Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Get Some "Love" From Research In Motion

Research In Motion, the Canadian company behind the BlackBerry family of smartphones, has been running an ad campaign this holiday season featuring the 1967 Beatles song, "All You Need is Love."

RIM is giving away free, no strings attached, copies of the song "All You Need is Love" as an .mp3 file. Just head over to the BlackBerry website and hit the download link. It's that easy! No forums to fill out. No accounts to create. No personal information to fork over. And while you're there, if you somehow managed to not see the current BlackBerry TV commercials, you can watch them on the BlackBerry site too.

Get some "Love" from the good folks at BlackBerry.com.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

BlackBerry Storm 2 Hands On Review

I have just wrapped up my test drive of the Verizon Wireless BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 smartphone. I’ve been testing out a selection of some of the more popular CDMA phones to help find the phone that will replace the corporate fleet of Palm Treo 755p’s that are in service at the company I work for.

The Hardware

The BlackBerry Storm 2, is Research In Motion’s second smartphone without a physical keyboard. The first was the original Storm. The BlackBerry Storm 2 measures up as being 4.43 x 2.45 x .55-inches and weighs in at 5.5 ounces. In practical terms, it is about the same size as an Apple iPhone. The Storm 2 has all of the standard hardware buttons that you would expect to find on any other BlackBerry smartphone. Unlike the buttons on the Tour, Bold, or Curve, the buttons on the face of the Storm 2 are concealed beneath a smooth sheet of plastic. The green, BlackBerry, escape, and red buttons are part of the bottom of the touch screen and the power and silence buttons are part of the top molding. Another nice touch is that there is a small, clear strip of plastic that protects the Storm 2’s 3.2MP digital camera lens and flash. The Storm 2’s battery door takes up the entire back of the device and snaps into place. Unlike the battery door on the Motorola Droid I recently reviewed, I don’t see the Storm 2’s door accidently being popped off during normal use.

One thing that I don’t like about the Storm 2 is that the bottom extends beyond the top of the device. This gives the Storm 2 a cool, rounded edge look, but I found it hard to reach up with my left index finger to turn the screen on when I was holding the device in my left hand. The uneven edges where less of a problem when I was holding the Storm 2 in landscape mode.


The Touch Screen

The big difference between the BlackBerry Storm 2 and the BlackBerry Tour is that the Storm 2 is a touch screen device. There is no physical keyboard on the Storm 2 and this may turn off some people who have used BlackBerry phones in the past and prefer the hardware keyboard. Part of the reason why I wanted to test the Tour and the Storm 2 was to compare the user experience between the two devices and to see if I could use a Storm 2 for the long haul.

The unique difference with the Storm 2 and other slate smartphones that don’t have hardware keyboards is that the Storm 2’s screen is “clickable.” Take for example the HTC Magic or the Apple iPhone 3G. Both of these devices have touch screens that dominate the face of the phone. When you tap an object on the screen, the screen remains stationary with virtually no tactile feedback. With the BlackBerry Storm 2, when you press down on the screen to tap an object, the entire screen presses down and clicks similar to the tactile feedback you get when you are clicking an icon or hyperlink on your computer with a mouse. You can hear and feel the click. It is a nice gimmick, but does it really help when you are trying to use an on screen keyboard?

After having played with the Storm 2, the Tour, and the Motorola Droid recently, I have found that the spacing of the keys on the keyboard are more important to me than whether or not the keyboard is virtual or not. I have found that keyboards on the Palm Treo Pro and Pre are very easy to use. Similarly, the keyboard on the BlackBerry Tour was a little too close – however, the shape of the keys did help improve my accuracy. For the Storm 2, Research in Motion decided to pack in four flavors of the virtual keyboard. They are: Qwerty portrait, Qwerty landscape, two-key portrait, and three-key portrait. I found the two and three-key portrait keyboards completely unacceptable. While I completely refuse trying to peck out a SMS or email message by pressing the same key two or three times to type a letter, the younger crowd who might buy the Storm 2 as their first smartphone may find these keyboard modes familiar, more comfortable even, if they are moving up from a flip phone. With the other two Qwerty keyboard modes available for use, I see professionals selecting the formats that more closely resemble the keyboards on their desks that the ones that resemble those found on flip phones.

After using the Storm 2’s Qwerty keyboards, I can say that I prefer the landscape keyboard the most. It offers the largest key cap clickable area of all the keyboards and the clickable screen did a good job tricking me into thinking that I was pressing a key on a physical keyboard. That isn’t to say that I didn’t make any typing mistakes, but I think that the Storm 2 offers the best on screen keyboard of all the smartphones I’ve tested so far. My one basic gripe about the landscape Qwerty keyboard is that when it is displayed, it takes up a significant portion of the screen; which can severely limit the space on the screen to see what you are doing.

The Software

The BlackBerry Storm 2 runs BlackBerry OS v5.0.0.320 (Platform 4.2.0.124), yet I didn’t find any noticeable difference from the BlackBerry Tour running BlackBerry OS v4.7.1.61 (Platform 4.1.0.81). One welcomed difference is that the Storm 2’s application launcher screen shows you the name of the application just below the icon. To see the name of an application on the Tour, you had to use the scroll ball to highlight the icon for the name to appear at the bottom of the launcher screen. For the most part, I didn’t see any major differences in the software bundled between the two BlackBerry’s I tested for this evaluation.

Conclusion

I have always stated that the decision to purchase a smartphone is very much a personal one. What works for me may not work for you. The BlackBerry Storm 2 is a capable BlackBerry smartphone that has many of the features made popular by Apple’s iPhone and you won’t have to jump ship from Verizon to AT&T to get a cool looking touch screen phone. As a BlackBerry, the lack of a physical keyboard may be a deal breaker for some corporate types, while others may welcome the increased screen realestate that comes from not having the keyboard. From a software standpoint, I found little difference between the Storm 2 and other recent model BlackBerry smartphones.

The BlackBerry Storm 2 is available now from Verizon Wireless for $279.99 when you purchase a qualifying two year service agreement. If you order the Storm 2 from the Verizon online store, Verizon will knock an additional $100 off the price tag. For more information about the BlackBerry Storm 2 9550 smartphones, please visit the BlackBerry website.

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

BGR: BlackBerry Tour 2 Hands On

The folks over at BGR have gotten there hands on another BlackBerry. This time we get to eyeball the upcoming BlackBerry Tour 2 9650, which is a CDMA phone from RIM that will likely replace the BlackBerry Tour on Verizon Wireless and Sprint.

