Confessions of a BB User Gone WinMo Gone BB!

By Kevin Michaluk on 6 Nov 2008 02:00 am EST
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Sprint Mogul I love it when our loyal CrackBerry members volunteer the time and effort to put together an insightful story for the CrackBerry blogs.

Today we're featuring the return of Paul Johnson, aka pmjohnson99, where he has come to confess his smartphone sins. Back in June Paul gave us his In-Depth Impressions of Sprint's BlackBerry Curve 8330 from the perspective of a new to BlackBerry user. From there, he strayed into the world of Windows Mobile by way of the Sprint Mogul, but has since come back to CrackBerry Nation. Paul has returned to his Curve a more enlightened smartphone user, and has much to share from his time on WinMo. 

As we recently mentioned in an Around SPE post, we'll soon be starting up the 2nd Annual Smartphone Round Robin, where the editors of SPE's network of smartphone sites swap devices and discover, relay and constructively argue about the yays and nays of each platform and chosen smartphone. Paul's article today makes a great primer for some of the in-depth smartphone head-to-head content coming your way via the Round Robin, so sit back, relax and Read Paul's Review!


Confessions of a BlackBerry User Gone Windows Mobile Gone BlackBerry!
by Paul Johnson

I have a confession to make...I have been unfaithful. Everything happened so quickly. The progression seemed uncontrollable. It started with looking at websites, then on my way home from work stopping by places and "checking things out." Then all of the sudden you are waiting for the mail guy in your office to bring you a package and before you know it bam! You own a Windows Mobile device. I strayed fellow Crackheads... I bought a Sprint Mogul.

My foray into the WinMo world was caused by me damaging my Curve and having to wait for a new one. Since Sprint has no official loaner program I went to eBay to find a temporary phone. I wanted to see how the other half lives. Windows Mobile was probably the farthest away from where my Curve stood. With a sizeable market share throughout the world I always wondered if WinMo could measure up to the rock solid stability and ease of use of the Berry. Sites like WM Experts, Smartphone Junkie and XDA Developers gave me plenty of resources to use.

Before I talk about the phone let me take a moment to commend Sprint (finally we can commend them on something) for making device switching for CDMA gear a breeze. I was really weary of their online system. I was sure I was going to be calling in for help after I did everything the website told me to do, but I never did. I entered the IMEI number on the phone, gave it a few minutes, and it all worked. I didn't need to call anyone to ask for help. They even give you a PDF with instructions on how to program your number into any device. The process isn't as easy as switching a SIM card, but it does inspire me to try other devices on a whim.

The Device

You have, in the Mogul, a horizontal slider with QWERTY keyboard, 2MP camera with flash and full touch screen. In total, there are 16 buttons on the outside of the phone for you to interact with. Which at times can be annoying when trying to slip the phone into a dash mount. The slider is springy and responsive as one would like. I have not had much physical exposure to HTC products, but it appears they put a lot into manufacturing solid well built devices. My Mogul came to me well used and the screen was starting to tweak a bit by not sliding back flush with the device, but overall it seemed like it had many more years of use in it.

I found using the actual keyboard a bit difficult due to its expansive size. I feel when it comes to thumb typing your hands shouldn't be that far apart. If you interlock your fingers and type (like on a BlackBerry) I feel optimal distance is your fingers interlocking at around the second or third knuckle area. Anything farther apart and your are moving your thumbs too much to get to keys and makes the device unstable to type on. I'm sure with practice this maneuver would be easier, but it is a noticeable difference when dealing with a wider keyboard. I found myself using the stylus and letter recognition more than anything when it came to typing out short notes and messages. After sometime you can become fairly proficient entering text with stylus gestures and rarely slide out the keyboard.

Sprint Mogul vs. 8330 Curve

Sprint Mogul vs. 8330 Curve The relative size is similar to my curve, but with the slider open you see how much bigger the keyboard is to the Curve's QWERTY.

