So it’s been a week since I turned my back on Nokia and entered the shadowy underworld of Blackberry.
Life After Recharge
As I mentioned previously, battery life on the Bold was set to be an issue from the start. And it certainly has been. Managed a whole two days on a single charge – and that includes being switched off at night. Unacceptable. In an attempt to salvage the situation I resorted to turning down the display brightness to all of 30%. But the insanity didn’t stop there. No, I went a step further and – in a moment of sheer madness – switched off 3G! My funky Bold 9700 had now been demoted to being just another Blackberry without 3G. Now I know you’re thinking I’ve gone off the deep end but you’ll change your mind on that when I say that after that stunt I was able to get three and a half days out of the battery. Not bad hey?
Last time I was all praise for Google Sync and while for the most part I still am, I have a complaint. Many of my contacts have multiple mobile/home/work numbers. The initial sync only copied one home/work/mobile number per contact. I discovered this when answering a call from a number I didn’t recognise. It turns out that number was one I usually ignore. Dang! Busted!
No Easy Exchange
Mail for Exchange on the Nokia is an awesome piece of software! It enables quick and easy access to your corporate mailbox providing your company allows external access. The Blackberry is first and foremost a business-centric phone so connecting to corporate mail is it’s thing. Supposedly. Blackberry Enterprise Server, or BES, is the one-stop solution for this. However, it has the added (dis)advantage of routing all your browsing traffic through your company proxies. Now I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer it if my managers didn’t know about my late night job-site browsing*, or about my newly formed online poker addiction. Also, all personal email (gmail etc) that gets routed via your company’s servers are liable to fall under company data policies and you could lose rights to your data. It was for this primarily for this reason that I chose BIS.
While adding email accounts to your Blackberry, you are given the option of accessing your email via Outlook Web Access (OWA). Sadly, I haven’t as yet been able to get this to work. A Google for ActiveSync-type applications returned a few hits but the better ones required some form of purchase. I’m cheap (hence the BBM). So I guess work emails will need to wait till I’m in the office until such a time as I find a solution to this. At this point let me admit to having switched on the E71 to check mail. I did have to set up the exchange profile again but it doesn’t matter since it took less than 2 minutes to configure.
All The Small Things
When you buy a car, be it new or used (lets focus on used for this example), you generally make some compromises between what you want and what you need. For example, you need to get from home to work. But you can’t afford to splash out on a Ford Mustang GT-R so you get the next best thing – 1983 Nissan Sh1tbox**. While it gets you from point A to point B, it tends to get a bit stuffy with the paper bag over your head.
I have spent the last week making excuses for why I’m using a Blackberry. I feel I have lost a large amount of Geek points with friends and colleagues – and I take my Geek points seriously! I’ve been using the “I-did-it-for-BIS-and-BBM” defense but I don’t think it’s holding up well.
Don’t get me wrong, the Bold is an awesome phone. The user interface is pretty good but I can’t live with a phone that spends time thinking when closing or switching between applications. The form factor is decent, but it does require two hands to operate effectively. Yes, the Message app is good at collating all your communication in one place but tell me how does one add a number from call log to an existing contact? BB suggest the copy-paste method or you can download an app for $2.95 which will do this for you. Does anyone else find this dumb? Thought so!
Having said all that, I must admit that I like the ability to tweet/sms/mms/bbm/email/anything from anywhere in almost any application. It is pretty cool.
I haven’t fallen in love with the Bold as yet. It’s yet to impress me. Can I live with it? Yes, sure I can. Will I be happy? With time and understanding we can love anyone… Err yeah I’m sure I’ll get by. Should I have got the Android route? Perhaps. Would a Nokia have been a better option? Without doubt.
I think I need more alone time with this phone in order to understand it better. Maybe then my impressions of it will change. Until then, I will remain a man stuck between the place he knows well and the unknown that calls out to him.
Meanwhile, in news just in Blackberry have revealed a new Curve model which features – you guessed it – 3G! It’s designated as the Curve 3G 9300 and you can read more about it here.
*If you’re reading this and you’re my manager – just joking.
**Soz, but that’s what it is.