BlackBerry 8330 vs MOTO Q9c vs Palm Treo 800w
October 1, 2008 12:27 PM   Subscribe

Will the BlackBerry 8330 work for me? How useful is wifi connectivity (which the 8330 doesn't have)? Is there a significant difference between this phone and the Motorola Q9c?

My Motorola Razr v3c is at the end of it's life and I'm eligible for a 2-year renewal discount with Sprint. Aside from basic phone stuff, I use the Razr for:

Checking twitter (the browser won't allow sending messages to Twitter; I have to do that via txt message)
Checking Gmail (easy to read, very hard to compose a message though)
Listening to music (before I got an mp3 player)
Google Maps (getting directions when I'm lost)
Reading MetaFilter

I'd like my new phone to do all of that, and it looks to me like the BlackBerry 8330's interface would make sending txt and e-mail much easier. . The only drawback I see is that it can't connect to a wifi network (it uses Sprint's EVDO network). How big of a drawback is this? My current phone can't do this and sometimes websites load painfully slow, or time out completely.

The Sprint rep I chatted with online told me that the Palm Treo 800w can connect to wif, but for that I'd pay $250, which is a little more than I'm comfortable with right now. I can get the 8330 for $100, which seems like a good deal for what I'm paying for.

The 8330 and Moto Q9c are both the same price. Has anyone used both of these phones? I understand that the functionality of them differs a little between Sprint and Verizon. Do you know if these phones will work well for what I'm needing, or should I be looking at something else? I imagine they should handle what my Razr does, only much better. Am I wrong?

Normally I would research the hell out of this on my own but I'll be getting on a plane tomorrow morning, and I need a replacement phone quickly.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints to Technology (10 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: I just got my BlackBerry 8330 Curve last week (also upgrading from an old Razr) and so far I couldn't be happier. I'm with Verizon but...

- Websites load relatively quickly. It's not broadband speed, but it certainly isn't dialup speed either. I'd rate it a bit slower than the DSL service I have at home.

- Twitter is super easy with TinyTwitter

- Gmail emails come directly to the BB, and typing is a breeze on the full keypad (this is what made me get the Curve vs the Pearl)

- The Google Maps app I downloaded can tell where I am (to within a few hundred meters) which was wonderfully helpful last weekend when I got slightly lost while following some railroad tracks. This could also count as a scary feature, depending on if you are wearing your tinfoil hat.

- Metafilter seems to work well, although I haven't tried any comment-heavy threads yet.

The camera is also surprisingly good, if that makes any difference to you. All in all, a darn good phone.
posted by ekstasis23 at 12:40 PM on October 1, 2008

How big of a drawback is this?

Depends on your usage. Have you ever used the blackberry mobile browser? It pretty feature-free and doesnt compare to mobile IE or Safari.

EVDO is good enough for me and I'm not a casual user. Its also a pain to switch to wifi, enter the key, wait for dhcp, etc. If I'm at a location where there is wireless there's usually a good chance I'm somewhere I can sit at a real computer and not have to use my phone.

The treo is more expensive because you're getting a better device and a better OS. WM6 is light-years ahead of the blackberry OS. There are also a lot more apps for it and you dont need a BES server or any middleman to connect to Exchange. If youre expecting to do some heavy-weight mobile stuff I'd advise against any BB. BBs are simplified executive toys. They're nice for email and making phone calls, but when you need apps and browsers, then its time to move up to a better device.

Spring for the Treo.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:53 PM on October 1, 2008

or the Q9c.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:56 PM on October 1, 2008

I prefer the Blackberry. Battery time is better because the device isn't checking the server for email messages--the server finds the BlackBerry and sends the email to it. Browser is fine--I go to text-heavy sites like MeFi anyway.

Palm is doomed. Regardless of how great the operating system is, nobody buys it which means that at some point you are gonna be out of luck on upgrades and the like.

Its operating system is better in some ways, but frankly, BlackBerry syncs with Outlook better in my opinion if you have the enterprise server option. However, the tasks suck on the Blackberry and can't really be used if you are a power user.

Plus the Treo weighs as much as a brick and is huge. The curve is small.

what anyone would need apps and mega-slick browsers for, I don't know. I just need to communicate fast and bill with it.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:11 PM on October 1, 2008

Palm is doomed. Regardless of how great the operating system is, nobody buys it which means that at some point you are gonna be out of luck on upgrades and the like.

Treo 800w runs WM6 not PalmOS.
posted by damn dirty ape at 1:14 PM on October 1, 2008

I love my Q9c. Everyone else at work has Blackberries, and I'm the only one who can reliably open and edit customer word documents, excel sheets, etc.

Plus the Exchange sync is native - no middleware.

Plus I can do Gmail IMAP sync.

Plus I put my own programs which access the inbuilt Pocket Outlook store - so I can GTD my life away...!
posted by blue_wardrobe at 1:31 PM on October 1, 2008

Posting this on a Q9c. Love it. Battery life sucks, supplied web browser sucks. Opera Mini fixes that. No wifi, but EVDO with Opera Mini is quite acceptable. Highly recommended overall, although I've never used a Blackberry, so no reference point there.
posted by entropic at 3:10 PM on October 1, 2008

"Plus the Exchange sync is native - no middleware."

What? Even through its Microsoft -- there is still middleware for the Q9C.
posted by SirStan at 6:00 PM on October 1, 2008

I had an old Moto Q and upgraded to the 8330 Curve. It was a decision between the Q9c and the BB.

As people have said the battery life is much better and the BB is smaller. I did a bit of research online between the two and I based my decision on 1 question. Is it an entertainment device? I decided that email was more important than watching movies or playing mp3s on the device. I'm not doing too much document editing so I don't need Documents To Go or anything, just a simple text editor like BBNotePad. BeamBerry is available for viewing other documents too. The GPS feature is neat.

I don't have the software 4.5 upgrade yet, but it promises Rich HTML email, Word editing and some other features listed here:

There are more apps for WM6 to be honest, but I haven't really missed them.
posted by geekigirl at 9:05 PM on October 2, 2008

Response by poster: Update: I went with the 8330 and have been really happy with it. TinyTwitter is great (I tried TwitterBerry but don't like it as much), e-mail and Google chat work flawlessly, and I'm able to read/post to MetaFilter (but not to add favorites, bummer).

The GPS function with Google maps is awesome. It helped us out several times in DC. I've used the mp3 player a lot and am happy with it (am very happy that I can drag/drop files in Ubuntu). The battery life is outstanding.

The best feature, and this isn't specific to the BB but will work with just about every phone, (except my Razr, because of Sprint's "picture mail" plan) is being able to update my kid's blog with pics in real time. That's made my parents and grandparents super excited.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 9:01 AM on October 13, 2008

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