BlackBerry News and Reviews

Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs revisited - The story of why an Android user returned his Droid X and went back to BlackBerry

We get a lot of news items sent in on the CrackBerry tips line each week, but yesterday we received one that was more of an essay than a tip. Sent it anonymously, it's the story of a BlackBerry user gone Android gone BlackBerry again. We see threads like this popup in the CrackBerry forums too, but this particular story really made me think about my Hierarchy of Smartphone Needs theory so figured it would make for a good blog post and some entertaining comments (bring on the fanboys!). The image above pretty much explains the theory (especially if you're familiar with Maslow's Hierarchy), but if you want the full details behind it then read this post.

Via our Smartphone Round Robin experiences of the past, one thing i've determined is there is no one best smartphone, but rather a best smartphone for an individual given their needs. Yes, a phone can definitely "win" at certain attributes (fastest browser, best battery life, most apps, best gaming experience, biggest screen, fastest processor, etc.) and you could make an argument that the phone with the most "wins" should be the best phone on the market, but that's not actually the case when it comes to the ownership experience as far I'm concerned. If your phone can't take care of the basics -- like make it through the day on a single charge or get through a phone call without dropping it or manage your communications effectively -- what good is all the other smartphone fluff? I'd rather have a phone that did less better, than a phone that did more but did the critical stuff worse. For me, the BlackBerry is still the best communication and productivity tool out there. In other words, it's really strong at the bottom half of the Hierarchy of Needs. While smartphones are continously improving, it's sort of impossible to be the best at everything, which also explains why the tablet category is getting popular. Assuming you can afford it, I'd argue you'll have the least compromise in your mobile existence by going with a formula along the lines of BlackBerry Smartphone + tablet (iPad, PlayBook, etc.) than by going for one of these current generation big touchscreen phones. 

But hey, that's just me and my take on it (and obviously I'm a little bias on loving BlackBerry). So read the story below for some additional food for thought and sound off in the comments!

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Using your camera on BlackBerry OS 6

Capable of capturing both still and video images, your phone is truly many devices in one. There are really quite a few features of the native BlackBerry camera, and with OS 6 things really start to shine. With multiple shooting modes and loads of new options, you can do much more with your BlackBerry camera now than in the past. While this walkthrough can't tell you how to take great pictures, it will show you the many features of your camera and what all those buttons and icons really mean.

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SugarSync ups the ante; offers 5GB free online storage instead of 2GB

For the cloud storage lover, SugarSync has upgraded its free offering up to 5GB from the previous 2GB, giving users more freedom utilizing their online storage quota. Over the next day, users on existing 2GB plans will automatically be upgraded to 5GB (requires no action from the user). Laura Yecies, SugarSync CEO, said that statistics show how people's storage needs every two years. "We believe our free 5 GB service will give consumers a true taste of how SugarSync can support their fast-growing digital lives by managing their data in their own Personal Cloud. This is by far the most robust free, cloud-based service for consumers on the market." she added.

Whether it is important data, project files or anything else you want to synchronize, you can do so with SugarSync. Keep your files on your PC, Mac or BlackBerry or anywhere else, and you can free yourself from old fashioned USB flash drive transfers. So, why not jump over to the SugarSync Web site and have a look at what it all is about?

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All Calx Design themes now available for just $0.99

David let me know that he has dropped the price on all of his themes to just $0.99. Originally priced at $4.99, you can now save a ton on some amazing themes with this price drop. Choose from best sellers like Mord, Pod and DarkRoom. Coming later this month will be some new themes from Calx Design as well as some revised versions of the currently available themes. These are all available for most devices, and with their unique 3D design are a great buy at just $0.99.

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Commit to the Flip: Official BlackBerry Style 9670 commercial hits the air

[ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

Update: I had the wrong video embeded originally but it's good to go now - sorry I'm out of whack since the honeymoon ;) 

The BlackBerry Style 9670 is the latest addition to RIMs extensive lineup and here we have the official commercial for your viewing pleasure. Not much is shown off that we don't already know, but it's still cool to get a look all around the device if you haven't played with one first hand. The Style is the first CDMA device to release with BlackBerry 6 as well as the first full QWERTY flip for RIM. We have a full review on the way, but if you are a Style fan and want some more goodies, check Kevin's initial impressions and Kerri's Style 9670 review.

