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Ex-Blackberry User's Thoughts on Recently Purchased Blackjack (LONG)

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Is the Blackjack as easy to use as a Blackberry?
It is even easier!
 25%  [ 1 ]
It is as easy.
 25%  [ 1 ]
It is not easier.
 50%  [ 2 ]
Unfair question, it's a totally different kind of device!
 0%  [ 0 ]
Total Votes : 4

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Smartphone Neophyte

Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 2:24 pm    Post subject: Ex-Blackberry User's Thoughts on Recently Purchased Blackjac Reply with quote

I've owned a Blackjack for a few days now and thought I would post my thoughts in hopes it might help those on the fence or those that recently purchased and wanted to hear that they weren't the only ones thinking these things..

I have been a blackberry user for over 6 years and this phone is replacing an 8700 that got in a fight with my kitchen floor and lost.


Size - Perfect size. Anything smaller would definitely prohibit a full QWERTY keyboard. The slimness is welcome -- I'd say it's half as thick as the 8700.

Great screen - nice, bright and high resolution. Feels sharper and 'better' than my 8700's screen.

QWERTY keyboard is great. Despite the small size, with a little adjustment easily as good as 8700. I read they even licensed some of the RIM keyboard patents and it shows with the ease of typing.
"Push" email (POP3 -- gmail in my case) is very adequate

Application variety - I'm a BIG fan of the simplicity of Blackberry products- - they seem VERY smartly organized around professional use. I have to admit (although early) I like the option of having a Windows Media Player that can stream internet radio and a phone and video recorder. Who know how much use I will get of them but, for now, they are a positive novelty.


Weight - Far from 'too heavy' but it feels to me to be about the same weight as the 8700. Totally acceptable (not really a con -- it's just feather light)

No 'missed calls / email' indicator light - the blackberry features an indicator light which can be set to blink if you miss a call or email. This is great if you have your phone sitting on a coffee table while you are watching tv and don't want if vibrating or ringing. As far as I can tell the only option on the Blackjack is to scroll down on the home screen and see if it says you have missed calls or new email.

Inconsistent soft keys - below the screen are two 'soft keys' that can't seem to make up their mind about what they are. A perfect example is that sometimes when looking at a list the left one is a 'more' option that takes you to the next set of items -- and other times you need to scroll down to the last item in a list that is called 'more' and use the soft key to 'select' that item. Thinking about the one a bit I think it's more an issue of Windows Mobile being a platform that works across many different phones -- but annoying nevertheless.

Scroll wheel an afterthought - Unlike the Blackberry, this device was definitely not BUILT around the scroll wheel and it shows. The scroll wheel is nice for scrolling up and down email and webpages but, for example, you cant scroll around the links on a page -- rather you need to scroll down near them and then use the direction pad to select specific links.. speaking of the direction pad..

VERY BAD direction navigation pad - for much of your navigation you are forced to use the up/down/left/right/select direction navigation pad. The pad itself is QUITE nice but it's location (and the location of my fingers) FREQUENTLY (like 10% of clicks) seem to brush over/on the "CALL START' or "CALL CANCEL" buttons. Pressing either of these either sends you to the phone mode for phone number entry or cancels you out of the application. Usually selecting the 'back' button gets you back where you were but this issue is actually quite bad. I am not sure if I am nitpicking here (anyone else have reactions?) but if I don't find myself adjusting away from accidentally hitting those buttons I might return the phone -- it's that bad.

Crap Extra Applications - Ahh.. yes.. Microsoft bloatware. A ton of stuff here that isn't of interest with very limited options to 'get it out of the way'. Blackberry does a nice job of letting you easily remove and hide anything that isn't important to you.

Home Screen - Just plain kludgey. For me, none of the 'start screen' templates 'feel right'. The blackberry gives you a pretty concise and targeted set of things to do from the 'home screen'. While there are like four or five options included with my Cingular Blackjack none of them feel right. None of them give me an overview of everything important to me on a single screen. All require additional interaction.

Application and File navigation - Wow. Talk about too many ways to skin a cat. I have found at least 5 ways to navigate around the applications and the files. While some might like the chance to find one that suites them 95% well --- I'd just prefer a single option that works 85% and not be exposed to all the confusion around options... and even if you find one that works best there really isn't a simple way to get back to it.

New Date and Contact Entry - While not totally broken it doesn't seem nearly as thoughtful and streamlined as the blackberry counterpart. Seems like the interface skims on phone entry and likely assumes and relies upon majority of management happening on a PC client and then getting sync'd up. Not a bad assumption -- just not how I work. (I enter almost everything on the phone and sync it back to desktop). An example of something that actually is a little broken is adding a contact while in an application -- if you see and highlight a phone number or are in an email message and select 'add to contact list' unlike the blackberry that intelligently populates your new entry with some information the blackjack always seems to bring up a clean and empty new contact.. I could be doing something wrong but it feels buggy.

Google Maps doesn't work - Might be a small or non-issue for most but I became quite reliant upon Google Maps to get around and look up phone numbers for local businesses etc. Even though there is a version of Google Maps designed for the phone it seems that Cingular's or Samsung's implementation of Java prohibits it from working. Major bummer. Hopefully there is a workaround in the works about postings on this board indicate nothing is in the works.


Well -- I could go on and on. Clearly I spend more time with the negatives than the positives because the issues seems to be dumb oversights. MANY times I am using the Blackjack and thinking that someone on the Windows Mobile team should have just said "umm.. let's just copy Blackberry". Maybe much of how Blackberry phones work is patented but it just seems much more intelligently designed and presented.

I will say that while my experience is limited in the world of Windows Mobile Devices I am impressed with the phone. It's definitely a lean and mean machine technically -- I just think the Blackberry OS is firmly superior to the experience of using a blackjack. An obvious caveat is that I am very used to the blackberry -- but that aside -- doing simple and obvious things on the blackjack just take longer. More navigation needed, more clicks, more button presses, more attention required -- and getting quick and more familiar with the device won't reduce the clicks or limit the amount of button presses.

So what am I going to do? I'm definitely going to give it a shot. I'm going to keep it for my full 30 days and see if I get more familiar with the device, the operating system and the either find workarounds for my issues or just get less critical of them..

... And if I don't like it them I will perhaps give the Blackberry Pearl a spin (although the non-full QWERTY keyboard freaks me out) or perhaps fall back on replacing my broken 8700 with another (now swollen feeling) 8700. It all depends on how well I get along with the Blackjack and what Cingular's timing is with the Pearl.

Does anyone else have any thoughts or questions? I would love to know if anyone agrees or disagrees. Hopefully I am not stirring up and rabid Windows Mobile fan base -- just my own personal thoughts and impressions.. your mileage (and thought) may vary.

- Chris
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Smartphone Neophyte

Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

google maps, try this:

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Smartphone Neophyte

Joined: 27 Nov 2006
Posts: 2

PostPosted: Mon Nov 27, 2006 3:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

home screen, have you seen these ?

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