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Blackberry and Iphone, pros and cons

I'm considering upgrading my 8 years old mobile phone and I'm looking at the Iphone and Blacberry

Which one would you recommend me :

I will really need access to e-mail, via google apps, surfing the internet, listening to MP3
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Having used both - I say Blackberry Curve FTW!

Except for surfing pleasure, I found the Blackberry to be superior to the iPhone in every other aspect - real, usable keyboard,  Sweet Push email, Exchange mail account just works - Meeting requests are automagically in the calendar and I get reminders too, with the 8320 Curve on T-Mobile, calls are free if you are at home or some place which has WiFi, Battery life is G.R.E.A.T (very poor on iPhone), the Media player is decent and plays most audio videos very well, the sound quality is way better - for calls and for music both.

Recent version of Google maps for the BB does decent GPS by triangulation or whatever that is - it is accurate within few hundred feets of the exact location with no load on the battery - the iPhone's is not said to be much better.

Now only if RIM puts a nicer browser on them - not that the current browser is bad - it's just not as nice as Mobile Safari.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
I forgot - Blackberrys come with A2DP enabled Bluetooth - that means nice stereo sound from the Bluetooth headsets which is not possible with iPhone.

Yet another thing - tethering is straightforward and usable on T-Mo's EDGE network but if you buy BB from VZW I suspect you are going to see decent speeds with more coverage.

That brings us to the last, but to most the important advantage of the BBs - choice of carriers!
Saturday, September 06, 2008
There are many other contenders.  See for a few.
So tired
Saturday, September 06, 2008
In a nutshell, the iPhone is currently targeted at consumers who generally want to receive information (one way), and the Blackberries are targeted at professionals who need to generate, send and receive information (both ways).

I think right now, because the original poster mentioned Google Apps, they're probably better off with the Blackberry. It's really difficult composing major documents or working with spreadsheets on the iPhone.

I know a lot of IT professionals that prefer the iPhone but I should emphasize, they don't use it as a portable laptop equivalent. They just surf the next, play games, do text messaging, and various trivial tasks like making appointments, all of which take less than a minute to do.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
I recommend sticking with the Blackberry. It is not that the iPhone is terrible, but a lot of the functionality advertised are just weaker than they have been advertised. I have been living with my iPhone 3G for a while now with a 6GB data plan and I have these observations to share:

* Camera - It has backed up a discrete digital camera yes, because the camera only had 512MB. But it has no zoom and no macro. Some enterprising iPhone owners are tearing apart old discarded cameras to get at the lens to make their own glue-on macro lens, but keep in mind there are more serious Camera + Smart Phone options out there where this sort of hack seem pathetic. There's no xeon flash, no flash at all. And no one I can think of wants to buy an expensive Blue tooth add-on flash to fix what iPhone 3G could have gotten right the first time.

* Phone - It's beaten to death, but Sucks Rocks meter will say it's horrible, and my experience backs that up. I am on the Fido/Rogers network and apparantly some of my friends said that I should have gone Telus. But it's horrible.

* Integration with phone - It costs $15 extra each month to activate enough add-ons on the Phone Plan side to make Visual Voice Mail, Caller ID (that calls up the gorgeous pictures of your friend), and Who Called. That's unacceptable. $15 becomes $540 over three years and who can imagine buying a $540 answering machine? It's stupid.

* Integration with phone - Fido counts by seconds. Rogers count by minutes. But either way it's not linked to my iPhone in an intelligent way. I don't know how many minutes/secs I spent during my metered time and how many minutes/secs I spent during my free weekends and evenings. And this is just about the kind of problem that a un-DRMed unlocked phone should solve--being your accounting instead of gleefully encouraging you to over-use time. And that's what you get with a contract phone--is this Apple giving up too much? Where's my fine grain by the sec live billing? This should be a solved problem but the politics of encouraging people to over-use their phone hampers such an obvious implementation for years. So you're never sure if you are going over, until you get your monthly bill. This hurts if you are low-income or a student or if you are a thrifty small business where everything cent are being counted.

* Skype lets you talk all you want. A PC with a WiMAX card will be more than happy to tether for you OR let you run an internet cafe in the park OR let four guys and their PDAs take VISA cards in the park selling icecream--BUT iPhone will not do this for you.

Apple did not try to differentiate the iPhone from their competition in this area and it's sad. Is it a personal computer that actually obeys the owner or 1984?

* Landscape mode is not universal.

