"Not totally impressed"on by ejhz
Pros slim, sleek
Cons keyboard, track ball
Summary I just received my blackberry 8800 yesterday and have to say I am not totally impressed. First off let me give you some background. I have owned a blackberry for the last 2 years; the 7280, 7290, 8700c, and now the 8800. This one will take some getting used to so please take first impressions knowing I am a bit partial to the 8700 model and this one will take some getting used to.
First impressions: The color, keyboard and trackball.
The color: I had read several blogs concerning the color being blue and not black as it seemed to be on the blackberry website, but I was still shocked to see how blue it really was. I would have preferred to have it in black.
The keyboard: To me the biggest draw to the 7280, 90, and 8700 models were the raised, separated keys. These keys are much closer together and the ridges on them are throwing me off.
The trackball: This is obviously the biggest change to the Blackberry line as they seem to be moving away from the track wheel. This was the one change that I was not sure I could handle. I have been a track wheel fan ever since my first blackberry. I liked its responsive feel and the fact that I could scroll quickly. The trackball seems very loose and cheap. When I thought of the pearl I thought of something a bit more solid almost like a ball bearing. This trackball is more like a miniature ping pong ball hallow and thin walled. Navigating the main screen requires you to change directions to much and the small size of the ball itself doesn’t allow you to scroll as efficiently as the wheel. I have found myself passing an icon or having to move slowly towards it because the ball didn’t respond as surely as the wheel does. Often you have to lift your thumb and place it squarely on the top of the ball to enter the menu system. I have noticed however that the more I play with it the more my thumb is getting used to it and I am sure as time goes on I won’t even notice many of the nuances.
Other things that I have discovered are things like the backlighting. The keys next to the trackball don’t light up very bright and until you are familiar with their placement placing and ending calls with the keys is a bit tricky. The blackberry and return key are ok since they are near the ball but all the keys could use a better backlighting.
One of the previous posters mentioned how it didn’t smear/smudge as easy. I am not sure what he was comparing it to but I found that to be one of the first issues I had with it was how quickly my 8800 was smeared and smudged. I have very dry hands so normally I don’t leave marks when I touch things like glass and such but this unit seems to pickup everything.
I have been wondering and have yet to find out what the brass metal under the PTT (Push to talk) button is. When I saw it online I thought it might be some sort of connector for a docking mount or something, but I can find nothing on it. Hopefully someone will tell me.
A camera would have been nice but not a deal breaker for me.
Now this isn’t a complete rant about the devices remember I said I wasn’t totally impressed there were some things/features that were impressive. I like thinner size since I do carry my BB (Blackberry) in my pants pocket. I love the built in media slot, haven’t put anything on it yet, but have wanted that capability for some time. Built in GPS is a huge plus, although I have yet to be able to get past the initial splash screen. I will be calling Cingular’s tech support to get it resolved and see what my impressions of it are. The voice dial feature is a great plus. I do spend a lot of time on the road or on my computer and being able to voice dial is nice.
Overall I like the new 8800 and will probably grow as fond of it as I have of its predecessors. If you are new to Blackberry this unit should be great for you. If you are a previous Blackberry owner you may struggle with some of the same things, but in the end it is all a matter of preference isn’t it.
Pros Fast operation, quality phone, intuitive design, email, stable system.
Cons Less than perfect keyboard, slower operation than its predesessors.
Summary Note: I used to own a 8700c, so this review is from a perspective of a 8700c owner.
1. GPS works flawlessly, with some reservations:
I downloaded the BlackBerry map, installed it, and I was able to get satellite signal and navigated on it. It was not very responsive however, as when I was driving, the compass did not update to the correct bearing fast enough. It is probably only good as an emergency back up or you are walking and have gotten lost.
2. Google Map works also.
There apparently are different versions of Google Map and only one version that would work correctly with keyboard shortcuts. The other version works, but keyboard shortcuts are messed up. I and O are no longer Zoom in and Zoom out. So make sure you download the right version. This is covered, yet again, in another thread I believe. I will post the correct links later if I have time. By the way, use over-the-air download if you haven't learned.
3. Form factor is mixed.
The metallic sides make the form classic, professional, and probably more scratch resistant, but the keyboard part seems to collect dust very easily. After few hours of usage I could visibly see clothing fibers and dusts in between those keyboard. Different than 8700's raise-up keyboard, 8800 keyboard is like a computer keyboard in which every key is built on a lower platform that easily gathers dust and hard to clean.
