07-19-10 04:09 PM
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  1. nycchick's Avatar
    The 9700 has 3G, 8520 doesn't.
    The 9700 has higher screen resolution than 8520.
    The 9700 has more powerful processor.
    The 9700 is classy than 8520 (looks cheap)
    The 9700 *will* get OS 6.0, 8520 will not.
    The 9700 will get the new webkit browser, 8520 will not.

    Hope this helps ...

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Thank you for laying it all out there. Definitely helpful. Also, thanks for the link to the unlocked/unbranded.

    From what I gather - if I purchase a phone from Amazon, Circuit City etc. it is unlocked and unbranded - because it is in no way affiliated with a carrier. If I purchase a phone (even "non-committal phone") from ATT it will be branded and locked. Even if I ask them to unlock it at time of purchase, or if my contract is up - it is automatically unlocked but not unbranded unless I do so?

    Also to clarify, can I purchase an unlocked BB from ATT? Meaning, it is obviously branded ATT but they will unlock it for me? Or they don't do that?

    Also, ATT says this when purchasing BB phones from them:
    IMPORTANT INFORMATION
    "AT&T data and/or voice service required for full functionality of device. Third-party software, additional hardware, separate accessory, and/or subscription to third-party service also may be required. AT&T does not sell, supply, install, or support such software, hardware, or services. Terms of AT&T service will vary based on selected eligible rate plan(s) and applicable Business Agreement. Coverage not available in all areas. Due to coverage and system limitations, service may not be accessible at all times. Availability, speed of delivery, and timeliness of information is not guaranteed. When outside coverage area, access will be limited to information and applications previously downloaded to, or resident on, your device. Additional fees, charges, conditions, and restrictions apply."

    They mean because the phone is locked and branded that only ATT service will work properly. But they don't mean this for unlocked and unbranded phones right?
    06-17-10 07:30 PM
  2. Matr00's Avatar
    Thank you for laying it all out there. Definitely helpful. Also, thanks for the link to the unlocked/unbranded.

    From what I gather - if I purchase a phone from Amazon, Circuit City etc. it is unlocked and unbranded - because it is in no way affiliated with a carrier. If I purchase a phone (even "non-committal phone") from ATT it will be branded and locked. Even if I ask them to unlock it at time of purchase, or if my contract is up - it is automatically unlocked but not unbranded unless I do so?

    Also to clarify, can I purchase an unlocked BB from ATT? Meaning, it is obviously branded ATT but they will unlock it for me? Or they don't do that?

    Also, ATT says this when purchasing BB phones from them:
    IMPORTANT INFORMATION
    "AT&T data and/or voice service required for full functionality of device. Third-party software, additional hardware, separate accessory, and/or subscription to third-party service also may be required. AT&T does not sell, supply, install, or support such software, hardware, or services. Terms of AT&T service will vary based on selected eligible rate plan(s) and applicable Business Agreement. Coverage not available in all areas. Due to coverage and system limitations, service may not be accessible at all times. Availability, speed of delivery, and timeliness of information is not guaranteed. When outside coverage area, access will be limited to information and applications previously downloaded to, or resident on, your device. Additional fees, charges, conditions, and restrictions apply."

    They mean because the phone is locked and branded that only ATT service will work properly. But they don't mean this for unlocked and unbranded phones right?
    The only phone you can buy from ATT is locked and branded.
    Locked means that it accepts only ATT sim cards. If you want to use other sim cards, you can ask them to unlock it (and probably it will be only partially unlocked so you can't use other US gsm carriers, but only foreign), or buy an unlock code for 1$ if they won't do it (it's not voodoo-hacker stuff, it's a very simple process).
    Branded means that there's the ATT logo on the case, an ATT theme/wallpaper and an ATT splashscreen. You can change the theme and wallpaper with a standard one.

