BlackBerry 8800 and 9xxx Series Details on Cingular

Illustration for article titled BlackBerry 8800 and 9xxx Series Details on Cingular

Here are a few more details on the BB 8800 and 9xxx series phones heading to Cingular. First off, the 8800 is scheduled for mid-February, but will have no camera, no Wi-Fi, and just about the same keys as the 8700.

The 9xxx however, will have Cingular's HSDPA 3G, a microSD card slot for backup and restore, a new processor, improved UI, and is scheduled for a Q4 release. Nothing revolutionary that we can see, but should be worth the upgrade if you're a business user and your company's spotting the bill anyway.

BlackBerry 8800 & 9xxx Series [Boy Genius Report]

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DISCUSSION

If it's priced at $299 or below with 2-yr contract/extension, I will get it over the iPhone. iPhone is gonna be great, don't get me wrong, but I personally believe, from my experience with many many cell phones since day 1, that BlackBerry platform with the full QWERTY keyboard, RIM OS and scroll wheel, is the best invention in the mobile phone industry. A review I wrote 1.5 years ago about my 8700c:

8700c has been my first BlackBerry. I got it a month ago right in the thick of the lawsuit. Cingular 8125 came out soon after that which really made me to consider if I should go for the WIFI-enabled, full size keyboard and MS Office compatible Windows Mobile phone. In fact, I did exchanged for the Cingular 8125...for ONE DAY...before I ran back to the Cingular store and exchanged again for a BlackBerry 8700c. (I almost cried happy tears to have my beloved BlackBerry back from the angry sale rep who had to deal with me.)

Why the BlackBerry is the BEST communication solution I have ever used:

1. BlackBerry email is incredible. What can I say? I guess it's hard to appreciate its greatness without testing Seven Sea's Xpress mail, GoodLink or Windows Mobiles Patch. After I tried other options, oh man, no solution works better than the BlackBerry. It's indeed second to none! When you read about the "alternative services," believe me, they are not comparable to the reliability and the ease of use from the BES.

2. Reliability of the operating system. I think this is by far the most important factor. Windows Mobile freezes or becomes extremely sluggish about 2/3 of the time I use it. It pratcially is useless. BlackBerry however is always responsive, stable, and most importantly you can MAKE phone call and RECEIVE phone call ANYTIME no matter you are running a Google Map or what not. (This is not possible on Windows Mobile. Whenever I am doing some CPU-intensive task the phone will just freezes for about 30 seconds.)

3. EDGE is real fast. No more do I need to say about this.

4. The keyboard works like a charm. The keyboard is MUCH BETTER THAN THE CINGULAR 8125 full size keyboard. I kid you not. Why? Because you can a. ONE HAND OPERATE and b. use it on the go.

The full size keyboard on 8125 is big indeed, but after using it for one day I realized its uselessness. Since you have to expand the keyboard on the 8125 and use both hands to type, you MUST place that device on a table in order to hold it stll (since both of your hands aren't free) and type. That maens you basically have NO WAY to input anything-name, calendar, task, website address, etc-on the go. And boys, if I don't use cell phone on the go, I don't know why do I use it for. If every time I do the above task I have to sit down in front of a flat surface, why don't I just get a dang laptop??

So don't get fooled into the "sliding full size keyboard myth" because it's plainly meaningless.

5. It's sturdy and it looks really good. 8125 feels awkward on your hand and big/heavy in the pocket. 8700c however is actually quite elegant.

6. The phone quality is by far the best. I talk when I am driving above 75 mph very often. It has been hard for any phone (Samsung or Moto) to be loud enough for me to hear. I remember using speaker phone on my Samsung phones and put it on my ear in order to hear. But with 8700c, not only its reception is super (much better than 8125), its clarity is great, it's over-the-top loud!

7. Intuitive operation. Oh my God, I finally understood the success of BlackBerry in using it operating system-its ease of use with the thumb. You see, Windows Mobile is made by Microsoft which makes GUI OS like Windows. GUI means the need for a mouse. On PDA it means a stylus and many layers of "folders." Guys, it's practically useless on a phone if whatever you need to do with it, you need to hold it with one hand and take out a stylus to scroll/type. Why? How in the world am I going to do that when I am eating, driving, walking, etc, at the same time as operating my phone? Omg, Microsoft is NOT thinking about this. Who uses his/her phone sitting down in front of a desk? Maybe you, but I ALWAYS use it when I am multitasking—walking, listening to speech, driving, drinking, eating dinner, waiting for a table, watching movie, sitting on the toilet, etc, etc. BlackBerry's navigation works way better than any other device method I have ever heard of. It's simply intuitive.

8. The following functions are not only excellent, they set industry standard by going way above and beyond over its competitors:

a. phone logs. It stores unlimited number of events (missed call, dialed call, received call) per the last 20 contacts. Each event includes time and duration. EACH! You simply have over 3~400 events easily.

b. font. It has wide selection of pleasant fonts of different styles and size. They look grrrreeat.

c. screen. 320x240 is really high resolution for a screen this size. You can arrange the folders and icons on the screen by applying theme and manually hide/unhide icon so that you largely have an empty desktop to show your favorite picture!

b. phone. the dailing, the calling features, are all excellent! It's really easy to send SMS, Email or PIN to anyone on your contact. You can right click on the contact and select one of the following functions-view history, SMS this person, email this person, call this person, PIN this person, etc. Once you click on "Call this person" for example, a menu will come up and ask you which number. It's just so simple yet powerful.

c. the categorization of all your messages (sent and received) in one single box differentiated by icon. It's really a smart idea. Windows Mobile gives you an Outlook style menu tree that has over 30 different folders on its tiny screen requires a style to select each time. Think about it, when you are using a phone to read messages, is it more important to organize it clearly in outlook style (which is designed for the use of a mouse) or in a centralized place where you can simply navigate it by one thumb? Oh my, Windows Mobile is not impressive AT ALL. What is Microsoft thinking? Look at how BlackBerry can do the simple task well.

d. the auto dimming works great! Under bright sunlight the screen lights up ultra bright to acomodate the environment. When it's not too bright, the screen brightness decreases and the keyboard turns off (since the ambient light is enough to see the keyboard), when it's completely dark, the keyboard will light up again while the screen stays dim. (Thus at least three different modes.)

e. theme is very, very pretty. Aesthetically pleasing. Much prettier and artistic than Windows Mobile.

f. I like the airplane mode, the alarm clock (finally loud enough for me) and the expansive options for manual modification.

g. You not only are able to customize the profile (ring tone style and volumn) down to every single type per profile (message, level one message, phone, calendar, browser, task, etc), you can also SET MULTIPLE EXCEPTIONS and ACTIVATE EACH EXCEPTION INDEPENDENTLY!! Exception means you can turn off the vibration/sound completely off in a theatre, but unless this number calls in which the phone will use an overriding profile. So if you are waiting for imporatnt phone call, you can definitely let it get thru. It's sort of a "Do-Not-Disturb" guard and "VIP-only" kind of thing.

In conclusion, this phone is powerful and completely designed for business purpose and business people oriented.