Wednesday, March 25, 2009

T-Mobile Blackberry Curve 8900. Short review.

I upgraded to T-Mobile Blackberry Curve 8900 2 weeks ago and got it last week on Monday. I was so excited to try new platform. Blackberry looks like solid platform (except Storm obviously), so I decided to give it a try. Phone looks great and feels great but even screen is high resolution is still small, and keys.. I don't really have a use for full QWERTY keyboard. I popped in SIM-card and enabled WI-FI and connected to my wireless router, phone almost instantly got UMA service. Test call sounded good, I couldn't tell difference from GSM. Next I opened Web Browser and that is where fun begun! Browser kept popping error "Unable to connect. Please try again later". I verified settings on router (Belkin, 64-bit WEP), tried to reregister phone with router... no success. So I googled for similar issue - no success. Basically I spent 3 hours on Monday night trying to get this phone to do very basic function: browse internet. Next day I gave up and called T-Mobile support. I spent TWO hours on the phone with T-Mobile "PDA support specialist" trying to get Web Browser working. We tried to register with Blackberry server (not sure why, I did not sighn up for any Blackberry service), enable/disable WI-FI, reregister phone on T-Mobile network, pull out the battery... No luck, phone can make call over WI-FI/UMA with GSM disabled but Web Browser still doesn't work. Finally T-Mobile rep gave up and transferred to Blackberry support. BB support rep went over same setting I already verified with T-Mobile rep and then we went to WI-FI diagnostics. In diagnostics Blackberry 8900 did not show up IP address, instead. That was good news for BB rep, so he declared that it's not phone issue but my router. Even my router showed BB 8900 phone in DHCP table, the only answer I could get from BB rep is that problem with my router and they don't provide support for routers and there is nothing he can do. I requested supervisor, but he wasn't much help either, he just repeated what his "highly qualified" support rep told me. After I insisted he agreed to escalate and transfered me "Device analyst". "Device analyst" requested make and model and Firmware version for my router and after he got this info responded that there is nothing he can do because Blackberry does not provide support routers. The fact that phone was successfully making VoIP/UMA calls over WI-FI through my router with GSM disabled wasn't convincing for him. He even told me that voice is different and might work since it's not data! but my router blocks data but allows voice pass through. I was astonished to hear such BS from "Analyst". I hung up. After spending an hour with BB support I can assure you - they are useless!
Next day I decide to try to connect to different router (Linksys) without any security, still no luck. Then I googled specific message phone was showing in diagnostics: and found post from guy who had same issue and he had solution. "setting the "Data Services" to ON under the Mobile Network Options." O miracle! after I enabled "Data services" I was able to browse internet from my BB 8900!
But happiness didn't last long, miniscule screen makes browsing experience painful literally, my eyes hurt after 10 minutes of browsing. Also limits that Blackberry and T-Mobile put on apps aren't helping either. Phone has GPS, Bblackberry maps installed, but there is no way to access Blackberry Maps (looks like you need Blackberry account to use such service). I tried to reinstall Blackberry Maps from Blackberry web-site but got error that OS version is not supported. I installed Google Maps but it wouldn't launch giving me some error code. Everybody is talking about restrictions Apple puts on iPhone, but Blackberry even worse. I have bunch of apps running on my iPhone (plus I use it on T-Mobile network) but I was unable to get anything working on Blackberry. I guess I if I spend more time I could get something to work, but considering very small screen it doesn't make sence, I am too young to wear glasses avery time I want to do something on Blackberry Curve 8900. I would stick with iPhone and its usable screen and Blackberry is going to eBay, unlocked...

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