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Any downsides to blackberries?
Thread poster: Sonja Allen

Sonja Allen  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2005)
English to German
+ ...
Jun 16, 2008

Most of the job enquiries I get I receive via email which all too often has the effect that I don't dare leaving the house all day in order not to miss a job offer which I find very limiting. To have more freedom I have therefore been considering for a while to buy a Blackberry. The recent forum discussion about the Blackberry also seemed very encouraging. However, I am still a bit reluctant as Blackberries don't come cheap and mean being locked into a one or two year contract so I wanted to find out about all the pros and cons before making a decision. So my question to those who have Blackberries is mainly what disadvantages you have experienced. For example difficulities regarding connection, downloading of attachments, too little memory...
And any recommendations for the best deal/cheapest network provider in the UK?


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Gillian Searl  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2004)
German to English
best purchase I ever made Jun 16, 2008

It gives me the freedom to leave the house and never miss an email. I am on Vodafone - have been for years. It also works perfectly in Germany and Brazil. I wouldn't be without it
I havent found a disadvantage yet.
Gillian


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Wenke Geddert  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2004)
English to German
+ ...
T-Mobile Jun 16, 2008

Strictly speaking I am using a smartphone not a blackberry. I am with T-Mobile and I like the unlimited Flext Web&Walk plan. I am constantly using the email & internet facility. I would only recommend to sign up as a business user - I signed up as a private user and, should anything go wrong with the phone, the repair time can take up to 2 weeks... Any other queries, please let me know.

[Edited at 2008-06-16 14:08]


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Victoria Bourseul  Identity Verified
Local time: 14:15
Member (2007)
French to English
Agree with Gillian Jun 16, 2008

I have recently purchased a Palm Centro, same principle as a Blackberry. (My husband has a Blackberry, but is rarely able to read attachments properly, although I know others who have no problems). I am thrilled with it! I was in the same situation, reluctant to leave the house in case I missed an email. Of course I always left an automatic reply, and still do if I plan to be absent for most of the day. I also had a text message on my mobile to alert me of emails, but found that even more frustrating to know I had an email waiting, but not be able to read it.
For a few months I paid for an option on my regular mobile where I could access and reply to my emails, but it was extremely slow and I couldn't open attachments. So a couple of months ago, I took the plunge, and for just a couple of euros extra a month (about 16 euros I think) I can now receive my emails in real time, and read and create attachments.
I suppose the only downside is the cost, but I think it's a worthy investment. It might be worth comparing the Blackberry with other smartphones.
Victoria


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Bogdan Burghelea  Identity Verified
Romania
Local time: 15:15
English to German
+ ...
PDA-phone with qwerty keyboard Jun 16, 2008

I don't use exactly a BlackBerry (although I have been playing with that thought a while ago), but a Palm Treo 650, with a Vodafone subscription.

All in all, it is the same kind of device: a rather large mobile phone, with a tiny, yet usable full keyboard (i. e. with all the letters and other symbols, as alternatives).

For me it is more important than the laptop, since I am a lot en route. I would be at least complicated to fire up the laptop, wait a full 2 minutes until it boots up and launch the e-mail program. With the Treo, I can do that and even answer e-mails, check out attachments, in about 30 seconds.

A BlackBerry, or a Treo, for that matter, doesn't take the place of a proper laptop, but rather does better what the laptop can't: boot up instantly, quickly check the e-mail account and, if necessary, reply to messages.


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Peter Shortall  Identity Verified
Local time: 13:15
Member
French to English
+ ...
No downsides for me Jun 16, 2008

As a self-confessed technophobe, I was sceptical when someone gave me one as a present about a year ago - and within a few days I was a convert! The convenience is something I simply wouldn't want to be without now. I can reply to e-mails while in bed, on the bus, even walking down the street (demands concentration, but it's possible).

The only one slight problem I sometimes have is that when I download certain attachments, the text size is so small you'd need a high-power magnifying glass to read it - but that doesn't happen very often, and there may well be a way round it which I don't even know about.

It's also slim and fits easily into my pocket, plus the only associated bit of paraphernalia I have to bring with me if I'm going away is a lightweight plug - as opposed to the cumbersome "cradle" that one of my previous gadgets had, which was a pain to cart around so I stopped bothering. And I've been able to use it on holiday in several countries with no problems at all. I'm with O2 but don't know what other companies charge.

Another thing I love about it is the fact that it's so user-friendly - even I managed to pick up its main functions by trial and error in a short time (I'm afraid to say I'm one of those lazy people who can't be bothered to read instructions!)

[Edited at 2008-06-16 15:51]


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Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Blackberry Pearl Jun 16, 2008

Hi Sonja,

I bought a Blackberry Pearl just over 18 months ago with a contract from O2. My contract finished at the end of the 18 month period and I am therefore entitled to a free upgrade, but my phone is still absolutely fine so I'm sticking with it and have moved onto one of O2's simplicity packages (basically I can cancel my contract just by giving 30 days notice, and I can get a free phone again then if I sign up for another 12-24 months). Seemed silly to get a new handset when I am still perfectly happy with the old one (especially as if I do get a new one, I am likely to stick to exactly the same model).

