After having my Blackberry for close a year, I’ve decided to switch to a Samsung… Samsung Note II to be exact.
After changing from Blackberry to Samsung Note II, I’ve had only one regret….why I never done it earlier. Or why didn’t I buy an Android phone in the first place?
But the switch came because the SIM card holder on my Blackberry Torch was broken. When I sent my Blackberry for repair, life was quite peaceful without fiddling with the phone all the time. But when the bad news came that the broken SIM holder is not part of the phone’s 18 months warranty and that if I want it fixed I would need to pay about RM400- I’ve decided it’s either time to:
- cancel my data plan and live without a Smartphone, or
- buy a new Smartphone and maintain my data plan
In the end, I’ve decided to buy a Samsung Note II, one of the most expensive phone there- because after spending more than a day reading through forums, articles and watching YouTube videos- deciding between a tablet and a Smartphone, SIII vs Note. I find the Note II is worth investing. Many who had both the Samsung SIII and Note II said that the Note II better- that once you had it you cannot put it down.
I want to share with you a difference between a Blackberry and any Samsung phone that cost that amount. And why for your money’s worth, it is more worthwhile to invest in a Samsung than a Blackberry. I’ve spend RM1450 plus about almost 12 months worth if BIS plan- and I hope you learn from my lesson.
a. The BIS plan- do you really need it?
If you use a Blackberry, you cannot have the following without paying extra for the BIS plan in additional to your data plan:
- push emails (means having emails automatically downloaded and delivered to you
- BBM (Blackberry messenger service)
…and whatever widgets that you download from the Aps world. Without BIS, the phone is nothing more than a device that you can use to receive/make calls, send sms. And use some tools like calculator, memo, etc. Or do recording, take photos and videos. Unless for Wifi enabled BB- you can still surf the net with the phone but if you want to send email, you need to login via the email browser.
Really, you can call me a stingy person- but I calculated that I could get another Smartphone with the 5 years BIS plan that I had to pay.
For Samsung Adroid phone, the push emails, Facebook and whatever widgets can operate without a data plan- all you need is wifi. When I am out and about, I will use the data, when I am at home, I switch off the data plan and use wifi.
2. The apps….. oh the apps
It’s a difference between the sky and the earth. When I had the Blackberry, I repeatedly consoled myself that ‘it’s okay, I am not an Aps person. So I don’t need Android or iPhone’. I really did.
But sadly, the apps featured in Blackberry apps world really sucks…. sucks big time. Very limited choices. Many BB users left comments in the aps download where they allowed for the app review- but after so long still no improvement. It’s really sad.
You’ll never know what you’ve missed till you see the mind boggling infinite apps that you can download from the Google Play. Even for a non application crazy person like me, I’ve find pleasant surprises on quirky aps that enhances my life:
- a time, date and month display in numbers, time and month… all written in Thai - it helps me to learn up the Thai numbers quickly
- the Thai phasebooks, dictionaries for free
- various photo editors
And…if you are a blogger like me who is Google’s loyal supporter, you would be grateful for the mobile versions of Google Analytics and Google Adsense.
Why have I not thought about this before? Android operates under Google- so of course the related Google application aps would be so much better. I feel like knocking my head against the wall.
Yes, BB have them too but the versions I’ve downloaded into my BB were not user friendly. My device used to hang when using it and updates were not being refreshed. The performance graph was not displayed.
3. You’ll get used to a touchscreen eventually.
Yes, the qwerty keypad is easier and faster to type on with less typing errors. Perhaps the keypad in my Torch was a bit too small so I did not really miss it that bad. My friend let me played around with her Note II and it was then I realised that ‘hey, I can type with fingers from both hands using NoteII as opposed to using thumb with the physical qwerty keypad.
The night before I bought my Note II, I stayed up testing on the virtual keypad on my Torch…. hmmm…. it’s not that bad, I can still type on the virtual keypad if I place it on landscape mode.
You’ll get used to the touchscreen eventually. If it is just one thing about the Blackberry that I miss, it would be the physical keypad. Everything there is a price to pay. I just could not convince myself to pay additional RM20 per month on top of my data plan just because I want a reasonable phone with a qwerty keyboard.
Okay, I know HTC Cha Cha and Samsung Chat comes with a qwerty keypad but their camera is only about 2MP. Camera spec is very important for me. It’s a dealbreaker because I take lots of pictures when I am out and about.
4. The blinking red light- available only in Blackberry
Many loyal BB users are memerized by the red blinking light on a BB that significies new messages, email, FB notification, Whatsapps chats, etc.
Samsung does not have the red blinking light. When there is a FB update, there would be no notification prompter. I need to physically open the aps to check if there is any update.
For my situation, no blinking red light is better. It keeps me less distracted- so that I only check my phone every few hours instead of every 15 min. A lot of notification are junk mails.
5. Data security and compression- unrivalled in Blackberry
The Blackberry is also excellent in data compression- but you cannot download an aps from BB Aps World if you are on wifi. You must turn on the data plan with BIS. Whereas Samsung phone can download on Wifi. True, an Android or iPhone uses data at a much faster rate than a BB. Then perhaps you want to limit your downloading at a wifi enabled place and turn off your data plan when you don’t need to use it.
Security- Blackberry is unrivalled in their email security. That is why some countries banned Blackberries because no one can hack into the emails. Well, if the government want to hack into my email, I’m cool with it because I had nothing to hide. Most of my emails consist of spam and people trying to sell me products/supplements/ etc. Therefore, except for certain groups (like politicans and kingpins) who may require a Blackberry, ordinary commoner like me would do just fine, along with others with any aps that can deliver email.
I am really sorry that I had say all these things about Blackberry. I had wished Blackberry had improved. But it still wanted to have things done in the same old way. Many BB users are hanging on for that final BB10 release, which the launch had been repeatedly delayed. Those who cannot wait had ended buying from the competitor.
But being a user for almost a year, and now on the Note, I can see a huge difference. Here, a Blackberry Bold costs about RM1800. For about the same price, it’s better to get Samsung SIII. But if you use the keypad a lot, the forums say that the Note II’s virtual keypad is better than SIII.
You know how sometimes in life we are stuck to certain ideas or refused to move ahead? In that sense, I was like that- stubbornly sticking to a mistake and mentally hating myself for buying the Torch…. till the choice is made when my phone SIM broke.
There is no point trying to console or to justify that a Blackberry is a better phone. Sadly, it’s not.
For the same price, there is a huge difference. Everyone would not be buying iPhone or Samsung Android if they are not good. People are not buying the phones just because they supporting Apple or Samsung (even though I would always be grateful to Google).
They are buying because the phones are more value for money. Because it gives them what they want- HD, greater user experience, better camera, faster browsing, no need BIS.
My friends’ iPhones almost never hang (my Torch had hang with the checkerboard thingy). The surfing experience is superb using iPhone- which can only be matched by Samsung’s dual or quad processor. Camera’s good. For me, I bought the Samsung Note because of the screen size… not to big and not too small. Good enough for me to get simple work done – publish simple short articles, moderate comments- and I need bigger touch screen keypads.
I am not addicted to my Smartphone. It is a tool, an investment tool that I needed to get things done. Today, I wanted to read out an inspiring email comment I’ve received from a reader with someone. I switched on my netbook- it took time to start up. By just pressing a few buttons on my Note screen, the email is out before even I managed to load my IE on my netbook.