BlackBerrius Maximus - Part VII - New Year's Eve Edition

By Gary Mazo on 31 Dec 2008 02:43 pm EST
BlackBerrius Maximus

Eenie, Meenie, Miney Berry... Which Should I Choose?

What a year! 2008 will definitely go down as the "Year of the Berry" for me. My little SIM Card found a home in no less than 7 different BlackBerrys this past year! While much of the use could be classified as "professional," there was certainly a "searching" for the perfect Berry as well. So, let's take a look at the year that was and maybe you can help me choose amongst my Berrys and I can keep my SIM Card parked in one device for at least a few months in 2009.

2008 started for me with a White T-Mobile BlackBerry Pearl. A great deal from actually netted me a $75.00 profit when I got this device, so I didn't think I had too much to lose (since most my retired BlackBerrys wind up on Ebay, anyway.) I really liked this BlackBerry (even with all its limitations.) I loved the size - it was almost perfect for putting in my pocket. SureType was not a problem for me and I became very comfortable with short emails and texting on this phone. I did wish the screen was bigger and the resolution was not the best. This was my first trackball BlackBerry and it became love at first scroll. I used the Pearl exclusively for about four months.

Spring of 2008 saw me "upgrade" to my trusty 8320. I loved this Blackberry (I still do.) It felt great in my hand - while bigger than the Pearl, it wasn't too big and I loved the bigger screen. As much as I tolerated SureType - there is just no substitute for a full keyboard - especially if you try to send out emails with any regularity. The "Curve" is lightweight, feels great in the hand, was fast enough and the trackball seemed improved. This was almost the "perfect" Berry.

There were a few quirks with my Curve - too many battery pulls, memory leaks and the like - but we get used to that, don't we? I loved the WiFi and using UMA for my calling - it saved me a ton of dough.

I briefly rested my trusty 8320 to try out various 8800 devices - including the 8830 and 8820. Somehow, they just seemed too big and the keyboard didn't work as well for me as the Curve keyboard. I did like that the 8820 had built in GPS and WiFi so I didn't need to choose between the two - I could navigate, stream Bluetooth Stereo and then use Wifi for browsing - that was cool. But, it just didn't fit into my pocket and I am not a real "holster" kind of guy. Also, the 88xx series seemed kind of "stuffed shirt" to me - there just wasn't much of a "coolness" factor.

My SIM card went back into my trusty Curve for another couple of months. I upgraded to beta versions of the 4.5 OS and now I could record video, watch YouTube vids and even stream internet radio -I had breathed new life into my old and trusted 8320.
Then, it happened - the Bold showed up. What a screen, what sound, what storage possibilities! Hands down I felt this was the most "quality" device that RIM had ever built. I loved the keyboard and who couldn't love the screen? The trackball seemed improved and I rarely had to do a battery pull or clear my event log. I loved everything about this device, but, for some reason, I didn't love the device itself. I think it was the size, it may have been the keyboard or the faux leather back - but I definitely had trouble getting this in my pocket which was a real bummer for me. I was also trying to use a Rogers unlocked device on T-Mobile so I couldn't take advantage of 3G and it didn't work on UMA here in the states. After about a month or so, I boxed it up and off it went to my friend Martin who is still using it today.

Around the same time I got an iPod Touch because the games and size of screen just didn't totally cut it on my Curve. I found myself spending lots of time in the App store loading up the touch - and I enjoyed the media features as well.

Then, I got a Pearl Flip and wrote a whole BlackBerry Maximus about it - I really like this little phone. It can really do everything the other BlackBerrys can do - but the size is perfect -easy in the pocket and nice and small when closed. I love the outside screen which previews text and Messenger and email messages. It was great on workouts and long bike rides too. Suretype seems improved and the new OS is very nice to work with. I found myself still using my iPod Touch for games, but doing more music playing on the Pearl Flip. Lastly, I like this device as a "phone" - there is just something about the microphone actually being near your mouth that makes for a very positive "call" experience.

