09-17-09 06:47 PM
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  1. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    I would like to know why exactly you are done with RIM and their products? What turned you off about them??
    You really want to know them all? First, I will go with the design features - these are things which may or may not be important to you or anyone in particular - they are with me.

    Things Missing on BlackBerry
    Multitasking
    Flash
    Full video recognition
    Sensitive radio
    Configurable menus
    Cursor acceleration
    Undo/Redo
    Ability to run on any compatible data network
    Adequate Web browser
    Full scripting support
    Widgets


    Sure, they have tried emulating multitasking, with the Switch Application feature, but try to run anything cascaded. BlackBerrys do not multitask.

    Flash - isn't happening. RIM has too tight a hold on the OS.

    Video - I am so tired of the unsupported error popup. While I see people complain about the media apps on WinMo or Palm, it is usually because of appearance or controls, not ability to handle video types.

    Sensitive radios are not in the mix of RIM offerings. Neither is consistency, but more on this later.

    Configurable menus - also not in the cards with BlackBerry. Never could figure out the logic of the layout, like on Webpages, click the BlackBerry button, then wonder why there are link commands in two places.

    Cursor accel - yes, I can adjust the speed of the troubleprone trackball, but I cannot adjust the acceleration. Try grabbing "Copy" and accidentally hit "Paste" because the trackball moved slightly on the press. This leads us to one of my big points as to why BlackBerrys are really dumbphones in disguise:

    Undo/Redo - Why does RIM not offer a CTRL Z/CTRL Y equivalent? There is no excuse for this. Some dumbphones have it, but RIM feels their email "powerhouse" (their image - it isn't reality) doesn't need it. BlackBerry users must not make mistakes, after all & if you do, pages of info may be gone.

    Data network - this goes beyond CDMA/GSM/LTE. Your telco's data network may be running full tilt, but get a RIM hiccup or a failure of a bridge to the RIM servers & your BlackBerry can't get data. I have it easy, as when there are so called "outages" unlike the multi-carrier fiber-optic cut in San Fransicko yesterday, non-BlackBerry devices continue to hum right along.

    Let's not forget that you do not have full control over your BlackBerry. RIM wants to add things & they do. Your carrier wants to add things, so they put in an order with RIM & it gets pushed to your device. Maybe sometime I will explain to people how to actually remove the pushed crap instead of just hiding it.

    No pushes to Palm, WinMo, Apple or Symbian. You choose what to download & accept the terms. If you don't want it, you don't load it. If you load it & change your mind later, you remove it.

    The adequate browser & scripting issue runs hand in hand. Have you ever searched for info online, clicked in a page link, only to be greeted by the spinning hourglass from Hades? BlackBerry freezes, browser might eventually reset or a battery-pull is needed. Memory overruns & scripting issues caused it. You lose your back history, search parameters & any unsaved information - not very smart of a phone, especially one incapable of rendering what some estimate as half the sites out there. You can partially remedy this by using search-engine reformats (Bing/Yahoo/Google) but some of those remove data or functionality. I cannot pay a Verizon bill from my browser or view the T-Mobile site - but I can do both on a WinMo phone without addons, like the MyVerizon app.

    Yes, I can run Opera - but where is the side-to-side scrolling, the cursor, easy copy/paste of text/links/URLs? And Opera is not Opera without tabs. Sorry, Firefox fans - Opera had tabs back in the 90s - FF copied from Opera & the BeOS browser. And don't tell me about the ultra-sloppy Bolt browser. It may someday be good, but it just isn't there yet for BlackBerry and may never be.

    Widgets - originally a BeOS feature, later adopted by Opera & Apple, these things are tailor-made for mobile. None on the BlackBerry horizon.


    Things Wrong on Recent BlackBerrys

    Storm
    Tour
    Lagging OS
    Shoddy build quality
    Poor screens
    Flimsy/cheesy battery covers
    Call quality

    Storm is a nightmare all by itself - arguably the most returned smartphone in history, with a poorly designed touchscreen interface, laggy OS & dust issues, the Storm was supposed to be an iPhone killer, or at least an iPhone competitor. What we got was a device that explains why Apple didn't attempt a smartphone a dozen years ago, because it is not much more than 10 year old technology, except for size.

