I like my Blackberry. I currently have a Blackberry Bold 9700, and I am happy with many things. But it is almost 2 years old and it is time to look for a replacement. And after almost 4 years of being a Blackberry user, my next phone will probably be something else.
But why? The Bold has been praised multiple times by people like Vowe. The screen is excellent. It has a real keyboard, and most people (including me) think that is the best physical keyboard on the market. Well, there are several reasons.
I have upgraded the operating system from version
6 5 to version 7 6. However, the new version is not as good as the older one. Some functions are very nice, but at the same time, it uses more memory, and I suspect it got memory leaks left and right. I constantly run out of memory when loading webpages, and I see the clock/hourglass icon way too often. It also locks up frequently, sometimes just for a few seconds, sometimes so hard I have to pull the battery. Talking about pulling the battery, Blackberry users are used to do that in a nearly daily basis, especially if you want to clear the memory. But there is an app for that.
This brings us to another big issue with Blackberry. Apps. Or rather the lack of apps. Yes, there are a number of apps in the Blackberry App World. But if you look at different websites (everything from news to specialized services), chances are that they have an app for iPhone and one for Android. But very few places have an app for Blackberry. Next time you visit a website that offers apps, see what your options are. One app I use all the time is SocialScope, previously only available for Blackberry. But now there is an Android version available as well.
Other issues with Blackberry
7 6 is that the UI looks old. There were no big changes between version 6 5 and 7 6, the icons still looks boring. In BB5 there were a number of themes one could download, and also a tool that let you customize your screen/look (if you were a graphics designer). There are themes for BB6 as well, but my favourite themes did not work after the upgrade and have not been updated.
Then we have posts like this one by Darren Duke and this one by Vowe. The question is if RIM will still be around for the next two years, if I get a new phone from them now…
So it is a combination of all this, together with a wish to get a bigger screen and better performance that makes me consider a different smartphone platform. Personally I do not like being locked in to the Apple eco system. I don't have an iPod, but a MP3 player which can be connected as any other USB device, and my files (in many formats, like mp3, flac, wmv, avi, divx and mpg) can simply be dragged over. I want that for my phone too, to have the freedom to do what I want, use the files I already have.
So my next phone will most probably be an Android. I have been looking at (and reading about) the Google Nexus, but there are a few things that I don't like with it, most of all the lack of expansion (no DS-card support). Samsung Galaxy S II Skyrocket is interesting, as is the new LG Nitro. But I want the latest version of Android, Ice Cream Sandwich, which is still not available on very many phones. So it will be very interestingto see what the lineup looks like after New Years…
Update: I had the wrong OS numbers, it has now been corrected.