* Out of the box you have to email yourself a PDF to read on the gorgeous 160 dpi bright screen. When you open up the attachment and get to Page 84, and multitask away and come back. It forgets the page you are on. And you are using your two thumbs to scroll back to Page 84. It's stupid.

It's just so bizarre how exactly we now have the right technology in front of you to solve the problem and have the software slap you for thinking it. Thanks Apple.

I have more to list, but I cut it short here, it just makes me more and more mad that even the cheapest three year plan would amount to $3500 total cost of ownership for a piece of crap.

But I am holding on to it, the iPhone and other smart phones out there trying to match it (or beat it) are bringing new ways of computing into our hand, and while the phone may fail the trend. The trend will flatten our world view sooner or later. So I am holding on to my phone and making as much use of it as possible to see where our future goes.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Some critical things to add:

* Push mail is broken. Yahoo Mail! failed to push anything. Sometimes it's 2 seconds, well, that's complement by the other times it takes hours. Um, that's not push mail. Sorry.

* MobileMe is the only acceptable alternative at the moment outside of Yahoo Mail's free "push". It costs money but solves a suit of problems for you. But it is in its infancy and everyone is eager to stomp on the baby at the moment that I actually feel bad for the MobileMe team. But eventually they will have to be enterprise ready. But I have my reservations because there are a lot of initiatives that Apple comes up with to woo' the enterprise and Fortune 500s and then they go home, rejected, crestfallen, and decide to call things off. Therefore they often get stuck with products meant for enterprise or at least SME and end up not having the buy-in to back it up with the expected functionality and reliability. I am not worried about MobileMe being able to cross the chasm, I am worried that they won't have the $200,000 rocket packs and data centers and bandwidth and redundancy and expensive expertise to help them cross the chasm 24/7/365.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Saturday, September 06, 2008
If you disagree with my assessment or if you feel that the iPhone 3G's competitions also have dead-dealing defects worth considering, please let me know. I am all for learning.
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Saturday, September 06, 2008
>really need access to e-mail, via google apps, surfing the internet, listening to MP3 <

If you are never too far from a wireless hot spot, why not buy an iPod Touch and get a small (and cheap) cell phone to do the traditional stuff, like voice calls.  That way it is much easier to talk to someone while you read the email they sent, or surf the web, or watch a video while the other party drones on about something you don't care about.  You will pay less per month, to boot. If you have been using the same cell phone for 8 eight years, you are obviously too practical to just go out and buy the newest toy because everyone else has one. Besides, how many emails do you get that require an immediate response that can't fit the 160 character limit for SMS text messages?
RGlasel Send private email
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Go with the BlackBerry.  If you are a business professional and will be doing any sort of email with it it beats the touch screen hands down. 

With the BlackBerry, when you setup a Gmail (including your own domain hosted there I think) or Yahoo account you get a push email with pretty much instant delivery.  With anything else you get a 15 minute polling window. 

If you have an Exchange server you can get Blackberry professional for free (1 user) and sync your BB in real time to your exchange server and get push email with that, sync'd inbox, etc.

iPhone is a cool toy that does will get you there (kinda like a sports car, fun to drive, but not so practical)  Blackberry is like a luxury car.

Also I'd recommend the BlackBerry Curve, the Bold is cool, but being so new its also high priced right now.  If you don't need the camera you could also consider the 88xx line that has Wifi and GPS in one of the models.  Lot more selection in the BB line.

Let us know what you device.
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Sorry to rant, but who was the idiot who thought putting a camera in a cell phone was a good idea?  And why do people even care about the phone in their camera?

$200 will get you a standalone digital camera with a serviceable flash, optical zoom, macro focusing, and most importantly, the capability to take photos that someone will want to look at a week from now, a year from now, maybe even 50 years from now.  Of course you can't listen to MP3's on it, or read email, but only homeless people try to wear all of their belongs.  What's wrong with owning different tools for different tasks?
RGlasel Send private email
Saturday, September 06, 2008
Please substitute "belongings" for "belongs"
RGlasel Send private email
Saturday, September 06, 2008
RGlasel > Sorry to rant, but who was the idiot who thought putting a camera in a cell phone was a good idea?