    Tour gets the shellac for all of the above issues, sans touch screen. In place of the touch screen, we got screen ripples & that chintzy battery cover, plus dust under screens. It seems RIM's manufacturing couldn't tighten screen screws or keep them tight. It doesn't feel substantial at all & trades keyboard function for keyboard form. We all know what you get when you put form over function - and I don't need art in a leather sheath. I want a tool & an occasional entertainment & convenience device.

    Even the Curve suffers from a cheesy battery cover - why else would I have a box of latches? And while I am in the battery cover issue, Bold screams lounge lizard.

    Call quality - let's face it. From online forum complaints to media reviews, the voice sound quality on BlackBerry is mediocre, at best. Using an automated voice response system with one illustrates what an exercise in frustration management is like.

    The OS lagging is well documented, yet BlackBerry fans point to WinMo lags as being unbearable. Spend some time on Omnia forums & you can see what I know - WinMo fans are just as rabid and the WinMo lag isn't as bad as Storm & Tour. Those who say otherwise either have never spent time with a WinMo phone or are remembering a short experience with one from the V5 or CE days. Another complaint is that some don't like the WinMo interface. Samsung does a nice job with TouchWiz, especially the second gen of it. There are also varying themes or you can change the entire look yourself, if you're so motivated. Palm strikes a nice balance between the two - more configurable than BlackBerry, but not as likely to allow you to be all thumbs & get yourself into trouble. The iPhone seems to have hit the sweet spot, too, and would be a winner if it were on a reliable network.

    Want third-party apps? Palm & WinMo win, hands down, with many for free. The iPhone also has a ton of apps, but most cost money. BlackBerry, not so many - and those that do exist are often nothing to write home about.

    You have to pay for an office suite on BlackBerry. WinMo Pro devices include it for free.

    BlackBerry doesn't make a good all-in-one solution for personal use, unless your only interest is text email & texting. Other devices do so much more, in productivity, fun & wow factors.

    Here is what happened with out order of Tours. Pulled them out & charged them. IT guys then put batteries on a load test. 50pt variation in battery results. While a couple batteries performed at or near 110% of rated capacity, some were slightly below 60%. Fabulous quality control. Yes sir, your 20gal tank on your new car might hold 22gal or it might hold 12gal. Have fun on your cross-country trip!

    Radio performance saw similar variations from sample to sample. Some were within 10% of spec & some were as much as 35% below rated power fresh from the box. After a week, the performance widened on some of the devices, with performance falling to a worst case 53% of spec, several below 60% & many in the 80-95th percentile. What is your sample performing at?

    We found noticeable screen ripples in half of them & a battery cover failure, in holster, after a week. A grand total of one person thought the keyboard design assisted their typing.

    We could set multiple samples side by side & activate the GPS. Most would readily find satellites indoors, while some had difficulty.

    My IT staff has stood by BlackBerry for a long time, due to their ease of central administration, even though they all carry WinMo phones for personal use - we pay for their phones, so they can choose whichever one they want. They feel they cannot do what they need to do on BlackBerry, so they choose the more powerful platform. With recent additions to other platforms, their love for BlackBerrys for company use is waning.

    For the time being, we're back with Curves, a couple Bolds & a still a few 8830s, running on our BES. We don't want touchscreens, because of their more fragile nature - but depending on what comes down the pipe, we will migrate to probably a Windows solution or possibly Palm.

    Back to the Omnia - I participate in several WinMo & Samsung forums, under various names. I can't help but notice something different. When news of the Omnia 2 broke, sure there was excitement, but few made a big deal of it. The attitude seems to be that of when it gets here, it gets here - they are happy with their current phone. Contrast that with what we see with BlackBerry - the attitude is always that people NEED the latest & greatest, as if their current device is crap. BlackBerry people seem to want to bend or break every rule and all agreements to get that new device. I hate to tell you all this, but the best BlackBerry is past; it isn't the next one, because each successive one is worse than the last. Unlike many here who were flipping Razrs & Nokia candybars just a few years ago, I've had BlackBerrys on several carriers over many years, including during a time when only the biggest of geeks would dare run a WinMoCE-based device.

