Blackberry vs iPhone 4s (After Two Months of Use)

People tend to optimize their next purchase based on the worst feature of their prior purchase. That is clearly why I bought a Blackberry in 2008 after experiencing a phone with terrible voice quality and numerous dropped calls.

Blackberry delivered. I experienced voice quality comparable to that of a land line during my 3.5 years of Blackberry (8320, 9700) ownership. The siren calls from iPhone and Android devices had no effect on me during this time. By nearly all accounts, iPhones were great pocket computers with lousy phones and Android devices required too much fiddling to suit my tastes.

Then the iPhone 4s came out, promising decent voice call quality, improved battery life, and a better notification system. In other words, a great pocket computer and a great communication device. I decided to switch, and I wrote about this decision here.

Now that I’ve been using an iPhone 4s for nearly 2 months, I’d like to revisit my decision. Is the iPhone 4s performing as expected? How does it compare to the Blackberry 9700 I used for 2 years? Do I have any regrets? You may find some of my answers surprising.

Blackberry vs. iPhone 4s Points Discussed in My Previous iPhone 4s Post

Price: No surprises. Thanks to a combination of AT&T’s rollover minutes, $15/month data plan (200MB), and joining my inlaws’ existing family plan at $10/month, I’m only spending $25/month + fees/taxes. I also paid $200 + tax to get the phone. Details here.

UPDATE: As of January 22, 2012, AT&T no longer offers the $15/month data plan. $20/month for 300MB is the new minimum. Current $15/month data plan subscribers are grandfathered. However, if you ever temporarily switch to a data plan with a higher monthly limit, you won’t be able to go back to the $15/month plan.

Voice Quality: In my experience, using a Blackberry 9700 or 8320 is as good as a quality land-line based phone, whether you hold it to your ear, use earbuds, or use the speaker phone. The iPhone 4s is not even close. I didn’t expect Blackberry quality, but I expected better than what I’ve experienced in the past 2 months. Most of the time my calls are pretty good, which suggests the possibility that my quality issues are related to AT&T’s inferior performance compared with other U.S. carriers. Details:

  • Call time so far: 20 hours
  • Number of calls so far: approximately 150 calls
  • Dropped calls so far: 1 (while signal was strong at my office)
  • Low voice quality calls so far: Approximately 15% to 25% of calls
  • Best quality hold-to-ear calls: Almost as good as Blackberry when not having issues
  • Best quality speaker phone calls: Acceptable quality but tinny and not loud enough for a noisy environment.
  • Best quality earbud calls: barely acceptable at best and a much higher incidence of low call quality.

My experience with earbud call quality has been poor enough to warrant further discussion. The included earbuds fall out of my ear easily and sound terrible. Luckily, my trusty Blackberry earbuds are compatible with iPhones and they stay in my ear just fine. But voice calls have been unacceptably erratic even with the Blackberry earbuds. Sometimes the calls are okay, sometimes there’s a little static on my end and sometimes the person at the other end hears distortion or echo so bad that I have to call back. Calls without earbuds are usually of higher quality than calls with earbuds. I have read that Apple is aware of software issues related to earbuds so hopefully this improves over time. UPDATE: Since April 2012 I have experienced NO MORE EARBUD ISSUES. So I’m guessing there was a software issue that got fixed with an iOS update in March or April of 2012.

I have also decided to get higher quality earbuds, so I just purchased this inexpensive yet well-reviewed model:

MEElectronics M9P In-Ear 3.5mm Headphone with Control/Talk

Based on nearly 20 hours of talk time and 150 calls over two months, my voice experience with iPhone 4s at AT&T has been decidedly inferior to the Blackberry 9700 or Blackberry 8320 phones I used for the past 3.5 years at T-mobile. However, it’s adequate, assuming the earbud software issues get resolved.

Notifications: Blackberry users love to point out that Blackberry has fully customizable notifications and a blinking LED light that is not present on iPhones. True. But for my work flow, that’s turning out not to matter, as follows:

I had my Blackberry’s flashing LED set up to indicate when I had received an e-mail or missed a voice call. Reading an e-mail within minutes of arrival doesn’t matter to me the vast majority of the time. But it matters perhaps 1-3 times per week. So if I saw the blinking LED, I’d type in my passcode, click to open my Gmail app, and quickly glance at the messages. I think that’s mildly disruptive. My wife thinks it’s far more annoying than just “mildly disruptive.”

