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How my Blackberry isn’t crackberrying me up

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My mobile phone tariff allows for a free upgrade every 18 months or so and this time I traded in my dodgy Sony-Ericcson brick for a Blackberry Curve 8900.

I’ve used a Blackberry before but it was the old type that looks like a weevil’s back and I never used it much – that was after my rag theinquirer.net was bought by a big corporation and I didn’t particularly want to be endlessly bugged by the powers on the thrones.

No, I’m mostly very happy with the Blackberry Curve and while the iPhone is being pitched as supporting goodness knows how many applications, I’m not too bothered by having just a few.

The machine has GPS tech built into it, with European maps, and it’s very cool to be able to use “Where am I” function after 10 pints of lager and a packet of crisps.  I also like a number of the free apps you can download from Blackberry App World – I’ve got AP, Time, the Daily Telegraph, and Thomson Reuters loaded up there.

You could hardly describe me as a man with gigantic hands – and it takes a little bit of time to just use parts of your finger and thumb to type messages that aren’t seriously deformed.

I also like the Wi-Fi functionality that’s built in. Here at home I can use my wireless network if I want to browse the web – GPRS coverage is very patchy in my sleepy hollow. The one thing I’d really like is a Skype client – there is one available on one of the sites that hosts free software apps for the Blackberry family but I haven’t been able to make that work yet.

The sound quality on the phone is also very good, although using Nuance voice recognition technology is trying, at best. So I simply don’t use it. The screen on the device is very bright and clear, the machine takes very nice photographs and you can also take reasonable little video snaps on it too.

Heck. So what’s really wrong with the Curve? I really don’t care for the software that you install on your notebook to sync with the phone. It feels clunky and also appears to be much more of a fat client than a thin client. That doesn’t matter too much though – the photos and stuff I need can be accessed simply enough from My Computer.

The interesting thing about the Blackberry to me is that Research in Motion (RIM) has made a big push to get these devices into the hands of ordinary people, rather than corporate Crackberry addicts. Ordinary people I bump into who now have Blackberrys all seem to have had similar experiences to me. I love it – it’s light, and it’s got lots of features. I’ve played with an iPhone but am not particularly a big fan – it’s a matter of personal preference and I prefer this machine.

Oh yeah, and you can do the equivalent of a CTRL-ALT-DEL if your Blackberry Curve freezes, without having to go to the trouble of digging out the battery from the back of the machine. The RIM page about the Curve 8900 is here .