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I have been a fan of the Blackberry ever since they came out; the one that I now have is a Blackberry Curve - one that I got on demo from our Network Service Provider at work. We got 3 to try out and for a while, the 3 of us were the envy of our colleagues.
Of course, technology proceeds apace and new model follows new model and now these are no longer considered to be Top Banana models as they once were.
For business purposes, my needs were and are straightforward. I am not one to crow about features I don't need or seek to make use of them just for the sake of it.
In my job, I travelled up and down to London a lot of the time and spent a lot of time on the train. Normally I could get a seat and was able to work via the laptop. A lot of the time though, when it was too busy, the Blackberry came into its own. It was connected up to our network at work and it was very easy to log in and out of your folders and files as well as catching up on emails and the like. Synchronisation was also a breeze once you had mastered the settings.
I for one was happy to trade off the 24hr availability downside to having a Blackberry with the obvious upside of being able to work pretty much normally on the move and optimise my productivity.
I love the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity which signal permitting is very reliable. Less impressive was the camera. I think it's only about 2 Megapixels which isn't really good enough for anything but the most basic photographic representations.
Packaged with my Blackberry from RIM (Research in Motion) was the USB cable to allow you to connect to your laptop - handy for charging up, for example. Also flat and round pin adapters to allow you to use 2 pin plug sockets. Also, the Blackberry User Tools disc - never used by me because those nice people in IT set it all up for me.
This is no longer a top of the range model, but I am quite happy with the features available to me on this one. I notice that these days, the market seems to have changed and it's young people that you see flaunting them and it's no longer just texting - it's these infernal social networking sites. Nobody seems comfortable talking to each other these days. Too many Apps - not enough real life.
I suspect there are a good few dooyooers who prepare and post their reviews using their Blackberry too. I am not at that stage yet.
It's a very useful tool, but don't let it take over your life. Don't be a saddo - these should never be seen on a beach!
OK, but ONLY IF IT WORKS.
I work for an organisation that has bought a couple of hundred of these. Of the 40 in my department, over 10% of users have had problems. Mine will now not recharge. Maybe we just got a bad batch?
When it works, its a good phone and device.
The battery life is good and it synchs well.
The keys are very fiddly and I would advise anyone (big fingers or not) to get a rubber tipped stylus. (it will save you a lot of grief).
Buy a screen protector - my screen is already lightly chipped :(
My model does not have the EU standard recharging jack (meaning that I have to carry my recharger with me, along with separate rechargers for my other phones)
My issue is, if 10%+ of an organisations staff (i.e. a BIG buyer) are having reliability problems - what kind of assurance of reliability can a single person user expect?
If you get a good reliable one, you will enjoy - to me, reliability is a serious issue.
I was never a PDA person. But when I lost my phone a friend gave me thier old work phone and as it was free I took it. NOW I AM NEVER WITHOUT IT!
The Blackberry Curve was given to me when it had only been used for 2 months before. With the Blackberry Data Plan added on this phone really comes into its own. The built in E-mail features are great for important Uni and personal e0-mails as different accounts can be set up and managed. The ease and simplicity of replying to an e-mail on the curve makes my laptop a little obsolete. Their is never a chance to forget to reply if you can do it on the go!
Being a Social Network Junkie the Facebook application from Blackberry is amazing. Notifying me on screen when an update comes through I am always in the loop and connected to my friends. Even those without BBM can use Facebook to have a conversation on the go. Them on the laptop me on the Blackberry.
Onto Blackberry Messenger. This is a little addictive. When someone is on and chatting i often find myself BBm-ing for ages and even my friends in the states can be easily reached and spoken to with BBM.
What I didn't expect was the handiness of the built in powerpoint and word. This makes editing and adding to assignments and essays easy when on buses and trains between Uni and home. Deadlines look less threatening when you can edit the essay on route to Uni without a large laptop.
This covers the fancy and bonuses of the phone. As a phone the Blackberry Curve really shines too. It functions as a phone making and receiving calls but text messages are all in the same thread meaning you can look over the whole conversation as you reply, meaning you never look stupid for re-asking or missing a question!
Overall LOVE THIS PHONE and now comes and goes everywhere with me!
I was one of those rare people who had a mobile phone but never used it. Months could go by without me using the phone and therefore it never got charged (until I needed it of course). So when I was given Blackberry from work and told to maintain contact I was sceptical to say the least. Boy was I wrong.
The ability to email on the move just blew my mind and those keyboard buttons which seemed so small at first suddenly became so easy to use. Suddenly emails and text messages were flowing back and forth - with that distinctive tone sounding each time. Ring tones were easy to add from existing music libraries (no hidden costs there unlike the iphone) whilst the style and size made the phone so easy to hold, use and move around.
The contract was with o2 and I have to say that the service was impeccable - they always sorted out the odd problem that we had straight away and, at around £25 per month per handset, the tarrfiff seemed reasonable for the use we had (unlimited O2 to O2 calls, unlimited use of internet and emails and 700 free texts between us).
However the phone came into its own, for me, on a visit to London where the GPS maps were used when we got lost and the internet searched on the move to find different locations and attractions.
Work has now changed the contract to an iphone and I am loving the applications (see my iphone review) but I would go back to the blackberry like a shot - it certainly made my life so much easier and efficient.
Before I had my Blackberry I had very stereotypical views on what they were like and the type of people who use them. Here are a few-
1. I thought BB users were all businessy and faaar to busy for face to face interaction!
2. American! (Alot of my previous BB knowledge came from TV shows such as 'The Hills'! (dont judge me!))
3. I thought the BB would be overcomplicated and of little use in my world.
However I was wrong!
The BB 8320 is a lovely PDA. I use it everyday for may different reasons.
1. Email. Even though I do not use Email for work purposes I still email daily. I love the way that my emails come through the same way that a text message does (they get pushed through)
2. Internet. The BB 8320 has wifi capability which I link up to when I am at home. When I am out and about I have a package on my mobile contract for unlimited BB internet. I visit many different sites and sury almost as easily on my BB as I do on my laptop.
3. Applications. I have downloaded several applications for my BB. The facebook app is great (my notifications also get pushed through to me instantly). I also like the Microsoft Word and Excell package the phone comes with. I can open attachments from Email into Word and import/export documents. The BB website gives more info on the different apps that are out there.
4. Style. I think the BB curve looks great. I have the black one with silver buttons. It is a grast size and fits nicely into my hand. It is comfortable to use. I know some people dislike the roller ball on the Curve but I am a fan of it as it makes scrolling fast and easy. It does tend to get a little dirty though.
5. BB messenger. Several of my friends have BB's and so we can 'add' each other to BB messenger. This is a great feature, we save money on text messaging and are able to instantly message each other.
6. Typical 'mobile phone' features. I can call, text, mms, video message etc on this phone.
My BB is never out of my reach. I admit, I have become addicted to it!
The BB 8320 is a great introduction to BB's for newbies. It is reliable (good battery life) and easy to use. When it comes to upgrade my phone, I look forward to climbing up the BB ladder!