Blackberry 8707v - The First Week

Wednesday 30th August, 2006
I've had the 8707v a week now, the novelty has started to wear off and I'm getting some real usage out of it. This new arrival has turned things around a little bit for me.

It's not my first BlackBerry, I've had one for around 3 years, but it's the first one I've actually used. The previous models felt a little old and unfashionable, not a big problem to me but the form factor was all wrong. The solid plastic belt clip case was just plain wrong for me, Europeans just don't carry phones and things on their belt...except Bill perhaps.

So, why is the 8707 so different? Well, firstly it's got Bluetooth which my previous models didn't. Actually, the 7100 did - but I seriously hated the keyboard on that and couldn't use it. Bluetooth means I can use the phone with my Nokia bluetooth earpiece and also with the Lexus handsfree system in the car. That avoids getting pulled over by a police officer for talking into a calculator whilst driving.

Even with the Bluetooth and 3G enabled 24/7, battery life seems pretty good. Obviously it goes down significantly whilst in use, especially when making 3G data calls, but it seems they've preserved the standby time that Blackberrys are famous for.

Quite simply, this handset has replaced my Nokia 9300. The UI is faster and the thumbwheel design is much easier to use one handed. Not only is the UI faster, but all the other functionality is too. Even the Bluetooth implementation (2.0) is far faster - my Nokia 9300 took 15-20secs to connect to my Lexus car kit...the Blackberry is paired up before I shift gear.

There are some negatives over the 9300. Firstly, the UI layout in the Symbian Series 80 OS is far easier (especially in mail/calendar), email attachment support is also signficantly better; but 3G speeds and proper synchronization make up for all of that. I never got on too well with the Notes synchronization in the Nokia 9300. When it worked it worked well but periodically it would just break down and require a reinstall and resync. This often left duplicate appointments and could really mess up repeating meetings. The Blackberry has never done this for anyone in my user base. (I run both the Notes and Blackberry infastructure in my office). Whilst the UI seemed easier on the 9300 however, the 8707 makes up for it in speed. It's so much faster and does nice things like nest SMS threads in a similar way to how gmail handles email.

I miss the way my Nokia 9300 fitted in it's cradle tidily on my desk, the 8707v doesn't come with a cradle. I also miss Nokia charger support, I've pretty much used Nokia exclusively to this point...but this isn't a RIM problem. It's Nokia that force people to have proprietary chargers and USB is becoming more of a standard now so I'm glad the 8707 supports it.

The 8707 ringer is LOUD...important for me as I like my music loud at home. It also supports vibrate which my Nokia sorely lacked.

My main nitpick is the date format. Despite choosing the dd/mm/yy format throughout all the settings, and the apps displaying them, the front end Vodafone theme insists on showing a "WED, AUG 30" style format...I hate it. I believe this is a theme feature though and I could maybe hack the theme to fix.

The Nokia has now been powered off for 2 days and I haven't gone back to it. The 8707v is even my alarm clock now - although it's functionality is somewhat limited compared, it's good enough for a morning alarm clock.

Oh, one more thing. A lot of people complain about a lack of TCP/IP support on the 8707v. I've yet to find a problem. I've downloaded a variety of IM apps and other utilities like Google maps mobile and Avant Go. All of them work just fine on the 8707v when allowed through the firewall. I don't see the issue that people are just works.

My New Arrival
Blackberry 8707v - The Story So Far
Blackberry 8707v - IP Modem

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