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Should I get an iPhone or Blackberry Pearl?

by surfpark / March 1, 2008 11:32 AM PST

So I'm on Verizon and I'm considering upgrading to a BlackBerry Pearl 8130. I'm also considering switching to AT&T for an iPhone. I don't know what to do!

Right now, if I stayed with Verizon it would be $45 for a plan (1400 minutes + 100 text), and an additional $30 monthly for web and email. That's $75 monthly for everything. If I was to switch to an iPhone, I'd have to be on a $99 monthly plan for 1350 talk minutes + unlimted text, with web and email.

I don't know which to do. This would be my first venture into a smart phone. I have a Mac and PC at home. Any advice Buzztown?

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is the Verizon data plan unlimited?
by minimalist / March 1, 2008 12:13 PM PST

I would hate to have to keep tabs on my data usage.

I'm not a blackberry expert either but I have played with the browser on it and its pretty lame compared to the iPhone. If you don;t need exchange server support and you can afford the extra money for the plan I would definitely go with the iPhone.

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Well,
by karol1rw / March 2, 2008 9:17 AM PST

The Blackberry has a physical keyboard, better business support, and third-party apps (without requiring hacks.) The iPhone has a much better web browser, a better media player, and a nicer interface then the Blackberry (in my opinion.) I looked at the iPhone plan and the $99 plan doesn't include unlimited text, it's 200 messages. I have an iPod touch and I love it. If work, functionality, and in your case money is more important then maybe the Blackberry is right choice for you. I suggest playing around with an iPhone and a Blackberry at the store and determine which one has the features you want and if the price is right.

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Also..
by karol1rw / March 2, 2008 9:19 AM PST
In reply to: Well,

Also, I don't know if your Blackberry plan you are looking at is unlimited data. The iPhone's data is unlimited, so keep that in mind. If you plan on using data a lot then unlimited data is something you'd definitely want.

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Unlimited is overrated
by luc-mobile / March 5, 2008 12:42 PM PST
In reply to: Also..

I have an unlimited Blackberry plan and, with a lot of e-mail and RSS, I've never used more than 60Mb per month. Usually, it's more around 40Mb.

Some people have pointed out that the Pearl doesn't have a good keyboard. I agree. The Suretype technology is not bad, but I would go with a full keyboard, it's a whole different and better experience. I think you should go with a Curve. The camera and the media player are better too.

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Hmm....
by Nicholas Buenk / March 2, 2008 10:31 AM PST
In reply to: Well,

Is a tiny plastic keyboard with keys the size of rice grains really that much better than a touch screen?

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Ironically,
by minimalist / March 2, 2008 11:02 AM PST
In reply to: Hmm....

my sausage fingers find the iPhone easier to type on than a blackberry or a treo. And weirdly I type faster using two thumbs in the smaller portrait mode than I do in landscape.

I guess it all comes down to practice but I have never understood what all the fuss was about the lack of physical keys is about.

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Yeah
by Nicholas Buenk / March 2, 2008 12:00 PM PST
In reply to: Ironically,

Why way half the surface of the phone for puny plastic keys when a touchscreen isn't that much worse.

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tactile keyboard
by karol1rw / March 5, 2008 10:03 AM PST
In reply to: Hmm....

I dont know about the new Blackberries but I have a 6230 and I find it easier to type on. The tactile buttons help a lot. The new blackberries have more smaller, cramped keyboards so this may be different. This is especially true of the pearl which isn't a true qwerty keyboard. I suggest you try both though. some find the iphone's easier. I think it's still good regardless so it may not make a difference in your decision

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If its for music then it is the iPhone for sure
by z1g1 / March 2, 2008 10:06 AM PST

I had a Blackberry Pearl 8100 on Cingular/AT&T its a fine phone I had it for a year. However if you are looking for a convergence device to play music and video, which I was. Then the iPhone is your best bet, for the sheer fact that the BOL crew will pause when a phone call comes in pause at the push of an inline mic and then come back after the call its great. Just my two cents.

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While I love my Pearl...
by navsimpson / March 2, 2008 11:41 AM PST

I would say the iPhone. It just does more and you get the classic Apple slickness and intuitive interface. Something to consider is that the Pearl only takes an (optional) MicroSD card vs. the iPhone's 8 or 16GB that come standard. The iPhone has Wifi too, which I don't think the Pearl does.