The Mogul's internals are impressive to a Curve owner, but considering the riggers of Windows Mobile the 416MHz processor, 256 ROM, 64MB RAM are very necessary. In fact, at times the phone literally screams at you to free up memory with pop-up windows. You are able to monitor your memory usage on the fly with an indicator next to your clock and a program like Oxios Memory can be used to clear out wayward memory blocks. There is also a Micro-SD slot that is really easy to get to located at the bottom of the phone. Simply push the card in and it pops out. The spring-loaded slot is a nice change over taking my battery out to change my card.

Sprint MogulHere you can see the conveniently located memory card slot along with the annoying HTC all-purpose sound/data/charging connection. I never did use headphones with this phone.

The screen is your standard QVGA 240 x 320, 65K color touchscreen. It is pressure sensitive, not capacitive like the iPhone which means you are able to use with a gloved hand. Images were clear and crisp, but definitely not going to approach the beauty of the newer screens coming on the scene with the HTC Touch Diamond, Touch Pro, Touch HD or even the Blackberry Bold.

One of my main curiosities was how well would EV-DO Rev.A perform versus EV-DO Rev.0 we use with the Sprint Curve. I will say this... if you think that your data is fast enough with EV-DO Rev.0 don't ever use a device that uses Rev.A, you will be ruined by it. And if you use EDGE, just leave the room. My average speed tests would range from 600kbps on up to 975kbps! Occasionally I would have something as low as 200kbps but overall you really do notice the snappiness of what can be considered serious competition for HSDPA. Google Maps and Sprint Navigation really benefited by updating maps quicker, giving you a more useful navigation tool. Being on the Sprint network made higher data speeds far more available than other networks in Southern California (*cough ATT & T-MO).

With these increased speeds coupled with the Skyfire beta I downloaded, you are actually experiencing the web at desktop levels, including flash support through Skyfire. Pages like YouTube and Break.com perform normally and let you watch videos in the browser. This is even better than the iPhone browser. I would love if they made Skyfire for Berry but I am sure that is something really far off. RIM seems to be putting more effort into their browser as of late and in my opinion needs to push even further with their browser development efforts and make this thing a non-issue for phones.

Skyfire Skyfire

Skyfire Skyfire

Skyfire
Skyfire's browser displayed pages like a normal desktop and you can see YouTube playing inside the browser. There was always some lag but most videos would eventually play. I never noticed much difference between Wi-Fi and EVDO Rev.A.

But this experience wasn't spurred on by my interest in the device, more over, my curiosity about Windows Mobile. I grew up on Windows everything. For me the idea of a Windows phone seemed cool. I wanted to see if having a computer in my pocket could make my life easier. With the forth coming HTC Touch Diamond and Touch Pro on the horizon there are going to be some pretty powerful devices showcasing this OS.

Windows Mobile 6.1 Professional is the most recent incarnation of what some curse and swear by in the same breath. For a BlackBerry user you notice the immediate difference of a WinMo device. It turns your phone into a computer (or Pocket PC)! Berry's are powerful devices, but that is just it, it's a device, originally purpose-built by RIM for communication. RIM is becoming better about making their devices more "computer" like, but that will take time. A WinMo phone is a machine much like your desktop computer. It has the same type of file system, registry and operating architecture like any Windows computer. Being familiar with Windows allowed me to pickup the Mogul and have no problem integrating it into my arsenal.

Email was easy enough to set up. There is a slight bug when you set up a Yahoo! Account and you have Yahoo! Plus, but a little finagling took care of it and emails were problem free. My work email has pop access so that was seamless and since I'm on Outlook at work I was able to see all of my Outlook folders. This is a real advantage over using BIS. I didn't see any kind of limit on accounts and with no BIS to consider I doubt there is. You can pay for GoodLink or other 3rd party push-email solutions, but realistically with checking every 5 minutes I never missed anything.

Windows Mobile Pro. 6.1 gives you threaded text messaging which is nice because you can go back and look at what you wrote to someone days ago. It actually reminds me a lot of BB Messenger with out the contact list. You are limited to 160 characters like normal SMS however, so typing out your recipe for Coq Au Vin is out of the question.