    The phone needs ANY voice/data service to function properly, once unlocked. Before it is unlocked, it needs ATT service, because it will reject any other sim card.
    06-18-10 03:12 AM
  3. liza2010's Avatar
    Hey,
    I am going to purchase my first blackberry give me some suggestions.
    06-18-10 04:40 AM
  4. nycchick's Avatar
    The only phone you can buy from ATT is locked and branded.
    Locked means that it accepts only ATT sim cards. If you want to use other sim cards, you can ask them to unlock it (and probably it will be only partially unlocked so you can't use other US gsm carriers, but only foreign), or buy an unlock code for 1$ if they won't do it (it's not voodoo-hacker stuff, it's a very simple process).
    Branded means that there's the ATT logo on the case, an ATT theme/wallpaper and an ATT splashscreen. You can change the theme and wallpaper with a standard one.

    The phone needs ANY voice/data service to function properly, once unlocked. Before it is unlocked, it needs ATT service, because it will reject any other sim card.
    This makes it perfectly clear. Thanks! So perhaps unlocking the ATT phone for foreign SIM cards will be enough for me and hopefully they do it unconditionally, once they do it I don't have to keep getting it done every time I travel.

    Looks like I'll be getting the 9700. If the 9800 comes out fairly soon will the 9700 drop in price (either retail unlocked, or ATT price)?


    Also -
    Do I need to pay extra fro BIS or BES? I at least need BIS set up to get e-mails correct? And if I do set up e-mail on my BB will the mail still be in my mailbox on my computer or only on my BB?
    Last edited by nycchick; 06-18-10 at 05:28 AM.
    06-18-10 05:26 AM
  5. Matr00's Avatar
    This makes it perfectly clear. Thanks! So perhaps unlocking the ATT phone for foreign SIM cards will be enough for me and hopefully they do it unconditionally, once they do it I don't have to keep getting it done every time I travel.
    Once you unlock it, it's unlocked and stays unlocked!
    06-18-10 05:39 AM
  6. nycchick's Avatar
    Once you unlock it, it's unlocked and stays unlocked!
    Great! That will reduce any hassle.

    Do you know anything about my other questions?
    06-18-10 05:47 AM
  7. Matr00's Avatar
    Yes, you need BIS for data service on the blackberry and for your personal email, you need BES if you use your corporate mail.

    Usually, you pay for BIS service. I have no idea if and what it does cost on ATT.

    There are many ways to setup your email, and if chosen properly you can have the same mail delivered on the pc and phone, if that's what you want.
    06-18-10 05:53 AM
  8. nycchick's Avatar
    So BIS is for forwarding mail automatically. But if I have a data plan, I have internet, if I have internet I can go to AOL, yahoo, google etc. and log into my mail account right (with no BIS plan required)?


    Again, apologies for asking so many questions. I want to have a good idea when I go to the store to buy the phone. I went to a couple of stores last week and already had people give me vague, round about answers... or inaccurate and conflicting answers.
    06-18-10 06:08 AM
  9. Matr00's Avatar
    If you have only data, you need an alternate browser (like opera) to get on the internet. Maybe there are also programs for chat and other stuff that work.

    But, if you want to use your blackberry as it is supposed to be used, with the default applications, with push services, with all the links that exist between the applications, you need BIS or BES.

    My tip: choose to add BIS to your account and never look back. You won't regret it.
    06-18-10 06:14 AM
  10. nycchick's Avatar
    That's not quite what I was expecting. When I'm on the ATT website and I choose a data plan 200mb - it indicates I get internet, email, and free wifi. Also, when I select to add more services - I don't see BIS or BES available.
    06-18-10 06:23 AM
  11. Matr00's Avatar
    hmmm. I looked up at ATT website. I chose the 450 minute plan. I add services. I have these options amongst the others:

    DataPlus 200 MB for BlackBerry
    Stay connected and productive. Surf the web, send email, and visit social networking sites. Wi-Fi access included!

    and

    DataPlus 200 MB for Smartphone
    Stay connected and productive. Surf the web, send email, and visit social networking sites. Wi-Fi access included!

