I Have PHCD  

Posted by Stephen Lowe in , , , ,

Yes. I admit it. I have PHCD, a bad case of it and I’ve had it for years. For those of you that don’t know, PHCD is Phone Hardware Change Disorder. I am in the cellphone industry and I am the CIO of the company so I should have the latest and greatest right? I mean, I have to test equipment and decide if it’s right for the rest of the company and be able to provide feedback for customers as well, right? Part of PHCD is driven by the geek factor, the “need” to have the latest and greatest, but a large portion of mine is driven by never being completely satisfied with one single piece of equipment. I have at one time or another used almost every version of the Palm Treo and used a number of windows mobile devices as well as many different types of regular handsets. I have yet to find the “Holy Grail” of handsets that combine all of the hardware bits I want with real usability and non-flakiness. I have used phones that come close on the features side but generally freak out when you try to use them as a phone. If you find a really good phone device it is lacking on the cool hardware goodies side.

I have tried different formats as well and determined that a candy bar style smart phone with an exposed QWERTY style keyboard works best for me. The Treo line from palm has been my favorite over the past years in this format but palm has done a bad job of keeping up with newer technology and the Palm OS is very dated. If you have seen some of my prior posts, I recently switched from a Palm Treo 700wx running WinMo5 to a Palm Treo 755p running Palm OS. While the Palm OS phone was much more stable on a day to day basis, the integration with Exchange server via the included Versa mail app left a lot to be desired. Versa mail will not allow syncing of other folders in your mail account except for the inbox and that was driving me crazy. I’m always referring back to sent emails and organize my inbox into subfolders. After a couple of months with the device I was wearing thin on patience having to get out my laptop every time I needed something from an area other than the inbox. I ditched the 700wx because it would continually flake out and need constant rebooting to keep the phone portion of the device functioning properly. The phone on the 755p was much more usable but contact lookup was not as easy as the Windows based device.

During my 755p experiment we hired a guy that already had a Blackberry and he kept working me about getting a BES server setup. I have looked at BES in the past but the cost of the software and additional overhead on IT staff coupled with the fact that it didn’t seem to do anything better than Windows Mobile for syncing data kept it off the table. Well, this guy knew somebody at his old job that could get a cheap price on BES server and my current IT consultant told be BES was super easy to run once setup and the setup wouldn’t take him very long so here we go putting in BES. We got the new guy up and running on BES and he was happy to not be using POP anymore. I started thinking why is some sales guy using this on my network before I have? So I get on eBay and order up a new shiny Blackberry 8830 for “testing”. After a 2 week fiasco getting the blackberry service added to my plan I am finally using the device with BES.

Wow, Cool, Amazing, I’m blown away. After 4 full days with the device, that’s my comments. This is the first device I’ve had since my first Smartphone that just plain works. Every detail has been well thought out from a usability standpoint. The sub menus have everything you could need to perform day to day functions without digging around. You can create calendar events and tasks that are assigned to other users, you can spell check an email before sending, there is a search function. Wake up Palm and Microsoft, and Stephen for that matter. I can’t believe I didn’t have one of these years ago, the lost hours of productivity on the other devices that could have been saved, I’m going to cry.

Long story short – The Blackberry 8830 is the best Smartphone/PDA device I have used to date. The only thing left on the wish list for it is a camera. I give it a 9 out of 10, give it a camera and it’s a 10. Lets see how long this device can keep my PHCD happy.


Glad to hear you finally got a real phone! ;)

About Me

My name is Stephen Lowe. I'm a Christ follower, Husband, Father, Technologophile and Metalhead. This is where I dump my observations and opinions on whatever strikes me as noteworthy. Enjoy, discuss, disagree, I'm cool with whatever.

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