Blackberry 8700c vs Treo 700w


Recently I read an article from BusinessWeek that (in the magazine) had a photo of the new Blackberry 8700c. I was impressed enough by the looks to give the article a read and found a few kudos for RIM on this one. I also skimmed a Wired blog article on it as well.

First Look

The photo brings the keyboard to my attention first. In my comparison of the Blackberry 7100t with the Treo I had a land line up my butt about the poor keyboard on the 7100t. This one looks much better and much more usable. Kudo #1 to RIM.

The next thing I looked for was the camera, to no avail. At this point, the comparisons stop for me because I gotta have my MoPho. But, for those of you who aren’t interested in the camera, I’ll continue.

2nd Try

The short and sweet of it is, beyond all the little modifications I’ve read about, it seems the interface is pretty much the same (1 boo from me because of it’s complexity). The screen is smaller (320×280 compared to the Treo’s 320×320) but apparently pretty bright, so that one is a wash. The one big kudo I can give to RIM is the web browsing appears to be super quick and much easier to navigate. Since I haven’t seen one physically yet, I won’t confirm that, but I’ll be generous and throw them another bone for stepping up to the plate and fixing that.

Last Glance

The last almost good thing I can say about this Blackberry is it’s finally got some processor punch. The unfortunate downside (at least so far) is that there’s no programs out there to support the power quite yet. So, right now, from a business owner’s and gadget lover’s perspective, I’d have to still go for the Treo because of it’s support of other documents and programs. It reminds me of the Sega vs. Nintendo days where Sega just couldn’t make it work out because they didn’t have the game choice/volume.

I’d say if RIM throws a camera and some good document/program/3rd party support apps into the fray, there might be a good brawl going. Especially since the 8700 only costs $299 as opposed to Treo’s consistently high ($650-ish) ticket price.

What do you think about the Treo or the Blackberry lines?

Update: In case anyone would like to comment on the 8800 vs Treo 750, I’ve written a basic review here.

Nate Ritter lives in Austin, Texas (U.S.), popularized the #hashtag and creates web applications for a living. He also does miles and point hacking to enable cheap travel for his family. More here →

237 Comments on "Blackberry 8700c vs Treo 700w"

  1. karen says:

    Nice writeup. Indeed, the Blackberry is providing some welcome competition to the Treo. And that competition will definitely benefit Treo users.

    Since I rarely use my Treo for email, the blackberry wouldn’t be as useful for me. And, I confess, I’m not even in the target demographic for the 700w (since I’m not interested in a windows OS Treo).

    The Treo’s appeal (for me) is the Palm OS and the Treo’s versatility — I don’t know of any other gadgets where I can stream Internet radio, take photos/video, listen to audio books, read ebooks, check my stocks, make phone calls, play scrabble, keep track of my finances (Pocket Quicken), view Google maps, navigate using GPS software (along with a bluetooth gps antenna), and even store an episode of my favorite comedy (Absolutely Fabulous) for a quick laugh when I need it.

    I’m very curious to see how the Treos in the 2006 pipeline ( ) will compare, I’m especially interested in the 700P vs the “Hollywood”. Hey, it’s all good. :-)

  2. nate says:

    Great link and comment Karen! I will definitely be checking out the products you mentioned (700P, etc). What applications do you use on your Treo right now? And can I assume you have the 650 currently?

  3. Mike says:

    No offense but your wrong about EVERYTHING. The display on the Treo 700w is 320×280 as with the Blackberry. The Blackberry has MUCH more colors and is a better device. You sound like you are a consumer user, thus you like the Treo. If you really cared if you had a stable, push-capable handheld… you’d like the blackberry. due to work-place sabotage most buisnesses (good ones anyway) don’t allow camera phones, thus blackberry has omitted it from their products. They don’t yet have a consumer line. So until then, the Treo vs. Blackberry debate is NOT POSSIBLE. For serious users are ALWAYS going to opt for the blackberry (hence me using one)

  4. karen says:

    Um, the 650 is push-capable.

    The blackberry is a fine device, but not my preference (and, btw, I’m a geek, so I’m well aware of what’s available in the marketplace) — sorry to hear that makes me “wrong”. (Are we in high school?)

    It’s a big interesting world out there and what works for one person may not work for another. And that’s okay.

  5. nate says:

    Hahah.. Comments like “you[‘re] wrong about EVERYTHING” and “most businesses (good ones anyway)” and “ALWAYS going to opt for the blackberry” make me laugh.

    Let me try out some humor. Ok. So, most commenters (good ones anyway) on a blog ALWAYS use overarching generalities to make a point. That makes this comment PERFECT and COMPLETELY RIGHT.

    Did I make my point?

    Ok, so back to the real debate (that is possible because we’re having it right now).

    Karen, thank you for commenting. And yes, the blackberry is a fine device. It also is not my preference (even though I currently have one). I also am well aware of what’s in the marketplace and unfortunately for me, T-mobile currently doesn’t handle the Treo 700w (or the 650 for that matter), so I’m not able to get one (T-mobile has the best coverage in my area).

    Oh, and yes, I am a “consumer user”. Who isn’t? If you’re a human, you’re a consumer and a user. Hmm.. *shrug* whatever.

  6. Andre says:

    Dunno where Mike gets his info… or for matter of fact the blog writer.

    The 700w is 240×240… Yes, the resolution went DOWN when they moved to Windows Mobile, the Palm OS Treo devices were 320×320; and no Treo ever ran 320×280.

  7. D says:

    I have both. No doubt, Treo wins. Blackberry’s are expensive to support and I have found that they are slower in our market. Screens are very dull and boring and you have to love the ability to stylusize your life.

  8. Robby says:

    Love reading the reviews! Im a school teacher and I have a blackberry 7130. I love it very much. I must say though I have never used the treo, but would love to see the differences at work!

  9. Ken says:

    The problem is that Mike is right. The blackberry is a better solution for serious business users. It’s far more stable and more durable. It has much, much better battery life. And, as part of a seamless solution; i.e. server/device/network – it’s inherently more secure and has all of business capabilities that one could want – all sitting at the server – not on the device. All the crappy third party apps you can get from the zillion or so palm o/s guys is mostly consumer – not business- oreinted. The camera and mp3 player is ok to have – again as a consumer – not a business person. The bottom line is that the BlackBerry does core business applications (email, calendar, contacts, and other outlook functions: much better than the treo. The treo does lots of other things – from pretty well to pretty badly. The BB 8700 finally has a decent browser and with EDGE networks, some decent bandwidth to support it. It has better screen resolution than the treo 700 and a brighter backlight. the scroll wheel still beats the pants off of the Treo navigation techniques, and it’s rock solid. The Blackberry 8700 is a serious communications tool – the treo is a toy for rich over-grown boys and girls. And if you really want any type of true encryped end-to-end security, you’d have to get a Good Technology server (yes, a third party server) to provide all of the security that a BB server provides. Having said all that – the Treo is a great device – a super phone, really. But, for core business applications, the Blackberry 8700 is better.

  10. Mike says:

    yep. ‘mike’ is right.

    I am correct. I like how someone said “treo supports push also… dont question me I’m a geek” and yet the ‘geek’ was wrong. :)
    The treo needs oodles of third party, consumer based additives. while the blackberry has everything built in. and runs on the infamous blackberry server. i agree with Ken. the treo is for old boys and girls who aren’t serious users and have to much money. anyone who’s a serious user has a blackberry.Comments like: “Oh, and yes, I am a “consumer user”. Who isn’t? If you’re a human, you’re a consumer and a user.” that a little third grade. its like saying “its a free country, i can say whatever” come on people. the plain fact is blackberry got a lot of bad publicity with there 7100 series devices. it was aimed at “consumer users” the problem is. blackberry doesn’t make consumer devices. they simply got so much pressure from consumer users whos serious business friends raved about the blackberry they made a consumer device. there in lies the problem. they released this. consumer users purchased it. they hated it. and with good reason. people who spend 400 bucks on a smart-phone expect it to sprout wings and fly or something. while business users are content with a stable os and great productivity features. blackberry made the device consumer-esque but not totally treo reminiscent consumer. in the end the blackberry is a no non-sense stable device. the plain fact is if you need all the features in a treo. tote a small laptop (like the 12 inch powerbook)

  11. nate says:

    Ok, I’ll agree with Mike and Ken (I’m not sure I disagreed) on the point of difference for a business user versus a consumer user. I would not say that a business user is a power user, however. And I wouldn’t say that the BB is better than the Treo for just that reason. Different uses, different phones.

    I have absolutely no use for the BB. Not because I’m not a business user. I am. I just hate the scrolling push button crap and I hate the way BB has integrated their UI for email and calendaring. So, to each their own I guess. I prefer a handheld Treo over a 12″ anything or a BB. But, hey, it’s my review and I can cry if I want to.

    “Rich over-grown boys and girls” who like “nonsense”, UNITE! haha.

  12. Mike says:

    you make a very good point.


  13. Smallie says:

    man, i’m doing an economics assignment for my grade 11 class. I honestly thought that i was childish, but i guess this is how “grown-ups” disagree huh? well, i’m gonna take some info and suggestions and statements which you dudes made. I’m not “geek”, but i totally understand what’s going on. Other than that, i’ve got homework to do, so thanks for your opinions, they really do help in a very weird and complicated way. Toodles =]

  14. nate says:

    haha.. Yes Smallie, this IS how grownups disagree. I hope you get an A.

  15. Ken says:

    Nate – you can’t put an age limit on immature behavior! Anyway, I did want to mention that even though I personally think the 8700 is the better device, that the real decisions are made in the market place and by a very clear margin – most people prefer Treos to BlackBerrys and that’s just the way it is. I actually sell wireless data solutions and managed services for a living – so I sell both BlackBerry and Treo product (as well as a bunch of other stuff) all day long and I get great feedback from folks about what they like and don’t like about these devices. And both the 8700 and the treo700 have yielded the smallest amount of returns I’ve seen in recent memory. It’s nice that people can have a choice of two decent products. And good luck with your project.

  16. nate says:


    Thank you for your support of ageless immaturity. Or at least recognizing it. And thank you for your comment. I appreciate the fuzzy stats or impressions from someone who actually works with the things.

  17. Bob says:

    Can I or can I not open a revise an excel spreadsheet with the Blackberry? Can I view it?

  18. Ken says:

    You can open an excel spreadsheet on a Blackberry. However, you cannot revise it or otherwise work on it. It’s a “read-only” application. The real question is why would you want to – on either a Blackberry or a Treo? Neither device is really suited for that type of use. The screen size alone would be a mitigating factor. Much better to simply get an aircard and a small laptop or tablet device, if that is going to be a priority function.

  19. nate says:

    The question isn’t “why would you want to?” Does “why” really matter? The fact I want that feature matters. And if I can’t, then for my purposes, the Blackberry just doesn’t do it.

    Much better to simply put the functionality in for people like me (and Bob?) who want that, and not to tell us to buy something more expensive and less travel-friendly to solve something that’s not a problem with the Treo.

    Crap, I did it again… sorry for getting all over ya. I guess I’m getting tired of people saying that the features in a Treo are better in a laptop. Heck, that’s why I like the Treo – cause I don’t have to carry around a laptop.

  20. Ken says:

    I hear you and I respect that. I’m just personally disappointed in this particular Treo model. I don’t think they really have the windows mobile thing down well yet. And so the device is unstable and twitchy and a pain in the ass. The really new 700P model seems to be much better – but alas – it has a Palm O/S. Maybe the real question now is – ca you work on excel using the 700P – and to the question – my answer is: I don’t know. Probably with some third party app installed. But not seamlessly like the windows mobile version. I just wish it was a better device.

  21. nate says:

    Well, it’s good to know that you’re disappointed in this particular model (since I haven’t tried the 700w yet). I’m assuming the 700p will work with Excel. The 650 did, and it was Palm based. Although, come to think of it, we may have had a 3rd party app. I used the 650 when it was provided by the company I used to work for.

    Additionally, I’m excited about the p version because it will work better with my Mac. Bummer about the 700w though.

  22. Ken says:

    I have a Mac, too, so I completely empathize with that. And yeah, I bet it’s a 3rd party app that gives you the excel access. But so what? As long as it works. See if you can get your hands on that P version. As a 650 user, you will really appreciate the upgrade, while still having familiarity with the device.

  23. nate says:

    I completely agree. I will be getting the 700p as soon as possible (might be a few months before we settle into the area a little more, but I’m definitely getting it).. thanks Ken.

  24. Mike says:

    Why is it a ‘bummer’ that the 700w will not work with a mac? Your not a mac user, who longs for windows mobile are you?

  25. nate says:

    Oh, just because I always wished that Windows OS’s were better than what they are. I’m not a Windows fan anymore. I grew up on windows, but then graduated to Mac OSX last year.

  26. Ken says:

    As for me, I’ll be perfectly content with my BlackBerry 8700, using the PocketMac application for my Mac.

  27. Ruby says:

    I’m not much of a techie…I basically need a PDA for email and phone…not too interested in any of the other bells and whistles (at least I don’t think so…). Should I be considering either of these devices, or is there a simpler, less expensive alternative?

  28. Ken says:

    What might make sense for you is the previous model BlackBerry or Treo; specifically, the 7290 Blackberry and the 650 Treo. They both have the same core functionality that you are looking for, but because they aren’t the most current models, they sell for hundreds of dollars less. The 7290 is a terrific model – one I still use on a daily basis. You can also check with Cingular who, from time to time, will sell refurbished models. I undestand that they currently do have refurbished 8700s available. Refurbs provided by a carrier are usually a very good bet – and should be virtually indistinguishable from a new model. In any case, you shouldn’t have to spend more than $199.99 for these upper end devices, both of which are far better for email and data, than most typical “smart phones”.

  29. Ruby says:

    Huh…good stuff. Here’s my other problem…how do I buy a device that’s not affiliated with a carrier? I already have Verizon and they’ve told me that if I buy through them, I’m going to pay full retail b/c my servive date is

  30. Ken says:

    Yes, well, that is one of several problems with Verizon. You also won’t find the 8700 model there, either. Your alternative is the 7250 or the 7130e. Anyway, the best you can do with Verizon is try to buy those two models on e-bay (or the treo 700). Because Verizon doesn’t use sim cards, they make these type of transactions very difficult, very deliberately.

  31. Nicole says:

    I am currently in the market for a BB or Treo. But clearly not sure which way to go. I am starting a very small business and this phone would be my business phone as my work will keep me traveling. I would need to keep client info, records, and documents that I would need to send fairly often. Obviously though I am also a consumer user. I would appreciate all opinions.

  32. nate says:


    I’m a biased Treo lover. So, I naturally suggest the Treo 700. And if you’re used to windows, the 700w has Windows CE on it. If you want Palm (which integrates with Macs nicer), you can get the 700p when it comes out, if it hasn’t already.

  33. Ken says:

    The Treo 700p is indeed out and from what I have experienced, it is a superior device to the 700w. Even though it is a Palm O/S it seems to me that it actually works better with Microsoft apps than the windows mobile 5 device. I would also recommend looking at the new BlackBerry 7130, which I have in my possession. It has far exceeded my expectations for form factor, phone quality, and ease of use. And the second generation SureType is nothing short of incredible. It has never guessed wrong yet. And the intel chip has greatly improved the browser and general processing experience. And it’s now available on Cingular, as well as Verizon, on Cingular’s EDGE network, which, at least on the BlackBerry, seems to finally have sufficient bandwidth for serious browsing.

    The Treo has more third party app capability and more ways to navigate and more you can do with it (camera, added memory, etc). But it’s still not quite as stable or as durable as the BB, although it is an excellent device, these days.

  34. Anonymous says:

    The palm is just ugly hehehehe
    thats all

  35. Anonymous says:

    by the way
    I have BB and 8700g is THE BEST THIN EVER!!!!!!

    for me !!!!! hehehe

  36. Anonymous says:

    Look the Blackberry is 10000000 times easier to support especially if you have a blackberry enterprise server at your work.. Which i guess is kinda the point the BBs are for the business community the treo are more like toys. For example a person purchase a blackberry from across the country I can have that unit setup in 1 minute via an email that gives them a password to activate it. Treo’s forget it.. either you use web active sync which passes email plain test to a internet sync server or spend more money on good server or you just rig email forwarding. BB is far more secure… the BB server can set policies and enforce and expire passwords and clear a device of all information if it gets stolen. I guess from the inidividual user standpoint its preference but from Administration standpoint Blackberry wins hands down

  37. nate says:

    Anon…. I think you’ve hit the point exactly from my experience. As an individual user, not needing it to be supported by an administrator, I would rather use the Treo. But, if I were an admin, I would completely want the BB’s distributed.

