Monthly Archive for December, 2007Page 3 of 13

BlackBerry stacked up against the competition in Consumer Reports

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Consumer ReportsThere’s already been some griping about BlackBerry’s performance in Consumer Reports‘ ’08 issue, and it might be well-justified. The BlackBerry Curve landed in 7th. place, the Pearl in 12th., the 8800 in 14th., and the 8830 in 19th. out of 20 smartphones tested. Two Treos (755p and 680), T-Mobile’s Wing, the BlackJack and the Moto Q 9m beat out the BlackBerry 8300, with the iPhone topping the list.

Basically, that means everyone who matters in smartphones did better than BlackBerry. Suprisingly, the Nokia N95 (which I had heard great things about) was down in 15th. place. The biggest thing to keep in mind before launching into a CR-hating tirade is that you really have to take these things with a grain of salt. CR’s overall scores were “based mainly on voice quality, ease of use, and talk time”, which can all vary based on user, location and carrier. I haven’t used any of the other top 5, so can’t really pass judgement. Anyone have some horror stories about the leaders, and why they might not deserve top marks?

Viigo closes first round of funding

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FaviconsOur buddies at Viigo just announced that they’ve wrapped up their first round of venture capital investment, totalling $6.4 million. Ventures West led the investors, who also poured money into Plazmic back in 2001, so clearly they’ve got an eye for success in BlackBerry space. Viigo’s a great, free, BlackBerry RSS reader that hosts BlackBerry Cool to Go, and we’re pretty excited to see what new features (like the favicon support that’s on the way) that are coming from that fresh funding.

Serbia gets the Curve and the Pearl

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VIPVIP Mobile has lauched their BlackBerry service with the Vodafone’s BlackBerry 8130 and BlackBerry 8100 today, in what sounds like a vaguely MVNO-ish deal; either Vodafone’s just offering the devices and VIP has to deal with the service, or VIP is outsourcing the whole thing to Vodafone. Regardless, you can find more information on VIP’s GPS Curve and Pearl rates over here.

BlackBerry 8120 arrives on Suncom

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Suncom 8120Thought we had to wait until February for a North American Wi-Fi Pearl? Looks like we’re going to be pleasantly surprised by Suncom’s blue BlackBerry 8120, up for $219.99 on a two-year contract. These guys cover a pretty limited area (North Carolina, South Carolina, northern Georgia, parts of eastern Tennessee, southwest Virginia, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands), so if you’re outside of their coverage area, it looks like you’ll have to wait. It’s a safe bet that T-Mobile will be getting the 8120 soon, considering they own Suncom; February 18 remains the rumoured date, but if you can’t wait, maybe it’s time to plan a road trip to the Carolinas.

White paper experiments with smartphone OS comparison

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ScientistFellow Viigo partner, Jakajima, has recently published a white paper that aims to establish a system for objectively comparing smartphone OSes. “An innovative tool to benchmark Smartphone Operating Systems” puts a Nokia E61i, HTC S710, Blackberry 8800, Palm Treo 680, and a Sony Ericsson P990i device under the magnifying glass (the iPhone was released while testing was already underway, so couldn’t get in). The testing system is called the High Contrast Consumer Test, which involves getting first-time users to carry out real-world tasks in line with the smartphone’s specialties.

The testers are dubbed as “extreme”, in that they’re gunning for one particular kind of usage. By submitting smartphones to extreme users of various levels of knowledge, the HCCT is able to gage the effectiveness, efficiency and satisfaction of using each OS. This is just a pilot project to set the groundwork, so we’ll have to sit tight until the labcoats have another go with the fully polished rubric. In the meantime, check out what are supposedly the top 24 smartphone features for professional users, in order of importance…

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BlackBerry Curve comes to Guam

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GuamFollowing another recent Pacific release, the tiny U.S. territory of Guam is getting the BlackBerry 8300 from GTA TeleGuam. The Curve joins the Pearl, the 8800 and the 8700 in GTA’s BlackBerry lineup, filling out the selection nicely. Man, that is one tiny island, 209 square miles – I bet the reception great.