Blackberry Bold 9700 vs iPhone 3GS: you may actually need both
Just a few days ago I tried to highlight why, in my opinion, the Google Nexus One is not quite there yet as a true replacement for my aging iPhone (see previous post here).
The Blackberry Bold 9700 is a totally different story. Despite the Blackberry’s App World, a decent camera and a cute tiny screen, this phone is certainly not competing with the iPhone as a true “entertainment” device. Yet, it seems to have found its place in my pocket as an incredibly addictive device for what a phone is ought to be: a communicating platform.
Blackberry Bold 9700: the best communicating platform ever:
- Form factor: it’s lighter and smaller than most smartphones out there and fits just nicely in your hand or pocket. Its sleek metal/black/leather finishing leaves a nice quality impression and probably matches any type of audience, from the young trendy college folks to more seasoned executives.
- Call quality: it’s a phone, don’t forget! Reception and audio quality during calls is perfect, whether directly on the device or using it through my car bluetooth receiver.
- The blackberry secret: its keyboard. Not quite as comfortable as its bigger brother the Bold 9000, the 9700′s keyboard still gives you great typing results and performance when SMS’ing, instant messaging, tweeting and emailing. The keyboard also happens to be of great help for shortcuts in various applications: from the home screen, just start typing a contact’s name and it will pop up for direct calling or messaging; in gmail, use the same keyboard shortcuts as on the web (e for archive, r for reply, etc…); in Seesmic, type “f” to mark a tweet as favorite, etc… Also, the Bold natively comes with well integrated apps for most IM platforms (Gtalk, MSN, Yahoo, etc…).
- A long lasting battery will bring you back to the days where you could leave home in the morning without requiring an additional charger at work or in your car! Sure that might well be related to its tiny display which, about half the size and resolution of a Nexus One, eats less power. But whatever the reason, it feels good!
- Google integration: Google Sync and Gmail will allow you to get full realtime push and sync of your Google contacts, calendars and mail. Great if you depend on Gmail or Google Apps services. RememberTheMilk also has a great syncing tool for your tasks and other todo items.
- Most social networking platforms now have a native app for Blackberry: Facebook, Foursquare, Twitter (Seesmic and Ubertwitter are my favorites). I have to admit that most of these apps don’t come anywhere close to their iPhone counterparts. They are actually pretty disappointing if you’re used to Facebook, Tweetie or Foursquare on your iPhone. But well, they exist and do the basic job of letting you update your status, checking in, and viewing your friends’ pictures.
Apps and entertainment is probably why you may wanna keep your iPhone too:
- The App World is no App Store. It can’t even compare with the Android Market. If you’ve enjoyed browsing and searching for new apps on the App Store, expect to feel terribly disappointed with the number of apps available for your Blackberry and, moreover, the quality of those apps. Sure you might find a few famous apps like Facebook, Evernote, or Foursquare, but don’t be fooled. They won’t give you the feature-rich and smooth UI experience that you get on an iPhone.
- What’s wrong with Blackberry and their internet/web browser!! They claim to have imrpoved browsing in Blackberry OS 5.0 but it just looks and feels as bad (and slow) as a very basic Wap browser on cheap entry-level phones. Opera mini will fill a bit of that gasp but there again, keep your iPhone if you need frequent and reliable access to the web.
- Blackberries are meant to communicate, they are no gaming platforms. Nintendo and Sony may fear competition from Apple and the amount of brilliant games priced at 3-10 dollars (where you’ll need to spend 5-10 times that amount on a PSP or a DS) but don’t expect a stunning Fifa soccer, F.A.S.T. or Assassin Creed on your Bold. All you’ll get is an ugly Sudoku and BrickBreaker
- Videos and Music play fine on the Bold but videos surely look nicer on 3.5″ (iPhone) or 3.7″ (Nexus One) screen. As for music and as already mentioned in my previous post, the iPhone (and the iPod Touch) integration with iTunes is killer !
Try a Blackberry Bold 9700 and you’ll certainly adopt it. It’s a small quality phone which gives you unequalled experience for communicating with your friends, family and co-workers. The OS and the keyboard gives you the perfect combination for keeping in touch through audio calls and various types of messaging. Truly more efficiant than the best on-screen touch keyboard that I have tried. However, if you have an iPhone, I would suggest that you keep it as your internet/multimedia/gaming device. If you don’t, well get an iPod Touch (when Apple releases one with a camera) !