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REVIEW .::. 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless I have been a BlackBerry user now ... Smartphone Reviews forum

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    Lightbulb Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

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    REVIEW .::. 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    I have been a BlackBerry user now for just over a year, using the 7100r with Rogers Wireless on BES and BIS.



    I started with OS 3.8 and then went to 4.0 a few months ago, and then again to 4.1 about a month ago. With each OS upgrade overall BlackBerry-ness was decreased. The 7100 is the bare minimum required to run 4.x, and with 4.1, my little 7100r was just spinning as hard as it could. Literally, the hourglass of "I'll go make a pot of coffee/I'll go take a shower" became the sore point for me. I go biking quite often, and I would usually slip my SIM into a rugged moto v.60, not wanting to take the precious BB trail riding. But I ended up using ziploc bags, because I couldn't handle the 10 minute boot time.

    I was becoming envious for the 8700, but was not all that enthusiastic about its waffle-sized form factor. To each his own, and I believe that BB users are in two distinct camps: qwerty and suretype. I'm suretype. I want the smallness.

    I was at a dealer the other day to buy a charger for someone else, and noticed a sales rep trying to sell a 7130g to some noob. I didn't even know the 7130g was available yet! I took it for a test drive and was impressed, if not blown away! I mean, it was only 4 days later that I bought one.

    And here is my take on the 7100r vs. the 7130g.



    Overall form factor:

    The 7100r is cool because it's a BlackBerry. But the 7130g is cooler because it's a BlackBerry and it's sexy. That boxy 80's VW look is always a ++ in my opinion. It's a brick. There's no weird shape to it. Don't get me wrong, the 7100r is great too, but the look of the 7130g is an improvement.

    However, though this is likely only my particular device, the casing on the bottom of the 7130 doesn't line up quite right, and is therefore not smooth. This is bad, because the way I hold the BB with two hands and thumbs blazing, my right pinky finger was actually in pain from being sliced by the edge of the two chassis pieces meeting and not being smooth. I will either change my style, or develop a callous.

    Keyboard:

    The send and end keys are now on steroids! They have been increased in size by about 400% (4 times bigger). This is good. The send/end keys on the 7100 were altogether too small. A small infant could use them, but no finger larger. Obviously, one gets used to it, but it was a definite design flaw, especially if you use the phone frequently.

    But where the send/end keys have been super-sized, the space bar has been put on a strict diet. It's about half the size now. A definite shocker.

    The 7100 has a bizarre keyboard shape, and though symmetrical, it doesn't have more than two keys the same shape and size. A bit odd to look at now that I'm thinking about it. Whereas, the 7130 has uniform key sizing.

    The 7100 keyboard was flat. The 7130 has slightly bevelled keys. I like flat better. I find my thumbs sliding off the 7130 keys without having hit them. Yeah, I'm being picky, but when I've spent 13 months typing 35 wpm on the 7100 to have my speed decreased by almost half because the keys have changed shape, that's something to mention.

    Convenience keys:

    It wasn't until OS 4.1 that the convenience key could be modified, so I really didn't get used to it, or find a need to have more convenience keys. But now, the 7130 has two additional keys: 1 on the left side (which is user programmable) and another one on the top for muting the phone. Don't see a need for this as there is already a mute key, the "!".

    Telephone:

    Greatly improved! The default call volume on the 7100 was 100%. Couldn't go lower or I couldn't hear anything. The 7130 is set at 50% and it's just fine! This is great, because now there is headroom for when I need to go to 11.

    Speakerphone is also slightly improved. I found that people wouldn't be able to hear me well, or that if I turned it up too loud, it would be all crackly on the speaker. That has disappeared with the 7130. When at the dealer, we called someone where I work and both of us talked with her and she couldn't tell we were on speakerphone.

    Plus, I used to get people commenting all the time that my voice was crackly or cracking on the 7100, likely because I was talking "too loud" into that somewhat pathetic microphone. Haven't got a complaint yet from my one friend who calls a lot and always complains.

    Intel inside:

    Massive improvement! Device speed is exceptional!

    I type fast, and the 7100 couldn't keep up with me. Especially while waiting for the symbol screen to pop up. Yes. I could type faster than that, and I would have to slow down in order for the pop-up to pop up. Do not have that problem with the 7130. (But I'm also not yet typing as fast as I could.)

    Overall speed for booting, menu navigation, scrolling in all applications, is vastly superior to the 7100.

    Edge:

    Rogers doesn't charge more for EDGE, if your device has it and you've got a data plan, then you're on EDGE. Of course, if the signal is weak or not available, it will slip back to GPRS.

    I have EDGE where I live, and have only noticed a few seconds of GPRS after hanging up a phone call. Don't know what I would lose EDGE while on the phone, but it's happened.

    I'm not thoroughly convinced that EDGE is faster then GPRS, based on my 24 hours of experience. Well, yeah, it's faster from device to tower, but that means nothing for whatever is being served to the device over the internet. The other thing that I only just figured out is the browser selection. There are three browsers listed: WAP, Internet, and BlackBerry. They can all be configured to emulate different browsers, and they can all be set to browse different networks. Obviously, WAP browses WAP. But Internet and BlackBerry are set by default to browse through BES/MDS and BIS respectively. (There is always some type of RIM-server side something happening, because something is acting as a middle man to get web sites and squish down the graphics and display them on the screen. Going through my BES, I can browse intranet sites, so therefore I know that trying to browse the internet is going through not only the BES/MDS, but also whatever firewalls we have on the network for desktop computers too.)