    If you have any opinions on the Motorola Q, Let ‘s here them here.

  38. Ken says:

    I have been using the BlackBerry 7130c over the last few months and I’ve been very impressed with this model. Although I’ve tended to favor BBs over Treos because of the all business perspective I holed (versus using it for “play”), this new BB really transcends those biz-only functions. The screen is fantastic – the size and feel of the device is exceptional – and the SURETYPE app is a huge improvement over the 7100 models. This thing is far more stable than a Treo (windows or palm), and performs its core functions as well or better than a treo. And these days, you would bed surprised by the amount of third party developers who are designing for BB these days. The set-up of individual email (not server based) was so seamless and easy that it, alone, could sell me on it. If I were to get a Treo, it would definitely be the Palm OS – and most definitely not the windows mobile 5 device which is still an imperfect and inelegant solution.

  39. Ken says:

    Oh – and hold on to your hats, because the new BB 8100 is coming out any week now, first on T-Mobile, and then on Cingular. It will have a camera, Nate (!) additional memory storage, and the famous side wheel is going away in favor of a track wheel in the middle of the face of the device. These are quite revolutionary improvements from RIM and more evidence that they continue to innovate at a much faster pace than just about anyone else. This may be the BB that finally crosses over.

  40. nate says:

    Hey, that’s good to know Ken, about the 8100 coming out. I have T-Mobile service and don’t really want to leave them yet. But, if I don’t find a phone I like, when my service is up, I’m out.

    I hope the Blackberry 8100 is as nice as you say it is. And I’m glad they’re finally getting a camera, even though I know that’s not the intent of the business-driven RIM.

    Thanks Ken!

  41. Ken says:

    and one last note – for now anyway – the rumors are flying that the new Treo 750 may be released as soon as September. It’ll be a dual band EDGE/WiFi device with the windows mobile 5 OS. I’ll be at the CTIA event 09/12 in LA where, I am hearing, it will be revealed. I’ll let you know if it actually transpires and what I think of it.

  42. nate says:

    Thanks Ken, I’d be happy to put it in a new post and reference it here for you when you’ve got some info… of course giving you all the attribution.

  43. Sarah says:

    Thanks so much for all the opinions!!

    I am not a geek (LOL) in that I have NO idea of what is around. I currently have a blackberry and own a small business. All 3 partners are up for new phones so we are exploring the options and have really narrowed down to the BB 8700c or the Treo.

    When folks have posted the BB is more secure for e-mails. is this only if you are a large company running an enterprise server?

    I am keeping with BB, but my co-workers really like the Treo–mainly for the touch screen navigation.

    We do use e-mail constantly and it often contains individual’s personal information.

    So I am very concerned/intersted in the security issues.

    Any insight anyone has would be VERY helpful.


  44. nate says:

    Sarah, thanks for writing in! I’m very happy to see some non-geeks contributing to the dialogue.

    I’m not so sure about the email security for the BB. However, as a side note, if you are going to stick with the BB, I would suggest you make sure to get one with a full keyboard. Don’t settle for the ones with “smart” typing tech. From my experience, it’s just one more thing to double check when I type anything, and if you’re going to use it for email often this may become a big deal. It’s much quicker to adapt to than the “smart” tech too.

    The argument about how smart the keyboard is is a whole ‘nother conversation. My experience hasn’t been too good with it. But, I’ve heard others’ have been good.

  45. Ken says:

    Sarah – in answer to your question, both the BlackBerry without the server and the Treo in any format (except using a Goodlink server) would be inherently unsecure, which should make you insecure. The real question is: how much security do you really want and/or need and what is it worth to your company? There are scaled down versions of Blackberry servers, these days, configured specifically for small businesses. You may want to take a look at that. The fact is, though, that wireless email isn’t much less secure than any pop3 email you may already be using. And the BB web based solution is inherently more secure than using a laptop in a wifi hot spot, for instance. I can’t comment fully on Treos because there are many different wireless email applications that work with it – some OK – and some definitely not. Feel free to contact me directly if you want any additional advice. You should be aware that I sell wireless solutions – although I will NOT try to sell you anything as I don’t want to use this excellent site for my own personal gain, but rather to disperse information about BB, Treos and other wireless PDAs, smartphones, etc, that I think may be worthy of attention.

  46. Ken says:

    Here is an interesting item which will certainly create some chat in the BB vs. Treo world – today Palm announced the release of a BlackBerry connect Treo 650, to be offered exclusively through Cingular. This is basically a Treo which can be used with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server. So now, at least in concept, this might be the best of all worlds – the bells and whistles or the Treo married to the security and easy of administration of the Blackberry server. The obvious downside here is that they are only offering it on the 650 model which is pretty much already obsolete, and only on Cingular. When it is offered on the 700 and upcoming 750 – it will certainly be more compelling. I would sure like to hear from anybody who does actually buy this device and uses it with a BES server. I ‘d like to know if it’s as good as Palm says it is – and how it negotiates the Palm OS with the BlackBerry interface. Thanks in advance to anyone who cares to report on it.

  47. nate says:

    Thanks Ken… If you’d like to comment on this information, I’ve moved it to it’s own post.

    Please comment over there. Thanks!

  48. Chris says:

    I have to say that I have really enjoyed reading these opinions. I work in the IT / Healthcare field and see both devices in my environment. We currently run GroupWise for our email system and have a BES installed to communicate messaging and calendaring wirelessly to Blackberrys. Unfortunately, in our environment BBs are very limited because many of our doctors rely on 3rd party software to quickly check things such as drug interactions. The software that allows this and many other medical based applications simply do not have any support for the BB platform. Treos on the other hand do support this software BUT do not sync well with GroupWise. Intellisync and other desktop products work…kinda…but still force the users to visit their office PC to perform the synchronization. I see pros and cons for each device but if I had my choice I would move my company to Exchange and configure my 700w (just got it woohoo) to use Active Sync and be a very happy peon!

    Just my opinion,
    Sr. LAN Administrator

  49. Ken says:

    Chris – just fyi – MCS Health has a BlackBerry version of its mobile Drug Interaction guide. And Bellks, Unbound Medicine, ZixCorp and RxRite all make BlackBerry versions of their mobile healthcare software. Many people are under the misconception that there are no (or very little) third party applications available for the BlackBerry but it just isn’t so.

  50. jim says:

    thinking of buying a 700w. Can you run a laptop off of it?

  51. nate says:


    If you’re asking about getting internet access through it, yes, with some help from $34 software. But, not by default.

  52. Ken says:

    Actually, you do not have to buy any software to access the internet through a Treo 700w. But I suspect what Jim is really asking is if the Treo can be used as an “aircard”, or to be more precise, a tethered modem. The answer to that question is, YES. Verizon charges about an extra $15/month above the data plan. Sprint is, so far, giving away that capability, if you have a data plan. Both carrier networks offer EVDO, which is the fastest available today in the US.

  53. gary says:

    Very interesting discussion as I am a Palm user contemplating a new Treo 700P. However, how long do you wait until biting the bullet in hopes that the newer model will be released soon? Have also been a Mac user for over 20 years.

  54. Jerry says:

    Appreciate all the comments here. My question: between the BB and the Treo 700, which is best for international travel? I do some and this is one of the considerations for me. Which is most likely to be used in most countries around the world (for text messaging, email, phone, etc.) I am a small biz guy with no Enterprise system.

  55. Ken says:

    Jerry – unfortunately the Treo 700 only works on the CDMA netowrk of Verizon and Sprint, both of which do not have international capabilities. The only Treo you can use internationally is the 650 with Cingular. You may want to wait for the rumored Treo 750 to be released on Cingular’s network and get latest Treo with international capabilities. The other way to go is to check out the new BB 8100 Pearl” , which I just saw at the CTIA show. It is a knock-out device and works very well without the server back-end. It has a camera, extra memory, is amazingly small and easy to use. It’s a true competitor against the Treo for consumer use and it’s available today on the T-Mobile netwoek, with full international capabilities.

  56. Damian says:

    I’ve actually owned both a Blackberry and now the Treo 700w. First things first, depending on how your exchange server is set-up you do have the capability of push e-mail on a 700w the same way you have it on a Blackberry; this was one of the major points offered in its release. I’ve never cared about having a camera on my device but its nice to have it. As far as the devices the Treo 700w runs just as smooth as my Blackberry did in fact at times it’s even faster. The major reason I switched was because of the ability to access *.wav files. The Blackberry offered no support at the time though I recently read it would in its next OS release. The Treo is much sleaker looking and the size is preferable to the Blackberry; this occurs is a matter of user preference. PDF’s were at times difficult to access on a Blackberry due to processor speed as well. As far as Treo’s not being a business device is a laugher. Blackberries are more common amoung technical divisions myself included but outside of the tech world most users I met much prefer Treo devices. Now if you’re comaparing the Motorola Q then I’d agree that is a toy; but I’m sure that’s for another blog discussion.

  57. nate says:

    Thanks everyone, for your continuing comments.

    Damian, if you’d like to comment on the Motorola Q, feel free to do so here.

  58. I have a question about the phone capabilities of the 8700C. I have a 650 (which I love) and it worked great in Mexico. I recently moved to the Caribbean and my ability to pick up a signal is horrible. If I’m not near a tower I get no service. I had to buy an LG just for the phone. I have already sent it to Palm for service and it was returned “fixed” in the same condition. Does the 8700C have good reception?

  59. Ken says:

    Patrick – the issue is not the device – it’s really the network and the international roaming agreements that are in place at the specific location. You didn’t mention what carrier your Treo 650 is with ( or your LG phone). The 8700C is specifically a Cingular network BlackBerry. Generally speaking, both Cingular and T-Mobile have good international roaming agreements. There is a website called, if I remember correctly, where you should be able to find out what the coverage is like at your specific location, and who the local provider is. You should also check directly with Cingular and see if any of their customer service people are equipped to give you some answers. I know plenty of people who successfully use a Treo 650 all around the world – but only if it is with Cingular. A CD A version on sprint or verizon will not work internationally.


  60. Thanks for your response. I have Cingular. I can be in a remote location and get NO SIGNAL on the Treo, take out the SIM card, put it in the LG phone and get full service. I have gone through the entire online litany of “fixes”, sent it back to Palm for repair and it still sucks. I really don’t want to replace it and when I am in town it’s OK, not great, just OK, but I don’t know what my other options are.


  61. Ken says:

    Patrick – that is definitely an unusual for a Treo. From what I’ve seen, the signal strength capabilities of that device is generally on par or better than most cellphones because the antenna and the expanded “footprint” of the Treo (where the internal antenna wraps around) compared to a typical phone, is much larger. Anyway, to answer your original question – I’ve used the 8700c Blackberry for about 6 months and thought it had excellent signal strength. I did not use it in the Carribean, only domestically and in Europe. But I got excellent voice and data reception in my travels.

  62. I decided to take one more shot with Palm service and hopefully it paid off. They are sending me a replacement for the 650. I’m keeping my fingers crossed. I really don’t want to change.

  63. Peter says:

    I am looking to replace my old Treo 600 and remain undetermined at this time as for which comparable device to settle with. I am with Cingular and currently do not have a data plan (but would like to have it). I would apprectiate your comments on a couple of quesitons:

    Does Citrix support Treo and/or Blackberry devices discussed here?

    What are the approximate cost differentials between the Treo and Blackberry plans to be able to run the browser?

  64. Ken says:

    Peter –
    I am no expert on Citrix but my understanding is that there is third party software available for both the BlackBerry and Palm OS. I’m also pretty sure that there is now a windows mobile app available, too. All should allow you to access, monitor, and administer Citrix functions, from what I’ve been told.

    As for price plans, data plans for BlackBerry and Treo, across carriers, tends to be about the same, around $45 – $50/month plus a voice plan. The only exception to this is T-Mobile, which tends to run a good $10 – $15 less. Only limitation there is that T-Mobile does not support Treos, so that would be BB pricing only.

  65. Ken says:

    Peter – also, one of my industry buddies told me about a company called Idokorro (, that makes an app that allows you to “manage a full range of network managment functions” from a BB, using Citirx. This is not a personal endoresement of the product, however, they are a registered BB solutions partner, for whatever that is worth.

  66. Peter says:

    Thanks, Ken, for the detailed and helpful info.

    As a consumer, I am quite amazed by the growing opportunities to be more and more productive both personally and professionally. One becomes schizophrenic contemplating getting the employer to adopt these technological advances and at the same time fearful of the emplyers’ growing expectations to have business taken care of anytime anywhere. I believe it was Sir Robert Shaw who once said Americans had the most time-saving machines and yet had the least time to do what they needed to do. But I digressed.

    By the way, I noted that Nokia came out with E62 not too long ago and some office synching functions and web browsing are possible. What are the general words/thoughts out there about it?

  67. Ken says:

    Peter – the Nokia E62 is actually a pretty interesting device – comparable to a Treo or a BlackBerry in terms of its core functionality and features. I had a chance to play with one for a while and I was pleasantly surprised with it’s layout and relative ease of use. Nokia has been trying for quite some time to make a data device this (business) user friendly and it looks as if they finally got it mostly right. Plusses include its BlackBerry and Goodlink compatability. So, yes, it can be used with a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, just like a “real” BlackBerry. The other upside is that I hear that it will be available for only $149.99 on Cingular, which makes it a real bargain, considering its capabilities. The downside is that is an unsexy piece of hardware. It’s certainly not as seamless or as pretty as the new generation BlackBerrys, and it lacks many of the extra slick features of the Treo. On the other hand, I personally think it beats the heck out of Motorola’s overhyped Q phone. My understanding is that it will be offered first on Cingular’s network. I haven’t heard any release plans from other carriers for this model. The screen resolution and brightness was ok (although I didn’t test it outdoors) and the full QWERTY keyboard had a good feel to it – as did the “trackball” located in the middle of the device (just like the new BlackBerry Pearl).

  68. Blackberry 8700c is definitively the best of the Blackberry line.

  69. Lynne says:

    I am interested in purchasing a smart phone. I currently use a Palm for calendar and info. Can I only use a treo if i want all my information to transfer or would I be able to transfer info to the blackberry?

  70. Ken says:

    Lynne – the best way to transfer any information is to make sure it all exists on your desktop. The BlackBerry will synch with your Outlook and, for me at least, that is the bet way of “transferring” data – not device to device but through Intellisync using either Outlook or whatever other programs you may use instead. By the way, your Palm is using Intellisync, as well.

  71. Dave says:

    I am looking to purchase a PDA and trying to decide between the BB 8700c or the Treo 700w/wx. I have read this entire website and alot of others and I am still confused. My priority is that I need instant e-mail and the ability to respond online. So I need push e-mail and a good browser. I get my e-mail through Yahoo web based mail. Yahoo has an upgraded service called Yahoo plus, do I need it to get push e-mail?

    My service provider is Sprint, but I am not married to them and i am willing to switch. Can I buy a phone with a new carrier and reclaim my phone number when my service with Sprint ends?

    Also, can I select whether I recieve certain e-mails instantly on my PDA and leave others to be dealt with by going to my online account. I’m pretty sure I can do this with the BB, but I don’t know about the Treo.

    I also like the idea of portable memory for documents, music, and other data files. This seems like it favors the Treo. However, if document editing is not very practical, it would not give it much of an advantage over the BB.

    Also, I hear people complaining about the windows opertating system. Is this a real concern ? I keep going back and forth on these issues and others like, I want a good phone too!! Help!!!!

  72. Ken says:

    Dave – although I personally favor the BlackBerry for core email functionality (especially push email), it really comes down to a matter of personal taste – EXCEPT – that I strongly dislike the windows mobile o/s and how it works on all “compatible” devices. So I think your choice should be between a BlackBerry and a Treo 700P – NOT a 700w or wx. Windows mobile is a very inferior platform to either the palm or blackberry platforms.

    Also – the BB 8700 is now available on CDMA carriers, such as Verizon and Sprint, as well as Cingular. (On Verizon it is labelled as an 8703).

    Also Cingular should be releasing a Treo 750 in the next few weeks. It will be only Windows Mobile, though, so I don’t suspect I will like it much.

