Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Blackberry Vs. iPhone: An Unfinished Duel Fueled By Fast Food

I was at a party a couple of weeks ago and had to interrupt a conversation to take a call on my iPhone from one of my daughters. They were staying home alone for the first time, so I wanted to make sure they hadn't set the house on fire or weren't having any wild parties. Or if they were having a party to remind them not to eat all the Fritos - I hate coming home from a night out and not having anything to go with my bean dip.

Right after I got off the phone the guy I was talking to whips out his iPhone and says, "What apps do you have?" I couldn't believe it - didn't he want to know how my kids were? Or finish hearing me tell my fascinating story about my trip to Costco earlier? But then I got caught up in the moment and the next thing I knew I was knocking back another martini and yelling, "Dude, I've got Service Bell" just a little too loudly.

My point? There is no love greater than the love between an iPhone and its owner.

Except for the love between a Blackberry and its owner, that is.

My three best girlfriends have Blackberries, and to hear them talk you'd think the things were magic, capable of cleaning their houses, giving them backrubs and shaving six inches off their thighs. Okay, so they can take clear pictures with the built-in flash, and their carriers give them better coverage than AT&T (the only one that you can use with an iPhone.) Aren't there more important things than being able to finish a phone conversation without being dropped? What about making a piece of toast and then pretending to eat it? Or helping me figure out if I can afford a Chalupa?

I was given a Blackberry Tour smartphone and free coverage for a month to see what all the fuss was about. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to use my Blackberry as much as I would have liked since that month happened to be when the kids took turns being sick, and also happened to be the weeks when I spent 90% of my waking hours trying to find a high school for my kid - not an ideal time to learn how to use and fully utilize a new device. So, in order to give the Blackberry a fair shake, I'm going to reinstate my Blackberry starting the week after Christmas at my own expense. That's when the kids will be home, the holiday rush will be over and I'll be laying around the house trying to figure out how to pay for everything. The perfect time to distract myself with a new toy!

But in my short experience with my Blackberry, here's what I found:

- I really missed having a touch-screen like I do on the iPhone. I can see that the Trackball and scrolling system would take a little getting used to, although my friends pointed out that it would really reduce the number of butt-calls they receive from me. Apparently they don't like it when I unknowingly phone them and they have to listen to an entire fifteen minutes of me placing an order at Popeyes Fried Chicken.

- As any iPhone owner will tell you - it's great for everything except for making calls. The clarity of calls made on the Blackberry is far superior to the iPhone, and though I didn't use it enough to experience any dropped calls from what I hear it's a rare occurrence. My iPhone drops calls with maddening frequency, though I'm not sure if it's due to the phone itself or the service with AT&T. But on the plus side - the "Sorry - you're breaking up" excuse really comes in handy when you can't possibly listen to any more details about your friend's hernia operation.

- I have to admit I'm extremely jealous of the built-in flash on the Blackberry. What up iPhone? You can turn my phone into a light saber but you can't get me a decent photo of my friends inside a club? Also, the Blackberry has a video camera which I don't have on my prehistoric 2G iPhone. Which means I can't get any footage of those same friends gettin' down gangsta style to Super Freak, either. Lucky them.

- When I first saw the tiny keyboard on the Blackberry I wondered whose miniscule hands it was made for - Munchkins? Kittens? I was trying to figure out how I was going to type out a text on the teeny keys when a kind friend gently informed me that "you use your nails, not the pads of your giant fingers, you moron." That made things much easier, but the jury's still out on this one. It may take a little practice, and I'll let you know in my next review if I ever master the fine art of nail typing.

That's all I've got for now. Join me next time as I use my Blackberry to surf the net, send an MMS and update my Facebook status. Oh, and email my lunch order to Popeyes.

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On the topic of phones and frazzled lives, I was given a few copies of The Blackberry Diaries by Kathy Buckworth to give away. Whether you're an iPhone user or a Blackberry devotee I'm sure you'll relate to this book about technology and motherhood. "Owning a Blackberry is a little like adding another child to your family. The device is constantly buzzing, poking and distracting its owner from whatever it is she's trying to acompish. It bears an uncanny resemblance to the uncooperative two-year-old hanging off Mom's leg at the Motor Vehicle Office."

To snag a copy for yourself, leave a comment here before 11:59pm on Sunday, December 20 and I'll use random.org to pick two winners. (Entries from the continental U.S. only, please.) If you win I'll email you from one of my phones!

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CLBuchananPhoto said...

LOVE my iPhone! I'm also now following you on twitter cuz you clearly love your iPhone too!
I have the 3Gs and find making calls isn't a problem.

WannabeMomErin said...

I use a Samsung Omnia... it's iPhone-esque with a touchscreen... and I have accidentally called people/dialed random 33-digit numbers when I have forgotten to lock it. No apps, though, so that's disappointing.
I love that it has a little pen thing, and handwriting recognition. I use that all the time for texting.

Anonymous said...

I'm a Blackberry girl all the way, although I do get jealous whenever I see all those cute little iPhone apps.

Verizon service is much, much better - I switched from AT&T last year because of their limited coverage.


techgeekdad said...

Since I'm with T-mobile I'm using the My touch. To me it's pretty much like the Blackberry Storm but since it uses the android operating system I believe it will have a ton more apps and will compete more with the iPhone.

The My Touch is also lacking a good quality camera.

KateGladstone said...

The handwriting recognition on newer devices may make this (link below) the next big iPhone app:
-- demonstration video at http://bit.ly/BetterLettersVideo

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