Quick background: I am the tech support guy for my father's home business. I do remote support for his server (Windows SBS 2003, small AD domain, Exchange server connected to ISP mailboxes using POP3 connector) and office PCs (3 systems running Windows XP, MS Office 2003), and normally I'm consulted on all technology purchases. And by "consulted" I mean I tell him how much it's going to cost, he gives me all the digits on his credit card, and I take care of the rest.
A few days ago he informs me that he's purchased a BlackBerry. A Storm, to be exact. The reviews I've read for the Storm seem decidedly mixed, and I probably would not have recommended that particular model. I've already explained to him that while he's welcome to pick any regular cellphone he wants, when it comes to smartphones and their integration with Exchange, he'd do well to keep me in the loop in future. The Storm's already been purchased though, so moving on to my questions...
He sent me an email today saying that he's not really digging the Storm. He dislikes the menu system ("not logical at all" was his exact complaint), and he doesn't like the touchscreen keyboard because he finds he has to press to the right of a letter as opposed to on the letter itself. I want to advise him sensibly on this, so I turn to you H/A for the following:
- Having never owned a BlackBerry before personally, I have no idea what sort of menu system they use, and whether or not it qualifies as "logical". Do all BlackBerry phones use the same menu layout? If so, is this something my father is likely to become accustomed to over time? He's debating returning the Storm for a different BlackBerry, but if they all have the same menu system, I might recommend a non-BB phone.
- Can any Storm users tell me if there's a touchscreen calibration / mapping utility so areas on the touch interface map more directly to areas on the screen? Or any other tips / tricks to address touchscreen accuracy issues on the Storm?
- Assuming the BlackBerry menu system isn't a showstopper issue but the Storm touchscreen keyboard is, what smartphones would people recommend, BlackBerry or otherwise? I hear the Curve is good, but I'm worried about it maybe having "illogical" menus. Maybe my father's a closet Vulcan, I don't know. Anyway, he currently has wireless service through Bell Mobility, and I don't see that changing, so his choices will probably be limited to the CDMA handsets that they provide.
I spent a whole bunch of time installing the BlackBerry Professional Express software on our Exchange server, so I'm leaning towards recommending that he try a Curve. The BlackBerry software on the server doesn't quite seem to be working 100% though, the status for his user account in the BlackBerry server is always "failed sending message" (or something close to that, anyway). I think that's because you apparently need a specific data plan to allow Exchange to communicate with a smartphone via the BB servers, or something. Until I hear whether he's sticking with Blackberry or not, I'll wait before I spend time figuring that one out.