Opinion

Why I’ll forever be a BlackBerry fan…

BlackBerryphone2

I get really frustrated when I see poor reviews of supposedly superior smartphones on the market, and want to stick up for the BlackBerry. The most recent BlackBerry devices, the Z10 and the Q10 were announced on January 30, 2013, and the Q10 has had little publicity, while the Z10 has had widespread advertising. While most models’ user interface varies, most feature a physical QWERTY keyboard. And this feature is the plus for me. BlackBerry seems to get a bad reputation, but I’ve recently seen tweets from Alicia Keys (who was there at the Q10’s unveiling), Piers Morgan and Katie Price, who are all BlackBerry users.

Barack Obama became known for his dependence on a BlackBerry device for communication, during his 2008 presidential campaign. He insisted on using it, even after inauguration (despite the security issues). This was seen by some as akin to a “celebrity endorsement”, which has been estimated to be worth between $25 and $50 million. I will hold my hands up and admit that, during my research, I found plenty of negatives with regards to the BlackBerry, but there are also plenty of positives. The physical QWERTY keyboard is the main reason why I still use a BlackBerry over touch screen phones, as I cannot stand touch typing. Doesn’t the screen get filthy, anyway?

I like the layout of the BlackBerry (small screen, plus a keyboard to write on). I tried two touch screen smartphones during Christmas last year, and sent them both back (I took one look at the Samsung, and cried). Aside from my misgivings with the SIM card, I am a 30-year-old man (not young, and cool anymore, sadly), who likes his things simple, and easy-to-use. I’m still currently using the Bold 9900 at the moment. The Q10 is out, but it makes sense to wait until the end of my contract next year, when I figure the price should have come down. The truth is – I’m too scared to change my current phone! It does everything! Email, text, Internet, music, pictures, calendar, alarm, camera, Twitter and great apps from BlackBerry World. It also makes (and receives) calls, lest I forget. The most recent app I downloaded was Flixster (a movies app), which saves me having to go online for film times – it’s all there instantaneously on my phone. The only downsides are the withdrawal symptoms I’m starting to have when my phone is in another room. This is not a good thing.

It also practically composes my tweets for me. Slight exaggeration I know, but spelling mistakes are impossible as it tells you right there in red: “Spelling mistake.” Consequently, when I look at tweets on my netbook written from my BlackBerry, the presentation looks fantastic. Twitter is also such a doddle (and delight) to use on a BlackBerry – easy as pie.

I’m delighted that the Q10 has come into my life, as the Z10 IS touch typing (and I was almost persuaded to try it). The trackpad on the 9900 is no longer there, and having only recently been introduced to LinkedIn, this is another reason why I’m excited about the upgrade. It’s all-in-one inbox brings together LinkedIn messages, Facebook, tweets, texts and email.

I’m not into iTunes (which seems to be a prominent feature of the Apple products – iPhone/iPad). I’ve always used Amazon MP3 downloader, which more than does the job (when it, admittedly works). I suppose it’s a case of: ‘When you find something that works for you, why change it?’ I’m sure many people will disagree, and still prefer the touch screens over the BlackBerry. Which is fine. But they keep bringing out superior versions of the BlackBerry – the latest incarnation I’ve seen is the Porsche Design P’9981, which is absolutely visually stunning. If I’m waiting to upgrade, perhaps this may even become a viable option over the Q10 in a year’s time. I can dream.

The 100 millionth BlackBerry smartphone was shipped in 2010, and the 200 millionth was shipped in 2012. I’ve downloaded a ‘Free Wallpaper’ app that my phone has – just this second – helpfully provided me, and now have a scary-looking woman staring back at me in time for summer (an improvement on the Christmas one I still had up in April). While the iPhone is indeed, aesthetically pleasing, I feel I would need the guidance of a younger person to walk me through how to use it. And I have neither the time, nor patience for that.

BlackBerry. Suitable for me. And many, many others, it seems.

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