All posts tagged BlackBerry

Touch-screen Smartphone comparison

Published February 16, 2009 by Syllable

Particularly the people on Twitter, and those reading my Gadget Girl column on Style Scoop, are aware that I am a very, VERY big fan of BlackBerry.

I first got my hands on a BlackBerry Curve 8310 in November 2007. Until then I was very happy with Nokia, and in all fairness, if I never got a taste of ‘Berry I’d still be using Nokia. But I’m very glad I know better now. That sounds very arrogant, I know, and I apologise, I guess.

My biggest criticism of the Samsung Omnia, is that it is Samsung’s first attempt at a Smartphone. On the other hand, BlackBerry has been in the business of Smartphones for the past decade.

Now, The MD is just an avid a HTC/Leaf/iMate fan as what I’m supporting BlackBerry. He’s had one since they came to South Africa, and refused to be swayed to the ‘Berry side. Until last week. He desperately needed a new phone, since his phone’s battery didn’t last half a day.

Because I’m so fabulous and BlackBerry loves me almost as much as I love them, I was invited to the launch of the BlackBerry Storm. And so I dragged The MD along – who in turn, dragged our Technical Manager along. We went to Vodaworld two hours before the launch and I followed them around while they went into every single store and tried every single touch screen Smartphone: iPhone (good points: expensive look, bad points: MMS [lack thereof], limited applications), Omnia (good points: vibration on push action, bad points: Windows Mobile 6.1 don’t work so nicely without the stylus), HTC Touch Diamond (good points: what good points? [seriously!], bad points: everything). We did have a look at the Nokia’s but didn’t play with them, since The MD is adamant about having a touch screen. He can’t get over his disappointment with the HTC. So he chose the BlackBerry, and the only critisism he had was the build quality, but says that if there was one feature of all the phones combined that he’d sacrifice, that was it. His ultimate phone would have the iPhone build, the vibrating push bit of the Omnia, and everything else you get with the BlackBerry.

Personally if I had to upgrade now, I’d get a BlackBerry Bold, since the touch screen is not really my thing.

So what is so great about BlackBerry? It’s the ultimate combination of business and fun (particularly if you’re enjoying your social media). If you are not on a BlackBerry contract, you can get a bolt-on (you don’t even need any contract at all!) which allows for unlimited Internet access, push e-mail for up to ten e-mail accounts, Vodafone SatNav (GPS), Facebook, Gtalk – and thanks to all the applications available – Twitterbery, iSkoot (Skype application), Windows Live Messenger. I’ve downloaded the MileageTracker application that helps me keep track of my business travel expenses.

Last weekend I had some trouble with My Baby, but a quick visit to Google, and (no surprises) it was all sorted out. I also downloaded a software upgrade and can now record videos (previously not something one could do with a Curve 8310) and a great new look for the media player.

If you are worried that you will never get away from work if you get a BlackBerry, remember that the power is yours. Over the holidays I deleted my work e-mail from my phone, and set it up again in the new year – it’s easy enough to do that!

It doesn’t make coffee or do the dishes, but it is the best Smartphone on the market. For more information, visit BlackBerry’s website.


Weathering the Storm

Published February 7, 2009 by Syllable

The BlackBerry Storm Smartphone is the world’s first touch-screen that “clicks”. Vodacom South Africa and Research In Motion (RIM) has launched the BlackBerry® Storm™ Smartphone in the South African market.

Delivering the renowned functionality of the BlackBerry® solution, the BlackBerry Storm brings entertainment, information and communications to the tips of your fingers.

The stylish Smartphone boasts exceptional performance, a stunning display and rich features including 3G (HSDPA) network support, integrated GPS, desktop-style web pages, advanced multimedia, a first class phone, camera and the industry’s most robust messaging capabilities – designed to give users an incredibly fast and powerful mobile experience.