Your organizer is based off of Outlook, though it looks like Outlook from a years ago. I did like the fact that I could cut/copy and paste calendar entries, which is something you miss on BlackBerry. When you have a recurring appointment that doesn't always happen the same time and day it's nice to just copy and paste it on the days you want.

TWEAK CITY

Like your BlackBerry, a Windows Mobile device has an operating system, also know as the "ROM", setup by your carrier by default. The carrier tailors the ROM to match their services. Updates are passed out through carrier ROMs and the latest version from Sprint gave my Mogul and upgrade to 6.1 Professional, recent ROMs gave us GPS and EVDO Rev.A support.

The real trick to mastering your WinMo device is to find the right Custom ROM. Like Window's Desktop Platform the registry can be tweaked to make things run faster, change defaults, or make the phone just plain better. With a Custom ROM setup by an experienced tweaker you can get all the optimized registry settings, patches, software, add-ons, and anything else you want to pack into the device. Loading the Custom ROM takes some time and know how, but once it's on the device you realize the real power of WinMo. In a little under an hour you have a phone that is optimized and ready to. Since the Mogul has been out for a while a lot of the tweaks I saw were developed over months of everyday use by thousands of people. Custom ROMs aren't perfect, but they do give you a jumping off point to make a device very close to perfect.

Another part of customizing a device is what software you put on it. Software can be a sore spot for us Crackheads. Though there is an extensive library out there for your favorite BlackBerry, it really is dwarfed by the amount of Windows Mobile wares available. A lot for free and all designed to give your handset some sort of functionality that you didn't know you needed; like a program that turned my phone into a barcode reader. Or a free app that put GPS info on my home screen along with location based weather reports.

Installing programs in WinMo is very similar to BlackBerry, you just download a file (a .CAB file usually) and install. A big difference from Berry is WinMo actually allows you to install to your media card to free up on-device space and you can choose to save the installer first and use it when you want. Saving installers is nice because you can save .CAB files on a memory card as a backup. When you lock up your device with a questionable download (and you will) you will have to do a "hard" reset. This will completely wipe out the device to the latest ROM install and removes any new software.

WinMo can also use themes. Themes are pretty much the same idea as Berry, they change look, feel, and functionality of your device. WinMo themes can also change the overall UI of the phone. A WinMo theme coupled with a particular plug-in will give you a device that is a far cry from the generic-ness that you receive from the carrier theme.

The idea of using a different theme is to make Windows Mobile more livable. I feel most people really don't want to deal with so many menus and folders in order to open a program. The standard WinMo theme will make you have to activate a "Start" menu or use a button setup to open a particular program. This becomes painfully slow when compared to just going to your "Applications" screen on your Berry and activating a program. Simple.

WinMo Homescreen HTC Homescreen

HTC Homescreen 2 icontact
The standard Mogul home screen, pretty simple. Now the homescreen with the HTC Home plugin applied, this is usually used for the HTC Diamond, but tweakers have ported it for the Mogul. Much more cooler. Also you have iContact plugin, which gives you an iPhone like phonebook that has the same scroll control as the original.

New WinMo devices being developed have you use a particular theme, skin or interface by default. The HTC phones have "TouchFlo 3D", Sony Xperia has "Panels", Samsung Omnia will have something other than a default WinMo layout. Themes help Windows Mobile counteract one if its biggest negatives. All these themes are pretty, cool and vaguely reminiscent of the iPhone. The guys over at WM Experts say that these themes are all good, but they just dump you into Windows Mobile eventually and you are back at square one, a PC in your hand (the analogy of "lipstick on a pig" applies here, yes?).

Programs File Explorer
After you get under a theme's surface you are still left with WinMo's file structure and interface.

WHAT DO I WANT?!

So you have ask yourself "What do I want from my Smartphone?" Imagine a line, one end you have complete Smartphone freaks. People that own, two or three devices of all types. Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, iPhone and even Symbian (like me). On the other end of the line are people who never update their phone software. They don't have their contacts backed up. They don't even know when their contracts are up. In the middle of that line are those who use most of the Smartphone functions, but would be okay with any brand of Smartphone. They either purchased their particular device based on friends' suggestions or prices.