    You should also check out the new BlackBerry Pearl (8100) available only through T-Mobile, at the moment. It is getting rave reviews and seems to have those little extras that people have gotten only previously from the Treo – such as a good camera and extra memory capability.


  73. Dave says:

    Thanx for the input Ken. Does that mean i can’t get push email with the Treo using Yahoo mail? And if the windows OS is so bad, so I can’t edit word documents with the Treo 700p? Or should I wait for the 750? I’m still confused!!

  74. Robert says:

    totally disagree with ken about the windows os being inferior.. i don’t have a treo, but i have another wm5 device.. and i love it… push mail, MS office support built in.. outlook like you know and love, etc… i would prefer a better web browser than the pocket ie, but i haven’t spent any time looking to see what options there are for that.

    personally, i detest blackberry’s and palm’s.. they’ve always been a LOT of trouble compared to my windows mobile devices.. none of them are perfect no matter how you look at it. but, for getting my mails, opening attachments, and communicating with business contacts, i prefer windows mobile.

    bottom line is that you need to play with all of them and make up your own mind… cingular has all 3 types of OS’s on various phones.. 30 day guarantee too.. so, play with one, return it for another one and do it again.. you’ll figure out which you like the best.. then go with whatever phone YOU prefer.

    the main problem with treo’s at this point IMHO is their lack of international support. This is why i came to this blog to see if anyone had any luck with getting the 700w to work internationally… i guess not from what i can tell here.. but most people here seem to be pretty opinionated (myself included haha) and uninformed.

    good luck.

  75. Ken says:

    Dave – first of all, I want to strongly urge you to disregard Robert’s statements. He is sadly under-informed. The key statement which reveals his lack of understanding is, “I cam to this blog to see if anyone had any luck with getting the 700w to work internationally.” As someone could tell Robert, a 700w is a CDMA device (probably purchased through Verizon or one of its dealers) so it has no international capabilities. Period. Unless you count Canada. Only Cingular and T-Mobile can offer international service that includes Europe and Asia. So what Robert really should have purchased is a Treo 650 on Cingular if he wanted a Treo and international capability. What he will really want is the 750, on Cingular when that is released. Also – I have found that most of the people who have been on this blog to be extremely knowledgable. This has been a great resource for me and I think I know everything.

    Now on to you — there is no real, true push email for your Yahoo mail. The only true push solution is found by using a server like a BES or Goodlink in an enterprise environment, which is clearly not what you have. The next best thing which looks like it’s pushing email is really a timed retrieval of your email. So every 5 minutes or so your device will look for email and pull it down. It does it automatically, so you don’t actuallly have to do it yourself – but it’s not quite as immediate (or as reliable) as a behind-the-firewall, server solution.

    As for Windows Mobile 5, although it is my opinion that it is far inferior to the palm or BB platforms, it is NOT just my opinion. Verizon has experienced a huge return problem with their Motorola Q “smartphone” (probably the worst, percentage-wise, in their history) and the problem is not the device itself, which is actually pretty cool. The heart of the problem is that it is a windows mobile 5 device. It is a glitchy, unstable, unintuitive, needlessly complex, and surprisingly limited platform – especially when compared to the BB and Palm O/S. Don’t forget, the BB and Palm guys have been playing in this arena for years now. They’re very good at it. Microsoft has just now, finally, decided to dunk their big toe in. And, as usual for them, their first iteration is lousy.

    As for wanting to be able to edit a windows document, like word or excel, well I personally would not want to use a device as small as a smartphone to do that. It can be done but why not just buy a very small laptop and an aircard and be done with it?

    By the way, the phone/voice capability on both the current crop of BBs and Treos is actually very good.

    So, if all you need is domestic coverage you should look at a Treo 700p. What most people like about palm is that there are thousands and thousands of third party providers who can offer just about any type of capability you could ever want on a Treo.

    Finally, just to provide full disclosure, I run a wireless managed services business. I’m a data alliance partner for one of the big carriers, a master dealer for another, I’m RIM certified and goodlink certified, as well. My client list includes F1000 and govt agencies. My return rate on the Treo 700w is currently running at about 5 times the rate of the 700p. That’s an astounding difference.
    Hope that helps


  76. Anonymous says:

    Ive been using a Treo 650 for almost a year now and decided to switch to a Blackberry 8700 series. I don’t think anyone has bothered to touch on the horrible INSTABILITY of PalmOS. It’s comparable to how unstable MacOS System 6/7 used to be. Frequent reboots occur numerous times daily. If you keep the thing barebones – meaning, no extra software installed, you might have better luck. I have kept this Treo at the latest firmware revs and still no improvement. Until the new linux based palmos replacement comes out, im going to stick with the rock solid RIM os. Id rather not miss phone calls due to the palm resetting and the radio not turning back on (of course you can buy addition plugins to allow for that)… Much like havent not used windows for years (now im on osx), i just want something that *works*. Not something I have to dick around with constantly.

  77. nate says:


    It’s unfortunate that you’ve had those problems. I had heard of other people having the same problem. Fortunately for me and the rest of my company (of 8 people) none of us ever had those problems you’ve described. We all had the Treo 650 with Sprint service and everything always worked flawlessly. In about a year I probably rebooted two times.

    So, I think it’s pretty safe to say that the problems Anon described is not always across the board. If you get a Treo that does that, take it back and get a different one.

  78. Anonymous says:

    Hey Nate,

    I actually have been through 3 different treos. Not sure if the EVDO models are more stable (I was on EDGE/Cingular). PalmOS was great when it first came out. I started with a Palm 5000, then Palm III, then a Visor. I’m still not fond of the fact that PalmOS doesn’t have multitasking capabilties (it does support a sort of “emulated” for background stuff, but that’s more like the old DOS TSR stuff). Again, it seems the more apps you throw on one, the more unstable it becomes. Especially the apps that “try” to run in the background (i.e: Toccer, TreoGuard, etc). Unfortunately I haven’t had a chance to try the Windows version, but personally I quiver at the idea (I stay as far away from Microsoft-anything as possible). The TCP/IP stack in PalmOS just seems rather weak, almost like they rigged it to work with newer, wireless devices. I guess we’ll wait to see what happens with the Access Linux stuff.

  79. nate says:

    I fully agree with ya on the multitasking stuff. I wish it did that. Perhaps that was part of your problem (the apps that try to run in the background).

    I also am very afraid of the 700w. Since I found the light (namely, OS X and open source), I have gotten away from anything M$.

    Regardless, I’m very excited about the Linux stuff, too.

    BTW, thanks for joining into the comments! I appreciate everyone’s comments here. It’s definitely making this a place to discuss the pros and cons of both the BB’s and the Treos sanely.

    Props to all of you!

  80. Mike Lines says:

    I haven’t weighed for a while. Since I’ve posted here last I’ve owned the Treo 700p, the Blackberry 8703e and finally the Blacberry Pearl- which is my current phone. The Palm/Blackberry war at this point to me is almost a joke. It seems that Palm is forever doomed to making buggy, unreliable smartphones and that’s fine with me. The Blackberry Pearl is by far the best phone on the market currently and makes the over-priced Treo 700p/w/wx look downright sad. I give some credit for these improvements to the interface tMobile developed (which seems almost as simply and elegant as the best operating system in existence- 10.4.9) But I also give RIM a tremendous amount of credit for making such a great device. The screen on the Pearl is breathtaking, and images, and videos look splendid. Email as always works wonderfully and above all else, it’s stable. Finally the best of both worlds- in a package Palm can’t come close to.

    Blackberryland is a much, much nicer place then Palmsville.

  81. ok, i have read almost every post in this blog and still have questions. first, some background i am a mac user in a windows world and need a device (phone/pda) that will cross platforms AND allow for good telephone reception, i am also a sprint user. i own an old handspring and it is on its last leg. i need to keep track of email, chat, calendar and of course conversations. treoP or blackberry 7130e or 8703e any advice is greratly appreciated.
    thanks in advance.

  82. Ken says:

    I, too, am a mac user. And I am currently using a BlackBerry 7130 on Cingular. If you want to stay with Sprint, I would recommend the 8703. BBs now come with software for MAC called PocketMac. It should be included with the device. I’ve installed it and used it and it seems to work just fine. Understand, though, that the synch to you calendar, address book, etc. will be cabled, not wireless, real time, assuming that you are not on a BlackBerry server. However, the email piece is, of course, wireless, and seamless. So as long as you are willing to periodically synch your BB to your MAC, this should be a decent, although certainly not perfect solution. There is also some instant messenger/chat capabilities with the BB although I don’t use them so I’m not qualified to tell you how well they work. Overall, I’ve been happy with my experience.

  83. nate says:

    And, on the other side of the fence, I’d suggest the Treo 700P for the mac. It syncs all the items you mentioned without any problems (or extra software). The one thing that it doesn’t do without some extra help is “push-based” email. To get that running requires a service from Good Tech. But, from my experience, it’s worth it, especially if you have an Exchange service (the enterprise version of Outlook for the workplace), because then it syncs calendars, address books, email, etc without hooking it up to your computer. They are always sync’d. Even if you don’t get the service from Good Tech, it still does check your email like any other POP3 client (every x number of minutes), so there’s not much difference than your computer.

    I do know that Sprint had the 650, and Verizon currently has the 700p. I’m not sure who else has the 700p at the moment.

    The one big downside to the Treo is its price. I don’t think the 680 has really come down in price that much either, so it won’t help. But, if you have the clink and the extra little add-ons, they make your sync’d life wonderful.

    If you want to save some money, and don’t mind hooking it up to your system, lots of people who frequent this post and blog (including Ken) will recommend the Blackberry, and I would join them in that case.

  84. coach says:

    nate and ken,
    thanks guys, unfortunately now all you have done is convince me that i am looking at the right 2 products. at this time the email is not as important as cal, contacts. sprint has both the 700p and the 8703. i am not currently using outlook at work but some form of a netscape email, with serious restrictions on the software allowed to install. maybe i am asking the wrong question. how good is the telephone of each of these units? how is reception? do either work in analog areas, yes there are still some of those in the middle of the the grafiti easier than the push button thing?
    sorry to generate more questions, but seeing as how the treo is alot of “clink” i want to make this purchase once.

  85. nate says:


    No problem on the more questions bit. That’s exactly why this post exists and what the people here do – answer questions.

    I don’t know much about either product on the reception or analog abilities. However, the Treo 600 on up does not use the graphiti system, so you don’t have to worry about that. It has a full keyboard. The stylus pen that comes with it is completely for an alternate way of getting around. I typically used the middle button to navigate and occasionally used the stylus when needed, but you can do quite a bit without the stylus at all.

    That’s my point of view from the Treo side. I’m sure Ken will weigh in as soon as he gets notified that you’ve posted. :)

  86. Mike says:

    As much as I HATE to say this, the Treo 700p is your PERFECT product. Go buy one- don’t look back. Trust me on this one, I’ve owned more smartphones then you could begin to imagine.

  87. coach says:

    why do you say the treo is perfect and why do you hate to say it?

  88. coach says:

    thanks again. i await kens response too.

  89. Ken says:

    coach – you will get the same capabilities with either the BlackBerry or Treo P series, albeit in differing formats. Your question about analog coverage is important because you should be aware that the data stuff will not work on either device in analog areas – just the phone. And they will work as well (or as badly) as any other cellphone configured for Sprint’s network. The Treo used to have the edge on voice quality but the BB 7130 and 8700 series are definitely on par with the Treo, these days. You should also know that Sprint is now poised to overtake Verizon in nationwide deployment of their EVDO data network, so they are a good choice. As for which device is better – I said it once and I’ll say it again – you would be best served going to your local Sprint store and playing with both. It really comes down to personal preference – how the device fits in your hand, what you think of a scroll wheel as a navigation tool as oposed to a stylus, etc. Just stay away from the Treo 700wx and you will be ok. Oh yeah – and stay away from any Nextel BB products, as well. They are inferior.

  90. coach says:

    thanks for the advice. i will avoid the wx machine as that sounds like a windozer. one question, EVDO, care to explain?

  91. Ken says:

    Coach –
    Sure. Both Verizon and Sprint run on CDMA networks. Cingular and T-Mobile run on gsm/gprs/EDGE.
    Anyway, as the technology has progressed, the data speeds have gotten faster. The first significant breakthrough on CDMA was a data network called 1xrtt. But since then, Verizon and Sprint have been busily building a 3G network (third generation), which is called EV-DO. And now there are even two versions of that. These data networks are simply overlays on top of the CDMA voice network. Today, EV-DO is the fastest data network available in the US that runs on a “cellphone” network. A Palm and a BlackBerry have the capability of running on EV-DO and also on 1xrtt if there is no EV-DO present. However, they will not run on analog because there is basically no useable data overlay on analog. Hope that helps.

  92. coach says:

    so i guess the last question (hopefully) is how do the two compare on download speeds?

  93. Ken says:

    Coach – these days they both have similar processing power, which is the real key, because the network is the network. I’m sure there are a chorus of folks out there who will tell you that the browser experience on the Treo is still superior to the BB and I would have to concede that. As for email, there are so many variables that come into play that sheer download speed is probably the least significant factor. I remember way way back, five years ago, when a BB on a data only Mobitex network, which, by today’s standards is so slow as to be a joke – still managed to deliver emails almost instanteously, using a BB server.
    As an aside, I would also recommend that you check with your company’s IT folks and see what their actual rules and restrictions are in regard to forwarding or re-directing email to a wireless device. It’s now secure enough for the Federal gov’t and literally every single F1000 company, using either Good Technology or BlackBerry Enterprise Server. So it should be good enough for them. Even if you have some weird email platform, there are many providers out there who offer approved methods of linking to either server solution.

  94. coach says:

    thanks for this iinformation it has been extremely helpful. how about document transfers? can i move documents from my pc at work to the BB then to my mac?

  95. Ken says:

    Coach – that is a question that I cannot answer without having a lot more insight into what type of documents you want to “move” and what the security restrictions are at your place of business. Generically speaking, BBs are capable of opening (and therefore forwarding) many commonly used microsoft formats, such as Word and Excel. So, for instance, if you sent a Word document as an attachment to your email, your BB would be able to open/read it and forward it. And BBs (and Palms) are good at getting any web based data, providing, of course, that your company allows you to grab it off their (assumed) intranet site. Your question is very generic and there are a lot of variables, so it’s difficult to give you a precise answer.

  96. Ken says:

    Coach – the more I think about your question, the less sense it actually makes to me. Your wireless device (BB or Palm) would already be associated with either your work email/desktop or your home email/desktop. So it’s not a matter of doing this two step maneuver, work to BB to home. It’s really the same one step action you would normally take, which is: work to home. The wireless device should not mean an extra step in the process. If you can’t already move your documents from work to home, the wireless device probably isn’t going to enable that. It’s just a means of remotely managing an already existing set-up.

  97. coach says:

    let me try to clairify. if i want to bring home a large powerpoint or spreadsheet, too large to mail, then which system will allow for easiest use in performing a function such as this. i can burn a disk, but if i can use the docs to go then i can eliminate that and use the phone as a back up too. i have heard the treo is better at this function.
    hope this is clearer.

  98. Ken says:

    Coach – If I understand your question, then my answer is unfortunately, that neither device, as a stand-alone, can perform this function. The way to achieve true access to your work documents from a remote location (which sounds, ultimately like what you are trying to achieve) is to have your company set up a VPN to your home desktop. It seems to me that you incorrectly perceive the Treo or BB to be some sort of document transport device, which it really is not. If you look at these devices as part of a server-based solution, such as using a BlackBerry Enterprise Server, then you can, indeed access whatever data in whatever format your company chooses to make available, using BB’s MDS capabilities. So that would be useful to you if you are mobile and need to access this data on the fly. It provides no benefit to you, at all, in terms of attempting to move the data from your work desktop to your home desktop. Anything you would do on the BB or Treo (again assuming it is server-based) is the equivalent of doing it on your desktop. And as stand-alone devices, your capabilities are actually much more limited. The basic rule of thumb here is: if you can’t do it on your desktop you probably can’t do it on a wireless device, either. And, again, the only way to access your documents is with a server based solution, such as the BES or the Goodlink server (for the Treo). And that approach is something your company would have to put in place and then provide access to. The only other thing I can think of is getting one of those chewing gum sized memory sticks and save files to that and bring that home. You don’t need a treo or BB to do that, and they are a lot less expensive and have a lot more memory. It just doesn’t seem to me that you really need wireless connectivity to achieve your objective.