    Both for 15$

    I would say that PROBABLY the Blackberry version is the one with BIS active. To be 100% sure contact a dealer! (at least you know what to ask )
    06-18-10 06:32 AM
  12. ST79's Avatar
    So BIS is for forwarding mail automatically. But if I have a data plan, I have internet, if I have internet I can go to AOL, yahoo, google etc. and log into my mail account right (with no BIS plan required)?


    Again, apologies for asking so many questions. I want to have a good idea when I go to the store to buy the phone. I went to a couple of stores last week and already had people give me vague, round about answers... or inaccurate and conflicting answers.

    Lecture 2: BES and BIS: What's the Difference? | CrackBerry.com

    BlackBerry 101: Lecture 11: BIS Email Basics | CrackBerry.com

    Hope these helps
    06-18-10 06:50 AM
  13. nycchick's Avatar
    hmmm. I looked up at ATT website. I chose the 450 minute plan. I add services. I have these options amongst the others:

    DataPlus 200 MB for BlackBerry
    Stay connected and productive. Surf the web, send email, and visit social networking sites. Wi-Fi access included!

    and

    DataPlus 200 MB for Smartphone
    Stay connected and productive. Surf the web, send email, and visit social networking sites. Wi-Fi access included!

    Both for 15$

    I would say that PROBABLY the Blackberry version is the one with BIS active. To be 100% sure contact a dealer! (at least you know what to ask )
    Yeah, it is a bit vague. It does seem to confirm that if I buy a data plan I do get BIS one way or the other? BIS is not a separate paid service from what I can conclude. But, you're right I know what to ask.
    06-18-10 06:55 AM
  14. nycchick's Avatar
    Ok,

    My last concern - the ATT branded 9700 automatically keeps you connected to the 3G. And you would have to continually change to down to 2G. The only way I can avoid this is if I buy an unlocked, unbranded 9700 right? And what are the overall feelings about this issue?

    To me it seems like you can purchase an unlocked phone upfront, unless it's unbranded as well. My only worry is being locked into a contract and having issues with auto 3G, or the Data plan itself etc.
    06-18-10 07:35 AM
  15. ST79's Avatar
    Ok,

    My last concern - the ATT branded 9700 automatically keeps you connected to the 3G. And you would have to continually change to down to 2G. The only way I can avoid this is if I buy an unlocked, unbranded 9700 right? And what are the overall feelings about this issue?

    To me it seems like you can purchase an unlocked phone upfront, unless it's unbranded as well. My only worry is being locked into a contract and having issues with auto 3G, or the Data plan itself etc.
    You can force the device to 2G only mode (No need to unbrand it)...

    Menu - Options - Mobile Network - Network Mode - set it to 2G
    06-18-10 07:48 AM
  16. dhcalva#CB's Avatar
    Might I also suggest that if you do want the 9700, wait for the refreshed model (9700a) to come out (if it hasn't, someone that deals with GSM Berry's can help you more with that than me). Basicly, it's a 9700 with more ram in it, presumably for OS6 compatability.
    06-18-10 08:00 AM
  17. nycchick's Avatar
    In reference to setting it to 2G - I saw people complaining that it would eventually revert back to 3G on it's own.

    Any idea when the 9700a may come out? I've been phone-less for almost a week and it's getting tough. I know the 9800 is coming out, but I'm not interested in it, but it may reduce the price of the 9700.
    06-18-10 08:17 AM
  18. IndoJabijin's Avatar
    In reference to setting it to 2G - I saw people complaining that it would eventually revert back to 3G on it's own.

    Any idea when the 9700a may come out? I've been phone-less for almost a week and it's getting tough. I know the 9800 is coming out, but I'm not interested in it, but it may reduce the price of the 9700.
    Soon. But soon doesn't mean a matter of days, it means a matter of weeks. All in all, the only good time to buy a phone is when you need one. In your case, you do need one, so get the 9700 (which you're interested in).