The big changes for the Tour 2 seem to be a track pad and a speed bump. I really like the look of the Tour 2, however, I like the keyboard layout of the BlackBerry Curve 8530 better. Still, the Tour 2 is a nice upgrade for CrackBerry owners who haven't upgraded to the Tour platform yet.

Get all the details over at the BGR website.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

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Research In Motion: YANO - Yet Another Network Outage

In case you missed it yesterday afternoon, CrackBerry users where all in a tussle because there devices temporarily transformed into door stops. Turns out that there was some more trouble at the BlackBerry network operations center (NOC), the massive data center where most BlackBerry Internet traffic is routed from.

CrackBerry.com provided a running commentary of what was going on:

"* Update 1: OK, preliminary word coming in is that it's a partial outage affecting North American carriers: BlackBerry Messenger and things like the web browser and apps that use a data connection.

* Update 2: BlackBerry data is no more. No emails, no web browsing, no BlackBerry messenger for it's North American users. Estimated time for a fix to come through is 3 hrs to a day, yes..a day."

At about 6:30pm last night, I had four "dead" BlackBerry phones in my house and four BlackBerry addicts roaming around the house in a daze. We where seeing the data outage on the Verizon Wireless and Sprint networks. Based on what CrackBerry.com was reporting, no carrier was spared in North America. The good news was that my Palm Pre was still working!

You can read the full article on CrackBerry.com.

[Via CrackBerry.com...]

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Monday, December 21, 2009

Engadget: BlackBerry Curve 8530 Impressions

Jacob Schulman has a first impressions review of the new CDMA BlackBerry Curve 8530 up over at Engadget.com.

Mr. Schulman writes:
"We don't know, but it seems like RIM has enlisted a couple more CDMA engineers because the gap between new devices launching on GSM and then making their way to CDMA has been getting noticeably smaller over time. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 was launched on T-Mobile only a few short months ago, and it's already made its way to both Verizon and Sprint. It's not the same powerhouse as its older sibling the Tour, but this device packs a heck of a lot of punch into a very pocketable package."

You can read the full hands-on review over at Engadget.com...

[Via Engadget.com...]

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eWeek: Palm webOS One of the 2009 Products of the Year

The latest print edition of eWeek hit my desk today and they listed out the best products of 2009. Being a big fan of Palm, I was delighted to see that Palm webOS made this years list of outstanding products.

Andrew Garcia writes:
"From the way it integrates all like communication into a single interface, to the way it seamlessly moves from local search to Web search, to its intuitive gesture-based user controls, Palm webOS is a joy to use."

However, Mr. Garcia also warns that one of the biggest obstacles to the success of Palm's new mobile operating system is third-party developer support.

Again, Mr. Garcia writes:
"...I have my doubts as to whether third-party developers will create enough action on the platform to make it successful long term, Palm webOS is a thoughtful and well-designed mobile platform."

The complete list of eWeek's products of they year are:

1. AWS Toolkit for Eclipse
2. Microsoft Bing
3. RIM BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0
4. Cisco Unified Computing
5. Mozilla Firefox 3.5
6. Intel "Nehalem" Family of Processors
7. Palm webOS
8. SUSE Studio 1.0
9. VMware vSphere 4

Why 9? Usually at this time of the year, it is all about top 10 lists. Oh, well, let's just say that it has to do with the current year ending in '9'.

You can read eWeek Lab's full review of Palm webOS, written by Mr. Garcia, on the eWeek website.

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Sunday, December 20, 2009

BlackBerry Curve 8530 Arrives on Sprint

BGR is reporting that the BlackBerry Curve 8530 has arrived at Sprint.
"Sprint has just added a new device to its BlackBerry family — the Curve 8530. Though this is on the low-end for BlackBerry devices, that doesn’t mean it skimps out on any features. Best of all, for those of you who want a smartphone but are on a budget, the Curve 8530 is only $49.99 after two-year contract and [mail in rebate]."

The good news is if you are looking to stick with Sprint, but don't want to have to re-up for another two years, the good news is that you can buy the BlackBerry Curve 8530 out right for $349.99. That is much better than the $500+ you have to pay for a BlackBerry Tour or Palm Pre without a service contract extension.

I have had my Palm Pre for six months now. Maybe it's time for a new phone. After all, I tend to be a bit fanatical about my phones.

You can check out the full Curve 8500 series specs over on the BlackBerry website. If you are ready to order, you should head over to the Sprint online store to get your CrackBerry addiction on.

[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Briefly Noted: Storm 2 Battery Life

It has been a full 48-hours since I fully charged up my demo BlackBerry Storm 2 smartphone. Two days later, the battery is still holding a 20% charge.

Now, before you get too excited, you should know that I have been testing the phone in a specific way. I have been using it to check my corporate email account and two of my personal Gmail accounts. I have also been using the BlackBerry to make a few phone calls and Wi-Fi has been turned off. Just like the people who would be using phone at the office if the BlackBerry Storm 2 is selected as the our new fleet phone.

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

BlackBerry Tour Hands On Review

As with the Motorola Droid that I recently reviewed, I had the opportunity to take Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Tour 9630 out for a few days for a test spin. The following is my hands on review of the Tour.

The BlackBerry Tour 9630 is a CDMA/GSM “world phone” that works on popular wireless networks both in the United States (CDMA and EVDO Rev A) and aboard on 3G networks (GSM/GPRS/EDGE). The Tour is currently available on the Verizon Wireless and Sprint networks. My demo unit is from Verizon and has been loaded with a Verizon/Vodafone SIM card. As far as I can tell, the Verizon and Sprint handsets are the same, however, the service terms will likely vary. There is also a version of the Tour available for sale without a digital camera.

The Hardware

The BlackBerry Tour is a candy bar styled smartphone similar to the BlackBerry Curve. The Tour’s dimensions are: 4.4 x 2.4 x 0.6-inches and weighs in at 4.58 ounces. To put that in perspective, it is slightly thinner, taller, and wider than the popular BlackBerry Curve 8330. The Tour has a half VGA+ 480x360 pixel display; which I found very easy to read; and is powered by a removable 1400 mAh battery.

