Archive for the ‘Reviews’ Category

The “New”tered Blackberry Collection

February 10, 2010 2 comments

blackberry optical pad

RIM has come out with several new phone models and their biggest innovation has been ripped the balls out the Blackberry and replacing them with a pad.

trackball vs optical pad

I must admit the optical pad is nice, it works pretty much the same as the trackball and doesn’t make me feel at all as if I’m using a women’s feminine product. Now you can navigate through your “Blackberry whatever” without having to worry about your trackball not scrolling down or to the left anymore. GREAT!!! What else you got?

Oh yes people there is more. Blackberry has increased the onboard memory to 256 MB and 2GB if you get the Storm (no more deleted call logs and text messages), they have a much higher resolution screen (480×360 pixel), an improved web browser that supports HTML fully, a 3.2 Mega pixel camera/camcorder, an app catalog, and a super faster processor so you can do all those thing quick and easy.

you rock

I know what your thinking “WOW! That Rocks!. But wait, I’m not finished.  Lets look at this scenario:

You’re sitting there with your neutered Blackberry that you just traded you’re Curve in for. You’re checking out the web on your upgraded web browser, with your fast processor, and your 480 x 360 resolution screen when you realize. “Wow, this really isn’t much different from my Curve.” I mean yeah it looks better but it pretty much does all the same things. Not only that but the web browser still sucks compared to some other browsers out there, the applications are no way near as good as the Droids, the iPhone, or even the Pre, and it still has the same old interface. Really it’s just the same cake with different frosting.

When you compare older Blackberry models such as the Curve, with the new models there is a slight improvement that may or may not merit getting a new phone. However, when comparing the new models to each other, they are almost identical.

compare blackberrys

It seems like Blackberry could be going in the route that Palm went with the Treo. Palm had a popular phone that was innovative; however they didn’t make any major improvements to it. So when competitors came along they made products that did the same things that the Treo did, but capitalized on the things the Treo lacked.  Next thing you know everyone is trading in their Treo’s and Palm stock plummets.

The things that makes Blackberrys great is their push email capability, which makes your emails come to your Blackberry instantaneously without your phone having to search for them. They also have the ability to sync with corporate emails, calendar, and other enterprise features easily. Lastly they have really good battery life when compared to other PDA’s. Even still the Palm scenario is a very possible scenario for Blackberry if they don’t make some major changes to their devices. Especially now that the iPhone is ending its contract with AT&T and is improving it’s messaging and enterprise capabilities, just like the Google phones is doing.

What a Berry Needs

  1. First off RIM needs to get a great web browser. If they can’t develop on of their own maybe they should work with Opera Mini.
  1. Next they should come out with a Blackberry with a keyboard and a touch screen. A slider would be nice if it had the right form factor.

  1. Get some better applications
  1. Change the interface to something similar but less ugly and boring. Maybe add some graphics the boring  list menu

blackberry interface is boring

If Blackberry was to do at least two out of the 4 suggestions I think that would be enough to fight off the uprising of the android an iPhone.


The iPad review by Hitler

February 2, 2010 Leave a comment

Categories: Reviews Tags: , ,

Map Wars. The real deal behind AT&T and Verizon’s Claims of 3G Supremacy

January 6, 2010 5 comments

verizon vs at&t

We’ve all seen the commercials by now where Verizon claims to have 5 times more 3G coverage than AT&T. “There’s a map for that.” I’m sure some of us have pondered to what degree this stuff they’re feeding us is true. So here is a closer look into the map war.

Verizon says they have 5 times more 3G coverage than AT&T. Is this true ?

verizon, at&t, sprint, and Tmobile 3g map

Update: AT&T is now suing Verizon for “misleading” commercials  that show the 3G map above. However this really is not misleading, This map was actually on AT&T’s website at the time the commercials launched. The Map shows AT&T’s “3G Coverage” it does not say that AT&T doesn’t have data coverage in places where they don’t have 3G coverage.

In fact AT&T has very slow 2G coverage in most of the areas however the map depicting their 3G coverage above is 100% accurate. The new map on AT&T’s website, however is misleading. They no longer break down coverage of 2G and 3G.

AT&T’s Data map should look like this

at&t 3g 2g coverage map

As you can see from the map above Verizon has significantly more 3G coverage then AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint who is an okay second runner. I know what you’re thinking. “Sprint is a close second?” That’s right, interestingly enough because Sprint has been struggling in the wireless industry yet their network doesn’t seem to be the issue. I did find it peculiar that Verizon took shots at Sprints coverage when they both launched the Blackberry Tour. Oddly enough, Sprint’s inventory was infested with defective Blackberry Tours. Those defects included a shabby trackball and poor reception, making it seem as if Sprint’s reception was worst than it really is. Coincidence? Maybe.

Anyways, if you listen to AT&T they never actually deny that Verizon has better coverage. Their answer is that they have a faster 3G network. Let’s look into that.

