So I got a Blackberry Torch yesterday

This is the first Blackberry I've ever owned. I'm pretty excited.

I'm looking forward to better access to my Lotus Notes/eProductivity systems while I'm on the go, a functionality that I've been lacking for a while. Plus business-critical features like secure Blackberry Messenger will be great to have for communicating with our eProductivity team.  

Now, there are lots of exhaustive Blackberry Torch reviews all over the web (for instance here, here, and here), so I won't be adding another one. I'll leave the "objective" reviews for the tech journalists. No, this post (and subsequent ones) are going to be all about my personal impressions and thoughts about the Torch as I use it for everyday job and life responsibilities. So I get to be as biased or unbiased as I feel like. ;-)

Ok, I'm going to give a few first impressions from my Torch and then end by posting a couple of semi-blurry screenshots since that seems like the traditional blogging thing to do.

So my first impressions of the phone are generally positive. First of all, the phone feels well-built. Some might call it hefty compared to other smartphones; to me, the solid feel gives confidence that this phone can take a beating and keep on working. I have the same feelings about my Lenovo Thinkpad which I love for it's sturdy design, among other reasons. But even though the phone seems a little heavy, it's not too large and it fits nicely in my hand.

The glossy surface definitely attracts fingerprint smudges, as you can see in the photos below. I'll probably be a frequent user of the cleaning cloth that came in the box.

One of my hesitancies about getting the Torch was the pushback from the Gizmodos and Engadgets of the world saying this phone had an underpowered processor, a low-res screen (compared to, say, the iPhone), and just general sluggish performance. That worried me a bit. But so far, my Torch seems snappy and smooth in performance, and the screen is bright and clear. I think it's quite aesthetically pleasing, even when I compare it to my iPod Touch running iOS 4. Let's see what I think when I've had more time to clutter it up with apps and information.

Lastly, thanks to our BES server here at eProductivity, connecting the phone to my Notes tasks, calendar, and email was a breeze. I looking forward to digging into the productivity aspects of the phone. I've already noticed that coming out of the box, the Task app was ridiculously buried...

Well, I'll be traveling extensively this next weekend + part of next week. That should give me a great opportunity to put this thing through it's paces. I'll keep you updated.

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Hey Gmail, Lotus Notes did it first

I've posted about the new Gmail Priority Inbox over on the "Notes on Productivity" blog. Did you know that Notes has had a similar inbox style available for almost 10 years? Find out more.

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