All of the familiar BlackBerry hardware buttons can be found on the Tour. Just below the screen, is the button bar that is home to the call send/end buttons, the BlackBerry button, and the escape button. Nestled in the middle of the device is the trackball. After spending a few days using the trackball on the Tour, I thought it felt much sturdier than the one on my Curve. That said, I have heard reports from a local cellular retailer that their store has had a number of returns of the Tour early on in its distribution run due to faulty trackballs. The review unit that I used had no such trouble with the trackball. Below the button bar is the hardware Qwerty keyboard. Since this BlackBerry is slightly narrower than the one I’m used to using, I found the keys to be tight initially. The keys on the Tour, for all intents and purposes, have no space between them. After using it for about a day, I had gotten my keyboard bearings and was happily emailing away.

Walking around the smartphone, you will find the camera convenience key and the volume up/down buttons, the 3.5mm headphone jack, and the microUSB charging port. On the top of the Tour, is the ringer silence and screen lock button. On the left of the Tour is the voice command activation button and the speaker. On the back of the phone you will find the 3.2MP, auto focusing digital camera lens and flash. The phone’s mic is located on the bottom left of the phone.

Inside the Tour is 256MB of RAM, a microUSB card slot, a Bluetooth v2.0 radio supporting A2DP, and a GPS receiver supporting assisted, autonomous, and simultaneous modes. The GPS module also supports e911 and digital camera image geo-tagging.

Interestingly, unlike the Apple iPhone and Motorola Droid, the BlackBerry Tour does not feature a capacitive touch screen or a Wi-Fi radio. This could be a deal breaker for some, however, in my opinion, you get much better battery performance without those two features.

The Software

The BlackBerry Tour 9630 runs RIM’s Java based BlackBerry OS 4.7.1.61 (Platform 4.1.0.81). If you have used a previous BlackBerry running OS 4.3 or 4.5 you will have little trouble using OS 4.7, however, for this edition of the OS, there is a wire frame style to all of the icons. They are easy enough to figure out and the icon’s name appears at the bottom of the screen when you use the trackball to highlight and icon. Personally, I liked the old style icons better. The good news is that there are literally tons of themes for BlackBerry available for download from the Internet.



I was able to quickly and easily connect all of my Google Gmail accounts with the Tour. I was also able to use Notify Corp’s NotifyLink 4.5 client without trouble on this BlackBerry. If you want to sync the BlackBerry’s calendar with anything other than Microsoft Outlook, or a corporate messaging system like Microsoft Exchange using a BlackBerry Enterprise Server or Notify Corp’s NotifyLink Enterprise Server, you will need to get a third-party tool like GooSync for your Google calendar. Mac OS X users will need to download the BlackBerry Desktop Software for Mac or purchase Mark/Space the Missing Sync for BlackBerry.

Research In Motion has also opted to bundle DataViz Documents To Go Standard Edition on the Tour. Unlike the view only editions that come bundled with the Palm Pre or the Motorola Droid, the BlackBerry Standard Edition allows you to view and edit Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint files. You can also transfer files to and from the smartphone using the BlackBerry Desktop Software. I was able to read and update the same files that I used during my Motorola Droid test.

If you plan on using Documents To Go on your BlackBerry, you will want to install the free maintenance release from version 1.006 to 2.0. Heavy users will want to consider purchasing the Documents To Go Premium upgrade to gain access to the stand alone Documents To Go desktop synchronization application, native Adobe Acrobat viewing, the ability to create new Microsoft Office documents directly on the Tour, the ability to spell check Word documents, and additional document formatting features. One thing that I did find annoying about the upgrade process to version 2.0 of Documents To Go was the requirement to uninstall the bundled version and reboot the phone prior to the upgrade. While it isn’t the end of the world, it bugged me to have to leave the browser, uninstall the phone, and then return to the upgrade web page. (You did remember to bookmark the upgrade page before uninstalling Documents To Go, right? See how annoying that is!) Documents To Go 2.0 Premium for BlackBerry retails for $69.99, and is on sale for $29.99 until December 20, 2009. For more information about DataViz Documents To Go for BlackBerry, visit the DataViz website.

Just for the Fun of It

All work and no play is boring. So I also played with some of the fun aspects of the BlackBerry Tour. Social media junkies will be happy to hear that the Tour comes included with a Facebook and My Space clients. (Facebook users will want to upgrade to the latest mobile client version right away.) The camera took nice pictures at a resolution of 2048 x 1536 pixels. The music player application worked well and I was able to watch Iron Man which I converted from DVD to an Mpeg-4 file.

I also installed some other free applications from the BlackBerry App World, including USA Today Mobile, The New York Times Global Edition, Google Maps, TweetCaster, UberTwitter, The Weather Channel, and Fictionwise eReader. (Fictionwise eReader can be downloaded from the eReader.com website.)

Conclusion

The BlackBerry Tour is a great upgrade for previous BlackBerry owners. If you are looking to upgrade from another smartphone platform to the BlackBerry, you will want to sync your old phone to Microsoft Outlook before making the jump to BlackBerry to ensure that all of your data makes it over. The BlackBerry Tour, like most other BlackBerry phones does not have a touch screen. That detail, and the lack of Wi-Fi may be a deal breaker for some, however, you will be repaid with longer battery life. If I don’t charge my Palm Pre, or the Motorola Droid I was testing every night, I would wake to find two phones with dead batteries in them while the Tour was still ready to work with about 45-50% battery life left in it.

The BlackBerry Tour is a solid business smartphone, however, if you are using a Microsoft Exchange email server, you will need to install a BlackBerry Enterprise Server or other third-party middleware server such as Notify Corp’s NotifyLink Enterprise Server since the BlackBerry does not support the Microsoft Exchange ActiveSync protocol as do most of today’s other smartphones.

Pricing and Availability

The BlackBerry Tour 9630 is available now from both Verizon Wireless and Sprint for $149 with a qualifying 2-year service agreement. For more information about the BlackBerry Tour, visit the BlackBerry website.

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Wednesday, December 2, 2009

BlackBerry Tour On Deck


Following closely behind the Verizon Motorola Droid, I have gotten my hands on a BlackBerry Tour 9630!

The BlackBerry Tour is currently available from both Verizon Wireless and Sprint. Unlike the other CDMA/EVDO smarphones in their line ups, the Tour is considered a "World phone" because it also has a GSM radio and SIM card slot. The demo unit that I have from Verizon was shipped out with a Vodafone SIM card in it.

Just like the Moto Droid, I'll be testing this phone out as a replacement phone for my company's fleet of Palm Treo 700p and 755p smartphones. I'll have a short review of the BlackBerry Tour 9630 ready at the end of my demo period.

