As you may have noticed, I’ve been posting a lot less frequently lately. A big part of that, aside from working my full-time job, is that I’ve been having a sort of crisis of faith with BlackBerry. It’s less about all of the recent doom and gloom about RIM’s future, and more about my friends with BlackBerrys leaving for iPhones and Android phones.
I’ve been using BlackBerrys since before there was an iPhone or Android phones out there. While I love BlackBerry, I’ve never really used anything else. Today is my new-every-two with Verizon Wireless, so I’m going to try an Android phone. Verizon gives me 2 weeks to see how I like it, so I’m going to try this out. While I’ve been contemplating this, I thought about all of the other people in my same situation, so I’ve decided that I’m going to blog my experiences here. Therefore, I present to you the Android Project:
I’ve been doing the research on this for a week now, and here are the specs that are different between the two. I’m bearing in mind that the Thunderbolt is almost 2 years newer than my 9550, and I’m focusing mostly on the dimensions and battery life. You can check out the important stats below:
||BlackBerry Storm 2 9550
||8 MP Rear / 1.3MP Front
||8GB eMMC – 768 MB RAM
||2GB Flash Memory, 256MB RAM
||up to 330 hours
||up to 269 hours
||up to 378 minutes
||up to 330 minutes
||Standard Lithium Ion (1400mAh)
||Standard Lithium Ion (1400 mAh)
||4.75H x 2.44W x 0.56D
||4.4H x 2.4W x 0.53D
Obviously, the Thunderbolt is larger than the Storm2 in all stats. That’s to be expected because the Thunderbolt is one of those Android phones with the ridiculously large screens. What did surprise me is the battery life numbers. From all of the reviews that I’ve been going through, the biggest consistent knock on the Thunderbolt has been battery life, and I’ve been worried of having to need to charge my phone every 4-5 hours. While that is feasible on my normal days (between home, work, and my car I’m rarely more than arm’s reach from a charger), that is certainly not a workable solution when I’m on a trip. Imagine my shock when I saw that VZW says that the Thunderbolt gets better battery life than the 9550! I was so surprised that I had to go onto RIM’s site to confirm that the numbers lined up with the official specs (Note: HTC’s site does not list battery life specs for the Thunderbolt, so I had to take VZW’s word for it). Now, I know that the Thunderbolt’s life numbers are probably in “ideal conditions” with almost everything turned off, but so are RIM’s I assume, so I’ll be very interested to test this out in my real-world scenario. As for the extra ounce of weight and size, I played with my dad’s Tbolt and it didn’t seem too crazy, but we’ll see how it goes when it’s in my pocket all the time.
Here’s what I am excited about: Verizon’s 4G LTE network. All recent independent speed tests have rated Verizon’s network as faster than all of the other carriers. It’s even been rated faster than many people’s home internet connections. I am fortunate enough that my apartment and my office in NJ are both covered in LTE zones, so I’m looking forward to seeing how fast this thing really is. I’m also excited about trying Android and playing with all of its UI elements that BlackBerry does not have.
How do I expect this to end? I honestly have no idea. There are so many little things in BlackBerry that I take for granted that could completely turn me off Android just because they’re not there. I already know I’m going to need to get used to not holding down a letter to capitalize it. I could go the whole two weeks and love the Thunderbolt, or I could take it back in a week and hold out for the Monaco. Either way, I expect to gain a better appreciation for the options out there. I’m not going to turn into a BlackBerry-hater because I still like them and still believe that they fulfill a need. I still have my PlayBook, and I’m still planning to write about the latest BlackBerry news. Whenever people at work ask me what phone they should get, I always tell them to try them all out and see what they like best, so I’m simply taking my own advice.
OK… I feel like I’ve stumbled through this post enough. Would you believe that I’ve been trying to get this written down all week? Stay tuned here for more updates on where this will take me. If you have any questions about using Android that you’d like me to try out, please leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, if you know anybody who is thinking about Android, tell them to swing by here and see if my experiences can’t help them make up their mind. As I said, I’m still planning to make normal news posts, so stay tuned for that here as well.