I retired my Curve at this point and used the Flip exclusively for a couple of months. I did miss the full keyboard, but I just loved the size. Then, I made another huge change.

As I wrote in my last article, I waited in the cold for my Storm. I was excited for this device - probably more excited than for any previous BlackBerry. There was certainly a learning curve to this one - but there was also so much potential. I didn't like being on Verizon (just because of their higher costs and their crippling of the BlackBerrys functionality) but I did like the coverage and the speed. The addition of the SIM card meant that I could "unlock" this phone and still use my T-Mobile account - so I tried it. While I lost a little bit in terms of coverage and speed - I could keep my very reasonable rate plan and still use My Faves to save money.

I did miss the WiFi - but not as much as I thought I would. It has taken me a lot of time to get used to typing on this - but now I think I type as fast as I did on my Curve. There is an intangible quality about this device - it is just "fun" to use. I haven't really used "fun" and "BlackBerry" together before - but I have fun browsing my music, watching videos and navigating through email and typing. I have found that I haven't picked up my iPod in nearly two weeks. I have to believe that the new BlackBerry App Store will provides some compelling content - maybe I will be able to retire my iPod Touch completely.

So, there I am - pathetic BlackBerry user - One Pearl, One Curve, Two 8800's, One Bold, One Flip and One Storm - all on one SIM card inside of 11 months. This is where I need your help - faithful Maximus readers - I have in my possession right now my 8320, Pearl Flip and Storm - all working on my T-Mobile SIM card - one of them will be my everyday BlackBerry - but which one?

I am also waiting for the 8900 to come to T-Mobile (hopefully in February) and maybe that will be my next one - but I really like the touch screen. What to do, what to do? I just can't go through 7 more BlackBerrys in 2009!

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BlackBerrius Maximus - Part VII - New Year's Eve Edition


You're not getting 3G with any of them, so why settle for slower CPUs, smaller screens (except for the Storm) and tiny keyboards? :p

I got my Storm in about Mid-December after making the switch from a POS WinMo phone to BlackBerry. To be honest, the browsing speed is great on the Storm although I would not recommend using it as a modem for your computer. The only problem I had like most users that got some of the very first Storms is I had a problem with the lower right side of the screen not "clicking" but I talked to Verizon and within 48 hours (not counting the weekend since I went in Friday night), I had a brand new Storm and this one is working just fine. I have a friend that is a HUGE Apple fan and I think he loves his iPhone more then his wife but then again, I talk about my Storm just about as much as I talk about my wife (don't tell her I said that haha). Comparing the Storm to the Pearl Flip though really isn't much of a question to me. If you are looking for a small size BlackBerry of course the Flip is as small as you can go but just like with mini-laptops, you give up a lot like screen size and resolution for the easy and smallness of the Flip. Personally speaking, I would stick with the Storm until RIM unleashes a new device such as the new Curve coming out. That might be a fun one to compare the Storm against!

Keep the 8320, as it is the best all around device. Sell the flip, and send the storm to me! then we'll all be happy and you will no longer have to fret over which one to use.

Problem solved!!

PM me for shipping details :-)

If you're sticking with T-Mobile for 2009, I think come mid-February it's definitely a BlackBerry Curve 8900 that you'll be using.

That is until the "BlackBerry Curve Touch" (aka Magnum) hits the market. Curve form factor + 3G + touchscreen sounds like a device suitable for BlackBerrius Maximus based on your thoughts above. Let's hope for a WES 2009 announcement.

Happy New Year Gary!! Thanks for all your hard work in 2008!!

you can switch as many times as ya want! i wish i went through 7 this year, i only had 4...


