Why RIM Will Never Win the Smartphone War

Research in Motion, the uber popular king of instant messaging among Twilight obsessed tweens, has officially admitted defeat in the smartphone race.  Why?  Because BoyGeniusReport announced today that R.I.M – more like R.I.P – has confirmed that their BlackBerry Messenger service is being rolled out to Android and iOS.

Why bother getting a new BlackBerry to have exclusive access to BBM when you can have access to it on your iPhone or Android phone??  Epic fail, Research in Motion.  Epic fail.  R.I.P.

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My HTC HD7 Review – Codenamed “Beast”

HTC is known for making a plethora of devices, which are spread among the Android platform, and most recently, with Windows Phone 7.

Having experienced the Windows Phone 7 operating system on the HTC Surround 7 (which, in my opinion, was a terrible piece of hardware), I decided to give the totally revamped OS another shot.  This time, however, was in the form of the ‘beast’ known as the HTC HD 7.  Let’s take a look at the massive specs before we get started, shall we?

– 1Ghz Snapdragon QSD8250 processor
– 576MB RAM, 512MB ROM
– 5MP Camera with dual LED flash (and dedicated camera button)
– 720p video capture
– 16GB internal storage
– 4.3” 480×800 pixel capacitive TFT LCD display
– WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth
– 4.80” x 2.68” x 0.44” (122 x 68 x 11.2 mm)
– 5.71 oz (162 g)

Now you can see why I nicknamed this phone the ‘beast’.  Taking cues from its brother in the United States, the HTC EVO 4G, this is one massive slab of beautiful technology.  The asthetics are breathtaking, especially for a smartphone: the metal-like bezel, the speakers at both the top and bottom half of the phone, the matte finish on the back of the device.  Everything about this phone screams beauty.  Some might love it.  Some might hate it.  I personally fell in love with this device since the first time I laid eyes on it during the press release.

The Windows Phone 7 Operating System

When Windows updated their platform to Windows Mobile 6.5, it left an extremely bitter and foul-tasting mouths of users.  It was just not good enough at all, in comparison to its competitors offerings.  In fact, it was quite a disaster, and they were losing marketshare faster than you can say iPhone.

Let me tell you:  when Windows were in talks of building their new OS from scratch, they were dead serious.  And the final result, while still far from perfect, is pretty damn impressive.  I’ve used every single mobile operating system imaginable (minus the Nokia Symbian platform, which has been absorbed by noneother than Microsoft).  Blackberry, iOS, Android, and webOS.  Between all of those OS’s, I would have to say webOS and Windows Phone 7 are the clear winners, and are actually neck and neck when it comes to the most fluid, intuitive, and user-friendly graphical user interfaces.  And the fact that the Windows Phone 7 update in the near future is going to implement cut & paste, but the multitasking which is extremely similar to the ‘cards’ feature of webOS is a tech junkie’s dream!

The only gripe I have regarding the HTC HD 7 is the pitiful 1230mAh battery.  I’m a heavy user of Facebook, Twitter, and Gmail, so if I can get through a full day of heavy usage on this underwhelming battery, I’ll consider myself lucky.  Don’t know why they skimped out on the battery, especially since it’s supporting a monster 4.3″ LCD screen, and the primary colours used in the OS are white.  Strange choice on HTC’s end.

Overall, I’ve been extremely happy us Canadians are being exposed to the supersized phones of the US of A.  We finally get the EVO 4G’s equivalent in the form of the HD 7 and the Desire HD (its Android counterpart).  Let’s just see how long my battery lasts!

My Third Contest! Win a BlackBerry Curve 8330!!

Is everyone ready for my third contest?  I don’t know why, but I get very excited to give away free stuff!!

This time, I am upping the ante.  I will be giving a free Telus BlackBerry Curve 8330 to the winner of this contest!

The rules are simple.  Once I hit 150 subscribers on this blog, or 350 Twitter followers, I will randomly draw one winner.

Good luck to everyone who enters!!

BlackBerry Dakota: First Look

Touchscreen?  Check.  The 9800 form factor?  Check.  HD Recording?  Check.  BlackBerry OS 6.1?  Check. 

