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View Full Version : Blackberry vs other Verizon smart phones?


bigmac
03-05-2009, 11:47 AM
Here at work, our cell phone provider has been bought out by Verizon, so we're switching over. I've been using a Motorola Q over 1X (which I hate), but with the switchover, Blackberry becomes a choice since the change process includes the necessary software for our IT department to interface those Blackberrys with our Microsoft Exchange server. Additionally, Verizon's presence now means faster broadband, from 1X to Rev A EVDO.

Verizon is our only choice since the whole facility is wired for CDMA and GSM phones will only work in about 1/3 of the campus.

For those of you who use them, any thoughts on Blackberry models? The Verizon choices are Storm, Curve, and Pearl. The Storm has the advantage of larger screen (for viewing xrays) as well as Rev A EVDO (faster), while the Curve has the advantage of an actual button keyboard (I'm skeptical of the Storm's touch screen).

flipper
03-05-2009, 11:52 AM
Part of it depends on how rough you are with phones. If you tend to beat them up, a touch screen may not be that great of an idea. Touch screens are cool, but they do seem to do what they want to sometimes, or think you're touching a button when you really want the one next to it. Also when you try to scroll down or to the side, sometimes it select something instead of moving to the next screen. They are cool, but can get frustrating sometimes. I perfer the regular buttons

sand2snow22
03-05-2009, 11:57 AM
I have the Curve and love it. My brother had the Storm and hated it. He now has the Curve. I heard 8 out of 10 people who buy the Storm return it :confused:

zberger
03-05-2009, 12:00 PM
I support mobile smart phones as part of my job..

we use Treo's specifically the 800w as a device. I personally don't really care for it, but thats only because I have a Blackberry for personal use, and there is just no comparison between the 2.

Windows Mobile is so far behind the game its crazy. They either need to hop up their development or get out of the game.

That being said, for battery life and the like you can't beat Blackberry. Plus there are tons of cool software applications, Facebook, Gmail, various GPS based programs, etc. It's not alot of games like the iPhone, but its a rock solid phone. If you do use Gmail, Google has developed a tool that will sync your contacts on there, with your contacts on your phone pretty much a free backup service, you can also configure Sync to pull down your Google Calendar if you use such a thing. I do, and it works AWESOME.

east tx skier
03-05-2009, 12:03 PM
If there are any HTC smart phones on Verizon, give them a look. I had the Mogul (6800) on Sprint and have recently moved to the Touch Diamond. Both have been very good if you are familiar enough with Window's mobile and using any number of free applications to make the phone more user friendly in any number of ways. With the Diamond Touch (which, if it's on Verizon has a different name), the only thing I've felt compelled to add is an app to open up the functionality of the accelerometer so the screen will flip in messaging so the touch screen keyboard is bigger.

ski_king
03-05-2009, 12:04 PM
I spent some time at the local Verizon Store playing with and comparing the Blackberry Storm to the Samsung Omnia. Simular phones that work very differently.

From what I could tell the dont compare to Iphones I have played with.

My plan is due to renew and I was thinking of upgrading to on of the above, but am leaning towards another simple phone.

stuartmcnair
03-05-2009, 12:30 PM
We have several Blackberry users here on Verizon. Storm is not very well thought of. Go with one with a ful keyboard. If the curve is your only option then go with that one.

JohnE
03-05-2009, 12:56 PM
I have the Pearl and like it for how I use it. But the Curve would be better for most people IMO.

6ballsisall
03-05-2009, 01:05 PM
I have the Curve and like it. Had a BB for about 7 years now, can't ever go back. I looked at the Storm but decided against it. Cool device, but I email enough that the touch screen just wasn't going to cut it for me

Ski-me
03-05-2009, 02:40 PM
I have the storm and it has performed pretty well. I don't do a lot of texting or emailing so the keyboard isn't as important to me. It does take a little getting use to but seems to be a pretty solid phone so far.

Wireless Sync:

If you use your company's exchange server than things should go pretty smooth for you and wirelessly syncing to Outlook, etc.

Being an individual, I have been using third party sources.....Google Calendar. It sync's OK but does not allow you to sync past about 45 days in advance. Otherwise, your calendar shows no appointment past 45 days. Pretty frustrating if you are planning ahead and end up scheduling something that is not on the phone yet.