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BlackBerry PlayBook Price Update: At least one version of the Playbook should be available for under $500

According to Bloomberg RIM's upcoming BlackBerry Playbook tablet will be available (at least in one model) for under $500. The device is rumored to land in North America sometime early next year in multiple versions including an 8gb, 16gb and 32gb models. At the time of the press announcement, RIM also made it clear that 3G/4G versions would be available at some point too (hopefully sooner than later!).

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Sprint BlackBerry Style 9670 review

A Hands-On Review of the Sprint BlackBerry Style 9670

At first the idea of a flip style BlackBerry actually appealed to me because I work with children and my phone is usually in my pocket the majority of my day. The first few pictures released of the rumored device were UGLY and I couldn't possibly see me owning one. Then a few more pictures leaked out showing a sleeker looking Style and I began to reconsider. When CrackBerry announced that Sprint was allowing reservations of the device at the same time I was eligible for an upgrade, I thought I'd try it out. Worst case scenario, I use the Sprint 30 day guarantee and return the device if I absolutely hate it. I can now say the Style has won me over, and will be joining the rest of the BlackBerry devices in my collection. Read on to see the rest of my review.

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Leaked: OS 6.0.0.357 For The BlackBerry Curve 9330

Another day of BlackBerry 6 leaks? Hey, we can hope. Either way, BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330 owners this one is all yours. OS 6.0.0.357 is now available for download. You guys know what to do. Back up your data before you load this one up and of course, let us know what's fixed and broke in the comments or in the forums.

*OS Disclaimer - Please Read: Keep in mind this is NOT an official release and as such is not supported by RIM or your Carrier. If you choose to install, do so at your own risk and only if you're comfortable in the process of upgrading and downgrading your device software. It is quite normal during operating system development for certain features to be crippled or disabled while others are tested, and these beta builds often reflect that. They are not always better. Depending on your BlackBerry comfort level, it may be best for you to wait for community feedback on a build before deciding to download and install for yourself or simply wait for the next official release. If you require support, you will find it in our CrackBerry forums via our extremely knowledgeable community base - do not contact your carrier or RIM for Beta OS technical support (their first course of action will be to advise you to downgrade to a supported OS). *

Source: BBLeaks

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    OtterBox Commuter Case for the BlackBerry Torch 9800

    * ShopCrackBerry Update: These OtterBox Commuter cases for the BlackBerry Torch have been tough to keep in stock! We just received a new shipment of the black/pink cases which are now available for purchase. The black/black is scheduled to arrive next week (you can pre-order now and we'll run an update post when they arrive!).*

    [ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

    When you think maximum protection for your BlackBerry, you think OtterBox -- it's as simple as that. With the Commuter Series Case for the BlackBerry Torch, you get just that. This unique design covers both the main device as well as the sliding screen. It fully surrounds the sides and edges of your device, keeping it safe from the harsh landings it may endure that would otherwise scratch it up. It does add a bit of bulk, but if you want to keep your BlackBerry Torch safe this case really can't be beat. Check out the video above for a hand-on look and we have more photos below. For more info and to purchase, click on over to ShopCrackBerry at the link below.

    OtterBox Commuter
    Other Best Selling Cases


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    Facebook 1.9.0.20 now available in BlackBerry App World

    I remember way back when everyone was going crazy about the Facebook app. The rumor of highly anticipated updates kept us on edge for weeks. Well today RIM has finally released an update for Facebook for BlackBerry to bring things up to speed a bit. The new app has some overhauled features that make it a bit more manageable. New features include support for Facebook Places, a dedicated inbox, Facebook search, navigation updates, friends list page and more. You can grab the new version now from BlackBerry App World.

    Note: The latest version isn't showing on the web for everyone, so check App World from your device for the update.

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    BlackBerry Bold 9780 Video Unboxing and First Impressions!

    [ youtube video link for mobile viewing ]

    Officially announced by Research In Motion (see press release) on Oct. 27th that it would be rolling out worldwide in the month of November, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is beginning to hit carriers around the world. My local Rogers store go them in stock today, so I rushed out to grab one and immediately put it down on the good 'ole green CrackBerry review table for a closer look. You can check out the video above for the ritual unboxing as well as some quick hardware comparisons to other BlackBerry device models and a look at BlackBerry 6.

    As a one year refresh device compared to the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the BlackBerry 9780 isn't *that* much different. Visually, the black color version is more blacked-out around the edges. Inside, the memory is doubled up to 512MB of flash memory and the camera moves up from 3.2 to 5 megapixels. The chipset is updated to the same that is used in the Torch and Pearl 3G, which means it gets Wi-Fi N and has slightly better video recording resolution than the 9700. Last but not least, the Bold 9780 ships with BlackBerry 6 preloaded. 

