Treo vs. Blackberry — help me decide

I’ve been bitching about the lack of email support on my Treo 650 since arriving at Lenovo in January. I am as much of an email junkie as the next guy, but Lenovo IT doesn’t support Pylon or any of the Lotus Notes conduits on the Treo platform. What do they recommend? The Blackberry — an ugly device I hate as much as luggage with wheels and bluetooth headsets as poseur affectations for proving to the rest of the waiting lounge that one busier, more important, and more connected than the next guy.

So last week I was in Yerp with a useless Treo — a Sprint PCS phone that won’t work in the GSM markets. Faced with a two hour phone call from my London hotel room,  I could either pay the evil bandits at Le Meridien a staggering 83 Pounds per 15-minutes — a potential phone bill of nearly 700 Pounds, or do the right thing and make the call via Skype through my Lenovo X60.

I haven’t had any luck pairing my bluetooth headset with the laptop (call me a hypocrite, but there are laws that require me to drive hands free in some states) so I had to use my noise-cancelling headphones and the X60’s built in microphone to participate. The result was not only astonishingly cheap, it was effective and no one bitched about the line quality whenever I spoke through the Meetingplace bridge.

I’d use Skype all the time except the EVDO modem on the X60 also doesn’t work in Yerp (see my earlier post about electrical plug standards and incompatibilities) and I can’t reasonably leave my laptop running all the time as a cellphone alternative.

So, two things are challenging me.

1. I need a GSM phone but I have less than a year into my two-year Sprint PCS contract on the Treo and I have the entire family on the same plan. I switch to a GSM carrier like Cingular, then I will need to leave the family behind on the Sprint plan …. or, get a GSM Blackberry and only use the phone when out of country, which then leads to two mobile numbers.

2. Email. I need mobile email. The Treo is okay with my churbuck.com POP3 email but will not grab Lenovo  Notes mail. I need Notes mail at this point more than I need churbuck.com mail.

Grrr. I like the Treo. I think it is a fine little device. I don’t use it for much more than voice, a little email, and a little browsing, but the form factor is familiar and I am a cheapskate who doesn’t want to get boned by Sprint for dropping their service a year early.

To map the decision tree:

A. I need GSM. My options are:

1. Get a GSM phone from Cingular for overseas use

2. Keep the Treo for domestic use.

3. Give the Treo to my wife (who doesn’t like it) and leave her and the family on Sprint while I go to Cingular.

B. I need Lotus Notes on the go and overseas

1. That means I need a Cingular Blackberry (unless anyone can advise me as to whether or not Blackberry is CDMA/GSM agnostic).

2. Adding a Sprint Blackberry to my plan will get me email, but only in the U.S.

Help.

Author: David Churbuck

Cape Codder with an itch to write

0 thoughts on “Treo vs. Blackberry — help me decide”

  1. David… I’ve been using the blackberry for over a year now, it’s great… all though, you can’t view jpegs & viewing most office files on it sucks. I have two phones/two #s, since I don’t want to carry the blackberry everywhere. I setup the blackberry with the Cingular plan of minutes/unlimited data service. My second phone, I added on for $10/month…uses the minutes in my blackberry plan. I use call forwarding when I’m not using one of the phones…since Cingular now does Cing-to-Cing calling, the forwarding doesn’t waste my minutes.

    my suggestion…go with the blackberry & use the solution I use, with a slight modification…. add your Sprint # on for ~$10/month to your family plan…cancel the data plan, etc… on it. Though, the call forwarding may eat up your sprint minutes, check into that.

    I can also show you how to get sametime on the blackberry, if you really want to stay connected.

    I haven’t used the berry outside of the US (other than Canada), but going to give it a shot when I head over to Beijing (not sure it will work)… next week or the week after.

    sorry for the long comment, hope it helps

  2. Dave,

    Not sure how I happened upon Churbuck.com – guess it was my own searching for some info on the Blackberry and Lenovo’s plan which I’m happy to share with you.

    Here’s the intranet link to more info http://w3-03.ibm.com/tools/it/ittools.nsf/main/whc_blackberry

    I think I’m going to go for the 8700G which is T-mobile’s offering and will give us the International phone service we need. They offer free tethering which is great and their prices are way less than Cingular. If you go to Letstalk.com you can pick one up free with a new service plan and you can up to a family plan when you get out of Sprint or take the cancellation hit.

    Now – how ’bout that e-mail strategy we need?

    sb

  3. Question: I have Verizon’s North American Plan (Canada, USA, Mexico coverage) and am looking at Treo vs. Blackberry vs ??? I am retired, want Phone, Camera, e mail access, and storage of contacts-addresses, tel numbers, etc. Which device is best for me?? Thanks….”Fish”

  4. i really think that you should go with the treo. It is great in all the important places. From the 650 up the screens are fantastic. Also the programs it comes with are hard to beat. Ive been using a 650 for about 8 months now and love it

  5. I have had my Treo 680 for almost a month. When I first got it, I had to do hard resets 4 times to get it to work. Now the ringer will not work and when I try to bring it up it takes 5-8 seconds for anything to happen. Plus the fact that now it will no longer sync with my notebook.
    I am taking it back for a new one tomorrow through AT&T. It will be interesting to see if the new one is any better.

  6. I have used my Tre 700W for about a year now. It used to work great however it will no longer snyc with my notebook. The ringer works occassionaly, and I have to do a hard reset several times a week. It has now begun to dial numbers at random with out even being in the same room as it. Trying to decide to get another Treo or try a blackberry