Whoa, a durable smartphone?
I've had this phone for 15 months now, and I recently whacked the bejeesus out of it when I tripped in a parking garage... smashed the screen HARD on a steel pole. Amazingly, it sill works fine, the 'screen' is a polycarbonate cover that seems to sit 1/8" over the delicate LCD.
I've also dropped this thing from ear to concrete countless times, and it's fallen off the roof of my house twice. Still works fine! This also includes dropping the thing in a toilet just two weeks after I got it. I immediately removed the battery and left it over a air vent for a day and all that happened was the LCD sometimes dims out a bit.
This is one of the few phones that comes with a case that REALLY protects it too, the phone sits in the plastic sleeve with the (already durable) screen facing in. I was hesitant about this at first, but when you pick it up to see who is calling, the phone is ALREADY facing you.
I was worried about going to a Smartphone after years of phones crapping out too easily just from normal use. After the face cracked I went looking for an upgrade, but this phone has left me no reason to want to switch, RIM did a really good job.
The biggest downside was that I never did get around to installing all the wonderful things I probably could have. And after dozens of hard drops, it has gotten a bit touchy and occasionally has to reboot if I drop it. Give it 60 seconds though, and I am right back on Yahoo Messenger. I get the Blackberry "Users Lounge" emails, but it takes some time to add apps, and not all of them work right the first time.
Bootup time is impacted by how much space is filled up. I tend to log a lot of text messages, and when the memory is pretty much full, the phone gets doggy, so I just offload all the messages to a PC. They don't seem to download into a readable format, but I haven't tried too hard to figure that out.
Overall BB 8703e has been great. I use BIS on VZW.
Has the best phone section of any of the PDAs I have tried or read about. Has worked great in very fringe areas (where my e815 worked but RAZR maxx ve did not). Earpiece volume is loud enough, speakerphone could be louder. That gives the phone 4 of 5 stars hands down.
Sync with outlook great.
Push e-mail is good, but be warned that only blackberry mail is instant. Other accounts are only downloaded every 15 minutes. Would really like to be able to change that (or at least pull at will).
Build quality good. Keys solid.
If the phone section did not work so well, these would degrade the score much more.
No media player, MMS or outgoing file attachments. The longer I have the BB, the more I miss those features.
Verizon customizations have disabled the GPS in firmware
Browser is slow and could be a lot better.
People that have said the BB is bulletproof are not quite correct, mine crashes or locks up at least once a week. I do have several third-party programs that could account for that. Jivetalk, BBToday, Freerange, BBSmart, Opera Mini.
BT limited to headset and sync. No DUN or file transfer.
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The only reason I can't give this phone a 5 is because I'm coming from the EnV and in 9 years of cellular experience, that was my fave phone by far!
We test the phones out here to show customers what the pros and cons are, and show them how to work them. I have to say, this Blackberry rocks! Much better than the 8830, of which I'm not a fan.
I will also say though, that unless you are familiar with Blackberry, this is not the phone for you. I don't think that's a negative, just that it's a different setup from a standard smartphone, and you need to go into buying it aware of that.
Also, if it takes you awhile to get used to phones, do not buy this unless you are content knowing you will need to read the manual. a lot. :)
Having said all that, if you are willing to sacrifice camera and mp3, this is a GREAT smartphone.....whether you're a soccer mom or a CEO!
You'll Never Go Back!
This BlackBerry is the best. I love the style, performance, and features of this assistant. I say assistant because that's what it does...assist you. Once you own a BlackBerry they say you are "hooked and won't go back to the last word.
Syncs with PC
AMAZING with MS Outlook
Adding/removing email accts. is easy
Smaller and sleeker design
Easy to navigate
Bright color screen
Loud ringer tones
Free downloads available
...It's a BlackBerry
None so far
Blackberry vs. Treo
WOW!!! I am writing this review because I am so thoroughly impressed with this device. I love to work with new technology and I have owned several devices including the Treo. My experience with the treo wasn't bad, but with the Blackberry 8703e it has been incredible so far. I don't expect it to be any less than that based on what I've seen so far.
