It’s Time to Get an Email-Enabled Mobile Device

As I’ve been whinging about, I’ve had a ton of meetings this week. Colleagues have been late for or cancelled a couple of those meetings. They notified me about this via email, 15 minutes or half-an-hour before the meeting, apparently assuming that I had a Blackberry or similar device that supports email.

Given that it’s 2007 and I’m in the tech industry, that’s a fair assumption. I’ve resisted getting such a device because I wanted to avoid being constantly tethered to my email. I’m just not that important, if you get my meaning.

Anyway, apparently the practice has become so ubiquitous that I need to climb on board the caboose of the mobile email train. Plus, I could obviously use a new camera phone.

Aside from the iPhone, what fancy phone thing would you recommend I get?

While looking for a photo for this entry, I was surprised and pleased to discover that Flickr users find blackberries more interesting than the Blackberry.


  1. Depends on what features you’d like, what OS you prefer, and how much you’re willing to spend.

    I’m currently using a T-Mobile MDA (HTC Wizard, Cingular 8125) and I like it because it has a huge color touchscreen, a slide-out QWERTY keyboard, and it runs on Windows Mobile. And I got it for about $250 on eBay, unlocked, no contract.

    I’d personally avoid buying from Cellular Baby. All of their phones are way overpriced. You can get the exact same devices from (approximately Joyce and Kingsway in Vancouver) for a couple hundred dollars less. My brother just bought the Nokia N73 Music Edition from them for $300 with a Rogers contract (it would have been $479 without). The same phone sells for over $600 at Cellular Baby.

  2. I love my Blackberry. I think the key feature of the blackberry being that it “pushes” the email to you, instead of you having to “pull” the emails from a server. The PIN feature is neat too once you get a bunch of friends/colleagues who have blackberry’s…you can then use their PIN code like an email address and it doesn’t cost anything (and you get delivery confirmation). I admit I haven’t tried many other phone systems, but the Blackberry has been dynamite for me.

  3. I’m a very happy kitten with my new Blackberry Curve. It has enough cool features (real headphone jack, expandable memory, mp3 playback, photos, video, chat, etc) to balance out the necessary nerdage of email, IM, calendar, task list et al. Plus, it has a sexy name, and I’m susceptible to things like that.

  4. Rather than type about it, why not purchase first and then blog the product and your opionions? Darren, it’s not politically correct to say this.. but you’re an idiot…


  5. I use the N95 and I’m very happy with it. Great camera with wifi (which means I could dip into my email even on a recent vacation in Vietnam).

  6. Actually, I would worry more about the data plan than the phone, if you’re planning on doing a lot of emailing. Also be aware that even with a good data plan roaming (international) data costs may also be outrageous.

    I have a Sony K790 phone but I always use the email-to-SMS gateway, but just a little bit of playing with email and Internet features here and in Europe ended up costing me over $500 in Rogers data charges.

    Here’s my review

    and here’s more on data charges

  7. Chris: It sounds like you might want to try some other sites instead of this one. I’ve got a big, varied list on my Links page–there ought to be something there that interests you more.

  8. N95 – GPS is pretty useless but the 5 Mb camera + wifi + shozu + gmail (recently got a data plan) + contacts + calendar are making it worthwhile. The camera is having an interesting impact – I’ve had mobiles with crappier cameras and you end up saying, “What’s the point?”. I’m taking all sorts of shots of my family when we’re out at the beach, the forest, interesting things that we come across to discuss, etc. I’ve got a memory like a goldfish so getting all of this recorded will allow me to relive it when the memory-diseases really kick in.

    Nice to see you at Barcamp

  9. I still argue that blackberries and the like are destroying modern society. I don’t know a single blackberry owner that hasn’t surrendered some part of their social skillset and become a PDA zombie, never setting the device down, always getting neurotic if they accidentally leave it behind and generally behaving like they have some sort of behavioral modification chip in their head.

  10. BlackBerries are ugly and uncool. But the software + push email is very useful. So:

    Sony Ericsson P1i with BlackBerry Connect installed. Works a treat.

  11. I never understand why people leave bitchy posts when someone asks for information or reviews…

    I’m terrified to get a BBerry, because I’d become one of “those” people who never puts the damn thing down.

    But do these people not have texting on their cell phones? If you’re canceling on someone, can you not call, even? Sending an email with half an hour to spare seems a bit weird. Technology isn’t supposed to give us the capacity to be more rude.

    At least I gave you a day’s notice:).

  12. My wife wants a phone to check her e-mails on. But we don’t want to pay an Extra $30 for a dataplan just to check e-mail on occasion.

    I was thinking of the I-Phone just so she can go to her webmail account. We actually prefer that we pull the messages as when the devices push the messages it becomes too intrusive.

    On another note Darren: Most phone carriers can convert e-mails to a text message. You could just give your appointments your cell’s E-mail address for emergency quick messages.

    They are not very good for long ones.

  13. Darren. It depends on what you want the device for. I personally don’t like all in one devices because when you jumble a camera, email and MP3 player into one thing it generally doesn’t do any of them well.

    If you’re primarily focusing on email + voice go with a BlackBerry, I’d recomend the 8300. BlackBerry’s tend to be more stable than other devices, and none of the other devices quite copy the Push email as nicely. Also the BlackBerry manages data much better than most phones, so your data rates tend to be lower.

    Also without the touch screen they tend to be quite durable. As a demonstration I used to throw my BB 7290 as hard as I could against a wall, it would lost the battery but when reassembled it would work fine. The newer ones aren’t qutie as robust, but definitly stronger than any of the touch screen phones.

    The disadvantages of a BlackBerry:
    – you can only read and not edit Word, Excel or other files unless you buy fairly expensive software
    – there’s nowhere near as much software for them as the Windows Mobile / Palm OS phones
    – so far no Wi-Fi for the Canadian BBs

    The iPhone looks nice, and apparently can now be unlocked ( I’d go for one if it were in my price range, but then again I sold my soul to Apple a long time ago.

    The Treos have been having software issues for the last few years. Serious software issues and they have never been able to really sort them out. I’ve yet to deal with the Windows Mobile Treos, so they might be better.

    The Windows Mobile devices, HP and HTC, are generally okay and you do get Wi-Fi as well. That definitly helps keep down data costs, and makes things much zippier because none of the cell providers have a data network worth anything yet. The HTC Tytn is HSDPA though, so when Rogers rolls out that network in western Canada (Q4 ’07 or early ’08… probably) the speeds will shoot up.

    Which actually is a point. If you can live a few more months wait for HSDPA to roll out across Canada. Rogers will probably, hopefully, lower its data prices around then and bring out newer data devices.

    If you have any questions let me know. If I don’t know it I can find out.

    *Note: I sell Rogers, but since you’re probably not going to buy from me I’m honest.

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