They take approximately eleven minutes to boot. Which beats Windows 95 hands-down. And don’t even think about installing more than, say, three apps on the bastard. But the humble and much-maligned BlackBerry is in need of some love.
The truth is that there are no good mobile phones on the market. None. The iPhone is fine if you’re a hipster, you work in PR or you’re unemployed (these can appear disturbingly similar to the untrained eye), but you can’t get any actual work done on it.
Windows Phone is a messy, childish disaster; the sort of people who rave about it desperately tragic. Hey man, did you know the tiles sync?! Isn’t that awesome? I mean, I can add you on Facebook and your shit shows up on the homescreen. This changes everything!
As for Android, well. We all know the sort of person who buys those: humourless dweebs who never want to have sex again, ever. As I once incensed half the internet by observing, no one ever got laid pulling out an HTC Touch. Sorry.
No, I’m afraid it’s only the BlackBerry, despite its many deficiencies, that can cut it for those of us with serious business to attend to: that is, journalists, bankers, lawyers and teenagers from Croydon looking to start fires and nick plasma TVs.
Think of it in terms of cars. The iPhone is like a one of the cheaper Italian sports cars. Snazzy dashboard, but an insanely petrol-hungry engine that turns heads initially but essentially makes you look like a bit of derivative and unimaginative dickhead.
Windows Phone is a cross between a Ford Ka and a Morris Minor, comically stupid but just quirky enough to be appealing to, let’s say, 0.5 per cent of the population. Drivers include primary school teachers, Lib Dem voters and gay men who don’t get enough sex. (Another set of overlapping constituencies, if ever I saw one)
The Android is a Golf. Dull, OK-ish looking, rugged and reliable enough given its size but ultimately disappointing because it lacks even the desire to attain charisma.
But the BlackBerry? Well, the BlackBerry is like that old Volvo your mother drove you to school in. (Not my mother, of course. Mine had a tractor and a second-hand 911… not that she was ever sober enough to drive.) It might not be the sexiest thing in the world but by God does it get you where you need to go.
And it lasts, well, basically for ever. Seriously: you were wondering what happened to the indestructible Nokia 6310? RIM makes it now, and it does email. And even Twitter. You can chuck these things down mine shafts and they come back up chirping.
I tried an experiment once with a BlackBerry 9000 on loan from a PR company: I hit it with a hammer I found in an ex-boyfriend’s tool shed, submerged it in water, dried it out for three days then dropped it from a ninth-floor window. Can you guess what happened?
It worked perfectly. I mean, it was a bit battered and the keyboard got ever so sticky sometimes and the screen was cracked from the hammer, but, it worked. (This was in the days before Will It Blend? – at least, I hadn’t heard of it yet – else I’d totally have YouTubed the whole shebang.)
BlackBerrys won’t get you attention, except from skanky hos who see dollar signs when you whip it out, or maybe from fellow gang members, but there’s absolutely nothing on the market that rivals the BlackBerry keyboard.
Yes, I have tried SwiftKey and all the other hideous fake input methods. And yes, I gave myself enough time to “settle in”.
If you have a serious volume of email to get through, or even if you just need to type a lot (say, you need to write a column for a national newspaper from an Israeli beachfront cafe and you don’t want to tell the comment editor you’re on holiday… like, hypothetically speaking), there’s nothing to match it.
That’s before we even get on to the subject of BlackBerry Messenger, which is the reason BlackBerrys (correct plural: learn it) got the nickname Crackberry in the first place.
Anyway, to sum up, because there’s really only a certain number of words you can waste on a topic this comparatively trivial. They say there are a load of new models coming in January with a new operating system. Do yourself a favour: buy one. You’ll be pleasantly surprised.
And, if you’re not, I’ll take it off your hands. Because, thanks in part to undeserved vitriol from the tech blogosphere, RIM is going down the toilet and there probably won’t be another product line after this one. I should probably stock up now.