Sometimes we bloggers focus too much on the hardware, and not enough on the service connected with it. I think it is because a lot of us who now review and evaluate mobile phones came from personal computers and laptops.
Today, I want to make the case for the BlackBerry Curve 9300. The BlackBerry Curve 9300 is the latest entry level smartphone from RIM. It is a 3G capable QWERTY messenger phone. Among RIM's offering this is my favorite, since it has the lowest cost of entry, available for as low as Php14,700 at DCK Mobile Gadgets with an official RIM one-year parts and service warranty, that is the lowest price I have found for the BlackBerry Curve 9300 with an official warranty.
At that price, it is about the cost of a mid-level Android smartphone like the Samsung Galaxy Ace, and cost more than other good budget Android like the HTC Wildire, LG Optimus One and the Samsung Fit, Mini and Galaxy 551. If other than calls and text, you are looking a mobile WiFi web browsing device, the Androids with their larger displays and touchscreen interface will be more inviting. But it would take a unlimited data plan for these phones to be used to their full potential, which means another investment of Php14K per year.
On the other hand if you are looking for a value minded always connected mobile solution, consider a BlackBerry and the Php300 per month BlackBerry Social service, available from both Globe Telecoms and Smart Communications. This keeps you connected to the web 24/7, albiet selectively, for Php3.6K a year.
What do you get for your Php300 a month?
1. BlackBerry Messenger. In addition to SMS, you can send messages to other BlackBerry service users via BlackBerry Messenger. If you have a barkada on BlackBerry's this could be the best way to stay connected. Basically, it is "unlimited text" within the BlackBerry network. The service crosses network lines so if your barkada is made up of Globe, Smart and Sun users, you can communicate with all of them provided you all sign up for BlackBerry services. Think of it as unlimited text to all networks.
2. Instant Messaging. You get 24/7 unlimited instant messaging to Yahoo, AOL, MSN and Google Talk networks. Google Talk is a good way to stay in touch with your Android friends on unlimited data plans.
3. Social Networking. Who does not Facebook these days? While HTC may have their new Facebook inspired phones, BlackBerry offers the cheapest way to stay connected to Facebook 24/7. BlackBerry's Social will allow you to connect to Facebook, Twitter and My Space all you want. Be careful not to click links to third party sites, this will incur data charges.
These videos are from BB OS 6, found on the BlackBerry Torch. Models running BlackBerry 5 also can post and updates and received social feeds, but instead of having one integrated client, each network is accessed through it own app.
Or push email instead. Instead of Social Networking, you can have push-email instead. Basically, Php300 a month buys you:
(a) BBM, IM and social networking; or,
(b) BBM, IM and push-email.
So, while the BlackBerry may not be the highest tech phone in the market, it is the platform which provides you the cheapest way to get hyper-connected (my wife term for those of us who like to be online 24/7).