I honestly cannot think of a single drawback to having this phone. It is sleek and small enough to look like a "normal" mobile, and getting my emails anywhere is really important for me. The Pearl's screen is not as big as the original Blackberries, but I think it's big enough to get an idea of a Word text or Excel file, for example, if you need to. Emails come through pretty quickly and I have had no problems so far with receiving them abroad (although I have only used it in Europe, not further afield).

I've found O2 to be quite good value, and my new contract is even better. I get loads of minutes and texts included in my monthly payment, and I pay 10 pounds on top of that for unlimited browsing and emails. I would certainly recommend them.

Good luck!

Becky.


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Ralf Lemster  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:15
English to German
+ ...
Addiction... Jun 16, 2008

www.youtube.com/watch?v=JqKEe_JEObg


Seriously: the only downside I can think of is the cost involved for usage abroad. Other than that, addiction is the only issue...

Best, Ralf


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Amy Duncan  Identity Verified
Brazil
Local time: 11:15
Portuguese to English
+ ...
Blackberry World Jun 16, 2008

Am I right in assuming that the Blackberry World model is the only one that can be used internationally?

Amy


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Paula James  Identity Verified
Spain
Local time: 14:15
French to English
+ ...
expensive abroad Jun 16, 2008

Mine works fine throughout Europe, but is quite expensive, and as it's the Pearl can't connect to wireless, which I think some others do. I've had a couple of issues with the phone features, as I don't seem to get missed call and voicemail alerts properly, and SMS sometimes don't arrive, but I imagine those are problems with my network, not the Blackberry. Only once or twice in 6 months has an email not arrived on time, and they always arrive eventually. Word and Excel attachments can be seen sufficiently to check they're the right subject/language, but not a lot more, but it's fine for my needs.
I have a fairly basic contract, which is sufficient for me, and the cost of the blackberry and the year's subscription was paid for by a job I got within the first week that I'd probably have missed otherwise.


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FarkasAndras
Local time: 14:15
English to Hungarian
+ ...
brick Jun 16, 2008

Blackberries are huge.

You can use basically any modern phone to check your email. People apparently don't know this. Someone actually said their iphone was worth the $500 (then) because it allows them to read email on the go... ouch. A $30 phone can do that.

Anything that has a decent screen (above 128*128), java and wap can do email, and basic webbrowsing, with varying convenience factors. All you need is the freeware opera mini and a plan that includes wap (not even internet, just wap).
Only the more advanced handsets (symbian or windows mobile) can download and open attachments, although yahoo preview allows you to take a quick look at an attached .doc.

Of course, if you'll use these features a lot and want a largish screen for more convenient reading and a qwerty keyboard for quicker typing and don't mind the extra bulk (and cost), go for it. Even in that case, I would go for a smartphone instead of the cumbersome blackberries. When the Sony Ericsson Xperia comes out I'm buying it (half the footprint of a blackberry and the better functionality).
Even one of those absolutely gigantic folding Nokia Communicators could be a better option (at least they have a decent keyboard), or pretty much any recent phone with a large screen resolution if you can live without qwerty.


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Gillian Scheibelein  Identity Verified
Germany
Local time: 14:15
Member (2003)
German to English
+ ...
Smartphone + WiFi Jun 16, 2008

I recently bought a Nokia smartphone with WiFi, which I can highly recommend. I have T-online hotspot flat and can log into the internet for free in many places in Germany and Europe too (MacDonalds, Starbucks, railway stations etc, Telekom shops.) I don't even need to go in as the network extends to the street. It also has Blackberry connectivity (I haven't set it up yet) and VoIP capability. I even use it in my WiFi network at home if my computer isn't running.
Cheers,
Jill


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Rebecca Hendry  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 13:15
Member (2005)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Size issue Jun 16, 2008

FarkasAndras wrote:

Blackberries are huge.



I agree that the original blackberries were (and still are) on the large side, but the Pearl is just as small and neat as many "normal" phones, if not smaller. It has a QWERTY keyboard with two letters on each key, but it only took me about 1 day to master it and I've never looked back!


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Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Peru
Local time: 08:15
Spanish
+ ...
Features Jun 16, 2008

I think the difference between a Blackberry and all the other phones is that with a Blackberry, a special data plan is required, but I'm not sure. Either way, with the new Blackberries, Smartphones, Pocket PC, PDA Phones, Palms, etc., the main differences depend on the actual phones. So pick the features you want, select the device that have them, and then narrow it down to the ones that will work with your carrier.

I'm with Gillian on the Wi-Fi issue: Wi-Fi is fantastic.


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Nicole Y. Adams, M.A.  Identity Verified
Australia
Local time: 23:15
Member (2006)
German to English
+ ...
Defnitely worth it Jun 17, 2008

Hi Sonja,

I agree with most of the others: It is the best purchase I have ever made. I don't know how I ever managed without it to be honest.

I'm with T-Mobile on an 18-month contract, paying £30 a month which includes unlimited free web and email use plus £60 worth of SMS and phone calls each month, which is way more than I could ever use. It also works in Europe but for use outside the UK I pay extra and it is very expensive, that would be the only downside.

I have the 8830 which may be larger than many phones but it is really light and I don't mind carrying it around at all.

Good luck with your purchase,

Nicole


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