I think my idea blackberries would be

1. The Curve 8900.

2. The Curve 8900 with a touchscreen.

3. The Storm with a side-sliding qwerty (I know you're not the greatest fan of this form factor... But I need a keyboard and I love looking at big screens :] )

Its not a blackberry, but the Samsung i760 is a great smartphone when looking at large screens and an excellent keyboard. Windows mobile device though. I've had it for a year now, but will soon retire it once i'm eligible for my 1 year upgrade through Verizon late January...THE WAIT FOR MY STORM IS ALMOST OVER! Yessssssssssssssssss! lol

its the only one that every time it clicks it makes you grin , every time you pick it up , you smile a little knowing that you have a storm in your hands and all it can do, the fact that every time you question it , it dose something that impresses you or re comforts you !! the 3.25 in screen glistens in the light and and blows you away with its sharp vivid images, my friend the storm ... is ... and will be always known as .. the ULTIMATE BLACKBERRY !!!!

Well it looks like you have done your research, but to tell you the truth you can not beat the functionality of a actual "button"... Case closed. The storm is nice, but thats all. Us blackberry afficionados don't have time to re-press imaginary "buttons". lol. Nice phone but it isn't a Blackberry. Because as you may already know, Blackberry (for us) means ease of use, functionality of device, and organization of life. Not clickable, media friendly, and poor battery life. Sorry Storm Lovers.

In Blackberry We Trust,


My first blackberry was a pearl but it was too small then I fell in love with the curve but didnt have the courage to buy one then the storm came I got it loved it but the many glitches forced me to send it back Im thinking about getting the 8900 in feb. or do I wait for WES '09 to see whats coming I just cant decide...

Prolly would be worth it to wait, but depending on what service you have (I know Verizon has this) you can try the phone for 30 days. So you can purchase one, and if there's solid info on any of the new blackberries we've been hearing about within those 30 days...weigh your options and go from there. My opinion at least.

Many parts of your article rang so true for me. I never went for the pearl. As a corporate type, I also have a 8830. I loved my Curve and waited patiently till the end of August for the Bold and used my upgrade on an iphone. Once the Bold came out in November I waited three weeks before pulling the trigger on a Bold! I love the BOLD! I have turned my iphone into a ipod touch that can make phone call if needed. My wife is on my to sell it!

I have also updated my 8300 to OS 4.5 and added some themes to it as a back up berry but I still can't belive my Curve was my #1 Phone until August. The Bold just make it feel so "old and slow technology".

I can't wait to see what 2009 brings with phones. I am going to get me umm I mean my wife a Nokia N97 when they come out next year. I hope see hates it! ;)

I went from a...

1.HTC Mogul(sprint)
2.HTC Touch (sprint)
3.Palm 755p (spint(hated it))
4.Blackberry 8130 (sprint)
5.N810+N75 (T-Mobile)
6.Palm 750 (T-Mobile)
7.HTC Tilt (T-Mobile (unlocked))
8.Nokia N95 8GB (T-Mobile (#4 best))
9.Blackberry 8330(Sprint)(#3 best))
10.HTC Touch Diamond (Sprint)
11.Apple iPhone 3G (AT&T) (#2 best))
12.Blackberry Bold (AT&T) (#1!!!!)

How did I do it???
#1. Always have a spare phone and watch craigslist and ebay...and always sell for more the you bought it for... :)
#2. I'm Air Force...and we make alot of money when we get deployed!!!

I'm Air Force...21 year veteran retiring in June 2009. I have deployed seven, yes, SEVEN (7) times to the Middle East alone in my career...four times to Iraq. I have been active, reserve and now Guard and have worked with every branch of the military.

Getting to the point, yeah, the money is sweet but going through three mobile carriers and 12 devices is stupid. Don't get it twisted, there is a difference between stupidity and ignorance. Anyway, it's not the going through several phones, it's the waste of money simply because you can.

But maybe you got a device and found it wasn't what you wanted or something better came along. I sure hope going through that many devices isn't because you had to have the latest and greatest at that time to keep up with the Joneses.

But I'll step off the soapbox now....

Curiously looks like a trackball and the ring around it.....sorry I am soooo bored waiting for 5 when I can leave and celebrate lol

After my 3rd Storm, I gave up and went back to my Bold. I then realized that all the compromises I was making to keep a larger screen was really not worth it.

