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So I'm a long-time Pearl owner but have always lived in an area with no ... BlackBerry Bold forum

  1. #1
    jahf's Avatar
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    Wi-Fi capabilities? BT questions, too.

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    So I'm a long-time Pearl owner but have always lived in an area with no cell phone coverage. I've been strongly pondering a 3G Iphone but the Bold overall (except screen size) could fit me much better. Damn I wish either Apple or RIM would make a full screen phone with slide-out keyboard. Anyway ... on to the questions:

    WiFi:

    I'm wondering what all the Bold can do, besides browsing, when it only has WiFi access?

    * Make calls?

    * Receive calls?

    * SMS over WiFi? (I know, I'm probably dreaming there, but I really wish I could use SMS messaging from home without the hoops of going through email, since most of my extended family's phones don't send email)

    * Other stuff I wouldn't expect?

    I was interested in the T-Mobile hotspot@home service but if they're not offering the Bold ... well ... pfft. So what all is needed to activate the WiFi services on a Bold on Verizon? I will have to wait for AT&T to offer (corp expense plans don't cover verizon) but it will give me some idea.


    Bluetooth:

    Also, how is the Bluetooth support? I have a car system that makes and receives calls on my Pearl fine but I can't xfer my phone book to the car. I'm hoping the Bold has relaxed some of the BT limitations.

    Can I use a BT headset with the Bold?

  2. #2
    michaelk's Avatar
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    I'll answer from what I know at this point (don't use BT much, so someone else can fill that in):

    Using WIFI

    -nope, can't do SMS over WiFi. the only 2 transmission options are over circuit or packet. either way, you need to be on your phone's network.

    -making calls also can't be done without having a VoIP client. I've been looking for a free Skype client, but so far haven't found one.

    -stuff you wouldn't expect? well, I was reading reports before that you can't run WiFi without running a normal mobile connection. all I can say is: WRONG. I've been using only WiFi or only regular connection, depending on where I am. downloading is FAST over WiFi, and a bit slower over 3G.

    Bluetooth

    -Of course you can use a BT headset with Bold, same as with any other BB.

    As for the full screen + slide out keyboard, the HTC TyTn II has that, and it's a monster in terms of size. if you have a full keyboard, the screen size suffers. full size screen and you end up with touch screen (which I don't particularly enjoy). That said, I'm rather pleased with this phone. Now, if only I could find some cool free programs for it...

    Hope that clarified things!

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    jahf's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by michaelk View Post
    -making calls also can't be done without having a VoIP client. I've been looking for a free Skype client, but so far haven't found one.
    What about receiving calls from your mobile number?

    If no to either making nor receiving calls from my mobile number then there really is no benefit (for me) to the Bold over the iPhone 3G for it having WiFi, since both can use a 3rd party VOIP system and neither can use WiFi to place normal calls.

    Thanks for the answers either way

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    You mean receiving VoIP calls? Assuming you're referring to a SkypeIn account, that would still require a Skype client. You can't make data calls without a client providing access to the service itself. IM+ Skype for BB is 30 bucks US, and allows for making and receiving data calls. I'm tempted to buy it, but want to find some reviews on it first.

    That said, 3G is still in development effectively, and implementation has been a bit spotty. While my connection has been solid, I've heard of many people having issues with streaming data, so it may not be the most solid yet. I'm sure it will improve as capacity use necessitates hardware upgrades.

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    michaelk's Avatar
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    And just to add, in terms of the benefits of a BB over the Iphone, someone said that it was effectively like comparing steak and lobster. I use the email functions for work and school, and I enjoy using BB messenger to communicate with my far-off friends without incurring international txt msg fees. Also, data compression on BB makes surfing a lot faster.

    That said, there is a trade-off in terms of less free GOOD apps available (sad but true), and the screen isn't as large as the Iphone's. The music player is still a bit lame, sad to say, but I don't really use it much anyway (I can live with having an ipod and phone separately, shocking to say).

    My verdict is still to go with the Bold. I love it.

  6. #6
    jahf's Avatar
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    No, I'm talking about the old holy grail of Cell <-> WiFi service. Where if you are out of cell service you can make and receive calls on the same number as your normal cell over WiFi, with the phone using the internet for transport. Not Skype at all.

    T-Mobile Hotspot@Home will do this with at least one phone now.

    If the Bold doesn't have a way for me to do this, then WiFi on the Bold isn't any improvement over WiFi on the iPhone for me. I'm looking for a way to use a single phone number at home and travelling in an area with zero cell signal. Currently I have a mesh of forwarding setup on a VOIP account, but replacing it with a single phone, single account, that can use either Cell or WiFi to make calls is what I want to end up with.

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    As far as I can tell, this feature is carrier-dependent. Rogers has its Hotspot service that allows for seemless handoff between WiFi and regular airtime use. Rogers has a cross-Canada Talkspot rate which allows for handoff inside and outside your home area, and I'm sure TMo has a similar service, tho you'll have to check.

  8. #8
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    Well, more research shows that T-Mobile's Hotspot@Home is branding of a technology called UMA and from what little I can find about UMA even if I got an unlocked phone and even if AT&T supports UMA (I can't tell yet, possibly no), there would be issues configuring it properly.

    Looks like for now I'm putting myself on a holding pattern and hoping the T-Mobile Javelin comes out before the end of the year. It should have UMA and, with the exception of the HSDPA, be pretty much the same as a Bold.

    I'd like 3G, but I can live without it if it means actually being able to use the phone at home.

    The Storm/Thunder looks like it won't have UMA, so that's a no-go.

    Damnit, too, cause I would have preferred a Bold on AT&T's network

    And by that point the first Android phones will be out and some are speculating that at least one will have UMA. So back to making decisions.

    PS. Iphone definitely doesn't support UMA at this time.

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