1. IrishJK09's Avatar
    I have had these thoughts rolling around my head for a while now, but this is the first time I have actually decided to write them down. This thread may incite anger, but that isn't my goal... believe it or not. I am a generally open minded person about mobile technology, simply because I love it. I like the iPhone for certain things, I like WinMo for certain things, and I like BlackBerry for certain things. Palm... well... I try to like it for certain things, it just never seems to work out.

    Anyway, from my open mind and my big mouth comes this thread... Is it really that much better.

    This is primarily a laydown of thoughts about BlackBerry vs. WinMo, and at no time should the iPhone really be brought into this discussion, though I am sure it could happen at some point. I am also excluding email delivery, because it plays no role in what I am comparing.

    Anyway, if you read this forum, you tend to see endless praise for BlackBerry devices and their boundless pros to the Windows Mobile world's cons. I ask this though, is the BlackBerry OS really that much better than WinMo?

    I think it is, but I don't think it is by the huge leaps and bounds it is talked up to be though.

    WinMo is often beat down on for being unstable and requiring lots of restarts to fix freezes, slow operation, and a number of other problems. BlackBerrys are praised for not having these problems, but do they really not? Everyday there are numerous posts (despite the stickies having answers) about low memory, text/call log deletion, spinning hourglasses, apps not responding, etc. Most of these problems can be fixed by a battery pull, this is true; but how is this any different than a WinMo device experiencing the same thing? I have owned numerous BlackBerry devices, and I have owned numerous WinMo devices, and honestly, neither was more problem free for me than the other.

    It is often said that a WinMo device needs a lot of tweaking to make it operate well. This is true, but is it different than BlackBerry? There are in depth FAQs about how to optimize an out of the box BlackBerry for the best "performance" and stability. If the device is so perfect, why do we need these FAQs? Why do we need to optimize our memory, why is it RIM recommended to pull the battery regularly to clear memory and completely end running apps?

    Most WinMo problems extend from having too many apps running. This brings the device to a crawl and tends to cause freezing when switching apps. Guess what — the same thing happens if you leave too many apps running on a BlackBerry. The problem is pretty much the same between the two devices, and is usually fixed by the same thing; a reset.

    How about ease of use? Well, both devices come out of the box in a less than eye friendly state. If you buy a BlackBerry, it will have a plethora of carrier specific icons on the home screen that can only be dealt with by hiding them. If you buy a WinMo device, it will have the same thing, but you can at least delete them if you want, or you can just hide them. Continuing in this area is actually using the device. Both devices tend to hide things in layers of menus and screens without good reason. Just look at how many questions we field daily that ask about finding a simple setting...

    Software/hardware faults? They exist for both platforms. I had 2 Curves in a row give me the dreaded "App Error 523," and were rendered broken without some serious fixing. Fixing, mind you, that requires in depth knowledge of how to wipe and load the OS back onto the device. I was fortunate to still be in my 30 day exchange period, so I simply had them replaced. I personally know how to fix the problem, so had I not been in my exchange period, I still could have gone on, but I know more than your average bear about BlackBerrys. What about the common consumer, or even the common business user?

    My point is just that if the BlackBerry OS was really as stable as everyone professes on this, and other, site, these issues wouldn't be so common. If it was really that stable, the "battery pull" wouldn't be such a well known procedure, and it wouldn't be one that is needed by the vast majority of us on a weekly basis.

    I still think that WinMo devices have a few more bugs due to the fact that it is one OS that gets shoveled onto devices made by a plethora of different manufacturers, but the BB OS is by no means perfect either. I really think that when a lot of the users of this site profess their love for BlackBerry and their hate for everything else, it is more due to the pop culture status BlackBerrys have received, as opposed to them really being that much better.

    I think this thread was spawned due to the overwhelming number of people making their "first post" about how the love their Berry, and are so glad to be free of WinMo, but they have a question about losing memory, or setting something up. It just seems kind of ironic to me anymore, and I felt like writing about it.

    Make no mistake about it, I still love my Berry. I am sure someone will yell at me for this post, and that is fine. I just refuse to keep the blinders up anymore and I think I have finally stepped out of the multi-year honeymoon that consisted of skipping through green fields, holding hands and singing the never ending praises of the Berry.

    Are BlackBerry devices wonderful? You betcha! Are they perfect? Absolutely not! Are they really that much better than WinMo? I think they are more stable, but I no longer think the difference in stability is really all that drastic.

    Contribute, flame, yell, agree, disagree... The choice is yours. I am just trying to spark some intelligent conversation about the reality of the subject; instead of the usual, mindless proclamation of: "BlackBerrys are the best ever just because I said so!"

    Ok... Let me just make the sign of the cross over myself... Alright, now where is that post button...
    Last edited by CrazEtooN; 06-01-08 at 09:46 PM.
    06-01-08 09:43 PM
  2. cutdacheck2003's Avatar
    I really want to respond to this thread so Im going to take the time to compile all my likes and dislikes and get back to you on this one if you dont mind. But I have work tomorrow, gotta sleep sometime.
    06-01-08 09:47 PM
  3. SilverSurfR's Avatar
    I certainly don't feel you are wrong, and as of recently I've had similar feelings. I just started using a pda/smart phone almost 2 years ago. My curve is only the 2nd [pda pohone] I've used and can agree with alot if not all of what you are saying. Previous phone was a Tmobile MDA (aka HTC Wizard), so I'll agree my experience with Windows Mobile is limited to only having used it on that one device.

    For me personally, neither device or OS is perfect, but you don't have to be perfect to be better. The best analogy for me to explain the way I see windows mobile and blackberry is this... Windows mobile = windows/pc ; Blackberry = Mac/OSX.