With the iPhone 4s, there’s no flashing LED. But to check recent e-mails, I just click the home button and see e-mails on the lock screen—the title and first 70 or so characters of each message. I love this. Click and glance. That’s all.

The iPhone’s lock screen functionality is the killer feature that causes me to prefer iPhone over the Blackberry for notifications. But in every other way the Blackberry is more refined and customizable than the iPhone. For example, notifications can be customized per contact for e-mails. So when we were on the verge of buying a house, I had our agent’s e-mails forwarded to my Blackberry e-mail address which was set up with a special ring tone and vibration for only her e-mail message. That level of customization is handy, and is not yet available for iOS, though you can customize voice call and instant message sounds for individual contacts.

Blackberry also has notification profiles for different situations: normal, loud, medium, vibrate only, silent, phone calls only, all alerts off. Some people use several of these profiles frequently throughout the week, but I used normal all the time except when I chose the silent profile at events or meetings when I didn’t want to be interrupted. The iPhone has just two profiles: normal and airplane mode. Airplane mode is a bit more drastic than silent mode as it also turns off all connections, but that’s fine by me as it saves battery life. So, although Blackberries have many more profiles, I wasn’t doing more with them than I’m doing with airplane mode on the iPhone.

On the iPhone you can turn off cellular data, which effectively cuts off all forms of notifications except voice calls when outside of WiFi range. Given my 200MB per month plan, I sometimes have cellular data turned off and just turn it on for a few minutes at a time when I want to catch up on things outside of WiFi range. Given my general dislike of interruptions and distraction, I’m actually liking having the 200MB limitation in place—less temptation. Blackberry has the ability to selectively turn on/off any connection, but I never needed to given my unlimited data plan.

Yet another nice Blackberry feature is that you can set it up to go into “bedside mode” when docked. You can customize bedside mode to suit your tastes but if you’re truly using it by your bed, it’s helpful to have it turn off all forms of notification when you sleep, including the ring of a phone. The iPhone has no equivalent. To accomplish the same thing, you have to perform several manual steps (assuming you’ve already downloaded a clock app): Select airplane mode, dim the brightness, turn on a clock app, dock (and reverse when you wake up). With that many steps, I simply won’t do it. If there happens to be “an app for that” please let me know in the comments.

The iPhone 4s does have a thin ring/silent button that silences alerts and sound effects when in the red position. Though this doesn’t exactly correspond to the Blackberry concept of a profile, it is a silencing option that is roughly half way in between airplane mode and normal operation. Unfortunately, this button is hard to use in the dark as it is difficult to find and use by feel.

I personally have been trying to get in the habit of using both the ring/silent mute button and airplane mode at night to eliminate all forms of interruption.

Other Blackberry vs. iPhone Points Of Comparison

Getting Started: Big surprise–getting started with the iPhone 4s on AT&T was far more complicated than getting started with a Blackberry 9700 on T-mobile. Some of this was due to odd AT&T customer service polices related to family plans. For example, I had to give the social security number of the main account holder, my father in law, in order to activate the phone, and his credit card had to be used to buy the phone. But even aside from AT&T issues, there were many quirks such as:

  • notification center settings not being accessible until you open and close an Apple app then reboot the phone
  • having to wait 3 days before being permitted to buy AppleCare+
  • struggling with iTunes (on Windows) to get apps from my iPod touch onto the iPhone . . .

The list goes on and on and it was about a week before I felt comfortable using the phone.

Both iPhone and Blackberry phones have nice setup wizards you go through when first setting up the phone (though iPhone requires you to make complicated choices around syncing and setting up iCloud). But once past the Wizard, Blackberries are ready to use. Not so with the iPhone 4s, though maybe it will get easier over time as the kinks get worked out of iOS 5.

Battery Life: I rarely used even half the battery of a Blackberry on any given day. With the iPhone 4s, I usually have to charge mid day just to make it to dinner (update: 8 months later I discussed several good reasons why I keep my iPhone plugged in most of the time). For the iPhone 4s battery, Apple claims 8 hours of 3G talk time, 200 hours of standby time, 6 hours of 3G Internet time, or 9 hours of WiFi. I get roughly half of that. When I use the camera to take pictures or video, the battery drains especially quickly. And I can drain it in an hour when using Waze to navigate using GPS. I’ve learned to plug my phone into a charger several times a day. Apple has been hard at work fixing iOS bugs related to battery life so hopefully this improves over time.

