One of the little talked about features of the BlackBerry PlayBook is the ability to connect by Bluetooth to share your phone’s internet connection. Yes; you heard that right – any phone with the right Bluetooth profile. My HTC One X seems to have gone missing in action en-route Lagos. Okay, not exactly. But it has left HTC Repairs in the UK, was passed on to the courier about a week ago, is not yet here, but no-one seems to know exactly where it is.
Anyway, partly as a result of this delay, I have been been without a phone in the last few days (Oh, the bliss!). I got my hands on an old sweetheart, the Sony Ericsson W595 Walkman phone. How many of you remember the Walkman range from SE? Anyway, the W595 has got Bluetooth, a 3.2 MP camera, stereo speakers, and HSDPA 3.6 Mbps. This particular unit is pink. Yup; a very sweet, girlish pink. You see, I purchased it for my wife as a birthday present years ago. I get to borrow it for use just for today, as I have to be out and about and cannot risk a flat tyre, robbers, kidnappers, or – God forbid LASTMA – without a phone on me.
Anyway, I needed to get online this morning, and just thought, Why not try out this Bluetooth tethering thing? There’s a PlayBook, and there’s the pink phone with Bluetooth. In my head, the light bulb was on at full brightness.
So, I set out to pairing the two devices – one a state-of-the-art modern tablet and the other a four-year old feature phone. Pairing was a cinch, and was done in minutes. I selected “Internet Tethering” in the Settings menu of the PlayBook, selected the W595, got a warning that my network operator might bill me for using tethering, and pronto – connected. Okay, a connection was one thing, but would it actually work?
Like a boss!
It worked like a charm. Web browsing, emails, tweeting, all work. It is such a simple feature, yet I do not know of any other tablet that has Bluetooth tethering implemented. On the PlayBook, you can connect to the internet via three different channels:
- Bluetooth tethering
- Bridge via a BlackBerry smartphone
That’s some versatility there. I keep saying it: the PlayBook is one heck of a tablet, and with the new OS v2.1 that I updated it with yesterday, it has gotten even better. But more on that later.
Who would have thought that a feature phone that was released in 2008 would pack so much functionality in 2012? But then you know what I keep saying, “It isn’t about mobile technology but what you do with it”. I know more modern phones, even smartphones, that cannot do Bluetooth tethering for their life.
In the meantime, here I am carrying a pink slider phone around today. It feels odd, mehn! I suspect that the ladies will love it on me, so if any of y’all ladies see a dude talking on a pink phone today (just today!), holla at your boy. Come to think of it, don’t I have a pink shirt somewhere in my wardrobe? Lemme go see….
Founder of MobilityArena. Yomi’s journey in mobile started in 2001. Besides obsessing over mobile phones, he also started creating WAP sites (early mobile-friendly websites created with WML). He began writing about phones in 2004 and has been at it since then. He has owned over 200 devices, from Symbian, Palm, PocketPC/Windows Mobile, BlackBerry/BB10, webOS, Windows Phone, Firefox, Ubuntu Touch, to Android, iOS, and KaiOS operating systems.