Very user friendly with big, bright, clear display. Download speeds are very fast(I have verizon) and seem to be much faster than Treo. Light weight compared to the Treo and doesn't feel like your wearing a brick! Blackberry enterprise syncronization is awsome!!! Anything from my corporate Outlook is automatically sync'd. Crystal clear sound in both the earpiece and speakerphone. Nice "snap" feel to the keys and the trackwheel. Enough, but not too many, settings for each application. I could go on and on!
Great except Vista notebook modem problem
Starting May we planned to travel and stay with relatives and use the blackberry as a modem on our new notebook computer that has Vista as an operating system. On 4-17-07 I called Paul at the store to sign up for the $15 per month extra to use the 8703as a modem and tried to download the access disk that came with our blackberry!
On 4-18 Marlene and I drove to the store for technician help and at the store they called a phone number for technical help. I told over the phone a Verizon technician that my notebook had a Vista operating system. She had me try to load the disk again and then referred me to technician Russel Gilbert who promptly told me that the Blackberry would not work as a modem with the Vista operating system at this time. Mr. Gilbert sent me an e-mail with download information spreadsheet for an access download for the Vista operating system Verizon âhopes to have ready" the end of April.
Apparently everyone in the store and the first technician I talked with on the phone didnât know the blackberry would not work as a modem at this time on the Vista operating system. This is real hard to believe that Verizon management hasnât notified everyone concerned of this hopefully temporary problem!
Because everyone at Verizon has been so nice we are not mad about this extra run around and time we spent, just concerned about upper Verizon management failing to notify everyone properly. If we or anyone needed and expected their blackberry as a Vista notebook modem immediately, this lack of information to customers could be a serious problem!
Thanks again for the excellent courteous service at the Verizon store!
This is the best phone I have ever used.
I have owned almost every PDA/Phone out there at one point or another. This phone is by far the best phone I have ever used. I switched from the Moto Q which was an OK device but nothing like this. I forgot how nice the BB software is. One minor issue no support for wav file playback of email attachments.
Outgoing audio not so great
My girlfriend has gone through 2 of these Blackberry's so far, due to the terrible outgoing audio quality. Every time she's on the phone I hear her say at least once or twice "Can you hear me now? I hate this phone!". This happens with a full signal quality.
While it's a great phone to have if you need to be perpetually connected to your office e-mail, it's terrible for actually having conversations. While she's speaking, her voice fades away to nothing. It literally sounds like she's slowly pulling the phone away from her face as she's speaking. There's no break-up or static, it's just the volume.
It's hard to believe we've gotten 2 defective phones in a row, which is why I'm writing this review as a warning.
She has also used it as a "modem" on her laptop, using the USB cable, and it's definitely not high-speed bandwidth. More like a 28.8 baud modem.
Instant e-mail receipt (as long as your company runs a Blackberry server)
Terrible audio (outgoing) quality
Web Browser is definitely not running at high-bandwidth speed
man this is awesome!!
i never used BB before in my life.
this phone is my first BB device and oh my god!!
this phone is kick AS*~
here are my pros and cons
great great reception
very easy to use "fool proof" access
very loud and clear speaker phone
nice keyboard for small/medium size hand
VERY SOLID OPERATING SYSTEM
fast battery charge and long life
easy to setup with a computer
no camera-it could be better
size - little bit wider but much lighter
thumb wheel- it could be painful when you in
vibration - it could be stronger but it isnt
keyboard - as i said it is only useful for
those of who has small/medium
VZW service - yes it is pricey but you get
what you pay for. 45 bucks?
my first bb impression is just amazing.
i would recommend very strongly for small business owners or students who need to
follow their schedule.
if you are sick and tired of palm treo/ moto Q' unreliable performances and lagging then
you must try this out. you will love it!!
After having 3 q's, which were the bane of my existence, finally someone at Verizon took pity on me and granted my request for the BB PEARL. Unfortunately, it's only available thru TMobile and I rec'd the 8703e instead.... not what I'd expected, but alas, FAR FAR superior to the Q. Fair warning: the Q will seduce you -- it looks GREAT on paper, but simply too many bugs - you can not depend on it.
So, here's my beef about the 8703e:
no memory card expansion slot (WHY??)
no music player (why?)
no voice recognition
no voice memo feature
no GSM (vs. PEARL)
no predictive text entry
and lastly, it's too WIDE for smaller hands: it's almost exactly as wide as the Q, at 2.7" (PEARL is 2.0")