Pros Great screen, EV-DO data tether works, good audio quality
Cons Horrible keyboard, battery cover almost impossible to get off, browser does not play well with sites expecting IE
Summary There are so many things to like about this phone. I don't mind the silver color except for the keyboard. The combination of the highly reflective silver and the silly blue back light makes this keyboard almost impossible to read under some lighting conditions.
Make sure you save the small piece of white foam in the box because you will need it to get the battery cover off the back. I thought I was going to crack the screen trying to get the battery cover off. Place the phone face down on on the foam as you fight to get the cover off. Be careful you don't rip off a fingernail because you might. It took me an average of 10 minutes each the two times I had to take it off. (once to put the battery in and once to take the battery out when the phone would not work..see info below)
If you are a Verizon customer know that the GPS has been castrated on this phone. Don't be surprised if you have porting and data set-up problems. The problem is if you do, very few folks at Verizon have even heard of this phone much less actually been trained on it. There accounts and billing folks aren't much better. When I called about the phone not working I was told I did not have an account.
No user manual is included in the box. The user manual on the CD is not actually on the CD but links to an on line manual that does not exist yet. Verizon sells and is delivering this phone, but had not yet seen fit to put any support information up on their website.
Yes, I am hammering Verizon. They should have been more prepared to roll out this phone than they were. It took me almost 6 hours to get mine working. The salesperson I bought it from has not seen fit to return my call from yesterday. I guess once the sale is made don't worry about the customer.
Otherwise, the screen on this phone is slightly larger than the G5 iPODS and just as nice. The thumb track ball is very easy to get used to. The unit has great volume (unlike my two previous BBs).
One of the main reasons I wanted this phone was the multimedia features and the ability to tether the phone to a PC as a Broadband modem. The media features are, so far, less than impressive, but the tethering operation is absolutely wonderful! The BB browser just does not work well displaying many websites and one site I need to use streams mono low bit rate audio which the 8830 would not play.
Despite what the sales folks at Verizon may tell you, this phone DOES come with a nice leather swivel case. If you buy the essentials kit understand the case that you are getting has no swivel and looks like it is made of hand-me-down fishnet hose. However, the plantronics wired headset works very well and you get a car charger.
I will be using the 30 day trial period for sure on this one. It is a great improvement over the BB 7290 I had, but for all the hype it is a disappointment in some areas. A poor first performance from Verizon customer and technical support does not help matters either. I was hoping to get away from that mess when I left Cingular.
Pros Voice Acitvated Dialing, Media Player/Memory Card, Size
Cons Keyboard and Backlighting
Summary I have had this phone since the day it came out. To weigh in, this phone might be the most complete PDA on the market, and definately in VZs lineup.
I think it is safe to say that I have used ever feature it has available, and they all work flawlessly and seemlessly. The only problem I had with the device was opening a certain webpage, but a call to that bank solved that problem.
As far as email goes, RIM is second to none. Email setup is supersimple, and delivery is instantaneous.
The phone is much improved over the last gen Blackberries, such as the 8703 and other PDAs. The addition of voice activated dialing, especially through bluetooth is a major plus. This is currently the ONLY PDA you can get this on, even with aftermarket programs.
The media player is great, and supports up to 2GB. I know litterally have everything in one device. (Who really uses the 1.3mp camera on phones anyways)
Tethering this device is again, super simple and is as fast as cable. No battery life problems or heating up here. Only complaint is you cant tether out of U.S.
Speaking of out of U.S.: for the customers complaining of the phone not working overseas, I just have two things to say to you. First, dont buy a PDA if you dont know how to use it, and be sure to ask the right questions. The phone doesnt support data everywhere, there is a list right on VZWs website. If you are in an are where it works, it works great, just like in the U.S. As far as international voice goes, VZ has doesnt have a great footprint as of yet (Currently you can only roam on the Vodaphone network), but it has the best rates.
