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Education Blackberry advice needed

Discussion in 'General' started by Jumeira_Johnny, 14 Oct 2011.

  1. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    In 10 hours my wive gets on a plane to Atlanta and her new job. When she lands they have a Blackberry phone waiting. She's managed to avoid one for 8 years and hates the damn things. Coupled with her innate ability to destroy hardware and software, my policy has been to always have the same phone as she does to make logistics and support easy.

    So I need to get a blackberry. I know nothing about them, having planned to get an iPhone 4S. Can anyone give me a US specific crash course on what to look for in the carriers? the data/phone plans?
     
  2. Jake123456

    Jake123456 Surprise!

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    Well...If it all stays the same now, I think the Blackberry service is still down...
     
  3. nitrous9200

    nitrous9200 New Member

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    If you don't know already, US phone plans are generally much more expensive than elsewhere in the world and you have to pay for part of the cost of the handset.

    You've got your four major carriers, first the two bigger ones and then the two smaller ones: Verizon, generally regarded as the carrier with the best coverage/service;
    AT&T, got a bad rap since the iPhone came out for having a subpar network (but it has improved a lot since then);
    Sprint, a "budget" carrier with less coverage, used to be less expensive than the previous two but not anymore;
    T-Mobile, the other budget carrier, might be bought by AT&T (and run into the ground).

    Sprint and T-Mobile used to be cheaper but having compared all four just now, the cheapest plans for all four are around $80/month (plus taxes) with at least 2GB of data and text messaging. Only Sprint offers unlimited data, and all but Verizon offer unlimited text messaging at the ~$80 level.

    There are some cheaper prepaid carriers like Boost and Virgin Mobile, MetroPCS and Cricket which offer Blackberries as well, but their coverage is definitely much less than the main four.

    As for the devices themselves, I don't use a Blackberry but a safe bet would be the Bold 9900 series which is the traditional bar style device with a touchscreen (as I just discovered). All the carriers offer it except AT&T which has the Torch, a slider phone with touchscreen & QWERTY keyboard.
    In my experience, Blackberry hardware is nice and the software is lame (barely changed over the years other than a new coat of paint each version). Not to mention the BB infrastructure where all your data is routed through RIM's servers (and was just down for four days this week), which nowadays seems stupid, but that's besides the point.

    I used Verizon service for a number of years and I would recommend the service. The choice of phone model is up to you but you don't have much of a selection.
     
  4. Fruitloaf

    Fruitloaf Tinkerer

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    Its not for a stupid reason though. RIM essentially run their own network alongside the internet and your data travels along it. This means that everything can be encrypted end-to-end and for that reason the BB is the only device that a lot of Governments will allow to be used for sensitive data (they let Obama have a modified BB).

    Not that this matters much to me, I'm happy with SSL protected emails but in absolute terms it's not as secure as email on a BB.
     
  5. Kovoet

    Kovoet New Member

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    Well if you want when you get it maybe get on MSN live messenger and I can talk you through it. Once you know how they work they are easier than any other phone to use.
     
  6. Jumeira_Johnny

    Jumeira_Johnny 16032 - High plains drifter

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    After some thought, I'm going to stick with the iPhone. I've never been entirely comfortable with RIM since they caved to various governments over the encryption issue.
     
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