If you are interested in digging into all the details about the Tour 9630 now, you will want to check out the BlackBerry website.

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Monday, November 16, 2009

BlackBerry Curve 8520 Coming to AT&T

Earlier today, AT&T jumped on the BlackBerry Curve 8500-series bandwagon by announcing that the Curve 8520 was heading to AT&T's network "in the coming weeks" for $99.99 with a new or qualifying 2-year service agreement.

AT&T announced today it will introduce the best value in its BlackBerry smartphone portfolio with the addition of the BlackBerry®Curve™ 8520 from Research In Motion.

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a stylish, easy-to-use, compact smartphone offering the best value for consumer and business customers looking for BlackBerry service. The smartphone features a full QWERTY keyboard and touch-sensitive trackpad for easy typing and navigation, built-in Wi-Fi® and an advanced media player, plus dedicated media keys, smoothly integrated along the top of the handset, for a convenient way to control music and videos. The handset also provides global connectivity via phone, email, text, IM, picture messaging and social networking, with Facebook®and My Space applications preloaded.

The sleek, new device houses a high-resolution 320x240 display a 512 MHz processor, 256 MB of Flash memory, and a 2 megapixel camera equipped with video recording.
“AT&T was the first choice for BlackBerry in the U.S. and we continue to expand our offering of BlackBerry products to suit the different needs of business and personal users,” said Michael Woodward, vice president, Mobile Phone Portfolio, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “The BlackBerry Curve 8520 offers the best value by combining the essential features of a BlackBerry smartphone with access to AT&T’s network, which includes best coverage worldwide, as well as the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network.”

AT&T users of the new BlackBerry Curve 8520 can enjoy access to the nation’s largest Wi-Fi network with more than 20,000 U.S. hotspots — including approximately 7,000 Starbucks locations. As with all other Wi-Fi enabled BlackBerry smartphones from AT&T, BlackBerry Curve 8520 users with a qualifying data plan, which includes all consumer BlackBerry unlimited data plans, get seamless and unlimited access to these domestic hotspots at no additional cost. When traveling outside the U.S., BlackBerry Curve 8520 users can enjoy the best coverage worldwide with wireless voice coverage in more than 215 countries and wireless data coverage in more than 185 countries.

Mobile users will enjoy great battery life, simultaneous voice and data capabilities when using Wi-Fi, and the ability to access up to 10 corporate and personal email accounts whether they are corporate or personal accounts. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 also affords users the ability to edit Microsoft® Word, Excel® and PowerPoint® files with DataViz®Documents to Go®suite.
"The new BlackBerry Curve 8520 is a great choice for first-time smartphone users and offers easy-to-use messaging, social networking and multimedia features with a full-QWERTY keyboard that makes typing fast and comfortable," said Carlo Chiarello, vice president, product management, Research In Motion.

The BlackBerry Curve 8520 smartphone will be available in the coming weeks for $99.99 after mail-in rebate. (Pay $199.99 and receive $100 AT&T Promotion Card. 2-year agreement on a min. $69.99 plan required.) AT&T smartphones require the purchase of a monthly data plan. Other monthly charges apply.

For more information, visit the AT&T website.

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Monday, October 26, 2009

BlackBerry Storm 2 Coming to Verizon

Verizon Wireless today, along with Research In Motion, has started sending out emails to customers letting them know that the new BlackBerry Storm 2 will be going on sale at retail location, online, and through Verizon business sales channels on Wednesday, October 28, 2009. Starting today, BlackBerry Storm customers will be able to upgrade their handsets to BlackBerry OS 5.0 over the air, via the BlackBerry Desktop Manager, or as a download from the Verizon Wireless website.

The BlackBerry Storm2 with BlackBerry® OS 5.0 evolves the BlackBerry® touchscreen platform with hundreds of hardware and software enhancements – including new SurePress™ “clickable” display technology and built-in Wi-Fi® – delivering the exceptional multimedia experience and communications capabilities customers have come to expect from their BlackBerry smartphones.

Key Features:
  • Smooth design and premium finish with sloped edges, chrome accents, glass lens and stainless steel backplate
  • Large (3.25”), dazzling high-resolution 480 x 360 display
  • Capacitive touchscreen with integrated functions (Send, End, Menu, Escape) and new SurePress technology that makes clicking the display practically effortless
  • 3G and global connectivity support for making phone calls in more than 220 countries and accessing data in more than 185 countries (with more than 80 destinations in 3G)
  • Network Connectivity: EV-DO Revision A; UMTS/HSPA (2100 MHz); and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks
  • Supports Wi-Fi (802.11 b/g)
  • 256 MB of Flash memory
  • 2 GB of onboard media storage and a microSD™/SDHD memory card slot with a 16 GB card included
Pricing and Availability

The BlackBerry Storm2 smartphone is available beginning Oct. 28 for $179.99 after a $100 mail-in rebate with a new two-year customer agreement on a voice plan with an Email and Web feature or an Email and Web for BlackBerry plan. Customers will receive the mail-in rebate in the form of a debit card. plans for the BlackBerry Storm2 smartphone begin at $29.99 when added to any Nationwide voice plan. Existing BlackBerry Storm customers will be able to update their handsets to the new BlackBerry OS 5.0 software via Web software load (www.blackberry.com/update), BlackBerry Desktop Manager, or from Verizon Wireless’ download site (www.verizonwireless.com/storm). The software update is available today.

You can read the full press release on the Verizon Wireless website.

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Monday, April 6, 2009

Sprint/Nextel Releases MR2 for BlackBerry 8350i


















Late on Friday afternoon, Sprint/Nextel released Maintenance Release 2 (MR2) for the Nextel BlackBerry 8350i.

Shortly after it's initial release, issues where discovered with the long awaited Nextel phone. Sprint and RIM are finally showing 8350i customers some love with MR2. According to a post on Sprint's discussion forums, MR2 addresses the following issues:
  • Echo Issue
  • MMS Improvements
  • 1.) Remove original message when replying*
  • 2.) Cursor now defaults to the message body when replying
* Quiet and Vibrate Profiles will move Nextel Direct Connect calls to handset

Customers that have already upgraded to the 4.6.1.128 (225) software version will be able to complete this upgrade over the air. The upgrade will take approximately 60 minutes.

That's good news. However, a few hours after releasing MR2, Sprint discovered that a service book update after the device software update was still required.
"The one issue we said would be fixed with MR2 that was not immediately fixed was: Remove Original Message when replying to a text message. This fix requires the download of MR2 and a service book push to your device. Sprint conducted some additional testing on the service book push this week and today sent approval to RIM.

