Smartphone Round Robin: An iPhone User’s Final Thoughts and a Treo User’s First Impressions of the BlackBerry Curve

BlackBerry Treo iPhone Side by Side

We are well into Week #2 of the Round Robin, with everyone now onto their second smartphone of the month. I survived a week with the AT&T Tilt and am now using a Palm Treo 680. I don’t have my initial impressions up yet as I ran into a small snag – the unlocked Treo I received didn’t like my Rogers SIM card so I haven’t been able to get fully intimate with it just yet. I’ve still managed to play with the 680 and get to know it, but without a SIM card inserted it’s just not the same. I received another unlocked Treo 680 today (SIM card is working and the battery is charging as I type this) so look for my initial impressions tomorrow.

In the meantime, I thought it would make sense to check in on how the BlackBerry Using Editors in the Round Robin have fared so far. Mike at PhoneDifferent spent a whole week with the BlackBerry Curve 8310 and has now moved onto the AT&T Tilt I was using, while Jennifer over at TreoCentral has passed the iPhone she was using onto WMExpert's Dieter Bohn and is now using the BlackBerry Curve 8310. Confusing I know, but THAT’s why it’s called a Round Robin! The best way to stay on top of who has what is by checking out the Latest Updates section on the official Round Robin website. Read My take on Mike and Jennifer’s BlackBerry Curve take after the jump!

Don't forget, a comment to this post counts as an entry in the Round Robin Contest! Be sure you're logged in before you comment.

BlackBerry Treo iPhone Side by Side
By Kevin Michaluk on 7 Nov 2007 03:50 pm
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We are well into Week #2 of the Round Robin, with everyone now onto their second smartphone of the month. I survived a week with the AT&T Tilt and am now using a Palm Treo 680. I don’t have my initial impressions up yet as I ran into a small snag – the unlocked Treo I received didn’t like my Rogers SIM card so I haven’t been able to get fully intimate with it just yet. I’ve still managed to play with the 680 and get to know it, but without a SIM card inserted it’s just not the same. I received another unlocked Treo 680 today (SIM card is working and the battery is charging as I type this) so look for my initial impressions tomorrow.

In the meantime, I thought it would make sense to check in on how the BlackBerry Using Editors in the Round Robin have fared so far. Mike at PhoneDifferent spent a whole week with the BlackBerry Curve 8310 and has now moved onto the AT&T Tilt I was using, while Jennifer over at TreoCentral has passed the iPhone she was using onto WMExpert's Dieter Bohn and is now using the BlackBerry Curve 8310. Confusing I know, but THAT’s why it’s called a Round Robin! The best way to stay on top of who has what is by checking out the Latest Updates section on the official Round Robin website. Read My take on Mike and Jennifer’s BlackBerry Curve take after the jump!

Don't forget, a comment to this post counts as an entry in the Round Robin Contest! Be sure you're logged in before you comment.

Mike’s Final BlackBerry Curve 8310 Impressions [ read article ]

Mike is an iPhone guy, who didn’t have any experience (or much hope/love) for the BlackBerry coming into the Round Robin, so I was really curious as to what he would think of the BlackBerry Curve. While he did like some aspects of the Curve, such as the form factor, great battery life, solid specs (good camera w/ flash, built-in GPS) and the way it handles email, overall it fell up short for him.

It's been an interesting week with the Curve, but the limitations of it started to wear pretty thin on me as the week progressed. Once the newness of the curve wore off, I started eyeing my iPhone a lot more. I've been looking forward to shipping the Curve off…

Ouch. I know, it hurts. Mike’s gripes? Considering he’s coming from the iPhone, two of them were to be expected – he didn’t like the web browser (can’t really knock him there) and he didn’t like the lack of touchscreen (understandable but arguable for many reasons). Another area Mike didn’t like (which surprised me a bit) was with the BlackBerry operating system. He thought it was more like a feature phone on steroids than a smartphone and expected it be more further along. He didn’t like that settings were all over the place instead of being just under Options. He didn’t like the default icons/themes (too many icons and hard to tell what they’re all for) and had some nitpicks such as homescreen settings not remaining the same when you switch a theme (valid point).