The Pearl is good though if you get a good deal on it. Once you get used to it, you can type very fast.

-Nav

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The Pearl
by al409 / March 3, 2008 5:08 AM PST

The Pearl keyboard is designed for a text messaging style of communication- using the phone style interface.
The iPod Touch's/iPhone interface is the "in between" the Pearl's text messaging keyboard and the real button Cordy Keyboard interface of the Treo and full Blackberry.
If you want a texting phone- go for the Pearl.
If you want a web browser phone- go for the iPhone.
If you want a business phone- go for a Treo or a Full Blackberry.
Or- and this makes a decent bit of sense to me- go the Leo Laporte Crazy Money method- N95 and a 32 GB Touch- the best of both worlds.

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Good Advice
by Dawgfanclark / March 3, 2008 6:53 AM PST
In reply to: The Pearl

It really comes down to what is important to you. If you need email that gets there in a couple of minutes and you need native apps like a good IM client or search client (Jive Talk and Beyond411 come to mind) then the BB could be better for you.

If you want a richer internet experience and are ok with your email getting there in 5 - 15 minutes and have the patience to wait for native apps like Jive Talk, etc then the iPhone could be an option.

I absolutely LOVE Blackberrys and have used many of them (still do for work) but I came to the conclusion that I don't need my email to have IM-speeds and I LOVE the internet on the iPhone... not to mention the actual iPod on it.

The apps are going to come and I would bet some REALLY cool apps (native) for the iPhone are going to be here in the near future. The thing is for me.. look how long the BB has been around and the apps that have been developed for it. Then in comparison, look at how long the iPhone has been around and the "web apps" that are out there for it or native if you hack. I know, I know.. nothing native yet but it sure looks like the environment is rich for creative, fun and useful apps for the iPhone IMO.

Just know that no phone is going to give you 100% of what you need/want so you have to identify what you REALLY want/need and then make the right choice from there..

Good Luck.

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Couple of minutes?
by luc-mobile / March 5, 2008 4:54 AM PST
In reply to: Good Advice

It's never taken any more than 15 seconds for a message to reach my Berry.

surfpark, you should also ask yourself: do you care about copy and paste?

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What is it you wnat to do?
by nutjob / March 4, 2008 12:44 AM PST

Are you about style or substance - both/neither. Interested in music and tied to iTunes or RH? It is all about email with lotus/exchange/pop? Do you travel?

Up until late last year I traveled a lot in the USA and Verizon was really the best choice. You get coverage in places within SD, MT, or LA (and high speed) where there is no ATT. I travel more internationally so ATT is my service.

I have a ipod so do not need music on my phone, but I do need GPS and MS exchange services (which ipod lacks)

Style wise the iPhone is pretty and will work for 90% of people with phones. I consider the iPhone a lower end smart phone, and the Pearl a mid-range smart phone. Either phone will work for 90% of phone users

I used a iPhone for 2 weeks than sold it and have not used the 8130 but have a number of friends who like them.

Lastly the dailed-in lounge area folks may be a better source of clarity.

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Thanks!
by surfpark / March 4, 2008 5:21 PM PST

Thanks for the advice everyone. I think I'm going to hit up the folks at the Dialed-In podcast and see what they come up with. Happy

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this thread needs a reboot...
by thriftyT / March 6, 2008 8:07 AM PST

iPhone just got more beautiful on the inside today....

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if you've got $ to burn...
by thriftyT / March 6, 2008 8:24 AM PST

...buy the iPhone now.
If you don't, but reaaly want an iPhone, wait until June. The 3G should be out by then, and if not, there definitely will be a memory upgrade and/or price drop on the iPhone by then.

Otherwise, you really can't go wrong with the BB Pearl. It's only $99, right? At that price it doesn't have to be great for it to be a good value.

I personally have a Centro and anticipate that I will buy iPhone 3.0 or Apple's Newton/UMPC in ~2 yrs.

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Any 3G iPhone will require FCC approval...
by minimalist / March 6, 2008 9:37 AM PST

meaning we will know 3-4 months in advance because its a matter of public record.

My guess is the 3G iPhone is going to happen sometime in the fall.

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