This year at Christmas it was time for new phones. My wife was leaning towards the Motorola Q9c because of it's media features. I picked up a Black Berry 8830. I wanted to give the dark side a try after having had some exposure to their emulators and development toolkits. I liked the idea of being able to develop for the 8830 with Java or .Net.
I liked the keyboard and auto-completion features of the 8830. I also liked the way the text messages were threaded. The little bit that I was able to test the GPS and web features of the 8830 seemed nice. I was NEVER able to test out it's email capabilities. The only time I could get web based features to work was when I was on the EVDO network. The web features simply wouldn't work on the 1X network. After hours of tech support time it was determined that it "should" work, but it was likely a problem since they are in the process of upgrading the local area to EVDO. This upgrade "should" be complete within the next couple of months. So, I ended up switching to the Q9c.
The Q9c was $50 less than the 8830. It also includes pocket versions of office applications. That would have cost another $100 on the Black Berry. The Q9c also includes a capability to make voice memos. I would have had to purchase a $30 utility for the 8830. I had numerous sync problems with the 8830 and had to wipe out directories on the PC in order to solve them. I can't imagine what a non-technical person would do! The Q9c syncs up with my PC AND my work Exchange account! I set it up myself. With the 8830, I'd have to contact the Black Berry administrator, secure licensing and be subject to all of the RIM outages!
Another nicety of the Q9c is the megapixel camera which the 8830 doesn't have. Also, the Q9c has a honkin' battery which can last for days! Now, I do miss the trackball and GUI of the 8830. I liked that I could go to one place for all of the settings and they were all there in a long list. I didn't have to drill down and navigate through a tree to find the right setting. Also, I like that I could easily change the fonts on the 8830. It had a very nice screen and good feel to it. The Q9c has a rubbery feel which makes you worry less about it sliding around.
The stock 8830 case was blech. The Q9c didn't come with a case. Both have blue tooth, GPS and standard mini-B USB power/sync connectors and 2.5mm head phone jack.
I was thrilled that the 8830 had a password management program built in. However, our security guy advised me that it's not secure. Also, I wasn't able to locate a corresponding desktop application.
I liked that the 8830 did display owner information when the screen is locked. My old Palm OS PDA's would do that as well. I haven't seen the Q9c do that. You've got to dig to find owner information. As I recall, the 8830 also had a better integrated "today" screen.
misses hits in that I can 't browse the file structure of the internal storage via file explore in ActiveSync. It does support mini-SDHC cards though!
I miss the blinking LED of the 8830 that would let me know when I had a text, or missed a call, etc. You've got to wake up the Q9c so that you can see the screen to look for the icons that indicate missed calls, etc.
Overall, I miss some aspects of the 8830. However, the Q9c is doing a great job of meeting my needs. Papyrus and eWallet are essential add-on's. Oh yeah, the Q9c WORKS on the 1X and EVDO network. That right there was the biggest factor for me.