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BlackBerry 7100t review

BlackBerry 7100t / 7105t

Posted: , by PhoneArena Team



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.

BlackBerry 7100t review
Messages/Email – Let's face it, BlackBerry devices main selling point is their messaging ability. With push email service, your email is automatically retrieved by your device (meaning not having to manually click send/receive to check for new messages.) An amazing feature for a person who has multiple email accounts and is on the move. The new SureType keypad is definitely an acquired taste. It took a few days getting used to, but if you have the patience the payoff is well worth it in my opinion. With 35,000 words built in the devices memory, the 7100t utilizes predictive text input. This device finished about 7 out of 10 words in a given sentence, a time saving feature. The dictionary even incorporates previously typed words, the names of your contacts and words contained in messages. Many user's who have been with BlackBerry since the beginning, may not like the new design. But if you want a device that fits in your pocket with more ease, the 7100 is the only slender choice in the BlackBerry lineup.

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.

BlackBerry 7100t review
BlackBerry 7100t review
Email inbox
BlackBerry 7100t review
The 7100 series is the first to offer built in IM support. Available for previous devices as an application download on the net, this is the first time chat comes standard on a BlackBerry device. Looking at this aside from an application stand point – it is a note that RIM is slowly but surely catering to a new type of the on the go user, the everyday user.

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.

BlackBerry 7100t review
Alarm – The alarm has all the features you look for. A snooze feature, ability to pick the specific dates to activate and custom tones is all included. However, just as seen in the 7290, you may sleep through even the loudest tones depending on how heavy of a sleeper you are. Don't throw your old blinking LED clock out just yet.

BlackBerry 7100t review
Bluetooth - When considering the 7100t, note that Bluetooth support is very limited. You will still have to connect the phone to your computer via USB to sync, if not working on an enterprise server. The Bluetooth works in a small radius and is essentially a headset only convenience. Albeit for security purposes or not, a device for the masses demands expansive Bluetooth support. Bluetooth use, after a slow start, is making an extreme jump in usage and functionality in 2005 and is expected to increase in 2006.

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.

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Jim Trotter (unregistered)

I've had this phone for a while and enjoy it thoroughly. Though I am switching to the Pearl, this was a very well written article.

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PhoneArena rating:
Display240 x 260 pixels LCD
Size4.70 x 2.30 x 0.80 inches
(119 x 59 x 21 mm)
4.20 oz  (120 g)

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