It’s Time For A New Phone

I’ve been using my BlackBerry Curve 8320, named Cindy, from Jan 1st 2010. Yes I know the model is outdated, infact it was outdated when I bought it but I couldn’t afford any of the newer one from RIM. I spent a  good deal of time waiting to get it and loved using the phone all this while.

But 2 years is 2 years and also she is damaged my Cindy. A few months back while at the office someone dragged a bag on a table without seeing that I had kept my phone for charging on the very same table. The phone went flying in the air and landed 10 feet away. A month later, something similar happened, an accident with some other colleague and my poor phone had a hard drop once again. Now it says a lot about the sturdiness of the phone and build quality because I am still able to use the phone. But issues started popping up.

The trackball is stuck and it won’t move the cursor down or to the left or right only upwards. I tried cleaning it but it still has issues. Hence I can’t use a lot of options on the menu. Also the phone stops reading the SIM at times and I have to remove the SIM, place it back in and reboot the phone once again. Which takes a lot of time and I end up being out of coverage a lot of times when it’s a matter with the phone. It’s beyond repair and the only option was to get a new one. But I was broke.

But fear not! An old Idea colleague & friend of mine, now working in a Delhi based company is their Admin manager. He was recently told to buy 500 brand new BBs for the entire management and executive staff of his company by the bosses. And so he did and with the order he got a huge discount for the bulk order. Bold 9780s for upper management (AMs & Managers) and executives get a Curve 3G for a knockdown price. So he said that he would send me one at dirt cheap prices and that I could pay him slowly. What’s the discount you ask? Well a Bold 9780, which is the phone I’m getting, goes for Rs.20,000 to Rs.22,000 in all the local places that I have checked here. I’m getting it at …………….Rs. 8000! No, that is not a typo, it’s a discount of atleast 12000 bucks! And I owe it to my friend as he arranged the discounted sale on the basis of ordering 500 other BlackBerrys.

Or should I say WhiteBerry because yesterday he told me that the phone he is sending me is a white one!

What I’m Saving Up To Buy

I would definitely want to get an upgrade on my BlackBerry. I love BlackBerry and on Jan 1st 2010 was when I bought my first one – a Curve 8320. Even at the time that I had bought it, it was outdated as RIM had already released 4 or 5 more later models. But I was in a crunch due to money and I could afford the 8320 but not the other models. So I opted for it and still love the phone, christened Cindy (after two curvy evergreen women – Crawford & Margolis).

So I would like to get either the BlackBerry Bold 9780 or the Torch. I love both phones and I’m hit by envy every time I see it being used by someone or see a pic/video clip of it. Everytime I see someone using especially the white Bold 9700/9780, I just drool – ok in one case it was also because the lady holding it was a total babe! But you get the picture.

A cousin of mine has the Torch and he advises me to get that one but I am not sure that I want to spend that much money on a phone. Atleast not at the current salary bracket that I am in. The only time I have bought something that costs more than what I make, is when I bought my Lenovo G550 and that was a critical purchase. But I would love to own a Torch.

Also, as stated earlier, I am also looking out for a netbook, mostly for work purposes. I would love to get an HP or Dell or any good brand that has a reliable & sleek looking netbook. It would so help me at work at the moment.

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The Bold & The RIMarkable

At one stage I changed phones once every year, if not exactly at the 12 months stage. That meant that I got to try a few different phones & brands – Samsung, Nokia, Sony Ericsson, Motorola & Blackberry. A few years ago I first heard about Blackberry devices while watching an Oprah Windfrey show episode; this was before BlackBerrys were available in India. Slowly some of the Indian mobile service providers started selling them and you could also get unlocked phones that were not tied to any particular networks as well.

I’ve wanted RIM’s phones for many years. Back in 2007 I even made a new year’s resolution to get one. But they were very expensive and at my then salaries I could not afford one. I went online to check out the devices and lusted after them. I finally got one, my current phone, a BlackBerry Curve 8320, on New Year’s day 2010. I had wanted the Bold 9000 but it just was out of my reach at the time and I envied my cousin who was a proud owner of one. But I still loved my gray Curve and got good use of it since Jan 1, 2010. The model is outdated and they have stopped production of it and it’s looking like an ancient device.

It’s time to get a new phone. Once a BlackBerry addict, always a BlackBerry addict. I won’t even look at the iphones. Well to each his own. I love the Bold 9000 form factor and I would love to get one of those. Even if the 9000 is a bit outdated now and has two GSM descendants, I still like that phone. But I’ll be looking out for a good offer on either the Bold 9700 or it’s younger sister the 9780. They are really sleep looking phones. The 9700 came out in Oct 2009 (I think) and the 9780 was in Nov 2010. I’m checking out the local shops, the websites of various mobile service providers and ebay. I’m sure I’ll be changing phones in a few.

