Posts Tagged ‘Blackberry 9780’

A New Blackberry: The 9780

6 January 2011

I have had four cell phones since I got my first one in 2003. Now I have my fifth.

Raegan has had a Blackberry since we got her a Pearl about four years ago. It has been having a lot of problems over the past six months or so, and she needed to replace it. Erin also needed her first phone since she is starting to do more activities away from one of us.

So over the holiday we decided to go into T-Mobile and just look. Just… look… Right.

We walked in with three phones, and walked out with seven. Holy crap. Best of intentions.

It turns out that Erin got a nice phone with a full keyboard. It does talk and texting, and so meets our requirements. It’s a Glider 3.

Raegan used and fell for a Blackberry 9780. We found out that both her phone and Erins were both on a T-Mobile special that was essentially two-for-one. So I also got a 9780, and Ian replaced his $26 Wal-Mart phone with the same phone that Erin got, although in a different color.

The kids phones are pretty cool. The Glider is a slider phone. It has a camera (we had extensive discussions with the kids about appropriate use of that), and takes a miniature SD card (which we are taking the 2GB cards that came with our Blackberrys and putting them into the kids phones). Erin has been taking pictures of almost anything, and Ian has been playing with the configurations of his incessantly.

Those Blackberry 9780s are amazing. The display is huge and very bright. The phone has 3G service. We have data plans for both our Blackberrys, and we pay for 3G whether we use it or not, so getting a free phone and automatically getting that extra bandwidth is well worth it. It does either the mobile network or a local wifi, like my 8220, so I like that. At a lot of places, I get two more bars of service with the 9780 over what I showed with the 8220, so the radio in it is better. I used to get between 40Kbps-80Kbps of bandwidth with my 8220 (on average, about 50Kbps). I’ve been running bandwidth tests all over OKC, and I get between 300Kbps and 1.4Mbps. An amazing difference. Slow loading websites FLY! The thumbwheel I used with my first Blackberry 7105t was vastly improved by the trackball in the 8220. That trackball got crudded up often, and had to be cleaned out. The 9780 uses a thumbpad that seems to only have one moving direction – a button to click. It’s pretty darn sensitive. The 8220 was very comfortable in my hand, and I could use it one handed. The 9780 is quite wider, and I’m having trouble getting used to one-handed operation. The camera in the 9780 is amazing, it’s a 5MP camera. The images are sharp.

The 9780 has a GPS in it. It uses the same cell tower technology to maintain an imprecise fix on your location, even indoors, and can use as few as three satellites to lock in your position. I downloaded Google Maps to replace/supplement Blackberry Maps.

There are a bunch of apps on the Blackberry that I have no clue about. There are some that I want to go look at, but I have had trouble connecting to Blackberry App World.

I was sort of sad to stop using my 8220. I was really happy with it. The only thing that I really miss about it is the large keyboard. The 9780 has a full keyboard, and it’s a bit small and takes some getting use to. But I think that the speed of the network access will help me get beyond that.

I have found one bug. I was exchanging SMS text messages with my friend Gayle, and I entered this message: “*I* get a lifetime pass!”. The message failed to transmit. I reentered it, and got the same failure to transmit. I played with the message by removing the two splats (now it was “I get…”), and it worked. Next, I removed the leading splat (“I* get”); that transmitted. Finally, I did the last permutation (“*I get”), and that failed. So, the SMS does not like a leading asterisk, or splat. Dunno why.

These Blackberrys are, in a word, amazing. They are a true handheld computer. I will be doing more blogging on the device. There has only been one real problem with the 9780. The “w” key was very sticky, but I have been working it pretty hard, and it is almost easily usable now.

I’ve already used the 9780 several times in non-wifi areas as a tethered data source for my laptop. I have to have the Blackberry Desktop Manager installed, but that’s easy enough. This tethered arrangement provides more than enough bandwidth to run most any internet application.

I’m looking forward to getting a lot of good mobile computing use out of the Blackberry 9780.