BlackBerry Vs iPhone?
I know it’s a question that is not only as old as time itself, but has been answered many times. But as a BlackBerry user migrating to iPhone I thought I’d have a go myself.
You don’t have to look too far to stumble across numerous reviews, opinions and comparisons between the two, and mostly biased towards one or the other. So I’ve tried to keep to my personal experiences of the two. I’ve been using the BlackBerry Torch 9800 with OS6 (V126.96.36.1998) and the iPhone 4S with iOS 5.1 – both with the latest updates.
I decided to focus on the key points I looked at when comparing them myself;
1). Battery Life: Despite the BlackBerry getting more use (I’ve yet to setup my work email on the iPhone) it still gave significantly more battery life. After a full charge and with Bluetooth and Wi-Fi turned off, the iPhone managed to just last 14 hours under moderate use before requiring a charge. The Torch however, was able to last two and half days.
2). Emails: The iPhone does have a nice clean email client, and is relatively simple to switch between accounts if you have more than one setup. The search facility also seems to work a lot better on the iPhone, giving you the option to continue the search on the server if required. The BlackBerry utilises separate icons for each account, which is useful for those who like to keep work separate but can be tedious when trying to switch between accounts trying to find an email. That said, the BlackBerry did seem to consistently receive mail a good 5-10 minutes before the iPhone (my iPad 2 had the same delay), which may not seem much but could make all the difference when dealing with clients etc.
3). Build: I’ll have to agree that both units are well made, and the iPhone could well be displayed in a gallery somewhere. I was at a busy train station the other day and felt a little uneasy about getting my iPhone out in case I dropped it, something I’d never thought of with the BlackBerry. The BlackBerry appears more robust and has survived everything I’ve thrown at it so far, the iPhone doesn’t feel as safe in your hand when you’re holding it – especially without some form of case, does feel as if it’s too easy to fall out of your hand.
4). Wi-Fi: Both the Torch and the 4S support N wireless which was a benefit to me, but was disappointed that the iPhone doesn’t support UMA. A feature I’ve found fantastic on all my BlackBerry’s so far, as my parents houses don’t receive great coverage. But the iPhone does allow itself to be used as a personal hotspot, something lacking with the Torch. And saves me having to carry a 3G card for my laptop when I’m out and about.
5). Browsing: I prefer the Webkit browser of the Torch, but browsing on any BlackBerry can be a slow experience at times, even over Wi-Fi. The iPhone’s browser isn’t quite as easy to use at the Torch, but significantly faster and loads with speeds comparable to regular Windows browsers.
6). Typing: Although the touch screen is intuitive on the iPhone; and works well for short messages, I’ve found it to be uncomfortable to type long emails on. The Torch seemed to put functionality before style in this sense, opting for both a touch screen and a regular keyboard. The nice thing about using the regular keyboard on the Torch, is that you don’t lose any of the screen – which of course isn’t the case with onscreen touch versions.
7). Connectivity: Once you sweep aside the usual offerings of Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and USB* the two are rather different. In this sense the Torch is more user friendly being hearing aid compatible and allows files and messages to be sent with relative ease using BlackBerry Messenger. BlackBerry OS also offers better corporate integration, such as PBX support and BES although this depends on software version, model and particular setup.
RIM’s image as the once corporate communication golden boy has been tarnished a little by various service outages; although disruptive, every form of network experiences issues at some point and comes with residing in a technologically reliant world. It’s worth having a good resilience plan, but I wouldn’t let this sway you too much.
So it seems we have two very different devices, one a sleek shiny Ferrari with bags of performance, the other a trusty robust Land Rover with more versatility than your average Swiss Army Knife. One’s great for showing off at a club, the other a bit of a dull workhorse. And that’s all very nice, but it’s worth keeping in mind especially as they’re both trying to lure each others followers.
The BlackBerry is a powerful business tool; although a little boring it will keep you productive and organised wherever you find yourself. For the people whose only association with a night club is doing the accounts, and those who would rather read the Financial Times than play Forza.
The iPhone is almost the total opposite; shiny, exciting and in some respects unconventional. With a battery that will give up long before you do and an almost limitless appstore it’s great for social butterflies and trend setters out there.