After 4 days of use each of the 3 storms would fail to click in the corners of the screen. And oh yes until I switched back to the Bold, I didn't realize how slow the Storm handles everything.

Before I shipped the last Storm back to Vzw, I did a side by side comparison of the browsers with the Bold on EDGE and the Storm on 3G. The Bold was always much faster on every download. (Can you hear me now ??)

The Bold ROCKS....

If so then sign me up! Its just utterly ridiculous how much I want to try all these Blakberries. And although I've been a faithful reader of the crackberry site and forums for about a year now, I've only had my Blackberry for 2 months and I'm addicted.

Truly, I've just gotten to know my little red Curve Sophieberry and already I'm salivating over at least 2 other models, the Bold and the Javelin. This is just ridiculous, hopefully my Sophieberry won't get jealous and walk out on me if she catches me reading just one more review of one of the newer phones.

And ssssh! (don't tell her I've been such a loyal fan that I've even read the round robin reviews on other phones...) My favorite is always that such a fair review is given of other phones regardless of the potential backlash!

Ok gotta go, Sophieberry is chiming....

Reading two different posts at once, made me leave my comment on the wrong one! So sorry I'll copy my comment above to the right listing.

blackberry curve or the pearl flip and send me the bbstorm cause i'm desperate! :D

help a bro out! lol

i also switched a bunch of times on 2008. had the 8300, sold that, started using my 8700c which was my backup, than i bought an 8800. liked it but i missed the camera. got a free 7290 so used as my backup. saw the 8310 when it came out and i loved it even more. so i bought it and sold the 8800, and sold my 7290. i loved my crimson 8310. but than i wanted wifi because i got jealous of tmobile's 8320, so than finally the Bold came out and i bought i can say that i have my perfect phone.

I'm a Bold owner (as well as iphone which is going to become a touch very soon) and my dad owns a Storm. When I played with it the first time, I wasnt too thrilled with the touch experience after having gotten used to the iphone for so long. But last night I used it again and i think it got a lot better. the typing wasnt laggy and the touch/scroll experience wasnt that bad at all.

I still love my bold as i missed having that physical keyboard but that Storm is going to be a great device after an OS upgrade or 2.

RIM needs to get a few things going:

1) a better app store with free apps that can rival itunes
2) wtf is it with RIM not allowing apps to reside on the memory card but only on the 50ish MB you get?? Thats really lame and limits the amount of 3rd party apps you can have and will be a big reason why many stick with the iSmudge

Happy New Year Everyone
I have not had as many devices/carriers however I am known to carry 2 phones simultaneously. I have a Curve (provided by my employer thus locked down tight) and a Pearl 8130 on VZW. Trhough October, I have an active iPhone 2G as well however I have been using it as a Touch taking advantage of WiFi at home.

The Curve would be my only ohone IF it wasn't locked by corporate policy. We can't install anything and we can send/receive MMS. Although I am a focused profesisonal at work, I still like to get pictures and videos of my son. Enter my Pearl. It does everything I said the Curve couldn't do. What I can't stand about the Pearl is the lack of memory and memory leaks) and small screen size however the overall size is great given I carry both. SureType isnt as bad as people think however the buttons are a bit small.

The iPhone and a long time Macintosh user and abuser. Love this thing however the call quality (pre 2.2) was poor (have not tried it since updated to 2.2). Speaker volume is extremely low compare dto any Berry, Treo, Moto Q. And it doesn't do MMS or capture video.

The Storm seemed like a good compromise between the platforms. Still like as it would keep me on VZW with the entire family. So, love the iPhone but doesn't do everything I need it to do. The Pearl needs to go. And, the Storm has long term potential if they improve the speed and add some apps.

As per what I have read....
U seem 2 love the Pearl Flip but don't wanna accept it...
I may be wrong though...

Plus I am biased towards the Flip coz i hv it :-)