    Anyway, good luck with it!


  99. coach says:

    thanks ken. i still need the phone, calendar and contact management system. i had just heard that using docs to go you could transfer files too large to send via email using the treo/bb as a conduit. not my primary forcus. i really need to be able to track my schedule and contacts and connect with both mac and windoze. i appreciate your time.

  100. Dave says:

    Thanx to everyone on this blog and much other research, I decided to buy the Treo 700p. I think I made the right decision. The blackberry Pearl is a very nice item, but I much prefer the touch screen and a regular keyboard that my Treo has and the Pearl does not. The Pearl is the only blackberry with an expandable memory but the qwerky keyboard is a deal breaker for me. So for me, the Treo is the only smartphone that does it all.

    Although it doesn’t have true push email, it can auto sync every so many minutes anywhere from 1 to 10 different email accounts. This is a real nice feature to be able to prioritize email from different sources. You do not even need the extra “Goodlink ” program to do this. The standard “versa mail” program does this with a very easy set up. You don’t have to be a computor geek to do it.

    I was talked off the 700wx to buy the 700p do to stability issues associated with it being the first Treo with a windows OS. I have not had any stability issues with my 700p. It works seamlessly with my Windows XP desktop. Adding necesary software is pretty easy to. All in all I am trilled with my choice and very appreciative of eveyone’s imput. Thanx again.

  101. nate says:


    That’s outstanding! Thank you for your report back on your purchase and how happy you’ve been and why. Those are great reasons which are helpful to everyone who reads this (which is a ton of people by the way. This is the most popular post in the entire blog.) So, thanks to everyone who’s made this post so great!

  102. Dropped Calls? says:

    This blog has been very helpful as I am considering either the 8703e or the 700p. I had a 650 with cingular but it dropped calls so often I had to return it (i’m in South Florida). I loved it but it just kept dropping calls. Since then moved to Verizon and have an old bb that is ok. How is the treo vs. bb on call quality?

  103. Andrew DiNardo says:

    sorry, I didn’t realize the first box was for my name!!!!! My name is not Dropped Calls :)

  104. Another question: I’m thinking of switching to Sprint, as ‘it seems’ their data package is much cheaper. Also is it true that it is cheaper to check it email, etc. using Palm than with wireless cost for BB?

  105. Anonymous says:

    Andrew, first up let me just mention that I received your messagne and I am responding to it on my blackberry. Now to your question: call quality as you describe it is really more a function of the carrier than the device. These days I would rate both the new BB’s and the Treo as about the same. So it’s the carrier that will define the experience. As for pricing, across the board the carriers tend to charge the same for unlimited data whether it is for a BB or a Treo. The two carriers with the best rates are indeed Sprint as you mentioned and also tmobile. In fact their BB data rate is the cheapest out there, down to 19.99 a month if you are not using a blackberry enterprise server. But you better make sure their coverage is acceptable to you. If it is then lookat the new BB pearl. I like it a lot earvauslly if you are not doing a lot of typing. If you are curious, I am using a model 7130 on cingular at the airport.

  106. thanks Ken,
    Since my post (about an 1hr ago!) I’ve opened up to any network and may prefer tmobile or cingular for their international coverage (i’m a pastor and travel overseas 3 times a year for mission trips). early posts mentioned that bb does have 3rd party software options. Obviously a bible program is all I really need. I would use the email but the bb email costs is pretty expensive and the truth is I don’t get many emails I need to reply to immediately. The more I look the harder it is becoming to choose. How is the suretype on the pearl?
    thanks and have a great thanksgiving

  107. Ken says:

    Andrew – my previous post is probably a good example of what SureType can do on a BB. You’ll notice that I botched the word “especially”. It turned into “earvauslly” because I didn’t check back on it. But overall, I am very impressed with SureType. As a long-term user of BBs, I thought I would hate the abbreviated keypad, but I’ve been very happy with the trade-off in size and I’m become very accustomed to SureType and it works well for me. The real limitation, as I see it, on the Pearl, is how small the keypad is. It is significantly smaller than the one on my 7130. So, again, if you don’t see yourself typing long messages, such as my previous post to you, than the small keypad shouldn’t matter all that much. Many people who have BBs (or Treos) use them mostly to read their emails and send short replies. If you think you are going to send longer messages, then I would recommend the 8700 series BB or any Treo from the 650 to the 700p. As for the carrier – with international travel being a consideration, I would agree that you are limited to cingular and t-mobile for true international coverage. And in terms of price, t-mobile has the edge. In terms of coverage, Cingular has better domestic coverage, but internationally, their roaming agreements are looking very similar, these days.

  108. Andrew DiNardo says:

    Thanks again Ken,
    My church uses Sprint and I noticed the 8703e has GPS. Do you know if this is extra cost if you have the data service. Also it allows you to send pics with text messages, but doesn’t have a camera. How exactly do you send pics then?

  109. Ken says:

    Andrew – we’ll start with the photo question. Yes, you can receive and send pictures even though the 8703 does not have a camera. You can “grab” and save jpeg pictures from the internet and then send them, either via MMS or as an email attachment to other phones or to an email address. And you can receive jpegs the same way. So you don’t need a camera to see and manage photos. But it might be nice to have one, anyway.

    As for the GPS capabilities – I didn’t think the 8703 had an integrated GPS module built in. I could be wrong, but the 8700s on other carriers do not. I know that there is an external module available that will work, via BluTooth, with the 8700 series. But, this begs the question, what do you want to do with GPS capability? There are a number of services available, from tracking to navigation – but they tend to be offered on a monthly subscription basis.
    My strongest advice to you is to prioritize what the most important applications/programs are for you, and then pick the most appropriate device for the most important apps/programs. If email isn’t all that critical, but a bible program is, you may want to look at a Treo where there are many thousands of third party providers who have “wireless enablement” apps for everything you can possibly think of. And Treos do come with cameras. If there is a specific bible program you are interested in, they should have some recommendations about what type of platform/OS it works with. That would probably be your best starting point. It will help you filter out devices and may help you in considering carriers. Sprint is a fine carrier with good prices, but they don’t have an international solution for BBs or Treos. So that’s something you need to weigh. And T-Mobile does not support the Treo at this time. Cingular offers the Treo 650 (and is about to offer a Treo 680, whatever that is), which will be a full international device. So, anyway, first things first – figure out what apps/programs are the most important, and that will wind up dictating the best device.


  110. Andrew DiNardo says:

    Still have not made my choice. I was almost certain I was going with the treo, went to the store, loved it, it has software I went, etc., but then I read in several forums that 700p is buggy and crashes often. Whereas the BB 8700 series is an excellent phone!!!! So I’m still confused

  111. Ken says:

    Andrew, I think the root of your confusion is that you are looking for a perfect solution, which still doesn’t exist. You need to find out if the software you want actually works on a BB, because there is a good chance it won’t on a stand-alone configured unit. Having said that, the Treo will always gets complaints about being “buggy” as long as there are thousands of third party developers who make programs for it and as long as there are geeks out there who insist upon pushing this little device beyond its limits. The 700p is not buggy out of the box. And from what I’ve heard from my clients, it handles most respectable apps reasonably well (although a certain navigation program would be a sorry exception to that statement). Where these “power-users” get into trouble is when they have programs that are designed to operate in the background while they are actively using another program. The Treo doesn’t handle that kind of thing particularly well. And, again, you find a lot of folks out there who think they can use it like they would a real PC, which it most assuredly is not. Although I believe the BB o/s is indeed more stable, it also looks better because there aren’t a lot of third party applications you can use with it. So it looks safer because its a far more closed environment. So, if you’re not going to run a bunch of third party apps on your Treo, I wouldn’t worry too much about it. And these comments are coming from a self-proclaimed BlackBerry guy.


  112. Andrew DiNardo says:

    thanks for the advice again……

  113. Andrew DiNardo says:

    I thought the readers of this blog would be interested in a blog I came across that examines several smart phones including bb 8700, pearl, treos, etc.

  114. nate says:

    Great resource Andrew! Thanks for putting up.

  115. Andrew DiNardo says:

    I have limited my decision to 8700, pearl, and possibly the dash. I tried the pearl’s suretype and actually liked it. Through wirefly you can get the pearl or 8700 free with new contract with tmobile (actually you get 50 to 100 dollars back; anyone familiar with wirefly?). Does anyone have any experience with the dash. It does have wifi!

  116. Ken says:

    Wirefly’s price for the 8700 and the Pearl sound way too good to be true. Free plus $50 – $100 rebate on top? I don’t think so. I’m in the business and I know what the wholesale prices are and they have either erroneously posted these prices or….well…..I don’t know. There’s just no way they can make that offer. You may also want to google what others have to say about Wirefly’s mail-in rebate. I bet it ain’t pretty. Also, tmobile has pretty decent support. Does Wirefly? When you have a smartphone, you may want to be able to talk to people who actually know something about data and network connectivity. I think it’s interesting that TMO, who charges $199.99 for the Pearl, is already the pricing leader in the industry. Anyway, I don’t mean to bad-mouth Wirefly. I’ve never done business with them. It just seems that the pricing is way, way off.

  117. Andrew DiNardo says:

    I was concerned about that as well. However I went to, which is a well known business and they have a similar offer….

  118. Ken says:

    Well, it sounds as if you have it covered. Just remember to read the fine print on the rebate offer VERY carefully and to keep all of your packaging and the box the BB comes in.

  119. andrew DiNardo says:

    Made my decision. I went with the 8700g. I had the pearl for a few days (a friends) and I liked it but did not want to give up the full qwerty keyboard. almost wanted to wait for this new 8800! Anyone know about this new phone supposedly coming in January?

  120. Ken says:

    Well, Nate, it’s time to change this blog title from the 8700 to the 8800. Since Andrew asked the question, I have to say that this device is not only the most exciting BlackBerry I’ve ever seen, but also the most incredible “smartphone” ever produced. I think even diehard Treo users are gonna look at this baby and want one. While I always try to maintain an objective demeanor on devices and capabilities, the 8800 really makes it impossible for me to control my enthusiasm. So first let me confirm that the tentative release date is mid to late January with Cingular who will have a 3 month exclusive before it can be offered by t-mobile. I’ve heard no plans, yet, for a CDMA version so I can’t even guess when you’ll see a Verizon or Sprint version.
    At first glance the device actually looks like a Treo, but even sleeker. It’s surprisingly thin, has a full QWERTY keypad, a bigger screen than the 8700 and shares the Pearl trackball in the center. It will have a 1.3 megapixel camera, expanded memory slot, a media player (!), it will be able to video record and stream. And while I was bemoaning the fact that these capabilities would probably be humbled by Cingular’s not-so-fast EDGE network, lo and behold – it also has WI-FI capability as well! So, for me, this is the perfect combination of business and personal tool. And it’s sleek new format will make it feel much more “phone-like” in one’s hand. It’s as close to perfection as anything I’ve ever seen. One caveat – I haven’t actually tested one yet. So all of my comments are based strictly on “specs’. I will say, though, that new model BBs have almost always delivered on the promise (unlike, say, the Treo 600 or 700w), so I expect it to perform well. When I do get my hands on one (and I will) I’ll post an honest assessment of it right here. Anyway, Andrew, thanks for asking.

  121. andrew DiNardo says:

    I went ahead with the 8700g because I figured that the 8800 was going to be much more expensive due to it’s upgrades and new features (wifi, etc.). I got the 8700g free (without rebates) and if I keep my contract for more than 5 months I get a 100 rebate thus making 100.. Of course I haven’t received it yet so we will see. I will keep you posted. …..,

  122. Ken says:

    Hey, the 8700 is a great device and it wasn’t all that long ago that it was going for $349.00. So you got a great deal, as well. Enjoy it!


  123. nate says:

    Hey guys, that’s great! Thanks for the update on what you bought and how you like it.

    Would anyone like to continue this conversation on a forum? I was thinking this page is getting pretty long, but not sure what you guys would prefer. Let me know.

  124. Kimberly says:

    I am looking at the BB 8703e vs the Treo for Sprint, I am looking for a phone first, easy sync calender and e-mail with my outlook second, I can’t imagine I would be surfing on it since I travel with my laptop.

    Thanks for any advice

  125. Andrew DiNardo says:

    both are good phones. I think you will find bb call quality is better. in my opinion the speaker in the bb is much better. You don’t get a phone, video, etc on bb. Sprint’s treo internet service is only 15 a month compared to the bb at 40.00 a month. but the treo is about 100 to 150 dollars more. just my humble opinion. hope this helps atleast alittle.

  126. Andrew DiNardo says:

    i meant: you don’t get a camera :)

  127. Got the 8700g yesterday and so far I love it!!! I have to say wirefly was an excellent service and I would recommend it to anyone. They had very nice salespeople and the deal was excellent. They keep you up to date on your order on their website and shipped 2day for free. Anyway, thanks for the suggestions and insights!

  128. Ken says:

    Just an update for anyone who is interested in the pending BlackBerry 8800 model. It appears as if there will be two versions of this device – one with a camera and one without. And each version will be released exclusively and simultaneously by T-Mobile and Cingular. Although I have no hard information on which carrier will release which verision, I would guess that Cingular would go for the camera-less version due to its higher penetration of business accounts, TMO with the camera due to its emphasis on consumer targeting. (Let’s see if I’m right). It’s supposed to be launched in January, 2007 and the price points should generally be about $50 more than the Pearl – but of course that all depends upon where and whom you are buying from. I’d like to hear from anybody who has purchased one and see if the reality lives up to (or exceeds) the hype. Thanks.


  129. Ken, or whomever; I have Verizon due to their North America plan and I live in Denver, where they have by far the best coverage. Treo vs. Blackberry?I am retired, want Phone, e mail, contact updates, and maybe ck stocks once in a while. Which is best for me??? Should I wait for BB8800 to be available for Verizon? “Fish” in Denver

  130. Ken says:

    Dear Fish,
    I wouldn’t wait for the 8800 to be available on Verizon because there is currently no release date published either by RIM or Verizon. So I bet it will be a while. So as long as you are set on Verizon, then the choice is pretty much between the Blackberry 8700 and the treo 700p ( I still don’t much like the 700w). And if you go over the many many comments posted here, you’ll see that both devices are excellent, each in their own way. They can both do what you need and much more. My advice (as always) is go to your Verizon store and pick up both and see how each one feels in your hand and against your face. And see which device input and navigation tools you are most comfortable with. Do you like the keypad or do you prefer a stylus? Do you like the trackwheel on the side or inputting directions directly on the screen, etc, etc. I think these personal preferences will help you make your desicion. You can’t really go wrong with either device, based upon the requirements you’ve listed.

  131. Ken, thanks a lot. You were a HUGE help, especially for a non-techie….”Fish”

  132. Ken says:

    Peter –
    These days there are a lot of options out there from which to choose. Be aware that Cingular will charge you any where from $30 – $50 a month for a data plan, whether it’s with a BlackBerry or a Treo. You may want to look at the new Samsung Blackjack, which is ultra thin and full featured and is getting good press from the experts. (You’ll still pay for a data plan, though). It runs on Windows Mobile 5.0, which seems to finally be a viable offering from Microsoft. As for the BlackBerry, you may want to look at the new Pearl (8100) or wait a couple of weeks for the QWERTY keypad 8800 to launch. The nice thing about the BlackBerry, these days, is that it is easy for a new and inexperienced user to set up email and use right out of the box. The new Treo 750 will be coming out shortly with capabilities far beyond what you probably need. So this may be a great time to get a deal on an older model, such as a Treo 650, which is a perfectly decent device.
    The other thing to consider is the carrier. If you like Cingular, then stay with them. But they do not have the lowest prices on data plans. Sprint and T-Mobile have much more affordable plans. I believe that T-Mobile currently offers a BB data plan for only $20 a month. And as for word processing, beleive me when I tell you that you don’t want to be thumb typing long missives into any handheld device. What’s useful is the attachment reading capability, so when you get an email from somebody with, say, a Word document attached, you can actually “open” it and read it. As for WordPerfect, good luck, on a stand-alone device.

    Of course you can probably just get some nice, big screen kind of phone with its own email address and just forward your email to your phone’s email address. But you’re still going to pay Cingular for any text that moves through their network.

