Date: Monday, January 3rd, 2005, 15:11
I am a big fan of smartphones because I love the concept of being able to get my email and browse the Web in one small device that is also my phone. The problem is the most phones are too small to fit a meaningful UI and most PDAs are too big for a pocket and need a belt clip. I have previously used a Sony Ericsson P800 and HP iPaq h6315 (link 2) Pocket-PC based PDA and find that the Blackberry is exactly the combination of form and functionality that I need. Read more…
I am a big fan of smartphones because I love the concept of being able to get my email and browse the Web in one small device that is also my phone. The problem is the most phones are too small to fit a meaningful UI and most PDAs are too big for a pocket and need a belt clip. I have previously used a Sony Ericsson P800 and HP iPaq h6315 (link 2) Pocket-PC based PDA and find that the Blackberry is exactly the combination of form and functionality that I need.
BlackBerries don’t come with native Mac capability out of the box, so you’ll need to pick yourself up a copy of PocketMac for Blackberry (US$29) straight away. PocketMac For BlackBerry is the first program to allows you to sync your data between the BlackBerry and Entourage, Address Book, iCal, Now Contact, Now Up-To-Date, and even Stickies. And it’s fully integrated with iSync as well.
In order to setup email you need to connect to T-Mobile’s Blackberry Web Client (BWC) and set up an account. It’s a relatively easy process although parts of the Web interface look bad in Safari. At the end You’re issued an address in the format of firstname.lastname@example.org. The good news is that you can set your reply-to address to your usual email address. POP and IMAP accounts are checked every fifteen minutes and pushed to your BlackBerry’s PIN over the BlackBerry service.
If you’re company uses Exchange for email, then you should investigate if they’ve installed the BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) as it allows you to “browse and save to multiple folders, sync your calendar over the air, and do all sorts of cool advanced features the BWC people can’t do” according to MobileWhack.
ScOObydoo has posted dozens of 7100t screenshots in his review of the 7100t at BlackBerryForums.com.
My 7100t paired perfectly with my Jabra BT250 headset, but a headset is about all that you can use the BlackBerry’s Bluetooth for (more on the limited BT in my second installment).
- The famous BlackBerry email is worthy of the hype. It works well and is easy to configure, my only real problem with it is that opening a message requires two clicks of the scroll wheel when it should really only require one.
- Web browsing is decent considering the small-ish interface but it still barfs on a few sites. I wish that Opera would come out with a version of their excellent browser for the BB.
- The built-in IM application from OZ supports AIM, Yahoo and ICQ is a nice feature although every function (read, send) requires clicking the darn scroll wheel. The other down side is that you can only be logged into one IM service at a time (more on that in the next installment).
- The built-in speakerphone is loud and easy to hear from a distance.
My second installment will feature more about BlackBerry software, accessories and some nagging issues I’ve had in my first seven days in the world of BlackBerry.
Part II – Software
Part III – Caveats and Accessories
For more check out:
- BlackBerry category on MobileWhack