My post-#BB7FanNight blog post is a bit late, but better late than never. (pre-event blog post) The event was a great time and it was a perfect chance to play with RIM’s initial line up of BlackBerry 7 phones. As a winner of the #BB7FanNight contest on Twitter, I had until the end of the party to select which phone I wanted as my prize. This turned out to be a difficult decision.
The Bold and Torch are both:
- super fast
- high quality hardware
- loaded with the latest BlackBerry 7 OS
- very thin and nice to hold
You could not go wrong with either the Bold or the Torch 9850/9860, it really comes down to whether or not you want the classic BlackBerry keyboard or a full touch-screen. I spent a good chunk of the party using both phones, typing long chunks of text.
The Torch’s virtual keyboard is a huge improvement over the past RIM virtual keyboards of the Storm and original Torch phones. The autocorrect and predictive typing is spot on and incredibly fast. The virtual keyboard looked small but when using it I found it to be the perfect size for fast typing. The product manager of the Torch 9860 suggested I try the landscape keyboard if I wanted more room, but she did not know about my hatred of landscape virtual keyboards (with the PlayBook being the exception to this hatred).
The Bold 9900 comes with a hardware keyboard and touch-screen, sticking to the classic BlackBerry style. Even more classic, the Bold 9900 has gone back to the styling of the original BlackBerry Bold, the iconic Bold 9000. This Bold is wider than its immediate predecessor the Bold 9700/9780, making the keyboard more spacious. While you would think a wider phone would be a negative, in this case it is not. The wider keyboard makes for faster and more comfortable typing, and the extremely thin design made up for the width.
So how did I decide? Before attending the event I had already decided on the Bold 9900. My rationale for this was that I already have an all-touch device in my PlayBook, so why not keep the keyboard on my phone? As soon as I tried the Torch 9860 I was shocked by how much I wanted it. I was nearly convinced to go with the Torch, except for two things. I am holding out hope that RIM will update BlackBerry Bridge to enable the use of the smartphone’s keyboard as a wireless keyboard on the PlayBook and the majority of people from RIM that I spoke to seemed to prefer the 9900 over the two Torch models (especially convincing was RIM’s Alex Kinsella and CrackBerry Kevin).
It made sense to go with the Bold. It is the iconic Bold design paired with fresh software and the speed and performance the flagship BlackBerry needs to let BlackBerry OS 7 shine. I am pleased it was such a hard decision, that tells me RIM did a great job with the Torch 9860 if it was able cause me so much conflict after coming into the selection process with a closed mind.
I did not take many pictures at the event, I was too busy trying out the new phones and meeting some great new friends. But I did take a few:
Thanks for the great time to everyone in the #BB7FanNight BBM group and RIM for selecting my entry into the contest!