BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

Summary: The BlackBerry PlayBook is a fun device with a slick user interface and powerful operating system. It is made better with a BB smartphone so I now want RIM to release their new 6.1 models.

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I posted my RIM BlackBerry PlayBook first impressions video yesterday and have been using the device extensively since then. I am so impressed with the hardware and potential of the QNX-based Tablet OS that I started looking for my own BlackBerry smartphone (I am using a loaner for a while as I test out my PlayBook and write Wiley's BlackBerry PlayBook Companion book) and am disappointed that RIM did not launch any new devices prior to the PlayBook launch. CrackBerry has a post on the upcoming 2011 lineup and I have my eye on the BlackBerry Bold Touch that I think would be a perfect PlayBook companion.

As mentioned by Kevin and the gang on CrackBerry podcast 067 it would have made more sense to launch the new BlackBerry 6.1 devices first and then follow up with the QNX-based PlayBook so people would then get a glimpse of the future OS that will eventually be coming to their smartphone line. As it is now, people get a glimpse of QNX and then will have to purchase smartphones with the "older" operating system and it may be seen as a slight step backwards. At this time, I think the existing BB OS for smartphones is fine when paired with a PlayBook so it may be more of a perception issue RIM has to overcome than a major concern.

James wrote a post about why he thinks RIM will sell quite a few PlayBooks and I agree with his reasoning about it being attractive to BlackBerry owners. I also think companies that issue BlackBerry smartphones (like Boeing here in Washington State) will love the security aspects of the PlayBook and may embrace them as well.

Today, we here that RIM may have sold up to 50,000 PlayBooks already, which is more than the Xoom and Samsung Galaxy Tab sold at launch and we haven't even hit the weekend yet. There are people in my office that had no idea that the PlayBook launched since the weekend store ads haven't appeared yet and there has not been any real marketing of the product.

There was one software update as I unpacked and setup my PlayBook and today another appeared. The one today was MAJOR for me as it added in the GPS functionality to make Bing Maps and Poynt actually useful applications. There are still many missing applications, but I have confidence that RIM is working hard to get apps out on the device.

I loaded up a couple of movies and lots of music and am VERY impressed with the speaker quality and beautiful display of the PlayBook that makes it a very good media device. I just need to find a case that props it up for watching movies on the airplane.

It's pretty funny that I am thinking of a BB smartphone to go with a PlayBook rather than looking at the PlayBook as a companion to an existing smartphone and I imagine I am in the minority here.

Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, Mobile OS, Mobility, BlackBerry

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22 comments
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  • Interesting

    I guess the BB phone needs 3G or better? In other words, the lower end BBs will not do?
    Economister
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

      @Economister I have an 8900 and I was able to pair it easily with the BB Bridge (t-mobile). However, as a tethered modem, I think it feel a bit like a dialup connection. I'm curious to use the Bold Touch, but the the QNX phones, if they perform like Playbook, will be crazy good.
      scootnyinzer
  • I Fall in the same category

    im goin to buy a BB smartphone to accompany my playbook the smart phone will basically be just a phone + modem as the playbook has all the functionality. im planing to buy a BB curve 3g I.e the cheapest 3g phone in the BB lineup to tether to my Playbook!!
    kindly advice should i buy The curve 3g now or w8 for a newer version of the curve that Crackberry says will be launched in may-June
    gofundoo
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

      @gofundoo

      If you can hold out a little more the OS 6.1 Blackberrys are worth the wait as they feature comparable hardware specs to almost everything on the market.

      The Bold Touch is going to sell like crazy. It's the Blackberry many people have been waiting for a long time.
      MobileAdmin
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

    i own an iphone 4 but am considering a trade to a new blackberry. that bridge is very interesting would save me 300 a year. playbook needs apps but once it gets there it will be awesome.
    fraze8888
    • But graphics is 3-5 times slower and vector-FP is like 10 times slower ...

      @fraze8888: ... than iPad 2 (TI's chip has old graphic co-processor and no vector-FPU, just regular FPU). And the device is thicker and plasticky. And applications will be sparse by tens of times order even when some will really appear.

      I mean that if you really have to have these $300 a year, and it is more important than almost everything else, then PB is your right choice; else it is not.
      DDERSSS
      • Maybe he doesn't care

        @denisrs

        Maybe the playbook will meet his needs and save him $300 a year. Maybe his ego does not enter into it. What good are 300 000 apps or whatever. Do you use all of them?
        Economister
      • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

        @denisrs It already comes with all the apps 99% of consumers would use. App count is such an over-rated thing. Endlessly poking around installing this and that. What a waste of time.
        southlander
      • Careful with that assumption...

