Saturday, February 23, 2008

I just bought a $10.5 Million Cellphone

As I pondered my decision after posting about this phone four months ago, I've purchased, not one, but two of the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition Smartphones.
SP8830RIM 		 picture
I must admit that this is by far the best phone I've ever owned. Granted, I didn't pay the price shown in this ad below:

In reviewing the phone, I just love the operating system that BlackBerry uses compared to my previous Pocket PC which ran on Windows Mobile Version 5.0 OS. I am a Windows PC fan, but did not like working on their mobile OS. Lots of bugs and annoyances.

At first I thought I would not like the much smaller keyboard (thought it does have a full QWERTY-style keyboard) compared to the full-sized slide-out I was used to on my Pocket PC, but within moments, I realized that it's almost as easy to use. Granted my big thumbs have been making a few more keying errors, but not much more. But the BlackBerry redeems themselves in this area by offering the coolest keying shortcuts, most importantly, when hitting "space" button twice, it automatically adds a period then a double-space then capitalizes the next letter. Another very handy shortcut I found myself using right away is whenever you need to enter any email address all you need to do is enter "space" and it will put the "@" symbol after the email user name and following that when you enter "space" again it will add the "." (period/dot) symbol. If you're a mobile user who sends emails, you'll know right away how cool this is from saving you the hassle of searching for those symbols.

I was even more surprised how light and small it was in person when it arrived in the mail compared to what I envisioned. Oddly it is a couple of centimeters wider than my old bulky Pocket PC and a couple of centimeters taller than the main body of my Pocket PC, but the Pocket PC has a stylus holder knob on the top that actually makes the Pocket PC taller overall. The 8830 is much thinner than the Pocket PC. It is almost half as thin. Considering that the battery life on the Pocket PC sucked and I was mostly using the extended life battery, the 8830 is actually about one-third the thickness of the Pocket PC I was lugging around.

I made sure to never get a cellphone again that has that damn stylus. The touch screen is kinda cool (now made famous by the popular iPhone) but that stylus was forever falling out in my car, on the plane, etc. and drove me mad.

The 8830 does not have a camera, but that is totally fine with me. Unless they start making cellphones with 5-megapixel or better cameras, I'd rather not have that useless feature.

Only thing that deterred me at first from getting the 8830 is that even thought it's touted as a "world" phone, it works in MOST countries, not all and unfortunately it does not work in the one country that I seldom travel and that is electronic-ruling Japan. The 8830 will work in almost every country except Japan and South Korea. I didn't have any pending trips planned to Japan, so I sacrificed not having a phone that will work there in case I need to go back there on business.

I love the trackball maneuvering on the BlackBerry with it's gliding touch-sensitivity. In other words, unlike most other trackballs, you don't have to push the trackball or move it to navigate on your screen.

I've set up my 7 most used email addresses (it will let you load ten). The email function is great and the main reason I went for this phone. Unlike the Pocket PC where I had to open the mail windows and do a "send/receive", then wait for my mail to download and the mail program not closing out when you want, the BlackBerry uses their famous "push" system and my mail just keeps filtering into the little folders right on my main screen.

One thing that is essential in using the BlackBerry for emails, was I had to purchase a third-party application in order to view the emails as HTML, so I can view the emails nice and neat, see images and fonts, see links as links and not some long URL, etc. I picked up the Empower HTML Mail Viewer PRO Edition application which you can purchase HERE to download the app to your computer and upload to your phone via the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software, or what I did was grab the app right from my phone using this link:

The 8830 allows you to add a microSD card for added memory and the microSD's are now being offered in 2GB versions. I'll be grabbing one of them pretty soon.

I've already installed AIM for instant messaging and that works pretty good. Only thing I noticed is that whenever I sent a message or a reply to someone who was using the cloaking "invisible" feature on their end, my messages were getting blocked. I thought that was odd. Other than that, it's handy, especially if you use IM for business like I do and when I'm on the road.

The 8830 uses Bluetooth, which I only use for my handsfree headset. It runs on EVDO data transfer speed, which is not quite the new 3G system, but it's still leagues faster than the Pocket PC when I would grow old by the minute waiting for emails or webpages to load.

It comes with voice-dialing which I will play with in the near future as well.

It is also-GPS compatible and Sprint has plans in the near future to include their own app so I can have my own portable GPS unit. Meanwhile, there are third-party apps I can purchase, but I might just wait a few weeks and see what's the current status on the Sprint app.

Another cool thing is when powering up or down, it happens real quick. You don't have to sit there listening to some escalating song and some load up graphics and wait for the phone to power on and get to your main screen. You hit the power button and in less than 3 seconds you're on your main screen.

I would personally recommend the BlackBerry 8830 phone, which I purchased through Sprint.

For more information, you can visit the official BlackBerry website.

Now, the only other phone that's giving me wood is the forthcoming Sony Ericsson - XPERIA™ X1. This phone is not out for a few more months and the price tag has not been set, but it's being said that X1 will be the "iPhone killer". Two reasons I didn't hold out for the X1 is that I needed a new phone now and couldn't wait and also the rumored price for the X1 is said to be around $700-800, which is way out of my league. I am most delighted with my $10.5 Million Cellphone, the BlackBerry 8830 World Edition.

But how cool is it that Sony used a cover of the Beatles "Magical Mystery Tour" as the theme song for the Xperia X1:

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