A WinMo device with the plain operating system UI sends it down the line towards the freaks. Not exciting, just functional, almost uninteresting. But if you throw a skin or interface on it so that the person doesn't have to think too much to use it AND it looks cool, like the Touch Diamond, it will send the device towards the middle of the line. Ironically if said person hacks the phone to get a different UI on it they are sent back to the freak end. It's a slippery slope.

A BlackBerry will put a person somewhere pretty close to the middle. It has a lot of the technical strengths that people, who care, look for in a Smartphone. But it also has the ease of use of just picking it up and using out of the box. Extra features are explored at your own leisure. However, you can also experiment with OS's and themes, so you may float into freak territory easily. With WinMo you could try and ignore the extra functionality, but you eventually will ask yourself "what does this do?" Then all of the sudden you are customizing the interface, installing apps that you didn't know existed for a phone and (as I did) crashing the thing to the level of needing a hard reset.

ScaleThe Mobile Device Interest Scale: In the middle you have most people and their relationships with their phones. As you move out toward the edges you find where the "Freaks" and "Whatevers" reside.

SUGGESTION TIME

Now that my time with the Mogul is over I have constructed a few suggestions for BlackBerry to help give it some of the bonuses of a WinMo device, and some of my suggestions are being met by future devices, but RIM needs to push these out to all:

1. Calendar: For the love of all things holy! Can't we get a cut/copy and paste function on our BlackBerry calendars? Seems pretty basic and there's no reason why I should have to install something to make this function right. And why does the calendar look like it was made on an Etch A Sketch?

2. Web Browser: RIM, I want you to walk around your main software development floor with a well mixed Rubik's Cube. Now give it to everyone. The 5 people that finish it fastest I want you to take them to Antarctica, lock them in a well heated shed and make them produce a browser that I can feel proud to show my iPhone totin' friends.

3. Storage/File System: Anyone who uses a computer has a basic idea of most file systems. Main drive, secondary drives...etc. Storing, installing and running things should be the same everywhere. Why? Because it works. BlackBerry smartphones have this, but it's not as obvious as it should be. There really should be some sort of obvious file explorer, and a way to choose to save installers to my media card. When I would crash the Mogul to a point beyond repair I felt okay since I had all my .CAB files saved on the media card. I would just go through and reinstall, never really losing the things that worked best for the device.

4. Touchscreen: This is a hardware thing, but I think it's an important one. I firmly believe that every device that calls itself a "Smartphone" should come with a touchscreen. It makes things so much easier to navigate. It didn't matter how small the icons were I was always able to efficiently use the touchscreen on the Mogul. And I am not talking about the fancy-schmancy capacitive touchscreen of the iPhone, just the simple and cheap resistive touchscreen that relies on pressure and not actually touching your skin, which is better to use with a gloved hand anyway. If I had a touchscreen on my Curve I would fly through the various screens. Suffice to say, I am excited about some of the upcoming (Storm) and rumored devices coming from RIM.

5. Software: Get the announced App Store in action ASAP and fill it with a huge selection of apps, preferably free ones to start. Apple is doing the app store thing with great success, they have proven the concept works, and they have proven the demand for free applications - the phone is just the starting point and the apps take it to the next level. With WinMo there has been so much development for it that there are sites set up specifically to distribute free software. RIM's best bet in addition to rallying the troops (as they did at their first Developer Conference) is to just bite the bullet and buy as much software as it can to offer free. I feel Berry's are becoming prominent enough to where these things are becoming consumer must-haves. It's not enterprise anymore. But consumers need apps to be easily accessible and they want them for free. You can add pay items later. Just give us a taste.

CONCLUSIONS

When you consider purchasing a smartphone you must honestly determine your need and abilities for said smart-gear. I feel that most people would find a BlackBerry as the perfect beginner smartphone, as well as something that will carry you into the future. With the Storm, Bold and Curve 8900 on the horizon you have devices that put you on par with most smartphones for a while. Advancements being what they are I am sure that BlackBerry will offer things like huge storage space, more RAM and ROM memory, better screens (hello, Bold). And hopefully a larger selection of software that makes the device even harder to put down.

