Saturday, January 2, 2010

Blackberry sucks and I wish I had my money back!

Thinking about choosing BB or iPhone? Read this first

I have to first say I am a PC user that then converted myself into a Mac, it took me a while but now I feel like a fish in the sea when it comes to my notebook. I just learn to live in a digital world where shutting down my laptop was not required that frequently like I used to do when on Windows, etc.
Since the release of the iPhone, I always wanted one but for one reason or the other, I always procrastinated the decision and I never got it, although I have owned an iPod Touch for long time now, which gives you a little preview of the overall experience of the iPhone. Anyway, about a couple of months ago, i was just tied of using 9 keys to write a text message, so I decided to go for a new mobile, and particularly one with a full keyboard. I came across many options but let's be honest, the decision in the end is whether you want to be a Blackberry AKA Windows or go for an iPhone and be a Mac. I struggle for months in fact before choosing BB or Mac, however I thought well, many people I know have BBs, so BB Chat will be useful, I thought I also wanted to look
more professional, and mainly the main reason I was looking forward to, was to have Skype on my mobile running most of the time, so I could answer internet calls and use my Skype out credit as I was doing since I got my contract with Three. I decided to go for the Blackberry 9000 Bold.
Since the moment I got it, it comes in a very nice box, which it is eye catchy and got excited about it. However, I always felt a bit suspicious and a traitor to my new Mac religion, but I carried on and tried to learn all the new tricks.
Blackberry OS is quite straightforward, so they make their user's manual rather small, however there is no really need to have a very detailed one as most users just don't read manuals I believe, so it was ok. I tried to install a few things, found that iSkoot was the software that I needed to run Skype as I wanted and setup my email.
As for email and basically Facebook and Twitter applications, I have to admit that BBs are the best. They actually deliver a very good service, they are on your screen as soon someone sends you something and you can read it, reply or whatever you want to do with it. Unlike the Apps in the iPhone that just don't run always, so you have to open the Facebook App to know more about FB updates, or the same on Twitter, etc, so you have to be a bit aware of the apps nonetheless open them every time you want to access them instead of magically running behind and buzzing you when they arrive.

All those little stuff have made my life a bit more easy as now I can keep convincing myself that I made a good decision when choosing BB. However, I just can't. I have made a list of things BB does so badly that I believe only Windows users might be more use to or I have become more sensible to that and just can't put up with it.

- Blackberry freezes like a computer with Windows; and what do you have to do when a Windows freezes? Turn it on and off, well, with BB you have to do that as well. Rather frequently I find myself taking out the battery to shut it down because the off key just won't respond.

- Blackberry has a very slow browser / Internet navigation; surfing on a BB is just slow. It just doesn't give you the full experience. It is so slow that you want to throw your handset through the window. The more in a hurry you are, the slower it becomes. Nonetheless the unavailability of surfing the web with tabs as now it is a default option in all new browsers.

- Links in Javascript just doesn't work (I believe is the code BB have problems executing); many webmasters decide to use javascript for their navigational menus and those buttons are just inaccessible via a BB. That is just so frustrating as you are supposed to be sort of surfing in what should behave like a computer with a small screen.

- Uninstalling is just difficult and not friendly at all; you have to go through a lot of steps before being successful, the worst part is that even though you deleted the app, it will stay as an icon in the downloads folder, as a trace of your downloads. I guess that could be to make your life easier if you want to re-install it, however if you are not, it is just a reminder of something you don't want in you phone.

- Again, is a slow device; you start opening programs, and you have to close them all, by going one by one, closing them and sometimes you are just not sure if it is closed or not. In the end if you don't do this, the OS become so slow that you have to pull the battery out to turn it off.

- Life battery is THE WORST EVER I HAVE EVER EXPERIENCED. I have owned a mobile phone since 1996, and i remember my first mobile was a Nec, that looked similar to a brick, horrible and not stylish at all, and I remember that not even with that phone I had to recharge it several times a day. Blackberry phones are just not environmentally conscious at all! I am sure someone else have already thought of that before. To fully use all the capabilities the phone could provide, you would need to carry extra batteries with you and a charger at all times.

- The App Store is just crap and useless. VERY limited options, search box is a stupid box that just doesn't work for for what it is for, so they should just stick to directories, as it is completely disappointing to see the results it brings.

- Same for the Themes and Background site. Their mobile site sucks and their desktop version is about the same so not really a big difference and definitely the worst user experience.

- The professional look that i wanted, is just not enough and now i am stuck with a massive device that looks OK if I am wearing a suit, but can't help but wonder that I look a bit dumb when on my trainers or my PJs. I know this is silly...but when it comes to design I do care about both parts of the product. Deliver the promise on the inside and on the outside, especially if they lately advertise as a young / fun product with cool tunes. They actually are fun, but not cool. And well, I am not even going in detail with all the other problems one could find like difficult to synchronise through Bluetooth with a Mac, bad quality camera, etc. But those problems are not unique of BBs so not really a thing to highlight about them.

I hope this detailed user experience has been helpful. I want to conclude this saying that I am still trying to adapt to the BB but there are things that one should not just get used to like the problems I expressed here.

1 comment:

  1. all smartphones suffer from poor battery life, read up a bit on that.
    try to disable 3G, bluetooth, GPS and reduce screen brightness to increase usage times. Of course this isnt ideal but its the way it goes with smartphones.
    also, remember to shut down background applications!!

    you complain about your BB but trust me, the iPhone is "just as bad" if not worse...
    Skype doesnt work on 3G/EDGE
    You cant really multitask (unless jailbroken)
    You cant theme!
    It misses key features (e.g. it didnt have mms until a couple months ago, bluetooth audio was missing, bluetooth file transfer are nonexisting) that should be standard by now...even 5 year old phones have all of those!
    Battery life sucks just as much..but that happens with all phones now ;p