My decision to get the BlackBerry Bold 9700 was an impromptu one. My local telco was offering it under a good data plan and so I took the plunge and got into a 2-year contract. Soon after, it became my main phone. Read on to find out what makes a BlackBerry phone special.
1. Push Technology at Its Finest
I know push email can also be done with other smartphones. You just have to synchronize your phone with your Gmail or Yahoo account and you're good to go. You can start receiving new email notifications once these messages arrive on you your email inbox. But a BlackBerry phone does this so well and at a very low-cost due to data compression.
2. The BlackBerry Messenger (BBM)
The BlackBerry Messenger or BBM is the heart of a BlackBerry phone’s communication features. It's not as fancy as MMS or SMS on your regular smartphone, but BBM chat facility is fast, simple, and connects you to your BlackBerry buddies all the time. The PIN-based communication settings are pretty cool as well. Although there's a downside to it - that is, BBM is pretty useless if you don't know anybody else who is using a BlackBerry phone. This is what's happening to me right now. Most of the BlackBerry users in my day job are Managers and Directors so I don't think it's advisable to ask for their BlackBerry PINs.
Thanks to online community forums, I found a local group of BBM users who are sharing their PINs, whose members are like me- eager to use the BBM but have no friends to communicate with. And so I found a group- and new friends as well.
3. The Business Side of It
When I got my BlackBerry, I immediately asked my company's IT Support if I could connect my phone to our BlackBerry Enterprise Server so that I could access my Lotus Notes Email account on my phone. After paying for a license, they gave me access to our Enterprise Email Server. And so now, I have no reason not to respond to an important email even when I'm out of the office. That's what you get for being "connected all the time."
Seriously, it's no wonder that the BlackBerry is touted as an enterprise phone. The ease of setting up your company's email account and the idea of getting employees to stay connected 24/7 in a cost-efficient manner is definitely appealing to businesses.
4. Data Compression What?
In relation to reason no. 1, what makes the BlackBerry special is the fact that it compresses your data usage. Bear with me with this short anecdote to illustrate this. When I got my iPhone and Nexus One, I was pretty excited to use their web browsing and internet connectivity features. I didn't mind incurring data charges then and only stopped when my local telco provider sent a notification that I may be incurring too much charges. Indeed I was. So I regulated my web browsing usage through 3G and make it a point to use both my iPhone and Nexus on Wi-Fi only, as much as I could.
It was different when I first got my BlackBerry Bold 9700. I did the same web browsing through 3G activity. I turned on all notification settings. Set up my Gmail and Yahoo Mail accounts with my telco provider's BIS. I also ran Facebook, UberTwitter, and Foursquare on the background the whole day. And after a month with those settings, guess how much my data chargers? It was definitely lower than what I incurred during the first month that I was using my two other smartphones.
How is this possible? Well, that's because the BlackBerry phones compresses data usage by as much 40% on a regular smartphone. And that's a big difference.