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A BlackBerry That Takes Over Your Life In A Good Way


My BlackBerry BoldWhenever I see people on the train typing away on a BlackBerry I feel a deep sense of pity for them. I’m sad that they feel their company owns them to such an extent that they have to spend the time before (or after) work on the train replying to “important” emails. It’s not as if they work for MI6 and have to reply to an email about intelligence concerning a terrorist attack where every second counts!

If I see people on a weekend typing away on their BlackBerry (and I’ve seen a few) I want to shake them and tell them to enjoy their spare time while it lasts.

So when I was presented with a work BlackBerry at the start of the year I made sure the email notification was turned off and used it strictly as a phone to make and receive calls from my colleagues. At all other times it was sat on my desk being ignored.

Last week my BlackBerry was replaced with a brand new BlackBerry Bold and while I initially expected to treat it the same way as the old one, I’ve actually been blown away with what a cool piece of kit it is. As before I’m not going to use it particularly to send emails – the keyboard’s too small and if I’m working then I’m in front of a computer so can send and receive them there. And if I’m not working then the last thing I want to do is send and receive work emails! However it does a great job of letting me do the following:

  • Listen to MP3s – it comes as standard with 2GB of storage and a pretty good pair of earphones with in-ear rubber inserts (ideal for cutting out background noise).
  • Surf the internet – not only is it 3G but it can connect to the interweb via WiFi with a pretty good browser.
  • Take pictures – my previous BlackBerry couldn’t and while the camera’s not amazing, it’s good enough to take pictures of chickens wandering the streets (which is the sort of thing I’d take a picture of).
  • Use for Sat Nav – it has GPS and European maps built in along with directions so I can use it to get from here to there (although to be fair I mostly one go from my house to the cafe).
  • Stalk my brother – he’s got a BlackBerry Pearl and the BlackBerry Instant Messenger is always turned on, mwa ha ha, there is no escape!
  • Get my sudoku fix – oh yes, there’s even a sudoku game!
  • Send SMS messages without using that useless T9 predictive texting – since it has a full QWERTY keyboard it makes life somewhat easier to text.
  • Get 2-for-1 cinema tickets – since it’s on Orange (the old one was on Vodafone) I can take advantage of Orange Wednesdays.

In summary, I’m really impressed with it. So much so that I’ve diverted all calls from my own mobile and am going to use the BlackBerry as a my primary phone. In one fell swoop it’s managed to retire not only my own mobile but my iPod Touch (well, for short train journeys at least) and my Sat Nav. It’s going to encourage me to go to the cinema more often and save my thumbs from premature arthritis brought on by sending SMS texts using T9 predictive texting.

But if you see me sending work emails on the train you have my permission to shake your head and call me a hypocrite!

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Creator of John's Background Switcher. Scotsman, footballer, photographer, dog owner, risk taker, heart breaker, nice guy. Some of those are lies.

14 Comments Join the Conversation

  1. This is how it starts – first they buy you a CrackBerry and then it’s a house and before you know it, you’re running special “errands” for them.

    Isn’t the Bold supposed to be their response to the iPhone? How does it compare to your iPod touch?


    • Heh heh! I think it’s the Storm that’s most like an iPod – well, it has a touch screen. While they don’t have the fancy accelerometer and what not, I think the BlackBerry’s make much better phones than iPhones. And they’re good enough in terms of other functionality I reckon. They just don’t get the ‘cool’ factor!


  2. I don’t feel like I know you any more, John.

    One minute you’ve switched to the Mac and have got yourself a swanky iPod touch – in short, you were drinking the Apple kool-aid, living the dream…and now this happens. Where’s your sense of brand loyalty? At this rate you’ll end up with what you deserve…a Dell running Windows 7! 😉


  3. I hung out for weeks trying to get a Bold from Orange until they pulled it. I ended up going with a curve.
    I agree with you on so many points.
    First thing to learn is to switch off e-mail when YOU want it.

    The combo I was looking forward to with the Bold was the automatic geotagging of your photos when you upload them to Flickr.

    I must be honest and admit that the Curve and TwitterBerry is my main weakness !



    • Well Stu I still use it to listen to podcasts, in the car (via an iTrip) and through my stereo. However I’ll see how it goes over the next few weeks and how much I still use the iTouch before I can be sure. But if I do you’ll be first on the list to ‘inherit’ it!


    • I know, they should have stuck to what makes the Blackberry such a good piece of kit – the keyboard. And the fact that it doesn’t even have Wifi when the others (like my BB Bold) just seems daft.


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