Three speed tests performed by, and all give 3 different winners. One Gizmodo test, which included 8 major cities (Atl, Bay Area, Chi, Denver, Vegas, LA, Maui, NY, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Tampa) named AT&T the fastest network.

3g speed test att verizon sprint tmobile

A different test by Gizmodo, which included 4 major cities (Chi, NYC, Austin, Raleigh, Seattle, Portland, San Fran, Boston) named Sprint the fastest

The last speed test, done by, reports

Verizon came in first place with an average download speed of 1,940 Kbps, as reported by 856 participants. T-Mobile’s average rate was 1,793 Kbps with 1,189 reported T-Mobile users. Third was Sprint with 1,598 Kbps, based on data from 1,570 users. In dead last was AT&T with an average of 901 Kbps — but an overwhelmingly large user sample of 8,153 test takers.”

As you can see these test are very subjective.

They also argue that their network allows users to talk and surf the web simultaneous, and they provide 3G coverage in popular areas. Keys word “popular area.” Verizon does have the most coverage but a good portion of their covered is in low populated areas.

The map shows Population density throughout the US. Darker red represents denser populated areas

This should mean higher costs for Verizon users because the costs of infrastructure in the mid-west and western states are spread over fewer customers. However AT&T has the exact same price point as Verizon when it comes to monthly plans. Odd.

Wireless providers have most likely decided not to start building towers in the mid-west and western states because it is not cost-effective due to the low population. Once their revenue grows from heavy populated areas, they may decide to expand coverage. The reason AT&T and T-Mobile’s 3G coverage is so limited is because they just started offering 3G services within the last few years. Unlike Verizon and Sprint, who have had their 3G networks for much longer.

What does it all come down to?

Most often consumer’s attitudes are “you get what you pay for.” But is that really true? Here is a break down of service plan for all four major companies, on a smart phone with 450 minutes, unlimited text, and unlimited data.

cell phone company plans compare

Verizon and AT&T plans mirror each other with a few exceptions. AT&T doesn’t cover as many States as Verizon. So what are you paying for? Why does AT&T and Verizon both cost $90 a month yet AT&T has less coverage then Verizon? My guess is that the consumer idea of “you get what you pay for,” makes people believe they are getting the best service if they are paying the highest price. Plus the power of the iPhone allows AT&T to set higher prices when really all consumers are paying for is the expenses their wireless provider encounters to make it seem like they are the best network. Things like advertisement expenses and network expansion to low populated areas.

Verizon and AT&T probably have similar advertisement expenses based on the number of commercials we see with them going back and forth. When you look at a voice service map all the companies have pretty decent coverage Verizon’s being the best.

wireless coverage map compare

Update: AT&T also stopped showing levels of voice coverage. Instead of going from great, to good, to poor, to roaming, to no coverage; they just show coverage and no coverage, no matter how poor the coverage is.  You can no long distinguish good and bad coverage with AT&T’s map. The map above is accurate.

In a nut shell Verizon has the best overall network and if you compare the cost verse the benefit, AT&T doesn’t even make sense. In actuality, from a “cost vs benefit’ point of view Sprint seems to be the best choice. Sprint has good 3G speeds and decent coverage, yet their plans are $20 lower per month than Verizon and AT&T. Sprint also offers great bundle packages that include GPS, TV, text, web, and unlimited calls to any cell phone number no matter the wireless provider, all for the low-cost of $69.99. Not sure how they can do that but it sounds like a good deal to me.

The Best Phone to Ever Suck!!!

December 8, 2009 1 comment

Blackberry Curve 8330
Blackberrys truly live up to their nick name Crackberry, they’re like crack without the baking soda. If you use it long enough you’ll be addicted. I think they’re more like cigarettes. You know how they say if you smoke 9 times you will be hooked, and by the time you cough up a lung you’re too addicted to quite? Well it’s pretty much like that. By the time your Blackberry starts “hour glassing” and deleting your call log and all of your freaking text messages, causing you to no longer have that hot chick you met in Vegas’s number, and when you walk all the way from Circus Circus to the Havana you have no way to tell her you’re in the lobby; you’ll be to hooked on all great things the Blackberry does well to get rid of it. Sorry, flash back. Now… where was I? Oh yes, Pros and Cons:

Up to10 email addresses (gmail, hotmail, yahoo, etc, get your emails the way you get a text message)
Enterprise Service (corporate email on your device)
2.0 mega pix camera and camcorder
Amazing Battery life for a PDA
3.5 head Phone Jack
External Memory Card (max 16 gig)
Downloadable apps
Cut and paste (on any text field)
Instant Messenger (yahoo, Gtalk, AIM, BBM)
Documents to go
Download email attachments (pic’s, xl, doc, pp)

Takes forever to power up
Web browser needs work (not fully HTML)
Not enough on board memory (96 Megs)
Apps don’t save to the extended memory card
Randomly deletes messages and call log due to low memory
Hour glasses due to low memory
Trackball gets stuck (secret to fixing that, put spit on your finger and wiggle the trackball nasty but it works)

Categories: Reviews Tags: , ,