RIM BlackBerry 8830 Review
The menu of the 8830 is similar to that of all BlackBerries. There are 29 icons in the menu arranged in rows of 5. When the main menu is hidden, five icons appear towards the bottom of the screen which make up the first line of the main menu. They can be changed to what you use the most or what you want to be there by moving icons in the main menu to the very top. To organize the menu, you can even create custom folders and then place in the appropriate icon into the folder for easier navigation.
At the top of the screen in the left corner, you will see the signal strength indicator. In the upper right hand corner is the battery indicator. Just below those, there is a bar with the time, date, and message notifier. There is no separate icon for SMS, or MMS messages to discern them from regular emails which can be inconvenient at times. Also, the icon is rather small and can be easily overlooked but this is common with BlackBerries so it is not specific with this model.
If you do not like the appearance of the default theme, there are three other themes to choose from. Each one will alter the appearance a bit but just enough so that it does look different.
The 8830 does not come with a camera. This is no surprise as these phones are geared more towards businesses.
The phonebook closely follows standard phonebooks but differs a little in its own way. You can put the person’s name, company, email address, phone number, and web page in along with many more options. If no default area code is set, the phone will ask you if you what area code to use. This will only be done the first time calling a number.
There is also the option to create groups to have the users categorized. This purpose is defeated, however, because every user that was added to the group was still seen on the main page. There is also no way to distinguish the users with special ringtones. The most that you have is to add a picture of each user.
To keep things a little simple, the phonebook doubles as an address book so that you don’t have to fill out email addresses everytime you compose an email. At the very top, there is a search field. As you type in the characters, the list will filter the list to the matching choices.
The calendar is very standard. It can be viewed in day, week, month, or agenda views. You can change the view, start and end of day time, first day of the week, and snooze option, along with others, to your liking. By default, the agenda view adds free time to the list when there is nothing planned in that time. It is rather annoying but luckily can be turned off so that you have less to sift through.
Adding a new appointment is very easy and there are plenty of choices to choose from: subject, location, description, if it’s an all day event, start/end time and date, duration, time zone, shown as (free/busy/tentative/out of office), reminder (none/0/5/10/15/30/45 minutes/1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12 hours/1/2/3/4/5/6 days/1 week), recurrence (none/daily/weekly/monthly/yearly), mark as private, and notes. For those who travel often, you can set the appointments to different time zones to create less confusion for yourself.
There is a calculator added to the phone but this is just a basic calculator. Also, even though it uses the fullscreen, you can only enter 8 numbers into it. The alarm only supports one alarm set at a time. You do have enough options to make the most of this: daily alarm (weekdays only/on/off), time, snooze (off/1/5/10 minutes), alarm type (tone/vibrate/vibrate + tone), tune, volume (escalating/high/medium/low), and number of beeps (1/2/3). Outside of the calendar, you can the task pad and memo pad. The memo pad sounds exactly like what it does, it just stores little notes that you want to have at hand. The task pad is much more useful and almost feels like a second calendar. You can enter task name, status (not started/in progress/completed/waiting/deferred), priority (high/normal/low), due (none/by date), time zone, reminder (none/by date), categories, and notes.
There is a voice dial feature with the 8830 but it isn’t too great. There were times when it would not recognize what we were trying to say. After some frustration, we gave up and just searched through the menu manually.