Data: I haven’t done any formal testing but I am clearly seeing that the iPhone 4s uses more data for the same tasks than Blackberry. How much more? My overall data use has more than doubled despite using the phone for roughly the same activites. I’ve also noticed that the occasional buggy app can consume several MB of data per minute, something that never happened on a Blackberry. With a little self-control and sometimes turning off 3G data, it looks like I’ll be using 100MB to 150MB of data per month.

Speed: It’s not just that iPhone has a faster browser and faster apps. Everything is faster. The camera comes up faster. Initial Cellular and WiFi connections happen faster. Heavy data transfers happen faster. It reboots faster. It even crashes faster—a crash usually takes less than a second as an app suddenly closes (and this happens quite a bit, especially the settings app). It’s so much faster that I spend less time using the iPhone than I did the Blackberry. Part of this is because I simply get my tasks done faster, and part of this is due to lock screen notifications as I discussed above.

Hand Feel: I love the hand feel of the Blackberry 9700. It’s light, grippy, and fits easily in my hand. It is curved in such a way that I can hold it for hours without any sense of hand fatigue. The iPhone 4s on the other hand is heavy, angular, and slippery. It is made heavier by the case (most people feel a case purchase is required in order to protect the glass). I’ve tried using it both with and without a case and I eventually gave up on the case because it was just too heavy for me. However, the iPhone is a bit uncomfortable to hold as the edges cut into my hands. I would be much happier with the iPhone 4s hardware if the edges and back were like a Blackberry Bold 9700 – curved and grippy.

Auto brightness: This will sound like a nit pick but Auto Brightness on my iPhone 4s doesn’t do the job. Yes it does cause the phone to dim slightly in the dark but it doesn’t dim it nearly enough. The end result is that I manually adjust the brightness several times per day. The auto brightness drop with the Blackberry was much more pronounced, so the only time I needed to fiddle with brightness settings was when outdoors on a very sunny day.

Siri: There was a time 10 years ago, when I stupidly tried the Palm-based Kyocera 6035 smartphone. It was awful, and I vowed to never again use a smartphone unless it had a great voice control system. I broke that vow when I got my first Blackberry in 2008, but I got it because I needed a phone with great voice quality and only gradually came to use the smartphone features. What I was most hoping for from Siri was a good replacement for Blackberry’s great keyboard-based phone and messaging functions, such as speed dial, contact lookup, and dashing off a quick e-mail. Siri is indeed a good replacement. For example, to call my wife I just hold the home button for a couple seconds, then say, “call my wife at home” without even going past the lock screen.

But Siri is only a good keyboard replacement when it actually works. Siri has speed issues, inconsistent availability, inconsistent activation with the hold to ear method, imperfect voice recognition, and it frequently cuts my dictation short. This last point ironically means that voice dictation was easier on the Blackberry (using the Dragon Naturally Speaking app). Siri also can’t remember any relationships beyond my wife because my Google contacts sync through exchange instead of natively with Apple iCloud.

I assume most of these issues will get fixed at some point (Siri is in beta after all). And I’m confident that Siri and other voice assistant software will eventually render keyboard advantages obsolete in mobile devices. Siri already seems to be working somewhat better for me in December than it did in November. But for now, Siri doesn’t come close to making up for the lack of keyboard shortcuts. For it to be an adequate keyboard substitute, I need it to work at least 99.9% of the time.


I don’t have regrets about switching to the iPhone 4s. My Blackberry 9700 clearly used data more efficiently, had a longer lasting battery, had a better hand feel, managed auto brightness better, had extra notification options, and had an overall superior voice calling experience. But the iPhone 4s has been better for me in every other way. With camera and pocket computer performance, the iPhone 4s is so far ahead of my Blackberry 9700 that there’s no point comparing them.

Do I miss anything about my Blackberry? Yes, I miss the better overall voice call experience. But that’s it. The other Blackberry advantages aren’t important to me.