Finally.  RIM is back in the game.  Here is an exclusive look (thanks to BoyGenius) at the BlackBerry Dakota, and it looks sweet.  In my opinion, RIM should have ditched the Torch entirely and released this instead.  Here are the full specs:

  • Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE
  • Tri-band UMTS
  • 5 megapixel camera with HD video recording, flash, and image stabilization
  • 4GB of built in storage, 768MB of RAM
  • 2.8-inch VGA 640×480 capacitive screen
  • WiFi b,g,n on 2.4GHz and 5GHz frequencies
  • 3G mobile hotspot!
  • MicroUSB port
  • Bluetooth
  • NFC
  • Magnetometer
  • Accelerometer
  • Proximity sensor
  • 10.5mm thin
  • Launches with BlackBerry OS 6.1
  • Does anyone else think this is the best BlackBerry that’s going to be released?  I do.  But they better release it soon.  Along the release date of the PlayBook would be perfect timing.  And on a side note, the NFC feature is a blatant rip-off of the Nexus S (sorry, had to add the obligatory negative BlackBerry comment).

    [Thanks BoyGeniusReport]

    iPhone VS Android VS BlackBerry

    Today, my Vegas buddy had to make the most important decision of her life: iPhone or BlackBerry.

    Kind of a long post, so here goes, and some background info too (Celine’s Facebook status is the reason why I’m inclined to post this – too many noobish comments made me laugh out loud at work while reading them…over 50 comments on that status, which I have not seen on any of my Facebook friends’ posts).

    For those who know me personally (or through countless Facebook status updates), I am obsessively obsessed with smartphones.  I’ve had about a good 10-12 smartphones in the past two years.  Hell, I even sleep with my cell phone (literally – it charges beside my pillow).  Name a phone that’s been released in the past two years, I’ve probably used it.  So by any means is this a fanboy, bashing any of the platforms or handhelds.  Each have their own strengths and weaknesses, and hopefully, this post should steer you in the right direction when deciding on which phone to choose.

    BlackBerry

    Let’s get the easy target out of the way.  With the plethora of smartphones available now in the marketplace (including Windows Phone 7), I’m dumbfounded to see people still obsessively flock to BlackBerry.  I just can’t understand the appeal as to why anyone in their right, sane minds would choose whatever RIM’s latest offering is.  I know most of you are dying to say, “But Aret!  You just had the Torch a month ago!  What gives!?!?!!111!!!”.  Yes, it’s true.  I used the Torch for roughly a month.  And the only reason why I did so was because I am the type that has to try out the latest gadget for a week to see if I can use it efficiently on a daily basis.  The first day, I was actually impressed.  But that did not last very long.  After a couple of days, I realized that literally everything about the phone could be summed up by a couple of words: sluggish and outdated.

    The only, and only (emphasis added) reasons why anyone should get this as an upgrade is BBM and BES.  BlackBerry Messenger has its moments, but realistically, it’s kind of pointless, considering every phone is capable of SMS.  “But Aret!  You knowz that youz can see if the other personz read your message????”.  Really?  The only use I can see coming out of this useless feature is stalker-like friends rabidly sending BBM’s to people, then salivating as they wait to see if the message was delivered, then read.  And if the other person fails to respond within one minute after reading it, they go all schitzo on you and start freaking out.  I have seen this way too many times, and it’s actually quite entertaining to hear stories about this.  Yeah, group chats are cool, as you can send pictures to each other and make comments on them, but it’s not worth the massive amount of battery that’s draining just to keep a couple of group chats open.

    The BlackBerry Torch is RIM’s current flagship device, and it could have been successful.  Two years ago. When it was launched, it was $199 on a three year contract.  WTF?  The iPhone 4 is superior in every possible way and specification, and it was $159 on a same term commitment.  I swear to God, the only people who would buy the Torch are people who have never used any other operating system (phone wise) in their life, are too afraid to switch platforms (even though every single other platform is significantly easier to navigate and control), and are just too comfortable with BBM.  And the keyboard on the Torch is nothing special either, as the keys are extremely recessed and too tight.  There is one positive thing I like about BlackBerry though:  the 9780 has the best keyboard I’ve used on any phone in my entire life.

