Last Saturday, I noticed on the Cingular site that I could upgrade my phone. It’s not like I rushed right out that day and upgraded. Sheesh.
I waited until Monday.
There’s some stuff going on in my personal life that I can’t quite blog about yet, and it has me upset. Some women shop for shoes to de-stress. I shop for tech. We swung by a Cingular store and sure enough, just 13 months after I purchased the Cingular 8125 I am eligible for an upgrade. Why? According to the Cingular/AT&T rep they’ve been activating upgrades for “good customers.” Hmmm…maybe the fact that I can’t seem to let that “upgrade” link be cold for more than a few days has something to do with it.
Anyway, after playing around with the Samsung Blackjack, Cingular 8525, and a number of Blackberry models I finally did settle on the Blackberry 8800. I just liked the way it felt in my hand. I liked the way the menus responded. And I was finally convinced by the fact that the monthly unlimited data cost on the Blackberry is cheaper than on any Windows Mobile device.
- The Blackberry operating system is far more intuitive than Windows Mobile. I got very good in Windows Mobile, but it took much longer than with the Blackberry where I already feel comfortable. I love all the little shortcuts, like holding down a key to get caps, or hitting space bar twice to get a period, or hitting space bar in an email field to get the “@” or “.” in the address.
- Blackberry rules for email and messaging. No question about it. I also like the way text messaging “conversations” appear in a single screen rather than as separate messages.
- Far superior battery life. Activity that would have left my Cingular 8125 at 30% capacity barely takes one bar off the meter on the Blackberry.
- The device automatically goes into stand-by mode when it’s put in its case.
- Even though it’s not 3G and the data is the slower GPRS/EDGE connections, it feels tons faster than the Cingular 8125 did when surfing around.
Not to love:
- Microsoft ActiveSync worked just fine in Parallels. Blackberry’s desktop software does not. I’m using Missing Sync for Blackberry to sync my calendar and contacts. PocketMac is free, but I’ve read in too many places how bad it is. Missing Sync is working just fine, but it means that I have to use a dizzying sequence of tools to get my data from Outlook to iCal/Address Book and back so the Mark/Space software will sync it to my blackberry:
- Sync Outlook calendar to Google Calendar using SyncMyCal ($25 for unattended syncing)
- Sync Google Calendar to iCal using Spanning Sync ($25 per year or one-time purchase of $65)
- Sync Outlook contacts to Plaxo, which syncs to Mac OS X Address Book (Premium Edition is $50 per year to manage more than 1,000 contacts)
Completely insane. But it works, and it’s one step closer to getting more of what I do on the Mac side than the PC side.
- Because I can’t get the Windows-side software to work, I can only install software on the Blackberry that can be installed from the Blackberry and I can’t sync bookmarks.
- I came real close to getting a different model Blackberry because of the keyboard, but I went with the 8800 because of how the entire device felt and the fact that it has expandable storage. The keyboard takes getting used to.The keys are cramped and a little slippery. I find that I can type much faster and with greater accuracy with my index finger than my thumb.
While we were both in the store, Eric and I switched our separate voice plans to a Family Talk plan, saving at least $10-15 a month over having separate accounts. We were told that we would only be able to keep 700 of the 3,000 or so Rollover minutes we had between us. But surprise! When I log into my account online it shows 3,250 Rollover minutes in our combined pot. Even if the 700 minute a month plan isn’t enough between the two of us, we’ll have lots of time before we’ll have to make any changes.
Only problem? Since Eric moved his account to mine, his outgoing calls are showing my name on Caller ID. It’s a known thing with Family Talk plans, I know. If I can’t change the caller ID to show different names, I’ll at least change the account to show both of our names. I hope. Eric doesn’t really care as much as I did when the reverse situation happened with my phone a few years ago.