Aside form that, the screen looks nice (same as 8700c), overall design is superb.
I personally though, hate the scroll ball, because it is not as precise as the click-by-click trackwheel. I frequently found myself looking for the wheel. Reading a web page using the mouse is also kind of hard as the page might jerk down several pages. I recommend using the space bar to scroll one page down.
I think I hate the most about 8800 is its keyboard. It's simply does not have the tactile feedback as 8700. I found myself typing the wrong key more often, and I had to pay attention to it more as well. The keys all seem very soft and soft...
Still, I believe it's way better than other phones out there. Maybe I will get used to it.
5. Battery life.
So far it is above average. BB always has great battery life, and I believe 8800 comes with a much higher capacity battery (larger).
The memory card works flawlessly as well. I was able to connect my 8800 to both Mac and Windows and access it as a mass storage device. I put mp4 video files on it and guess what? Read on.
7. Video playback.
AMAZING. ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. Great, high quality video playback (25mb file size range) with no lagging, and most importantly the sound quality, even bass, was amazing.
I was able to watch a music video I ripped from YouTube (by using PodTube) with my girl friend, placing my BB on a table. It was so loud and clear we both we watching it at the same time. I already loaded my card with several dozens videos and the card is still very empty.
By the way, the battery didn't drain much from video playback either.
8. Call quality.
Foremostly 8800 is a phone first before anything else. At that, RIM once again succeeded in making a quality phone.
We all know all the amazing, industry standard defying, features 8700c has: Profiles, Exceptions, Unlimited events per Call Log entry, Volume controls for different modes, dedicated mute button, in-call calls management...All these have been carried over and the sound quality and signal strength are both good like before.
In addition, when I get a call-waiting call during a conversation, now I have a choice to "drop the current call" or "hold the current call." I don't remember seeing that in 8700c, but I might be wrong.
9. Speaker phone quality.
AMAZING. Generally the speaker phone, ringer volume and audio playback are all greater improved because the speaker has been moved from back to the top, thus when the phone is placed on a tabletop the speaker is not blocked.
I was able to sync with OSX via PocketMac and Windows XP flawlessly
11. Battery Charging time:
Very very fast. 30 minutes from 20% to 95%.
12. What is missing?
I wrote about how shortcuts from home screen were missing...
Edit: Apparently I was told that this function (shortcuts from home screen) is still available. I just need to turn off the "dial from home screen" setting. I am looking into it.
Edit 2: Apparently I disabled the "dial from home screen" by pressing the "BalckBerry" button when I am in the "Phone" application. There you can change many settings such as call forwarding, etc. After doing so I was able to reach to my applications by pressing their shortcut hotkeys. AWESOME!
13. Customizable key/buttons.
There is only ONE (on the left) and it is useless.
First of all, on 8700c there were only two, but I used the middle one for address book, and since there is no need for an address book key on 8800, one is theoretically enough. However, since 8800 doesn't have keyboard shortcuts anymore, I found myself in dire needs of more customized keys.
But I was given with this left key that is useless because you frequently press it accidentally. For example, when I set it on "voice dialing." When I am in the middle of a call, I raised the volume by clicking on the volume key on the right, but since I held the phone with my right hand, my finger on the left side of the phone touched that voice dialing hot-key, it brought up the voice dialing program and terminated my call....
I also kept hitting it when I put the phone in my pocket. Therefore I disabled the key and made it "none."
14. Voice Dialing.
Voice Dialing is really fancy, but I personally don't use it because it is simply not very consistent.
You don't need to record each voice tag for each address entry. The phone simply recognize your voice and match the name automatically. You can even say command such as "check battery" or "check coverage" in term the phone will tell you, "Battery High" (which in my opinion was useless).
You cannot transfer files from computer to phone. Access the phone as a "storage device" was an option from my computer, but it said it was not available. But you can transfer file from phone to other people though. For example, in media folder, you can send each song or video via bluetooth.
The above review are for people who are already familiar with BlackBerry's powerful phone feature, for those of you who aren't read the following more indepth explanation of why BlackBerry beats other competitors in managing call. (Remember, a BlackBerry is a phone first, everything second device.)