Because people don't want to carry around multiple tools (cellphone, PDA, MP3 player, camera, etc.).
Sunday, September 07, 2008
While a camera is cool in a cell phone, I have never used my camera for anything business related.  I'd much rather have a phone with good, email, wifi and GPS.  I got the curve (8310 blackberry) because I liked the form factor better, but in hind sight I should have gotten the 8820 with WiFi and GPS.  I never use the camera on mine, camera pictures suck.
John Smith
Sunday, September 07, 2008
Just to provide some counterpoints, I'm happy with my iPhone. I even use the camera to take low quality pictures of stuff that I want to remember in the short term, as opposed to stuff I want to preserve for generations to come.  For example, if I see a book in the bookstore that I want to look up online, I'll take a quick photo of the cover. If I'm trying to fix my bathroom sink, I'll take a couple of pictures of what I think the problem is and show them to the guy at the hardware store.

I think all this thread really demonstrates is that most of the people here need "more" capabilities from their phone than what the iPhone provides, and I think that's perfectly fine.  In fact, I even recommended that the original poster get the Blackberry because of his Google Apps requirement.

Beyond that, I feel it's worth mentioning that I know several people who have ditched the Blackberry in favor of the iPhone for one and only one reason, a better user interface. They simply just don't want or need all the extras the Blackberry includes, and they don't like what they believe to be a cumbersome menu interface for accessing the things they do use. With that thought in mind, I'd ask anyone else considering the iPhone verses the Blackberry not to take this discussion as the final word, but to realize that people's needs are different and there is no one single best phone for everyone.
Sunday, September 07, 2008
I just got a Blackberry Curve 8310 (AT&T) yesterday, and so far I'm very happy with it. Emails just work, from IMAP to POP to Exchange to Hotmail. The only problem I've found so far was that it doesn't seem to support IMAP folders, but I installed the free LogicMail and that gives me the functionality I need for now.

For browsing you've got Opera Mini which is really good. I haven't compared it to Safari on the iPhone, but I like it. My 8310 also has an internal GPS, so combined with Google Maps I've got a free GPS solution.

I've never had a Blackberry before, but I've been looking at the various apps available for it and it seems like you can get just about everything. I even installed an IRC client, and it stays connected in the background 24/7 without sucking the battery dry.

I was looking at the iPhone, but I think the Blackberry will work better for me.
sloop Send private email
Sunday, September 07, 2008
"Sorry to rant, but who was the idiot who thought putting a camera in a cell phone was a good idea?"

Well clearly a lot of people use the camera function for quick pictures that they don't really care to keep forever. They may be at the store and want to show their wife the two versions of baby crib that the store has available for purchase. And so on.

But I'll add that not everyone WANTS a camera on their phone. My brother works for the government and they do not allow you to bring cell phones with cameras into their building. So he either has to find a phone that doesn't have a camera (which is impossible these days) or paint over the lens.
Monday, September 08, 2008
++ Blackberry.  Two reasons:

1 - copy/paste.  iPhone doesn't have it!

2 - insurance.  Apple won't sell you insurance and neither will AT&T.  Yeah, homeowner's or renter's insurance might cover it, but come on.
Innovate or die
Monday, September 08, 2008 a general response, I'd say you first need to know what all you WANT to use it for, and what all you NEED to use it for, and then compare the two side-by-side.

- I am not an Apple FanBoy, but I could never get my wife to use a cell phone because they were "too hard to learn to use".  It took her all of five minutes to get up and running on the iPhone, and like Apple products in general, what it does, it does very well and the UI is unimpeachable.  And I do not use my own iPhone for business purposes, so I have no comment, but for personal use, it is very well worth having.

- P.S. - is the difference in monthly cost any issue here?
Old Guy
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Mr Moose
Tuesday, September 09, 2008
Okay, here's a few more major gotchas....

Pages should become snippets hyperlinked. Yes, it's true that people should make content that fits a personal multimedia device or at least make information that are meant for today's online consumption. BUT the real world is filled with 500 page specifications and ebooks and you need two things in this reality:

1) Ability of the document reader to remember where you are. Let's get modal please;

and 2) The ability to navigate through this mess. This means a find feature, or tagging/bookmarking feature,

and bonus 3) copy-and-paste (even Engadget is stabbing their eyes out for this omission)

Okay... 3) is really pointing to 3.1) serious notepadding, 3.2) a HCI certification requirement that anticipates an official bluetooth keyboard; 3.3) people need to do more than just reply to their office email--who actually need the ability to have 3rd party software developers make incredible editors for very complex data.

The only reason I can think of to get omit all these fantastic features is to Avoid Making a PocketPC(TM)(C)2006-2008. Okay, _I get it(TM)(C)2006-2008_. But it should be possible to get from A to B when you want to be selling the iPhone to the enterprise. Famous last words I guess. There has to be some give and take (TM)(C)2006-2008. Okay?
Li-fan Chen Send private email
Monday, September 15, 2008

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