Best phone for e-mail - Blackberry?

My wife is looking for a cell phone which has the most usable and simple options for e-mail for her business. She wants to be able to receive e-mail and send e-mail with attatchments. The attatchments would be like a .jpg or .pdf map to her business. Does anyone know if sending attatchments is possible with a blackberry?

Are there any other phones that you would consider better than a blackberry in this regard?

I personally like Windows Mobile better than the Blackberry. I used a Blackberry for a few months and found its UI irritating and cumbersome. I got a lot of email for my job at that time, and when I had the Blackberry, I found myself not keeping up on email like I did with the WM phone. Of course, I know other people who felt exactly the opposite, so your wife’s mileage may vary. One thing that never worked right on my Blackberry that worked well on WM was synchronization between the device and the server: when I delete a message on the device, it was not always deleted on the server, and when I sent a message from the device, it was not always stored in my “sent items” folder on the server. It’s possible that this has something to do with the fact that I was getting my mail from an Exchange server; but it always worked better on WM. So I switched back.

Also, as primitive as Internet Explorer on windows mobile is, it’s still better than that godawful browser they have on the blackberry. I’d still take an iPhone over either one for web browsing, though.

Attachments were never a problem for either phone, although I’m pretty sure the WM device could handle a wider variety of attachment types (e.g. if someone sent me a Word doc or an Excel spreadsheet, I could at least open it and look at it, even if the formatting wasn’t exactly right).

I have a device that uses Windows Mobile 5 and it is more like a beta. The number of times things just plain don’t work is amazing. I don’t mean installed software features, I mean features of the OS itself. I’m told by our IT people that this is a common complaint but that WM6 is good. We shall see.

Mrs Piper had a Blackberry at work and a Windows Mobile for personnel use. Loved the Blackberry and reluctantly gave it up when she moved to a new job where instant access to e-mail wasn’t required. hated the Windows Mobile and gladly traded it in before the end of the contract, just to be rid of it.

YMMV, of course.

I really like the Blackberry for email and opening attachments. It is practically useless as a telephone, especially if you need to use it in an environment with any noise at all. Most of the time I carry a separate mobile phone.

Moving this to IMHO. Opinions, ever well-informed ones, are best gathered there.

samclem GQ moderator

I’ve got a Pearl 8100.

Sending attachments is no problem.

However, accessing any non-media (eg, not a jpg, mp3, or avi) file outside of the email context is a problem, as there’s no real file manager by default.

It leads to a weird situation: I can attach an Excel sheet or a PDF on my SD card to an email, send it to myself, and open it from there. But I can’t read the spreadsheet directly from the local storage. There is a media-manager app that lets you view photos, play songs, or watch movies. I just can’t open a stinking text file without emailing it to myself.

It’d kinda stupid. You can buy third party file managers and apps that will let you actually edit documents, but I’m loathe to pay upwards of thirty bucks for something that I’d use so infrequently.

For what it does, it’s great: phone, email, calendar, occasional quick Googling, and short memos to myself. It’s got great battery life, and it’s only slightly bigger than a Razr. However, most of the general purpose computing stuff seems like an afterthought: it’s very much a smartphone, and not so much a PDA with a phone in it.

Also, I leaned on my (business) wireless rep and got it for free, though the consumer end of his outfit is now offering for something like fifty bucks with contract. That’s hard to beat for all that it can do.

The iPhone has a great interface for email, and it’s really easy to email pictures that you’ve either taken via the camera, or saved from the browser. But I don’t know about email PDF docs…

The iPhone works well with .pdf, .jpg, and .doc files, plus some others that I haven’t tried yet. I love my iPhone, especially the self-correcting feature for entering text.

I hated my blackberry when I had it. Luckily, I was able to convince my CFO to allow me and my friends to use the iPhone. Documents were notoriously slow on my blackberry. And, I just hated the display.

I have an iPhone, and I think the email system is great. The one area where I think the Blackberry has an advantage is text entry, due to its physical keyboard. My wife is very proficient with her Blackberry, and can type much faster than I can on my iPhone. This is fine with me, as I use the iPhone mostly for reading email and sending short messages; if I have to write a long message, I usually wait until I’m back at the computer. However, if your wife will need to do a lot of text entry on the go (and if email is the main thing she’s interested in) the Blackberry might be the better choice. At the least, I’d spend some time using both keyboards before making a decision.

