Godley’s new toys: I ESCAPED BLACKBERRY

Written 10th november last year, from the Vaults of David Whale’s email inbox…

On the other side of the fence, today I finally broke free from the chains of using a BlackBerry, and also from Orange, and got a nexus 5 with Three.

It. Feels. SO. NICE.

I’ve only had this phone for a day, so I can’t give a full review of it, hence I changed the title from “nexus 5” to “I ESCAPED BLACKBERRY” nor am I the best source to compare it to other phones on the market, but it’s great looking in the app store, and having the app store load in about a second rather than 5 minutes, and finding all the things I’d ever really want.

For any none blackberry users who don’t know just how bad using a blackberry, at least the old handset which I’ve had for the past 2 years, instead of really reviewing the features of Nexus 5 because I’ll probably do that in a few weeks when I’ve played with it properly and taken it out and about, I’m just going to have a freedom rant about how terrible BlackBerry is.

Let’s start with the operating system for newbies: I got my BlackBerry september 28th, 2011, aka, the morning of the first day of freshers, after which I left for my first year of University at Hull. About 2 weeks later, I’d figured out how to email, text, phone, use apps and other various stuff like locking the phone. It literally took a few days figuring out how to read and send a text. I met a girl on chemistry at uni who had the same phone – she’d been using it for years and didn’t know a few of the things I’d learned. Things like data and using wifi I didn’t really learn until the last few months of my contract, and this caused a problem whilst in America because I turned off data overall, thinking if I had wifi on it would assume “I don’t want data from the network but you can still get it from wifi”. Nope. Data means any data, so turn your network off but leave wifi on and leave the data roaming on. Urgh.

Next up I’m going to go for notifications: the red LED on a blackberry is used to tell you when you’ve got a new notification, whether that’s from an app, email, texting or calls. However, sometimes notifications won’t come through or it decides not to let you know there’s a new notification, and sometimes the light flashes with nothing going on. The light is also used to tell you if the battery is running low, and the light remains the same colour so you can’t really differentiate.

Data and network connection can also be dodgy – I’ve had times where emails and texts haven’t come through but I’ve had signal and data connection for several days, or it’s refused to send my texts. This was the point where I learned that most of BlackBerry problems with that can be fixed by taking the battery out and putting it back in again – that’s the only real way to 100% turn off the handset.

On the subject of the battery, that’s also terrible. I don’t know how bad it is on other phones, but if you make a call on a BlackBerry, you know, the thing it’s officially meant to do, the battery will drain by a large percentage. Use the internet a lot and it’ll last less than a day.

Apps? What are those?! Nobody wants to develop for BlackBerry, so therefore the app store is largely empty. The app store itself is GOD. AWFUL. I’ve actually opened the app store and got bored of waiting for it to load so closed it, then you go back and it’s not kept it open so it has to reload. “Oh hey charlotte do you have snapchat” “No I’ve got a blackberry” “have you got fruit ninja?” “no I’ve got a blackberry”. On top of that, upgrades to the OS tend to be through the browser which will then, when you open the link, download it in the app store. This seems really dumb.

Oh yeah. The browser. Heh. The browser rarely manages to load a page, as the device has low memory, so often you get a message saying “the page is taking a while to load, why not close some tabs to increase memory size” and then…”sorry! We’re closing the page as it takes too long to load”. The implication seems to be this is the users fault, not the designer of the goddamn phone…

So what is the actual blackberry good for? Erm. Email. That’s pretty much it. The twitter app and the facebook app are pretty good as well, except events I don’t think are supported very well. I do also like the tactile keyboard, once you get used to the size of the keys.

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