8800 seems a little bit slower than 8700c because of all the added features, the keyboard and the lack of a trackwheel might annoy those die-hard fans, but in all honesty it still outperforms its Windows Mobile OS competitors or Nokia's Symbian, simply because RIM really knows how to build a quality, stable, intuitive and fast device.
Every part of its operating software is attention to detailed, extremely powerful and just makes sense. For example, one can customize how the ringer/vibrator behaves extensively for in and out-of holster, for 10 different functions (calendar, sms, mms, phone call, email, PIN message, level 1 message, tasks...). That is 20+ different settings for a single profile. (Profile is something like, "Outdoor" or "Quiet" or "In meeting" or "Normal) Users can create unlimited number of profiles too.
In addition to that, there is separate "exception profile" that work alongside. Each "exception" one can choose, again, all how these events behave when this "exception" is activated for all the members belonged in each exception. One can create unlimited number of exceptions, for example, under the "quiet" profile, one can make all events quiet, while activated two exceptions the user names "emergency backdoor" and "annoyed ex." so when people in the emergency backdoor exception call, the phone will ring through, while those people in annoyed ex exception, the phone not only will not ring through, but will go to voice directly.
THAT is some powerful profile management.
The amazing thing is for BlackBerry, such powerful feature is every where.
For example, during a call, one can bring up a menu to "call another number" or "join another call." When a second call is coming in, one can choose "Approve, hold the current call," or "Approve, drop the current call," or "Decline."
One can also access the full phone menu during a call, by clicking on ESC key, it will ask "do you wish to exit the phone... while one can still talk on the phone.
It also has dedicated mute key.
And it has separate in-call volume control for handset and speaker phone with memory, so when you switch to speaker phone, it can be in a different volume than listening to the handset, and these volume will carry over to the next call if unchanged.
The voice dialing feature all work great.
Due to the great battery life, u can talk for 5 hours and standby for 22 days.
I also put a 500mb video on my SD card and played it on my phone (finding nemo, 1 hr 40 minutes long). (mp4 format)
"wait for the 8820"on by togtov
Pros form factor, sleek, slim
Cons no wifi, no 3G, awkward handling
Summary if you have an 8700c this may be quite a change in form but other than the word "new" nothing could keep this phone at my hip. the keys felt slippery and not as solid as the pearl's (although i do prefer qwerty), it is awkwardly wide, tall and heavy. i had no problem with call quality as that was definitely better than the 8700 but not better than the pearl. with the news of the 8820 being released mid year with 3G and wifi i decided to return the 8800 and shell out the high price at a later date for the bells and whistles. in a nutshell, side by side with the 8700 it wasn't worth the $$$. i also got the feeling that the 8800 was rushed because the startup screen was the same as the 8700 not the new pearl startup and there was not sign of at&t branding. i did see many people flock to the 8800 but most of them were first time blackberry users with questions about how to enter contacts, etc. i was hoping for a love affair with this model but instead i felt cheated on.
Pros QWERTY keyboard, thinness, style, features, best of all - the genius trackball!
Cons keys a little cramped, no camera
Summary Let me say that I have had two Blackberry models before this - the Pearl and the 8700c. I am also an ex-Treo lover, and I am totally converted to Blackberry. As I hold the 8800 in my hand, it seems a wee bit heavy, and it's almost as wide as the 8700, but it seems very thin. It feels very much like the size of the Samsung Blackjack that my daughter uses. The casing is gorgeous and it doesn't smudge that easily - somewhat of a surprise to me. It doesn't have the undeniably cool style of the Pearl, but the qwerty keyboard was the real draw for me, and this one is gorgeous in its own right. The keys are a little cramped, but manageable for my large fingers, and certainly way better than the keyboard on the Pearl!! The only problem I've had yet is that some strange characters come up as I type, and for some reason, when I type the word "a" it comes out as "on on" and I have to back up and delete. Maybe this is something I am doing wrong - not sure. Other than the obvious physical changes and the lack of a camera, the phone seems exactly like the Pearl in features. I've used it for text messaging, emailing, picture viewing, and I'm going to put music on it tonight. It's worth a note that they have moved the access point for the memory card to where it is more easily accessible.
