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Treo 650 vs Blackberry 7290

Posted by Keith Elder | Posted in Mobile Devices | Posted on 25-07-2005

While this really isn’t a true head to head comparison article for those that are looking to buy a Treo or a Blackberry, hopefully you’ll find this information useful so you can make a better informed decision. This is all based on my personal experience and unique needs. It is time once again to revist the “Treo vs Blackberry” debate. Several months ago I got word through the grapevine at work that we were going to be beta testing GoodLink. Since last summer I had been waiting for work to get GoodLink but at the time GoodLink wasn’t as “security ready” as some folks wanted. As soon as I confirmed we in fact had a GoodLink server in house, I drove to the store that day and picked up the Treo 650. Previously I wrote about the Blackberry vs Treo and the four things that I didn’t like about the Treo 600 compared to the Blackberry, they were:

  1. It is not “always on”
  2. You cannot type on the small keyboard
  3. I cannot get work related email
  4. No bluetooth (which I miss horribly)

The Treo 650 using GoodLink fixes 3 out of this 4 (keyboard is still a little small) plus it provides a lot more functionality and is a much better phone than the Blackberry. Let me say before you read any further that before I had gotten word about the GoodLink server, I was already debating on switching back to a Treo. The Blackberry was just not cutting it, I always found myself saying, well if I had my Treo I could ….. (insert statement). Checking email on the Blackberry was OK as I will explain, but other than that, it didn’t do a lot for me. In the end I would have still gotten the Blackberry when I did because it was the right thing to do based on my needs at the time when I got it (since GoodLink wasn’t supported). Nevertheless, let’s kick things off with my Blackberry gripes and then work our way down to the Treo.

Blackberry Gripes

Let me start out with a few Blackberry gripes that annoyed me after using the Blackberry for awhile. For starters after having it for several months I started calling it my SlowBerry. Probably the worst example of this is when I would get a voicemail page from work. If the phone was asleep (or whatever you call it) as soon as I answered the phone I had to enter my extension and my password. Sometimes, it would take literally 60 seconds for the phone to stop doing whatever it was doing and catch up with the numbers I had entered. By that point I had to re-enter the numbers all over again because the phone system timed out. To send an email you have to go into the address book, search, then select email, then start typing. Very slow! GoodLink fixes this problem by being more Outlook like. When you say “compose” email, you can start typing names and you immediately get a drop down of people you’ve previously emailed. Much faster. Another draw back in speed with the Blackberry is you cannot touch the freaking screen! If I could just click on the icon I want, or press the delete button with my finger, that would be great. Nope, I had to scroll and then depress the button over and over and over (you get the idea).

What happened to web surfing?

One day it hit me, I never use the wireless web on the Blackberry. When I had a Treo, I constantly used the wireless web brower Blazer to lookup things or whatever. Again, this boils down to the speed. Not only is the speed of the downloads incredibly slow because it doesn’t take advantage of the EDGE network Cingular has, but you cannot read web pages with a damn scroll wheel. Give me a break. And, once again, it is slooooooooooooooooow. Scrolling on the Blackberry was like pouring molasses from a jar. Maybe I’m just fast, I don’t know but I don’t hear anyone in the office complaining about this. All I hear is “I love my Blackberry and make love to it every night”. I am here to tell you though, the damn thing is slow.

Software please….

After playing around with the Blackberry and getting used to it, I decided to try to find some software like I had on the Treo. You know RSS feed reader, etc. My search ended in basically what amounts to nothing that was useful. And, I didn’t want to pay $30 for an RSS reader. Not to mention that once you got something on the Blackberry, getting it off seemed to be a pain.

Hang on while I delete this email I deleted an hour ago…..

Lastly is I kept reading email 2 and 3 times a day. The Blackberry never seemed to sync my work inbox correctly. If I read something on the Blackberry, I had to re-read it and delete it on the work station and vice versa. The bigger annoyance was that all of my personal email was mixed in with the work email as was my calendar and other things. I didn’t like that. At first it was neat that I had 24/7 access to personal email and stuff but I kept missing emails because it was getting lost in the shuffle of the inbox on the Blackberry. Not only that, but it didn’t support IMAP email, it only POP3’ed the email off the server. Which meant, yep, when I got home I was going to have to delete or re-read the same blasted email all over again (for the most part). So the Blackberry summary for gripes is this:

  1. Slow. I was always waiting on it to catch up.
  2. Surfing the web with it was extremely painful. I even stopped using it.
  3. Lack of “free” software was a bummer. Well, let me restate that. Lack of cheap good software is more like it. I have been spoiled with the abundance of the Palm software I guess. I will say there is software out there for it, but mostly for companies to purchase. Expensive stuff, not for normal users.
  4. Email didn’t sync properly.
  5. Personal email was a problem, kept getting lost and mixed in with work email.

I could probably keep going with this list with little quirky things that annoyed me after awhile but let’s jump into the Treo 650.

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