Blackberry or Treo?

I have resisted buying either a Blackberry or a Treo for years. I'm not part of a corporate structure and I'm online at a computer more hours than offline anyway. I also don't use text messaging. I mostly use my cell phone for outgoing calls and very few people have the number. The plan I'm on costs $39 a month and I never go over the limit. So, what's the advantage?

Well..the TL kid was home for the holidays this week and semi-complaining about his age-old Nokia cell phone. And it is a real dinosaur. I've been using a Motorola Razor phone, which I've never liked -- it's an awkward thumb movement and I like popup keys rather than the Razor's flat keys -- so we went to a Cingular store in the mall the day after Christmas.

I ended up buying the new Treo 680 for me, and giving him my Razor. It was a simple switch of Sim cards.

Now, I'm in another world. As my clients get younger, they prefer text messaging to emailing. But...the learning curve. My son takes both the Razor or the Treo and typing at warpnet speed, sets everything up for both of us.

I'm still trying to figure out how to use it. I hope I made a good decision.

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    i feel your pain.................. (none / 0) (#1)
    by cpinva on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 05:34:03 AM EST
    i have my first, and only, verizon cell phone. purchased as part of a pair, one each for my wife and i. i'm sure it does all kinds of neat stuff. we use them to, of all things, make and receive calls.

    my son desperately wants a razor phone, with all the bells & whistles. horrifying to me, because i'm not even certain what all the whistles are!

    as it is, i have three phone #'s (work & home), three voice mail boxes (work & home), a beeper (work), three e-mail addresses (work & home), and two fax's (work & home). frankly, i'm just not that damn important. rarely do emergencies occur, anyone who absolutely, positively has to latch on to me has far too many ways to do so already.

    the very last thing i need or want is text messaging.

    fight the power jeralyn! :)

    I text all the time. To google. (none / 0) (#2)
    by jerry on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 07:27:03 AM EST
    The key to a Treo is to get a data plan you can afford.  I use Sprint and I have a two year old 650 with a $15 per month all the data I can suck plan.  Text messages are free, which is handy, because me and my partner are always texting each other.  Okay, truth is, me and google are always texting each other.

    If you send an sms message to GOOGL (46645) with google formatted sms queries, you can get back some awfully cool things very quickly.  http://www.google.com/intl/en_us/mobile/sms/

    Another very handy free Google feature is Google Maps for the treo. http://www.google.com/gmm/treo which provides a map or satellite view, gives you directions, and best of all, shows you traffic on the local freeways.  It also lets you look up nearby businesses and puts those on the map.

    Other programs I use all of the time are Agendus, which is a better Calendar/Contact/Note manager than the one that came with the Treo, and Pocket Quicken which allows me to very easily keep my checkbook up to date.  SplashShopper is a very good shopping list, that also keeps movies I want to see, and things I need to pack when traveling, ....  And you're a lawyer, so you need to keep secrets and keep those secrets protected, so look into SplashID or similar programs, as well as programs that will encrypt your data and erase your treo when they receive a properly formatted SMS message.

    2Dial is a wonderful program that makes ANY voice mail system much easier to use by letting you create a specific touchpad overlay with buttons specific for that voice mail system.

    And programs like Butler will keep the silly light from flashing at you all the time, and keypad600 will  make it faster and easier to text, and BigClock will give you a very nice stopwatch....

    And most of these programs are free, or between $10 and $40 bucks.  But many are free or less than $10 and even come with desktop versions that sync up.

    Mail and flight status... (none / 0) (#4)
    by jerry on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 08:00:04 AM EST
    On the 650 at least, VersaMail crashes alot.  (And sadly, the PalmOS is about 15 years old or so, and it shows it's greying teeth in that the phone will crash from time to time.)  

    So I use Agendus SSL Mail, other folks use Chatter or Snapper, but Agendus is inexpensive after you buy Agendus itself.  Agendus SSL Mail will do pop or imap and lets me get my emails from gmail.  It seems pretty full featured to me, but the price differential is big enough that I suspect that Chatter or Snapper provides all sorts of other email pleasures.