    However, with messages, EDGE is definitely faster. I get emails much more quickly, and PINs are sent faster, and I hardly wait at all for the delivery confirmation.

    Screen:

    The screen is brighter and crisper, at least to me. Though apparently the 7100 and the 7130 both share the same screen hardware (??).

    Where the 7130 really shines, or rather, doesn't shine, is the auto dimming of the screen. In a dark room? The screen dims automatically so you don't blind yourself. (Great for me, as I often read RSS while in bed.) Go into bright light, the screen lightens accordingly, so it is also viewable. Haven't tested direct sunlight, but then again, I've never needed to do that before, so even if it does work, I wouldn't notice.

    Brightness of screen is still adjustable in Options. But I've not yet come across anything to enable or disable the auto dimming. Though, I've not actually looked for it either.

    The top side "power" button will now go to full brightness with first press, and then off with second press. (Why is it even called a power button? It doesn't shut the power off at all.)

    Ring tunes:

    Having had other mp3 capable phones before the 7100, I already had a stock of my own homemade / homeripped mp3 tones/tunes ready to go.

    Yes, you've got to upload them to somewhere on the web, and then download them. I didn't even try emailing. I read that it doesn't work.

    I'm not too concerned with searching for more tones/tunes. I've got the ones I want. And it didn't take too long to post them to my web space and download them.

    The sound quality is comparable with the Moto V600 or RAZR.

    Battery Cover:

    The battery cover is nearly hidden. It doesn't look like a battery cover at all. But it's also a bit of a test to slide it off too, especially if your hands are not grippy enough. And when downloading installing deleting and rebooting apps to get all the stuff on there that was on the 7100, this was a chore.

    Although slightly annoying to get the cover off, I prefer the style of the 7130 over the 7100, so I will put up with the cover.

    Memory:

    7100 has 32 MB of memory with 4 MB of RAM.
    7130 has 64 MB of memory with 16 MB of RAM.

    I was constantly running out of space on the 7100, especially after I started reading RSS articles.

    I foresee that I will no longer have this problem.

    Price:

    With Rogers, it's never the advertised price.

    The 7130g is listed at $399 with 36 month contract. But if you don't want to sign, you can get monthly for $499. I qualified for a $200 discount (which is based per user per 12 month average of bills; if your bills are high, then your discount is high). However, I was not "eligible" for an upgrade, so there was a $153 "pre-upgrade" fee. I will see it on my bill, but the dealer told me about only after he put it all on my account and dropped off the 7130 at my office. Geez. Who's gonna say NO to that? He also suggested that I call and fight it. At most, or best, or least, or whatever, I will get them to reverse the "upgrade" and just pay the full $399, especially if they will refuse to credit the $153 fine. I'm eligible in November 2006.

    The End


    If you've got any specific questions, let me know, and I will try to answer.

  2. #2
    hayden's Avatar
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    Re: Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    great review!

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    Re: Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    Thanx for the review Lewis; i'm due for an upgrade in september and i'm looking at the 7130 from cingular.. I'm used to the suretype on my 7100g and the 8700 is just a bit wide for my liking...great review!
    holla atcha boy

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    Re: Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    UPDATE:

    I told my dealer about the slothlike browsing. I then called Rogers data support. They resent the service books and reset my account. Still nothing improved.

    And though all the settings were the same as the 7100 (I think they were imported OTA from my BES when I changed it over and the enterprise activation was running), I decided to change the browsers around.

    Options > Advanced Options > Browser

    Default browser = BlackBerry
    Default MDS browser = Internet

    That was original, and the same on the 7100. But I switched it, so that the default browser was Internet and the MDS browser was BlackBerry, and now it seems to fly through all that web surfing stuff. No more "requesting" blue bars running for minutes until an error pops up.

    However, the Rogers Tech Support started a ticket. The rep even admitted that the 7130g is so new, that they didn't even have one in their office with which to test problems. (Yikes!!)

    I won't be holding my breath for any replies from Tech Support or my dealer.

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    Re: Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    ~via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~Great review Lewis. Enjoyed reading it.

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    Re: Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    Nice review. I have a suggestion. http://www.fortte.com has some cases for the 7130c that might fit the 7130g. They do ship outside of the US so I would look into a case if the pinky gets too painful. I experienced this type of pain with my last full keyboard based phone (not a BB), but it was from my fingers being wrapped around the back of the phone.

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    Re: Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    Here's their Open Face Case that comes with a screen protector built in (I love this feature and I'm hoping to get it incorporated with the other cases. I've bought 2 already). http://www.fortte.com/scr/showcategory3.php/86

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    Re: Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    Hi,

    I just bought a 7130g and am looking for a Unlocking software for it...am having a hard time finding it...any suggestions...

    I am on FIDO and the phone is locked on ROgers....


    Please help me.........

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    Re: Review: 7100r vs. 7130g on Rogers Wireless

    am subcribing to instant email reply...so msg again..

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