I love my blackberry. I’ve used windows mobile, and I hate hate hate it. I test drove it for a month, and just couldn’t stand it (it was a motorola q–verizon, probably called something else with other carriers). I haven’t used the iphone, but I’ve used the touchpad on verizon’s voyager, and hated that too. I actually like my blackberry browser as well, for the most part. Coding on the SDMB has to be done manually because javascript hates my BB, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they have that fixed in later versions. My BB is about 6 years old, and just keeps on truckin’. I swear I don’t have stock in the company, I just love my blackberry!

Thanks for the replies. Choosing a cell phone is really difficult with all the choices available. Canada really got screwed with the iphone as you can only buy it on a 3 year plan and the data rates are sky high. 3 years is an eternity in this area and we have had it with long contracts. There is new competition coming which should help bring down rates.

I found a blackberry 7130e from bell mobility for $150 on a 1 year contract. What do you guys think?

I really like the Windows Mobile 6.1 devices (significant improvement over the WM5).

Seems like you’re close to making up your mind but this might help narrow the field.

Do you want a smart phone (mainly a phone but you can also do simple email, web browsing, review docs, etc) or

Pocket PC (this is a PDA, much bigger screen, supports lots of applications, can do GPS, can actually compose emails/documents if patient, etc)

Blackberry is pretty much just a smart phone that does email

Second consideration is form factor.

  1. Do you need a phone screen or much bigger pocket PC screen?
  2. phone keyboard or qwerty
  3. physical keyboard or virtual (tap on the screen not on keys - by far my preferred option)
  4. keyboard that slides out or one that’s fixed on the front

If I didn’t miss any, all devices fit one of the above profiles. Almost every person has ONE SINGLE PREFERENCE, so make sure you try to figure that out and then select from the choices available. For example, I use the virtual keyboard and hate every damn phone that has a fixed keyboard or sliding one. I’ve spent my own money instead of using a free phone with the “wrong for me” form factor. This is for your wife, so make sure she test drives whatever one it is and that she’s got a good idea of what works for her or doesn’t. (Many people don’t know what they prefer until they buy and use the wrong one :smack: )

I can’t repeat this enough. As much as humanly possible, pick the right form factor and the rest is easy.

[I use a WM6.1 pocket pc (HTC touch) for email, calendar, contacts (all sync with my work PC), GPS, taking meeting notes, surfing the web, posting on the Dope (you can tell because I don’t use CAPS when I’m on the device). OneNote is my all time favorite Microsoft program, and it’s critical for me that I can use it on my device. So, I’ve got all my lists, recipes, reminders, etc with me all the time. The GPS has gotten me home from the ass end of nowhere in China. ]

Good luck.

China Guy’s comments match Mrs. Piper’s experiences. She wanted to do e-mail on her phone. That’s exactly what the Blackberry is for. The Windows product was a mini-computer that tried to do everything that a computer can do and was just incidentally a phone with e-mail. She liked the keyboard on the Blackberry and its simplicity; she hated the virtual keyboard on the Windows product and its complexity. (And she’s definitely not a techno-peasant.)

If you want something that does everything, albeit in a clunky fashion, the Windows product may be the way to go. But if your main interest is a phone and e-mail, that’s what Blackberry’s all about.

You’re dead-on about the one single preference statement. I, for one, can’t stand a device that doesn’t have a fixed keyboard. :slight_smile:

and this is the reason. When I write email from my device, I want to write it just like a real email, with proper punctuation and caps and special symbols and all that. Last year I was in an email thread with my boss where I was writing long emails including code samples, and at one point he said, “I’ll come over there and talk to you in person” and I said, “I’m on the bus,” to which he replied, “you wrote all that on your phone?!?” I’ve always felt like the email signature that says “Sent from my Blackberry” was a pre-emptive excuse that subtly says, “please excuse the fact that this email looks like it was composed with my thumbs… it was.”

I do too for work emails. But for the Dope, I don’t make the effort. :smack:

I have a 3G Blackberry for work and an iPhone for me. The iPhone is about 100 times better. For example, on my Blackberry, I can only zoom in to pdf documents so far until the resolution simply doesn’t get any better, making it hard to read small type. No such problem on the iPhone.

The iPhone also handles multiple email accounts much, much better.

If you’re looking for a seriously good email application, take a look at Good Mobile Messaging:

It’s hands down the best user interface of any mobile email application I’ve ever used (full disclosure: I used to work on this product).

Here’s a list of devices it supports:

The user experience even on a decent phone is way better than the user experience on a BlackBerry. It is expensive for personal use, but may be justifiable for small business use (if you choose the hosted option).