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Posts Tagged ‘Samsung’

The first smart phone I had was the BlackJack II.  While this phone served its purpose for me, I wanted a Blackberry.  I decided to list what I liked and disliked about each phone.  I tried to keep a neutral tone through this, but I had a few more problems with the BlackJack II than I’ve had with the Bold.
Samsung BlackJack II

For a Windows mobile phone, this isn’t a bad phone.  It has its fair share of headaches and set-backs, but it is running Windows software, so there’s bound to be glitches.  Overall, with this being my first smartphone ever, I hardly knew what to expect as far as usage and whatnot.  I’ve come to love bigger, spacious phones with full Qwerty keyboards, so my experience with the BlackJack II wasn’t terrible.  I’ve only had a small handful of technical issues with this phone, and a slightly larger handful of headaches.  I’ll list them in a minute.

Technical Issues

1. Battery life
With any smart phone, having your battery last a decent amount of time seems to be an exercise in futility.  From what I’ve read, owners of the first BlackJack had a sleuth of battery failures.  Supposedly this was corrected in the II, but personally I disagree, and I never owned the first BlackJack.  The battery life would probably be my biggest complaint.  I’d lose half my battery life by noon after charging it that morning.  In some cases, depending on use or how much I was out and about, I’d have to charge my phone more often.  I got used to using my car charger 100% of the time I was driving.

It may sound fickle, and I’m sure other people have the same sort of issues, but it was more of an annoyance thing than anything else.  To literally watch my battery drain before my eyes was nothing  short of daunting.

2. Trackwheel
Online reviews of this phone told me the trackwheel was jumpy and free-moving before I had even gotten the phone.  Live and learn, right?  Well, obviously I didn’t have much of an idea about what I was getting into before I had the phone in my hand and was actually using it.  The trackwheel feels cheap and flimsy, and if I’m looking for something and I receive a text message, scrolling (and just about everything else) freezes until the message comes through, by that time my cursor has jumped to the bottom of the page.  Again, this was mainly an annoyance issue, and the Samsung Jack (and Epix) have certainly taken into account such frustrations.

3. GPS
My biggest rant for this phone, ever, would have to be the utter failure of the GPS system.  It may just have been my particular handset, but GPS absolutely, positively would not work on my phone.  First I started with Google Maps; but with the 6.1 software, and the fact the II wants to work with Telenav software to begin with, it couldn’t connect to the satellite.  Actually, it didn’t even try.  I found a patch to help it connect, but the patch only worked with Windows mobile 6, not 6.1.  Failure #2.

Failure #3 came when I tried to put AT&T Navigator on my phone.  Yes, you have to pay for the service, but surely GPS would work, right?  Wrong.  AT&T Navigator didn’t even want to install on my phone, which led me to another headache I’ll cover next.

After clearing the failed apps off my phone, I put Bing mobile on next.  Bing mobile has a GPS app built in, but Failure #4 happened when I tried to connect to the satellite.  The upside to the downside was that the Bing GPS actually made attempts to find the satellite.  Even after changing some settings, it tried, but it just couldn’t do it.  Finally I accepted defeat, deleted any remaining semblance documenting my attempts at GPS, and closed that chapter for good.

4. Applications
Another headache is the painfully limited applications for this phone.  Half the fun of wanting the BlackBerry Bold is knowing I’ll have so many applications to choose from.  The first annoyance came when I discovered how biased Pandora mobile is for certain phones.  This was rectified when my friend discovered a working Pandora app for my phone, but overall the gross limitations is daunting.  Some of the apps that claimed to work on my phone wouldn’t.  AT&T Navigator being one case in point.  I find this odd because my phone already had it pre-installed, yet it didn’t want to work in the least bit.

5. General technical failures
I only had the phone freeze on me three times since using it, requiring a hard restart.  The most common problem I had with the phone was synching issues when connecting to my laptop.  Other issues were general internet problems, both of which were fixed after restarting the phone.  Small headaches, but still annoying nonetheless.

Likes

It would seem pretty hard to find things to like about a phone whose issues stemmed from basic usage, right?  Well, kind of.  There’s a few things I actually liked about using Windows mobile even if they’re only small things.

1. Word mobile
I only liked Word mobile after I figured out how to get a blank document onto my phone, that is.  After that, I was sold.  A majority of the time writing ideas come to me when I have no pen and paper handy.  This leads me to #2.

