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"How the Internet is like a Small Town"
...Twitter is coffee shop of the world... the whole world can now know about the good or bad thing you did just like it's always happened at the small town coffee shop.

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Sprint BlackBerry Style Review Part 2

If you don't know why/how I am doing a product review for Sprint's BlackBerry Style you can read part 1 here.

Ok here we go,

My first major concern when Sprint asked me to do this was coverage, I live in the country (closest house someone is living in is over 2 miles) and in the past I have tried Sprint out and held a brick in my hand at my house. It's the only reason I switched to Alltel years ago and stuck with Verizon after the buyout. Honestly if you are from any type of a rural area, you have heard folks griping about their Sprint coverage in years past. Earl Bean, that asked me to do this review, is a friend of mine and I was concerned I was gonna be ripping Sprint and Earl would be mad and who wants a guy with the last name Bean mad at you?

That concern is gone, when he shipped me the phone, Earl gave me all the technical mumbo-jumbo about why Sprint no longer has the same coverage issues and I kinda listened... no I didn't even kinda listen, I just knew I was gonna take the phone home and sit in my chair and see if I could browse the web, talk on the phone and tweet. And... the coverage concerns are gone. this phone on Sprint's network performed as well as any Alltel/Verizon phone, both with voice and data that I have ever owned.

My next thought was "Damn Earl I have seen that clamshell looking thing on the commercials and the web and isn't it gonna be huge when opened and containing a full QWERTY keyboard? After handling it for a couple weeks, I gotta admit RIM did a pretty good job of mashing a full QWERTY into flip-phone. as you can see from the first 2 pics below it fits into my hands pretty well and feels pretty comfortable. Like 90% of the phones RIM turns out it also feels incredibly solid and well built in your hands even with the fact it has a hinge on it.

Next feature on the list to be discussed is OS 6 for the BlackBerry. My current phone is a BB Tour from Verizon, so no dice for me using the latest/greatest OS. This was my first crack at it and no doubt RIM made leaps and bounds in catching up with Apple and Android in the user experience. I wouldn't say they caught up by any means.. but the closed the gap.

*Browsing is WAY better. Ability to add shortcuts to any website on homescreen is very cool.
*The Social Feeds function with all your social networks being in one stream but still sortable if you want is very cool if social networks are big in your phone experience.
*OS 6 does make you feel like the phone should be some sort of a touchscreen hybrid (it isn't at all) but it works well to improve the user experience.
*The Blue Bar highlighted in pic below when clicked on takes you to ALL of you Un-read messages, a feature I really enjoyed for simplifying all the communications coming in over the phone.
*All in all OS 6 very cool!

Things I didn't like:

*While the camera took incredible picture and video (5mp) the placement of it is kinda ridiculous. When the phone is opened, has to be to take pic,  your fingers instinctively fall right over the lens, RIM should put the camera on the back of the screen and not the back of the keyboard.
*Some simple touch features on the outside of the phone for dealing quickly with messages would have been nice, mainly because it seemed so natural and "Touchscreen Looking" that I kept trying to do it.
* Totally a personal choice but I just couldn't get passed having to flip it open, I am just not a flip phone guy, but did enjoy being able to just throw it in my pocket in situations where I didn't want to wear my holster. (It would be a great phone to throw in a purse.)

All-in-all --- this is a very cool phone that I would recommend to someone in a heartbeat.

I am super-excited about Sprint having cured their coverage problems in our area... I am not switching now, but competition for our money is a good thing and Verizon needs a little decent competition in this area, just to keep them on their toes.

Thanks Sprint/Earl for letting me do this,you know I love playing with gadgets.

Earl Bean's website.


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