    I've had Pilots running Graffiti & HP iPaq & Jornada devices. I am no stranger to PDA/smartphones. Anyone else remember the AT&T EO Personal Communicator? I had two, running GO Corporation's PenPoint OS. If I remember correctly, my very first PDA was a Casio back in 1983 or 1984. I have also been through Nokia Communicators, Apple Newton Message Pads & even a few Unidens.

    I've been around the block with mobile computing & couldn't care less what some young hack IT certified kid has to say about what is good and what it not. They probably couldn't today pay the price we used to pay for a device that allowed us to scribble at the bottom 3/4 inch of the screen. I can still write code in BASIC, Apple BASIC, Fortran, COBOL, as well as code Websites (yes, Web is supposed to be capitalized) & I do C++. I don't back away from registries or databases.

    And I am perilously close to 60 years of age.

    Please bear in mind that if you like BlackBerry and it does what you need it to do, fine - for me, I am only interested in our objective observations, not the opinion of someone on their first or second smartphone who still has to think about what theme they want to dress their "baby" in today. 10,000 subjective opinions will not change my perspective. But in my opinion, there are better options out there. Know that some are easier for the novice to hose up, but that doesn't mean it is less capable - it simply means you may not know how to operate it.

    And yes, I did write this entire piece from my smartphone.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-05-09 09:55 PM
  2. sprke81's Avatar
    Flash - isn't happening. RIM has too tight a hold on the OS.

    What do you mean?

    I had the skyfire beta for a bit and it did flash. It was a little choppy but the build I had was very early.
    08-05-09 10:53 PM
  3. sjsjr's Avatar
    I think what he meant is that RIM will not include flash in their OS updates, or push some type of flash program to your device. That doesn't mean someone won't put something out third party, such as Skyfire.

    If I misunderstood Twins I apologize. I didn't want to quote your post as it was pretty long but I did want to say thank you for your insight. I am on my first smart phone and I could not agree with you more, although I don't understand half of it!. I am new to this stuff but I have several friends who have been using Win Mo devices for a while. I started talking to people with other brands of phones such as HTC, Palm, and Samsung. They would tell me all the things they were using their devices for and I was shocked to say the least, because my shiny new phone could not do half of it. That is why while everyone jumped to grab a Tour I decided to wait and see what is coming out from other companies. I guess the Tour is alright for what it is and many people are happy with it. I want more from my equipment so I am probably on my first and last Black Berry.
    08-05-09 11:24 PM
  4. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    I think what he meant is that RIM will not include flash in their OS updates, or push some type of flash program to your device. That doesn't mean someone won't put something out third party, such as Skyfire.

    If I misunderstood Twins I apologize. I didn't want to quote your post as it was pretty long but I did want to say thank you for your insight. I am on my first smart phone and I could not agree with you more, although I don't understand half of it!. I am new to this stuff but I have several friends who have been using Win Mo devices for a while. I started talking to people with other brands of phones such as HTC, Palm, and Samsung. They would tell me all the things they were using their devices for and I was shocked to say the least, because my shiny new phone could not do half of it. That is why while everyone jumped to grab a Tour I decided to wait and see what is coming out from other companies. I guess the Tour is alright for what it is and many people are happy with it. I want more from my equipment so I am probably on my first and last Black Berry.
    I am glad some folks might get some good from that - I diddled with it half the day - whenever the kids let me sit for a couple of moments.

    The Skyfire browser works well on WinMo devices, but it is on its what, third alpha test? It uses the Opera model & actually uses a lot of Opera code. The flash rendering it might be able to do on BlackBerry is through proxy rendering and compression & not true flash.