When this fix is available RIM will push it to all devices and it will just require you to reset your device to see the change.

We estimate this push to be out by April 10."
So it sounds like Sprint/Nextel customers who have the BlackBerry 8350i should hold off applying the update until at least this coming Friday, April 10th. If you are one of the brave readers who have forged ahead with this update, let us know how you made out by leaving a comment.

BlackBerry Device Software 4.6.1.204 (316) [aka MR2] can be downloaded directly from the Sprint BlackBerry 8350i downloads page. You can also download the latest edition of the BlackBerry Desktop software 4.7 and the older BlackBerry Device Software 4.6.1.128 update [aka MR1] from the same page.

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Rumor: New GSM BlackBerry Devices


In addition to yesterday's Verizon HTC Touch Diamond news, BoyGeniusReport.com operatives also got some dirt on new RIM BlackBerry GMS devices that are under development.
"[O]ne of our ninjas just hit us up with some really interesting BlackBerry info. While the specs of the following codenames are confirmed, releases are not, and as such, this should be used for information sake. Here’s what we got: BlackBerry Onyx, BlackBerry Driftwood, BlackBerry Magnum.

Now, those are three different devices with practically the same rough specs. We’d wager than the BlackBerry Magnum and Driftwood are the same device just meant for different carriers. Possibly the Driftwood for T-Mobile let’s say, and the Magnum for AT&T (who doesn’t offer UMA). Is that the BlackBerry with touch screen and physical QWERTY? Probably."
Head over to BoyGeniusReport.com for the full article including the rumored device specs.

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Thursday, April 2, 2009

BlackBerry App World Goes Live











Research In Motion has launched BlackBerry App World; their online vehicle for delivering new applications, both free and paid, directly to customer's Berry.

System Requirements

Before you can use App World on your BlackBerry, you need to meet the following system requirements.

To ensure that your BlackBerry smartphone will support BlackBerry App World, it must have the following system requirements:
  1. BlackBerry Device Software version 4.2 or higher
  2. BlackBerry smartphones with trackballs or SurePress touch screen
  3. BlackBerry App World is only available to customers in US, Canada and UK and may not be available on all networks
  4. To use BlackBerry App World, you require a service plan that includes access to the BlackBerry Browser
You will also need to setup a PayPal account.

Installing App World on Your Berry

If you meet the requirements, use your Berry to surf over to www.blackberry.com/appworld/download to load up the new on-device application to get started. Want to learn more about App World? Check out this spiffy video or visit the App World support site.

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Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Telus Flips for BlackBerry 8239

According to a post on the Boy Genius Report website today, Canadian cellular carrier, Telus Mobility, is now offering the new BlackBerry Flip 8230 smartphone. BGR writes:
"Starting at $49.99 on a three-year contract and going all the way up to $449.99 contract-free, TELUS is hoping the youth market in Canada will receive the clam shell smartphone with open arms — especially younger females considering TELUS’ nation-wide media campaign featuring the all pink Pearl Flip."

Read the full Boy Genius Report article...

[via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

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Thursday, March 5, 2009

BlackBerry App World - Coming Soon




Last night's big news from Research In Motion was that their mobile application store front, App World, is "coming soon."
"Coming soon! Find tons of great applications designed for your BlackBerry smartphone in one convenient place - BlackBerry App World. Personalize your BlackBerry smartphone with games, social networks, personal productivity applications and so much more. Message your best friend, track the stock market, or channel your inner rock god. Sign up to receive updates for BlackBerry App World today and discover how to put more of your life on your BlackBerry smartphone."
According to the BlackBerry website, App World will require that you have a Berry that has OS 4.2 or later installed and a device with a trackball or a SurePress touch screen device.

For more details, check out:

http://www.blackberry.com/appworld

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Mobile Apps 360: WSJ Mobile Reader for BlackBerry




Mobile Apps 360 takes a look at mobile software for your Palm OS, Windows Mobile, BlackBerry, and the iPhone/iPod touch that will help keep your favorite mobile device fresh with new software.

Some of my favorite mobile apps are those that keep me up to date with what is going on in the world around me. Ya, browsers are nice, but the site you are trying to read may not render correctly on the mobile device you happen to be using. I prefer an on device client that quickly updates with data from the website so it is easy to read on the go.

One of those applications is the Wall Street Journal Mobile Reader. WSJ Mobile Reader is a free application that you can install on your device over the air (OTA) directly to your BlackBerry. As the name implies, Mobile Reader downloads content from the WSJ.com website and formats that news that you want to read on your device. Once you install the software, you are shown a list of news categories that you can subscribe to on your device. While the BlackBerry is populating the local cache, you are given the opportunity to review a brief tutorial that shows you some time saving keyboard shortcuts that will help you navigate the software.

You use the trackball to move left and right across the category tabs. Scroll up and down to look at all the articles in a particular category. When you find an article you want to read, press the trackball to see the article summary and then click again to read the full artilce. It couldn't be easier.

WSJ Mobile Reader is a free application that you can install directly on your BlackBerry from:

http://wsj.mwap.at/index.php?t=download

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Sprint Rolls Out BlackBerry 8350i Update

Since releasing the BlackBerry 8350i a few weeks ago, Sprint customers have been reporting issues with the new software build on the device.

Yesterday, Sprint released an update to the device's system software, BlackBerry OS 4.6.1.128. Sprint BlackBerry customers can download the update from the Sprint website. If you haven't already upgraded to BlackBerry Desktop v4.7, you can download the installer from the same downloads page.

According to a recent post on CrackBerry.com, Sprint is still working with Research In Motion to address an echo problem.

" We are diligently working on a fix for the known echo issue. It will not be fixed in this first release, but we are doing our best to identify the issue and correct it and hoping to include that fix in the next software release. One option that helps alleviate the problem would be to use the headset that comes packaged with the phone.

Sprint is also working with RIM on a second maintenance release to address the remaining issues, and hope to have it available shortly. Any customers have issues during the upgrade they can call care at 1-800-639-6111."

Download the Sprint BlackBerry 8350i update...

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Friday, February 6, 2009

BlackBerry OS 4.5 Update Report

I installed Sprint's specially formulated BlackBerry OS 4.5 update on my Curve 8330 last night. The process when smoothly using BlackBerry Manager 4.7 on my Windows Vista Business SP1 PC.

