Why I’ll be keeping my Blackberry for now.

Posted on July 12, 2008

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After this weekend, I’ll be relinquishing the new 3G iPhone to the rest of the Shiftworkers, for it’s actual purpose: development testing for mobile web sites and apps.

So now that I’ve declared myself a fan of the iPhone, why will I be keeping my Blackberry Pearl?

Because the Blackberry is a better phone and mobile email appliance.

The iPhone is the most amazing convergent device I’ve ever used. It’s much more of a UMPC than most of the awful devices that have that moniker. It’s software ecosystem is exciting, varied, and of high quality. It’s the best mobile web browsing device in the market. I could go on.

But day to day? I need a phone, and I need access to my email.

And for me, that means a keypad.

I’ve owned touchscreen phones before, and they just suck for extended typing of messages. Apple have set a new benchmark for typeability on the iPhone, but it’s still, frankly, very average.

The Blackberry Pearl manages to approach the efficiency of a full QWERTY keypad, but with a smaller footprint. It is super fast.

And when I’m checking my voicemail, I can press the keys to perform actions using my thumb — rather than looking at the screen and pecking away at it with my enormous digits.

From speed-dial to composing emails, the keypad just kicks ass. And that’s what I’ve got a phone for.

Finally, on the “welcome to New Zealand” tip; we suffer from some genuinely outrageous mobile data charges. So the compression that RIM applies to my mobile traffic is a godsend. With the amount of email I get, I really couldn’t afford to pay for it to all actually be pushed to my phone.

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