I was standing in the queue at the bank a few days ago when the Blackberry Tour beeped to signify that I had mail. I whipped it out and with one hand (the left), I whizzed through different menus, checking mails, and surfing webpages while on that line. All with one hand. It felt good to be able to do that again after a long time.
It was such a pleasant and convenient thing, as I recalled that had it been the N900 I had on at that time, I would have had to put my chequebook under my arm so I could free my two hands for navigating the menu of the device.
Ease of Use
Simply put: the simplicity and one-handed use that the BlackBerry provides scores a very strong point in its favour. It is so refreshing.
I had written about this imonths back in an article, Usability and Non-touchscreen Phones, and it was a contributing factor to why the QWERTY candybar Samsung B7320 beat “more capable” devices to clinch for itself the spot of my Smartphone of the Year 2009.
A trackball, trackpad or D-pad beats touch for one-handed ease of use anyday.
The marathon battery life is also amazing. Of course, both the one-handed simplicity mentioned above and this astounding battery life are attributable (perhaps in part, but significantly) to the smaller size and non-touch nature of the display.
A touchscreen display would require more processing power and consequently less battery life. A larger display would require same.
Of course, I would prefer a slightly larger display to what obtains on the Tour, though I am not sure how that will be implemented on a QWERTY candybar. With a landscape display of 2.8 inches, the Motorola CHARM looks like the kind of device that’s right up my alley. It doesn’t have a trackball, trackpad or D-pad, which is essential for one-handed use. Still, hopefully, more of such devices will be available by April next year when I go smartphone shopping again.
Having used the Tour for a week, I am left wishing for the ease of one-handed usage and the kind of battery life that it has. Actually, if I get half the Tour’s battery performance on my N900, I would be in heaven. But the one-handed usage would still not be in sight.
I have been waiting for Android-powered QWERTY candybar devices, and a few seem to be on the horizon. Perhaps then, I would have my wishes come true. Or at least in part.
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.