Jun 152009

For weeks now I have been debating whether or not to upgrade my old LG cell phone for a Blackberry Storm. The LG worked fine and I had no complaints with it, but people kept telling me how much the new “smart phones” are capable of doing, and what a great tool they are for a businessperson on the go. I was due for a new phone under Verizon’s “New Every Two” program, so I started doing some homework.

The first thing I quickly learned is that the typical kids working behind the counter at a Verizon store or franchise are absolutely clueless about what grownup people need or want in a smart phone. I stopped at three different stores during my research, and the young people working in them were eager to tell me about how great the Blackberry is for texting, taking pictures, watching videos, playing games, and listening to music. That’s all great if you’re fifteen years old, but what I wanted to know was how it could help make my life easier.

A couple of days ago I stopped at the Verizon  company store in Elkhart to apply for my veteran’s discount on my bill (If you’re a veteran, take your discharge or DD-214 to any Verizon company store, and you are entitled to a 15% discount on your cell phone bill). The manager of the store, a fellow named Jason, was using a Blackberry Storm and I asked him about it, and he gave me a very good and thorough demonstration of its abilities from a business standpoint. Now that’s what I wanted!

It didn’t take very long at all to get me hooked. It was one of those “How did I live this long without this thing?” moments. Besides having all the typical cell phone goodies like a camera and texting capabilities (not that I do any texting), the phone comes with an 8 gig memory card installed, which can be upgraded to 16 gig.

It is a Windows based application, so I can download Excel files, such as our mailing list, right to the phone. So if we are away from the bus and visiting with a subscriber, and he wants to know when his subscription expires, I can check it right on my phone. I can also download all of the PowerPoint slide presentations I use in my seminars, and plug the phone into anybody’s computer and show them.

The Blackberry Storm is also fully web capable, so I can surf the internet, check my bank balance, and send and receive e-mails on it. I get a ton of e-mail every day, and if we’re away from the bus for a few hours, they really pile up. Now my phone beeps whenever a new e-mail comes in and I can check it right then, and reply if necessary. I can also tether it to a laptop computer and use it as a modem to get online!

The phone also comes with a GPS built in, and using Verizon’s VZ Navigator service, it is very similar to the Garmin GPS we use in the van or bus. I can even use it to find nearby gas stations, restaurants, or whatever else I’m looking for, with turn by turn directions and voice prompts.

There are a lot of other features that will come in handy, including a voice memo program. I’m always thinking of something I want to tell Terry or include in the blog, but I never write it down, and then I forget. Now I can just record myself a quick note. There is also a calendar that will prompt me for important dates and appointments (so I don’t forget Miss Terry’s birthday a week from today), and even an alarm clock! It’s like having a secretary right in my pocket, but I can call it Darling or Sweetie Pie and push all its buttons and not get sued for sexual harassment!

Thought For The Day – A healthy attitude is contagious but don’t wait to catch it from others. Be a carrier.

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Nick Russell

World-Famous, New York Times Best Selling Author, and All-Around Nice Guy!

  12 Responses to “Biting The Blackberry Bullet”

  1. Nick,

    Now you know why Blackberry users often refer to it as a “Crackberry”.

  2. Hi Nick….I am curious to know if you were not a business person to need all the wonderful bells and whistles…would you still have bought the BB Storm….
    It does look beautiful…Jil

  3. Good move to upgrade. I am a new owner of the more traditional BlackBerry. I liked the feel of the keys over the touch screen. I too was thrilled with the “features” but when you get a chance to learn more you find out how the thing really works. Take a few hours and view the DVD then after several weeks of use remember you have 30 days to return it for a different model is the Storm is not a good fit for you. I got tired of the ring when an email came in so I opted to change the setting to “phone only” and looked for the red light telling me there is an email.
    Good luck

  4. Alright Nick … you’re scaring me now!
    You’re out-geeking me.

  5. Nick, one question. Is the screen big enough for me to see without my readers and are the buttons so small that my fat fingers wind up pushing 2 at a time?

  6. Deb,
    The screen is very large compared to any other phone I’ve ever had. About the size of the screen on my Garmin hand held GPS. The buttons are on the screen itself, and it takes a bit to get used to them with my fat fingers, but still easier than the other model Blackberrys with the small button.

  7. Nick if you didn’t already have a data plan for the web would you still have purchased the Blackberry and paid the extra charges for the new services?

  8. Good goin Nick! I just went to a BlackBerry 8330 Smartphone last week and I don’t know how I got along without it. From reading your blogs for the past two years, I know it will save you time and you can be even more efficient. I find that I can check emails, look up things, do business and many other things when I want to. I don’t have to wait to get back to the computer to catch up. This leaves more quality time opportunities.
    I am proud of you Nick.
    Bob in Minnesota

  9. Just got an promotional email from Best Buys Rewards program – http://tinyurl.com/nlp6kj – and they have a sale on the Storm: $99.99 with 2 year activation. (Normally $179.99.

  10. Does this mean that you gave up your air card?

  11. Nick,
    Now the fun begins…learning how to make it do what you want when you want!

  12. Chris & Rite,
    Yes, I’d still hae gotten the Blackberry for all of the other features it has

    I still have the air card, and will continue to use it. Tethering the phone to a laptop is a feature, but it was not the reason I bought the Blackberry.

    Also, the Blackberry does not have a port for an external antenna, and the air card does, and we need that extra signal many times.

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