Windows Mobile is really fun to play with and the abilities are amazing, but I found if you really want to have a life outside of your smartphone it's a hard operating system to be around. You get so caught up in tweaking and adding and tweaking you really lose track of the real world. You are perfectly fine just using it out of box, but if you are at all technical you are going to start to ask your self "I wonder if I can do...?" and then it begins. You are reading forum after forum, downloading CAB's, cheering the improved functionality and cursing the hard resets.

I have gone back to the Berry, it's nice and familiar. I can add useful apps and update newest "leaked" OS's, but I'm not spending nearly the same amount of time I did on WinMo stuff. The Mogul has been retired back to its box, I might sell it or keep it around for "emergencies". I love my Berry, it is what I consider a great daily commuter. It gets good mileage on a charge, is reliable, and doesn't bog itself down with a lot of extra options I'll barely use. I think of the Mogul as a late 60's muscle car I keep in the garage for weekend wrench sessions. Nice to pull out and impress the friends with cool things you added on, but if you had to drive it everyday you are going to be guaranteed a break down at inopportune times.

I will stick with the BlackBerry for the time being. I am finding my attention being pulled by the deluge of WinMo devices that are coming out on several different manufacturers, however. RIM needs to make sure they are staying competitive and have more "cool" factor added to their devices. Smartphones are becoming more of a default in cell tech, which means this market is going to get a lot tighter and there will be a lot more crap devices to buy. Having reliable, efficient and easy to use devices out there can insure a commanding position in the market place. You just have to make sure you keep people interested and I believe RIM is just beginning to move into the "keeping people interested" segment of the market.

Topics: Devices

26 comments

cspec

thanks for the insightful post :)

by1333

That was a good read. The BB 8703e was my first smartphone device and i had to let it go for a windows Q9M phone because I needed the camera feature. Once I realized I could get the Curve on an upgrade I jumped on it. Yes I do feel you can expiriment and do a little more on a windows phone but that only slows down the device dramatically.

l3lueMage

I work for sprint, and what you said is all true,

I cant stand any PDA on sprints network though(is proud user of ATT BB BOLD!), why? because NONE can do MMS and the text messaging is limited to 60 characters per message, I believe its the same with VZW...CDMA issue? possibly haha.

Either way, Blackberries are made of win, and GSM Blackberries even more so!

I hated the mogul too, and I dont see whats so special about the diamond, or touch pro, its just windows with a face lift, still crashes :P

pmjohnson99

The character limit is an SMS thing, which was meant to be used by T-9 phone originally, not QWERTY. I didn't hate the Mogul by the way, I just didn't think it was for me. It's a good phone and the newer HTC stuff is really cool. Resolution on the new phones alone is nothing to sneeze at.

Hey Ya

Lack of MMS is a Sprint thing, not a CDMA thing.

I'm currently using a Pearl on VZW. It sends and receives MMS just fine. I previously used an XV6900 (Touch) which also did MMS without issue.

In this case, the finger should be pointed at the carrier, not the technology.

Anon

You work for Sprint? It is not true that no Sprint PDA phones are MMS capable. I bought a Sprint Treo 650 in 2005. It was MMS capable, and I've sent and received plenty.

SprintTech4638

The mogul is a piece. The battery life is horrible, the consant freezing, everything.
I work for a sprint indirect dealer as a service tech, and let me tell you, blackberry is the only way to go.
The only problems I've seen is the memory leak and the trackball getting gummed up (easy fix as blackberry lets us order replacement trackballs to keep with our parts now!)
In conclusion,
BlackBerry for life

crimsonsky

I'm a long time (back when WinMo was Pocket PC 2002) user of WinMo devices and I still have my T-Mo Wing. You're absolutely correct about where you wind up with WinMo. I have dozens of programs on my Wing and it's nearly as functional as my desktop computer.

Unlike the Mogul you used though, the Wing is SLOW since it only has a 200 MHz processor and memory is also a huge problem with this device. I'm constantly running out of memory on my Wing and I've tried many ROMs from XDA-Developers looking for more but finding that the ROMs lacked in other features.