        @denisrs Carriers are going to squeeze the last cent out of you. So, it's hard to assume that just because RIM tells us that there isn't a tethering charge that there won't actually be one. Last I heard AT&T was still assessing that issue and I would expect the other carriers could potentially follow if AT&T charges for the tethering.
        bchen@...
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

      @fraze8888 <br>I checke out the Playbook at a local Best Buy and was under whelmed. The screen is ok but the rest, I don't know. First, the device feels quite heavy for its small size. Carrying that in your jacket pocket may not be the most comfortable thing.<br><br>The browser, which is supposed to be one of the positive things, got stuck in landscape mode and wouldn't go back until some vigorous shaking. The lack of apps seals the deal for me. My main use would be reading news and books. The iPad with its large screen fills the bill...
      prof123
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

    Am I missing something here? It's completely absurd that one needs a BB as a bridge to access non web based email systems, your calendar and to get a 3g signal. To sell it as a security feature is just plain ludicrous. If a BB can be so secure when it has 3G then why can't they lock down a wifi playbook? It's just a bigger BB - It's 2011 guys. You gotta come with your A game. This product was rushed to the market before the software was even half baked. <br><br>On a side note, I'd like to know what movies you downloaded to your playbook? Are there any movie services for BB? Netflix? Any movies that were legal? <br><br>And for those of you that keep saying it's not about the number of apps, again am I missing something? Ever heard of MagicPlan? Check out the app. You get things like this when there are over 300,000 apps at your finger tips... Where is Pandora, Skype, netflix, MLB, FIFA 2011, on and on and on...
    panic man
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

      @panic man

      You didn't miss anything.
      kenosha77a
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

    Yes, the number of applications take more of your time than increase your productivity. And yet none of those have everything that consumer needs despite the huge numbers of applications they have
    ahmadmunauwar
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

      @ahmadmunauwar
      How do you know what I need? I have a hell of a better chance finding an app I need with the iPad than the Playbook. All I can say is, too little, too late...
      prof123
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

    Panic Man, can you watch shows on your iPad2 that are on Comedy Central, Joost, Spiketv, etc...? Out of the 300K apps, how many of them are of value? What is half-baked about the playbook? The native application argument will be history soon because RIM has stated they will have this issue addressed in 60 days. Are you using the term half-baked because you heard it from biased analysts? Or, are you using this term due to experience or use of the Playbook? I can say that the iPad2 is half-baked based on the following: No Adobe Flash support, and ports for HDMI, USB, and SD all require adapters. In addition, I can definitely say the iPad2 is a big iPhone, iPod, etc... <br><br>On my Playbook I can watch MLB, ESPN3, etc... I can go to the internet for radio!!! HULU was available until they blocked the website. I am very sure that Skype, Netflix, etc. will be available soon because these companies are not going to lose out on revenue opportunities - they are not biased; they are equal revenue opportunist...
    jamesbyjr
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

      @jamesbyjr

      Hulu workaround.

      www.playbookrevolution.com
      MobileAdmin
    • Because the iPad is not a stand alone device, a Hulu solution exists

      @jamesbyjr

      A two dollar VNC app called Splashtop remote will stream all Flash based content to an iPad. That's one advantage of a very large application ecosystem.
      kenosha77a
    • Uhh - hello, battery life

      @jamesbyjr I had a playbook up until this last weekend. As the WSJ has noted, if you run the flash video for too long, the Flash support will destroy the battery. While the flash is cool, it's useless if the battery is dead.
      bchen@...
    • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

      @jamesbyjr

      I call it half baked because I have used the prototypes and the shipping model. Helps to be a developer that works with a rather large cell company in the US. I also call it half baked because if RIM was fully baked they would have realized what a let down this product is. How many months ago was it announced?? The shipping version surely didn't gain anything during that time. 60 from now to implement something that should have been baked into the product from the start is a joke. Again it's 2011 man, not 1995.

      Your list about items lacking in the ipad -
      1) No flash, that is a feature and thank freaking god there's no flash
      2) No HDMI - how about Airplay. How awesome is it to be tethered to your 52" screen with an HDMI cable. That is so laughable. Let me get off the couch every time I want to pause or rewind the video or the presentation.
      3) Get a wifi SD card and all the cable and port issues are non issues
      4) MLB, ESPN3 Hulu, are all available on the ipad so I am not quite sure what your point is
      5) Don't hold your breath for Skype. It just landed on android phones recently and netflix is still not available on android.
      6) One day if there ever is a market for the playbook you might get a few developers jumping on board but not in 2011. Being a developer it's not even on our radar. It's a joke. The android layer baked in for android apps is a joke. Why would I waste dev dollars creating a native playbook app when I can just push an android app?

      Again this thing is half baked and joke considering it's 2011.
      panic man
  • RE: BlackBerry PlayBook; a good reason to buy a BlackBerry smartphone

    Sorry, but I think that the PlayBook is DOA. There are several reasons. One is that the BlackBerry brand is no longer considered "cool". It was cool maybe 3 years ago but no more. RIM was sleeping at the wheel after the iPhone came out. Both CEO's have such huge egos, they would not admit that Apple has beaten them to the punch. Instead of learning something and creating a new "cool" product, they are pandering to the CIO of large companies, who are even more conservative than they are. <br><br>I watched a few interviews with RIM CEO Mike Lazardis and let me say that if I was a RIM shareholder, I would want this guy out or at least keep him in a closed room. The guy has zero charm, cannot do a proper demo, fiddles with the device instead of maintaining eye contact when answering questions. In one interview he even walked out... I could not believe what I was seeing.<br><br>RIM is in search of its Mojo (if I find it I will mail it in). The only thing they have is the enterprise, but even there they are under threat from Apple. Many companies allow employees to bring their iPhones/iPads and Apple products are becoming more secure. Bottom line for the near future: <br><br>Consumer market: Apple 10 RIM 1<br>Enterprise market: Apple 6 RIM 5
    prof123