RIM’s BlackBerry Device: The Beauty and The Beast
Love it or hate it, BlackBerry phones are here to stay. The telecom firms love them 'cause they reduce bandwidth consumption and keep the networks a lot more stable.
Just like every other mobile phone out there in the market, they have their cons and pros which ought to be closely reviewed before you decide to invest in one of them.
I'll be starting out with the pros of owning a BlackBerry device.
PROS OF OWNING A BLACKBERRY PHONE
- Push Email Technology: This is currently available in most smartphones from companies like Nokia and Samsung. Push Email enables you to receive your emails in real time as soon as they hit your inbox. With BlackBerry's push email technology, all you need do is provide your Gmail or Yahoo account username and password and you are good to start receiving and sending emails in just a few seconds .
- Data Compression: Without this feature, the purpose of a blackberry will be defeated in my own opinion. Techies have said that data transmitted via RIM servers to BlackBerry phones are compressed to almost half their size thereby saving you huge costs that could be accrued due to severe bandwidth depletion. The BlackBerry data compression accounts for why you could have tons of apps running on your phone at the same time and at the end of the day, you realize that you haven't even used up to 2MB for that day . This is not the case with regular smartphones that lack the data compression technology. In times when the network is somewhat of bad and data transmission is shaky, you can be rest assured that you'll be able to get your emails as they'll be compressed to so tiny a size that makes them easily transmittable .
- Cheapest Internet Access Available: For as little as N2,800 on the Glo network here in Nigeria, you are given access to the BlackBerry Internet Service with a data allocation of 1.5GB for 1 month duration. Believe me you, your counterparts who are using the latest Nokia, Samsung, HTC or iPhone smartphone with the same data allocation would consume theirs a lot faster than you would consume yours and it comes down to what we just discussed above, BlackBerry data compression. As I've come to understand, transmitting 1 MB of data via a regular smartphone = transmitting just about 200 – 400kb of data on a BlackBerry Device.
- Awesome QWERTY keyboard: Blackberry devices have been known for their awesome keyboards which make typing so easy and fluid once you've gotten used to the small keys that is . I tried typing fast on the Nokia C3 and noticed that the soft feel of the keys didn't help matters at all. Maybe I was just used to the regular, computer like keyboard of the BlackBerry .
CONS OF OWNING A BLACKBERRY DEVICE
- Poor call quality in 3G mode: Depending on your network provider, you might have issues making calls when in 3G mode. I sure did have this issue on the Glo Network with my BlackBerry Curve 3G 9300. I kept getting the Supplementary Service Error. Unfortunately I wasn't able to have it fixed before I relocated to my current EDGE only enabled area. Hopefully I'll revisit the issue with them again in the nearest future. For now everything works just fine in EDGE mode for me.
- File Download Limit: Depending on the model and OS of your blackberry phone, you could experience difficulty downloading large files of over 2.9MB to 4.8MB. This is quite frustrating especially when you don't have access to your computer and you really need to download a software or pdf for immediate use. If you already have a BlackBerry and you're having issues with this, I recommend you read my fix for this: How To Download Large Files On Your BlackBerry Mobile Phone.
- Windows Messenger, AIM, Yahoo Messenger "Service Not Enabled For This Handheld" Issues: BlackBerry services such as email, browsing and chat require service books to function properly. If these service books are outdated or not present, the respective application that needs them will not function at all. I had the Service Not Enabled For This Handheld error on my Yahoo Messenger until one of the guys at GLO BlackBerry Care fixed it for me . Here's How To Fix BlackBerry's Yahoo Message Service Not Enabled For This Handheld error.
- Slow and Average Native Browser: Despite the data compression thing, loading webpages on my Curve 3G takes a little bit of time and the web elements are sometimes scattered all over the screen thus the reason why I prefer using Opera Mini for my web surfing needs.
- Long Re-boot Time: BlackBerry has two kind of rebooting methods. The hard and the soft one. The soft one is the equivalent of the sleep/hibernate function in computers. The phone is switched off but all apps that were running prior to shutdown are left running. On the hand, a hard reboot, shuts down your BlackBerry phone completely and restarting it again could take like 3 minutes . The soft reboot completes in seconds but it's always advisable to do a hard reboot from time to time. NOTE: A hard reboot is achieved by removing your battery and re-inserting it after 5 seconds.
- BlackBerry Thumb: Depending on the model of your BlackBerry, the size of the keyboard and been connected to BB Email, Facebook, Twitter, Yahoo ,Messenger, Gtalk and Blackberry messenger can take its toll on your thumbs and leave you with an aching and throbbing pain in them. Doctors recommend you take a break from your blackberry device when such symptoms arise.
- No YouTube streaming: Watching YouTube videos on your BlackBerry device is next to impossible as far as I know 'cause BlackBerry doesn't support streaming of FLV files. What I do is download them in 3GP or MP4 format via Tubezen.
These are just about the only pros and cons of Blackberry devices I can think of right now. Feel free to share any pro or con which I might have left out.
NOTE: For some reason, BB phones sold by networks have issues. You might be better off buying a new one in the market from Authentic Blackberry Dealers.
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