when it’s free, choices matter less or my new BlackBerry

About 18 hours before I was set to leave on my trip to Toronto last week, I asked the telecom team at work if we had any loaner BlackBerries. They had offered before, but I wasn’t crazy about the product or the idea that I was so easy to reach off hours. But since these were mid-week days and two of them I was guaranteed to be in a car for 10+ hours, I went for it, and, they just gave it to me.  

I got the 7290 model. I don’t totally love it, I prefer the Windows Mobile 6700, but there are some nice things about it. In fact I’m typing this up now on a park bench in the lovely beaches area of town thanks to the reflective screen which works great in direct sunlight, even with polarized sunglasses, which I can’t do with my Audiovox 5600. However, indoors, in low light, the advantage goes decisively the other way; I don’t care for the BB (BlackBerry) backlight.

Right away I set out to see what software is available for it. Google actually has two great apps, first is Google Talk. The  implementation on this is fantastic. It stays connected all day and conversations show up in the list of incoming email so you don’t have to switch back and forth. And I mentioned Google Maps Mobile before, but the same app works on this device too and the larger screen makes it even better.

Other Notes:

  • I need to work on setting up a direct blog entry app — I had to email this to myself for posting with BlogJet
  • I refuse to use the holster on a belt. I just can’t ok?
  • Battery life seems really excellent so far.
  • The leap from pay-per-kb to unlimited data (I don’t actually know if it is unlimited, but I don’t get the bill, so…) is huge. Totally changes the way you use the device.
  • There is already some amount of nerve damage in my thumbs. Good thing this trip is short and in my “normal” life, I have computers with nice keyboards everywhere, so I should be able to avoid debilitation.

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