Forgive me again for the long hiatus; I realise it has been nearly two months since I last visited this shrine of mine.
Anyway, while I was away on holiday last week, the topic that seemed to be trending, in Twitter at least, was that of Research In Motion’s inevitable demise. Statistics were damning, and as the saying goes, they don’t lie.
I should be worried then; I have a Blackberry Curve 8900, a 2009 model that cannot be upgraded to the new OS7. Big deal, OS7 ain’t that great anyway, but that’s beside the point. The point is that, at a time when people are either going all Android or iPhone, I opted for the road (really) less taken. When I had the chance to buy an iPhone (the 4 no less), I went all Blackberry last year.
And don’t worry guys, I am not going loco; I actually had a grand plan. Tadaa: the new iPod Touch 4th generation! Granted, this was back in September when the new iPods, as usual, were unveiled. A slick slim exterior (which I think is uber sexy) with a camera (albeit a terrible one thank you very much Steve freaking Jobs), the Touch would be the savvy touchscreen to my Curve’s dependable QWERTY keypad. And both for the grand total of the same price as an unlocked iPhone in Malaysia.
And so far, it has worked extremely well, to say the least. The Blackberry has no “deathgrip” as far as I know, the call quality is fantabulous, and that keypad, oh that keypad. I am still amazed as how fast my fingers can type on that tiny keypad, but my friends assure me I have girl-like fingers, so that sorta explains everything. And don’t let me get started on BBM, which is just superb (though iMessage on iOS 5 bums me out). One of the main reasons I got a BB was because I can BBM my girlfriend, and wow, sharing your day with your girlfriend who sometimes is not in the same country as you is just seamless, and no, Whatsapp is not the same!
I also just switched to Gmail from my Hotmail, which makes the Blackberry experience all that more reliable. You can actually see sent messages, and the emails that show up in your inbox appear instantaneously on your Blackberry, something the delayed reaction of Hotmail unfortunately couldn’t do. And the dearth of games and awesome apps on the BB? Well, the iPod Touch takes care of that particular issue.
However, I always wonder how it would be like to have the “always-connected” feature of my BB on my iPod Touch. Imagine using Tweetbot instead of the decent if not spectacular UberSocial, being able to take a Hipstamatic photo (on arguably the best camera phone around as opposed to the mediocre Touch shooter) and tweet it to your friends on the spot; being able to launch Pulse News Mini while on a bus, and being able to identify songs on the go with Shazam or Soundhound without being tied down to a wretched WIFI signal. Amazing, awesome even.
Then the pragmatic me takes over. Imagine playing the amount of Fruit Ninja, Plants vs Zombies, and NBA Jam like I do, I ask myself, wouldn’t the battery just go in a flash? I mean, the way I play those games, along with some Real Racing and Swords & Sworcery EP, my Touch battery is always in need of a charge, and I can’t have that on my iPhone, which I would rely on for calls and texts though I might be wrong. I’ve read reviews that slam the battery life on the iPhone, which is pretty much comparable to the high-powered Android machines HTC and Samsung are churning out, and my dad (yes, even he who has no data plan owns an iPhone) needs to charge his iPhone every other day or less on just moderate use. But then again, not having to lug around two devises in your pocket is an attraction on its own as well. And yes, the iOS interface does seem more 21st century than the old school BB one, and I am almost certain my touchscreen typing skills is improving, at least that’s what I tell myself at night.
As I look upon my Blackberry, who is looking all so innocent, I can’t help but envision a monster Snapdragon-powered Gingerbread Android or a soon-to-be-out-there Windows 7 Mango phone, or God forbid, a new iPhone 5 (or 4S or whatever rumour is out there) in its place. Granted, I’ve recently been able to find a way to tether my Blackberry’s data plan (though only GPRS FML) to my iPod Touch (after hours of research and trial and error, you gotta love the freedom holidays bring), and wow, I am able to Shazam and Tweetbot anywhere anytime.
Nonetheless, for anyone looking to acquire a new phone, Android or iOS may be the way to go. The Blackberry Bold 9900 and Torch 2 look impressive, but when you compare the two yet-to-be-available flagships of the sinking RIM ship to any other smartphone in the market, the design, interface, and technology still seems a bit dated. And again, I can’t really tell cause my Curve 8900 is of course most definitely dated, and I have only played sporadically on other mobile platforms, but surely, iMessage is the last nail in the coffin of RIM (unless they do something radically new real quick)?
But if you, like me, would love the flexibility and diversity of two platforms for the price of one as well as adore playing the role of a luddite (or I prefer old soul) who prefers a physical keypad on your primary phone, this Blackberry and iPod Touch combo is not half bad. Hell, it is freaking awesome!