So far things look good and appear to be working well. The one thing that I didn't like was that the pre-installed photos, one of which I liked as my wallpaper, are no longer on my device after applying the update. I haven't had a chance to follow up with other Sprint 8330 users yet to see if they have had similar experiences or not. All in all, it isn't a big deal. I'm sure somone posted the photos on the Inetnet. If I find them, I'll post the link. I'll also try and see if Sprint can confirm the missing photos.

Otherwise, email, the browser, and Documents To Go are all working well. I'll have to spend some more time playing with the new software over the weekend.

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Thursday, February 5, 2009

BlackBerry OS 4.5 Update Posted

Sprint has make good on their word to post the BlackBerry Curve 8330 and Pearl 8130 OS 4.5 upgrade on their website before the end of the day Friday. BlackBerry users rejoice! Sprint has packed in some very nice goodies for their customers who are using older Berries.



Software Feature Enhancement with 4.5:

  • Send Multi-Media Messages (MMS) which enables sending of text messages with picture and other file attachment.
  • View emails in HTML email format. Users can easily change their email format setting to HTML for emails to appear just like they do on your PC. Will work automatically for BlackBerry Internet Service customers. Requires BES 4.1, Service Pack 6 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers (verify with your company's IT department).
  • Free/Busy Calendar Lookup for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers immediately lets you know all attendee's availability. Not available to BlackBerry Internet Service customers. Requires BES 4.1, Service Pack 5 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers (verify with your company's IT department).
  • Remote search for email for BlackBerry Enterprise Service customers creates more access to emails that are not stored on your device but remain stored remotely on your email server. Not available to BlackBerry Internet Service customers. Requires BES 4.1, Service Pack 5 for BlackBerry Enterprise Server customers (verify with your company's IT department).
  • Word completion for SureType keyboards allows for faster typing on BlackBerry Pearl 8130.
  • Automatically generate a music playlist with specific criteria based on artist, albums or genre.
  • Video recording attachment view supported.
  • Create a Voice Note and attach to an email or Multimedia Message(MMS). Or record a voice note and save for playback when needed.
  • Dataviz Documents To Go Application gives you the ability to download and save a file to your BlackBerry to view or edit later. Requires Visit the DataViz® website to register with DataViz and download an update for Documents To Go that includes Sheet To Go.
I know that many Sprint BlackBerry customers have been vocal in asking for MMS support on their devices. I'm also glad to see Sprint roll in support for HTML email and going the extra mile to include DataViz Documents To Go.

Be sure to check back over the next few days as I do plan on posting my experiences with the upgrade process and with the new software features.

Download the update now...

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Wednesday, February 4, 2009

BGR: Sprint Smartphone Line Up Leaked

BoyGeniusReport.com has gotten then hands on some upcoming handset changes coming to Sprint over the next few months. Take the list with a grain of salt, as I agree with Mr. Epstein that it will likely be "later" than "sooner" for the Palm Pre to launch, especially if Sprint is sitting on a large inventory of blue Treo 755p handsets.

Device Name - Projected Warehouse EOL - Replacement (if available)

Palm 755P (blue) - Late May - Palm Pre (target in-stock 3/15)
Palm Centro (berry) - June
Palm Centro (green) - July
Palm Centro refresh (black) - July
Palm 800W - April - Palm Treo Pro (target in-stock 2/15)
RIM BlackBerry 7100i - August - RIM BlackBerry 8350i
RIM BlackBerry Pearl (red) - May
HTC Touch Diamond - July
LG Rumor (blue) - Mid February - LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
LG Rumor (green) - Mid March - LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
LG Rumor (black) - Mid April - LG 265 Rumor II (target in-stock 2/15)
Samsung M520 Lumina - Mid April - LG LX370 (slider)
Sanyo 6750 Eclipse (pink) - June
Motorola Q9C - Mid June
Sierra 597E - July - Sierra 2-in-1 Aircard
Motorola VE20 - July
[Via BoyGeniusReport.com...]

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Monday, December 22, 2008

Going Live with BlackBerry

This is just a quick note to say that I plan on activating my BlackBerry Curve 8330 today.

There are a few reasons for deciding to turn on the BlackBerry now. The first is that after looking at Palm's new App Store, there is no need for testing on my Treo 755p; my Treo 750 is up to the task.

Secondly, if the rumors about Palm are true, it looks like the company could be on track to release a new device with the Nova operating system before the May/June 2009 time frame. I want to use the BlackBerry in between now and then. If Palm is going to deliver in the next quarter, I need to get going with the BlackBerry.

Sprint is still reporting that they are working with RIM on ironing out the kinks in the BlackBerry OS 4.5 upgrade. That means that I won't be able to use DataViz Documents To Go until the update has been certified by Sprint.

I'll post again once I have the BlackBerry activated for voice and data with the BlackBerry Internet service.

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Thursday, December 11, 2008

BlackBerry Curve Update

As you will recall, I purchased a Sprint edition BlackBerry Curve 8330. Smartphone Fanatics reader BaDZeD wrote me to ask how I was doing with the BlackBerry.

The short answer is that I'm not. I am a hardcore Palm OS user and if a device can't match the feature set of my Treo 755p, it just can't be my day-to-day device. There are a lot of things that I like about the Curve. They include things like a smaller footprint and weight; a full Qwerty keyboard, and ok PIM applications.

There are things that have kept me from adopting the BlackBerry. For one, the software on the device is BlackBerry OS 4.3, not 4.5 or later. Without BlackBerry OS 4.5, I can't run DataViz Documents To Go - an essential tool in my opinion. I'll also loose the ability to sync with my corporate calendar at the office. That isn't a big problem because I have access to Treo 700p at the office that I can use to sync my calendar to. (I won't need to bring that Treo home, I just want the calendar when I'm not in my office during the week.)

I'd also have to convert my corporate wireless email account from a Palm OS license to a BlackBerry license, but that isn't suppose to be hard process.

The latest word from Sprint is that the BlackBerry OS 4.5 upgrade for the Curve 8330 will be out during or after the week of 12/15/08, which is next week. We'll see. Sprint is had to push back the date a few times already.

I want to play with the BlackBerry, but until I have a plan to ensure I have access to all of my "stuff" I'll stick with my Treo 755p. Maybe I'll convert in January.

Thoughts?