    So while it may not be all that different from the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the 9700 was and still is a pretty awesome device and the 9780 simply improves upon.  Some initial thoughts:

    • Look/Feel - I like the dark look, and like the Bold 9700 it's a great feeling phone in hand.
    • Performance - It's FAST. BlackBerry 6 feels pretty darn snappy on the 9780. It's the fastest BB6 experience I've felt to date. From scrolling through the OS to snapping photos, it's quick.
    • Battery Life - I haven't tested it yet obviously, but I'm assuming it's going to rock :)
    I think I called the BlackBerry Bold 9700 the "pinnacle of the traditional" BlackBerry experience, so really, I guess the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is the "NEW Pinnacle of the traditional BlackBerry experience." I'd really like to RIM add a touchscreen to this form factor and somehow make the screen just a little bit bigger, but all in all if you're a heavy communicator and get stuff done quick kind of person, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is likely the BlackBerry for you. Stay tuned for the full the review!

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    Virgin Mobile launching the BlackBerry Bold 9780 in white

    We've known for quite some time now that Virgin Mobile was all geared up to release the BlackBerry Bold 9780 at some point. While the exact date still evades us, Best Buy has once again posted up devices even before the carriers and this time they've also outted something that was rumored but never really confirmed. As you can tell from the above pic, Virgin Mobile will be releasing the BlackBerry Bold 9780 in white whenever they decide to actually make it available and looks like it will be unbranded as well just like the Bell version (no carrier logo). Pricing falls in line with the rest of the carriers when it comes to no contract pricing ($499.99) but using their SuperTab option you can get the BlackBerry Bold 9780 for $129.99. Thanks Borna!

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    Xobni for BlackBerry updated with OS 6 support, Torch integration, new features, bug fixes and more

    Our friends at Xobni let us know that they have made some great updates to Xobni for BlackBerry. The latest version brings along OS6/Torch support as well as some cool updates and minor bug fixes. Version 1.0.88.9 is hot off the presses and ready to roll. Features include:

    OS 6 Support

    • Touching the Xobni bar or flicking up works on compose, reply and forward actions now work on OS 6x devices
    • Updated High-Definition icons
    • Touch scrolling enhanced for optimized scrolling experience
    • Editing is aware of virtual keyboard display and formats content shown on remaining screen
    • Add picture for contacts via cameraMultiple interface updates (including improved setup guide, keyboard shortcuts to options, contact detail UI update)

    Updates

    • Key stability and performance improvements
    • Improvements for activation & trial related issues
    • Contact Extraction and contact edit improvements
    • All user preferences are maintained during upgrades
    • And much more!

    Xobni for BlackBerry is available for download for just $9.99 from the CrackBerry App Store. 

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    Official OS 6.0.0.337 for the BlackBerry Torch 9800 from Beeline

    Hot off the presses comes an official OS release for the BlackBerry Torch 9800. From Beeline we have OS 6.0.0.337 now available. Torch users can head over to the official download site to get in on the fun. Some improvements have come along in the last few leaks for the Torch, so here's to hoping there is some goodness in this one. Fire up the ol' App Loader and give it a go, then be sure to drop a comment with your findings. As always, use caution when updating your device.

    Source: BBRocks

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    NFL.com Game Center 2010 for BlackBerry now available

    If you're a NFL fan then you know when the weekend rolls around you live and breathe football. No matter if you're a Giants or Cowboys fan you want your scores, stats and news on the fly. Well NFL.com Game Center 2010 is here to help. With this new app direct from the NFL, you can keep up with all the latest news right from your device. Get in-game audio highlights of big plays, customized "my team" alerts, pregame press conference video and much more. If you're looking to get a bit more than just the standard scoreboards some other apps offer, then NFL.com Game Center 2010 is the way to go. Pick it up now from BlackBerry App World for $4.99.

