5) See #1 :)

Thanks, again. I will definitely let you know as I uncover more vagaries of the Blackberry!

kCkayy said...

The speakerphone button is the "$" key. beside the "enter" key. hope this helps a little

whiplashes said...

Check my blog for a leaked app download for the official Twitter for Blackberry from RIM.