Monday, March 9, 2009

Confessions of a WinMo to BB Convert

It seems I'm not the only one who has been seduced by the Blackberry Bold and lured away from Windows Mobile. Evan Lazer tells the story of his conversion on the Crackberry Forums:

So, up until last week, I had been an almost religious user of Windows
Mobile cell phones. Before that, I used Palm OS phones, and before that, well I
don't even remember. I never considered getting a blackberry, though I've used
friend's blackberries and know the features.

I had the Samsung sgh-i530
clamshell, the Sch-i730, the motorola Q, and various other palm phones. The
common thread here, besides the Moto Q (which was so bad I got rid of it after a
week), was the presence of a touchscreen. I also CANNOT live without a physical
QWERTY keyboard.

Most recently, I had the Palm Treo 750 for ATT, which
has a touchscreen, and was upgraded to Windows Mobile 6.1. I loved the phone,
kept it for almost a year (longest I've owned a cell phone), and especially
liked the touchscreen. However, the phone had some browser issues and required
daily resets. It also lacked wifi and GPS (very annoying) Last week, I finally
damaged the phone severely and had to get a new one.

I walked into the
ATT store, and after spending no more than a minute walking around, asked the
sales rep. for a Blackberry Bold.

The decision itself may have been off
the cuff, after all, I had only used my father's Blackberry Curve a few times.
Moreover, I was worried how I would get along without the touchscreen. I loaded
my contacts into my SIM card, took a deep breath, and powered off my Treo for
the last time.

I walked back to my car, which has Microsoft Sync, and
decided that my first test would be to pair the phone. The process was a breeze,
and Sync even loaded my address book for the first time, allowing me to do voice
dialing. It was at this point, as I tried out my browser and other settings,
that I realized I didn't miss my touchscreen at all. The precision of the
trackball and menu structure made a touchscreen unnecessary and in many ways a
hindrance.

Once I got home, I completed my transformation into a
Blackberry addict by downloading almost 20 apps in the space of an hour, then
upgrading the OS to .237.

Do I miss the Treo, or Windows Mobile in
general? My main concern was multimedia, as I like to watch Slingplayer mobile
on my phone. In this regard, the sling version for blackberry is excellent, and
the Bold's screen is, simply put, fantastic. My other concern was web browsing
capabilities, and in this regard, both the BBerry browser, and Opera mini crush
Windows Mobile's IExplorer, in terms of usability and stability (though not
always speed).

The high availability of applications for Blackberry
equals or exceeds that of Windows Mobile, which was a genuine surprise to me.
Further, while I was worried that Blackberry OS would be too "simple" compared
to WM, I have found that in fact, the KISS principle makes Blackberry far more
efficient of an OS, not to mention a stable one.

In many ways, Windows
Mobile was a decent OS, though like any OS it had its flaws. The major
difference, though, is that RIM constantly improves their OS, while Microsoft
rarely, if ever, upgrades theirs.

Lastly, it goes without saying that
the Blackberry keyboard is faster, softer, more comfortable and just downright
more awesome than that of any WM phone I have used.

So in retrospect,
one week post-Windows Mobile, post-touchscreen, I can safely say that I don't
miss either of those things. WM was clunky and slow compared to Blackberry OS.
The touchscreen, while useful on a Treo, is not missed on a blackberry, nor
would it be necessary or helpful. I found that I used my Treo in a one-handed
fashion, without the use of the stylus or touchscreen most of the time anyway.
So, the switch over to the blackberry was not that difficult at all.

Of
course, I am still learning all of the shortcuts for the Blackberry, but I can
genuinely say that it is by far the most efficient phone I have ever used, it's
literally a pleasure to use. Just like my Treo, I can see myself using this
phone for a long time.

I love my Bold, it's sleeker (and sexier),
stabler, faster and more productive than even my Treo was. I am now a true
Crackberry addict, and I can proudly say that looking back, I have absolutely no
regrets!

-Evan Lazer


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