If you listen to the PhoneDifferent Podcast published yesterday, Mike sums up his experiences. Does he come away liking the BlackBerry? Not Really. But does he respect it? You Bet. Mike summed up the BlackBerry Curve as being the anti-iPhone. What the BlackBerry does well the iPhone sucks at. What the iPhone does well, the BlackBerry sucks at. In Mike’s opinion both RIM and Apple should (hopefully will) start stealing from each other a bit so in a year or two there are no sacrifices with device choice.

Mike also gives a big shout out in the Podcast to all of the CrackBerry.com members who helped him out of the course of the week. He may not be in love with the Curve, but he’s loving the CrackBerry community we have built here!

Be sure to read Mike’s Post and leave a comment to let him know your thoughts!!!

Jennifer’s First Impressions of the BlackBerry Curve 8310 [ read article ]

Jennifer has had the Curve for a couple of days, and so far she seems to be really enjoying it! She has the same big gripes as Mike – poor web browsing and no touchscreen (this is the first device Jennifer has ever used without a touchscreen), but the lack of touchscreen really hasn’t lessened her overall like for the device. She adapted to the trackball and control buttons very quickly and is loving the Curve’s keyboard and overall form factor. She’s not crazy about the miscroSD card going under the battery (neither am I!) and she’s surprised at how long it takes to boot up the phone.

Jennifer set-up her email with ease, and is really impressed with the way the Curve handles her messages. She likes the camera (was impressed it had flash) and gave the GPS a thumbs up. She doesn’t like that there’s no threaded-SMS (like on the Treo), and when I read that I sent her an email telling her about the joys of BlackBerry Messenger. Who needs threaded SMS when you have BlackBerry Messenger which is soo much better. I guess the only problem with BlackBerry Messenger is that your peeps need BlackBerrys too, but really… do you want to associate with someone who doesn’t use a BlackBerry as their phone of choice?

I think there’s hope we convert Jennifer into a BlackBerry addict yet, so make sure you give her a hand in her last couple of days with the device. You can post in CrackBerry.com’s Round Robin Forum or head over to TreoCentral and make your comments there.

Ta Ta for Now
As for me… I jonesing for my BlackBerry pretty hard. I am managing to cope without it, but I just don’t feel “connected” anymore. It’s weird.  The AT&T Tilt and Treo 680 still get email and phone calls and SMS and manage contacts and calendar… but there’s just some sort of missing “come up with word for it here” that has me feeling lost. Treo 680 first impressions coming soon…stay tuned!

Topics: SPE Round Robin

Kevin Michaluk Kevin Michaluk "Founder, Editor in Chief " 3920 (articles) 3285 (forum posts)
23 comments

Bla1ze

I'm amazed at these reviews coming out of the round robin, theirs so many great ideas and opinions being expressed from each individual user, I think Mike hit it home with his comment "What the BlackBerry does well the iPhone sucks at. What the iPhone does well, the BlackBerry sucks at."...that was the best I have witnessed so far from everyones usage and it's spot on....the question was posed in one of the forums (forgive me I forget which) on what devices should have been included and if the AT&T Tilt was good option of choices for Kevin to use while testing WinMob 6, imo, while Kevin gave the Tilt a fair shake and it really did come out in a great light, Kevin may have been better suited in using a T-Mobile dash, one of Kevins main complaints with the Tilt was that it was a 2 handed device, The T-Mobile dash form factor is more liken to size to Kevins Curve then probably any other WinMob 6 device out there, anyone else agree or am I alone on this one?...Jennifers over all first impressions are excellent for the curve, she has visited CB for some assitance with some great options being given to her, which is fantastic to see everyone helping out as much as possible..while I have been commenting on ALL the forums for each one, I have to say I'm staying true to what I really enjoy here and that is peoples impressions on the BB devices...keep up the good work everyone, it's awesome.

wow..this is a long comment, sorry everyone.

Rymalone

In the end the Blackberry will be the mighty winner!

justdigphones

I'm on the same page as Bla1ze, while reading all of the round robin stuff is neat, I too am focusing on the other editors comments on the Curve.

Kevin Michaluk

Hence this article. To point you back at the other Editor's takes on the Curve :-)

Zen270

ooohhh... so excited. =)

graham

Its very interesting to hear the opinions of non BlackBerry users. As a higher form of species, we "Berryatrics" can learn from the simpletons using other, lower forms of communication.