It also features the unique and innovative SurePress™ touch-screen, which depresses ever so slightly to aid in typing and navigation and to give users an experience they can actually feel. Through the revolutionary SurePress touch-screen, the virtual keyboard on the BlackBerry Storm responds like a physical keyboard and supports single-touch, multi-touch and gestures for intuitive and efficient navigation as well as easy and precise typing.

Another feature is the built-in accelerometer, which automatically switches the display as the user rotates the handset for use in landscape or portrait. When in portrait mode, users can type out a quick instant message or dial a number using either RIM’s SureType® keyboard layout or a 12-key multi-tap keyboard. When the handset is rotated to landscape, the user is presented with a full QWERTY keyboard.

The BlackBerry Storm Smartphone brings images to life with stunning clarity through its gorgeous 3.25-inch, high resolution colour display. A multimedia powerhouse, the BlackBerry Storm Smartphone has rich media player that handles a number of music formats. It can even be synchronised with iTunes® so customers can enjoy their music on the move, or synced wirelessly via Bluetooth® to the BlackBerry® Remote Stereo Gateway to enjoy songs through a home stereo. The phone also has 1GB of onboard memory storage, comes standard with an 8GB microSD/SDHD memory card and supports up to 16 GB of storage per memory card.

Preloaded with an incredible selection of applications that were custom-built for use on BlackBerry® smartphones, the BlackBerry Storm enables users to simply and easily keep web community pages current, continue instant message chats or even add pictures directly to Facebook®.

Preloaded applications include:
• Facebook for BlackBerry Smartphones
• Windows Live™ Messenger for BlackBerry Smartphones
• Yahoo® Messenger for BlackBerry Smartphones
• Flickr™ Photo Uploader for BlackBerry Smartphones
• Vodafone SatNav, powered by Telmap SatNav technology

Starting as low as R59.00 per month for the BlackBerry® Internet Service (Prepaid and Contract) and R98.00 for BlackBerry® Enterprise Service (excluding device), customers get unlimited email, unlimited Internet browsing, as well as unlimited use of pre-loaded data applications.

And I know some readers think I’m biased towards BlackBerry. I admit it – I am. But this time the cynical man in my life put all the current touch-screen Smartphones on the market through the wringer and he came to the conclusion that BlackBerry is, indeed, the best out there.

BlackBerry Curve – a splash of colour

Published February 7, 2009 by Syllable

MTN and Research In Motion (RIM) today announced that the new BlackBerry® Curve™ 8310 smartphone is available to MTN subscribers in an eye catching and fashionable pink finish.

The compact and colourful pink BlackBerry Curve 8310 is the smallest and lightest full QWERTY BlackBerry® smartphone and is an ideal companion for those who want a full-featured smartphone, including advanced multimedia features and the renowned functionality of the BlackBerry solution, in a sleek and elegant design.

The new BlackBerry Curve 8310 is packed with features, including the industry’s leading email and messaging capabilities, fast web browsing, and premium phone features, as well as consumer-friendly features such as a built-in 2 megapixel camera, media player and a powerful desktop software suite for managing multimedia content. The BlackBerry Curve 8310 can also be tailored to satisfy individual business needs and lifestyles through a wide range of third-party applications, from sales force management and expense forms to fitness guides and games. With its built-in GPS functionality, the BlackBerry Curve 8310 is also a powerful all-in-one navigation system for people on the go.

“The pink BlackBerry Curve 8310 offers an outstanding balance of mobile entertainment features and business applications in a sleek design. It delivers all of the power of the BlackBerry platform together with a sophisticated pink finish that suits the personal style and fashion-sense of the person carrying it,” says Deon Liebenberg, Regional Director for Sub Sahara Africa at RIM.

“For many consumers fashion is key when choosing their handset and with the powerful and easy-to-use BlackBerry Curve 8310 in pink, it’s possible to enjoy a unique fusion of form and function.,” says Pieter Verkade – MTN SA Chief Marketing Officer. “We are pleased to offer this attractive and feature-packed smartphone to our customers.”

