Should I stick with Blackberry
June 19, 2012 7:30 AM   Subscribe

What Verizon cell phone meets these requirements

I'm not really technical, and I don't do a lot with my phone. Right now I have an old Blackberry that can hardly do anything other than email, and Blackberry Messenger runs very slow on it.

My requirements:

-Easy to operate
-Good call quality
-Good battery life
-Speakerphone, preferably one that is loud and clear
-International calling capability
-Allows internet access

Desirable, but not required:

-Talk to type feature (if that's what that's called)
-Easy to take photos of decent quality
-You can't easily make mistakes with it; for example, I've heard friends complain that pressing the touchscreen on their phones during a call messes things up.

Again, I'm not really technical. I just want a phone for my email and an occasional call. Would love if it could do more but it must do email and calls reasonably well. I don't want the bells and whistles if the basic function of the phone is no good. I'm partial to Blackberry since I've used that for years, but I am wondering what else might be out there...
posted by mintchip to Technology (11 answers total)
You'll get a million suggestions I'm sure.

Current generation Blackberries do everything you're looking for. I'd suggest not getting the absolute cheapest one unless you're willing to accept that it won't compete with more expensive phones in the feature space.

But, current gen have a good browser, good camera, good battery life and they all have good build quality.
posted by ChrisManley at 7:57 AM on June 19, 2012

Is there a reason that an iPhone wouldn't suit your needs? While it might sound like overkill, the majority of what you're going to spend (the monthly cost of a plan) is the same as a Blackberry I believe.
posted by The Devil Tesla at 8:01 AM on June 19, 2012

I'll definitely be in the minority here, but I am going to recommend a Windows Phone 7 model. My HTC Trophy on Verizon meets all of your requirements. I replaced my BB with it last year and have been very pleased, even when using it in Europe and Asia. I remain impressed with battery life, the WP OS and its integration with e-mail, MS Office and other features.

You may want to wait, however. I believe Verizon will be offering other WP models shortly. My wife has an iPhone 4S, which is a great phone and would also meet your needs. However, having used both, I plan on getting another Windows Phone when I trade up in 2013.
posted by flyingrock at 8:26 AM on June 19, 2012 [1 favorite]

Seconding the iPhone 4S here. The best camera in a phone, great dictation ability, solid battery life, and with the Verizon version you can just pop in a SIM from an international carrier when you go overseas.
posted by Oktober at 8:26 AM on June 19, 2012

The iPhone is the best general use phone for people who just want a good phone with no special "but it really needs to do [esoteric thing]" requirements that is currently for sale, and Verizon carries it.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:30 AM on June 19, 2012

Does iPhone still have poor battery life? My BB can go three or four days on a single charge.

Also, what's the deal with 3G and 4G and all of that. I have no idea what it means.
posted by mintchip at 8:55 AM on June 19, 2012

I handle the cell phones for my company, and all our lines are currently on Verizon. If you stay with Blackberry, don't go for the cheapest one. They are junky and constantly fail. Everyone at Verizon knows it.

I don't know about the current Android phones, but when I had an original Moto Droid, I was always hanging up on people because the touchscreen didn't disable when I was talking. I have an iPhone 4S now and it has a sensor - it knows to disable the touchscreen when the phone is up to my ear.

The biggest problem with Android in general is that there are a zillion different versions of the operating system and many different handsets. You have to do a lot of research to make sure that your phone has hardware that can handle the software, and that it will be able to update to future versions. Especially since some apps aren't backwards-compatible to older versions.

I am probably a bit biased because I'm a bit of an Apple evangelist, but I love my 4S and wouldn't trade to anything else. It's very intuitive, easy to use, and has the best app store. Siri isn't perfect but it's a great feature, and the camera is great. The battery isn't stellar but it's no worse than my old Droid.
posted by radioamy at 9:01 AM on June 19, 2012

the iPhone is better than average for "smartphone" batter life: with light usage you'll get close to 36 hours of battery life without charging, if you're using a lot of data or gaming you'll get a full day out of it.
posted by Oktober at 9:14 AM on June 19, 2012

Does iPhone still have poor battery life? My BB can go three or four days on a single charge.

Also, what's the deal with 3G and 4G and all of that. I have no idea what it means.

Battery life...depends on who you are. If you barely use your phone, you can get a few days out of it. If you use your phone "normally" (whatever that means), you can get a full day out of it. If you are like my co-workers and live on your phone, you will get 5-8 hours out of it, tops, and they brag about their "amazing" 5-8 hour battery life all the time.

3G and 4G is network speed. This isn't totally accurate, but for your purposes, think of 3G as dial-up and 4G as Cable/DSL.

You do seem like a great iPhone candidate.

Have you looked into how Verizon's new plan pricing is going to affect you? Or are you going to hop onto a new contract before the changes kick in?
posted by TinWhistle at 9:25 AM on June 19, 2012

iPhones are okay but not great on battery life. Some of the Androids are better. I love my iPhone, but if I were in some weird situation where battery life was a bit deal and I couldn't charge it during the day (ex. spent a lot of time going to and from other people's offices on mass transit with no time/opportunity to recharge AND I was a heavy user, I'd probably be looking at some of the Verizon Androids that come with (perhaps optional) extended life batteries. One of my bosses has one and reports 2-3 days usage with a lot of talk time.

I typically can go one day without running into trouble - if there's a lot of talk time or I'm in a long meeting and (ahem) *working* on my phone, it will be down to <50% by the evening. So for me it's not a deal-breaker, but I think for some situations it could be.
posted by randomkeystrike at 11:27 AM on June 19, 2012

International calling capability will be a major sticking point as Verizon uses frequencies/technologies that are not worldwide standards. If you do manage to get a "global" device as they are marketed, you likely will not want to pay the exorbitant rate to actually use it in a different country for voice or data. In most cases of International travel, the local flavor (a pay-as-you-go cheapo disposable phone) is usually the best. If you get a phone with WiFi, you could use that internationally on WiFi or a cellular hotspot and just turn off the cellular radios all together.

The Razr Maxx (Android) is going to be longer lasting in battery life than most of the other smartphones. iPhone may be easier from a "not really technical" standpoint, but does not support 4G LTE (new, fast data infrastructure) and won't until the next model (supposedly) comes out later this year.

They're re-tooling their plan structure on the 28th. You may want to see how much it would cost before/after the new plans are rolled out.
posted by ijoyner at 12:33 PM on June 19, 2012

« Older Have you seen the movie "Secretary"? Yeah, like...   |   Civic making Beetle noises - is it safe? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.