    Windows Mobile IS the Windows of the mobile world. Not restricted to Microsoft manufactured hardware, more 3rd party support, less stable (how much less is questionable).
    Blackberry OS - only for RIM devices, more stable, more secure, fewer 3rd party apps.

    First thing I noticed after making the switch, not much 3rd party development going on. Not really a problem since as of yet, the only thing I can see wanting is JiveTalk. I've read posts here from BB developers saying, the market is just too small, getting your code signed is expensive, and it's just plain hard to develop for the Blackberry. I'm no programmer, but if developers are saying it's hard, then there has to be something wrong with the tools you are given by RIM. Perhaps RIM needs to work more closely with developers to reduce the amount of time required to write good apps? Only a developer can really comment here, I have no idea what you guys do and what it takes.

    To sum up... BlackBerrys are the best ever just because I said so!
    06-01-08 11:11 PM
  4. IrishJK09's Avatar
    I like that analogy, and it is fitting.

    Side note... I find it funny that the two people to respond are from Jersey. I am originally from Jersey myself. Must be a subconscious thing, lol.
    06-01-08 11:25 PM
  5. DoubleSh0t's Avatar
    I have a Palm Treo 750 that I used to use daily, but it's just terribly frustrating. It cannot end a call without hanging for a few seconds to think about it. It will just keep going "ding... ding... ding" until it ends the call. As long as the Blackberry can end calls when I press the end button, and handle text messages properly (which my iPhone won't if they're sent/received in too short of time), I'll be much happier with it than my Treo or iPhone.
    06-01-08 11:30 PM
  6. Flurrycat's Avatar
    I love my berry and would not go back to Palm, but I do think the Palm PDA functions are better and easier to use. I also am running OS4.3 and have to perform a soft reset on my berry every 1-2 days to keep my memory up. It makes me laugh when people bash the Palm devices b/c they had to do resets. I NEVER had to reset my treo 600. Ever. And I had it for 4 years. And I reset my berry every 1-2 days. Go figure.

    That said, I love the BB customization options and the push email. I love the size, look and feel of my pearl.

    I've never tried WinMo, so I can't speak for that. My husband owns in iPhone. I still do not, even though I could have one any time I wanted. That's all I'll say on that.

    BTW - I lived in Jersey for 9 years....
    06-01-08 11:34 PM
  7. tmember's Avatar

    You hit the nail on the head when you said.... "Both devices tend to hide things in layers of menus and screens without good reason. Just look at how many questions we field daily that ask about finding a simple setting..."

    Two things that aggravate me most about my BB are the hoops one has to jump thru just to make the thing go from tone to vibrate, and the almost impossible task of understanding or doing anything with what it calls.... "Profiles". That's a maze I'm surprised anyone ever gets out of. I'm still stuck in there.

    In the final analysis I narrowed my choice down to a Treo or the BB Curve. I was very discouraged reading every other post on the Treo forums that said you needed to reset the Treo all the time to keep it running. But had I not discovered that the Verison man misquoted by double the monthly data plan charge, I wouldn't have the BB right now. I didn't think I could justify the cost until I discovered his mistake.

    All in all, if it weren't for those menus buried in menus buried in more menus, I'd be thrilled with my BB. I remember the day I got it, asking the salesman a question. To get the answer he clicked the phone about 90 times. I said, YOU HAVE TO DO ALL THAT JUST TO GET THAT FUNCTION?! I was seriously wondering if I could remember all the steps involved in what should be simple processes. For all the wonderfulness of these devices, you'd think they could do better than that.

    06-02-08 12:28 AM
  8. patrick.waugh's Avatar
    I'd say your assessment is reasonable fair. Blackberries certainly do take a bit of tweeking to perfect, and someone willing to become knowledgable to really maximize the potential of the device.

    I suspect that many business users who depend on the device do learn to use it over time with or without the help of an IT department, but that few consumers (who don't even read manuals) will go to the trouble to master the device since their use of it is not critical to their survival and performance.

    That said, I think we have to be careful about making assumptions (drawing conclusions) based on posts here because they represent a very specific group of people... those who are having problems, and are generally new to the device. In other words, the frequency of people pulling their battery to "fix" things has more to do with it being easier to teach them, then to teach them to better manage which and how many apps they put into the background.

    Now that I completely understand how to use my berry, I have not had to pull the battery, at all in recent history. However, I have done a soft-reset (the 3-finger press) on occasion just because I was impatient with the Java garbage collector, or I had failed to properly exit out of apps, thus consuming too much memory by accident.

    What I'm getting at is that in my experience it is highly stable, when used properly.

    To be honest, I suspect that WinMo's stability problem has more to do with 3rd party software than the platform, just as it does with all windows devices due to a lack of security.

    In the end, as a developer I think due to RIM's initial focus on the business consumer, it is the security of the device that maintains that stability.

    Just my two-cents.
    06-02-08 12:51 AM
  9. SilverSurfR's Avatar
    In other words, the frequency of people pulling their battery to "fix" things has more to do with it being easier to teach them, then to teach them to better manage which and how many apps they put into the background.
    This is something I learned to do in Windows Mobile. At first I had no clue hitting the X in WinMo only sent the app to the background instead of closing it. This is one of the first pieces of information I looked for about the Blackberry and how it managed opening and closing of apps and sending them to background. When I do notice my berry starting to slow down, I alt-escape to see what's running and what I should close to gain some memory. Much easier to do out of box with BB OS then the windows mobile default of going into one of the setup menus.
    06-02-08 01:12 AM