So I’m using an iPhone 4s and loving it. And it’s not just because of the better pocket computing experience, the better apps, the better camera, the great user interface, and the blazing fast hardware and software. It’s the overall experience of adding functionality without distraction.

As Mr. FilterJoe, I think and care a lot about distraction. Smartphones have traditionally been very distracting with all of their interruptions and temptations. Blackberries have an extra layer of distraction due to frequent phone reboots, painful upgrades, and other maintenance tasks.

The bottom line is that I’m finding the iPhone to be far less distracting than the Blackberry. The key is that iOS 5 allows you to do so much from the lock screen, including instant camera access, phone calls, and customizable notifications such as email. So I don’t often need to type in my pass code and enter distraction world. But when I do enter, the phone does everything so fast that I’m usually quickly done. I spend much less time per day using the iPhone despite getting much more done, as compared with my Blackberry 9700. The flagship Blackberry 9900 device I considered would have been a big speed increase over my two-year old 9700 but from all reports it still would have been slower than an iPhone 4s and it lacks lock screen functionality.

My advice to anyone thinking about the switch: You may want to stick with a Blackberry if you have a communication intensive life such as that of a broker or real estate agent that includes lots of voice calls. Or maybe you care more about landline-like phone quality even without a communication-intensive profession. For the rest of us, the iPhone 4s is faster, better, and less disruptive, and therefore preferable to Blackberries as the thing you always carry in your pocket.

Author: Joe Golton

I’m a dad with a son who loves baseball. Professionally, I’ve been a software developer, investor, controller, and logistics manager. I now make my living from this blog, supplemented with occasional consulting gigs.

19 thoughts on “Blackberry vs iPhone 4s (After Two Months of Use)”

  1. Excellent review. Thank you for taking the time to prepare and post this terrific articulation of your experience.

  2. Terry – you’re welcome!

    Yael – iPhone 5 rumors have been circulating all year about a possible redesign of the phone with a slightly larger display, near field communication (NFC), 4G (LTE), and other features which come and go depending on the latest rumor. My feeling is that if the iPhone 4s meets your needs, get it. If it doesn’t, don’t. In the U.S., you can always get a new phone at the fully subsidized rate once every 22 months, so it’s not as if you’re stuck with a phone forever.

    One thing I prefer about iPhones compared with Android is that Apple has consistently supported their devices with bug fixes and additional features through operating systems updates for at least 3 years. So if you purchase the iPhone 4s in early 2012 you can expect that it will be able to run the latest version of iOS through the end of 2014 at least. Here’s an infographic that illustrates this disparity between iOS and Android:

  3. Summary: When I replaced my phone the second time with Apple it was still producing static and a ringing sound in the car. The guy I talked to at Car Toys said this was a major flaw with only the iPhone 4s (not iPhone 4, iPhone 3gs etc.) and that they are getting in around a person a day complaining about this problem. They confirmed that it was NOT a speaker, cable or stereo problem that the Genius Bar guy thought it would be. This issue only occurs in cars and potentially portable speakers since this is a grounding issue (home speakers will be fine). I am an Apple Fanboy and am not trying to hate on their quality products, but this was a pretty big deal to me.

  4. So you replaced a phone that was released in fall 2009 with a 2 year newer device, gave up the freedom of actually having a mobile device that can make it through the day without an extra charging, good audio quality, notifications, profiles, superior data usage, UMA, for a pocket computer that is a mediocre phone and are happy about it? I just don’t understand i guess.
    The 9900 would have given you the speed and browser you like, with every other benefit of having a berry. It has UMA now also..

  5. Brian – I can totally understand your point of view – a view which I shared for the last few years as I shook my head in disbelief that people were willing to live with such horrible voice quality on their phone, not to mention poor battery life and data usage. But, as I mentioned in detail in my post, the iPhone 4s has reached adequate in these areas (except for voice quality with earbuds) and of course it’s a great pocket computer and camera. It also turned out to be considerably less expensive for me.

    But a broader point with cell phones in general is that what works for one person won’t work for another. I tried hard to lay out what worked and what didn’t on the iPhone in the areas where Blackberry is traditionally strong – and continues to be strong. Armed with that information, some considering the 9900 vs. the 4s will choose one model, some the other. As I mentioned in my conclusion, I would have gone with the 9900 if I were in a profession that required frequent voice calls and messaging throughout the day, such as a real estate agent.