I originally had an Audiovox 6700 that ran off of Windows Mobile. Using Verizon's Wireless Sync program worked much better than the Blackberry/Google Calendar. For one thing, the WM synced automatically throughout the day, whereas the Google Calendar wants you to manually sync it.

A few frustrations but overall, a nice phone.

FYI - Verizon is now offering a buy one get one free on the Storm. Nice if your wife wants one too.

zberger
03-06-2009, 10:34 AM
I have the storm and it has performed pretty well. I don't do a lot of texting or emailing so the keyboard isn't as important to me. It does take a little getting use to but seems to be a pretty solid phone so far.

Wireless Sync:

If you use your company's exchange server than things should go pretty smooth for you and wirelessly syncing to Outlook, etc.

Being an individual, I have been using third party sources.....Google Calendar. It sync's OK but does not allow you to sync past about 45 days in advance. Otherwise, your calendar shows no appointment past 45 days. Pretty frustrating if you are planning ahead and end up scheduling something that is not on the phone yet.

I originally had an Audiovox 6700 that ran off of Windows Mobile. Using Verizon's Wireless Sync program worked much better than the Blackberry/Google Calendar. For one thing, the WM synced automatically throughout the day, whereas the Google Calendar wants you to manually sync it.

A few frustrations but overall, a nice phone.

FYI - Verizon is now offering a buy one get one free on the Storm. Nice if your wife wants one too.

my google calendar syncs automatically.. maybe you have an older version? i make edits to my calendar daily.. and they're always on there quickly.

wakeX2wake
03-06-2009, 11:10 AM
i've heard little good about the storm... it is after all BB's first touch screen... i've had my curve for a yr now and love it... i've got several friends who have them too and everyone swears by them... the full keyboard is great and i want to go to an iPhone (i'm on at&t) but honestly don't know that i can... some of the personal settings aren't the easiest to navigate but once you find things you'll kind of remember how it all works for the future... grab a micro SD memory card and throw in there and you can add music and pictures and all those what-nots... you can also synch w/ several e-mail account (not sure how many) but i've got my personal and work e-mails synched which is really helpful... the internet isn't bad but it's no iPhone (but few things are)

Ski-me
03-06-2009, 12:06 PM
my google calendar syncs automatically.. maybe you have an older version? i make edits to my calendar daily.. and they're always on there quickly.

I thought I had the latest version the last time I checked. Did the whole process first part of January. I am looking on my phone and it says the last sync occured Feb 17th, 2009 (today is March 6, 2009).

Perhaps no appointments have gone in/changed but I don't think so. I could be wrong though so I won't make a huge case about it. It is nice to hear it's working for others.

Are you able to schedule beyond 45 days or see past 45 days?

bigmac
03-06-2009, 12:55 PM
I have no interest or need for Google interface - all of my work contacts, calendar, and email functions are handled via Outlook and get to the phone by syncing with our Microsoft Exchange server. Besides, I'm told that our email security needs means that Google is a no-go.

I opted for the Storm. I don't do much email or texting so any problems with the click-touch QWERTY keyboard should be less of a problem. And, Rev A. EV-DO will be helpful to some of my applications (the Curve only does 1X) and the larger screen likewise will be more helpful since I do need it for occasional remote viewing of x-rays.

The other thing that is helpful to me is the Storm's Quad-band capability. I spend several weeks in Haiti every year. The people of the towns where I visit may not have food, but they do have GSM cell service and the Storm gives me the capability of local communications as well as internet and email, and international calling.

bigmac
04-18-2009, 08:48 AM
OK...the Storm turned out to be a mistake. Those of you contemplating that phone - save your money (at least, save it until September when the Storm 2 comes out).

I ended up using the 30-day free trade-in and switching the Storm for a Curve. Seems to me that RIM and Verizon should have studied the iPhone a lot closer before bringing the Storm to market. The touch keyboard on the Blackberry is sluggish and unreliable. The screen refresh is slow. The whole "application" availability, pricing, and use is very cumbersome compared to the iPhone/iPod Touch. Verizon's decision to eliminate wifi from the Storm? Really dumb.