2. OneNote mobile
For the same reasons I enjoy using Word mobile, but I could say I liked using this better because I didn’t have to load a blank Word document into my phone first.

Others

1. Bluetooth
I enjoy using bluetooth, but on this phone battery life was sapped quickly.  It became more of a love/hate relationship.

2. 3G Network
Probably the best thing AT&T could do (aside from making the iPhone fail less) was getting the 3G Network up and running.  In the areas I can connect to 3G (Edit: which now includes areas I work in, thankfully. Previously rural Georgia only had Edge), I love it.  There’s no comparison in the processing/loading speed, and this phone handles 3G perfectly.

3. Headset jack
Who’s bright idea was it to give the II a headset jack that has the same retarded end as the charger itself?  Why couldn’t there have been a 3.5mm jack?  Sound quality for certain things was shoddy at best, which leads me to #4.

4. Sound quality
Call quality was good/okay, depending on where I was.  People kept telling me in most places they either couldn’t hear me or it sounded like I was underwater.  I text more than I call people, anyway, so after a while it stopped being an issue.

RIM BlackBerry Bold

Having a friend with a BlackBerry Curve gave me insight as to how a BlackBerry handles.  I adapted quickly to navigating through the phone and typing, thanks to the BlackJack II’s Qwerty keyboard.  Design for the BlackBerry is nice, and while the Curve and Bold are different, I still find them both equally enjoyable.  Before acquiring my own Bold, I not only tinkered with my friend’s, but I also made frequent trips into different AT&T stores, just to play with the phone.  I’ve had mine for a while now, and I’ll list things much in the same way I did above, I’ll start with Likes this time.

Likes

1. Applications

I knew in advance that App World was going to be my friend, but all I can really say is wow.  I was amazed at how many apps are for this phone, and I was so relieved, to put it simply.  The main app I wanted for this phone was UberTwitter, the Twitter app my friend had.  After that it was a matter of figuring what else would be nice to have.

2. GPS

I’ll keep this section short, but being able to use Google Maps and have it work properly is nothing short of amazing.

3. Typing

The phone itself (let alone the keyboard) is decisively bigger than the BlackJack II.  Yes, this does make the phone look a bit more “masculine”, but I adapted to the phone fairly quickly.  I could never see myself using anything other than a full Qwerty keyboard now, so the larger keyboard was a dream for me.  I’ve found my texting speed has increased, leaving friends and family staring at me in awe as I churn out a novel-like text in under a minute.

4. Battery Life

Like I said earlier, all smart phones tend to die faster because of the usage.  But I’ve found the battery life of the Bold to be 3x longer.  Depending on usage, there’s been times where I can charge my phone every other day.  This is something I could never do with the BlackJack II.

While there’s not much about this phone I don’t like, I’ll cut this section short and move on to the dislikes/technical issues.  I’m grouping this section together because I’ve had only a small number of problems with the phone.

Dislikes/Technical Issues

1. Phone Freezing

I haven’t quite figured out what makes this happen, possibly a space issue.  I’ve found it happen more frequently when I’m using the camera to take video.  In a particularly annoying move, while I was recently on vacation in the Caribbean, I took a 20-minute video of my taxi ride around Antigua.  My phone froze and didn’t want to save the video.  It did save it, but it was in a format that wasn’t convertible, and the video is now unplayable and irrevocably lost.

2. Themes

After putting Theme Builder on my computer and trying to customize my phone to look “cool”, I came to the conclusion this was no longer worth the headache.  Obviously if you’re not entirely sure what you’re doing, nothing will look right.  Hence why I gave up on that endeavor.

3. Call Quality

Overall rating: Decent.  In some areas call quality is of course terrible, but I can say the robotic sound that happens when signal is great is more annoying than anything.

4. Storage Space

I realised from the beginning that my 4g card was going to be very useful.  The space on the phone itself isn’t much, and I have a lot of music, videos, and pictures.

Overall judgement: Well, I knew from the beginning this comparison was going to be mostly biased.  I did give both equal amounts of time (although condensed the Bold’s section). Both phones are great, but as a former user of the BlackJack II and current owner of the Bold, my heart does lie with RIM now.  I think they have done a great job with the Black Berry line, making vast improvements as new phones come out.  That being said, I am basing that opinion on what I already know about their older phones, and with AT&T alone.  Although the things I’ve heard about the Storm are less than stellar, but I digress as I do not use Verizon.

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