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Verdict: All models had their pros and cons. Pros: The 7100 series models are more ... Smartphone Reviews forum

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    EricaJ1073's Avatar
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    Verdict: All models had their pros and cons.
    Pros: The 7100 series models are more compact, lightweight and functioned better than the 7730 model.
    Cons: The 7730's signal strength, screen and battery life.
    URL: http://www.blackberry.com
    Overall Rating: 5 out of 5 stars for the 7100 series.

    I have been seeing a lot of questions all over Pinstack and other forums about the T-Mobile BlackBerry 7105t (and the entire 7100 series) so I decided to review my phone (and include a comparison to my 7100t and my 7730 full keyboard BB which I no longer use but I keep the 7100t for backup). I've had 6 weeks to play around with the 7105t. I've seen a few people who have said they want a "sexy" BlackBerry and this phone is definitely sexy LMAO Here we go. I don't have a camera so I'm going into as much detail as possible so you know exactly what the phones look like.

    For starters, the first thing you will notice is the color of the phone. I have always liked black so I was happy to see the face of the 7105t was black. My avatar is evidence of the other colors of the 7105t so I won't go into much more detail about the color of the phone itself. My 7730 is totally black and the trimming around the screen is white. The 7100t is a blue-grey combination on the faceplate and grey on the body of the phone. The screens of my 7730 and 7100t are outlined in white. Even the BlackBerry logos at the top of the phones have changed between models. On the 7730 it is black with an envelope above it. On the 7100t it is a grey color and white on the 7105t.

    As I said above, the form factor of this phone is one feature that usually converts full keyboard users to SureType users (I will explain SureType later). This phone is a smaller, candy bar shape with round corners. It feels just like a regular cell phone and is very light. Even with my form fitting open face case, egrips and extended battery, it still does not feel like it is heavier than the 4.2 ounces it's documented to be according to http://www.blackberry.com

    The scrool wheel and escape key are on the same side as the full keyboard BBs (except some of the keys have been moved on the newer 8700 series full keyboard and an additional softkey is on the left side under the headset and USB ports). My 7730 is a flat waffle PDA style phone and is much heavier even with no accessories or extended battery LOL (I've seen the 8700 series phones and they are as small as the 7100 series but still have that PDA form to them.)

    On the top of the phones is the power button (the power button is a triangle shaped key below the keypad on the 7730 and has an icon of a grey-colored which will brighten the screen when pressed a second time). There is one additional feature that was not included with other 7100 series models. That feature enables you to push the power button to brighten, dim or turn off the display completely. When the screen is off you can press the power button one time to turn it on. Pressing it a second time brightens the screen and a third press turns the screen back off (the phone stays on). The LED coverage light still shows the same colors as in previous 7100 series models. On the back of the phone, the speaker is now black instead of the blue/grey combo of the 7100t. There is no speakerphone on the 7730 unless I can't find it lol

    The keyboards of the 3 have more detail than I have room for, so to save space, I will not list those features. Go to the above site and compare the keypads.

    The real fun begins when you turn the phone on. But before I go into that, one feature of the screen is that it is now a scratch and crack-resistant screen (thanks to constant complaints of scratched and cracked 7100t screens). I never scratched either screen but I still appreciate the new feature. This has put many BB users' minds to rest although I have still heard about some getting cracked or scratched and needing to be repaired or replaced.

    Now to the icons and internal workings of the phone.

    The default T-Mobile icon theme (which I changed the day I got the phone) is still the same as it was with the 7100t icon theme. This can be changed if you do not like it by downloading more themes and upgrading your Operating System.

    I have only used the web browser to go to a few BB wap sites and other sites from my phone but the web browser loads pages and downloads MUCH faster than my 7100t did (unless you are upgrading the system which takes 20 minutes and the hourglass just seems to sit there for HOURS). I have downloaded and used other third party browsers and have to say that the pre-loaded BlackBerry Browser works better. I did not browse on my 7730 so I am sure it was slower than dirt LOL

    As I promised earlier, the next feature I will talk about is SureType technology (not available on full keyboard models). You will appreciate this when you are in a bind or multitasking and all of a sudden need to send or reply to an email or text message (as I was doing a few minutes ago while writing this review LMAO). The size of the 7100 series phones make this the perfect device for all of you one handed drivers (although I have read stories about successful full keyboard users driving and emailing, texting, IMing, PIN messaging etc. LOL)

    As opposed to the other BlackBerries that have the QWERTY style keyboards, the 7100 series keypads that feature 2 letters per key instead of one. When typing a message, SureType will try to guess the word you want to use by presenting you with a choice of combinations. You can do one of 2 things when this happens: 1) You can use the Next key (which has 2 arrows pointing to the right and the asterisk above it) and select the correct word; or 2) You can continue to type your word and use the Next key to find the correct word AFTER you finish typing. I have done both.

    Also, Multitap has been added to the 7100 series due to the need to enter passwords, text in fields and PIN numbers to add people to BlackBerry Messenger. This means you tap the key one time to get the first letter on the key and two times to get the second letter. To type passwords, however, you need to hold down the Shift key (an up arrow with aA to go between lowercase and uppercase letters). This will cause each character of the password to become an asterisk so it stays private. On the full keyboard BlackBerries, you only have to type each letter without holding the Shift key). It will also try to predict letters but not full words like SureType.

