Monday, July 02, 2007

New gadgets!

I picked up a BlackBerry 8300 ('Curve') a few days after it came out on AT&T. It's my first BB, and also my first PDA sort of phone. I previously had the messaging-oriented Nokia 6822 (never offered on Cingular/AT&T; it was a mild update to the 6820 that was available on Cingular), and the 6800 before that. The 6800 was pretty sweet when I got it, and the 6822 was a worthwhile upgrade..but by this point, it was really long in the tooth. Worth of all, it had pretty crappy reception. The Sony/Ericsson 525A that I briefly had after the 6800 (and concurrent with the 6822; I got it when renewing my contract) had far far better reception. It was the difference between usable cell reception at my house and having to stand in certain rooms to use the phone (and even then, spottily).

The Good:

  • Great battery life. I've been going nearly a week between charges.
  • Slim enough. Takes up little space in Jen's purse!
  • Great reception. I'm getting 3/5 to 4/5 in my study at home. The 6822 would often drop calls in the same spot!
  • Pretty snappy UI paired with a great screen.
  • The messaging is super easy to use (I suppose this is really a BB-wide feature, though), and the keyboard is easy to use. I think the 'old style' keyboard on the 8300 is probably easier to type on than the sleeker keyboard on the 8800, owing to the 8800's lack of any space between keys.
The Bad:
  • I always wish it was a bit slimmer. For it to stay this wide, it would have to be thinner yet to be in a pocket and not look dorky.
  • I wish it had the GPS that appears in the 8800. I probably wouldn't use this a ton, but when I did use it, I'd probably be quite thankful. It would saved Luie and I on our adventures on the way to Lincoln, RI (we overshot by 40 minutes and had to stop at a Tim Hortons to find out where the hell we were). I just ordered a QSTARZ BT-Q1000 yesterday!
  • I don't care so much about lack of WiFi, but 3G data would be nice. It's still not a huge deal (due to the Sprint card I just got, see below), but would make the sluggish EDGE browsing and Google Maps data transfer less painful. Then again, I'm not sure it would be worth the huge hit to battery life.

I also picked this up (picking up a Sprint contract in the process...glad I can expense this!) It's a Sierra Wireless 595U, a USB-based Rev A EVDO card. Having this makes the slow EDGE on the Curve not that big of a deal, as I can now fall back to this when I need to get online from a client site (or the coffee shop). I was getting over 130 KB/second sustained using it last week while at Mozart's, downloading Eclipse 3.3.

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