Monday, March 21, 2011

Blackberry anyone?

I never imagine myself as a BlackBerry user. Never crossed my mind to own it (especially with my own money).  It was for a reason which I strongly believed that without that 'integration server', the BlackBerry won't be a 'smart' after all. I didn't even bother to dig further on it's capabilities over other smartphone until some of us in the company was issued with BlackBerry Curve 3G (BB 9300).

Before I'm getting my review on this phone, let's see my perspective of some brand: -
1. Nokia (series 60, Symbian OS. Particularly E63 and C5-00)
- Can install Garmin Mobile XT which has an extensive and regularly updated map (C5-00 with integrated GPS receiver, not in E63).
- Abundant freeware, namely SportTracker, a very useful sport tracking software making use of GPS.
- Widely use thus, borrowing a charger at someone's else office is a non-issue.
- No driver required for ready to use 'thumb drive', just don't forget the data cable.
- C5-00 has charging capabilities over USB port, E63 not supported.
- Geotagging camera (C5-00)

2. Sony Ericsson (K800i, W810i)
- PC remote control over bluetooth. And this is native software. Picture this.. long before Steve Jobs flipping a powerpoint presentation with his iPhone, Sony Ericsson did it already.
- Awesome camera quality (K800i).
- Plactic battery? Lithium Polymer battery was used in Sony Ericsson since I owned R520m in 2002.
- R520m has proximity switch which turn off the speakerphone once you took the phone close to your ear.  The switch also 'snooze' the alarm when you wave your hand over it. A practical feature that I can't find in other phone to date.
- Charging capabilities over data cable (USB).

3. HTC/Dopod O2 (Specifically O2 Mini)
- Touchscreen, I like handwriting (graffiti) input most.
- Larger screen than candy form phone.
- Won't receive voice call if you are tethering putting an end to this phone.

4. BlackBerry Curve 3G
- High accuracy GPS receiver (up to 2m! Nokia C5-00's best is at 5m).
- Consolidated messages in single view (Tweeter, BBM, email, RSS, Facebook notification, Gtalk, Yahoo Messenger, MSN and many more).
- Optical trackpad reduces thumb fatigue compares to Nokia E63 & C5-00.
- QWERTY input.
- Seamless sync for Contacts and Calendar on Google (I like this most. Slightly harder to make it work on Nokia E63).
- Geotagging camera (requires some tweak to make it tag on the right place).
- Tracking my exercise using GPS receiver.
Downside
- Won't receive voice call and even SMS if you are tethering and in the middle on downloading big file.
- Must subscribe BIS or BES in order make full use of it else it's just a merely oversize phone that do voice call and SMS (other non-network related application may work except GPS).  Be extra careful on data subscription, some charge high rate after you exceed the limit, while other just throttle you down.

- Hooking up standard 3.5mm headphone won't let you answer the phone using the speaker phone. The caller's voice not routed to the headphone (Nokia C5-00 and E63 work this way, thus coupling with car stereo that accept auxiliary input is a bless, later post on this matter).

Some screenshots
Twitter, RSS, Email updates on single interface.

Traffic updates via Twitter

RSS feeds on TheStar online newspaper

GPS enabled sport tracking freeware, yet to be tested.

Previously I use this freeware for sport tracking



Conclusion
While the features is not unique (i.e. only BlackBerry can do this), at the price I'm getting it (i.e. company's phone) I like it for what it can do for me.  I subscribed to tweeter for traffic updates, RSS on local and global news and some blog that I follow.  My final say for friends & family out there, ask yourself what you need from the phone, not what the phone can give you.
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