March 1, 2006

The New BlackBerry’s

Two new BlackBerry models have just been released to the Australian market. The 7130e and the 8700v are enhanced models that make the best portable email solutions on the market even better.

Like the 7250 before it the 7130e also runs on Telstra’s high-speed EVDO network, resulting in broadband performance in the portable device. The 7130e has the reduced keyboard (like the 7100 models) but has newer software and is faster to use then the 7100 series. Like the 7250 it can also be used as a modem for your computer, giving you the freedom to work on the road at broadband like speeds.

The 7130e also comes with top-of-the-line features you’d expect from a smartphone, like polyphonic ring tones, speakerphone and Bluetooth. All of this in a sleek black design translates in to a great looking functional phone for those that need their email 24/7.

The new 8700v available exclusively on the Vodafone network ($799) is a more consumer friendly version of the full-sized 7200 series BlackBerry. The 8700v design is more ‘phone-like’ and now includes dedicated ‘Send’ and ‘End’ keys and speakerphone (like the 7100 series). It also features 2 convenience buttons that are user configurable. I set mine to take me directly to the address book and calendar. The 8700v is also a quad-band phone that makes using it around the world easy.

The 8700v’s screen is much brighter then the older models and now comes with a brightness sensor that adjusts the displays brightness according to ambient light. The new 8700v also runs on the new Intel XScale processor meaning navigation and usability is much faster. The software has also been updated and now supports MMS capabilities (although the BlackBerry still comes without a built-in camera). The new unit comes standard with 16Mb SCRAM and a full qwerty keyboard.

The new BlackBerry’s, like the existing range provide legendary email support and the operating system is robust and stable. With added competition from Nokia, Ericsson and Motorola it will be interesting to monitor RIM’s portable email market share. I suspect for the business executive that relies on email BlackBerry will remain number one. Most competitors products, while compatible with push-email just don’t have the ease of use that the BlackBerry has and subsequently won’t command anywhere near the market that RIM does.