The phone charges quickly, and so far the battery is on target to last me about 5 hours, with heavy use of the internet and email functions. This was a big concern for me after having my Treo last less than 3/4 of a work day before needing to be charged.
In the box with the phone was the CD, earphones, USB sync cable, travel charger and a rather nice leather case with a swivel feature on back (fixed). When trying to charge with the USB cable, I get the message that I do not have enough power to charge the phone - I had this same message with my other Blackberry phones - not sure what that is but I will be checking it out.
Web browsing is actually decent. Not quite as fast as on my 3G Treo 750v, but pretty darn close. The only thing that takes a bit is opening the browser, but once you have it open, it is surprisingly very fast. I am hoping to be able to add Opera Mini at some point.
As for a phone, the sound is excellent, as is the speaker phone. Those I spoke to reported that they could hear me loudly and clearly. It has the usual ease of use expected from a Blackberry - it's so intuitive that a few minutes playing with it is all that is needed to have the everything down. Voice dial works great, too, and does not require the user to 'train' it.
I would like to see more Themes available as I feel the few given will get old. But it is very simple to add your own picture to the background, which I did, and the resolution is excellent. I am not a business user, so I can't comment on the use of it as a modem, or the bluetooth, sorry. My main interest is phone, internet and email, and for those things, you just can't beat the BB 8800. I recommend it highly if your interests are similar to mine. I almost rated this phone a 10, but I stuck with a 9 because of the lack of camera and because I can't honestly comment on features I don't use. In my opinion, this phone is a winnner: It was extremely well designed, and is a joy to use.
Pros Intuitive, easy to navigate user interface; Snappy boot up times and overall performance; Seamless integration with outlook (calendar, task list, email); Ambidextrous trackball functionality and nice
Cons Dropped the phone once, and although it still works great, side panels now squeaks/creaks when held or squeezed
Summary So like many professionals and technogeeks out there I've owned several phones. My phone type of choice for the last several years has been on of the smartphone genus. AKA the Treo, Samsung, Moto Q. Each had their pro and cons but at teh end of the day I couldn't live without a full QWERTY keyboard and access to my calendar, email, etc.
The Treo 650 was great. It had a well thought out interface, did what it was suppose to do, and ran on the stable Palm OS platform. Only problem - I am about the most stylish geek you'll ever meet and I have an aversion...no, let's say phobia of anything bulky in my pants pocket. It drives me batty. I don't do the whole Batman utility belt thing with devices clipped on everywhere, which is why I held the treo in my hands because the device is not, how do you say, "pocket friendly".
Enter the Moto Q, sleek, stylish with a gorgeous screen. Only problem - Windows OS. I'm not an engineer but it is obvious to me that the folks over at MS care more about cramming features and "expandable functionality" then they do about the actual user experience and performance. Sluggish can not begin to describe how long it took to open or switch apps in this phone. Notice i did not mention close because Windows Smartphone OS does not close an app when you exit it...no it continues running in the background until you go into a separate app (task manager) to "kill" that's right "kill" the program. But hey these are things you get used to because it's the best option you have. I won't even go into the boot up time for turning the thing on. Let's just say I would power it up when I would leave my house and the device would be on shortly before i would pull into my office parking lot. But damn it if the Q wasn't pocket friendly.
Then by some kind of divine providence my company got me the BB 8800. I have found my muse. Ok, a little over the top but still the phone is just wonderful: sleek, powerful, stable, easy to use, seamless. It combined the things I liked best from previous phones and gave it to me in one, well thought out package. “Great taste, less filling”. I can’t begin to explain how much I enjoy the RIM interface. Technology should enhance and if possible simplify your life, not complicate it. That is exactly what the 8800 does...it does what it's suppose to do. It works, and looks good doing it. Oh and unlike the Q the battery actual lasts longer than 1/2 a day...closer to 2 - 2 1/2 days with heavy use.
And in case you’re wondering I do not work for RIM or any of their subsidiaries. I just get excited about finally hitting a homerun after several swings that went foul.
Attractive, slim form factor; Intuitive, easy to navigate user interface; Snappy boot up times and overall performance; Seamless integration with outlook (calendar, task list, email); Ambidextrous trackball functionality and nice QWERTY keyboard; High quality screen and images; Clear loud and surprise…a usable speaker phone
Dropped the phone once, and although it still works great, side panels now squeak/creak when held or squeezed