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Blackberry 8700g Review

Highs

  • Stylish design; excellent UI; EDGE connectivity; bright LCD display

Rating

Our Score 8.5
User Score 7

Lows

  • Keyboard is wobbly at first; SIM contacts must be manually moved over
The EGDE connectivity, included IM client, improved web browser, and new buttons make this device a smash hit.

Summary

People in a high-demand workplace need to constantly keep updated on information. Whether it’s checking e-mail, making phone calls, or viewing stock prices, most people you encounter will all be using the same tool: the Blackberry. T-Mobile’s Blackberry 8700g is the best Blackberry to date. Its combination of sophisticated styling, excellent navigation, and high-powered applications make it a must-have for communication on the go. You’ll definitely want to read on to find out why every power user in today’s workforce needs a Blackberry 8700g.

Features and Design

 

Cell phone and Blackberry users who are picky about what devices they’re seen with will jump for joy when opening up the box to their new toy. The 8700g is the most stylish Blackberry ever designed. Unlike the 8700c for Cingular, this device does not have the flat gray paint job that looks like it missed the design department. Instead you get a stunning midnight blue/black case with a metal trim and black keypad. Many will agree it looks better than any Treo or Blackberry device on the market today. You can scoop it up for $299.99 after rebates, so it’s also a “low-priced” device as far as handhelds go.

The most significant changes to the Blackberry 8700g, aside from the paint job, are the dedicated “Place Call” and “End Call” buttons on the front. Users will need a little time to get used to this new feature, but will find it works better and more efficiently than using the scroll wheel to control phone calls. There is also a speakerphone on the 8700g. It has a 1950s type of style and is located on the back of the handset. The power button is located on the top of the 8700g so you can easily power off if needed. Each side also has a dedicated button for your multi-tasking needs. A USB port for syncing and charging is located on the left side of the device.

Rather than sticking with the 7150-style of the Blackberry, the makers of the 8700g made it an updated version of the Blackberry 7290. The full QWERTY keypad is a welcome feature that is stylish and easily usable. One problem, however, is that the keypad moves around a bit during use; it’s hardly noticeable after a few weeks though, and most users won’t have a problem with it since it feels better than the rigid keypad of the 7290. On the top of the Blackberry, you’ll also find a notification LED to alert you of missed messages, calls, etc. and a mute button so you can turn off your microphone during a call. Very handy at times where you don’t want background noise to interfere with your call.

A lot has also changed on the inside of the Blackberry 8700g. Users will enjoy the speed of T-Mobile’s EDGE network, which greatly improves web browsing speed, IM connectivity, and data transfers. The use of an Intel Xscale processor also keeps applications from lagging, a problem that was very apparent on the 7290 model of the Blackberry. Your battery gets up to 16 days of standby time, but only 4 hours of talk time, so make sure you have a USB port handy (at the very least) if you’re chatting up a storm all day. Gone is the brightness button on this Blackberry, because a beautiful, backlit, 65k-color LCD is what you’ll be doing your work on. This screen is gorgeous and is the best display on a Blackberry to date. The phone also has 64 MB of flash memory and 16 MB of SDRAM.

Blackbeery 8700g
Image Courtesy of RIM

Setup and Use

 

Setting up the 7800g is no different than most other models of the Blackberry product line. You’ll need to add the Blackberry option to your T-Mobile account to fully take advantage of the web browsing, IM, and BES (Blackberry Enterprise Server/Push E-mail) features that are offered. Once you’re set up and good to go, you can start enjoying all those great features one at a time. The applications found on the 8700g are improved and faster than their old counterparts. Blackberry Messenger finally doesn’t lag after a few paragraphs of typing thanks to the new Xscale processor, and Brickbreaker is more responsive for when you’re goofing off in the office.

Google also has bundled two excellent applications for use on the 8700g that turn this device into a lifesaver at times: Google Talk and Google Local (the latter being more important). Google Local for the Blackberry is just as good as the one found at Google.com. It is a fast, easy-to-use application that allows you to get directions, find restaurants, and a lot more using your Blackberry. You can view in both “Map” and “Satellite” modes and can zoom in to street level. You’ll find Google Local can help you out when you need a bite to eat in a place you’re not familiar with. Google Local is a must-have application for those with the 8700 series of Blackberries.

Blackberry 8700gCall quality has also vastly improved on the 8700g for T-Mobile. You’ll find calls are much clearer than on previous models, and the addition of the speakerphone is wonderful. It’s a loud, powerful speaker that has little distortion and lots of quality. The dedicated “Place Call” and “End Call” buttons make this Blackberry feel like more of a phone than just a device that is capable of making phone calls. You’ll need to copy your SIM card to the 8700g to avoid going through a plethora of menus every time you want to access your address book, so make sure you do that immediately after purchasing this device.

If you’re bored at a train station, work, or a friend’s house, be glad to know that the 8700g has a great web browser. Pages load extra fast on the EDGE network that T-Mobile has and the quality of images is fabulous. You can quickly check your e-mail or the news if you’re in a pinch for time. T-Mobile has also included an IM client made by OZ. You can choose from AOL Instant Messenger, ICQ, MSN, or Yahoo!. Finally, you don’t have to fish out tons of cash for a third-party IM client like Verichat that only gives you mediocre performance; this is a true IM client with a wonderful interface that will suit your IM needs perfectly.

Performance

 

Everything flies when using the Blackberry 8700g. During our testing we did not experience any lock-ups and very few lagg incidents. It seems like you almost have to try putting effort into making this device crash or malfunction. Speed has greatly improved over the Blackberry 7150 and 7290 offerings from T-Mobile. Users who have stuck it out praying for a phone or device that would make T-Mobile a carrier worth staying with are finally in luck. The 8700g is the perfect blend of styling and power in a small, easy-to-use device.

Compared to other devices like the Treo 700, the Blackberry is designed for business users in mind. The Treo can doBlackberry 8700g things such as play back video and can use Windows Mobile applications, but it’s not as streamlined as the 8700g. The 8700g not only looks better, it’s more focused and feels like it wasn’t rushed with design. The OS also is easier to navigate and though it has less games, applications, etc. available for it, it is still a winner that many will love immediately upon using it.

Never before has a Blackberry been made that has risen to the occasion of evolving technology. The inclusion of EDGE makes the 8700g a top performer as far as data connectivity and speed go. Users will also enjoy the updated OS, IM client, and improved performance found in the 8700g. No longer will you need to worry about sudden rebooting and other problems that plagued devices like the 7290. Everything seems to have been fixed and everyone’s wishes answered with this device. Cingular users should try out the 8700g before buying the 8700,c because they might like this device so much they’ll pay to have it unlocked. It’s that good.

Conclusion

 

Aside from a wobbly keypad and a few other minor inconveniences like having to copy your contacts over from your SIM card, this is a flawless device. Business and personal users will enjoy the new and improved performance that comes with the Blackberry 8700g. The EGDE connectivity, included IM client, improved web browser, and new buttons make this device a smash hit. Anyone on the T-Mobile network who is a text messaging or IMing fiend should probably shell out the bucks for this handheld immediately. You won’t be disappointed with the Blackberry 8700g from T-Mobile.

Pros:

  • Stylish design
  • Excellent UI
  • Dedicated phone call buttons
  • EDGE connectivity
  • Beautiful LCD display

 

 

 

Cons:

  • Keyboard is a little wobbly at first
  • SIM contacts aren’t automatically added into address book

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