It’s quite amazing just how successful the BlackBerry has been. Now I’m pretty sure that there aren’t that many people out there who absolutely MUST be contactable by email anytime and anyplace, but that simple fact hasn’t affected the mass proliferation of these devices. Quite simply, the BlackBerry has become a status symbol, just like having the coolest mobile phone, or the slimmest and lightest notebook, business users simply MUST have a BlackBerry in their pocket.
A BlackBerry is almost like a measure of importance – the more emails that you receive and have to respond to while you’re out of the office, the more important you surely must be. I’ve lost count of the amount of times that I’ve seen groups of people get onto a train and then proceed to ignore each other as they whip their BlackBerry’s out and start tapping away. What did these people do before RIM launched its pocket email device? I’m assuming that corporations didn’t crumble due to a couple of hours’ delay on an email reply.
But despite my somewhat cynical view of many BlackBerry users, the device itself and RIM’s superb push email technology can’t be faulted, because if you really, and I mean REALLY need to have your emails sent to you anywhere and anytime, the BlackBerry is a gift from the gods.
For me a BlackBerry is an invaluable device, but only when I need it. As I mentioned in my review of the BlackBerry 7100v, the problem with having your email sent to you wherever you are, is that your email gets sent to you wherever you are. I don’t necessarily want to be inundated with press releases from the US while I’m curled up on my sofa in the evening, so I wouldn’t want a BlackBerry in my pocket. But if I knew I was going to be out of the office for a few days, say at CeBIT, then having all my email appear in my pocket is great.
So, I’ve established that the BlackBerry push email client is superb, but the other half of the equation is the hardware that it runs on. What I’m looking at here is the BlackBerry 8700, which is the successor to the hugely popular 7290. Although the 8700 has been around for a while, I figured that I better give it the full review treatment since I’ve had a lot of readers and friends ask me about it recently.