The quad-band capability didn't work out that well in Haiti. Even with the $9.99 month monthly additional fee, I still ended up paying $.65/minute. As it turns out, you can rent an international phone from Verizon for 30 days at a time for cheaper than you can buy the phone and the service from them. And was FAR cheaper to buy a prepaid phone in Haiti for phone calls only - $30 for the phone and even calls to the US were only about $.15/minute.

The Blackberry Curve has worked out OK. Certainly Blackberry Enterprise Server's interface with Microsoft Exchange works FAR better than Windows Mobile.

Overall, my experience with Blackberry as a smart phone ultimately has left me with two impressions -- Windows Mobile really sucks by comparison, and the iPhone is a really brilliant piece of equipment.

IMHO, though, the Storm isn't quite ready for the market place

JohnE
04-18-2009, 09:47 AM
It's too bad that to have the iphone you need AT&T. Verizon has far better service in my area otherwise I'd have the iphone fwiw.

bigmac
04-18-2009, 10:11 AM
It's too bad that to have the iphone you need AT&T. Verizon has far better service in my area otherwise I'd have the iphone fwiw.

Me too, although the problem is that we get preferred pricing from Verizon (35% discount), and we have a Verizon cell site in the building so Verizon works everywhere there. I could use an iPhone using VOIP over our in-house wifi, but Verizon is simpler in that regard, so I'm just taking the path of least resistance for now.

It looks like the ATT-only agreement between Apple and ATT will expire in 2010. Although Apple appears to have little interest in building a CDMA iPhone, ATT, Verizon, and most European cell providers all appear to be migrating toward 4G LTE, so an LTE iPhone could be available for all carriers at that time. The stumbling blocks there are the time it will take for them to migrate all of their coverage areas (as long as 2015 for country-wide access), and the possibility that ATT will make the deal so sweet for Apple that they'll continue with ATT exclusivity beyond the agreement expiration. Verizon has previously expressed the thought that the iPhone was just a small-market flash in the pan, but the huge popularity of the 3G iPhone version kind of surprised the Verizon CEO, and he has pretty much changed his tune in that regard.

Stuck with Blackberry for now.

ShamrockIV
04-18-2009, 03:21 PM
i have the storm and i love it. i am sure the next version will be better than the current but i still like it alot.

Footin
04-18-2009, 07:33 PM
I am having problems with my bag phone, time to upgrade maybe.

ncsone
04-18-2009, 07:42 PM
speaking from a security standpoint, Blackberry can not be touched. I have heard the war stories from experienced security experts and Blackberry wins without question. The user interface is a matter of personal opinion.

BriEOD
04-18-2009, 10:55 PM
speaking from a security standpoint, Blackberry can not be touched. I have heard the war stories from experienced security experts and Blackberry wins without question. The user interface is a matter of personal opinion.

No offense...

But, being in the national security industry no phone is immune. Once your connected to one thing, your connected to everything. Don't be naive and believe your secure for a second, I promise you're not.

Tomsinamerica
04-19-2009, 12:06 AM
I had the storm... After 2 days I hated it but I made myself keep it for the full 30 day trial just to make sure I wasn't being impatient. I took it back to the store and switched it back to my world edition.

I think if you actually use a BB for it's purpose of mobile email etc then the storm is worthless - everyone who seems to like them doesn't use them much for email or internet. My gf has one and thinks it's ok... I borrowed it once and was so happy that I took mine back!

My world edition is awesome... since i "work from home" full time, it let's me skip out a couple hours early and "work from the lake" since it's so efficient at typing.

bigmac
04-19-2009, 08:11 AM
I use my iPod Touch a lot for wireless connectivity. Based on that experience, I expected better usability from the Blackberry Storm. I found the concept to be OK, but the actual hardware implementation definitely suffers from comparison to the iPhone hardware. Presumably, the Storm 2 will be better, but so far, this particular "iPhone-killer" is just another bug on Apple's windshield.

Security - I gotta agree with BriEOD. My security needs extend only so far as what is required by law (HIPAA) for medical data, the need for which is way overblown IMHO (especially for email), and we have a whole IT department whose job it is to make sure those requirements are met (or in our case, overinterpreted). But I have no doubt that our BES and its interface with our Microsoft Exchange Server could be hacked as easily as any other such internet-accessible server. In fact, adding that additional accessibility layer (the required BES) only adds another VPN gateway to our system that could be hacked.