I bought my Blackberry Curve 8320 (T-Mo) last week and I'm loving it. It's fast, doesn't crash and the push email is lovely. I've added some of the functionality that I have on the Wing to the Curve, but I'm really basically satisfied to have a device that really does just work.

I chose the Curve because T-Mo doesn't offer any WinMo Professional devices other than the Wing, and because I want to stay with T-Mo, I had to look at another OS, which is what lead me to the BB Curve.

I don't hate the Wing or WinMo - in fact, RIM has quite a way to go to catch up with the functionality of those devices. But in the "it just works" category, the Curve at least is a clear winner.

SprintTech4638

By the way, MMS/picture mail support is available on windows based phones today, blackberry support should becoming with in the next week.

pmjohnson99

I saw that as well, I hope the Berry thing is true, it's been a long time coming.

RAPTOR0065

They've been saying that for the past year....

I was issued an 8310 on AT&T for work and immediately fell in love with it (except for AT&T). When my personal contract with AT&T expired, my GF & I tried out different carriers (loved Verizon, but left because they crippled GPS) and ended up in Sprint's MMS trap.

Did they tell us that MMS was inoperative? Of course not, but they sold us the "Everything Plan" that supposedly did ... wait for it... EVERYTHING! It wasn't until our "trial" was over that we discovered it didn't MMS. Several forums later, we discovered that this has been a Sprint thing for a long time with promises of "next week" being traced back at least through 2007.

Anyway, if this "next week" is really the "next week" they've been speaking with, I'll be relatively happy with Sprint (just don't have a problem that requires customer [dis]service).

Good Luck to all of us in Sprint's MMS snare!

NewYorkChic

Dude!!!! You should have ask!! I would have told you that the windows mobile phone was crap, I too had the sprint mogul, I only had it for like 8 months...I got tired of the phone freezing up on me and then sprint did the ultimate..they disabled the mms feature on it...I am so happy I have the BB....I LOVE YOU RIM

skindoc

Hilarious. The progression of your "indiscretion" is exactly what was happening to me. My friend has a new Palm Pro (unlocked and running on T-mo). I started looking at the Palm website. Then, I started to call on T-mo's unsupported device tech support. My main fantasies: can I have a 3G phone that will also do UMA via the wifi? After being bounced around from techie to techie, reality set in. I was not going to leave my Curve 8320. Techies on T-mo customer support were literally guessing/thinking out loud that "UMA might work" on this WinMobile device, but they could not be sure. More reality set in: the Palm Pro is about $500 + and the Storm is just upon us. (BTW, your comments re: EVDO rev. A were awesome. EDGE blows!). Thanks for the reminders. Simplicity rules. Pushed email makes my life easier. Better browsers and screens are just around the corner. Oh yeah, your spectrum describing smartphone users was just brilliant: LMAO!

Zenitsu

Great review. And yes, we need a new browser we are not embarrassed about.

Btw, aren't those who read this article and surf crackberry considered "freaks" too? haha

pmjohnson99

I always liked the quote from Dieter (it might have been Mal) on a WM Experts podcast.

"If you aren't a nerd about something, you aren't passionate about anything". (more or less)

So yeah we all are a little freaky if we are reading this.

mojomahem

Ive been using ppc since the 6600 days. I recently switched to TMO and got a curve and love it.

But you hit it on the head when you said

"Windows Mobile is really fun to play with and the abilities are amazing, but I found if you really want to have a life outside of your smartphone it's a hard operating system to be around. You get so caught up in tweaking and adding and tweaking you really lose track of the real world."

I was always tweaking my mogul and touch and i never got anything done.

I do HATE that you basically have to pay for every little thing you ad on (themes, small programs ect..) with BB. So many free programs for winmo.