Unlimited Internet Services On BlackBerry

I’ve been using my BlackBerry Curve 8320 from the 1st of January, 2010. 10 months later it is looking like a very obsolete device even though it is still awesome. That’s because RIM has since launched so many newer models that work & look so much better and offers a lot more as well. It still is a very nifty handset and I do have a lot of affection for it. Or Cindy as I refer to her!

When I bought the handset on 1st of Jan 2010, I immediately called up my service provider and activated the full BlackBerry internet service – given to me with a discount! Instead of their then charges of Rs.1099 a month, I got the same option for Rs.899 a month, unlimited browsing. I activated it and used it for a month after which I opted for the Rs.299 plan, with which I got the options for only 10 email accounts access and chat services like Gtalk & MSN. I was fine using that but if I was on the move and couldn’t get access to a connected laptop or desktop, I couldn’t get access to the internet.

Well now Vodafone has come out with a further discount on their BlackBerry Internet services. Unlimited browsing for just Rs.599 a month! That’s not bad at all. I waited a few days for the month to get over and then got it activated with effect from today. I’m able to use all the various options including the Twitter for BlackBerry services and such. That’s good and I’d also love to use Wikipedia and Google at a moment’s notice while outside of my apartment.

Verizon Launches BlackBerry Curve 3G

RIM and Verizon have just announced the new BlackBerry Curve 3G 9330.

The BlackBerry Curve 3G ships with BlackBerry 5 but is BlackBerry 6-ready. It features built-in Wi-Fi and GPS, a 2-megapixel camera, a microSD slot expandable to 32GB and support for BlackBerry App World.

The Curve 3G might not have as many bells and whistles as some other smartphones on the market, but it is affordable. The phone will be available for $29.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate and a new, two-year customer agreement.

Thirty dollars for a new BlackBerry isn’t a bad deal, especially if you are addicted to BlackBerry Messenger or the BlackBerry’s QWERTY keyboard.

The Curve 3G will be available via Verizon business channels on September 16 and via Verizon retail stores and the web in the coming weeks. When released in India I’m sure that this phone will be as popular as it’s cousin the 8530.

A cheaper option for people who want 3G and a BlackBerry.

BlackBerry & AT&T Reveals ‘Torch’

BlackBerry and AT&T have introduced the BlackBerry Torch, a smartphone that AT&T’s President and CEO of Mobility and Consumer Markets Ralph de la Vega calls “the best BlackBerry device ever.”

RIM co-CEO Mike Lazaridis describes the device as the first “touch qwerty slider” for BlackBerry, meaning it features both a slide out keyboard and a touch screen. It’s also the first smartphone from RIM that uses a webkit browser (which the company got with its acquisition of Torch Mobile).

The device also features a 5 megapixel camera with flash, and is the first BlackBerry to ship with version 6 of the company’s operating system.

We’re at an event live in New York City where AT&T and RIM are unveiling the device. We’ll be updating this post live with the details.

Here are some of the new features the companies showed off and described as “fresh, but familiar”:

Redesigned homescreen

  • Notification previews: a tap on a notification provides you with more details about it.
  • Additional content and views: put individual bookmarks and contacts on the homescreen, plus swipe actions that let users navigate between frequently used items.
  • Universal search: searches all of the content on your device — e-mails, texts, BBMs, calendar appointments, etc. — plus the web.

Media features

  • View pictures by folder or date.
  • Ability to select multiple pictures at once via touchscreen: you can then share them with friends or move them to different folders.
  • Geolocation: camera names pictures based on where you are according to the device’s GPS.
  • Podcast app: subscribe, download and listen to podcasts
  • Wi-fi music sync: see your entire library of music on your device
  • Unified social feeds: an aggregation of feeds from Facebook, Twitter, Flickr, etc.

via Mashable

New BlackBerry Phone & OS?

There’s rumours that a brand new Blackberry device called the “T” would be launching next month. Supposedly the “T” will be a new flagship device designed to combat the iPhone and it will launch in the US and Europe. The image on the right (click to view the full size) is supposed to be two screen shots of the new BlackBerry 6.0 OS, which has been leaked online.

Screen resolution is in line with a Storm or Storm2 style touchscreen device, and the buttons certainly look to be sized for finger input.  That would also fit in with the BlackBerry slider – codenamed “T” or “Talladega” – which is expected to have a large touchscreen along with its pull-out QWERTY ‘board.