For corporate customers, the pink BlackBerry Curve 8310 smartphone is supported on BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, which tightly integrates with IBM® Lotus® Domino®, Microsoft® Exchange and Novell® GroupWise® environments and features a broad set of IT policy and security controls that allows IT departments to manage deployments.

For individuals and smaller business, BlackBerry® Internet Service allows users to access up to ten supported personal email accounts (including most popular ISP email accounts) from a single device.

Making a Bold statement

Published February 7, 2009 by Syllable

For a Smartphone that makes a bold statement, Research In Motion (RIM) has brought out the admirable BlackBerry® Bold™ Smartphone. Crafted from premium materials, inside and out, that radiate elegance with a dramatic presence, the BlackBerry Bold is designed to give users unprecedented functionality and performance in an intuitive BlackBerry® Smartphone. It is the first BlackBerry Smartphone to support tri-band HSDPA high-speed networks around the world and comes with integrated GPS and Wi-Fi®, as well as a rich set of multimedia capabilities. From its lustrous black exterior, satin chrome finished frame and stylish leather-like back plate, to its stunning display, sophisticated user interface and newly designed full-QWERTY keyboard, the BlackBerry Bold Smartphone is a symbol of accomplishment and aspiration.

The BlackBerry Bold Smartphone’s support for tri-band HSDPA and enterprise-grade Wi-Fi networks and its next-generation 624 MHz mobile processor, make short work of downloading email attachments, streaming video or rendering web pages. The BlackBerry Bold also includes 128 MB Flash memory plus 1 GB on-board storage memory, as well as and a microSD/SDHC memory card slot that is conveniently accessible from a side door. It comes with the renowned BlackBerry productivity applications, including phone, email, messaging, organizer and browser, and works with thousands of mobile business and lifestyle applications, making it easier than ever to stay connected, productive and entertained. With this powerful new Smartphone, users can even talk on the phone while sending and receiving email or accessing the web, and download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files and edit them directly on the handset using the preloaded DataViz® Documents to Go® suite.

The BlackBerry Bold Smartphone comes with the most vivid and bold display ever introduced on a BlackBerry Smartphone. Its half-VGA (480×320 resolution) colour LCD is fused to the undersurface of the lens, making images leap out with stunning definition and clarity. Pictures are vibrant and razor sharp, while videos play smoothly and web pages, documents, presentations and messages snap with exceptional quality and contrast.

The BlackBerry Bold Smartphone gives users an on-the-go web browsing experience with desktop-style depiction. The trackball mimics a mouse, making it easy to navigate sites in “Page View” or “Column View” or to zoom in on specific parts of a web page, while various emulation settings allow users to choose between the full desktop-style HTML content and layout or the mobile version. Attachments can also now be downloaded from within the browser and there is support for watching streaming videos (RTSP – real-time streaming protocol).

While it is designed to meet the extensive requirements of the business professional during the day, the BlackBerry Bold Smartphone also caters to the business person’s consumer side. It features a 2 megapixel camera with video recording capability, built-in flash and 5x digital zoom. The enhanced media player can display pictures and slideshows quickly, play movies smoothly in full screen mode, and manage an entire music collection. Audio can be played over the handset’s dual speakers in rich, stereo sound, and when using wired headphones or external speakers. The media player gives the user an equalizer with 11 preset filters that boost or soften audio ranges to create the perfect ambiance.

For managing music and video, the BlackBerry® Desktop Manager software includes Roxio® Media Manager for BlackBerry® as well as Roxio Photosuite® 9 LE, which makes it easy to enhance pictures and create photo albums on the computer. For users that manage their collection with iTunes®, the new BlackBerry® Media Sync application provides a simple way to sync iTunes digital music collections with the Smartphone. Support for High Speed USB 2.0 allows all files to be transferred quickly from a desktop computer to the BlackBerry Bold Smartphone.