    Another option is to simply keep your basic phone and buy a wireless card for your laptop.

    Have I confused you enough yet? Sorry. You should probably go to your local Cingular store and take a look at the Samsung Blackjack and get some informatiion on how to manage emails with or without Windows Mobile 5. And then ask about a measured data plan (as opposed to an unlimited plan) if you really only send and receive short emails.

    It’s fun playing with the toys. Get them in your hand and see how they feel.


  133. Ken says:

    For your purposes, of wanting a blackberry for personal use as a “stand-alone” device, you do not have to pay RIM anything. Companies who use a BlackBerry Enterprise Server pay RIM a client access license fee, but this has nothing to do with your use. So all you need to do is pay a carrier (cingular, for instance) for a voice plan, which you already have and then for a data plan.

    As for an aircard for your laptop – you can get one that will work with the cellphone network – not just at wifi spots. But I strongly DO NOT recommend doing so on Cingular or T-Mobile’s networks as they are currently slow (on a nationwide basis) compared to Verizon or Sprint or wifi access. So let’s forget about that option.
    A BlackBerry will provide you with a service that will allow you to keep your emails on your computer while re-directing a “copy” to your BlackBerry. So your emails will always sit in two places – your laptop and your Blackberry. And that’s a good thing. And you are given a choice of deleting the email on your BlackBerry only or on the device and on your laptop. The BlackBerry will also synch your other Outlook features, such as your address book – but that is a wired synch – not over the air/real time. So periodically you’d probably want to cable your BB up to your laptop to make sure you are updating to both environments. Companies with BlackBerry servers do have “real time” over the air synching – but as an individual, you would have to do it the way I’ve just explained. The Treo works similarly. In fact the Treo and Blackberry use the same application – intellisync – to accomplish this.

    If you are interested in moving to T-Mobile, make good and sure that they have decent coverage in the area you want. Out of all the major carriers, they currently have the spottiest coverage in the country. But where they work, they do work rather well. Also, don’t think about getting a Treo on T-Mobile because they don’t support them. On the other hand, they do a very nice job supporting BlackBerrys. And, again, their pricing is very good, not just for data but for voice plans, as well.
    Since it sounds as if you would mostly be using the device as a phone first and a data device second, you should take a hard look at the Pearl. In my humble opinion it does everything very well and with tremendous ease of use. it also looks great and is marvellously compact. Some diehard BB users do not like the keypad (me included) because it’s simply too small and there’s a small learning curve in knowing how to use the Smartype. But based on your emails, I don’t think you’ll be sending very long messages so I don’t think it’ll be a problem for you. Or you can wait until the 8800 comes out, in another few weeks because that device will have all the features of the pearl with a qwert keypad. Apparently, t-mobile and cingular will both release the 8800 (one with a camera, one without) at approximately the same time.
    I have used and sold BlackBerrys since before they were even called that (anybody remember the RIM 950?) So it’s not hard for me to enthusiastically recommend it to you. You will grow into the device. At some point, when you want to do more, it will be able to accomodate you. And both cingular and T-mobile are currently selling the pearl for about $199. Although other posters have been able to get it through resellers for as low as $00.00.

  134. Ken says:

    The BlackBerry Connect feature allows the Nokia to work with the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. As a stand-alone device, BlackBerry Connect is meaningless. It is, at heart, a Nokia, not a BlackBerry. It’s not a bad device, though. It’s just not a great device. If it were released a year ago, it would have been considered really fantastic. Today, though, it’s a bit too big and too square and doesn’t have enough sexy features. The Blackjack is what the Nokia shoud have been. If you could get the Nokia for a reduced price – like free, for instance – it might be worth it But at $149 (last time I checked) you’re better off with the more advanced competition. That’s just one man’s opinion.

  135. Peter Andrew says:

    Thanks for explaining that, Ken.
    I called Cingular and they didn’t know when the 8800 would be available, but I think I’ll wait for it now, unless it takes too long.
    You’ve been a great help to me.

  136. mike says:

    The much hyped apple cellular phone will blow the blackberry out of the water. Wait and if it ends up being a smart phone, buy it.

  137. Ed says:

    I’ve enjoyed reading the comments on Treo vs. Blackberry. In considering a switech from a Treo 650 to the Blackberry 8703 e, my biggest concern is not being able to keep password protected files on the blackberry with website login data, personal passwords, etc. On the Treo I use password protected Word files for this data. Any thoughts on how files with sensitive data can be stored on a Blackberry?

  138. Ken says:

    Ed – I was hoping somebody else (who actually had a good answer) would respond first. But since that hasn’t happened I will plod into this with some questions:
    Are you currently using your Treo with a server-based solution, like Goodlink? How do you keep your word files password protected today (if that isn’t asking you to divulge too much?).
    I guess you know that the BlackBerry itself can be password protected/locked so that everything on it is protected. Were you planning on using the BlackBerry with the BlackBerry Enterprise Sever or just as a stand-alone device?
    With answers to these questions I (or some of mycolleagues) can probably ffigure out an answer for you.

  139. Ken says:

    Ed – please disregard my previous post. I just took a look at my own BlackBerry and wouldn’t ya know it – but there is a password keeper right on my very own device. I’m using a 7130c, at the moment. So there is no doubt that it would be resident on the 8700, as well.
    If you want something more heavy duty, there is a third party app called splashdata ( that has a univsersal encrypted passwoed keeper that can be used on just about any PDA including BlackBerry and Treo. I haven’t used it personally, but from what I see, it synchs with a desktop application and can be used and managed on several different devices at one time. Nice. But anyway, the BB 8700 will have a password keeper on the device.

  140. I have the 8700g and it has the password keeper!!!!

  141. nate says:

    In case anyone would like to comment on the 8800 vs Treo 750, I’ve written a basic review here.

  142. mike says:

    The 8800 is RIM’s next gen phone. The 750 is simply the 700 with nicer clothing. So, the “review” isn’t really fair. (Also, the 750 exists, the 8800 hasn’t been released yet.)

    MACWORLD IS TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  143. Ken says:

    Mike –
    Please make sure you let us all know if the alleged Apple phone is announced/released tomorrow. I’ve been hearing about this for two years now so I’m just a little skeptical. And after the Newton and the motorola itunes fiasco, I hope they (eventually) come out with a killer product so I can feel good about Steven Jobs again after his little backdating stock adventure.

  144. nate says:

    Mind putting that comment on the actual post? I’d like to keep things somewhat separated when it comes to the reviews.

    While you’re over there, tell me exactly why the “review” isn’t fair? I’m not seeing what’s unfair about it. Does the Treo have a next gen coming out that will compete more? (please leave your comments on those phones on that post. Thanks.)

  145. mike says:

    “backdating stock adventure?” the probe revealed NO misconduct.

  146. Ken says:

    It was an internal probe which means it was a sham. But I am a MAC user and a big fan of Apple, as well as Pixar, the other company where Jobs has pulled the same shady deal. He’s not alone, there are something like 150 -200 companies who pulled the same bit last year. I’ve just always held Jobs to a higher standard and he has disappointed me with this. Anyway, this is the last time I will post anything that doesn’t directly have something to do with wireless devices and solutions.

  147. Jon says:

    Ok, here is my situation….I have sprint right now (it has great coverage in Fresno). I have a Palm pilot and a cell phone and I want to consolodate. That is my main goal. Use the functions of a palm with my phone and not carry two devices. I may use the e-mail features of a smart phone, but not necessarily. Any advice on which option(s) are best for me?

  148. Jon says:

    ps….I am using the calendar/contact features mainly for keeping track of work/church/personal commitements. I do use the Word/excel/powerpoint to go as well. The new Apple phone sounds great(i have an ipod as well) but it is with Cingular only!

  149. Ken says:

    Jon –
    Well you say you want to combine your palm pilot and your phone. It seems to me that you’ve just described a Treo. I’m pretty sure Sprint is carrying the 700p. So as long as you like the palm o/s, I’d say this is a no-brainer. As for the iphone – I’m just drooling over that baby! As a heavy duty MAC user, the iphone sure looks incredible! Too bad it runs on Cingular’s slower EDGE network (as opposed to Sprint’s faster EV-DO network)- but at least it has Wi-Fi. I can’t wait to get one in my sweaty little hands to test. And I greatly look forward to what David Pogue has to say about it. I hope he hates it otherwise I’m gonna have to shell out some bucks and buy one.
    I should say, though, that the iphone looks like the ultimate consumer phone. It is not going to replace a BB as a business device. At least that’s my initial take on it. Blackberrys are ultimately as much about the server software as they are about the device. The real question is whether or not Microsoft can finally offer a solution that does not require a separate server but still provides the administrative tools, secure pipe and the high-grade encryption that forms the basis of the BlackBerry solution in the enterprise space. Meanwhile I have to check with Cingular and find out if my personal account is “upgrade eligible for the iphone.

  150. mike says:

    The iphone isn’t the perfect phone, its beyond perfect. I can’t believe I am going to have to wait 5 months for apple to begin shipments. The price on this baby is 100 percent worth it. Its rude to even call it a phone. Ill also be purchasing iTV.

  151. nate says:


    I’m so with you on the iPhone. My current service plan is up in May, so I’ll definitely be getting one of those babies. I am so stoked about it. I think it will blow away the competition in some aspects, but it will lag in others. The 2 megapixel camera isn’t as exciting, and the EDGE network being slower than EVDO is a bummer. But, otherwise, I’m into it. The other downside is the touch screen instead of the physical buttons – mostly because I think it will probably be much easier to make mistakes when you’re trying to type fast. But, maybe I’ll get used to that.

    The push email is a nice feature, which should compete.

    Maybe I need to write an “iPhone vs Treo vs BB” post or something. :)

    Ah, and Mike… I’ll also be getting the iTV (or AppleTV as they’re trying to re-brand it).

  152. Ken says:

    Yeah, the “virtual keypad” has me scratching my head. So many of us have gotten use to typing 30 – 40 wpm on treo/BB pads…it would be considered a problem if we had to slow down or re-re-type (which is why I am now officially fed up with SmartType). My guess is that Cingular won’t even have these in their stores until mid-July. Apple has been superb about product release dates but Cingular is notorious for delaying launches indefinitely for devices it feels aren’t properly “talking” to their network. They managed to delay most BB launches, god bless ’em. So, yeah, Nate, it’s kinda sorta 8800 vs 750 vs BlackJack vs iphone. I keep bringing up the Samsung because, much to my surprise, I have clients who want to “upgrade” from BB to BlackJack. I never would have considered that to be an upgrade, but the general medium-sized business market seems ready to argue with me. Will they steal the Treo 750s thunder? Hey, they just might. As for that Apple TV, Mike, I don’t know what the hell it is or does but I definitely want one, too.

  153. I watched the keynote on the iPhone and like everyone else it looks awesome! Some thoughts:
    There was no mention of business type apps. Can it read word, excel docs, etc. Can you input into the calendar from the phone or is it like the ipod and can only sync with Mac? And is it really OSX?It seems like a scaled down version. Also I dont think you will be able to use it well with only one hand since you have to hold it and use your fingers. That said, it is a great looking phone, ipod, internet device…’

  154. Mike says:

    It runs a full, coco based OSX, not 10.4 tiger- but OS X all the sime. You will 100% be able to input events into the calender etc. One handed use will be very hard- if possible at all. Hey, I’d like 4,000 lattes please :D

  155. Mike says:

    We have to remember, the iPhone (or Apple Phone of Cysco strips them of the name) isn’t meant to be a business phone. It’s meant to be an ULTRA high-end consumer, media phone. Much like those Nokia has been putting out as of late. The exclusion of a qwerty completely eliminates this from the mind of most hardcore business users. Steve was on stage talking about how it was faster then most of those “plastic” keyboards, and watching him type, I know I could have typed 3 times faster on an 8700c. This phone is totally revolutionary, and will most defiantly shape the entire cellular world for many years- however it is not a Blackberry or Treo replacement. Granted, RIM and Palm will lose a little business to Apple, but they will lose far less then they would had Apple created a phone with a built-in qwerty keyboard and easy one-handed usage.

  156. Sam V says:

    They are both a good product. Yes, the BB has no camera and a smaller screen, but it is not a true 320×320 on the Treo 700w. There is a border on the 700w. The keyboard is not as tactile as the BB. And for sheer mobile work solutions, The Treo doesn’t even come close. There is a problem acknowledged by Palm with text messaging and mail push failing to push all messages requiring a soft reset. This is happening on the Verizon network, but appears to be a problem with the phone, as a software upgrade is in the works. I have owned the Treo and recently switched to the BB 8703 because of this problem. It is a workhorse, running its internal apps flawlessly, not locking up once. It has a great browser and with 1xEV-DO, pages load quickly, mail push is quick, with capability of managing ten accounts, If you want a nice multimedia phone tethered to Windows mobile 5, and at this point still no A2DP bluetooth streaming support, it’s your phone. If you need a mobile biz solution, do like I do take on a BB and carry a 30gig iPod video for entertainment. The video is still choppy on MS Mobile 5

  157. Anthony says:

    Ok…I’ve read damn near all of these reviews, and I am still unsure of what I want. Currently, I have Verizon as a carrier. I own a small business. I am on the road often and have the need to be able to check my emails, and send them if need be. There is not much need to manipulate docuents. Will either of the devices, Treo 700W or the BB 8703e be able to synch with my Outlook. Meaning, when i am on the road I send/recieve throughout the day. Then when i hard synch my device, will those same messages appear in my “sent” or “inbox” folder in my MS-Outlook at the office. Being a small business, all of my email access is via POP. So I would be checking 5 emails with this devices. Currently my MS-Outlook pulls down the emails from the POP servers.

    I just don’t know what to do. BB looks like what want, TREO has bells and whistles. I don’t know. But before I decide, I want to assure that I will see the sent messages in my “Sent” folder in my outlook…that is the most important thing. Anyone?

  158. Ken says:

    Anthony – with the BlackBerry you will, indeed be able to synch your 5 POP email addresses to the device. And here’s the good part, you don’t have to “hard synch” your BB to your computer to have the messages show up in your outlook inbox and sent folder. It will happen wirelessly in a kinda/sorta near real time way. The only reason to hard synch would be to synch other outlook features such as the calendar and address book.

  159. Cheryl says:

    Hi, I’ve read through every post in this thread, and I still have a few questions. Right now I have a Verizon phone and a Palm PDA that is dying. I’m considering switching to either a BB8700, BB7130 or Treo 700p. I admit, I am very comfortable with the Palm interface and would prefer a Treo, but I’m finding that my business needs are increasing, so I’d like to consider a BB as well. I work for a very large company and many of the execs have BBs, so we probably have a BB Exchange server. We also have Wi-Fi access.

    I have questions on the capabilities of BB versus Treo, and I’m hoping you can shed some light. I apologize for the length of the posting, but I’m finding it next to impossible to get answers to very detailed questions from Verizon reps or the display phones.

    1. I need to be able to read and respond to emails. I’m fine if the email push happens in a few minutes rather than instantly. When using the Treo 700p with a sync time of x minutes, does it only pull email, or does it push as well? I can’t tell from the posts. Also, do I need to be at work for this feature (via the exchange server), or can I be anywhere (home, store, etc.)?

    2. I’ve seen a number of posts talking about the ability to edit MS Office docs, but I’m not clear if the newer BBs support this. I have a need to do basic excel updates because I use it to track exercise, food and weight, and I want to be able to udate anytime, anywhere (I’m not dragging my laptop to a restaurant). Can I do that with a blackberry? I know that I can with a Treo 700p because of the DocsToGo application.

    3. I have a bunch of data stored on my Palm PDA and synched to my desktop. I access the desktop info by using the Palm Desktop software that came with my unit. If I get a BB, can I get the data from the desktop into the new BB? If so, does it take any special software?