RIM also look to be playing with the idea of using homescreen widgets, which would be a significant departure for the company.  The BlackBerry faithful are already poring over the two images to see if they a) look real, and b) look suitably enticing, though comments already heard include the fact that the whole thing looks “too busy” for their liking.

Meet Cindy – My Favourite Toy

     

Hey everybody, say hi to Cindy, my favourite toy. Yes Cindy is what I call my BlackBerry Curve 8320 (after Cindy Margolis & Cindy Crawford – cause I admire their curves).

The photo on the left is my current wallpaper, a Metallica logo and I’m also using a clip of Wherever I Roam as my ringtone. The theme is something that looks a lot like the Bold theme, which I downloaded off the net – it’s black with purple font.

The second photos is showcasing an Arsenal FC wallpaper which is of the football club’s crest on the walls of the Emirates Stadium. I love this wallpaper too. Both photos were shot on the camera of a colleagues’ Curve 8310 (same 2.0 megapixel camera).

My Review Of The BlackBerry Curve 8320

I’ve had the phone for 17 days now so I think it’s high time that I posted a proper review from my experiences. Right up front let me tell you that I absolutely, positively love this phone. Back in 2007 Jan I had included, among other things, getting a BlackBerry as one of my New Year’s resolutions. I didn’t know at the time that it would take me 3 whole years to do so!

Ok, first the colour – the silver edition is the one that I have. If I’m not mistaken, this is the default look of the Curve 83xx series and then they make different colour cases as and when the mobile carrier companies request them. I had preferred the red and the sapphire blue colours or maybe a black one but the shop where I bought this from didn’t have any of those. In fact they only had 3 pieces left, 2 silver and 1 pale gold; but I hate the pale gold colour and so silver it is.

I love the look and feel of the phone. Silver is cool; I have on wallpaper on which accents the silver look of the phone and so it looks awesome. I might look at getting some extra panels for it – if they have them in red and dark blue that would be nice.

I love the full Qwerty keypad although it did get some t getting used to. Especially the Alt, Caps and Symbols keys. I get confused with them even now but it’s not anything serious. I now use the Enter a lot. Texting, sending emails or messages is a cinch on this device as long as you do a little bit of unlearning from using a standard phone like the Nokia or the Samsung phones. I love using the BlackBerry Messenger service although I currently only have one contact on it – my cousin Raju.

Email is a breeze, although it does get annoyingly addictive. I can never wait a second longer after getting the alert tone and I need to immediately open it up. I have setup my Gmail, Hotmail and my office mail accounts on the phone and so you can imagine that I end up getting quite a few emails in a day. I didn’t like how emails and SMSes were getting saved in the same folder so I separated them from day 1.

I like the camera option, which is 2.0 megapixels. It takes decent pictures and I know it isn’t a higher definition one the way that I would have liked (atleast 5 megs) but I guess it will have to do. I haven’t yet taken a video on it yet, just haven’t gotten used to doing that as of now, or viewed videos on it. I have however seen videos on my colleagues 8310 phone (a Tom & Jerry cartoon) and it’ s pretty good. I have however copied a bunch of songs onto the 1 GB media card that comes with the phone and the quality of the playback option with the headphones is awesome. I think they could have improved the speaker quality on the phone but you can’t have everything.

Ah yes the trackball. Loved by some, maligned by others. The Curve’s trackball is much like the underside ball of your old PC mouse before the mouse moved to laser. I have had some issues with it but too much that I am bothered by it. The newer models of BlackBerrys come with a trackpad and I guess that is a better option. However I do like the trackball – except that using it to browse through a lengthy webpage can be a pain in the…finger!

Which bring me to the next part – the internet. I’ve already posted about trying out the Wi-Fi option. I really like the default BlackBerry browser that comes with the phone. I’ve not faced any issues with it. I did not however like the Opera Mini browser that so many people have raved about. I’m an Opera user occassionally on my PC and since I like it, I thought that the Mini must be great to browse on too. But I did not like the zoom option on the Mini and after trying the browser for 10 days, I deleted it today.

I love BlackBerry App World – it’s really cool and user friendly. I downloaded the latest Messenger version & an app from Goal.com through the App World. I was looking for some themes for the Curve and I did get a couple of hockey themes and a really cool Star Trek 2009 theme.

