It’s hard to believe, but I actually decided to give up my fully QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad, and stainless steel rimmed Blackberry Bold 9900. I honestly did not think I would ever do that, but I did! Here’s why:
- Better camera, because I am always using it with the kids!
- More consistent, reliable web browsing experience.
- Larger viewing area (without any moving parts, like on the Torch).
Initially I also did something I didn’t think I would ever do – I went Android! For a couple days, anyhow.
My wife decided to move away from Blackberry when she upgraded her Bold 9900, opting for an HTC One Mini instead. She preferred the physical size of the One Mini over the standard HTC One and she didn’t care about the standard HTC One having a quad core processor, more RAM, and more storage. Fair enough – we need to enjoy USING the device in our hands more than drooling over its specs. lol…
I played with her HTC One Mini for a bit and decided that, yeah, it’s a pretty awesome device! Looking at the specs and the price (free upgrade on a 2 year contract), I figured what the heck, I’ll upgrade to an HTC One! The standard HTC One was more to my liking, spec wise, so I chose it over the HTC One Mini my wife had. However, after using it for a couple of days I realized that Android unfortunately ruined a perfectly fantastic piece of hardware…
I find it utterly appalling that Google and various random software vendors demand to track a person’s contacts, phone calls (including numbers, IMEIs, duration, frequency, and more), near by devices, location, and so on to unlock the fundamental functionality of an Android device. Seriously, why the hell are so many people OK with this? I simply cannot fathom how folks do not understand or seem to care about how all of this data will absolutely one day be used against them through various forms of discrimination. It’s why I don’t subscribe to “social media” – if you want to know me, you can either visit this site, get to know me personally, or toddle off and go about living your own life.
I help where I can. I will always extend my hand in the aid of another. I care. But I will not be tracked, penned, pigeon holed, or otherwise abused to make anyone rich, including myself. Dignity holds no monetary value.
Want to know what kind of worker I am? Just ask. I’m not going to sugar coat it – I don’t want to work for you if you’re not cool with who I am and I’m not going to waste either of our time trying to be someone I am not. Want to know what kind of insurance risk I am? If I need any, I’ll tell you, otherwise, fuck off. Really, just fuck off. You have no right to access my information, personal, genetic, or otherwise. And so on are the ways this data can be abused…
You have no right to request anyone’s information.
“Personality Profiles”, “Association Profiles”, etc… This IS 1984 folks… it IS! Wake up, get with the program. This isn’t going to lead to some pie in the sky utopia for humanity… It’s just, not. I strongly disagree with the erosion privacy and the casual dismissal of the hard fought for human rights of the individual. As a result, it’s my social responsibility not to support a business paradigm that is a catalyst toward creating “Big Brother” societies.
So screw that noise, I’ll stick with Blackberry thanks. At least I have the option to disable tracking/logging and still actually USE all of the functions of the device…
Anyhow, here’s my Good/Bad comparison between the HTC One and the Blackberry Z10.
- Fantastic chassis build quality! Great work HTC!
- Audio quality and stereo speaker setup.
- Camera was great, especially in low light, thanks to its gigantic pixel sensor size. Kind of neat actually – it’s only a 4MP camera, but the sensors are gigantic and capture way more light in less time than higher MP cameras. It’s a trade off that in practice utterly trounces the 8MP camera in the Blackberry Z10, in both picture quality and blur caused by the shutter speed. Kudos to HTC for researching this and delivering a better experience for the average everyday snapper.
- Linux USB drive functionality was seamless.
- Android’s appalling lack of respect for privacy.
- Home / Back buttons too easy to hit accidentally.
- Akward to hold in camera mode without covering the lens or accidentally hitting a button.
- Android’s cobbled together UI and horrid workflow.
- Blackberry Messenger (BBM) for non-Blackberry devices is less secure and less reliable than it is on a Blackberry device. Less secure, due to the shared encryption key, less reliable, because OMG it can take forever for my wife to get my messages now!
- Blackberry Messenger works properly and is as secure as it can be.
- The UI paradigm is familiar and friendly to this Blackberry Playbook owner.
- Fundamental device functionality is not locked behind privacy invading, very likely to be abused, personal data tracking.
- The workflow for taking and sending a picture via BBM and email is simply fantastic. A couple years ago I tried a Windows Phone 7 and sharing a picture was a down right infuriating frustration; I could not believe that such important functionality would be so convoluted. On Blackberry (from OS 4.5 to OS 10.2), the stuff you actually DO is accomplished in a way that simply… “makes sense”.
- Blackberry Hub is genuinely convenient, even for a digital recluse like me who only uses it for BBM and a single email account.
- Physical Camera Button – turn the phone sideways such that the volume/mute keys are under your right thumb and voila, you have an easy to use camera! Not as ergonomic as the Windows Phone 7 specification physical camera button, but it’s much better than tapping the screen – an action that I find often makes for a blurry photo!
- The full HDMI out, with a standard micro HDMI connector works great with our super awesome 720p TV. I haven’t really used this for anything yet, but it worked well in my testing. I always wanted to connect the Playbook to the TV for the kids, but somehow the Playbook’s HDMI port got broken. Somehow. Anyhow, this will likely be a handy feature and it’s nice to know that it does not require a special TV, etc. to use it.
- Cheap plastic chassis. What a disappointment compared to the amazing chassis quality of the Bold 9900 and the excellent quality of the HTC One’s aluminum chassis. Sorry folks, but I can’t justify spending $2,400 on a Porsche Design Z10 that’s built to the same quality my Bold 9900 was. The Bold was $160 on a 3 year contract and cost $650 outright. The HTC was free on a 2 year contract and also $650 to buy outright. So… I’m sure you can understand my lack of excitement here.
- Camera shutter speed is too slow to capture the kids in motion! This annoys me to no end, because it’s what I use the camera for 99% of the time. It could not be more of a disappointment. These are our memories folks…
- Audio setup is laughable compared to the HTC One. I mean… a single mono, poor sound reproduction speaker without any equalization options is just sad, Blackberry. Sad.
- USB connectivity with Linux/Windows does not allow access to the device storage, only the memory card AND this mode must be toggled on pretty deep into the settings menu. Both should “just work” as USB mass storage devices, like the Bold 9900 and HTC One.
It is important that we as individuals make our personal values our number one priority in life. Number one. Second to none. Our values are who we are and having the strength to live up to those values in the face of hardship is what defines our character, as individuals and as a species. I’m not a religious person, but I do honor the tenants of kindness, goodness, and honesty that most religions attempt to impart upon their followers. Fostering some semblance of decency and justice throughout society is at the heart of religious belief, right there beside believing in God and one’s self. It’s with this in mind that I am happy to choose a Blackberry Z10 over an HTC One, despite the HTC One clearly being the better hardware.
I believe in a world where people are free to follow their own path of their own accord, where mistakes can be forgotten, and where injustices are resolved with an incredible diligence to ensure the resolutions are based upon truth. I do not believe that Google, and many others who similarly scratch away at the face of our societies to rake in every dirty penny they can, feel the same way.
Trust in what you believe. Work every day to support it. I chose Blackberry.