    4. This is a multi-part question. I have many calendar entries on my Palm PDA color-coded so that I can distinguish my entries from my husband’s. My husband is in theater and works erratic hours, so I need to be aware of his schedule. I also have a lot of entries for my kids’ activities.
    4a. Can both BB and Treo color-code calendar entries? If so, am I limited to the same colors (and meanings) as what my work uses for Outlook? (e.g. work Outlook has Blue = Busy, Purple = Out of Office, Blue/White stripes = Tentative, White/Clear = Free).
    4b. Is there any way to prevent personal calendar entries, such as my husband’s work hours, from being synched to my work Outlook calendar? My work calendar is visible to anyone in my rather large department, and I don’t want all these extra entries to show up. At best I think I would have to mark the entries as Private and ‘Free’, but that’s not a great solution because I think it still shows up as ‘Private Event’ on my calendar.
    4c. Can you mark calendar entries as private from the device? I only ask because I can’t do that when I am using Outlook web access. I’m not sure if that’s normal or if it’s the way our server is configured.
    4d. If I’m at work on my device, do I have full Outlook calendar access, i.e. I can schedule conference rooms, check other’s calendars, etc.?
    4e. Can I access calendar features while I’m on the phone?

    5. If my network at work blocks all IM and personal email accounts (yahoo, hotmail, etc.), will using either the BB or Treo provide a way to access these features since I’m not technically going through the network? What about when I’m away from work?

    6. Is there a memo feature for storing miscellaneous info? Can this also be grabbed from my existing Palm desktop?

    7. When using this as a phone, I don’t like voice dialing and I don’t like headsets. Which device can be used most like a regualr phone? I’ve seen some smartphones (can’t recall which) that had a psuedo-number pad display on the screen that you had to tap – not good when driving.

    7. Lastly, if what I’m really looking for is primarly a phone and personal PDA, another option is simply to use a web browser to access Outlook web. In theory this still gives me the ability to check work emails or my work calendar quickly, without intermingling my personal and work calendars. How well does Outlook web access work on either BB or Treo? Are there other devices that I should be looking at instead of that’s the route I go with?

    Thanks so much for all the great advice! Again, sorry for the length of the post.

  160. Ken says:

    Cheryl –
    Wow! I think you win the prize for the most detailed set of questions ever posted here! So let me give you my take, as sort of an overview – and then perhaps others can chime in with agreements or disagreements on each specific question.

    If your company has a BlackBerry Enterprise Server and they are willing to put you on it, then my strong recommendation is to gratefullly accept that opportunity and run out and get an 8703 (assuming Verizon is your chosen network carrier). By being placed on the BES, you will have “full” Outlook capability on a real time wirless basis. I put “full” in quotes because there are some caveats here.
    1. This is your company’s Outlook I’m talking about – the one that connects to their exchange server – not your personal outlook at home.
    2. I really don’t know about all of the nuances of the calendar that you are looking to replicate. I’ve never personally used all that stuff – the color coding and all. All I know is that you can set, accept, and decline meeting invites from desktop or blackberry and it will synch real time to both places. That, to me, is the best feature of the wirelessly synched BB. And, yes, you can have access to other user’s calendars, providing that your IT folks allow for it.
    Let’s see….what else….oh yeah – you can access your calendar and your email while using the phone. It will not synch while you are on the call but you can look at it.

    And, yes, you can put your personal email boxes on the BB as well as run the corporate one and there is also IM capability as well, so you can beat your company’s restrictions on web browsing to access your personal emails and instant messages.

    And yeah, BBs have tasks and memo, etc – anything that you’ll find in Outlook you should find on a BB.

    As for dialing, the BB has speed dial buttons. It’s also relatively quick to find a name in the address book and click on it – to dial. But I wouldn’t recommend that while driving. You still can’t “fat finger” dial on either a BB or a Treo. I used to carry around an old Motorola just so I could blind dial with one thumb while steering with the other. You’re not really a BB user until you’ve learned to type with your 2 thumbs and steer with your knees.
    And forget about editing Office Documents with the BB. It’s pretty much “read only”. For the type of stuff you’re talking about, I generally just write the stuff down as an email to myself, send it, then copy and paste it once I’m at my desktop. It ain’t elegant but it beats the heck out of carrying around a laptop.

    I still find Treo’s ability to “push” email without a server to be…well…..not viable at this time. The BlackBerry (with and without the BES) has been solid solid solid.

    So here’s the deal, you’ll probably have to trade off some bells and whistles for a certain amount of reliability. The reason all those people are carrying BBs is because of the reliability part. When you can’t afford to miss an email (or have it delivered 3 hours later) the BB allows you to sleep at night. And it does all the core Outlook things you need done (sans color coding). It’s the only real solution.

    BUT — if you can’t get onto your company’s BES, then, at the end of the day, it all boils down to which device you like better. So my advice is find that out first and get back to us with the answer – and then we’ll all know how best to answer the rest of it.

    At least, that’s my take on it. Others may disagree.


  161. Cheryl says:

    I called my company’s help desk, and they confirmed that we have BES. That will work for Blackberry, but not for the Treo.

    As I think about this more, I’m not sure how much I will actually need to access Outlook from a Blackberry while at work. If I’m at my desk, I’ve got my computer, and if I’m in meetings, I’m usually an active participant and it’s unlikely that I’d be responding to emails or meeting invites. It’s frowned upon heavily (respect for others, culture). As for accessing work email after business hours, I’ve been trying to avoid making myself too available, which is why I’ve stayed away from a BlackBerry this long.

    I think that my personal calendar needs outlined in quest 4 are the biggest challenge. If I get a Treo 700p, a lot of my problems will be resolved if I’m willing to forego synching with my work Outlook (to keep my calendar private on the device). Has anyone ever tried accessing Outlook web access from a Treo browser window? If that works decently, that might be an acceptable solution for me since it appears that my personal needs outweigh my business needs.

    Thanks for all your help!

  162. Ken says:

    I think you’re making a big mistake. But I have this conversation constantly with people who ought to know better but want the bright shiny object over the solid workhorse. Anyway, you may also want to consider getting the Treo 650 on Cingular’s network. The BlackBerry Connect version of that device keeps the Palm O/S but allows the device to interface with and utilize the BES. Unfortunately, there is no such version on Verizon.
    Anyway, you’re going to give up a seamless, well integrated, solid as a brick solution to mickey mouse your way through accessing your company’s Outlook through the Treo browser – which, by the way, if proper security measures are in place, you should not be able to accomplish.

  163. Cheryl says:

    It’s not a matter of selecting the bright shiny object over the solid workhorse. I need to select a device that fits my needs the best. Since it would appear that no device exists that meets all of my needs, anything I select will represent a compromise. My personal needs are stronger than my business needs, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

    The BlackBerry meets my limited business needs, but none of my extensive personal needs. The Treo meets most of my personal needs, but none (or few) of my business needs. Since my personal needs far outweigh my business needs, it seems that the Treo (or simply a new PDA) is the best option – for me. I admit that for a heavy business user, the BlackBerry is the best choice, but in my case, it doesn’t matter how reliable and solid the BlackBerry is – if it doesn’t meet my particular needs, it’s not a good choice for me.

  164. Ken says:

    Cheryl –
    I don’t think I was clear about one point – that the BB and the Treo use the same application/program to synch to outlook – Intellisync (if they’re still called that).

    Anyway, it sounds as if you’ve made a well-reasoned decision. Enjoy your 700p. It’s a (mostly) wonderful device.


  165. nate says:

    svasqu01 wanted to respond, but wrote an email instead. Here’s the comment they wished to post:

    Outlook wiith security is not a problem, with proper group policies in place. I will be moving to Cingular’s network in June. Please, keep in mind, i was not putting down the Treo 700w. I stated that both products were good. At this time, and with the present problem that exists with the Treo on Verizon’s network, the BB is a better solution for me. I need relialble mail push, text messaging, and the BB hits our home page faster, allowing to cruise my support login page in a snap. It does lack expandable memory(boo), there are some multimedia apps available(quickplayer). It is a highly reliable device. It’s down to what you want and need in a mobile device, which is why there is wide choice of devices. The BB also works well with Mac, pushing contacts down as vcards, as on your Mac, the Treo lacks this feature. The BB 8800 is out and Verizon will soon follow suit with a version for their network. RIM has decided to climb aboard the multimedia bandwagon, for the better i hope. And of course, the mighty iPhone due in June, touted to set the mobile world on its ear.

    Good day

  166. Question for anyone? If you have bb and at work exchange server can you sync cal, email etc so that when I am away from the office and put something in my calendar it will show up at my desktop. Same with email, if I reply say to a message the reply will show up on the desktop? I believe this is what BES does. Would I need that getting it from a service like mail2web or mailstreet. Presently I am forwarding work email to my bb bis email account and getting it, what is the best solution?

  167. Ken says:

    Andrew – The BlackBerry Enterprise Server would enable your BB to wirelessly synch to your Outlook calendar, which means that, yes, whatever calendar entries you put in at your desktop will show up on the BB and that the opposite would be true, as well. That whatever caldendar entries you put in your BB would show up on your desktop. Nice, huh? The thing is that the BES is server softwear that is placed on a separate (hardwear) server that is attached (in your case) to your company’s exchange server. I should mention, though, that even using the BIS, your replies and send folder stuff that is initiated on your BB does show up on your desktop, if you have a personal email set-up. There should be nothing you can do, or no program you can buy, that will allow you to legally “crack” your company’s outlook and exchange email. If you think you can convince your company to install a BES for you and, say, an absolute minimum of 5 people, let me know. But your company would pay modest client license fees, on top of the purchase of the BES, to make that happen. In terms of scalability, most companies tend not to get a BES unless they have about 20 end-users, although lately that trend has been going down.

  168. then what exactly are the mail2web, mailstreet, Link2Exchange, etc services? I thought they were BES services? I’m confused :)

  169. Ken says:

    Andrew – no they are not “bes services”. They are third party applications that allow you to “forward” your outlook email and some other outlook functions, to a wireless device. I’m not real expert on these apps but if I’m correct, they are designed to work with POP3 and IMAP. They probably would not work on a company’s exchange server if even modest security protocols are in place. The litmus test for me is this – if your company provides web access to its email, then you can probably get into it. If not, it won’t.

    What you should understand is that these third party apps do nothing more than what a BlackBerry, out of box, will do, using BIS (let alone, BES).

    Again, that’s one reason I keep recommending BBs — because RIM privides total, seamless solutions, all made by one company.

    Sometimes I think that only MAC users truly understand what this means – to have a well integrated suite of applications designed specifically for the O/S and hardware that it was meant to interface with.

    My, but I do digress…..

  170. How do I sync email, calendar, to do’s, etc. so when updated on one they are automatically updated on the other through BIS.

  171. Ken says:

    Andrew – if we are talking strictly about your company’s exchange server (as opposed to your own personal email) then the answer is that you cannot sync your company’s outlook features to a wireless device, assuming they have normal security protocols in place. You are currently forwarding your company email to a wireless device, which is not the same thing as synching to it. Generally, the way a company enables synching wireless devices to their exchange server is to install behind-the-firewall server software, such as BlackBerry or Goodlink or, as of recently, taking advantage of Window Mobile 5. What I’m trying to say here is that you cannot synch with your company’s Outlook capabilities unless they want/allow you to. The third party software you mention may work on your personal POP3 stuff, but should not be able to work with an exchange server. I suggest you talk with your IT folks and find out what is and is not allowed, in terms of capabilities and wireless devices. The companies I deal with usually have strict policies against all the stuff you want to do (including forwarding company email). That is why BB is the darling of the enterprise market – it gives them security, encryption, and administrative control of who can remotely access this stuff.


  172. We have a staff of 10 at our church who I think this would be helpful for. I’m the only one with a blackberry (in fact I’m the only one with a smartphone). I believe permission wouldn’t be the issue (since I can make that decision), but cost would. How expensive is it?
    Thank you for your feedback, I have and do appreciate your repsonse and help on these issues

  173. Ken says:

    Andrew, there is a small business edition that is designed for businesses with 15 or less users. That sounds like that would work for you. I’m checking around now to see if there are any current promotions by the carriers and/or RIM. You should be aware that I sell BESs (and goodlink and other email server solutions) and various wireless devices, etc etc. So if you’d like an actual quote we should take that offline. Feel free to contact me at [email protected]. You can also check directly with the carriers and take a peek at the blackberry website, as well.

  174. Ken says:

    Andrew – the standard pricing would be around $1500. But it looks like there is a way to get the BES and client licenses for just about $1000 by taking advantage of certain promotional offers.


  175. Bob says:

    First I want to thank all of you for this fantastic forum.

    What I want is a Phone/PDA/e-mail device. I’ve listed them in order of importance. My goal is the integration of my cell phone with a PDA and the addition of e-mail access is a side benefit but necessary. What is most important is the phone since it will be my major link to business, family and friends. I need to incorporate my PDA into this device but all I really need is contacts, calendar, notes and an encrypted file for little secrets. The e-mail is necessary but may really only be crucial several times a month.

    I’ve read everything here and quite a few other forums as well. The following is my reasoning based on this information and I’d like your thoughts.
    I have been considering a Treo, a Blackjack or a Blackberry. I’ve eliminated the Blackjack because of the Windows operating system, don’t care for Windows. Now I do use Windows XP and will continue to do so for my business but my preference has always been Apple. I will be using the device I purchase with both of these systems.
    I really was leaning towards a Treo because of its ease of use with Apple. Since I don’t care for Windows I could only choose units with the Palm OS which does limit my choices, that’s ok. But there are three problems with the Treo. The Palm OS causes the device to freeze and reboot with to much regularity. I’ve read this and I have a tech savvy friend with a 650 that has the same problem regardless of any third party applications on the device. Now he has informed me that since he has upgraded to the latest Palm OS that the frequency has dropped considerably but since this is going to be my only phone I’m very reluctant to jump on the Treo bandwagon. The second problem with the Treo which is crucial is that the phone has a problem with reception and the sound quality is poor. It’s a phone and has to function first and foremost as that, at least for my needs. Finally, the third problem that I see is that the battery life is way to short.
    All this information has pushed me towards the Blackberry. It has good phone reception and sound quality. It has all the necessary apps that I need, right? The battery life is superior to the Treo. And of course it does the e-mail thing. I don’t know what version of the Blackberry I might ultimately get yet. I’ll probably go with a GSM version as I will need to use this device overseas several times a year.

    Anyway, please tell me what you think of my reasoning. Am I right or what?

    Thank you,


  176. Ken says:

    Bob – I am a BlackBerry user with a MAC who has been largely satisfied with my BB. The PocketMac program (which, I believe, is now bundled with RIM’s BB software for free) works seamlessly and I’ve had no problems with it. The limitation is that the calendar and address book functions require a “hard synch” to update. So there is no real time wireless synch for these functions as a stand-alone device. The email does push out and there is active wireless synching for that. In other words, when I delete an email on my BB, it sends it into the delete folder at my desktop, etc. Also, because I have Entourage, I can actually use my MAC with a BES and a BB, which provides me with full, real-time synch capabilities to all of the “outlook” features, available on my MAC through Entourage. So, either way, as a stand-alone or with a BES, a BlackBerry and a MAC will work together.

    So, it’s just a matter of which type of BB you want. I think the Pearl (the 8100) is an absolutely stunning device. It’s beautiful, elegant, and very well designed. My only problem with it is that I do a lot of typing with my BB, and I do find the keypad to be annoying because the keys are too close together. However, if you are not going to do a lot of typing, then that may not be a problem for you. It has a great form factor, as a phone.
    You may also want to wait until Feb 12 (the new rumored launch date) for the 8800 to launch. It has a QWERTY keypad and many of the Pearl’s features.

    It looks right now that Cingular’s 8800 will NOT have the camera or the wi-fi capability. It looks as if the T-Mobile version will, and may go under a slightly different model number. There is no launch date yet for the device on T-Mobile.

    You might also consider the device I’ve been using lately, which is the 7130c. It has a phone form factor and SureType, but the keys are further apart and easier to type on. And do not get this model confused with the 7100 which (as Nate can tell you) is a piece of plastic junk.

    And just a word about the Treo – I’ve personally not had a problem with the sound quality of a Treo. And my clients have been generally satisfied with the voice quality, as well. There was one time when the Treo was considered to be the much better sounding device, over the BB. Just remember that the carrier and various coverage issues affect sound quality at least as much as the device itself does. I hope you test a BB and the Treo on the same network to make that determination.

    And, yes, you are right about the battery life. There is a signficant difference.

    The only thing I will hedge on is when you say your main priority, other than voice, is for PDA functionality. I never know what that really means. The Treo has a far more robust (and expandable) PDA capability than the BB. But it all depends on what you really want to do with it. The BB suits my needs just fine. But make sure it will do everything you want it to do beforer you buy it.

  177. Bob says:

    Hi Ken,

    Having to hard sync the BB to the Mac isn’t a big issue for me.

