Gadget week #3: Blackberry 7290

I admit it, I’m a Crackberry addict. I have been for years, since I bought my old 957 and started having access to my email wherever I went in North America (well, almost everywhere: since it ran over the digital pager networks, there were some large holes in rural areas). After more than four years, I decided that there wasn’t room in my handbag for my old Nokia phone and my 957 — and they were both starting to be an embarrassment in front of my geeky friends — so I combined functionality and went for the Blackberry 7290. It’s a GSM/GPRS phone/email/PDA all-in-one device that is supposed to work almost anywhere, although I haven’t travelled outside of North America since I bought it, but it’s certainly worked everywhere that I’ve been, including many places where the older technology didn’t work. I really like how everything is integrated: I get an email from someone, and as long as they’re in my address book (which I synch with my Outlook address book), I can call them directly from the email. Or email them back. Or SMS them. All without looking them up in the address book as a separate operation.

The down side: the screen is smaller than the old 957, although the good resolution and colour makes up for that somewhat. However, I did have to bump the font size in order to hold off the bifocals for another year. There are a few functions that I’d like to be more convenient, for example, call forwarding (which I do whenever I’m in my office) requires way too much navigation.

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