10 Things I Hate About BlackBerry Smart Phones
Those of you that follow my posts might already know how much I love BlackBerry smart phones. In fact, I prefer them over all the other platforms available. However, in the pursuit of fairness, I will share with you the 10 things I hate about using a BlackBerry. The platform is not perfect and this article is being told from a user's point of view. There's lots things I like about using a BlackBerry but there's also many things I dislike. Most of the things I dislike about this platform are minor inconveniences and they don't interfere with my experience as a whole but I find them important to mention. From time to time, I may mention competitive platforms like Android and iPhone in order to compare and use as points of reference. I am not a fanboy and while I do love using my BlackBerry, I have the presence of mind to see some of their flaws.
BlackBerry smart phone have gotten a reputation for being reliable and functional. It does the job and it does it well. However, you rarely hear about it's problems.
1. BIS Surcharge
The first thing I hate about owning a BlackBerry is paying an extra $10 a month for BIS. Most BlackBerry users on a contract will not notice this but it is there and it does add to the cost. They may transfer the cost of BIS by adding an extra $10 to your bill or the cost of your phone. They may even offset the cost by capping data. Those of you that are using a prepaid BlackBerry knows exactly what I'm talking about. Most prepaid smart phone carriers offer BlackBerry smart phones. Virgin Mobile, Boost, MetroPCS all offer BlackBerry smart phones but there is always a $10 per month surcharge for BIS. For new smart phone users, it seems like it's much more appealing to choose an Android smart phone over a BlackBerry simple due to the extra $10.
2. Web Browsing
3. Filesize Download Limit
The third thing I hate about BlackBerry is something that I discovered recently. There is a 2.3MB cap for downloaded file through the browser. This is due to BIS compressing. They limit the max download size to save bandwidth. It ticks me off. For one, I'm paying an extra $10 per month in order to get BIS and then I have a file size cap? That is annoying! I did some digging and most people suggest downloading a third part browser like Bolt and Opera Mini. Neither of which solved the problem for me. This problem cut a bit deeper because I paid for unlimited data. If I wanted to download a 500MB file, I should be able to. I paid for unlimited so I should be able to download large files.
4. Constant Rebooting After Uninstall
Adding and installing apps is easy but removing it is a pain. Every single time I uninstall an app, it tell me to reboot the phone in order to complete the removal. Every single time! In comparison, Android does not ask me to reboot the phone after I uninstall an app. Why do I have to reboot my phone on BlackBerry? This brings me to my 5th point.
5. Long Bootup
I hate the boot it. It sucks hard! It takes so long to boot up. It's like owning a Pentium 2 computer running Windows XP filled with spyware and virus(no doubt from downloading porn). It can take as long as 5 minutes to boot up. Once, I rebooted my phone, went to the bathroom, took a crap, came back and it was still booting up! It amazes me how slow this phone boots. It's not like the OS is heavy. In fact, the OS looks very basic. This is tolerable if I was removing 1 app a month but sometimes I have to uninstall an app and do it multiple times in order to get it to work. Now whenever I am uninstalling an app, I always choose “reboot later” so I can find other apps to remove so I'll only have to reboot once.
6. Not Enough Apps
No time to waste, lets move on. Apps. What apps? Where are the apps? There's no apps. Or rather, there's very little apps available for BlackBerry. The BlackBerry App World has over 15,000 apps and that number is growing each day. However, this number pales in comparison to Apple's App Store which has over 400,000 apps and Android which has over 230,000 apps. Many of the apps on the BlackBerry App World are pretty good but there's just not enough. Sometimes I find a good app but I still look in the BlackBerry App World to see if there's another option. More often than not, there isn't another option. Although there is certainly competition out there, they are few and far between.
7. Wireless OS Upgrade
I dread updating the OS. Once in a while, I will dig through the menus and find my way to Wireless Update. Seeing that there was an update available for my phone, I proceeded to update my OS for the first time. It gave some warning saying it could take some time. How long could it be? A few minutes? 10 at the most? No. It took over an hour to download and install the updated OS. That is painfully long. Not to mention after you update your OS, it has to reboot. See #5. After that experience, I've managed to update the OS another time. I don't plan to do it again unless I have a few hours free or if I really have to. It all seems rather pointless now to spend over an hour to update the OS when you don't get any of the good stuff that comes with OS6 like a better browser.
8. BBM Lockup
BlackBerry Messenger(BBM) is a great messaging platform. It's fast and reliable. It offers some great features like confirmation of delivered and received messages. Its not perfect though. Sometimes, it would lock up for no apparent reason. It's especially annoying when you click on BBM but can't open the conversation box. There were a few times when I would get messages and see the message appear but I can't open the conversation box. Why BMM? This is really annoying. There doesn't seem to be a rhyme or reason why this happens. It happens rarely but when it does, it can be really frustrating. BBM is a staple part of BlackBerry. To see it having issues is disappointing.
9. Spinning Clock/Screen Lockups
Another thing I the about my BlackBerry is the spinning clock. When you perform a task, sometimes there is a little clock animation that appears in the middle of the screen telling you to wait. Think of the old clocks on imacs. Anyway, once in a while, the phone will lock up and this little sand clock with be spinning in the middle of the screen forever. Sometimes you would get back control of you phone and other times, it will lock up the BlackBerry. This requires you to reboot the phone either with the keyboard or a battery pull. This has only happened a hand full of times but its enough for me to mention it here.
The last problem I have with BlackBerry is not with the phone, but rather the company as a whole. They often practice what many people call, “refreshes”. A refresh is releasing a phone that is the same in many ways but slightly different. This makes all new phones just a slight upgrade with nothing too revolutionary offered. An example of this is the Curve 8530 and the Curve 9330. Both phones look pretty much identical but the newer 9330 has a feux chrome outer edge and OS6. Aside from a few minor internal upgrades, it's basically the same phone but not quite. This is what many people consider a refresh. It makes me and many other consumers mad because now RIM can sell this phone as a new device while using many of the same parts as the old 8530. It's borderline dishonest. To be fair, RIM has made some dramatic updates to their BlackBerry lineup with the Torch and the Style but all Bolds, Curves, and Storms pretty much look like the same phone. Don't get me wrong, refreshes can be a good thing. As the old saying goes, “Don't fix it if it ain't broke.” The candy bar design is good and has hold true for many years but using the same parts of older phones is just cheap and cutting corners. I am however looking forward to the upcoming touch screen Bold which looks like a refresh of the Bold 9000. Another example is the Tour and the Bold 9650. Add more RAM, WiFi, and a trackpad to the Tour and you've got a Bold 9650! Same exact body.
BlackBerry smart phones are great devices but these are some of the things I cannot stand about them. Granted that many of these thing have been addressed with OS6, it makes me feel a bit cheated. OS6 isn't THAT big of an upgrade to OS5 yet here I am suffering from 2.3MB file download limits and a crappy web browser. Given all of the things I hate about BlackBerry, this Curve still remains the best phone I've ever owned. This title, of course, is flexible and subject to change. Thanks for reading. What do you hate about BlackBerry?