I’ve been using the Sidekick, Color Sidekick, and Sidekick II for the past several years, and have remained fairly satisfied. The convenience of a full web browser, instant messaging, email, and typical PDA features in a phone, at a decent price point, with a $20/month unlimited data plan has been sweet. Funny how a cracked LCD can change things. T-mobile’s idea of an “upgrade credit” is that I can pay MORE for a replacement SK II than I paid the first time, AND I get to sign a 2 year contract. No thanks – after 8 years of loyal T-Mobile service, I’m going to have to kick them to the curb.
So a busted SK II and a steep replacement cost meant I wanted a new phone. Main criteria were a full QWERTY keyboard, reasonable form factor, Bluetooth, full HTML web browser, Email and PDA functionality, EVDO or EDGE (high speed) wireless data, and a net acquisition cost of $100 or less. This ruled out Treos, most Windows Mobile devices, and even most Symbian devices. The only decent device that seemed to fit the bill was the Blackberry 8700c, which is currently free after rebate from Buy.com. I used and developed for Blackberry devices during my time at Air2Web, but this will be my first round owning one. It’s on order, so in the mean time, I can answer my Sidekick when it rings, and not much else. I’ll post Blackberry 8700 impressions once I’ve put it through the paces.