  6. I made the switch from a Bold 9700 to iPhone 4S in Nov. 2011.
    Overall, I’m happy that I made the switch, but there is one major exception in the area of calendars & reminder/alert/ notification/ etc.

    On my BB, I used my Calendar as a combination of a calendar and a to-do list. I had a standard 15-minute-before reminder set up, and that reminder would ring (Normal profile) or vibrate (Silent profile). I could clear or snooze any reminder.

    On my iPhone, I don’t find it nearly as friendly. I can’t snooze ANY notification/ reminder/ alert for anything from my calendar, and if I don’t happen to catch a reminder when it pops up, I often miss it altogether.

    I’ve been trying to figure out a better way to set things up, but so far I’m not having any luck.

  7. On monday, February 6. I am switching to iPhone4S from BlackBerry Torch 9800. I had mine reserved from Globe Tel. Philippines and it will be ready for pick-up this monday. I have no doubt in switching ’cause I am fed up with my current device. Long reboot process, slow app opening, closing and switching, irritating blinking LED, trackpad that often gets stuck, slow web browsing and really slow camera. I can’t wait to get my iPhone4S on monday!

    And, about the iPhone4S battery issues, you may want to google that ’cause there are plenty of fixes that actually works. Please keep in touch and help me survive the coming days while waiting for my iPhone! Hahaha.

  8. Did you just compare the performance of a blackberry released in December 2009 with an iphone released in late 2011?

    Perhaps a comparison with a bold 9900 would be more relevant?

  9. Caleb – You’re right – a comparison with the Bold 9900 would be best. I’d love to use a Blackberry 9900 to use for a couple months to see how it compares, but it’s too expensive for me to conduct this experiment. So I had to make do with what I have, which is nearly 2 years of using a Bold 9700.

    That being said, the Bold 9900 is not lightyears ahead of the 9700. It literally has a worse camera (no autofocus) and for the first few months of release had no UMA, which was a critical feature for me that helped make the 9700 the best phone choice for me 2 years ago. Obviously it’s much faster, has more memory, has a bigger screen with more pixels and a bigger/better keyboard. But it didn’t fundamentally change the fact that Blackberries are lousy pocket computers – the O/S is just a minor skin surface update from everything I read. Maybe QNX will change all that but it’s not a current choice.

    So in my particular case, the Blackberry 9700 was a reasonable proxy for the BB 9900 in terms of the things I really cared about. As I said in the post, I’m preferring the iPhone 4s over the 9700, even though the use of the 4s for voice phone calls leaves much to be desired.

  10. I use blackberry now and frequently use my wife’s iPhone 4. It’s a joy to use iphone for browsing, playing games, and yes, it’s quick camera.

    One thing you might have considered though is locating them. In blackberry, you go to the website, log in and then locate your phone. No need for another blackberry device. You can use any computer+internet. There is also no way for anyone who may be carrying the phone to disable being located (unless they switch off of course).

    For iPhone, the missing device should have “Find iPhone” configured in iCloud, then find another device (iPhone or iPad), then install “Find iPhone”, then launch and login. But then, the person who may be holding the missing iPhone can easily just disable being tracked.

    But then this BB advantage may not matter to you, just like multitasking wasn’t also considered in your comparison.

    I like both… I wish I could afford them. At the moment, I love my BB but will need iPhone for what BB lacks like hotspot, autofocus camera, map (yeah iPhone beats BB on this), multiple alarms, apps, etc.

  11. Interesting reading. I used BBerries extensively 2004-2008, switched to iPhone 3GS in December of 2009 – while I truly was looking at the new BBerry Bold 9700. After a few days with the iPhone, I was so glad I did not pick up the Bold…

    Then in spring of 2011, employer gave me a BBerry Torch – while I am still suing the iPhone (now a 4S) in parallel for private use.

    The BBerry has a better radio, and amazing battery life!
    BUT, that’s where the advantages stop. EVERYTHING else works better on the iPhone. Not sure how many times I get hopelessly frustrated on the BBerry when the menus and functions change totally, depending if you have the “slider” open or not. The “trackpad” on the BBErry is AWFUL (the old trackball was actually much better) as it seems impossible to get the sensitivity correct (important when editing/change text or e-mails).

