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8/10

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BlackBerry 7130g - BlackBerry 7130g

Yahoo! Messenger has also been thrown in with the 7130g. Now I’m a firm believer in having instant messenger functionality in a mobile device, and I use MSN messenger quite often while I’m on a train to keep in touch with the guys in the office. The only problem with including Yahoo! Messenger is that I don’t know anyone else that uses it, so it’s not much of a tool for me. The idea is right, but I would have preferred to have seen MSN messenger since it’s far more prolific than Yahoo, although I doubt that Microsoft would want to see it running on a non-Windows Mobile device.

A really great inclusion with the 7130g is Google Maps. Not only are you able to pinpoint a location by typing in an address or post code, you can also plot directions between points. Google Maps really makes use of the excellent screen as well, so if you need to find your way somewhere and don’t have a GPS, you should be able to get from A-B with the 7130g. I made good use of this feature when I had to head into London for meetings and wasn’t familiar with venues – bringing up a map of the area on the 7130g made getting to the meetings simple.

Another impressive feature is the web browsing. I was surprised at how fast the 7130g could resolve pages. Even when roaming the browsing was fast, as I found out when I was catching up on the footie scores via the BBC Mobile site while I was out in Germany for a couple of matches. The data speed is helped by the fact that the 7130g supports EDGE as well as standard GPRS.



To be honest though, the 7130g is pretty nippy no matter what you’re doing, but this isn’t surprising since it uses the same 312MHz Intel XScale processor as the 8700. Flicking between menus and applications is pretty much instantaneous with the 7130g, which isn’t something that can be said for some smartphones.

The 7130g is a quad band handset, so it supports GSM 850, 900, 1800 and 1900, which means that you should be able to use it more or less anywhere in the world. Considering that RIM and the network operators pitch BlackBerry devices at the corporate customer, it comes as no surprise that the 7130g is designed to be traveller friendly.

Battery life is superb, with RIM quoting 18 days in standby and four hours of talk time. I’m not sure how accurate that is, but I can say that I’ve been using the 7130g with over a week between charges. Of course I do use it pretty much solely for data, but that’s still pretty good. Also, being that the device is charged via a mini-USB port, you can simply hook it up to your PC or notebook when it does need some juice.

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