    And for those who think I’m biased or whatever, here is a list of all the BlackBerry’s I’ve used until now:  BlackBerry Torch, Bold 9700, 8830 World Edition, 8730, Pearl Flip (worst phone I’ve used in my entire life), 8530 Curve, 8330 Curve.

    iPhone

    The iPhone 4, apart from the god-awful Antennagate issue, is probably one of the best smartphones made up to date.  The only serious contender to it currently is the HTC Evo 4G, and of course, it’s not available in Canada.  Go figure.

    The Retina Display – best display I’ve seen on a smartphone to date.  The A4 processor – makes everything seem blazingly fast.  The App Store – 300, 000 apps and still growing (compared to BlackBerry’s paltry 10,000 count).  Front and rear facing camera.  Video calls.  I can go on and on.  I don’t need to though.  Why?  Because it sells itself.  You don’t need to convince anyone to upgrade to the iPhone 4.  The iPhone 4 sold 1.7 million units in three days.  The BlackBerry Torch?  150,000.  Yeah, the iPhone 4 had a global launch, while the Torch was limited to the States, but that actually does matter.  If you’re limiting yourself to one part of the world, then don’t bother making bold statements, let alone make a product to directly compete with the iPhone (BlackBerry Storm, cough, cough).  The iPhone is the Holy Grail of smartphones, Android is Moses’ Ten Commandments, and BlackBerry, while once dominating the smartphone market, is slowly losing its market share to iOS and Android.  Let’s hope that the PlayBook (worst name for a professional product ever) saves RIM from impending doom.

    And yes, I’ve owned every version of the iPhone released, sans the 3GS, which I believe was the worst iPhone released to date.

    As much as I would like to review Android, I’m surviving off three hours of sleep.  That will have to wait until later tonight.  Let the flame wars begin!

    Why Foursquare and Waze Are the Most Fun Social Networking Apps

    For those who are massively obsessed with social networking (I’m looking at you Facebook and Twitter), there are two new fighters in the ring.  Most of you know about Foursquare, but Waze doesn’t get the recognition it deserves.  Here are a description of the two.

    Foursquare:

    Facebook recently released it’s ‘Places’ feature, but many elements were taken from Foursquare.  Hell, it’s icon is literally a four inside a square.  Foursquare is a social networking app which let’s you check into places.  Whether it’s the movies or a new restaurant you’re checking out, it can be linked to your Twitter to let your followers know where you are.  For example, if you check into a Toronto Maple Leafs game at the Air Canada Centre, you can see if any of your other friends are there if they use Foursquare.  In addition to that, you collect “Badges” if you check into certain places, or if certain events happen.  I was in an airport one day and I checked in and earned the “Swarm Badge”, because more than 50 people were checked into the same place.  It’s pretty cool and makes you want to check out new places, check into them, and earn more rewards.  The only downside of Foursquare is that it can be a stalker’s paradise; if you use it heavily like I do, creepers can follow you around and know exactly where you are at all times.  Bad news for bad breakups and ex-boyfriends/girlfriends (or if you’re Justin Bieber).

    Waze:

    Waze is also an awesome social networking app only found on smartphones.  It’s essentially a free user generated turn-by-turn navigation system, and it works pretty darn well.  The one key thing that makes it different than say, Navigon or Tom-Tom apps, is you get points when you ‘run over’ certain places on the road.  Androidcentral.com held a contest recently where the 25 highest ranking people between Android, iPhone, and BlackBerry won an iPad, based on how many points they could collect in a certain time period.  It is really fun and actually makes driving fun.  On my way home today, I actually went out of my way just to collect a couple extra points.  Yeah, I’m a loozer.

    While people may be addicted to Facebook and Twitter, the two I explained are way more fun to use, since you actually are rewarded in some way for using their services.

    [Download Foursquare and Waze here and here]

    Angry Birds: Negotiations Gone Terribly Wrong

    For those who have a smartphone (sorry BlackBerry users – you’ll have to enjoy Brickbreaker for now), you’ve probably heard about the wildly popular Angry Birds game.  I play it on the HTC Desire, and while it’s a free download, it allows access to 50+ levels, which is more than the iPhone 4 lite version.

    This video is truly hilarious.  The birds and pigs are spot on in their performances, and anyone who has played Angry Birds will appreciate the attention paid to detail from the creators.  Check it out if you want a good chuckle!

    [via Gizmodo]