I am a geek. I am techy. I am not a cellular phone-savvy, though I had fascination with mobile devices since we had our first postpaid service here in the Philippines with Smart Telecomms which was way back 1997. I had my first mobile phone last 1999 which was the Nokia 5110, and Islacom then was still active on air. I would always then spend roughly PhP300 per day just to text my then-boyfriend (SMS was PhP0.50 then, and there were no E-Loads or Share-A-Load). I had a good share of gadget upgrades in 3-year time from my N5110 to 3210, to 8210, 8250, 7110, 7650, 3660, 6600, and the last one was the 9210 which was a phone and PDA in one. My family and I flew back to the USA and switched to Samsung, which was really good because of the user-friendly features and good audio (I’m also a music enthusiast!).
Then, I got tired of sticking to the regular clamshell or slider phones, and I switched from my Nokia 9210 to 9300. I was surprised then when my father set up my email client to my new phone and the server that supported my emails was Blackberry. I started becoming curious with Blackberry, that if they support my emails, why not get their own device? I asked my parents to get me a unit then, and I had been a Blackberry user since 2007 when Curve was first released in my second motherland. I had then a Curve 8320 which was so bulky and my network provider would only support EDGE connection for my services, which was then faster than GPRS/WAP. I still had my old gadgets then, yet I kept my BB8320 because of its QWERTY keyboard. I started to learn typing the words on my own – in full! I love the sturdiness of my unit and tested its toughness for a couple of times (I have butterfingers and I kept on falling my unit off minus the high-pitched screams). I even had the Pearl Flip which I am not a big fan of instant messaging and BB provides more consistent connection to my network versus my Nokia and Samsung. With its GSM technology, it supports a very prevalent mobile communication technology. The technology it uses is mature with robust features. Talktime is generally longer due to the nature of signal transmission. We can bring the phones wherever we go because GSM covers virtually all parts of the world.
Then when I started with BBM last 2011, and it made my social networking life easier. I gained more friends in Facebook, and more fans in my own fanpage, locally and internationally. Yet, when there was a massive RIM outage in the same year, I was one of those people who were affected big-time and it broke my heart because at first we were advised to do a datawipe and the backups I had were irrecoverable (the files were corrupted). Good thing that BBM had its stable release in 2012 and it was a relief, and because of that I started to have constant communication with my family, relatives, and friends in the US even though I am located here in the Philippines. I met a couple of few good people. I may say that I have trust issues with people keeping on inviting me to BBM, and it was a challenge on my BB8320 because I need to update the firmware and operating system for it to support BBM and other applications. It also helped me assist other people with their technical issues, even with their personal lives, though I may say that it is somewhat unethical to converse about these things over the air. It’s a good thing that I still have a handful of people who would entrust me with their interests.
When I had my first BB unit here in the Philippines, which was the Storm 2, I got to convince my colleagues in my workplace to get their own BBs as well. In a month’s time, there were more than 50 people in the office who switched from the regular Apple or Samsung phones to BB. We get in touch real-time and it helped as well in relaying work-related information with the use of broadcast messaging. Plus, we never get to lose network connection because we can switch to GSM to GPRS and/or EDGE. Unfortunately, I lost it in Makati where I was previously located. Then, I had my first postpaid service with Smart Telecomms, my first choice was the BB Pearl 9105 (with the trackpad) versus the iPhone 4S. It made my life more convenient with its alphanumeric keypad and lightweight structure – and I may say that it is really mobile. I can drive while texting (which is really not recommended) versus when using the BB8320. Its camera also has auto-focus and flash which makes my photos richer in color and when partying during weekend nights, I do not need to go to a well-lit area to get better lighting. Plus, it is not as popular as the QWERTY BBs, so there are no awkward moments that wherever I go, there is someone who has the same unit. It is also far expensive than the Curve 8520.
Just a downside though like the other BB models is that it consumes more battery power thus easily draining the battery life, so I had to buy a second battery and bring my own power charger with me. It is not because of the applications though. It has been a misconception that the more applications you have on your toy (or gadget), the more power it consumes. Truth is, the less signal you are getting in an area, the more power your phone consumes because it has to exert more effort to keep a consistent connection. I just pray that my current mobile network provider would fix the towers in our area so that our signal would be more reliable.
One cool thing about BB as well is that even though you can lock a unit to a certain provider, it does not. For postpaid subscribers here in the Philippines, as long as you have a competitor SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) card, towers in the area, and good signal, you are good to go. I am currently using a Globe SIM card with my Smart-provided baby. Plus, the data rates are more affordable 🙂 I also to help out other people with their technical issues because of my vast background with the BB technology, and most of them are currently my BBMates.
So, I may say that I have been using Blackberry for 5 years now. It’s a worthwhile experience that I have been loyal with RIM (Research in Motion). Until now, I am still recommending to my newly-found friends here in the Metro to switch to BB. Trust me, having Blackberry will bring you to your own Wonderland <3