    To save your thumbs you may want to look into getting a keyboard if one is available.  I found the Treo 600 keyboard very useful, but awkwardly laid out.

    As a frequent flyer you may want to try the free FlightStatus written by a fifteen year old to tell you where your flight is and when it's going to arrive.

    And check out treocentral and mytreo and everythingtreo and ... well we're junkies.


    Get a backup solution.... (none / 0) (#9)
    by jerry on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 10:44:25 AM EST
    Also, while I depend on my Palm, it does crash and sometimes can lose data.  It's rare, but it does happen, and it happened to me this morning.  The only data it seemed to lose were my preferences and various activation codes, but it is still annoying.

    The solution is a program like BackupBuddy which makes "zooming back" to a known state very easy.  So in my case this morning, I just took yesterday's sync and marked that to zoomback to.  Then I did a hard reset of the device and resynched it, and I am back and running having lost only the data from last night until this morning.

    I love the Treo -- I hope there's a MacPhone or GooglePhone out soon.

    One other note, if you use bloglines to read your blogs, check out bloglines mobile....


    Neither. (none / 0) (#3)
    by PDiddie on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 07:36:28 AM EST
    I just traded my Blackberry off for a Razr.  I have a Palm PDA, five years aold and still going strong.  I suppose if I had gotten the Treo I might be happier, but the Blackberry soured me badly.

    Very user-unfriendly, not intuitive, poor phone quality on top of all else.

    Maybe I'm just too old (like my clients), but I'm not a texter.

    Don't own one (none / 0) (#5)
    by Maggie Mae on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 09:53:17 AM EST
    I'm still holding out getting a cell phone.  I just can't afford both a land line and a cell phone.  Plus, I still can't figure out which "plan" is the best value and which company gives the best service.

    check out Virgin Mobile... (none / 0) (#10)
    by HeavyG on Fri Dec 29, 2006 at 04:50:41 PM EST
    I am not a frequent user of my mobile but it is handy to have available. I did not want to go with any of the major providers cuz I did not want to pay $30+/- per month for the 30 minutes a month I might actually use the darn thing. Actually, most months I might use the phone for 10-15 minutes ( my average conversation lasts about 30 seconds).

    I decided to go with Virgin Mobile - it is a pay as you go plan that costs me about $7 per month. Virgin Mobile uses the Sprint network so you can ask any of your friends in your area how satisfied they are with the coverage around town. If you are going to be a more frequent talker than I then you might want to look closely at their pricing options and crunch some numbers to see if their basic pricing suits your needs. If you ARE going to be a frequent yakker then plans with other providers will probably be more economical.

    They don't offer the latest and snazziest phones but the phones they do offer are pretty decent.

    I am not Virgin Mobile's target demographic (I'm a 51 year old male)so a lot of their "extras" don't appeal to me. I do the occasional text message and text a queries to google a few times a month (each message costs 10 cents).

    Given my limited use of the service they are by far the most economical choice for me and I have been a satisfied customer (honest - I am not just shilling for them)for a couple of years now.

    You can check them out at virginmobileusa.com


    Why?? (none / 0) (#6)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 01:01:25 PM EST
    As someone who believes that he who dies with the most toys wins, can anybody tell me why you want messages over a cell phone???

    Wasn't the point of having one to talk to people??

    Texting (none / 0) (#7)
    by Gabriel Malor on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 01:08:48 PM EST
    Texting is useful for keeping in contact with someone you'd really rather not talk to. I'm told that it's also useful for clandestine communications (say, in the movie theatre or in a meeting).

    I use it to drop occasional comments to my friends back home, especially since few of them can keep up a phone conversation for very long. I also use it for things like telling my car-pool buddy to come down or telling people I'm meeting that "I'm at the restaurant, in the back corner by the bar." Stuff like that, where it's quicker than calling or there may be a noise element to contend with.


    I think (none / 0) (#8)
    by Jeralyn on Thu Dec 28, 2006 at 06:44:33 PM EST
    it's a kid thing mostly.