What else? I like the calendar option and the alarm (I use it daily) and the brick breaker game. The latter is very addictive and so be advised before you start playing it I guess that’s it. This is a really cool phone and I love it. I haven’t had any problems with it except for a low battery life but I think it’s because I use a lot of apps. I know that this phone came out in 2007-08 and so isn’t considered new by any standards and especially since RIM have launched quite a few more models since then. But I treasure it and already it’s a big part of my life. Thanks RIM.

Using WiFi On The BlackBerry 8320

One of the main features of the BlackBerry 8320 is the Wifi option. I don’t have WiFi at home but from the moment I got the 8320 I wanted to try it out in a place that offers free WiFi – like Barista Cafe in Bay Pride Mall.

A little after I order my coffee and sat down, I wipped out my 8320 and tried setting up a WiFi connection. I switched it on and did a search for the offered WiFi network – from Barista. At my corner table I was able to setup and start using their network in less than 2 minutes! Which is quite impressive to say the least. The router name, TechnoFIRST-Baypride Free Wi-Fi then appeared on my phone screen.

Hot dog! I then tried out the browser and checked a few websites to see if it was much faster than the speeds shown on while I was using the Edge network provided by Vodafone. To tell you the truth there wasn’t that much difference that I could notice, except that Cisco’s website seemed to download pretty quickly. CNN, Google and a couple of other sites that I could compare were downloaded at almost the same speeds.

But I must say that this new experience was made all the more impressive by the range. I went out of the cafe and walked along the hall, then to the front of the mall, down the steps and onto the car parking area and across the road – all the way upto halfway across Shanmugam road. Those of you who know Cochin well, will be able to relate. That impressed me quite a bit.

OpenBeak Former Known As TwitterBerry

One of the first applications that I looked forward to downloading & installing on my BlackBerry, once I got my internet services up & running, was TwitterBerry. TwitterBerry, as some of you might know, is an application software or app created to use Twitter on your BlackBerry phone.

Well last night when I did a search on my phone for TwitterBerry I saw that the creators of the app, Orangatame Software, had changed the name of the app to OpenBeak. According to the website:

OpenBeak is mobile client for posting updates to Twitter. It works over the data network, so you don’t need to use SMS. OpenBeak is the evolution of TwitterBerry, and gives a name that allows the app to grow beyond both the Twitter platform and BlackBerry smartphones.

Well, although I think that TwitterBerry was a much cooler name, this app is very cool. Here are the features:

  • Post updates to Twitter, including a character countdown from 140 characters
  • One-click access to view friends timelines, replies, your favorites, your own timeline, and the public timeline
  • Post pictures to Zannel, TwitPic, Twitgoo, or yfrog
  • Take a picture with a one-click embedded camera (BlackBerry® Device Software version 4.6+)
  • Reply to tweets from each timeline view
  • Send and receive direct messages
  • Mark tweets as favorites
  • Notification icon that indicates the number of unread messages, like new emails or missed calls (BlackBerry® Device Software version 4.6+)
  • Cache all avatar images to internal memory, thus saves network access and helps faster loading
  • Search Twitter with a keyword or from a list of currently trending topics
  • Active text recognition of @usernames and #hashtags
  • New Setup wizard
  • Two modes of list views: a “fixed height” view and a “variable height” view

BlackBerry Is Net Connected And Online

Yeah! My Blackberry Internet services are online – although they did take their own sweet time to get it done. I applied for the activation on the 2nd of Dec (last Saturday) but the offices were open only by Monday (4th). I kept checking with them for the past 4 days and today by evening it was activated and as I watched, the applications kept getting added to my Blackberry menu. First things first I needed to check and see if the browser would work – and lo and behold! I got google!

Then it was onto the emails – I wasted no time in setting up my gmail account and my office email. I setup Windows Live Messenger. Then it was onto TwitterBerry – which is now known as OpenBeak! Why the change in name – I have no clue!

I checked out to see if I could get Youtube vidoes to play and I must say that it was quick and I was impressed. I installed BlackBerry App World, and upgraded to the latest version of BlackBerry Messenger.  And now finally, just a few minutes ago, I downloaded and installed Gtalk. I’m happiest about that application the most.

An Unboxing Of The BlackBerry Curve

I really wanted to do a video of my phone’s unboxing but without having a solid camera, I knew that there was no chance in hell that I could do that. Unless, ofcourse, if I borrowed someone’s camera just to record an unboxing. Ok but since I can’t do it with a camera, here’s a British video of an unboxing of the Silver BlackBerry Curve 8300.

Ok so it’s not the 8320 which I have but – it’s the same colour and packaging. The only diferences are the Wifi connectivity and oh, if I did this video, there would be British accent!