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Blackberry vs. DROID vs. iPhone

My Verizon contract is up coming in June, and I’ve started to get the upgrade offers from Verizon, and I’ve been really debating on what device to get. I started out, way back in the day with a basic analog phone on Ariel like most other people, which became Voice Stream, and now T-Mobile. I’ve used Nextel service in the past, and have had an array of devices like the Sidekick family, Treo and currently the Blackberry Curve circa two years ago.

While I do admit I have very high standards for my mobile device and what it can/cannot do, I don’t think I’ve wanted too much from a carrier. – Transmit calls, email and data in an efficient manner. Yay. So, I’ve got the Blackberry. As a device, it’s not too bad. Granted, I’m using a three year old set of hardware, I can admit I do a lot with it. On any given day, I’m using Google Maps, UberTwitter, EmpowerEmail, http://www.beejive.com/, FaceBook, SalesForce, as well as SMS/MMS, http://foursquare.com/ and my Alarm providers app for Blackberry along with SMS/MMS messaging. It’s taken quite some time to get the Curve setup just how I want it, and working well. However, now with that much crap on it, its slowing down. Also, during the summer I use the data tethering quite a bit, since I’m out of town on weekends, and need more efficient web access than the BB browser provides (or other browser on the device)

Poking around at the Verizon store a few weeks back, I looked at the new http://tinyurl.com/m27otd, and was impressed with the much better screen, browser rendering and overall speed of the device. I wasn’t as sold on the keyboard, as there was less definition between the keys, but with any change, it’s something you acclimate to. Also, I was impressed by the better camera quality. I was slightly turned off by the new UI on the device (as with all the new BB devices) it just didn’t do it for me, and seemed a little sluggish to respond (which is something I noted in the original release of the Storm) – Granted, it’s something to get used to, and mostly just appeared to be how the navigation worked vs. the speed of the device, but something to consider nonetheless.

I figured it would be a good upgrade, just based on the browsing and camera upgrade, so I kept poking thru the store killing time. Stopping at the Moto DROID, I thought I would just tinker with it. I had given no thought to the DROID up to this point, based on a few things;

    1) I have lots of apps purchased for the CrackBerry
    2) I need to be able to simply sync a device with my Mac
    3) I need to tactile keyboard for the amount of typing I do
    4) I need to tether the MacBookPro to the device in the summer

I decided to poke around at the Motorola version vs. the other Android phones, because the DROID does include a full slide out tactile keyboard. While not as nice as the CB or Sidekick in terms of button separation, it seemed like something I could get used to in a short amount of time.

The user interface seemed very responsive and quick, including full multitasking abilities. I looked at the Google Map app, and it was much quicker than the CrackBerry, as was basic web browsing. I think not having the BlackBerry network in the mix of data transmission really helps. There are a number of free apps out on Android to handle the apps I’ve already paid for on BlackBerry, so little duplicate purchasing will be needed. I’ll miss out on my Security app, but they provide a mobile interface for monitoring as well. My big question which I need to have answered, is “will it tether” I’ve found out, that syncing my Mac with the GoogleSync platform, I can handle the updating of my phone/address book/calendar without much need to plug it into my computer anymore, other than to backup. I’m currently using this now on the Curve, and seems to be working well.

Also, I liked that the DROID has WiFi in it, which would be great at home, or elsewhere I have access to WiFi vs. eating bandwidth/battery and having less lag than on the 3G network.

However, my Devils’ advocate to this is, I can do so much more on this browser than the CB, where I might not /need/ tethering (or just sign up for the mobile broadband USB dongle and return it in the trial period)

I will be returning this weekend for more in-depth, as the GF’s contract is up for renewal as well this summer.

Pricewise, – The DROID is a little more expensive up front than the new Tour, however, the monthly service on the DOID would be about $10 less than I pay now, so that would recoup itself shortly.

Also, I’ve heard rumor of the iPhone coming to Verizon this summer. That sounds like it would be a cut-and-dry answer for me to switch, HOWEVER. – The iPhone does not have a tactile keyboard, nor does it allow multi-tasking between apps. While I believe the iPhone would be the easiest to integrate and sync with my Mac at home, I don’t see it being a viable option for me on a daily basis, just based on how much I use the device during the day. Also, battery life, iPhone battery life sucks. I’d need to charge mine pretty much most of the day with the amount of activity it gets, vs. the CB for sure, possibly DROID have extra battery packs with higher capacity (also key when I go on weekend long bike rides, without access to power)

In short, I have a little more research to do, and just more face time with the device. I realize I have a month to return and get a different phone, however, it’s a hassle, and I’d like to get something and know it’s going to meet my needs.
If you have any comments, I’d love to hear them. That being said, – I’m not open to moving carriers due to phone availability, nor am I open to a phone without a QWERTY tactile keyboard on it.