Sprint BlackBerry Curve

Date July 18, 2008

Got a new phone this week, and I’ve had some ups and downs with it that I will chronicle here. I’ve been truly trying to find the perfect smartphone for me, and I’ve come close in the last year or so. For example, I had a Sprint 8700 that I thought was pretty cool, since it was my first full QWERTY smartphone. A colleague had the same phone, so we were able to do some fun stuff with it, like tethering. That phone lasted over a year, but I had some problems. It broke and was replaced a few times (ALWAYS get the service plan on Smartphones!). Well, eventually I took it to Sprint and they told me they didn’t carry it anymore and offered me a Treo 700WX. I was intrigued by Treo and ready for a change.

I took the Treo home and thought I would hate they keyboard, but I got use to it surprisingly quick. The phone was a little clunky, but it was smaller than my old phone. The touch screen was smaller, too. The phone was fine. Nothing to write home about and it was solid. I did have a few problems here and there. For example one screen blew totally, and another time the plastic casing around the 2.5mm ear phone jack snapped off. The worse problem was when the speaker in the earpiece blew, and then on the next one, they keyboard started sticking. This was time to move on.

The wife was always complaining about my Google calendars and phone not syncing, and I wanted more control over my online mobile presence. Given my track record of replaced Treos, I figured I could make a pretty good argument for a new BlackBerry. Originally I thought the World Edition was pretty cool, but there was no video or camera, and I really only leave the USA once a year, if that. So next up was the Curve, which was smaller and sleeker. To be blunt, it was pretty damn sexy. Kinda like Tawny Kitaen on Coverdale’s car back in ’87.

Problem was Sprint didn’t have any. They promised me deal after deal, but I had to wait. Finally I got a $100 refund on my plan and $100 off the base price of the phone. So pretty much they paid me $20.00 to take the phone home. Finally by mid July, I was annoyed. The iPhone 3G was coming out, Sprint’s Insight had already dropped and sucked goat eggs, and I had my sticky key Treo. I wanted TwitPics! I wanted Google Mobile! I wanted the opalescent trackball that reminded me of old deodorant sticks! Then my day came.

I called the Retention Department, and, boys and girls at home, be wary of this next step. Tell ’em you’re outta contract and you’re leaving. They listen up quickly then.

They promised my phone would ship that day through UPS, and it would take 3-5 business days to arrive on my door step. No one in any Sprint store had any idea this phone was back in stock, so I couldn’t just walk in and pick it up.

Six days later a box sat on my door step. It was here. Wow. I took it inside and just sat the box on the table, looking at it. I took a photo. Not of the phone, mind you. Of the cardboard box. I then cut open the box and took more pictures to commemorate the experience. I eventually got to the cool looking Sprint box, opened it safely, and found the phone. It is a greyish green and very pretty. As soon as I loaded the battery, it booted. I hadn’t activated it yet, but I was still too busy drooling.

Later, after it was charged, I called to activate it. They quickly activated it, told me the data and Internet would be on in four hours, and to have a nice evening. Playing with my Curve last night was like playing with my MacBook Pro for the first time. I had no idea what the hell I was doing.

I rolled it, I tried to push the screen (no touch screen, which bothered me for a whole two minutes), and I just tried to figure it all out. At one point I’d looked at the Motorola Q but hated the browser because you had to click through every link on the page to get where you wanted to be. This browser is more like a computer with a cursor and mouse. I still wish it had flash built it so I could enjoy videos (e.g., YouTube, Google Video, etc…).

My friend and colleague offered me a list of “Must Haves” that included installing PocketMac for syncing to my computer and Twitter Berry for mobile tweeting on the phone. I added a few of my own to the mix and was ready to roll.

Morning came and I went to get online. I couldn’t find the Browser. I also couldn’t find any File Manager where I could search for the Browser. I was annoyed so I called Sprint. The woman the night before had not initialized my data plan! This took mere minutes, and we were off. I began by setting up my Gmail through the BB app. Now this was a mistake because immediately all my filtered mail came through non-filtered. All my list servs (100+ emails a day) came rolling into my inbox. I immediately tried to stop it, but I couldn’t. I called Sprint back and it turned out I typed an “m” where I meant to type an “n”, so I wasn’t able to get back into the account. They did it for me. The emails stopped.

I immediately moved onto to Mobile Gmail, which was perfect because it maintained my filters, and everything. Love it! I also installed Google Sync for my calendars. I was told I could only sync my default calendar, but there was the option to pick any and all of them! Woohoo. I synced the calendars, and only ran into one small glitch when it duplicated everything! Fortunately, I only had 8 events; I just deleted the extras and moved on to getting rid of the nasty sig file. I didn’t want to preach that I was sending business emails from elsewhere than work, so why would I want to tell everyone I just sent an email from my BlackBerry? And with “Sprint Speed” no less. Nope. I called Sprint again. The nice lady told me immediately how to log into my webmail (who knew I had that!) and delete my signature file all together.

As the night wore on, I installed TwitterBerry, configured TwitPic, downloaded both Facebook and Flickr, and played a little with the built in GPS (?!) and News.

I finally got around to syncing it with Pocket Mac, and I immediately got an error. The computer said I could not connect to the Curve. I immediately copied the error into Google, as I do everything. After a nanosecond I was on the CrackBerry website (you know, it’s been a day only and my Curve’s already got me blogging a book at 12:01AM). I followed the directions the nice man left in a post, and Nada. So now my work wasn’t done, my dishes are crusty, the kid’s still away, and I am tired. I will call Sprint tomorrow (again) to complain about the PocketMac error and hope they can figure it out. But for now, me and the BlackBerry Curve are off to lala land.