Continuing Impressions of the Blackberry 8700g

bb8700g.jpgBattery life… tethered as I am to a desk for a solid five days a week, where a power strip is never more than a stubbed toe away, I don’t always give battery life of my mobile devices as rigorous consideration as I probably should. My previous Sidekick II could just barely make its way to the two-day mark before it began its pitiful drones for power. Anyone who has owned one knows exactly the sound I’m talking about. I think it was scientifically developed to make you feel like an abusive pet owner. This morning I’m staring at my Blackberry 8700g which hasn’t seen a charger since it arrived five days ago. While I consider myself only a moderately heavy user, engaging in about a dozen short, about the same number of texts and about an hour and a half of web browsing a day, I’m delighted to see three of five power bars still solidly lit!

im_plus.pngThe instant messenger dilemma still dogs me. T-Mobile has a multi-product platform which seems free, but its description seems to suggest that is using text messages (SMS) as its transport method and these count against your allotted text messages. Still experimenting with IM+ and it seems to do a decent job of instant messages aside from a pokey initial start up. This is the WAP addition so am I to gather it does not use the SMS transport method? I just cranked a few IMs through it and will check my SMS count (dial #674# on a T-Mobile phone) and see what happens. Either there is a substantial delay in the SMS usage reporting from T-Mobile or the WAP edition of IM+ does not use the SMS transport method. I’ll keep an eye on it and let you know what I find.

I’m considering trying a Blackberry GMail application instead of using the standard Blackberry email client. While I don’t think the GMail application “pushes”, it does seem to allow for better mail sorting and organizing. What I’d really like is a real POP mail client, stores messages locally and allows for custom folders and sorting. The global message box that comes standard on the Blackberry simply isn’t granular enough for me. I’m sure I just haven’t done enough research but I’ll come back to this as time allows.

I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I can’t sing the praising of Google Traffic Map for the Blackberry enough. It effortlessly combines traffic information, VERY high quality maps and mapped searches of business/residences with driving direction and from-the-map phone dialing. It’s quickly becoming my “killer app” on the Blackberry and creeping up the icon list on my Blackbery phone’s desktop.

I think I’ve gotten my ring tones settings overload under control now and tweaked them to my lifestyle. I’ve been using the Blackberry’s daily reminder function as my morning alarm clock and it’s robust enough to rouse me in the mornings.

brickbreaker.jpgAdmittedly, I’m terribly at BrickBreaker, the game that ships with the 8700g, but I still enjoy it. I definitely need to download a few more games to fill out my Blackberry leisure time. Any recommendations veteran Blackberry gamers have would be welcome.

Another wish list item… a screencapture application that runs on the Blackberry. It would make showing people what I’m talking about in these impressions much easier. šŸ™‚

Finally, there is the Blackberry’s Password Keeper application. This is one of those encrypted master logon/password utilities. I’m of a mixed opinion on these in general. On one hand, as a web developer I have literally dozens and dozens of logons to keep track of, not to mention various related information. I had been keeping my more obscure logons on an thumb drive using Password Safe ( but honestly it’s not always convenient to plugin in the thumb drive in a mobile situation and some of the flakiness of Password Safe has convinced me not to put much faith in it. The Blackberry’s Password Keeper, however, is very handy and stable so far. My only wish… exportable, encrypted database so I could put it elsewhere if the need arose.

That’s all for this installment. I’ll keep posting my impression as they come to me. Constructive recommendations, questions, suggestions and the like are always welcome.

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8 Responses

  1. Meredith says:

    After reading the previous post, I did a little poking around. Apparently if I were to buy from T-Mobile, upgrading to the 8700g from my SK2 would cost $350. No thanks. Also, am I correct that it doesn’t have a camera? That’s kinda-sorta-maybe becoming a preferred feature for me, I do like having one even if the one on the SK2 is junky. (How quickly I forget the plug-in camera I had with my SK1!) So I’d be buying from elsewhere, if I were to get it at all. It looks like the Treo doesn’t work on T-Mobile, and I locked into two more years when I upgraded to the SK2 in February 2006, so it’s the 8700g or nothing I guess. Again, looking forward to reading all your posts about it.

  2. Mystech says:

    I’m not familiar with T-Mobile’s upgrade plan but that sounds too pricey to make it worthwhile. I went with a brand new plan instead through (with T-Mobile) and the Blackberry ends up being $0 ($50 with a $50 rebate). And you are correct, Blackberrys are not camera phones. Not an important factor for me, but definitely something to consider if you use your phone as a camera frequently.

  3. sajego says:

    Well, my sk2 won’t charge anymore. The keyboard has been torn for months, but I kept using it.

    I was really hoping to wait and hear about my new job before buying another phone.

    I use my sidekick almost constantly for IMs and I don’t use the phone at all. I think the SK is still going to be best for me, it might be limited in what it can do (software wise) but it does it really well. I use the web browser all the time, and IM all the time, email of course. Hard to know if the 8700g will suffice.

    I don’t currently have any contract obligations with Tmobile, but can upgrade to SK3 for $299. Or do like you did and start over with something new from Amazon, free after rebate. I was hoping they would have the SK3 free for new people, but it isn’t there yet.

    Going to the store today to play though. If I get a SK3 and can’t use it at work I can probably give it to my boyfriend and let him pay that bill. We’re thinking about looking at family plans anyway, and he hasn’t upgraded yet.

  4. Mystech says:

    Wow, sounds like it’s really on its last legs. šŸ™

    I hope you can come across a more competitive deal on a new phone. The best I’ve seen on a SK3 on Amazon is about $199.00 but that was just for the hardware; not sure how’d you’d set that up with T-Mobile… probably have to get a simcard and activation in addition to your service plan.

    Btw, I’m posting this from my laptop, using the Blackberry & EDGE network as a modem! I’ll post about this and some other BB impressions after some more testing. m šŸ™‚

  5. sajego says:

    I had a bad friday. woke up to find someone broke into my house and stole both my laptop and work’s laptop. and Then my sidekick stopped working that afternoon. Someone’s trying to keep me from being connected or something.

    (seems like my renter’s insurance is going to cover the laptops)

  6. Mystech says:

    Holy carp! You were IN the house when this happened? I’m really sorry you got robbed, but really grateful you weren’t harmed.

  7. sajego says:

    Yep. I’m deaf without my hearing aids in… didn’t hear a thing.

    I’m still wondering about the people I showed the house to (I’m moving next month so I thought I’d use craigslist to help out my landlady with a new tenant) if they had something to do with it. They came the same evening, took pictures, asked questions… maybe they came back (sent a friend back) to do some thievery? It seems so suspicious and yet, so stupid to come the same day…. I told the police about it and they said the same, andI think they were going to follow up. Waiting to hear from them. I hate accusing anyone, but I’ve lived there 10 months with no problems….

    Anyway! Bad timing with the sidekick2 dying and no laptops left. I’m probably going to get a sk3 tomorrow from the kiosk near work and upgrade. More money, but simpler overall. Thanks for your reviews though šŸ™‚ If I can’t have a camera phone at work I’ll seriously consider the 8700g.

  8. Mystech says:

    Nothing much surprises me when it comes to human nature (for better or for worse). I’ve had tennants move out of houses only to be seen sneaking back in to crash weeks later by neighbors. I think you did the right thing mentioning it to the police letting them sort it out. Alway ask for ID (and copy down real names) when showing a property.

    Hope the SK3 works out for you. It’s all about what piece of technology fits our personal needs.

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