SoldatCrinale

Its really interesting to everyones opinion on each phone. i for myself express tons of hatred towards the iphone but then again Mike hit it on the ball...There are things the BB can do that the Iphone cant do vice versa. If we had flash installed...than it just comes down to touch capabilities..which shouldnt be the BBs forte in the near future. I wish 4.3 OS was released so the users can experience the other stuff like Video Recording and voice memo..which im sure the others have..

oskaru

I would have to agree with bla1ze on the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and its functionality for all phones. I think Jennifer will end up owning her very own Black berry in the end. I'm very intrigued with the continuation of round robin conclusion and hope to see what else I may learn from everyone here.

naviwilliams

Do I qualify? I'd love to 'test' and iPhone, too! Not too sure I'd stick with it, I love instant email...

I respond to an email quicker than I'd answer a call...

audit

After listening to Mike's podcast, I think I'll be sick. Windows Mobile is better then the Blackberry? It sounds like he had his mind made up that he was going to hate the BB before he even got it.

scboatman

How are you passing around the iPhone, is it unlocked or do you use a generic ATT account to activate the iPhone?

Dieter Bohn

Everybody, you're making me all teary-eyed! Thanks so much for following along with all this. It's a ton of fun and I'm happiest that it's jump-started me getting to know y'all at CB.

btw - I updated the "latest updates" round robin page last night so it's a little easer to see who's talking about what. :)

314aaron

Send them this way! I will give them a spin for ya!

nate-ng

i don't see how someone doesn't like the bb os, its pretty damn simple to use and navigate around...

mlw734

Put my name in for the smartphone contest. Its great

kkgsea

I personally dont like the iphone. Its too expensive and cumbersome. Blackberrys can do pretty much the same functions and are cheaper. Just my opinion

Silver5

Make sure you guys are setting these devices up and using them as if it were your own...as if you won't be giving it up at the end of the week. Otherwise it will just feel like you are using it to get by until you get back to your "real" phone rather than really getting into the one you have...even if you do realize the time is limited.

I have found that I could be quite thrilled with and would learn to use any of these devices. In fact, the only one I haven't had is the iPhone, and I might be trying that on my personal line soon. The BB (8320 currently) will remain my main phone though...

wlomax

When I was in NY in the summer, I tried an iPhone and found that the keypad touch screen is way too small for my larger fingers. They letters I wanted to type were not the lettere appearing on the screen. I find the BB or the Treo keypads a little easier to operate as you have to actually "press" them to have the letters appear. For that reason alone, I don't think the iPhone is geared towards the larger handed people. I could be wrong and there could be some settings you can adjust to accomodate for this, but I did not find them.

BS

The 8830 might not have had a chance but 8310 I think can take it anytime!!

lbevel

I just transferred over from ppc 6700 and I am glad I did. I love the blackberry and I love that my battery doesn't die on me like the other phone. This is great to get views of other phones from people. I love this site!!!!

Sojourner

I am just five days in with my new curve and I do not know what I ever did with out it. I previously had an htc 8125 and couldn't stand the touch screen plus internet was very slow on it!! I don't even mind paying 30 a month for the data plan on the curve as I have already used it a ton and as a truck driver the gps is a great plus!!! Another crackberry addict is born!!!

land

I've been using RIMs since the venerable 850 (pager form-factor), upgrading to a 957 (all that screen real-estate!), sticking with a 6710 until all the silver was worn off the display bezel (that one survived being dropped in sand and stepped on, and even a baptism by a quadruple Americano), a couple of years with a 7290 (finally, color!) and currently geeking out on a curve.

Obviously, I'm a hard-core Crackberry addict, but I'm surrounded by iPhone iPhanboys at work. While I like the size and resolution of the screen, and I think the Safari browser is the best on a mobile device, I'm sticking with my Curve, and I'm expecting the 8310 to come out on top in the round-robin, if only for its actual keyboard: like others here, I just can't get with the iPhone's virtual keyboard, and I'm way too fast with the Blackberry's QWERTY to switch.

One thing I've notice about the latest crop of super-devices: they don't come with holsters any more: my Curve came into the world naked, and I've already purchased three after-market holsters -- the first failed within three or four days, and the latest is a crystal hard-case to keep my berry-colored streamlined baby shining.