If i can figure out how to do the following on my BB it would be almost flawless (need a touchscreen)

Disable the audio warning
Audio thru Bluetooth (mono)
Keep the screen on when charging.
Profiles for specific times.
Better video player I want to fast forward in realtime not a minutes

Edfsfsfd

"Better video player I want to fast forward in realtime not a minutes"

Use the ALT key for FF/RW on the media player to move in seconds indtead of minutes. I did not find this tip on the BB help screen but in a web article somewhere. There must be thousands of people suffering with this.

Mark Rees

i too have come to BB from WinMoWorld (seen the light!)

i have had virtually every version of Windows Smartphone or Pocket PC going back to the days when they were not SIM enabled.....

even with the latest versions of WinMo, there always remains this nagging annoyance that the phone part of the device is somewhat 'bolted' on as an afterthought...not a fully integral part of the OS...press the green answer key and it might answer first time, press the red end key and it may hang up (or not, leaving you discussing the conversation with the other party still listening !! yes that has happened!)

sure, you can tweak and manipulate and customise, but i think my gradual (and slow, where have i been !?) move toward BB is based on one fundamental reason ultimately - it simply works !!!

i have an iphone too for social use, yes it looks pretty, but could i use it for business use ? no, i need a keyboard (some dont, i know), i need excellent email and attachment support (although winmo scores high here, but not the iphone so much with password protected excel sheets)

not sure if Crackberry fans are familiar with some of our British biscuits, but i liken the WinMo range to 'Rich Tea' biscuits......nice to eat, but show them a cup of tea in which to dunk and they fold up and crumble.....

BB on the other hand is the 'HobNob' of the phone world in my opinion.....it just keeps saying 'dunk me, dunk me' like a completely tough phone should and just keeps working

so, for what its worth, i haven't ventured onto XDA-Developers, Modaco, Coolsmartphone etc etc website for so long because finally, finally after much expense and many devices, i have found a range of devices through BB that simply get better with each evolution (started with Curve, now on Bold)

sorry for waffling on, but i think it is important to share 'real world' experiences in order to guide potential users to certain devices!!

Glenn R

I went from a BlackBerry 8700c from Cingular at the time to a Sprint Mogul simply because I considered it at the time a huge upgrade.

Not only was I going from EDGE to EV-DO and then eventually EV-DO Rev. A a short while after but the phone did media like nobody's business.

I went from having no camera to a 2MP camera.

I went from not being able to watch Youtube videos to being able.

I went from no live tv to Sprint TV.

Not having a SD Media card to having one.

Not having any GPS to having GPS w/ turn by turn directions.

No Wi-Fi to being able to use my Mogul as a wireless router.

I mean these were things that I took into consideration when I made the jump and truthfully in the end the majority of these reasons why I switched plus a few others that I can't seem to think of from BlackBerry to WM got old very quickly I might add.

I then came to learn that Windows Mobile was all about tweaking and modification to really get what you want out of the phone. Then eventually came all the bugs and errors, the low memory, the lag in doing something as simple as bringing up the text message folder, the poor battery life, the unresponsive touch screen which with WM unless your running some type of skin or theme can become rather annoying if you're not using the stylus. They keyboard had some lag as well and some buttons weren't responsive at all you had to press them twice occasionally.

It just didn't add up in the end not to mention the phone was like twice the size.

My phone is something I like to modify and tweak, but it's also something I depend on greatly and I need it to work everytime and I need it to fit to my needs right out of the box.

As much as I like having the same features on my phone as on my computer I can't spend the same time that I do updating and modifying my computer as I would my phone because it just wouldn't add up.

Right now I'm back to BlackBerry using an 8330 for Sprint and I wouldn't go back to WM. Ever.

Jim Beachy

Great review!

I'm a BB - gone WinMO - gone BB user, not so much by personal choice as by corporate deployment strategies. I had a Treo 700W for over two years and enjoyed the familiarity of the OS compared to my PC. But in the end, what soured me was the daily hard reset to resolve a crash induced by unknown factors that could never be identified! All my friend had the same problems.

Now that I've had my Curve for about two months, the Treo seems like a bad dream. I love my Curve!

But the one thing I miss overwhelmingly is the file system and the ability to manage documents and files just like on my PC. Yeah, I know OS 4.5 and Docs to Go will help, but I think that's one of the WinMo devices incontrovertible strengths. YMMV Come on, RIM, give us a native filing system and the ability to load apps onto a media card!

