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Blackberry Bold 9000 vs iPhone 3Gs…a Love Hate relationship September 25, 2009

Posted by ronannarbor in Gizmos.
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In the past month I have switched from my iPhone 3Gs to the Blackberry Bold and back again to the iPhone 3Gs….and frankly, I love them both and hate them both…but the iPhone won out…Here’s why, and what do you think?

apple-iphone-3gsblackberry-bold

My number one gripe about the iPhone has always been the touch keyboard. I just plain old hate it. I more than hate it, I abhor it with every ounce of my being. I’m not new to iPhones — I’ve used them since the first incarnation two years ago — I can get 50 wpm out of my blackberry keyboard — even after years of using the iPhone, I still get only 17 wpm at best, and that filled with typing errors and spelling problems.

During a recent trip to Paris, the iPhone 3GS battery didn’t even last the 8 hour flight — listening to 2 albums and playing Boggle for 15 minutes ran the battery down from 98% to 14%. Unacceptable. The problems started with the 3.1 update, and are driving me insane with how bad the battery life is. Apple is apparently aware of it, so let’s hope for a patch soon : http://www.theiphoneblog.com/2009/09/20/apple-seeking-info-iphone-31-users-reporting-poor-battery-li

I’ve always been a Blackberry lover, and the Bold is just so amazing…it’s like the Cadillac of phones…so after the iPhone problems, I had decided that was enough — it would be my iPod and game machine, and I would go back to a “real phone”…

OOH, that keyboard — instantly in love, and back to 50 wpm typing texts and e-mails…but then the problems just become glaring: limited applications; not enough memory on the Bold to store even a handful of those apps anyway; the lockups long familiar to BB users…

So there I was…back to the iPhone, despite the awful battery and touchscreen typing problems.

Blackberry Bold Pros and Cons:

Pros–

  • Far superior keyboard, real qwerty depress-the-keys, great feel and response
  • Great size and “feel” in the hands — overall the best Blackberry ever made
  • Good trackball and homepage layout
  • Better phone features overall
  • Easier texting and e-mail
  • Built-in office features to read and edit word, excel, powerpoint
  • Ability to store files natively on BB rather than web servers
  • Better graphics/screen (no kidding — really — look at them side by side)
  • Removable microSD card slot means you can have several of them and carry lots of data
  • Removable battery so that you can have a spare
  • Can stream Slingmedia tv from home over 3G or wireless

Cons–

  • Have to remove battery to reset
  • Insufficient built-in memory — four downloads and you are scraping bottom
  • Limited applications, and those are not as elegant as the iPhone’s
  • Terrible sync with mac — there is a leaked version of the blackberry sync for mac if you search for it, but it’s still not up to snuff
  • neither PocketMac nor Missing Sync works correctly for mac syncing
  • crashes occasionally , especially when accessing files or programs on the memory card
  • Unreliable overnight — sometimes freezes up and alarms don’t go off in the morning (this is an ongoing problem with all blackberries, not just the Bold)
  • idiosyncratic menus and many clicks necessary to achieve simple features

iPhone Pros and Cons:

Pros–

  • Sleek build, built like a tank
  • Myriad applications
  • Excellent sync with Mac through iTunes
  • Much better for media – movies, music, games
  • Threaded texting
  • Just added MMS
  • The excellent ability to use Bento II databases and quickly share and edit on desktop or iPhone (no equivalent on BB)
  • Visual voicemail
  • Larger screen for watching movies or playing games

Cons–

  • That terrible touchscreen keyboard — hate it, hate it, hate it
  • Much slower for texting, e-mailing
  • Can not use SlingMedia without WiFi connection making it worthless — this is a huge bone of contention for me, since I want to be able to see the tv broadcast while at football or baseball games
  • Apple/ATT have far too much control over what you can/can not do with the iPhone — lately, this looks to be more of an ATT problem than an Apple problem
  • No ability to natively store word, excel files on the iPhone — although you can now access the to some degree using programs like QuickOffice — but it is a very poor substitute
  • Terrible battery life — and I mean terrible — perhaps an update will fix this down the road, since Apple is aware of the problem following the 3.1 update — does not last the night on an overnight flight
  • Battery can not be consumer replaced; i.e. can’t carry a spare in the messenger bag: add-on external chargers are very expensive ($299 plus)
  • Multiple taps necessary to access texting and e-mail rather than BB’s easier interface for communications features
  • MMS, though now activated, is already overloaded and basically doesn’t work

In general?….If you are looking for the best business/enterprise phone available, go for the Blackberry Bold. If you want any ability to use decent media and applications, get the iPhone….If you need a bit of both, you are really screwed since neither fully meets the needs…

I’m not the only one with the BB/iPhone dilemma — so thought I would post my frustrations and see what others have to say. For now I’m back to the iPhone 3GS, but I’m certainly not wedded to it. I do refuse to try anything but BB or Apple, so don’t comment on windows mobile phones, Android, or the rest….if you comment, keep this to the iPhone vs Blackberry debate only please. I won’t approve the others.

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Comments

1. Mark - September 27, 2009

The family is split – but I’m convinced
I’ve just received mine (well, 24 hours ago) so don’t expect War and Peace.
BUT…this thing is fabulous. I bought it as a business tool, and boy does it perform. So easy to use I didn’t need any instructions at all. Although I will read them to make sure I don’t miss
Hey, you have a great blog here! I’m definitely going to bookmark you! Thank you for your info.And this is
**BlackBerry 9000** site/blog. It pretty much covers ###BlackBerry 9000## related stuff.


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