Like all BlackBerry Smartphones, the BlackBerry Bold gives users the industry’s leading mobile messaging solution. It works with BlackBerry® Enterprise Server, which enables advanced security and IT administration within IBM® Lotus® Domino®, Microsoft® Exchange and Novell® GroupWise® environments, as well as BlackBerry® Professional Software for small businesses. It also works with BlackBerry® Internet Service, which gives users access to up to 10 work or personal e-mail accounts, including most popular ISP e-mail accounts.

The BlackBerry Bold Smartphone comes with a variety of convenient accessories including a stereo headset, travel charger, carrying case or sleeve and USB cable. Users will also be able to personalize their BlackBerry Bold Smartphone by purchasing replaceable leather-like back plates that come in a range of colors. The removable / rechargeable 1500 mAhr battery provides multi-hour usage with a target talk time of approximately 5 hours and 13 days standby time.

Accessories for BlackBerry Smartphone, including leather holsters and totes, charging pods, premium earphones, the BlackBerry® Remote Stereo Gateway and Bluetooth headsets, are available at the new BlackBerry Concept Store.

The BlackBerry experience

Published February 7, 2009 by Syllable

Vodaworld in Midrand has opened a dedicated in-store area for the BlackBerry® solution, which will showcase how BlackBerry® Smartphones provide users with the power to connect to everything that matters in their personal and professional lives.

Consumers can see live demonstrations of the latest BlackBerry Smartphones, including the BlackBerry® Bold™, BlackBerry® Curve™, and BlackBerry® Pearl™. Go hands-on with the demonstration devices yourself, and experience how you can personalise a BlackBerry Smartphone with applications and services to suit your needs.

You can also buy a variety of great accessories for your BlackBerry Smartphone including the BlackBerry® Remote Stereo Gateway, charging pods, hands-free kits, skins, leather pouches, and more.

So visit Vodaworld in Midrand to find out how you can connect to everything you love in life. Phone, email, browser, multi-media and more, all designed for the way you live today.

For more information, visit

No strings Berry

Published February 7, 2009 by Syllable

You’d love to have a BlackBerry and all the wonderful benefits: unlimited e-mail for up to ten accounts, unlimited Internet access, 24/7 Facebook access, Instant Messaging, GPS – but you just don’t want the commitment of a 24-month contract.

No problem! Simply buy a BlackBerry Prepaid Smartphone from Vodacom, and purchase your BlackBerry Prepaid service for as little as R59.00 (incl.VAT) for 30 days. Vodacom will even send you an SMS reminder informing you of when your BlackBerry Prepaid service will expire.

All you do is purchase airtime as you would normally, and through any one of three easy steps allocate R59.00 to the BlackBerry Prepaid Service. Once you have completed your purchase, remove the battery from your BlackBerry and restart your Smartphone.

Of course you need to ensure that you have a BlackBerry Smartphone or BlackBerry Connect device which supports BlackBerry access and services, prior to recharging, as no cell phone authentication takes place upon recharge.

And that is how easy it is. For less than R2.00 a day, you can Google, Twitter, Blog, Facebook and so much more on your BlackBerry Smartphone. For more information, contact Vodacom.

Another gem from BlackBerry

Published February 7, 2009 by Syllable

The BlackBerry® Pearl™ 8120 smartphone is designed to help you do everything you want with your life.

It comes complete with advanced phone features, multimedia, digital camera, video recording, Wi-Fi capabilities and expandable memory.

And it offers the full BlackBerry experience — email, browser, text messaging (SMS and MMS), instant messaging, organiser applications and more. Small, smart and stylish.

The Pearl’s dimensions are a sleek 107mm x 50mm x 14mm, and it weighs approximately 91g.

The Curve is still my first choice with its full QWERTY keyboard, but if you prefer something a little streamlined, this is definitely an excellent choice.

As always, you can request a tiny shiny upgrade, at an additional cost.

For more information, visit BlackBerry’s website.