A couple of great things that are hard to catergorize: You cant be a Blackberry for the engineering that goes into the device. The menus, once you know how to use them, are so user friendly and increase productivity 10 fold. The contact management and calender are superb, I couldnt ask for anything more. VZW is rumored to be coming out with a new program for this and all PDAs that will enable you to keep track of aps and get Navigation on it. Right now, Google maps works just fine for me.
The keyboard is oddly shaped, and the blue backlighting along with the sliver face makes for a hard combo sometimes.
As far as the battery back goes, the bottom half just slides off... dont know what the big deal is.
The manual is too large for print, so its on the CD included with the phone.
Genuises some of you are I tell ya.... Great job RIM and VZW for such a great product. Keep up the work. You have a lifer for a customer here
Pros unrivalled email, EVDO availabiltity, CDMA/GSM switch for global travel, screen resolution, sleek design, tethered as a modem with EVDO speed,best sound quality of all the phones i have had
Cons removing battery cover needs practice, no camera
Summary I exchanged my Pearl for 8830. Love the full size QWERTY keyboard which is missed in the Pearl. The keyboard can take a day for getting used to it as the keys are small and curved. I've used Palm and pocket PCs and switch to Blackberry is a relief. Apps really work the way they are suppose to. The apps layout is cool, unrivalled email delivery. This phone has verizon 3G EVDO which is much faster than EDGE and GPRS. The EVDO is great if you are going to tether th2 8830 and use it as a speed modem.
The phone seemlessly switches from CDMA/GSM when you cross borders, availing best of both worlds.
Screen resolution is great.
Did i say, I got this for 149 USD after the corporate discount !!
It can be challenging to remove a battery cover, but then you are not going to fiddle with it once you slip in the batteries and the SD card.
I'm syncing it to my macbook pro and blackberry does provide you a free PocketMac application for syncing 8830 to Mac for free.
Pros Great call quality, good interface
Cons Keyboard, huge size, lots of bugs in software, ringer not loud enough....
Summary I just sent back my Blackberry Curve to ATT after eagerly buying it when it first came out with hopes of switching wireless carriers. Well, that phone is AWESOME. But the ATT network is terrible and I had about 5 dropped calls a day. I live in suburban SoCal, so this is really surprising.
In any case, I went back to Verizon and upgraded my old flip phone to the 8830. The differences were striking. The Curve is a FAR BETTER phone. It's much smaller, lighter and more "ergonomic" feeling in your hand. The screen is actually bigger and brighter too. The keyboard on the Curve is wonderful and easy to use compared to the 8830. It's the same OS but it didn't have all the bugs that I am getting with the 8830 (calendar synch issues, duplicate entries in the calendar and contacts for no good reason, etc). So I am ever grateful that I only signed up for a 1 year contract with this 8830. I hope that VZW will have the Curve out by next year and I can switch.
The GOOD things about the 8830 over the Curve are that it's a world phone (not important to me, really). And it has GPS (for an additional $10/mo though!). Otherwise, I really think this phone is far inferior to the Curve and will be obsolete by the holidays if VZW decides to carry the Curve by then.
Overall though, the call quality is far superior to the Curve, although I believe this is likely from the MUCH BETTER VZW network. My friends say the "ocean waves" and "tin" sounds of the ATT Curve are now replaced by clear, crisp sound on the 8830.
Anyway, I hope this little comparison helped. If you have a choice, I would recommend staying with VZW for the network and waiting until the Curve comes out in about 6 months (I hope). Or even the new Pearl if you don't mind SureType! The 8830 has a limited market for those business folks who jetset around the world a lot and don't mind carrying a BIG phone that doesn't fit in any pockets.
