i’m thinking about ditching my treo and getting a blackberry. i tried out the iphone and it is not right for me (it misses some core business needs) …. but i still wasn’t sure of making the switch … or of the right model.
so i posted my question on LinkedIn Answers:
thinking about Blackberry 8820 or 8830. thoughts?
i got some really good answers … and thought i’d post some of the most thoughtful ones here:
I had the 8820 for six months and liked it a lot. I just got the 8320 (T-Mobile Curve w/wifi) a few weeks ago and love it. Both phones get great reception and good battery life (I typically charge every few days). I like think the keypad is a lot better on the Curve, but they’re both great. The Curve weighs less than the 8820, and has a smaller form factor. I really do think the 8320 is the best BB I’ve had to date, and this is my fifth BB.
I’m occasionally tempted to get an iPhone, but I don’t think the iPhone is a realistic phone for business use. Definitely ditch your phone and get a Curve – you’ll be really happy. I just converted my wife, her brother and her father.
Sadly, neither phone will work in Japan (or Korea, probably). Even though 8830 has CDMA and is advertised as a World Phone, I’m not sure how much additional coverage that will get you outside of the U.S. since the rest of the world is GSM (or 3G UMTS, in the case of Japan), so I’d go with the 8820 since it’s quad-band GSM (8830 is dual-band only) or the 8320 (Curve), which I believe has the same coverage, but is lighter and thinner. I’ve heard good things about the Curve.
If you want a truly global phone that will work on UMTS networks as well, your only BB option is the 8707, which is clunky and doesn’t have the trackball feature. It’s rumored that BB will be launching 9xxx models with 3G, but probably not until sometime in early 2008.
I’ve currently got the 8830, which I’m quite pleased with. My only gripe is that the keys on the keyboard are more awkwardly configured than on any other Blackberry model I’ve owned (i.e. too close together), but still functional. If not for my Verizon contract, I’d prefer the Curve – it’s got a slightly smaller/lighter and more comfortable form factor, as well as better keypad configuration. It also has a 2 megapixel camera. All things being equal, I’d go with the Curve.
I have an 8830, a very positive experience. I plan on upgrading to a curve, however I’m slightly worried it won’t be as sturdy if it falls out of my purse. The 8830 has all the basics and above everything is reliable.
8820 vs 8830 is really a question of whether you prefer Verizon or AT&T. For most people in the Bay Area – Verizon is better. Clearly they are new to this whole ‘world phone’ but so far the anecdotal problems have been limited. I have been using the Curve (8300) as it is the smallest of the full QWERTY keyboards. Works well, although I blame most of the voice quality issues on the AT&T network and lament having to give up Verizon. Voice and data worked great in Croatia and Italy, but if your going overseas, spend the extra $10/month on ‘global’ unlimited data or they will try to charge you by MB.
I have the Motorola Q9h – AT&T just started offering it. Its internet is 3G, blazingly fast, and compatible pretty much anywhere around the world. I highly recommend it, especially if you have an Exchange Server for all your contacts/calendar.
You can find it at any AT&T store now. I love it b/c I do gmail on the browser (this one now also has opera and it’s lightning fast)
I would get the 8310 (GPS) or the 8320 (wifi). It has a much better keyboard than the 88XX series and is much smaller. 8310 also has a camera with flash. I just switched from the Plam Treo 755p. Overall the 8310 is a step up, but to really take advantage of it, you need an enterprise account, which lets you sync email, calendar, contacts and notes wirelessly. There are somethings that the Treo does better, like SMS messages. Also, after using Spring for 5 years, At&t’s network is a disappointment.
I have been using the 8830 with VZW since early August and am quite pleased so far. As a BB (e-mail sync), it is great (you get used to the keyboard being small), and the phone is great. I have used it in Europe and it worked seemlessly (have them pre-install and activate the SIM card when you buy it). The fact that it opens all manner of attachments is a huge plus. You can’t go wrong with the 8830.
The BlackBerry Curve 8320 has been, by far, the best BlackBerry i’ve ever used. The WIFI Calling feature is great for business people. I have unlimited calling at my home and my office.
My warning on Blackberry no matter what the model: get it unlocked so that when you travel you don’t have to pay the roaming charges. When I took my T-mobile to Morocco, my daughter ran up a $700 phone bill when she simply called and hung up because she got my voice mail. Then I got it unlocked and put a local sim card in and suddenly, voila, no outrageous charges. My BB was an international one, and the reception was terrific on the top of a mountain in Fez or on the beach in Greece but I could never get the phone to work inside my NY house! I’ve now got an iPhone which I love and will carry an international phone with a local sim card when I travel.
I have the 8830 and my wife has the Curve, so I’ve played with both. The form factor of the Curve is better, it’s lighter, fits in the hand easier and it has a good keyboard. The 8830 has a better data browsing experience with the Sprint 1xEV network, and you can use the USB cable to connect to your PC for data access on the go (you can’t receive calls and data simultaneously, however). In theory the international coverage is comparable according to the coverage maps (using Sprint), although GSM is more of a known quantity. I’d say if form factor and international coverage are most important, the Curve is the way to go. But if data performance is paramount, then the 8830 has better performance.
I recently moved to Blackberry 8830 (Sprint) from Treo 650, and have these complaints:
1) SMS interface is poor, intermingled with email, no threaded SMS conversation display, and hard to start an SMS. Treo was better, iPhone is better still
2) the voice command feature keeps saying “Say a command” when I pick up the phone or put it in my pocket…perhaps I am too lazy to find the way to turn this feature off or make it useful…
3) the screen is so soft that after a month it is totally scratched up, this did not happen with my Treo
However, the phone radio is good, I prefer the “push” email of BBerry, it worked for email in Canada when my partners iPhone did not, and I have found the GPS nav useful a number of times thus far
I have owned a Blackberry for several years and I would have to say that the 8830 is a less sexy version of the Curve. The Curve is lighter, fits better in the palm, and has a better keyboard. However, the 8830 gets great coverage in the Bay Area anywhere from San Jose to Sausalito. The international data rates are reasonable but not a bargain.
The only grip I have with the 8830 is that I find it crashes more often than my old Curve did. I have to do a hard reboot about once to twice per day due to hardware hangs.
… now I’m still not sure what i’ll do (some conflicting advice) … but definitely is food for thought.