    Something better will always be around the corner, and by the end of the year your device will probably be outdated. It's not a great way to look at it but it's true. Just buy what fits your needs now, and don't look back.
    06-18-10 08:26 AM
  19. nycchick's Avatar
    Soon. But soon doesn't mean a matter of days, it means a matter of weeks. All in all, the only good time to buy a phone is when you need one. In your case, you do need one, so get the 9700 (which you're interested in).

    Something better will always be around the corner, and by the end of the year your device will probably be outdated. It's not a great way to look at it but it's true. Just buy what fits your needs now, and don't look back.
    True. At the very least I can always return it within 30 days and get the new 9700a if I really want it.

    So what's everyone's final opinion about which 9700 I should get? Unlocked, unbranded. Or ATT, with a permanent unlocked foreign SIM (assuming they will do this)?

    And also any answers to the BIS/BES - if there is indeed an extra charge or not? (If I buy from ATT, I'll just ask them).
    06-18-10 08:34 AM
  20. NoahFecks's Avatar
    I love how so many people try to persuade someone to go with something they already explained they're not interested in (changing carriers, a phone with a trackball instead of trackpad, etc.).

    I'm in the same boat as you, op. I have been with AT&T for many, many years and have never had any problems at all. I have absolutely no reason to switch carriers, and it's ridiculous how people bash one carrier over another just because of how well they are in their particular area, which usually is totally different for others.

    So just to clear things up for you. You are required to get a data plan, which is BIS. This includes internet access, email, BBM, etc. The 200MB/$15 per month is quite sufficient for you. You would only need BES if your company is set up with it.

    If you want texting, you should get one of the texting plans, otherwise you will be paying something like 10 cents (possible more, not sure what the current rate is) per text message (both incoming and outgoing).

    You cannot buy an unlocked phone from AT&T. You should be able to get them to unlock it if you tell them you will be traveling out of the country, no need to pay for an unlock code online.

    The "non-commitment" price is for buying the phone outright with no contract. This is for people who are already in a contract and want a new phone but don't want to renew their contract. If you purchased with the non-commitment price you would still need to purchase a contract if you actually want to use the phone, so this option is not for you.

    You have the option to switch between 2G only or 3G and 2G. The latter means you will get 3G coverage when you are in a 3G area, and the phone will automatically drop to 2G if you lose 3G coverage. If you select 2G only it will NOT switch to 3G at all. Unlocking and unbranded have absolutely nothing to do with this.

    Buying an unbranded phone is risky and totally unnecessary. If you're sticking with AT&T, buy an AT&T branded phone. There is no disadvantage to this.

    Right now, your best bet is the 9700.
    06-18-10 08:52 AM
  21. nycchick's Avatar
    I love how so many people try to persuade someone to go with something they already explained they're not interested in (changing carriers, a phone with a trackball instead of trackpad, etc.).

    I'm in the same boat as you, op. I have been with AT&T for many, many years and have never had any problems at all. I have absolutely no reason to switch carriers, and it's ridiculous how people bash one carrier over another just because of how well they are in their particular area, which usually is totally different for others.

    So just to clear things up for you. You are required to get a data plan, which is BIS. This includes internet access, email, BBM, etc. The 200MB/$15 per month is quite sufficient for you. You would only need BES if your company is set up with it.

    If you want texting, you should get one of the texting plans, otherwise you will be paying something like 10 cents (possible more, not sure what the current rate is) per text message (both incoming and outgoing).

    You cannot buy an unlocked phone from AT&T. You should be able to get them to unlock it if you tell them you will be traveling out of the country, no need to pay for an unlock code online.

    The "non-commitment" price is for buying the phone outright with no contract. This is for people who are already in a contract and want a new phone but don't want to renew their contract. If you purchased with the non-commitment price you would still need to purchase a contract if you actually want to use the phone, so this option is not for you.

