Should I get a Blackberry or iPhone?

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Jun 12, 2008 Should I get a Blackberry or iPhone?

Computer hard drive. (Image from Pacific Northwest Laboratory’s website).

Checking email only at the office has become too inefficient, to the point of offsetting the bliss of not having email to deal with when away from my wired computer.

Therefore, having read some of the articles comparing the BlackBerry and iPhone, I seek Underdog readers’ input before making a final decision. Please recommend one of the two phones (and any particular models of the two) for my following modest needs:

– Good phone reception and sound. Good speakerphone and good headset, for talking and driving.

– Efficient management and summary review of email, including a way quickly to dispose of spam, and including the option to filter email into separate mailboxes (e.g., directing listserv messages to the listserv box, and bcc messages to a low priority box). I will want to receive email sent to my main email address (, and will want still to review the same emails on my desktop PC computer.

– Such PalmPilot-type features as calendaring, To Do lists, hourly billing software (or at least Excel), backup between the phone’s data and my PC computer, and enough memory to download articles to read.

– Large enough Internet screen that includes the opportunity to read pdf documents.

– Long usage capacity before needing to recharge the battery.

– Heavy duty enough to withstand falls (or, at least, good insurance coverage against falls, and a good non-leather protective case that is on the phone while I use it).

– I do not need entertainment features on the phone; I understand that music and videos are a strong suit for iPhones.

Thanks for your input. Jon Katz.

ADDENDUM I: Some of the articles I have read that compare the two phones are here, here (recommends the BlackBerry for emailing), and here (DrunkenComputing’s recommendation of the BlackBerry for durability, email, syncing with the Desktop, and accessibility for Verizon cell contracts, which I have).

ADDENDUM II: Thanks to the numerous people who replied by email to my foregoing inquiry. After speaking with a fellow member of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers — who highly recommended the BlackBerry Curve — I bought the Curve last night. The Curve will serve my main purposes. When comparing such devices, keep in mind that the BlackBerry has no software to read PDF files (update: I got it to read a pdf email attachments, slowly; I will double check if it will read a pdf link on a website), nor to run Excel- and Word- type programs. It is not as efficient and helpful as a Palm-type device. For separate charges, a Curve owner can purchase the foregoing software, as well as hardware to take videos, charge the Curve in one’s ashtray, have removeable memory, and have hands-free access beyond the speakerphone. On top of that, to avoid damage from dropping the unit, monthly insurance may be adviseable (after checking the deductible and other limitations on the insurance benefits). Thanks again to those who advised me on my purchase.

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