    This is what has been causing the problems & Skyfire is allocating almost no server bandwidth to the BlackBerry project, as it is apparently too data intensive to try rendering flash this way - especially when it ends up being nowhere close to an acceptable end-result.

    The BlackBerry OS is too locked down to allow the access flash needs. It is also too locked down to mimic the capabilities of iPhone or to ever come close to what other devices can do - either natively or through third-party applications.

    The only way around it would be for RIM to open the OS, which would effectively destroy BlackBerry as it is currently known.

    The biggest thing that kills me is that the same people who love BlackBerrys also tend to slam Microsoft for being inept, lacking innovation & having closed code. Apple code is more locked up and BlackBerry makes both look like digital hookers. It makes no sense.

    I can get a non-BlackBerry with 40X the system memory and a vastly superior processor & screen for about the same price as the overrated & overhyped Tour. This WinMo device will run circles around iPhone & positively blow BlackBerrys into the weeds. But it isn't as pretty as iPhone and it doesn't come with "push" email. Big deal. I get messages that advise of multi-million dollar contracts and I need them now & I couldn't care less about push email, especially when it won't correctly render a large percentage of messages. But oh boy, get a kid who has to do email with his buds about the latest fad or the girl interested in Twitter & Facebook, and they not only want push email, they NEED IT!

    I wonder how I ever grew up without all the things I supposedly "needed" when I was younger. But hey - I am now older, can afford whatever I want/need and I want/need something that handles data better than an old 386 with Win3.1, which is about the state of the BlackBerry art.

    With friends like those mentioned above, there is definite hope. Put a BlackBerry up against any newer real smartphone & the BlackBerry loses by a landslide.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-06-09 12:06 AM
  5. sprke81's Avatar
    Twins I have hard time believing that you will continue to bang out these long posts with a touchscreen winmo phone but I've been surprised before

    What are you typing these on by the way?

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-06-09 12:29 AM
  6. Polychrome's Avatar
    I suppose it would allow applications to run solely on WiFi? It just doesn't seem like it's THAT big of a deal to me. BBs now have a hard enough time keeping up with themselves, much less 20Mbps!
    It's not just Blackberries, it's Windows Mobile, Palm, etc...

    Wi-Fi does not make the devices browse faster, as a portable device usually doesn't even have the processing power to make the difference in the first place. A large download (like a non-streaming video) might be faster, but how often are you doing that on such a device? (Admittedly, I do it sometimes, but not often enough that I'm constantly worrying about the download being slow.)

    It *did* make a difference on the first iPhone, because it did not have access to 3G. This *did* make the connection significantly slower on cellular. And for some networks, there were a lot of areas that did not initially get 3G since bigger markets were prioritized. They likely had wi-fi to speed things up until 3G was more widely available. People who still have the iPhone in the back of their brain come out thinking Wi-Fi is better for PDAs.

    Now, my Nintendo DSi is pretty fast, and does run on wi-fi, but the "speed" is somewhat of an illusion. The device allows me to scroll through pages very quickly, but the page overall takes about as long to load as most PDAs on cellular. The ability to quickly move and gesture through the browser and the ease of navigation brings an illusion of speed. Once again, with this in the back of one's head, you might come out with the impression that Wi-Fi is better on a portable device. But really, it's not. It's just that Opera is very well optimized for the DS, and that is that.
    Last edited by Polychrome; 08-06-09 at 12:33 AM.
    08-06-09 12:29 AM
  7. RicanMedic78's Avatar
    It's not just Blackberries, it's Windows Mobile, Palm, etc...

    Wi-Fi does not make the devices browse faster, as a portable device usually doesn't even have the processing power to make the difference in the first place. A large download (like a non-streaming video) might be faster, but how often are you doing that on such a device? (Admittedly, I do it sometimes, but not often enough that I'm constantly worrying about the download being slow.)

    It *did* make a difference on the first iPhone, because it did not have access to 3G. This *did* make the connection significantly slower on cellular. And for some networks, there were a lot of areas that did not initially get 3G since bigger markets were prioritized. They likely had wi-fi to speed things up until 3G was more widely available. People who still have the iPhone in the back of their brain come out thinking Wi-Fi is better for PDAs.

