I've really zero time to discuss this right now (see bottom of post), but I wanted to say a few quick things before I lost the desire.
Anyone that has talked to me personally in the last week would undoubtedly tell you that I was absolutely smitten with my new BlackBerry 8700c because I haven't stopped talking about it. After having stayed well ahead of the mobile phone curve for as long as I can remember (it's hard work, really, and apparently out of my control), and used every mobile OS imaginable (from various Symbians to multiple PalmOSs to embedded Linux to every Windows Mobile effort to... you get the point), I decided to take a 'chance' and play around with a RIM device.
Turns out it wasn't so much a chance as it was a welcomed change -- the device is wonderful. When I have time I plan to go into its beautifully simple and practical UI, its very fast EDGE implementation (much faster than every other comparably-equipped EDGE phone I've had in the past), its crystal-clear sound, its excellent built-in browser (Opera Mini works fine of course, but I actually prefer RIM's app) and its rock-solid construction.
Something tells me that the low-tech business types, for many of whom BlackBerries have become as indispensable as desktops, have no idea how good they have it.
Sure, I've got my usual persnickety gripes, but these are far outweighed by the positives. That said, one thing I would really like to see is native Gmail integration. I realize that this would require some cooperation between RIM and Google, but I'm hoping beyond hope that it will happen eventually. It would be a godsend to be able to have Gmail mail pushed to the device (i.e., without forwarding) and manipulatable through the BlackBerry mail client so that starring, labeling, replying, sending, etc., would all be sync'd up with Gmail (without ever having to jump out of the mail client and into the browser).
In any event, it's fantastic and has far exceeded all my expectations. To be honest, I'm quite upset that I waited this long to get one (though, to be fair, there were legit reasons for that, not the least of which being Cingular's $45/mo. all-you-can-eat BlackBerry data plan, which, by the way, includes no SMSs).
Part of me hates to say it, but I'm kind of blind to other next-gen devices right now (let's not kid ourselves, despite the incessant hype, there's nothing too exciting going on in this space right now); as soon as RIM gets an 850MHz UMTS/HSDPA radio into one of these sweet little berries, I'm going to buy it and probably be content for some time to come.
This will likely be the last non-“bit” post from me for a while. I'm currently mired in bar prep and crunch-time is upon us -- the exam is on the 25th, 26th, and 27th. If I survive with my sanity in check (flip a coin... seriously), I'll get back to writing here as soon as I can.