Blackberry 8707 - The story so far

Thursday 24th August, 2006
I've had the Blackberry 8707 working about 48hours now and thought it was time for some feedback.

Once my phone number was correctly registered with the Vodafone Blackberry APN, the phone activated with my BES without any hassle. Whilst the phone has 3G connectivity, I didn't notice any significant benefit in the speed of downloading services from the BES. Nonetheless, it all works fine and my email is synchronizing quite happily.

The new 4.1 Firmware UI looks tidy, but it's all just a front end really, underneath all the applications such as messaging and calendar work and look just the same. I've not tested any of the new functionality yet, but all the 4.0 stuff is working just find. I've had a couple of slight BES connectivity issues but there were purely related to running the BES of a dynamic IP address...not recommended.

A few people have commented that this model of Blackberry doesn't have a proper TCP/IP stack and, whilst it can be used as a full 3G modem with a connected laptop, it can't be used with all native Blackberry apps. Apparently only apps that use the Blackberry MDS will function properly, such as the Blackberry browser. Even with 3G connectivity, all your Blackberry clients will still be surfing through the office internet pipe to which the BES is connected, good for monitoring and access control - bad for bandwidth.

Still, Browsing on 3G is much better and more usable due to the increased speed and page rendering. Interestingly, the 8707 doesn't include the fast "Intel Inside" (bong bong bong bong) processor of it's 8700 sidekick. This means it's not quite as quick, but battery life will be improved so I'm told.

Phone calls are clear and the earpiece pretty loud on max volume, bluetooth and wired headsets are also supported; the latter included in the box. The addition of red/green call/end button is a welcome addition over the old 7300 model I had and the new keyboard, whilst different, is just as usable; they just moved a few keys around to confuse. Importantly, ring tones are very loud which is handy in noisy environments.

I've been attempting to use the IP modem on the phone since day 1 but, despite following the provided instructions, it's continually failed to connect. The windows XP machine simply displays "registering your computer on the network" and then times out with a PPP error. A call to the Vodafone helpline has helped resolve this, apparently my phone number had not been allocated the internet APN. This explains why this SIM didn't work well in my 9300 previously. One call to customer services a few minutes ago and this has now been added...I'm off to play.

My New Arrival
Blackberry 8707v - IP Modem
Blackberry 8707v - The First Week

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