Well, the two-year handcuffs on my Verizon-locked Treo 700p smartphone finally came off and it was time to reevaluate. The biggest downside to the Treo was its miniscule battery life, though its bulky weight was another serious bummer. My company pays for the phone so my replacement choices were fairly limited. Since my wife appears to have substantially greater smartphone satisifaction with her Blackberry than I had with my Treo, that’s the option I was looking for.
It meant switching to AT&T Wireless but I was able to select a fairly modern Blackberry Curve 8310 with a snappy red case. The Curve includes a camera with flash, a robust Bluetooth implementation and the ability to take MicroSD memory cards. It’s also pretty much half the thickness and weight of my old Treo and it works just as well with my office-sanctioned Outlook email account. I’m still getting used to the many new key combinations and short cuts — mentally, it’s much worse than, say, going from Mac to Windows, as I occasionally do.
But – wow – battery life is insanely great. I didn’t have to recharge the Blackberry for over three days. A welcome change from the crummy Treo battery that didn’t even last through a whole day sometimes.
I was also nervous about wireless signal coverage here in the Boston suburbs. Some years ago when I last had an AT&T phone, coverage was spotty and considerably worse than Verizon’s. Happily, I can say that the situation has changed. At least out here west of Beantown, AT&T has improved its wireless coverage to at least reach parity with Verizon in real world usage. Even 3G data coverage is excellent.
One downside is Mac compatibility. Though there’s some software called PocketMac for Blackberry which you can download from the RIMM web site, it’s god awful. Palm compatibility wasn’t great either but better than this.
More reports to come but so far, I’m liking the switch.