I was banging away happily this afternoon on the hardware QWERTY of the entry-level BlackBerry Curve 9320 that I am currently reviewing. The 9320 had barely left my hand all morning and afternoon.
I had just administered my little girl’s drugs to her (she stubbed her toe, got wounded, had to get it dressed and was given a set of prescribed drugs to take) and had picked up the BlackBerry again when my eyes caught the elegant looking 4.7-inch HTC One X lying on the bed beside me. Poor thing! I hadn’t touched it in several hours. The battery was still almost full.
Looking back, that has been the story of almost any device that happens to be unlucky enough to be with me whenever I have a BlackBerry available (oh, with the exception of the full touchscreen 9380, of course). The other device mostly just sits there doing nothing.
The HTC One X is a top dog, one of the handful of quad-core processor phones out there, and yet it takes a back seat to the lowly entry-level BlackBerry Curve 9320 – 806MHz processor and a tiny 2.44-inch display.
Ladies and gentlemen, the defining factor for me is productivity. I am a writer first and foremost. Churning out articles for Mobility blog and other media that I write for, responding to emails, tweeting, or doing instant messaging, the excellent hardware keyboard on the BlackBerry devices makes writing a breeze for me.
To be sure, the Curve 9320 is an efficient baby. For the most part, it works smoothly. There are the occasional stutters, but that’s forgivable on any device running an 800 Mhz processor and costing this little. The odd pauses here and there are forgivable. Totally.
You should see how my wife, kids and other members of the Mobility team watch in amazement when I do what I do on these keyboards.
Thank God for touchscreen technology and the amazing possibilities that they bring. But, oh dear God of heaven and earth, bless the man who first thought of putting a hardware QWERTY keyboard on mobiles. Thank you for the QWERTY keyboard!
Apps may be what makes productivity possible for others. I can deal with that. But Mister Mo must absolutely have a freakin’ QWERTY keyboard to be fully efficient on a mobile device.
I have my essential apps here – WordPress, DropBox, Twitter, WhatsApp, Gtalk and Yahoo Messenger. The built-in Office Suite is top-notch too, both for viewing and editing.
While the display is small, whenever I need to view a webpage that’s not mobile-optimised, BlackBerry Bridge is there to beam it to the 7″ display of the PlayBook. Awesome.
All the multi-core processing power, huge RAM, large displays and a gazillion apps are meaningless and mostly useless to me without a hardware QWERTY keyboard. In the Mo Universe, a lowly smartphone with an excellent keyboard will always outgun and outdo a much more powerful device without one.
Sigh. That’s why the One X is more of a status statement for me right now, while the Curve 9320 gets 95% of my work done. That’s saying something for the little guy.