Tuesday, December 11, 2012

I need a new phone!

I need a new phone!

My 8520 is showing signs of ageing. It is battle weary, having taken both physical and cellular abuse. I forget the date I started using this, but it should be three years at least. Now, two three keys have lost their buttons and the battery is dying - it needs two or three recharges a day.

I've restructured the two lost keys so that the third 'convenience' key is taking a beating now.  That too might fall of soon :), (Update: The third key is gone as well!) but it is getting difficult with the battery!  My headphone socket is gone as well - the phone pretends there is no headphone even if there is one. So I use a BT headset - that drains the battery more. I am in a dead spot! :)

Now I can spend 25% of the cost of the phone on a new battery or keep this is a reserve phone and get a new one. I am leaning on the latter.

But I have restructured my daily life around this phone that it has become indispensable. I am not selling Blackberry here - many things that I am doing with this phone can be done almost by any other smart phone. But given the time I have spent with this, I have come to love the design and usability of this phone.
Actually, my wife uses a more expensive phone (from "S") and it sucks so much, it makes me appreciate the BB's design more.

So for my new phone, I want to give the first choice to the BB again. It by no means becomes the defacto choice, but I want to see what the BB10 has to offer before looking at other models.

This is what I do with my phone:

1) Calling and SMS messaging (duh indeed)!
    But you get to configure the AutoText settings pretty much to your style and with QWERTY, it is VERY powerful.
2) Almost all bank activities short of depositing cash! 
    Kudos to ICICI Bank for a very nifty application.
3) Access all my important files and send to others on need basis.
    Thanks to Dropbox and their BB app!
4) Access Email, Twitter, Google Talk (all of these access the same AutoText settings)

5) Borderless messaging, thanks to WhatsApp and BBM

6) Expensing. Expensify deserves a mention here. Actually, it deserves a separate post by itself, which may be I will write. Given the nature of my work, I am required to maintain expenses of almost every single spend I do with the bills. Logging
    it is almost effortless with the BB app, and snapping the receipt with the BB camera ties them together contextually. It syncs with Expensify and at the end of the month, I can download a PDF that gives a neatly categorized report.

    It is magic!
7) Browsing totally was painful with the inbulit browser until I discovered Opera Lite. It pushes the 8520's browsing capabilities several notches up.
    Multiple tabs, hot keys, ability to sync history with the desktop - so many things!

8) Facebook - yeah right!

9) Jotting notes with Evernote. Again, Evernote is indispensible. I am not using it to its full potential, but I intend to.

10) LinkedIn - I don't really use it. But what the app does in the background is take all my contacts and syncs their photos if availabile with LinkedIn. Pretty neat!  (Update: LinkedIn discontinued support for BB4 and BB5. Talk about timing! :))

11) I discovered my own Easter egg recently. I noticed that the BB desktop software directly syncs my iPod library with the BB. Given the battery fatigue my phone is experiencing its difficult to listen to this for long, but its good to take my playlist along when I cannot have my iPod.

12) It is my alarm clock, stop watch and timer as well!

13) It has fallen atleast 5-6 times and has survived, but the credit goes to my Otter Box silicone case. It totally destroyed the slick look of my BB, but it definitely saved the phone many times :)

What I want my new phone to have, or what the 8520 sucks in!

1) Good memory. 8520 has 256MB - I have to juggle apps to maintain a healthy free memory.

2) Good camera. The camera on this phone totally sucks. No detail and lots of noise.

3) 4G - I want to leapfrog the 3G generation, which is part of the reason I am waiting.

4) Good processor. A pain point with this phone. Now with quad-cores becoming common, I want to see what becomes available soon.

5) QWERTY - I am still not convinced with the touch screens' ability to do email and messaging. With whatever I've tried, its like switching from a car to a bicycle in terms of speed!
    This option pretty much rules out every phone other than the BB isn't it? Lets see!
    But I love the facility of large touch screen real estate and possibilities. The only good phone that married the too was the BB torch. But it appears I have to pick one in favor of the other!
6) Video watching - preferably without reformatting! I can't even think of something like that on this phone.

7) Dual SIM - would be good value, but I am sure there is not going to be one in the BB.

8) Full browsing - both in terms of browsability and speed.

Blackberry is trying to make a very tall leap from BB7 to BB10 as it is their only chance of survival. I hope they make it worth the wait!

Given the value I have derived from mine, I wish they pull this off!

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