Tuesday, April 24, 2007

My first week with the Blackberry 8800

I wanted to share with you some of my experiences with my new 8800, in hope that you'd benefit from them somehow:

The Good:

  1. Smaller, lighter than 8700

  2. Bright, readable screen - marvelous resolution.

  3. Great speaker - for phone, music, alarm clock and ring tones.

  4. Easier to navigate with the control ball :)

  5. Add a 2GB microSD card (around $20) and you can now play hours of MP3s, watch videos (wouldn't recommend full length movies) or just carry around files.
    I recommend turning the mass storage mode to On - this turns your Blackberry into a storage device visible to Windows, so you don't have to use the RIM software to move files.

  6. Great as a music player - in combination with the speaker, you can use it in a car, instead of looking for local radio stations. I seriously consider leaving my iPod at home for the next trip.

  7. Faster response from the Web Browser.

  8. Internal GPS, with Telenav that works great in California (more on that later)

  9. Looks cool and gets everyone on the plane looking at you :) (well, this item will probably be obsolete in a couple of weeks when everyone willl have them).

The Bad:

  1. Battery life seems to be shorter than the 8700 - even when I just use it for mail.
  2. You can't use normal headphones with it. You need a headset with 2.5" plug. Bastards!
  3. Gets disconnected from Enterprise Server much frequently than any other model I had - could be Cingular's fault.
  4. Phone reception in the Valley area close to nil - I have one bar in my Sunnyvale office.
  5. GPS doesn't always work - gave it a week in Seattle. Sometime it had no reception. Other times it located itself after 20 minutes - when I was already at the customer's site.
    Twice it gave me wrong directions (turn left, where there was no turn, turn right instead of left on a major avenue).
  6. Keyboard is smaller than 8700 and kinda plasticky, Takes a while to get used to. The feedback is different as well.
  7. Volume buttons are a bit hard to manipulate.
  8. The whole device is a fingerprint and scratch magnet.
  9. When you play a long video, the device stops every 5 minutes (presumably to conserve battery?) and has to be jogged to life. Could be I misconfigured something - will let you know if this gets solved.
  10. Voice dialing doesn't understand me :( I say "call home", it calls the bank. I say "call Rick", it tries calling a different number.


  1. Get an adapter that'll allow you to connect the USB cable to the car power socket - only then can you rely on GPS, since that's a huge battery drainer (not to mention playing music).

  2. Install the Google set of mobile applications. This will allow you to search google with one key click, and read your gmail on the device (this app actually looks nicer than the Blackberry mail),
    and of course, Google Maps are great to find business and get directions when the GPS doesn't know left from right :)

  3. Blackberry Video Converter from Seabyrd (free) will convert any video file to one usable on the Blackberry.
    Newest version 1.1.3 actually knows about the 8800 resolution etc. automatically.

  4. Texas Hold'em King 2 - for when you have nothing to do.

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