I just recently changed jobs, and my new company has issued me an iPhone 3GS.
So that being said, I thought a comparison between this device and my old BlackBerry Storm is in order.
I’ve only had my iPhone for 5 days, so I will follow up this article in a week or so with part deux.
I have always had a Verizon cellphone (Smartphone or not) for years, so the thought of switching carriers did cause a bit of concern. I heard multiple people say the AT&T coverage in my area (Pittsburgh) was not that great in comparison to Verizon’s. Generally a few dropped calls would be okay, and even understandable, however since this is primarily used for business I need to have a reliable network. I don’t believe in the TV commercials for AT&T or Verizon, as they are playing the marketing game, and really only the individual using the phone can correctly assess the coverage. As of now (5 days) using the phone, I have yet to see any situation that makes me believe Verizon is a better network.
To test the AT&T commercial, I created a phone conference with two other phones. Once I had the phone conference going I began surfing the web and perhaps because of the network and the beauty of Apple everything just worked. I could not make a phone call and browse the web on my BlackBerry. I do not know how often I’d use this, but its fantastic knowing that I can.
The first account I configured on this device was my Microsoft Exchange account from work. Prior to the iPhone I was using multiple BlackBerry devices (VZW WE 8830, and the BlackBerry Storm), so I was used to getting my email very fast. So far I have not noticed a delay in the delivery of my email. Typically my phone has notified me of a new message either 1 – 2 seconds after my computer received the message, no major delays. The calendar and contact synchronization has also been fast. I have not seen a major delay yet in comparison to the BlackBerry platform.
I have now moved from using Gmail to MobileMe. I have been using Gmail since the early days, when the initial invites had been in small numbers. I knew what to expect from Gmail so once more, I was leery of the switch. I tried using MobileMe a few months back on the 60-day trial, and noticed that the web interface was slow, and my contacts would randomly delete themselves, so I cancelled my trail. My thought was even though the web interface was beautiful, I need reliability.
Since getting the iPhone I figured, lets give it another chance to fully take advantage of the push technology. I am not sure if Apple has changed their servers, or made an update but now my web interface is extremely fast. Had the experience been this fast during my trial I probably would not have cancelled it. The push for email is extremely fast, and I believe it works faster than my exchange account. The updating of contacts and calendar is actually faster than Exchange. I can move items in my web interface or on the phone, and almost in real time I see the update. Exchange takes a little bit longer (10-20 seconds). This is actually much faster than the BlackBerry platform again. I am actually loving the performance of MobileMe over Exchange and even the BlackBerry platform.
Ease of Use:
I have to admit using this phone is truly a dream. Typing on the iPhone’s keyboard is a better experience than that of the Storm. In a previous post, I mentioned how one had to touch, then physically click on the screen to input a character. This is not the case with the iPhone. I am actually finding it faster to type email and SMS messages via the iPhone. I have yet to try the landscape keyboard because I am so impressed with the portrait keyboard. On the storm I was constantly producing spelling errors, due to the “SurePress” keyboard. The phone would “think” I wanted to type one word when really I meant another. This led to some embarrassing emails to executives as the overall grammar of the email made no sense.
I’ve been charging my battery daily, but I believe the reason it is getting low is due to my constantly playing with the device. Once the novelty slows down from having the iPhone I will be able to truly give both devices a fair comparison. I do not want to give a opinion on the iPhone’s battery quite yet.
I have been downloading applications like crazy this week, and the App Store has a far better selection than what I could find for my BlackBerry. There are many applications I have found so far that will allow me to be more productive and aware of my servers at work while I am out of the office. This is one of the reasons our company is actually removing all BlackBerries from our environment and moving to the iPhone. I plan on following up to this post in a week or two once I have really tested the phone in more detail. As I said both phones have been on the market for quite some time, however I thought it would be nice to share my thoughts on moving from a popular platform (BlackBerry) to the iPhone.