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Tuesday, December 2, 2008

RIM Updates Mobile BlackBerry Portal

I just read over at BlackBerryCool.com that RIM has relaunched their mobile BlackBerry web portal. The site is only accessible from the BlackBerry's web browser, unlike Palm's mobile portal that is accessible from the mobile or the desktop.

"I’ve just received word that RIM has completed a fairly significant relaunch of mobile.blackberry.com, their all-in-one web portal for BlackBerry users. The new mobile.blackberry.com features a much more user-friendly design, requiring fewer clicks to get where you want to go, as well as faster load times."

Screen shots available here...

[Via BlackBerryCool.com...]

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Sunday, November 30, 2008

On the Trail of BlackBerry OS 4.5

Not wanting to let it go, I've continued my search for answers about when Sprint might actually get around to certifying and releasing the BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 for the Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8330.

During my search, I stumbled across the Sprint discussion forums, BuzzAboutWireless.com. There I found a thread titled, "Update on 4.5 code upgrade", started by a Sprint forums administrator, SarahKS. In her October 17, 2008 post, the admin writes:
"Sprint would like to make its customers aware that it is currently in testing with the 4.5 code for a number of our BlackBerry devices. We understand that many of you are anxious to receive this upgrade; please note that it is very important that Sprint has time to adequately test and certify the code to ensure a quality experience for you, our customers. Once this process is complete Sprint will make this upgrade available as soon as possible.

We understand and appreciate the enthusiasm shown here at Buzz About Wireless and want you to know that we value your feedback and hope you will continue posting and letting us know what is on your mind. Please continue to watch this site about availability of the BlackBerry 4.5 code and other relevant news for Sprint customers."

Ok, I get it. Sprint is telling us that they are working on the update, but have not committed to a release date. The admin being only a forums admin, has no specific information except what the software development team reports to her.

Another Sprint employee chimes in and writes:
"I just read today on another website that Sprint confirmed the release of OS 4.5 to sometime in November...which would mean we will be the 2nd carrier to release it in the U.S. (following the release at T-Mobile, USA)"

Checking the calendar on my Curve, it looks like the November date was missed.

On November 25, 2008, the forums admin posts another OS 4.5 update that reads:
"First off, yes we are still working to deliver the 4.5 software absolutely as soon as possible. We want to make it absolutely clear that Sprint is not sitting on its laurels here. We are working hard to ensure that the software you get is absolutely tip top and will do what you need (and nothing you don’t!).

Unfortunately the software is not quite ready. Right now Sprint and RIM are working together to make the necessary modifications to ensure you have the best possible experience. The good news is that we believe we are getting close to final software."

The lack of MultiMedia Service (MMS) on Sprint's BlackBerry devices is another hot topic from the looks of things. While browsing through that thread, I found a post by another Sprint employee dated November 29, 2008. It reads:
"The PictureMail update for the blackberries should come with the new OS update, that should also coincide with the release of the 8350i within the next few weeks. Interestingly Sprint seems to be skipping the OS 4.5 update alltogether and going straight to OS 4.6

EDIT: The OS update will be avalable for both the 8330 and the 8130, in addition to shipping with the 8350i."

Well, well, well. Ok, so when will the Sprint BlackBerry 8350i for the iDEN network finally arrive? A quick Google search turned up this page over at Engadget Mobile dated November 17, 2008 that suggests that the new BlackBerry will be arriving the the cheers of iDEN users on, oh-ho, December 1, 2008.

Will Sprint's BlackBerry customers get some love tomorrow and get a new BlackBerry and some new software updates? I don't know, but I really hope so.

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BlackBerry Bold OS 4.7 Leaked















Blogger Don Nguyen has posted a leaked BlackBerry Storm 4.7 OS upgrade package. On his site, Mr. Nguyen writes:
"After so many requests and the OK from my source, I am officially leaking the new Blackberry Storm OS."
I'm not sure who he has gotten the "OK" from, so if you plan on loading this update on your brand spankin' new Verizon BlackBerry Storm, you do so at your own risk. The directions for applying the update can be found over on CrackBerry.com forums.

[Via CrackBerry.com...]

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BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 for Sprint 8330

I recently purchased a BlackBerry Curve 8330 for Sprint. One of the must-have software packages for me is DataViz Documents To Go; which was recently released for the BlackBerry platform. But you need Device Software 4.5 or later. My Curve has 4.3.0.127.

There seems to be some confusion about the 4.5 software. It has been officially released for many of the current BlackBerry devices. My research shows that it has been released for some of the Curves, including the CDMA Curve for Verizon. I just can't seem to find the official Sprint edition.

Threads on some discussion forums indicates that any BlackBerry Curve 8330 can be upgraded with the multilingual release. Reading through these threads though, it seems like some of the carrier specific features, like No Force Roaming, aren't in the generic release. Go figure.

So I'll have to do some more poking around to figure out whether or not BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 is officially supported on Sprint's devices.

For the bold and the daring, there is a thread on SprintUsers.com that talks about loading over carriers version of 4.5 on your Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8330. With my BlackBerry kung-fu not as good as my Palm OS kung-fu, I'm not sure I'm ready to pull the trigger on an official unofficial upgrade just yet.

UPDATE 1:

I found this article on BlackBerryCool.com and they are reporting that OS 4.5 is official on Sprint, yet when I run the "Windows Update"-like upgrade checker at BlackBerry.com I get the message that my device is running the latest software; 4.3. Ugh!

UPDATE 2:

After a few hours of poking around on the Internet with Google and on the BlackBerry.com and Sprint.com websites, I have finally come to the conclusion that BlackBerry Device Software 4.5 is not (officially) available for the Sprint BlackBerry Curve 8330.

While searching for an answer, I stumbled across the BlackBerry Device Software v4.5 Availability page on the BlackBerry.com website. When I entered my device's PIN number, I received the following message:
"BlackBerry® Device Software v4.5 is not supported by your wireless service provider.

You will be redirected in 10 seconds to our Product Update form to receive notification when the software is available.

If you are not automatically taken to the form, please click here"

So, it seems that us BlackBerry Curve owners on Sprint who don't want to roll the dice with one of the unofficial upgrades still have to wait this out. I do hope that Sprint gets around to releasing the upgrade soon.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

Mark/Space Updates The Missing Sync for Bold, Storm


Mark/Space has updated their Missing Sync for BlackBerry software to now include support for the latest RIM BlackBerry devices; the Blold and the Storm. The latest edition of the Missing Sync for BlackBerry is 1.0.3.

