BlackBerry 7100t reviewBlackBerry 7100t / 7105t 7.8
The features that BlackBerry is known for do not disappoint email services and robust messaging services. Put this together with a well packaged phone feature and we have the ultimate communication device. However, to be a Treo competitor, BlackBerry's features have to step it up a notch in the multimedia and expandability sector.
Navigating is rather simple with a few thumb movements and a click placing you in your menu of choice. Unfortunately as your application list grows, so does the amount of time to find your application of choice. Maybe we can hope for a future touch screen?
Address Book The 7100t incorporates the same friendly address book of other RIM products. I find the address book to be the most time saving and user friendly feature on the device as from this central location you can Call, SMS, email or edit any contact you have stored on your device. With the included BlackBerry desktop manager, your contacts will flawlessly sync with your device in seconds of setup.
The trackwheel is still the one feature that limits the BlackBerry from being a blazing fast email experience. When long messages are received you will find yourself scrolling around forever trying to find the meat of your messages. There are keyboard shortcuts to jump around menus and messages, but nothing beats a touch screen in situations such as these. Set the 7100t up with your companies enterprise server and you will be automatically in sync with your Outlook email and calendar.
Camera The 7100t does not support a camera option. Most people don't but their BlackBerry expecting a camera and RIM knows this. However, with the appeal of this device to be the Treo killer as suspected by many, BlackBerry will have to step it up in the multimedia area in coming models.
Calendar The calendar is easy to use and customizable. As with any configurable smart phone the calendar and task reminder is where you look towards third party software to suit your needs. Unfortunately, BlackBerry lacks support from third party vendors in this area and because of that loses points with many users. With no expandable memory (32 mb onboard), the device does not have the storage capacity to be a fully user customizable device.
Internet The 7100t incorporates a full HTML browser. Basically, this means that the phone tries to view all web pages like it is a computer desktop. For different uses, you can configure these views. The available options include standard BlackBerry, WAP 2.0, Openwave Gateway, Microsoft IE, MS Pocket IE or Netscape.
The browser is still slow in comparison to other networks and devices. T-Mobile's GPRS service is rarely capable of reaching advertised speeds and maybe that is because I have never met a user with full bar GPRS capacity in my travels.
Multimedia The device offers a 32 polyphone ringer, with some updated tones over the 7290. However, with its lack of expandable memory and mp3 support the device is still primitive for the multimedia oriented user. Lacking video/camera or support by third party vendors, this non expandable device is still behind in this capacity.