Now on a Blackberry Pearl

Okay, the inability to connect my PowerBook to the EDGE network was a deal breaker. A few weeks ago, I switched to the RIM Blackberry 8100 (Pearl).

I must admit that the HTC Dash was the best smart phone I have ever used, and I used it on a B2V Radio Survey, and it worked out great for posting photos, accessing the Internet over the T-Mobile network at the Starbucks in Baker and over the EDGE in en route and in Baker and in Las Vegas, however I needed connectivity with my Mac.

After the trip I had to exchange it for a Blackberry, which gives me almost all of the same capability as the Dash. The piece I miss the most is posting to my Vox blog through the Vox Mobile application. However, this can be overcome by the use of email posting.

As far as internet connectivity. To make this work, I installed a Mac/Blackberry hack. To get the best phone service, I constructed a corner reflector out of cardboard box and aluminum foil. From my office in the mountains, I’m getting about 160kbps, which is great when you consider that previously, I had been getting 33kbps over dial-up. But that depends on whether the woodpeckers and squirrels had nested in or chewed on the telephone lines.

I’ve gotten used to the 5×5 pseudo QWERTY keypad, and can type about as fast as on the tiny real QWERTY DASH keypad. I still get a full suite of Google tools including mail, maps, search and news. I have configured my personal blogs to receive email postings, so my missing blogging software is covered. Yahoo! Mobile is a pretty slick application for the Pearl, but the load times are SLOW. The best feature is the ability to upload photos to Flickr.

As far as power, the battery lasts about 20% longer than the DASH. Finally, I’ve heard complaints about the audio quality, but this one is pretty loud and quite usable with my bluetooth headset.

So, all in all, I’m pretty happy. I’ll see how it works out.

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