"The Missing Sync for BlackBerry is popular with BlackBerry-to-Mac users because of its reliability and range of sync features, and it is the only Mac synchronization software that works seamlessly with the BlackBerry Bold and the new BlackBerry Storm.

The Missing Sync allows for easy syncing of contacts, calendars, tasks, notes and more between the Bold, Storm - or any other BlackBerry handheld - and Mac OS X computers."
For more details and Mac and BlackBerry system requirements, visit the MarkSpace website.

Pricing and Availability

The Missing Sync for BlackBerry is available now for $39.95 (software download) or $49.95 (physical CD shipment). Existing customers can upgrade to the latest version of the Missing Sync for BlackBerry for $29.95. Upgrades from other Missing Sync platforms (Palm OS, Windows Mobile, iPhone, Symbian, and Sony PSP) is allowed. For business customers, there are volume license for 5, 10, and 25-packs.

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Getting Ready for My BlackBerry Curve


















I've been a long time customer of Palm's PDAs and Treo smartphones. The time has come for me to receive a company issued phone; a Palm Centro.

Rather than carry a personal Treo 755p and a Centro, I have decided to take this opportunity to play around with a new personal day-to-day device. (The Centro will be a business only device.) Later this week I will be switching to a RIM BlackBerry Curve 8330 on Sprint's EVDO network.

I'm not sure what to expect, but I do know that I will be looking forward to learning the finer details of these popular business devices.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

BlackBerry Bold Goes on Sale at AT&T



















As promised, the new RIM BlackBery Bold has gone on sale today at AT&T. Of the new corporate-minded device, AT&T writes:
"Get the fastest BlackBerry on the fastest 3G network. The global BlackBerry® Bold™ smartphone is designed to give business professionals both cutting edge functionality and performance under one bold intuitive design. It comes fully-loaded with integrated GPS for AT&T Navigator and Wi-Fi for access at thousands of AT&T hotspots nationwide, including Starbucks. The BlackBerry Bold smartphone has a brilliant color LCD screen for exceptional definition and clarity. Pictures are vibrant and sharp while videos play smoothly and web pages, documents, presentations, and messages come to life with exceptional quality and contrast. Get more speed and more power with the BlackBerry Bold."

The BlackBerry Bold's features include:

  • Half-VGA (480 x 320 at 217 ppi) color display
  • A newly designed full QWERTY keyboard for exceptionally fast and easy typing
  • Built-in GPS and Wi-Fi radios
  • 624 MHz mobile processor
  • More storage — 1 GB on board and up to 16 GB via its microSD/SDHC expansion slot
  • Advanced media player for music, videos and photos
  • 2 megapixel camera with built-in flash, zoom and video recording
  • optimized Web-browsing experience with desktop-style depiction
  • DataViz Documents To Go for editing Word, Excel and PowerPoint files

The complete list of the Bold's features and technical specifications can be found on the AT&T website.

Pricing

The new BlackBerry Bold retails for $549.99 without a contract commitment from AT&T. When you sign up for a 2-year service agreement, the price drops down to $399.99. Additionally, AT&T is offering a $100 mail-in rebate which brings the cost of the device down to $299.99. To take advantage of the mail-in rebate, customers will have to sign up for a $35/month data or messaging plan. That shouldn't be a deal breaker for most customers as a BlackBerry without the data service isn't very useful.

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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

BlackBerry Bold Headed for AT&T on Nov 4th


















In a press release issued earlier today, Research In Motion announced that the new BlackBerry Bold will be launching on AT&T's 3G wireless network on Tuesday, November 4, 2008.

"The BlackBerry Bold smartphone's design and performance live up to its name. The elegant smartphone features a lustrous black exterior, satin chrome-finished frame and stylish, leatherette backplate with a stunning half-VGA (480 x 320 at 217 ppi) color display for eye-popping visuals and a newly designed full QWERTY keyboard for exceptionally fast and easy typing. On the inside, the BlackBerry Bold features built-in GPS and Wi-Fi®, a powerful new 624 MHz mobile processor that provides impressive performance, more storage memory than ever before — 1 GB on board and up to 16 GB via its microSD/SDHC expansion slot — and a rich set of multimedia capabilities, including an advanced media player for music, videos and photos and a 2 megapixel camera with built-in flash, zoom and video recording, as well as an optimized Web-browsing experience with desktop-style depiction."

"The BlackBerry Bold is the best BlackBerry smartphone ever, backed by the nation's fastest 3G network and the hands-down best international coverage of any carrier," said Ralph de la Vega, president and chief executive officer of AT&T Mobility. "The BlackBerry Bold is the complete package, providing customers with an absolutely outstanding mobile experience whether doing e-mail, browsing the Web, viewing streaming video or simply making a phone call. And it is being introduced in the U.S. only from AT&T."

The new BlackBerry Bold will sell for $299 with a qualifying 2-year service agreement that includes voice and data.

Read the full RIM press release...


I have to say that I'm really interested in the BlackBerry Curve, and what can only be it's successor, the Bold. What I like most about them is the hardware keyboard and the navigation ball on the face of the device. Being a long time Palm Treo customer, I really rely on having that hardware Qwerty keyboard. I just can't seem to get used to the soft keyboard that has been implemented on Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. I'm all about the keyboard.

The other feature that I really like is the placement of the trackball. With the older BlackBerry devices that I've used, I really hated the fact that the scroll wheel was always on the right side of the device with me being left handed.

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Sunday, October 5, 2008

New Name, Expanding Smartphone Coverage

Today is both an ending and a beginning. After long and careful deliberation, it is time to say goodbye to "Foleo Fanatics." In the year since Palm canceled the Foleo Mobile Companion it has become increasingly evident that the Foleo, in it's original configuration and name, will never be released.

The Foleo unit that I was able to use, even for a short while, showed amazing potential and I'm still looking for something to replace it.

However, the time has come to look beyond the Foleo and, starting today, Foleo Fanatics has become Smartphone Fanatics.

Smartphone Fanatics will continue where Foleo Fanatics has left off, providing you with the same great coverage of the Palm user community. We also plan on expanding our coverage beyond Palm's products. Moving forward, look for increasing coverage of Windows Mobile devices from great vendors like High Tech Computng (HTC). We will also be covering the exciting new BlackBerry smartphones coming out of Research In Motion (RIM). And, lastly, we also plan to cover everybody's favorite entertainment device, the Apple iPhone.

Welcome to Smartphone Fanatics!

Alan Grassia
Editor, SmartphoneFanatics.com

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