    Now, my Nintendo DSi is pretty fast, and does run on wi-fi, but the "speed" is somewhat of an illusion. The device allows me to scroll through pages very quickly, but the page overall takes about as long to load as most PDAs on cellular. The ability to quickly move and gesture through the browser and the ease of navigation brings an illusion of speed. Once again, with this in the back of one's head, you might come out with the impression that Wi-Fi is better on a portable device. But really, it's not. It's just that Opera is very well optimized for the DS, and that is that.
    wifi is not about speed, its about connectivity, particularly with travel

    twins, good post, especially from your device... I think it just has a slight "glass half empty" approch, but none the less, a good insight on some real issues in todays BB
    08-06-09 07:33 AM
  8. thinkamp's Avatar
    Well Twinz you have made very valid points and my hat goes off to you.
    You are right a lot of that stuff isn't important to me, but I see your reasoning behind everything you wrote.
    I just hope one day you will come back to BB.
    08-06-09 08:32 AM
  9. lockerc18's Avatar
    Wi-Fi does not make the devices browse faster, as a portable device usually doesn't even have the processing power to make the difference in the first place.
    I'm going to disagree with this. I don't have actual performance data to back this up, but I have a Tour and an 8350i. The 8350i is on Sprint and has wifi. The Tour is, of course, on VZW, and does not. When I'm in a wifi area, the web page load times for the 8350i are significantly faster than the Tour, and I get mostly 4-5 bars (-80db) on that.

    Now, it's true that the 8350i's processor is only half as fast as the Tour's, and it has less memory. But since it runs faster on wifi than the Tour, at least for web access, then the only conclusion I can make is that wifi really does offer improved web performance.
    08-06-09 11:35 AM
  10. RicanMedic78's Avatar
    I'm going to disagree with this. I don't have actual performance data to back this up, but I have a Tour and an 8350i. The 8350i is on Sprint and has wifi. The Tour is, of course, on VZW, and does not. When I'm in a wifi area, the web page load times for the 8350i are significantly faster than the Tour, and I get mostly 4-5 bars (-80db) on that.

    Now, it's true that the 8350i's processor is only half as fast as the Tour's, and it has less memory. But since it runs faster on wifi than the Tour, at least for web access, then the only conclusion I can make is that wifi really does offer improved web performance.


    there is a limit where max wifi speed cannot be acheived on a device, but it still makes it faster than EDVO, even at rev A. I think the difference is relevant, but lets not forget, that is only one of the many benefits of having it. For me, travel is #1, speed comes last, but still a good thing
    08-06-09 12:48 PM
  11. TwinsX2Dad's Avatar
    there is a limit where max wifi speed cannot be acheived on a device, but it still makes it faster than EDVO, even at rev A. I think the difference is relevant, but lets not forget, that is only one of the many benefits of having it. For me, travel is #1, speed comes last, but still a good thing
    You will often see better speeds - not much better, but still better. It depends on the conditions. Everyone has to remember that WiFi speed drops off considerably with distance, so you will not see high speeds unless you're nearly on top of the transmitter.

    Access is another plus, but again, it depends on the circumstances. On this trip, we've seen few WiFi connections & with the exception of campgrounds, none outside of cell coverage areas. In just my RV, we have seven computers - two desktops & five laptops - so in the CGs, we don't need WiFi to the phones.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-06-09 04:18 PM
  12. joansin's Avatar
    I love my Storm, and with the speed and upgrades coming to the Storm 2... it's going to be aflippinmazin'! I have been on Verizon for a long *** time and can't wait till the WiFi jump myself. The new Curve coming out on Verizon with the optical pad to replace the track ball is rumored to have said WiFi as well.... Hope you wait cause it will be worth it and I'm sure there will be a phone suited for you with WiFi. But the Storm 2..... just around the corner!
    08-18-09 02:22 PM
  13. J.R. Squire's Avatar
    Yea!!!!!!!!!!!!
    09-17-09 06:47 PM
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