BlackBerry Wars: Which one is right for you?

Aaron Baker
Writer from  Dallas, TX
| August 14, 2009

Those who are considering a jump into the BlackBerry world (or are changing devices) realize that the commitment to own a BlackBerry is only half of the battle.  Within the BlackBerry community, there's numerous device models to choose from, all of which serve different purposes and do different things.  The Bold 9000, Curve 8900, Tour 9630, Curve 8520, Pearl Flip 8220/8230, and the Storm 9530 are just a few of the newest members in the huge BlackBerry family.

Needless to say, it's challenging to analyze exactly what you need, what you want, and then decide which device to go with.  Carrier out of the picture, we're going to take a look at four of the latest BlackBerry devices (read: the ones that I happen to have on my desk at the moment) in an attempt to help you decide which one to choose.  Like writing out a pro/con list, it's my hope that seeing these might help you make a good decision on what BlackBerry is right for you.

BlackBerry Bold 9000
Debates are raging within the BlackBerry community as to whether the Bold or Tour should take the title of RIM's flagship device.  The Bold's large size, combined with a large, high resolution screen, 3G, and spacious keyboard make it perfect for the business user.  The high price, both on and off-contract, tends to turn away consumers (unless you can find it through an authorized reseller, like LetsTalk).

The Good: Most roomy, comfortable keyboard of the four; large, high resolution screen.

The Bad
: Bulky; battery life less than desirable.

The Verdict: Business users/prosumers.

BlackBerry Tour 9630
As the newest CDMA BlackBerry, the Tour takes the Bold's keyboard, and implements it into a Curve-like design.  High resolution screen, relatively comfortable keyboard, 3.2 megapixel camera, and 3G make this device a fantastic addition to the high-end BlackBerry field.  Again, another device geared primarily towards the business crowd, but with the lower contract price, consumers may find a few things to like about it as well.

The Good: Combines Bold keyboard with Curve form factor.

The Bad
: Battery life isn't phenomenal.

The Verdict: Business users/prosumers.

BlackBerry Curve 8520
The ultimate starter BlackBerry.  Intended primarily for first-time
BlackBerry owners.  The 8520 offers RIM's new trackpad, but falls short
on the display.  Battery life is absolutely fantastic thanks to the
lack of 3G, and Wi-Fi is included.  Build quality is somewhat cheap in comparison to the Bold, Storm, and Tour, however it makes for a more durable device.

The Good: Fantastic battery life; first real BlackBerry targeted as an entry-level device; offers RIM's new trackpad.

The Bad: Lower resolution screen; no flash on the camera; build quality feels cheap to some.

The Verdict: Great entry-level device, for first-time BlackBerry owners.

BlackBerry Pearl Flip 8230
When the 8220/8230 series launched, RIM made it known that the device was targeted toward women, first-time BlackBerry owners, and anyone else that wanted a fully functional BlackBerry that they could easily store in a pocket or a purse.

The Good: Form factor conducive to storing in pockets and other small spaces; doesn't skimp on typical BlackBerry functionality.

The Bad: Small size means SureType keyboard and smaller screen; somewhat poor battery life.

The Verdict: First-time BlackBerry owners, women, and other consumers that want a fully functional smartphone in a flip form factor.

Questions?  Comments?  Love/hate your BlackBerry?  Leave them here, or tweet me (@PhoneDog_Aaron)!