Friday, June 01, 2007

Blackberry 8830 - Mini-review/first impressions

For all of those Blackberry users (or crackberry), Verizon released the much anticipated 8830 World Edition phone. 

 



The Blackberry 8830 is offered by Verizon and has both CDMA and GSM technology in it.  Basically this phone should work anywhere in the world, hence the "World Edition" branding.  Of course, using the phone/data in a different country will require the World plan.

I got my grubby little mits on one just last week since we have a ton of attorneys that travel abroad.  I've so far used the following blackberry phones and will use them as reference to the features/options of the new Verizon Blackberry 8830: 7250, 7103e, 8703e, 8800 (pearl).  I've also used the following smartphones too: Motorola Q, Treo 600/650/700P/700W/700WX/755P/678, Tmobile MDA/Cingular 8125. 



Packaging/Contents:

Standard Verizon packaging.  Comes w/the universal power adapter w/world plugs (makes sense since it is the World Edition), usb cable, all appropriate cds w/the vzaccess manager and blackberry desktop, battery, and of course a leather holster.  The holster is probably one of the nicest blackberry one i've used.  It has a magnetic strap that keeps the phone in and looks a ton better than the previous plastic ones.  Also, there is no handsfree headset included; it seems like Verizon and most other carriers no longer include these like they had previously.  Also, if you do not order the Global service, you will not receive a SIM card (we did since we do have Global/GSM service via Vodafone on it.  Vodafone is partnering w/Verizon on the Global/Sim based service).

Phone Looks:

The phone looks very refined vs my 8703e.  Like the Pearl, it has metal on the sides and the buttons.  The screen is the same size as the 8700 series. The Pearl scroll wheel looks beautiful when its lit up and feels good like the Pearls (8800).  The back of the phone is pretty clean looking, only the battery cover release button shows.  You will notice that there are no external memory card/sim card slots; they are both located by the battery, under the cover (more on this!).  Overall, the 8830 looks great and is a nice change for us Blackberry users wanting some style.  Also, the phone does not have a camera since its aimed more for the corporate types (ie most companies will not allow camera phones or courtrooms).

Using/Setup/Impressions:

Well, initially i was a bit disappointed since the BB8830 i had received was defective and the Pearl scroller would not go left at all. However, our Verizon rep replaced our phone and overnighted me a new one and all was well w/it.

The first thing you will notice is that the battery cover is nearly impossible to get off.  it took me a good 5 minutes of pushing and yanking to get it off.  once off, you will be able to put in your battery, sim card, and a micro-sd card. 

The SIM Card/GSM radio is locked to the Vodafone sim card.  I tried my Tmobile SIM card but was unable to use it since again the phone is sim card locked.  I would assume one could get the sim lock removed by getting a code from Verizon but to me this would not make sense for Verizon since they would in turn lose money on this.  However, rumor has it that Sprint will be releasing the 8830 and the SIM Card will be unlocked. 

Bluetooth worked well w/my Plantronics 510 Voyager headset. It paired instantly and sounded the same as it did on my 8703e.  I did notice some static and feedback when making a call but overall call sound seemed up to par w/other blackberry phones i've used.

Finally, the media player on the phone seems to work pretty well too. I have not fully tested or played around w/the media formats it will play but the built-in content looked good (video of the BB8830).  The display on the phone is a nice one too. I'd say its probably the same display as the one used in the Pearl; very bright and clear.

Conclusion:

 So far, i'm very happy w/the BB8830.  It seems to keep the stability that i've grown used to w/blackberry phones and upped the ante in regards to style/design and features.   I'll post a follow up after using my BB8830 for a few weeks w/some more notes/user experience.

So if your a blackberry user/fan that does travel outside the US and are looking to upgrade, i would recommend the 8830.  However, a few of my sources at verizon say that a more 'consumer' orientated BB88xx will be coming out in late 3rd quarter that will feature a camera and a few more consumer related features.

seamonkey says...   8/10

the super hard battery cover brought my rating down to an 8 and the fact that my first unit had a defective pearl scrollwheel added to this. 

Full review located over at tech-rx main site:   Blackberry 8830 (verizon) Review  

i ended up giving it a 9.5/10; due to the fact that it retains the blackberry stability, adds style and the pearl scroller, and ups the ante w/both CDMA and GSM radios.  only downfall was the battery cover and locked SIM card factor.