    Will PocketMac on the BB interfere with the syncing to my Windows based machine?

    I’m leaning towards the 8700c but I might just wait for the 8800. I don’t think I would like the SureType so I’m staying away from those BB’s. It sure would have been nice to get camera and WiFi.

    The sound issue with the Treo is from some forums I visited, through my friend that has a 650 and a CNET review where they made a comparison on the same network. My friend says that the phone on the 650 is bad with regard to signal and sound quality. His opinion carries weight with me.

    The only PDA functions that I use all the time are calendar, contacts, notes and an encrypted file for little secrets. I believe the BB can handle all of that.

    I will seriously consider testing them both if Cingular lets me.

    Thank you for your comments.


  178. Ken says:

    Bob – so you want to be able to synch to a mac and a pc? Thye pocketmac program actually sits on your mac, not on your BB. But generally speaking, I’m not used to people wanting to synch anything other than email on more than one machine. So I’m no expert on it. The BB can handle up to something like 10 different email accounts. But I really dont’ know how it (or any device) accomplishes synching the other outlook type features from more than one source. I’m tempted to say it can’t be done but I just don’t know that for sure.


  179. Bob says:

    Hi Ken,

    Yeah, I want to be able to sync to both. Basically I want my e-mail, contacts and notes on all three (BB, PC and Mac) to be current. I’m not quite sure how to do that but I’m certain that it can be done. It just probably won’t be straight forward. My friend does the same thing with his Treo so I feel confident that where there is a will there is a way.

    I’m now considering the following devices: Treo 680, BB 7130/8100/8700/8800. The decision will really be based on how good the phone operates and on the reliability. I’ll test as many as I can.

    Thanks again,


  180. Ken says:

    Bob, if you wouldn’t mind, would you please update us after you’ve made your decision and let us know what device you’ve picked and how you made it all work? I think that would really be helpful for everyone who follows this thread. Thanks!

  181. Anonymous says:

    I am currently with Sprint and need to switch to either a BB or treo. My dilema is that our company uses Lotus Notes instead of Outlook. Does that pose a problem?

  182. Ken says:

    Nope. One question: does your company ave a BlackBerry Enterprise Server? Because they do make a BES for Lotus/Domino. If not, I know the BB will synch with Lotus anyway. So you’ll be able to get your email and hard synch your “outlook” type programs – providing, of course, tht your company allows you to do so. Lotus is far more “secure” than Outlook, in terms of what tools your company has at its disposal to keep you from accessing your desktop, if you are not authorized to do so. So I would strongly advise talking to your IT folks and see what is and is not allowed at your company. But I have worked with many huge corporations who use Lotus and BBs with no problem.

  183. Anonymous says:

    thank you Ken
    I will find out about the BES I appreciate your feedback thanks again

  184. Anonymous says:

    I am trying to figure out if I should invest in a Treo 680 or a BB 8700c. The main function will be having the capability of company email (outlook) on the go. I am a mortgage broker and need to have access at all times to clients and email. Please advise.

  185. Ken says:

    The first question is: does your company have a BlackBerry Enterprise Server or a Goodlink server? Or do they have any other method (such as windows mobile 5 or 6) of administering wireless email? If they do have a BES, then I would certainly recommend either the 8700 or the 8800 which will apparently be available for shipping on 2/20. You may even want to consider a Treo 650 with BlackBerry connect which would allow you to connect to the BES but still provide you with the Palm 0/S and all of those third party apps that mortgage brokers like to have.

    If this is just a stand-alone device, you may want to make sure that your company will allow you to access your email via a wireless device. One easy way to tell, without actually having to ask someone, is if they offer web acess to your email, currently. If they do, then a BB will work, even if it’s a stand-alone device. And the Treo would work as well, with the proper software. So then it just boils down to which form factor do you prefer? They’re both good devices and more than capable with email. My personal choice would be the 8700 (no, actually the 8800) but I’ve always exhibited a bias towards BlackBerry.


  186. Nikki says:

    Bless y’all for this whole forum– it’s answering a lot of the questions that, when asked of the gentleman in the Sprint store, produced a wide-eyed stare and the sound of crickets.

    I just bought a BB 8703e. I’d been leaning towards a Treo, but the Sprint guy had the cricket-effect going on, and there was a BlackBerry rep in there visiting, so I now have a BB. My unanswered questions are these, however:

    I’d like to run credit cards. I can do this by hooking my laptop to my device, but can I do this with just the device? Is it secure on both the BB and the Treo? Can either run QuickBooks, for example?

    I’d give my eyeteeth for an iPhone, but I don’t know when, if ever, Sprint will get it. I’ve been told I can customise a Treo to look and act more like a Mac than a BB can. Is this true?

    Is the $40 unlimited data plan I have for my BB the same as what I’d have for a Treo? Alas, I’m not even sure what the plan IS. The more questions I asked, the more lost I felt.

    O, for a Sprint store that doesn’t make shopping feel like a Dickensian orphanage scene….

  187. Ken says:


    I have seen third party, RIM certified hardware that you can plug into your BB that will allow you to swipe credit cards. I would encourage you to go to where you should be able to find a few providers.

    As for security, if that is a concern (and if you’re reading credit cards, I bet it is), the only true secure application is a behind-the-firewall, triple DES encrypted (sorry for the old nomencalture) pipe. And that means a BlackBerry Enterprise Server or a Goodlink server. You should not expect a stand-alone device to provide adequate security. I certainly wouldn’t run that kind of information over a public wi-fi network either.

    As for QuickBooks, yeah, I suppose you could use a BB to access the online version, but I think it would be insane. BBs and Treos really are NOT laptop replacements, no matter what the hype is. It’s not just a matter of connectivity which has certainly improved (especially on Sprint) but it’s a matter of form factor. It’s like wanting to go 4-wheeling in a Geo Metro. I suppose you could, but I wouldn’t advise it.

    As for the iphone, rest assured that Sprint will not be carrying one any time in the foreseeable future. Cingular’s exclusive is for two years. And I’ve read a little bit about the agreement Cingular signed to get it – Verizon turned those terms down flat (they were approached first). I bet Sprint would turn them down, as well. So either switch carriers or pretend it doesn’t exist. If it’ll make you feel any better, an iphone is probably real ill-suited for some of what you are mentioning in your post. It’s not a business tool. You’re probably better off with a BB or Treo.

    As for customizing a Treo to look and act more like a Mac (than a BB can )…. well…. yeah…. sorta… kinda…. not really. The Palm O/S is not OSX and that’s that. And perhaps that’s a good thing. Again, the form and fucntionality of OSX is great on those devices… computers! It’s not made for tiny wireless devices. Which is why the iphone will not be running the same OSX as the one on the desktop and laptops. It will be a greatly modified version. It’s why there is (finally) Windows Mobile 5 and 6 -and Palm and BB – because wireless devices that are used in mobile environments (like a car), moving from cell tower to tower, etc, require a very different type of technology. It ain’t the same. And there should be differences in form and format for little bitty devices that are, in reality, technology swiss army knives. The have to do a lot of different things reasonably well while users are moving around.

    As for your data plan on Sprint, yeah, it sounds like you got the unlimited BB data plan. There are measured rate plans and other “data” plans available for other wireless devices but you’re paying pretty much the industry standard for unlimited data usage, which is what you want.

    And if you want something to cheer you up – your BB can be also be used as an aircard for your laptop. And it is reported to actually be faster than an iinternal aircard. So, hey, you’re getting a phone, a mobile data device, and a laptop aircard, all in one nicely wrapped little package. Rejoice!


  188. Hi Team. I’m a business user now, just give me the straight goods type of guy now. My roots however lie as a techno – weenie, back when my bros and i would build frankencomps in the basement upgrading to the MMX chip so we could get the best performance for our Quake 2 lan parties…. I digress.

    Anyway, the reason I was looking at this post:

    – need to move from 3 old bberrys to new devices.
    – we all have unlimited data plans
    – love blackberry pin to pin communication
    – love instant delivery
    – don’t need a camera but my geek roots want it.
    – don’t need anything other than whats on my oldschool 7750, but …..

    – if I get treos for us all

    I see that as a big plus….cause then we could ditch our 200 bucks a month voice plan and just pay our 50 dollars per month unlimited data plan.

    thoughts? ryan.

  189. nate says:


    I haven’t heard of a phone out there that has the ability to do Skype yet. That would be cool. If you hear of something that does, let us know.

    Also, the Treo 650 has an SD wifi card you can hack to make work. (see this article).

    There’s also the little gadget called “enfora” which sounds like it works well.

    Anyone else have some good advice to add?

  190. Ken says:

    Allegedly, the 8800 that T-Mobile will release will have wifi. And needless to say, cellphone companies don’t really want you to use voip, since….well…you figure it out. Nevertheless, I’ve heard that Sprint is actually looking into these types of convergent devices but the key to innovation is figuring out how to make money (as opposed to lose money) with whatever they release. Also, I seem to remember that RIM a year or two ago, RIM was going to release a WIFI only BB. I don’t know if that actually happened or if was even a particularly good idea. The thinking behind it was selling it internationally, in business campus environments. Real niche market stuff.

  191. Ken says:

    and by the way you may want to check out a company called MINO who claim to have a voip app for BlackBerry. I think it’s something like

  192. Andrew diNardo says:

    Skype is available for windows mobile and pocket pc….

  193. Andrew diNardo says:

    Question: Our Pastoral Staff is considering getting BES and BB’s. I already have a 8700g with TM and BIS. We can use any provider, although leaning GSM since we go out of the country 2 or 3 times a year. Any suggestions?

  194. ryanmitton says:

    Hey guys, thanks Nate, Ken and Andrew.
    Checked out the skype download for wm. should work and others have said it works for palm 700wx. mino looks allllright, but a bit of a hack considering skype should work it’s probably the better option, the card…..yes the card….at first i thought it was useless cause i’d have to take out my memory to use the wifi, then i learned that the wifi card, is also a memory card. so it’s your wifi connection and your memory. so skype mobile can be loaded to this card at the same time using it to be a wifi card.

    that’s a useful solution.

    there is only one thing left that is stopping me from going ahead and moving away from blackberry to palm treo…..unthreaded sms. cause you see with bberry you have bberry messenger wich is threaded…and the pins (which i can’t remember if they are threaded but i think so). I read in the USA that the palm 750 has threaded sms.

    I know I’m asking for a lot here…..(converged device!) but the bberry i’ve had has lasted 4 years cause i chose right ad want to do the same this time…im also buying 3 units that need to communicate to each other effectively (10 bucks a month unlimited txt messages with treo or free with bberry). threaded sms and im sold on treo.

    i’ve read a bit about the windows mobile operating system being a bit flakey….but seriously it can’t be any worse than any other operating system or it wouldn’t be selling. and at least msoft updates their software multiple times a year.

    question: HAS ANYBODY HERE SUCCESSFULLY ‘UNLOCKED’, LEAGALLY!! A CDMA PHONE, AND TAKEN IT TO ANOTHER CARRIER? I’m asking cause I would like to buy the treo 750’s for us, bring them up here to calgary canada, and use them on the telus cdma network. legally.

  195. ryanmitton says:

    sorry for my spelling mistakes. im actually completely literate. just lazy.

  196. ryanmitton says:

    they say that you can buy an SD card that has both the memory and the wifi connectivity…but as of yet i cannot find that specified in the sale. anybody else know where I can find one? Ryan.

  197. Kenya says:

    I love Palm OS and have owned several Palm devices but I would NOT say that the Treo is better than a Blackberry. I had a Blackberry at my last company and now have a Treo for my current company. I had one of the older models of Blackberry (somewhere in the 7000s) and that was better than my Treo 650. Why? As the phone was provided by work, I was to use it for email, contacts, calendaring, etc. in addition to work related calls. On that Blackberry wins hands down. The Treo needs all kinds of third-party software to get that to work. What sucks the most is that the third-party software is not compatible with Palm’s software (i.e. Goodlink calendar does not sync with Palm’s calendar, etc.). The entire interface is clunky. On Blackberry the SMS messages and the emails are shown in the same screen. On the Treo you have to use the Palm messaging app outside of Goodlink. In addition the Goodlink software crashes regularly. I had to make an important call but couldn’t because I couldn’t get to my contacts in that crappy add-on. Speaking of calls, without another third-party app you can’t even hear the call and when I have to put the phone to my ear if my face touches the Treo it hangs up. For fun type activities like listening to MP3s and using the camera, the Treo would probably win but I don’t need a phone to do those things. People at work are conspiring to break or lose their Treos because my current company only buys Blackberries now.

  198. Someone introduced me to a company yesterday that is suppose to be able to do for blackberry; treo; wm5; what BES does for blackberry. The company is Anyone familiar with it?

  199. Holly says:

    I need help choosing a phone! I’ve just ended my phone contract with Sprint (freedom!) and am thinking about switching to Cingular/AT&T. This is my chance to be able to afford a PDA for the first time. I will still primarily use it as a phone though, so a BB/Treo may be a bad idea. I also want something durable. Other than phone calls, I’ll be using it mostly for basics like email check/sending msgs (outlook would be great, but reg internet access would be ok), calendar, etc., w/or w/out camera is fine. Any suggestions on what might work for me–not a gadget guru, but a fast learner? Thanks!

  200. Ken says:

    Holly, I’m not sure why you would think a BB would be a bad choice if your primary application is voice. (or a Treo, for that matter). The voice quality on both is decent enough. If it’s the form factor that concerns you, then I would strongly suggest looking at the BB Curve or BB Pearl since they are now about the size of a phone and fully featured with all of the applications you list. You might also want to take a look at a Samsung Blackjack. You may also want to ok at the NOkia 2610,(I thnk that’s the model) which provides email and IM capability and is pretty decent. Although for ease of set-up and ease of use, the BB still provides the most seamless solution for email, outlook, and those other “business’ apps. If you were looking at multi-media players, well, there sure are a lot of choices out there these days. Just get something tht runs on UTMS, not EDGE, and hope you live in a 3G area, if you’re considering ATT.

  201. Jennifer says:

    Hello, I am in the process of getting a new phone. RIght now I have a really cheap samsung, dropped my cell in the toilet (don’t ask) and a palm. I’m thinking about switching from Sprint to Verizon and am curious about the blackberry. I am a nurse midwife and use my palm for work related stuff, ie epocrates, prenatal wheel… and am wondering if the bb supports those type of things or should I stick with a treo, and does verizon support treos??? sorry i have done no research on my own.

    thanks jen

  202. Ken says:

    Jen, I would definitely stick with the treo, if that is what you are used to. Also, I’m not familiar with the apps you listed but I’m assuming they are third party apps for Palm, another reason you don’t want to risk moving to the BB. Verizon does “support” the Treo, which is to say, they sell them. I would recommend the 700p. Be careful NOT to order a treo with a “w” or “wx” in the model number. that means its a windows mobile device and might cause some difficulties with the palm based apps you’ve mentioned (assuming, again, that they are palm based apps).

    And by the way, Verizon is running some decent discounts on them right now. You should be able to pick one up for under $250.


  203. wally says:

    Great blog! I use a 650p thru Goodlink where I work and love it. Looking at leaving the company and the 650 at the end of this year and buying a device that’ll sync w/mac. Verizon is my carrier; I’m looking at the 700p, 8830 and motoQ. What do you suggest?

  204. Ken says:

    Wally, I suggest you forget about the Q. Although many of the reliability problems have been resolved, it’s still inelegant and not MAC friendly. I personally have a MAC and a BlackBerry and the softtware that now comes standard with the BB (which used to be a third party called PocketMac) works very well with my machine – understanding that as a stand-alone (not sever bassed), I have to do a hard (cabled) synch for address book and calendar. But the email synchs wirelessly as a push (so you don’t have to retrieve it) and I’m happy with it. There are also MAC solutions for the palm based Treo, but I haven’t personally used it.


  205. MA says:

    Love the 700p
    just replaced an old 650p. Must have dropped it over 50 times plus dropped it in the river and it took a licking and kept on ticking. Just upgraded after two years. Love the fact I do not need my lap top anymore.

  206. Anna says:

    HELP!! I am going to be purchasing a smartphone soon and need help. My first priority is a PHONE. My second priority is access to my email. My third priority is a calendar to help me remember my appointments.

    Since my first priority is a phone, I really need the ability to have clear calls to my clients.