    You have the option to switch between 2G only or 3G and 2G. The latter means you will get 3G coverage when you are in a 3G area, and the phone will automatically drop to 2G if you lose 3G coverage. If you select 2G only it will NOT switch to 3G at all. Unlocking and unbranded have absolutely nothing to do with this.

    Buying an unbranded phone is risky and totally unnecessary. If you're sticking with AT&T, buy an AT&T branded phone. There is no disadvantage to this.

    Right now, your best bet is the 9700.

    Thank you so much for addressing a lot of my questions. Big help!

    I did not know I would need a new plan/contract with a "non-committal" phone. Couldn't I just continue using my existing account? Eh, it's a moot topic - I've narrowed my choices to a unlocked unbranded or an ATT locked domestic, unlocked foreign SIM anyway. But here's what ATT says about it:

    "You may purchase a new AT&T phone without a contract at the no-commitment price. This non-discounted equipment purchase option does not require a two-year contract or other long-term service commitment. No-commitment equipment pricing is available to customers that are not on a prepaid or GoPhone plan. You can purchase a phone at no-commitment prices at AT&T retail stores. For an AT&T retail store near you, visit our store locator."


    So by getting a data plan texting is not covered in the 200mb. That is strictly for texting photos, or BIS, web wifi etc.

    The cheapest text plan is $5 for 200 texts. If I don't have a text plan, each cost me 20 cents, which would allow me 25 texts per month to equate to the 200 text plan. At the moment I don't even do 10 texts per month. But it will likely increase a little bit, especially because of having a full keyboard.

    Which brings me to the question, if I sign a new contract with ATT - will I be able to revise my original plan, as long as I stick with them as my carrier. Or is the contract specific to the plan I initially choose?
    06-18-10 09:14 AM
  22. NoahFecks's Avatar
    Depending on where you are in your contract, you may be eligible for an upgrade, thus a cheaper price on a new phone. That would basically be renewing your current contract for another 2 years. You need to check with AT&T on that. You can go with the non-committal price if you are not eligible, I was thinking you were starting a new contract, don't know why.

    The data plan does NOT cover texting or MMS, these are included in the texting plans if you choose one. To be safe I would choose the 200/$5 text plan.
    06-18-10 09:21 AM
  23. NoahFecks's Avatar
    But here's what ATT says about it:

    "You may purchase a new AT&T phone without a contract at the no-commitment price. This non-discounted equipment purchase option does not require a two-year contract or other long-term service commitment. No-commitment equipment pricing is available to customers that are not on a prepaid or GoPhone plan. You can purchase a phone at no-commitment prices at AT&T retail stores. For an AT&T retail store near you, visit our store locator."
    This just means you can walk in and buy a phone and walk out if you choose. If you already have a contract, you just stick your SIM card in and go, although the BIS data plan will be added to your account automatically once they see you are using a BlackBerry. It doesn't mean you don't have to have a contract to use it, you can't use it without a contract.
    06-18-10 09:25 AM
  24. nycchick's Avatar
    I am not in a contract with ATT. Haven't been since at least 2006?

    I am eligible for a 9700 at $215.

    Thus by accepting the 9700 at $215 I will be signing up for a 2 year contract. Which let's say I do the $40 + $15 data plan when I buy the phone an enter a contract. Let's say a few months from now I want a texting plan. Can I add one, with penalties or breaking my contract etc?. Same with if I initially get a text plan and I don't text all that much can I drop the text plan without penalties etc?
    06-18-10 09:26 AM
  25. NoahFecks's Avatar
    Correct. You can start the contract without the texting plan, then anytime you can go to your account online and add it at no extra charge (aside from the plan's price) and remove it later with no penalty either. You cannot however got rid of the data plan, you can only upgrade it or downgrade it if you had the higher plan. Changing these features doesn't affect the contract at all.
    06-18-10 09:41 AM
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