    I have only ONE gripe about going back and forth between SureType and Mulitap on my 7100 series phones. Whenever I go to enter a PIN number, I have to hold the Shift key and the letter key to get a number (or the Shift key and the Next key to get to the second letter on a key). This enables Multitap and I will sometimes forget to go to the menu and re-enable SureType (I discover later that I still have Multitap enabled . I'm trying to train myself to go back and make sure SureType is re-enabled). I didn't have to worry about this on my 7730.

    I have not had a chance to use my 7105t as as phone yet, (I didn't use my 7730 as a phone either) but I did use my 7100t as a phone and the quality of that phone was great whether I was using it hands free with the speakerphone, handsfree wired headset or BT headset. I was told I sound great on my 7100t even over the noise of my 2 young nieces. The 7105t should live up to the 7100t once I add minutes and get a BT headset and BT carkit installed on my van. Couldn't do BT with my 7730.

    Battery life is also much better on my 7105t. On the 7100t I could get maybe 2 days but my 7730 had to be charged daily . I can get almost 3 days on my 7105t and hope to get more with the extended battery I just bought.

    Signal strength is also much better. I could not keep a signal in my own house on my 7730 which meant I couldn't travel with it . I took my 7100t with me to camp for a week last year and never went below 2 bars. I am hoping to get a repeat and maybe better performance with the 7105t than my 7100t and not be below between 3 and 5 bars. Also with it being a Quad-band phone, I am hoping it works the next time I decide to take a cruise outside the US (I went to Mexico and had to leave my 7730 at home last year for 8 days and had MAJOR BB withdrawal. I think it's not Quad-band ).

    Included software: On the 7100 series phones, Yahoo, AIM, MSN, and ICQ come together pre-loaded in a package powered by Oz. You can also download a separate stand alone version of Yahoo Messenger onto your phone but you must use other software programs to access AIM, ICQ, and MSN on the full keyboard series. I downloaded AIM, MSN, Yahoo and ICQ onto my 7730 as a bundle package. All of the other standard, pre loaded applications are the same on all 3 phones.

    Navigating these 3 phones is the same since the icons are all on the screen. However, on the 7100 series there is one difference. On the 7100 series, there is an Applications icon (briefcase), which takes you to a whole separate screen with additional applications. Same thing with the Options and Instant Messaging icons. You can choose whatever option you want from these additional screens. The 7730 does not have this briefcase. All applications are on one screen except Messaging and Options. The trackwheel on all 3 models allows you to scroll to each option and press in on it to select it. Back out of your choices with the Escape key above the trackwheel.

    This is my comparison of the three phones. I think I covered all the bases. I just wanted to have enough detail in order to let a new BB user decide whether they want the 7100 series SureType phone or the full keyboard handheld phone. The features I described on my 7730 are available on the 8700 series handhelds if you want a newer version of it (I do but I can't afford it because I just bought the 7105t). Hope I helped someone make a decision about a BlackBerry LOL

    I forgot to mention that with SureType you can add words to your AutoText list and it will come up correctly. You can also delete words to make this happen. One tip I saw was to enter hh for "hey" and replace that with "get" so the word "get" is properly predicted. Saw this in another thread. Here it is http://blackberryforums.pinstack.com...read.php?t=348
    Last edited by EricaJ1073; 05-23-2006 at 05:34 AM. Reason: Added information to review

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    Re: My 7100t, 7105t and 7730 Reviewed and Compared

    Thanks for the pics Hydn

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    Re: My 7100t, 7105t and 7730 Reviewed and Compared

    ~~Posted via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~~
    I would trust Erica when it comes to reviews on the bb. Seems that she has owned every one ever invented short of the 8700! Just my $0.02

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    Re: My 7100t, 7105t and 7730 Reviewed and Compared

    haha.. that's true Nate! I think my prob is i've owned to much of the same. Been through 3 7290's 1 7230's and 2 7210's.

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    Re: My 7100t, 7105t and 7730 Reviewed and Compared

    Quote Originally Posted by N8DBB
    ~~Posted via BB (wap.pinstack.com)~~
    I would trust Erica when it comes to reviews on the bb. Seems that she has owned every one ever invented short of the 8700! Just my $0.02
    LMAO N8. I want one bad but can't afford it. Yall want a review of my non-functional 950? LMAO

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    Re: My 7100t, 7105t and 7730 Reviewed and Compared

    Thanks a lot Erica very informative.

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    Re: My 7100t, 7105t and 7730 Reviewed and Compared

    Quote Originally Posted by hydn
    haha.. that's true Nate! I think my prob is i've owned to much of the same. Been through 3 7290's 1 7230's and 2 7210's.
    WOW I've gone thru a 950, 2 7730's, 2 7100t's, and 1 7105t.

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    Re: Review: 7100t, 7105t and 7730 Compared

    If it's ok to hijack my own thread, I'll post a review of the Pearl when I get it.


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