I had this lengthy blog post composed, where I was going to do some crowdsourcing, asking the blog faithful their opinions on the latest smartphones. I've long been a BlackBerry devotee, back to the days of black and white screens. My contract with AT&T ran out a while ago, and I was basically a "free agent," ready to go to whatever provider offered me the device that best met my needs. I was waiting on the release of the new crackberry, the Torch 9800, so I could compare it with the latest iPhone and Droid.
Well, the Torch was announced to the world this week, and will be released into the wild next week. It met with mixed reviews, which basically boiled down to "underwhelming screen compared to the competition, great and solid hardware like you'd expect, not as many apps available as the competition, and it does all the things you love about a BlackBerry, and does them even better."
I wrote up my criteria for a new device, and in the process of drafting that blog post and doing some basic research about the competitors, I think my decision was made for me. Basically, it came down to this:
- I'm really happy with my Bold 9000.
- I know the BlackBerry inside and out, and I'm comfortable with how it works.
- I don't mind a touchscreen for some functions, but I want and need a REAL keyboard. Nobody makes keyboards like BlackBerry.
- I know a lot of people, particularly iPhone users, bitch about AT&T. But I've never had a single dropped call nor any problems with them.
- I don't need 60,000 apps. My phone already does most everything I need it to do.
- The iPhone just isn't functional or flexible enough to serve my day to day business needs, and the Droid is too tied into the Google cloud to make synchronization a smooth and calming event.
- The crackberry is the only platform that seamlessly synchronizes with my two different PCs and their desktop Outlook installations, which is of critical importance to me so I can have all my information up to date and at hand, no matter where I am.
- The Torch offers more of everything I already love, ups the capabilities of the hardware across the board (camera, memory, touchscreen, etc.), adds wireless iTunes sync, and significantly improves the only downside of the BlackBerry - the browsing experience.
- Plus, I already have the most useful apps (Docs To Go and Splash ID) installed across multiple platforms, and all the requisite accessories (headphones, bluetooths, cords, holsters, etc.). Why switch?
So, instead of publicly wrangling with a decision, I'm just making one. Torch Me.
I'll report back later with a full review, once I get the thing in my hot little hands and take it for a full test drive.