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[Solved] Questions about BlackBerry

vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
edited March 2009 in Help / Advice Forum
Hey all,

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.

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vonPoonBurGer on

Posts

  • FiggyFiggy Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    I have a Curve, and the menu system might take some time getting used to if you are accustomed to regular "non-smart" cell phones.

    Also, you can entirely reorganize the BB menu, removing (or hiding) icons you don't use, organizing stuff into folders, and completely redesigning it if you know how to with custom themes.

    I can't comment on how the Storm is, but I've heard the touchscreen isn't very great. He might indeed like a Curve better, and I can testify that the keyboard is very nice. It's a decent size, so I don't find myself unable to hit certain keys or pressing one when I want another.

    I have the 8320 model, which has WIFI but no GPS.

    Figgy on
    XBL : Figment3 · SteamID : Figment
  • underdonkunderdonk __BANNED USERS regular
    edited March 2009
    1) No, they are decidedly different. The Storm's is completely customizable, however. New folders can be created and applications filed in said folders. It might be a case of your Dad spending a little time with the device to customize it to his needs and desires.

    2) No. I have big fingers as well and it took about two weeks of solid use before I got used to the keyboard on the Storm. I have no complaints about it now and find that I am generally comfortable with it and speedy on it. Again, he might just need to spend a little more time with the device to get a feel for it.

    3) I wouldn't buy a Storm for business, and didn't, as it's my personal phone. I use a Blackberry 8830 for business and would recommend it above and beyond all other Blackberry's in terms of price/performance. Plus, the thing is indestructible.

    Good luck!

    underdonk on
    Back in the day, bucko, we just had an A and a B button... and we liked it.
  • PeregrineFalconPeregrineFalcon Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    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.
    The Storm has a different menu than all the other BBs, because it has no keyboard/scrollwheel/trackball. It's pure touchscreen, and as such features a fluffed-up iPhone-like interface.

    In case you haven't figured it out, I think it's shit. :P

    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?
    "Buy a different phone." The Storm is pretty lousy that way. Other BBs have real, proper, hey-look-tactile-feedback QWERTY sets.

    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.
    Any 8000-series Blackberry other than the Storm will have a nice, normal, Vulcan-friendly keyboard and menu. If you don't want to go with that, Bell has some HTC WinMo phones.

    And yes, you need a specific plan that accounts for Blackberry use.

    PeregrineFalcon on
    Looking for a DX:HR OnLive code for my kid brother.
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  • vonPoonBurGervonPoonBurGer Registered User regular
    edited March 2009
    Thanks for the info all. For the menus, I'll recommend that he give it some time to become accustomed, and/or try customizing it to his needs. If that doesn't do the trick, I'll customize it for him next time I'm back home. Either way, I'm confident this issue is one I can fix one way or another on any BlackBerry.

    Regarding the touchscreen, I think I'll recommend that he trade the Storm in for an 8330 Curve. It took him four days to get back to me on whether or not the BlackBerry software I set up was working for email. The only reason it took him so long is because he dislikes using the Storm, it frustrates him, so he kept putting it off. He's a pretty old-school guy, I don't think a touchscreen is really for him. This is what happens when old-school guys get a bad case of "ooh shiny thing".

    Mods, this thread can be locked.

    vonPoonBurGer on
    Xbox Live:vonPoon | PSN: vonPoon | Steam: vonPoonBurGer
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