Considering Getting A Blackberry

I’ve gotten tired of carrying things in my pockets. My usual trip out stash consists of at least my money clip, my cell phone, my PalmPilot, my reading glasses, and sometimes even a point and shoot camera.

It’s occurred to me that I could consolidate at least three of these (phone, PalmPilot, camera) into one device with a BlackBerry (iphone is out of the question for me. For personal reasons, I’m a Sprint guy). I also thought about the Palm Pre, but it currently lacks applications and I’ve heard some not encouraging things about the battery life.

I’d like to hear some thoughts on these devices and their everyday usefulness—and especially from anyone who uses a BlackBerry Tour—the model I’m considering. How long does a Blackberry go between recharges? Is it as useful as a PalmPilot for things like a calendar and todo list (two things I really need constantly)? Can you actually get used to that keyboard (I’m of course used to the PalmPilot’s stylus input)?

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1 thought on “Considering Getting A Blackberry”

  1. I’m surprised that none of your readers has written a comment. Maybe you have an unusual set of requirements there, moving from a Palm Pilot to a BB Tour.

    I used a Handspring, the knock-off cousin to the PP, from 2001 through 2003 or so, and then I used only the desktop software. Then when I had some sort of computer problem (I forget which one), I stopped using it altogether. To-do lists have never worked for me, so I can’t compare devices on that score.

    I have a BB Curve, essentially a Tour without the world-phone capability. I also have Verizon, which means that the GPS capability is crippled. (I can use Google Maps, but its accuracy is limited to about 0.5 miles.)

    I am a touch-typist, which I have to be, given that my sweat (I don’t THINK of myself as an overly sweaty person) has wiped out the lettering on the last three keyboards (two Dell laptops). I gave the BB Storm (touchpad) a whirl in the Verizon store and didn’t like it. (Then again, I read that there is definitely a learning curve.)

    It is handy to have a camera built into the phone, but you’re not going to get the kind of quality that you have even in point-and-shoot camera. And when you use your SLR to post photos here, it’s obvious that you’ve stepped it up a notch. But for personal use, the camera is OK for small (4×6) photos.

    As for a to-do list, I noticed that there is a built-in “Tasks” application. It has the following parameters for each entry:

    * Status (not started, in progress, completed, waiting, deferred)
    * Priority (3 settings)
    * Due (NONE, or enter date)
    * Category (business, personal; you can also create one)

    There is a built-in calendar, which automatically syncs with Google Calendar.But I find it a bit clunky—there’s a lot of scrolling.

    Battery life depends on what you use it for. I think the stated limits are 17 hours on / 5 hours of talk. I probably charge it every 2 or 3 days. One bonus I’ve found is the “I Heart Radio” application from Clear Channel, which easily streams some of my favorite talk radio shows from around the country. Now I’ve got to get a bluetooth headset so the cord for the earphones doesn’t get in the way when I mow the grass or shovel snow while listening.


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