    Also, I have no idea what the BBerry designers were thinking when they put the “lock” button on top of the phone. You drop it “upside down” in a pocket, phone will unlock itself. You drop it “right way up” and phone will unlock itself when you are pushing it down – and call someone or compase and e-mail in the process.

    The Torch with the “slider” also gave up on what set the old BBErries apart: a great keyboard! On the Torch, in order to keep the thickness down, they developed a very “flat”, or without structure, keyboard. I do not have fat fingers, but I will say that I type faster on the iPhone than on this BBerry. And, it did not use to be like that. BBerries WERE the best for composing mails.

    I think RIM would do “OK” if they tried to stay with what they are (or were?) really good at, instead of trying to cram too much into a phone, and ending up being good at nothing.

    As for the iPhone 4S, I’m still very happy. Have over the years nailed it down to a few very very useful apps, and weekly venture out to see what new (and free) to try out. Over the past 2+ years, I still have to “buy” an app.
    Also, I never thought I would entrust iTunes with my contacts, but I have to admit that I am impressed how iTunes integrates and creates the “funnel” for information between the phone and Outlook. In fact, it does that far better than the comparable syncing of Outlook and WinPhone7.
    And yes, iTunes on Windows is a processor hog, but I only run it when I need to, so no real issues there.

    Battery life on the iPhone 4S. Not bad at all. Charge nightly, and can do one full day with a fair amount of “data services”. Wife’s 4S that was picked up at the same time drained horribly. A couple of SW loads did not help it, so she eventually had hers replaced, only to drain again. Yet more SW patches, and her phone is as good as mine. But she was very frustrated – until it was all fixed (three trips to the Apple store).

  12. Joe – nice writeup. I’ve been a Blackberry user since 2000, and like you, tried the iPhone out for an extended period of time (3 weeks). Unlike you, I had the opposite conclusion – I went back to the Blackberry 9900 (you were comparing 4s with 9700).

    I was kind of surprised that your only real gripe with the iPhone was the voice/call quality. Agree with you on this point, but seriously – you have NO problems with typing on glass? I found the typing on the iPhone to be PAINFUL – especially when trying to send a professional/work email. Yes, for texting or communicating with friends, typing “where r u” is fine, but no way can I do this for work. Given the autocorrect and inherant lower typing accuracy rate on the iPhone, I’d find myself taking twice as long to write an email, then having to double check it multiple times to make sure autocorrect didn’t gaf and make me say something obscene.

    Another thing on the typing – there is a big difference between the iPhone and the Blackberry due to the physical keyboard. I didn’t realize this but given my familiarity with Blackberry, I can actually type on it without looking AT THE KEYBOARD because I can feel the keys, etc. This allows me to compose highly accurate messages (email/text) very very quickly. This is virtually impossible with the iPhone – you HAVE to look at the keyboard when typing. This is a huge drop in efficiency for me.

    Agreed with you and everyone else – the iPhone is like a mini-computer in your pocket, and truly excels in the MEDIA space. Yes, it has a better camera. Yes, it has better apps. Yes it allows you to stay updated with your friends. And if you only need to consider communication, in any form (IE: where r u), iPhone does great. I think it’s a great device for the social aspect of people’s lives – taking pictures, keeping up with facebook, listening to music, browsing the web. I can’t imagine how great it is for people who work in the arts.

    But for professionals, who are on the go, and primarily use their phones to send accurate, quick, professional messages and don’t use all the social capabilities (don’t take pictures, browse the web, etc.) – I personally think the Blackberry 9900, which in my experience is the best Blackberry to date, is still far superior. I fall into this category, which I quickly found out while trialing the iPhone. I rarely used any of the apps, and found myself consistently frustrated with the time and focus needed to type messages. I primarily text/email with my phone – that’s what I do.

  13. Thanks for sharing your detailed, personal experiences, David. With regard to typing on glass, for whatever reason I’m able to do it at about the same speed as the BB 9700. I’m sure I’d be faster on the BB 9900 because it has a larger keyboard – I know that I took a hit when I went from the BB 8320 to the BB 9700 with its slightly smaller form factor. But my guess is the biggest difference is our usage. If it requires a long reply, I almost always wait until I’m by a computer, so I’ve never experienced the pain of typing out a message of more than about 300 characters or so.

