Recently, we posted an article about the “The BlackBerry Curve 8520 setup guide and tips and tricks”. One user responded saying:
“I’m the target audience for this post, never having used a Blackberry or any sort of smartphone, so this has all been very helpful. I’ve been really impressed with the Curve so far; despite this being unfamiliar territory for me, everything has been intuitive and easy to use.” (Head over to the article to read the full comment.)
We decided to follow up with this user and interview them about their first BlackBerry.
BlackBerry Cool: What your mobile life like before BlackBerry? What phones did you own that you liked and what has cell phone use meant to you up until now?
Matt: BlackBerry is the first smartphone I’ve used, prior to that I was using simple Nokia and Motorola phones several years old or more, so pretty much the only function I was using them for was simply as a phone. I can’t say that I particularly liked any of them more than any other because what I expected from them was so basic. Basically a cell phone for me was just that–a phone I could take around with me, and nothing more.
BBC: So I see your first impressions are that you like the productivity element of BlackBerry, how has this impacted your life?
Matt: I’m the sort of person who’s always writing to-do lists, trying to mentally organize all the things I need to do, and striving to make the most out of my time. So naturally the included PDA-style functions like the calendar and notifications are really helpful for me. Beyond that, I’ve been filling up what used to be downtime doing things like cooking or walking my dog by doing something productive on my BlackBerry–responding to emails, paying my bills, jotting down some notes, or catching up on news. I don’t usually spend much time on my computer, and when I do I often tend to avoid doing some of the things I know I should be. Now that I’m connected to my mailbox and the internet, all the time, I find I’m being way more proactive and timely when responding to emails and the like.
BBC: What made you want to get a BlackBerry?
Matt: I have some friends who are obsessed with their BlackBerrys and rave about them to anyone who will listen, so I was already curious. That combined with the reasonable price point made it a sure thing.
BBC: How did you find the setup process? What was relatively easy or difficult about it?
Matt: It was really intuitive. I never needed to glance at the manual, which was great. I get really frustrated with bad UI/software, and thankfully there’s never been a moment I’ve wanted to throw the BlackBerry at the wall. On the contrary, I’ve been consistently impressed with how fast and easy it is to get going with any app or function on the phone. The phone almost always knows what I want to do, I hit the BlackBerry button and usually the option I want is already selected for me. It’s really been a breeze, which is saying a lot when you think about how many bad, byzantine UIs/apps there are out there.
BBC: What do you think of the iPhone? What do you think the advantages of owning a BlackBerry are versus an iPhone?
Matt: Pretty much my whole family and many of my friends own iPhones, and while I appreciate the slickness of the iPhone, I’m convinced now that its appeal is largely aesthetic. No one I know really uses the iPhone for anything useful. Most of the apps I’ve seen are really gimmicky and silly–nothing I’d want to use more than once. I feel like that while I’m constantly using my BlackBerry to get things done, my friends are basically just goofing off on their iPhones. For me the BlackBerry is the winner when it comes to versatility, depth, and usefulness.
BBC: What aspects of the BlackBerry experience could be improved for you?
Matt: Although websites like yours are great resources, I’d appreciate something on the phone itself like a tip function or wizard. That is, if the phone determines I’m doing something inefficiently, I’d like to see it offer me a suggestion, or just provide a useful tip that new users might not know about so that we can get into the meat of the features even faster.
BBC: Any more overall thoughts and impressions about your first BlackBerry?
Matt: I’m just excited by the fact that I’m still only scratching the surface of things I can do with my phone. And whereas before I’d get annoyed with people distractedly conversing with me while fiddling with their BlackBerry, now I totally get it.