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    Toys R Us adds new enhancements to mobile site for the holidays

    Toys R Us is making it just a bit easier to buy and save on all those goodies for the holidays. Everyone's favorite toy store has added some great features for mobile users. With the new enhancements, customers will be able to use both scannable coupons and eGift cards right on their devices. Users can also receive text message alerts with special promitions and sales in stores. Mobile features include:

    • Make Purchases Instantly: Mobile shoppers have access to the simplified navigation of Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com with products sorted by category and brand, making purchases from a mobile phone just as easy as from a computer.
    • Obtain Suggestions for Gifts: Shoppers who find themselves stumped when choosing the perfect present for the little ones in their lives can view top sellers or new products.
    • Locate a Store: Finding an "R"Us store while out on a shopping trip has never been easier with the company's mobile store locator.
    • Research Products During In-Store Shopping Trips: Customers have the benefit of immediately consulting the millions of customer reviews and ratings on Toysrus.com and Babiesrus.com when making purchase decisions.

    The Toys R Us mobile features are avaialbe from toysrus.com/mobile or by downloading the mobile app from BlackBerry App World.

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    Contest Winners - mProductive, MobileQs Trivia, Elite, and ShopCrackBerry.com gift certificates!

    Here are the winners from last week's round of contests. If you won you will be receiving an email either directly from us or the retailer/developer directly in the next few days. If for some reason you don't receive an email within 7-14 days (be sure to check your spam/junk folder just in case, and verify your registered address associated with your CrackBerry account) you can email us at sitesupport(at)crackberry.com and we'll be sure to get you taken care of. Please be patient as some emails may take longer than others to arrive. Hit the jump for the full list - congrats to all the winners!

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    BlackBerry Style 9670 and red BlackBerry Torch 9800 headed to Bell

    Just in case all the talk of the BlackBerry Bold 9780 releasing in Canada was driving you crazy because what you really want is red BlackBerry Torch or BlackBerry Style then this news may be more to your liking. It seems as though both the red Torch and BlackBerry Style will be shipped off to Bell locations across Canada starting on November 15th with device purchasing going live on November 23rd.

    The red Torch is suggested to cost $179.99 with a 3-year contract while the BlackBerry Style retail price is said to be $399.99. The contract pricing for the Style at this point was not available. Which would drop the cost to something a little more realistic with contract terms but I'm sure that will pop up soon enough.

    Source: BerryReview

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    Rogers BlackBerry Bold 9780 now available for $149.99

    The BlackBerry Bold 9780 is slowly making it's way through Canadian carriers. If you're a Rogers customer you can now head on over to the Rogers website and place your order for the BlackBerry Bold 9780. One thing to note though is that Rogers doesn't seem to be feeling any pressure as of yet from TELUS regarding their pricing. The TELUS version will only set you back $99 while the Rogers version will cost you $149.99 both on 3-year contracts. However, if contracts aren't your thing both carriers have the device available for $499 sans contract.

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    BlackBerry Storm 3 codenamed Monaco; BlackBerry Montana a touchscreen Bold?!

    First things first, we're slapping the big ol' rumor tag on this one. Take it all with a grain of salt. In fact make it rock salt because at this point none of this is fully confirmed. New rumors have been suggesting a couple of new devices that are now in the works at Research In Motion, one of which we may have gotten a sneak peak at previously and another that may just be a total rehashing of what once was Magnum/Dakota.

    That said, let's clear a few things up while we're at it. The BlackBerry Storm 2 (9570) refresh was often referred to as the BlackBerry Storm 3 whether or not that was ever the intention we do not know but now that it's been pretty much taken out of the picture as far as we know, that leaves the slot open for a real BlackBerry Storm 3 device (most likely, this one). Every device needs a codename to go along with it and the BlackBerry Storm 3 has now been suggested as taking on the name Monaco internally. When it comes to specifications for the device well, we're not even going to suggest any at this point because really it would all just be speculation on our part and we don't think adding to the rumors will do anyone any good. So, until we can confirm indefinitely you all can speculate along with us.

    Moving on now, a lot of talk has been generated over the past few days about the BlackBerry 9900 aka Pluto. This numeric offering is far from new as you can tell from the linked article. Its actually been floating around since even before the BlackBerry 9630 was released and got many folks into a tizzy expecting a Bold touchscreen device. What ever became of it? Well, it was revealed as the Dakota/Magnum which never actually saw the light of day beyond it's prototype, and now its popped up again for better or worse. Codename this time? Montana. Given the past history tied to this device and codename we're not going to be holding our breath for information on it. Either Research In Motion is digging up a device that was shelved long ago and redoing it or the rumors of Montana are just simply a little off base. Alas, that's the joy of rumors. Personally, if I had too pick one out of these two rumors to be true-- I'm rolling with the information about the BlackBerry Storm 3 what about you all?

    Source: BBLeaks

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