    Thanks for any advice.

  207. Mike says:

    sounds like you need an iPhone.

  208. Anna says:

    Thanks for your opinion Mike, but at this time I think I am leaning towards a Treo or Blackberry.

  209. Ken says:

    Anna – it’s hard not to agree with Mike. I just wish it had a real keyboard because I do a lot of email and messaging. Anyway, There are treo people and there are BlackBerry people. I’m a BlackBerry guy. I think the treo hardware design has become real tired right about now while RIM keeps on inventing cool, new BB designs, each one, slim and now sexier than treos. More importantly, though, is the fantastic functionality, seamlessness, and ease of use of the BIS (not to be confused with the BES). RIM is about to release a new update that will make a stand-alone BB almost as integrated and “synch” able as a BES version. This means that you’ll be able to synch wirelessly in near real time, using the app that the manufacturer has developed. No third party nonsense. And I think that’s nothing short of phenomenal. In fact, it’s one of the reasons I”m such an Apple fan – because everything they release, from imacs, to the most sophisicated software and applications, to ipods, all fit and work together perfectly. Blackberry is doing the same thing on the “business” side. And regardless of whether you have a server based or stand-alone use for the blackberry, the experience will still be better than anything else that’s out right now. And BBs are relatively inexpensive these days. You can get a new model for around $200 if you look around. Having just gushed like that, I still think you should know that many many phones, these days, can handle your basic requirements. I’ve been playing with a Samsung on ATT with 3G capability, that is thin, fully featured, with video camera, bluetooth, etc etc, and it handles email reasonably well and goes for around $49. So, there’s a lot to look at.

  210. Marc says:

    I have a treo and am considering a blackberry just because I hear so many raves about it. I need it for contacts, calendar and phone. I don’t want to receive email on my phone except for when I travel. I am concerned that the bb will not allow me to retrieve email only when I want it to. The treo lets me do that. Any thoughts? Also, will I regret not having a touch screen?

  211. Ken says:

    As you might know from my postings, I’m a BlackBerry fan. However, in your case, I don’t think it will fulfill your requirements. The BlackBerry made its reputation on its “push” email technology, which means that the emails automatically get “pushed” to your device. It seems to me that you really want “pull” functionality, where you retrieve your email at your discretion. In that case, the BlackBerry will not do it for you. Also, I”ve been very happy not using a touch screen to do anything. But if you’re like a lot of folks, and you’ve really grown accustomed to using it as your primary inmput and navigation tool, it will probably drive you crazy not to use it. And, finally, a Treo 700/750 can be used on the “3G” networks of Srint, Verizon, and ATT. It’s fast, for data, and I think that’s a big deal. So, as slick as the new BlackBerry is, I’d stick with the Treo, in your case.

  212. Ali says:

    I am considering purchasing my first smartphone…I am an attorney who would be using it primarily to access my outlook calendar and email while I am not in the office. I do some personal web browsing and quite a bit of text messaging (some of which would be eliminated with email access). I am trying to decide between the BB8703 (for Verizon) or the Treo 700wx. I know that there are plus and minuses to each but I am looking for something that is going to make my life easier. I was leaning toward the Treo but have read about the phone ‘locking up’ which clearly would be aggravating. I like the cosmetic appearance of the Treo in that it looks more like a phone (the BB looks cumbersome to use) but would most likely adjust to either one. The IT person my office uses said that “I personally like the Treo’s because they have the Windows Operating System on them and they are more compatible with your current system.” Is this a huge issue? Just when I had my mind made up I read a lot of different articles praising the BB. Any guidance is greatly appreciated. I am not particularly techologically inclined but am a fast learner.

  213. Anna says:

    I finally decided on the Treo wx and LOVE IT! My phone has never locked up, so maybe that issue has been resolved. I like being on a Windows operating system personally and feel comfortable using it. The Treo is easy to use and accessing the web and text messaging is a piece of cake. In my opinion, you wouldn’t regret buying the Treo wx.

  214. Ali says:

    Thanks for the advice – how do you like the ‘pull’ feature of the email on the Treo as compared to the ‘push’ feature of the BB? Is there an issue with running multiple applications at once such as email and receiving a phone call or being on a call and accessing your calendar? Anything else I should know or consider?

    Any other opinions are greatly appreciated! Thanks.

  215. Anna says:

    Since I’ve never used the BB, I can’t compare the pull vs push feature. Sorry. Running multiple applications on the Treo 700 wx is easy and I have not had one problem with that and I run multiple features all the time. Good luck in your decision.

  216. Ken says:

    You can access those data functions while you are on a call. However, the data piece will not be connected to the network while you are “on the phone”. Once you “hang up” then the data piece will re-connect with the network.

  217. Ali says:

    Ken, thanks for the information. I see from reading your entries here that you are more of a BB fan, based upon what I am going to be using the device for, do you think one is suits me better than the other?

  218. Ken says:


    I am a BB fan. But I’ve learned to at least respect the Treo. And I’m such a big fan, these days, of the BB 8700 series. The 8800 and the 8300 and the 8100 are all cooler BBs, for my taste and have more of a “phone” format, that you are talking about. the 8300 (aka The Curve) really knocks my socks. But having said that, the 700/750 series Treos are really great devices – especially the ones with the Palm OS. Maybe the wx is finally stable. I honestly can’t tell you because I haven’t played with one recently. And if that’s the case, then fine. I still think that both Palm and BB do a better job wirelessly interfacing wtih mircosoft product than microsoft does – but at this point it may finally be down to simple personal preference. Six months ago, I would tell you it was fact.

    The bottom line is you probably can’t go too wrong with any of the above choices. I think based on your needs that a Treo of some sort might be the best way to go.


  219. Meg says:

    I work for an attorney that is looking at getting a BB or Treo. She has sent me to gather information to advise her. Any ideas on which would be better for her? We email regarding client a lot so secure is a concern. It would also be nice if she an edit briefs (in Word format) from her phone so she doesn’t have to take her laptop everywhere. She is not teck-savvy. She has waited this long because she doesn’t want to have to learn on a new device. Any advice on what I should tell her?

  220. nate says:

    Meg, I would advise you to look at the Blackberry device. I’m not sure which ones would be best for editing Word documents on, but if it’s mainly for email and she’s not tech savvy, they would be stable devices. Either way, it’s going to be a learning curve, so there’s no way around that.

    Perhaps Ken or someone else here could help figure out which Blackberry would be best.

  221. Ken says:

    Well, I don’t want to be the big killjoy here, but from deep deep in my heart, I sincerely believe that one should probably not be using a small, handheld device to edit Word or Excel documents. It’s like using a spoon to dig a grave. Nice imagery, huh? However, if one was going to persist in committing this folly, I suppose I’d have to recommend a windows mobile device – which would rule out my beloved BlackBerry (yet again!) and set you up for a Treo 7 series WX. And, hey, I’ve never been overly fond of those. Better to forget editing Office Documents on a phone, and then, yeah, I really would recommend the BlackBerry Curve. A lot.


  222. Jenny says:

    Ken, Nate, Anyone willing to help:

    Ken, Not sure if you’ve been asked this a million times by now, but I am so confused and you seem so knowledgeable. I want/need a phone that works easily with Outlook (calendar, contacts, tasks, emails). That is my top concern. My server is Verizon.

    By “easily” I mean “user friendly,” as I am not the most tech saavy person you can find.

    Phone quality (sound, features, reliability) are very important to me as my business requires me to be on the phone quite often. I’d also like “voice command” for the phone.

    I’m debating between Blackberry (not even sure which model, but I’m thinking an 8300 or 8800 series) and Treo (I guess, 700p or wx).

    What would you recommend?

    Thank you for taking the time to help.

  223. Jenny says:

    Ken, Nate, Anyone willing to help:

    Oops, looks like my BB choices are 81–, 87–, or 88– series or Palm 700p or w, or 755p.

    Any recommendations?

  224. steve says:

    >> You can open an excel spreadsheet on a Blackberry. However, you cannot revise it or otherwise work on it. It’s a “read-only” application. The real question is why would you want to – on either a Blackberry or a Treo?

  225. steve says:

    message was truncated… here is the full message

    ;;;You can open an excel spreadsheet on a Blackberry. However, you cannot revise it or otherwise work on it. It’s a “read-only” application. The real question is why would you want to – on either a Blackberry or a Treo?;;;

    I laugh at this mentality, so short sighted, and slanted to support their own preferences. I can think of lots of reasons and uses. a 320×320 screen is more than enough space to put a collection of relevant cells, while the whole rest of the worksheet does the behind the scenes work. If a worksheet is designed for that screen size, I can see lots of uses.

    I am a business power user, I am also look at both he Treo and Blackberry. They both have distinct advantages with lots of crossover appeal in the market, both consumer and business. I’ve met many CEO’s of large corporations that use both devices. Are the CEO’s that use Treos really not serious business users?

    Many people really need to lighten up over this debate, windows vs mac, ford vs chevy, and realize that different people have different needs, and one device doesn’t fit all. Or all we all too immature to realize this?

    Ok, the immature can now have at it. Spelling, gramar, personal attacks, go for it ;)

  226. Ken says:

    Yes, it’s really too bad that the BB Curve isn’t available through Verizon because this is my favorite device, at the moment. There is nothing wrong with the 8830 except that it’s missing a camera, if I remember correctly. And, of course, it’s bigger and bulkier than the Curve. But it will do all the Outlook items you’ve inquired about and does support voice commands. And I think BB has made it very easy for the layperson to get up and running very quickly with a well integrated application.

    Now, having said that – the Treo also does very well in all of the areas you’ve listed. I like their voice commands less, but their voice quality just a little more. So what you really need to do is go to your local Verizon store and play with both. The navigation is quite different for the two devices and, really, what it’s going to come down to is how comfortable you are with a track wheel vs a touchscreen and stylus.

    Some folks like the former, others the latter. One is not necessarily better. It’s just a matter of what works best for you. Pick them both up, put them to the side of your face, check out the backlight in bright light – and see what feels best and works most intuitively for you.

    And my personal Treo preference is with the Palm operating system, not windows mobile. I still think it’s smoother, easier to navigate through and more stable. The windows mobile product has made advances and has gotten better – I just think it’s a shame that it’s done on the backs (and wallets) of people who have purchased the first few iterations.

    And one other consideration – the BB 8830 on Verizon, is an international device, the Treo is not. But if you’re not going overseas, than don’t let that throw ya.

    Good luck!


  227. Ken says:


    Your comments made me have to say it:

    Nate’s site is populated by the nicest, most thoughtful and most civil folks I’ve ever encountered in a “blog” environment. It’s been a treat to be able to trade insights and opinions with the folks who visit here.

    I’ve learned a lot from posting on here and it’s been a great experience.

    And so, to Nate, and to all, I wish you a great holiday and a Happy New Year!


  228. nate says:

    Ken, it wouldn’t be anything without you helping folks out here! Thank YOU.

    And Happy Holidays to everyone who finds this post and the people here helpful.


  229. Jenny says:

    Thank you, thank you, thank you, Ken!

    After reading this thread and reading comments from a couple of other sites, I was leaning toward BB over Treo. I just wanted to make sure that Outlook worked, and worked easily, with BB.

    I have decided to go with the 8830. It’s such a relief to make a decision and to feel confident about that decision. I would not have been able to do that without this thread (thank you, everyone) and most especially, without your generosity in taking the time to share your extensive knowledge with this community. So, again, I say, Thank You!

    Out of curiosity, besides the camera feature and the smaller size, what is it that you like about The Curve over the 8830?

    Happy Holidays to you, to Nate, and to Everyone here!

  230. Ken says:

    Jenny, you nailed it. The camera and the size. Especially the size. But the 8830 is a true powerhouse and a very durable device. It’s a great choice!


  231. Boyer Coulter says:

    Okay, after reading through this entire post I still have one major question still unanswered. What about reception? I work in very remote areas of Northern Canada in the oil and gas industry and would use all the features either phone would offer, my first requirement would be the phone that actually has service.

    Currently I am looking at BB’s 8830 and pearl and the Treo 755p. My only available carrier is Telus.

  232. Ken says:

    Boyer, there is a site that provides comparisons in coverage for Canada. That site is:

    Besides that, you can access Telus’s own site and pull down their own coverage maps. Just note that anything on their site that denotes “analog” coverage will not provide data, only voice. I’m guessing the pickings are pretty slim for where you are.

    Must be why Santa hasn’t returned my calls yet.

    Good luck with it.


  233. Boyer Coulter says:

    I’ve seen the coverage map and I guess I was too vague. We’ve had 5 guys standing shoulder to shoulder with different phones and one guy consistently has service when others have none. Currently I use a motorola V262 because it has superior range and seems to always have signal when others do not.

    In the past it was true that treo was a good PDA but mediocre phone and the BB was the opposite. In this case I need a great phone first and PDA second. I will be using the phone as a modem for my laptop to assist with diagnostics on remote well sites so I need solid signal.

  234. Ken says:


    Well, I’m far from an expert on coverage or networks for that area. However, here’s what I can tell you:

    Your Motorola V262 is a tri-band phone. And the reason, I suspect, it appears to have superior range and signal, is because it is able to hop onto an analog network. Now that’s terrific. The problem, though, is that while an analog network will get you extended voice coverage – it will not provide data. And since you want to use one of these devices as a wireless modem, your Motorola is NOT a good predictor of performance.

    You’re going to need EVDO coverage, or, at the very least, 1xrtt coverage. That means digital only – no analog. I’ll bet you that thr folks who get no signal at all are using all digital phones that don’t roam onto analog. Generally, CDMA network providers are trying like hell to end analog roaming and it is getting increasingly more difficult to find new phones that will roam to analog – at least in the US.

    Anyway, bottom line is this: you need to go back to the Telus coverage maps and take a hard look at whether EVDO or 1xrtt coverage exists in the areas you require. Without that coverage, you will not get any data on either a BB or a Treo and you will not be able to use either device as a wireless modem.


  235. adrian says:

    i am very serious about the treo 700wx but am concerned about what 3rd party software will be needed and what i will need it for exactly since no one at the verizon store can tell me crap except personal tales of palm os use or blackberry wonders but not anything based in a business use environment. some say the pull email on treo is a pain in receiving all their emails on multiple accounts. others say the bb has a primitive os and a new device is needed to update the unit rather than just a 3 rd party software update. i need the camera and removable sd card and email capabilities . i also need to edit some worksheets i use to invoice change orders and estimates while on the job. i have a windows vista os on my laptop as well as nearly everyone i confer with. so any help would be greatly appreciated as i hate the pain of dissapointment with an expensive peice of tech that is non-refundable and useless as far as efficiency and expandability.

  236. Ken says:


    I was waiting for that guy, Steve, to reply to you since he was the one with the extensive worksheet experience. If you’re reading this, Steve, why don’t you give it a shot?

    Anyway, here’s my two cents, and remember, I’m not an advocate for editing spreadsheets on “smartphones”. But, if you must, then I think your best option is a Treo 700 or 750 wx, assuming your worksheet is a windows based (as in, Excel) app.

    And you haven’t really elucidated what else you want to do with your device in a “business environment” beyond the worksheets and what type of third party apps you think you needed.

    I’m not a fan of “pull” email, either. But only a server based solution to a corporate email server, like Outlook or Lotus gives you a true “push” solution. A stand-alone BB will fake it but the reality is that is goes out on a periodic basis and looks for new emails. Still beats the hell out of asking for your emails. And the BB does reasonably well with multiple email sources/platforms.

    And Palm does all right, as well. The difference, for me, is that the package is better integrated in the BB.

    There is a third party app for editing windows based documents on the BB, called e-office, which has gotten some positive notice, but I haven’t personally used it, so I can’t recommend it. And I’m also very gun shy about putting third party apps on BBs. I’m old school – I believe that a BB should have only what can be provided through the BlackBerry Enterprise Server. Maybe I’m a fossil. So be it.

    And Palm, well, same deal. You’ll need a third party app to edit Excel. And I have no personal experience with them.

    Anyway, feel free to let me know specifically what else you are trying to accomplish and then I can address it, item by item. to the best of my ability. And so can anyone else. If you have expertise in these areas – please get your opinions out there.

    And one last thing – the SD card placement on the BB sucks. It’s behind the battery.

  237. Blackberry 8700c is the obvious choice. I just traded in my iPhone for one and couldn’t have made a sounder decision

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