Bob G

The inferior quality and scarce availability of third-party applications for the BlackBerry (as compared to Windows Mobile and Palm) is a big issue for me. I think a big reason for this is that it's much more difficult to develop applications for the BlackBerry. You have to write code in Java (arguably one of the most difficult languages to understand), and you have to pay RIM $100 for a key to distribute your application. This pretty much eliminates all but professional developers (which may explain the lack of free applications).

On WinMo (and Palm), you have several choices of very intuitive development environments ("NS Basic" is my favorite.) so amateurs can develop in their favorite language and distribute without cost.

I think this is an area where RIM needs to improve in order to remain competitive.

pmjohnson99

Great Point, I foresee RIM addressing these obstacles over the next couple of years. I feel they will see how much interest the Storm gets and start developing more for consumers, as opposed to business users. They will, of course try and keep their iron-like hold on the business market though. Repeat business is the best business.

Bob G

I came to BB from Palm. At first I thought I could live without a touch screen, but after a year this miserable trackball is driving me to drink!

I briefly entertained the iPhone, but it has so many shortcomings, it is useless for serious smartphone users (i.e., no copy/paste, no Tasks, no Doc2Go, no GPS nav, no stereo bluetooth, no SD card, etc.).

By warning about all of the tweaking required and the difficulty of using the interface, this article helps me resist the temptation of Windows Mobile.

But the BB Storm ... oooooh baaaby ... a stable and useful device with full functionality, AND a touch screen! It's enough to tempt me to break my vows (with AT&T) and have a little fling with my ex (Verizon)!

IrishChi-Town05

I have the Verizon Wireless xv6800 (much better than the lacking and crapy-berry impersonator 6900) and I love it. Well, loved. It was stolen three weeks ago from my F-ing home whilst I pleasantly slept like the fortunate fool I am. Since, I have drooled for the release of the Storm from Verizon as I slip farther and farther into the fringes of devolution and non-existence. However, I must say to our author in regards to Winmo strengths, "Indeed, Sir." I will claim ignorance to the extremes of the "tweaking" he mentions with custom applications and personalized themes to the 9's and almost feel as though I did not appreciate the fullness of the phone. The old adage, not the one about the lipstick and the pig, but, 'you don't know what you've got until it's gone' is aptly applicable here. Winmo has its strengths, but the freezing and subsequent "hard reset" thing is a tad typical of Windows. My point: I cannot wait to see the synthesis of traditional Winmo strengths like touch screen; cut/copy/paste; massive application (even free!) stores/websites; speedy processors matched with a 3G network; and my favorite, the FULL qwerty fused with the readiness and steadiness of the Berry's! Cheers, and, dammit Verizon, confirm any one of the thousands of projected release dates already! You hurt so deeply with your silence.

IrishChi-Town05

I have the Verizon Wireless xv6800 (much better than the lacking and crapy-berry impersonator 6900) and I love it. Well, loved. It was stolen three weeks ago from my F-ing home whilst I pleasantly slept like the fortunate fool I am. Since, I have drooled for the release of the Storm from Verizon as I slip farther and farther into the fringes of devolution and non-existence. However, I must say to our author in regards to Winmo strengths, "Indeed, Sir." I will claim ignorance to the extremes of the "tweaking" he mentions with custom applications and personalized themes to the 9's and almost feel as though I did not appreciate the fullness of the phone. The old adage, not the one about the lipstick and the pig, but, 'you don't know what you've got until it's gone' is aptly applicable here. Winmo has its strengths, but the freezing and subsequent "hard reset" thing is a tad typical of Windows. My point: I cannot wait to see the synthesis of traditional Winmo strengths like touch screen; cut/copy/paste; massive application (even free!) stores/websites; speedy processors matched with a 3G network; and my favorite, the FULL qwerty fused with the readiness and steadiness of the Berry's! Cheers, and dammit Verizon confirm any one of the thousands of projected release dates already! You hurt so deeply with your silence.