    For the usage scenario you outline, I would recommend the BB 9900 over the iPhone 4s. It is better at messaging in so many ways, and not just due to the keyboard for those who type longer messages. Personalized/customized notifications, keyboard shortcuts, profiles – all these things are great for the highly mobile professional who doesn’t care all that much about the pocket computer functions and great camera.

    For the work that I do, particularly on this blog, the pocket computer functions and camera are very helpful so clearly my usage scenario is different from yours.

  14. I have been a Blackberry user for several years and last fall upgraded to the Bold 9930. I was outside the U.S. in November and had my phone totally fail while charging one night. The phone wouldn’t turn on the next morning and neither Verizon nor RIM could revive it. So the phone had to be replaced — not the easiest thing to do when you are out of the country.

    So for my next international business trip I purchased and took with me an iPhone 4s– because I was concerned that the Bold was not reliable. On this next trip, earlier this year, my Blackberry kept losing the connection with the Blackberry e-mail serviice — this occurred both when I was roaming on the cellular system and also when I was using Wi-Fi. Neither Verizon nor RIM could figure out why this was happening. My iPhone, however, had no problem sending and receiving e-mail either on the cell phone network or via Wi-Fi.

    When I returned to the U.S., I was initially convinced that I could stop using the Blackberry and use only the iPhone. However, I used the iPhone speakerphone a couple times for business conference calls and everyone complained that my voice was unclear and that they had difficulty understanding me. I then used my Blackberry speakerphone and folks couldn’t even tell I was on my speakerphone.

    So I am now in a situation where my Blackberry is not reliable when I am out of the U.S. — but my iPhone is not acceptable as a voice communication device. I can’t be in a situation where I don’t have reliable e-mail access wherever I am in the world — and I also can’t be in a sitution where I don’t have a phone that let’s me clearly communicate via a phone call. So, I find that I am having to keep both phones. It’s pretty frustrating — and a bit expensive — to find that I don’t one phone that can servce both as a reliable mobile e-mai device and a phone!.

  15. Craig – I too am frustrated by the poor voice quality of the iPhone 4s. Holding it up to my ear is okay but speaker phone is sub par and use with earbuds is not acceptable. So I’ve taken matters into my own hands – or I guess you could say Google’s hands. My main phone number is a Google Voice number. At first I just had it always ring to my iPhone 4s.

    But in the last month, I’ve been using my Blackberry for some of the Google Voice calls by using inexpensive prepaid options from T-mobile. Better yet – I just started using Google Voice through my Gmail/Chat window and it’s far better quality than the iPhone 4s using a head set. The speakerphone quality isn’t all that great just because of my mediocre laptop but if I wanted to upgrade that I easily could by hooking something up to my laptop.

    Other than voice quality, I’m happy with the iPhone 4s so now I’m just supplementing it with Blackberry or Computer/Gmail/chat use for longer business calls.

  16. I’m not agreed with u because blackberry bold 9700 9780 9790 save all call logs data of last months and no limit of one month call logs data but iPhone 4s save c only last two days call logs data. It’s a very important diffrence between two devices and another: bb bold automatically made seprate sms{ text} folder for every contact.

  17. Wasim – Blackberry certainly has better voice call features but the particular iPhone omission you mentioned is easy to get around: Google Voice. My main number is with Google Voice so all my calls are logged for as long as I want. And not just the time/date/number – I have the complete voice mail from incoming calls and Google’s best attempt at transcribing to text. Using Google Voice also means that the call logs and texts are easy to organize and see by Gmail contact.

  18. I may have missed the comment but I have both iphone 4s and the blackberry bold 9900. My bb is alot clearer than the iphone mind you the iphone has its perks if you use them and if you do you drain your battery unlike the bb. The other thing is you can’t email more than 1 file with iphone bb you can send as many as you want in 1 email message. Sure you can send 5 photos in one email on the iphone but that is the extent of emailing with the iphone so try sending 6 files in 1 email with the iphone it doesn’t work. But it will with bb also bb compresses its data and 100mb on a bb is the equivalent to 333mb on the iphone. I have both so I really don’t have a problem but it is a choice you will have to make they are both good but depends what you want them to do for you.

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