Pros Call Clarity; Design; Batt Life; Very Fast EVDO Speeds; User Interface; Tactile Keyboard; Auto-Lighting; Attachment Handling; Conversational/Threaded TXT Msgs; Security; Visual Themes; Call Management
Cons Non-BES Limitations for Wireless Sync; No PIX or FLIX messaging (send or receive); No GPS use; Poorly backlit keyboard; No ability to set sync intervals; Ring/Alarm/Call Volume not very loud at max
Summary I've had a hosted Exchange/Outlook account for years, and have been using the MotoQ for about 6 months - I love it. Before that, I had been using BlackBerries for about six years, but it was as part of my last job which had a BES.
I decided to give this new BlackBerry a go because I spilled soy sauce on my MotoQ and needed a new phone. The first thing that struck me was the design and how slim this BB was; very unlike previous BB's I've had.
The lack of a trackwheel and escape key on the right side took some getting used to, but I was pleased with the clean user interface and the more advanced integration features and use of 'Themes'.
Trying to get product use or setup guide info was a nightmare. The Verizon website had next to nothing and the discoverblackberry.com website was a navigation nightmare, and would leave any sane Information Architect committing suicide after five minutes - and I would consider myself an advanced user.
While the device did find my Outlook Web Access information, and is able to send/receive email; I'm disappointed to see the additional lack of integration for wireless syncing my contacts, calendar items, etc. While I know that this syncing is possible with a Blackberry Enterprise Server (BES), it's disappointing to see that my Q could perform more tasks without the need for a $5000 piece of server software. From my research, there are hosted BES accounts you can sign-up for; but this is an additional monthly cost.
My second greatest disappointment is with MMS/Picture messaging. While I love how the device threads and organizes/sorts your SMS messages (by day, conversation by person, etc) I'm very disappointed to see that when someone sends a picture message, all you receive is a message teling you to go to the Verizon website to get it. Also, other than emailing it, there's no way to send video or pictures and additionally, there's no included camera (which is actually very typical for BlackBerry - they're primarily government devices)
Contrary to the reviews from CNET; I love the keyboard. I was a little worries at first after reading several complaints, but compared to the MotoQ it's great. The tactile click and the curved design of the keys have not caused me any difficulties; while the keys are close together with little spacing I've not found any difficulties with use - I have average male sized hands/fingers.
As would be expected with this device; the email management is hands-down the best. If you have a work, mixed with personal and other email accounts, the BB will show them all in one box, or break them out into individual accounts that you can show or hide on the 'desktop' or menu page - handled very well.
Other Pros: The convenience keys, voice dialing feature, mute key, power/light key are welcome additions. I also love (like all previous models) that the device knows when it's holstered and can automaticaly change call and sounds configurations. Call clarity is GREAT, even when using speakerphone - this is a huge win. Also, the web-browser can be placed in 'desktop' mode; which allows a true browsing experience including a mouse that's controlled by the trackball - very nice. The Verizon EV-DO speed on this device IS GREAT. I tethered by MotoQ to my laptop a lot and loved the speed, but I have noticed a SIGNIFICANT improvement on both my laptop (tethered) and on the device. The battery lasts significantly longer than on the MotoQ, and has been a consistent experience with my previous BB use. The auto-correct features while typing (such as automatically inserting apostrophes, periods, etc) is great - no motoQ lost in this department. I also love the Yahoo! Messenger integration; it's free and it works GREAT.
Other Cons: PIX/FLIX messaging - again, I'm so not over this issue. The inability to control sync control (from either device or web-console) is a big negative in addition to the poor 'BlackBerry' experience as compared to using a full BES setup (you could always get a hosted BES account though). Also, there's a lack of software for this device when compared against a Windows Smartphone or Windows Mobile device - many of the application sets for BB are focused toward productivity/business function.
OVERALL - If you're a consumer who has basic email needs (or you've got an MSN account, simple POP3/IMAP compatible email) but love to text, MMS and video msg, the MotoQ is for you.
Ultimately I believe I will keep the BB 8830 - the battery is MUCH better, design far superior, and keyboard is much more friendly.