Sunday, 25 July 2010

What I didn't like about BB 9700 - SW

Continuing from my previous post, this one is about what I didn't like about the Blackberry 9700's software.

In general, it was good, but there were few things to mention:

- Internet connection is required for some applications to launch. Twitter, WeatherBug, etc...  won't launch if no connection is available (i.e., no signal or WiFi)

- facebook Blackberry client too slow, receiving notification was OK, but getting News feed update was too slow (could be related to the proxy - see below), opening pictures was slower, even if connected through WiFi.

- Proxy: I didn't like the fact that even I was using my own WiFi connection, it was going through proxy server, that I didn't set it up (it was set by default), and I wasn't able to find a quick way of changing it.

- Only one row of shortcuts: Though shortcuts are customizable, you can only have one row on your main screen (mine contained 6 shortcuts - this is the Blackberry OS 5) but the good this is in the new version Blackberry OS 6 to be released soon), you'll have more.

This was the last  post in this series, I hope you'll find it useful, my next post will be my overall user experience with the Blackberry 9700.

If have any question regarding this, please leave a comment and I'll reply ASAP.

Thank you for reading.

Sunday, 18 July 2010

What I liked about BB 9700 - SW

This is the third post about my experience with the Bold 9700; if you haven't done yet, you might like to read the first and the second post.

The software

The social media software were available (for many reasons, I didn't expect them on a Blackberry) like Facebook - Twitter, etc...

- "Auto on/off" feature; with this feature I even got the battery to last longer; the phone will go into "sleep" mode with minimal battery usage, and will it turn itself on automatically, on the time I specified.

- Push, email, Twitter (mentions and DM), Facebook notifications, etc... Arrive almost instantly (though it depends on the connection I had at the time, there were times where it took about 15 minutes...).

- Interface - I changed the main screen background image and put the most used shortcuts /icons on the main screen; it was so easy to figure out, even without reading the manual.

- Sending emails/SMS: I found sending messages from Blackberry so easy, I had multiple email accounts setup, selecting a new email from the menu is easy, writing it was also easy (once I got used to the keyboard), to select who to send it to, you start typing first few letters, and it suggested names from my contacts, if I had a contact with multiple email addresses, I'll get a prompt to choose which one I want to send to. what I liked most about it, is sending an email n a "non signal" area (i.e., on my daily train journey, the signal is bad); I just write the email and send; it acts as my desktop email client, the email goes to the outbox, and once signal is back (connection is established), the email will be sent automatically; unlike many other email clients that complain about "connection not available", etc....

- Sound Profiles: I setup a "Sound Profile" that gets the device to ring only when incoming call was from a specific person, and the device was in its holster (I can setup the profile to ring/vibrate/"do nothing" differently if it was out of its holster). I could control the number of vibrations (1, 2 .... up to 10), sound level (high / low / silent), ...

With so many notification the phone can generate (from Facebook, Twitter, calendar reminder, emails reception -btw I had multiple email accounts and I can specify the notification on each one separately- SMS, Instant Messages, .... the list go on.... this level of notification customization is great.

- Windows Live Messenger: Always online, (the desktop version in your pocket, so convenient to stay in touch), yet doesn't affect the battery much; the only 2 things I couldn't do on the mobile version (but can on the desktop) are: video call and audio call. Other than that, everything is the same. ah.. one option that's not available on the desktop, I can specify an "alert" for an offline person, so that whenever they get online, I get the notification. (note this application is developed by RIM).

- PIN messages: As every Blackberry device got its own PIN number, this functionality is very similar to an Instant Message client (where you can send a text or MMS or even a voice note to any Blackberry user anywhere in the world). Honestly, with this device, the line between text messages and emails is getting blurred.

- Search: being able to search emails and text with "advanced" criteria was really nice (and unique) experience on a mobile device.

Sunday, 11 July 2010

What I didn't like about BB 9700 - HW

Continuing from previous post, here is what I didn't like about the BB 9700 hardware. Again, this is my own personal experience / view.

- Screen size, relatively and compared to most smart phones, it is small.

- Trackpad, while I was using the device, I wished I had other ways to use the device than the trackpad. 1st: unless my fingers are totally dry (I.e., just washed my hands, or had to catch the train so I ran and now on the train but sweating; in both situations my fingers aren't totally dry) using the trackpad is difficult and won't point to what I intended accurately, sometimes I had to try few attempts before I could select what I wanted. 2nd given the screen size, even though my fingers were dry, using the trackpad in applications such as twitter or facebook for BB wasn't easy, for example, in facebook, I pressed "like" many times when I didn't intend to!

- The speaker is located on the back, above the camera and the word "Bold"(in the middle). I think every speaker has to have a magnet, and most phones do. I noticed this by chance. I put the device down next to a coin and when I pulled it back up, the coin was attached to it!

I think this is related, not sure though... I answered a phone call with the device on my ear (i.e., not using earphones) after about 5 - 6 minutes, I started feeling uncomfortable in my ear; few minutes after ending the call, the feeling in my ear got back to "normal", (this might be related to me only).

Thursday, 8 July 2010

What I liked about BB 9700 - HW

What I like about the Blackberry 9700 Bold (hardware):
Please note this is my own experience, for the official specifications please visit Blackberry site.

- Battery life (I only had couple of apps installed on top of what it had pre-installed; I guess if I installed apps that run in the background, it will affect the battery life). With WiFi turned on, on average usage (Twitter, MSN Messenger, Facebook, etc... running in the background / receiving notifications) it lasted 3 days.

- Keyboard keys; though they are tiny, but once I got used to them, I typed quicker and more accurate than before.

- Shortcuts; having a keyboard with more than 30 keys "customizable", I don't think this feature is available in any other phone.

- Camera; photos quality is amazing compared to many other phones with 3.2MP cameras, I didn't verify, but most probably, the lenses used are of a higher quality than other mobiles.

- 3.5" Audio Jack, though it's becoming a standard in all new smartphones, to have it on Blackberry I consider it as a plus.

- microSD Card: it came with 2GB card, which was enough for me to have few MP3 and MP4 files.

- Holster: The device came with a holster. It has three functions: 1- it protects the device from scratches. 2- it saves battery life; apparently there are some censors installed; as soon as I put the device in its holster, it turn itself into "sleep" mode; obviously I could put the device in "sleep" mode by pressing a button, but I found this very convenient. 3- Notifications: I customised notifications (ringtones, vibrations, etc...) based whether the device is inside or outside its holster.