Blackberry or Android? A millennial’s guide for finding the right phone

Lauren Yanow

After two years of begging my Blackberry trackball to do what I say, my cell phone contract is up. As much as I hate the idea of signing another two year contract, it’s the price I must pay to get a shiny new phone at a price an unpaid intern can afford.

Here’s the question: What phone should I get?

Although I’ve pleaded with my parents on multiple occasions to switch to AT&T for the sole purpose of buying me an iPhone, I have accepted the fate that I will forever be stuck with T-Mobile. (Well, at least until I’m ready to pay my own phone bill.)

I have been a Blackberry user since high school. I started with an adorable white Blackberry Pearl. As a college student, I traded up for a more reliable Blackberry Curve. I swore I would never give up my Blackberry. But now I’m considering switching from the “professional phone” to one that is more fun and has more apps.

Should a social savvy millennial be using a Blackberry or an Android phone?

I’m torn. But please feel free to add your two cents.

Should I stick with my Blackberry?

One word: Email. Blackberry phones are famous for its ability to interface with email providers. As someone who is currently interning and also on the job hunt, the ability to check my email at any moment is essential to my success. While Android phones also have this capability, it is a specialty of Blackberry devices. Aside from email, BBM or Blackberry Messenger is a big bonus. For those of you have never owned a Blackberry, BBM is like AIM for phones. It’s only available to Blackberry users (for now), but BBM sends your messages at lightning speed. It also tells you if the message was delivered and when it is read. Think of it like Facebook stalking for cell phones.

Or should I just jump on the millennial bandwagon and get an Android?

Apps, apps and more apps. Even though Blackberry does offer the essentials (Twitter, Foursquare, Facebook,  and ESPN Scorecenter), it’s just not enough. Blackberry doesn’t have an app store. Even though some people want a phone to play Angry Birds with, I want a phone that speaks to my inner-social media nerd. Our generation is always about finding out what’s new and better. How am I supposed to keep up, if my Blackberry can’t? With an Android phone, I would finally be able to access the Internet at higher speeds. This way, I can download apps that will keep me up-to-date on news or apps that help me find a place to eat lunch. In addition, I’ve got an unhealthy addiction to Google, Gmail, and Google Calendar, which will sync well with an Android device.

Well, it’s good that I have some time before I make my decision. After all, making a two year commitment is a big deal for any millennial.

Living Off the Grid: 5 Surprising Benefits

By Jenny Fukumoto

I lost my iPhone for the first time last weekend. I don’t expect that to come as a shock, since many millennials I know are currently on phone No. 3…or No. 30.

I was “disconnected” for five and a half days. I resorted to involuntary seclusion, as I didn’t want to miss a possible email or tweet from the hotel I left my phone at. I even considered skipping my weekly trek to Jewel Osco, but finally got tired of eating leftovers.

So for five and a half days there was a monkey wrench thrown into my smart phone-infused life. But as I reflect, I realize there were 5 surprising benefits of living “off the grid”:

1. I did not check my work email during non-work hours. And it felt sooooo good!

2. I lived in the moment. While waiting for the bus, I didn’t check my email or text someone back. I instead waited and really looked at my surroundings. I might even go so far as to write I smelled the roses — and the other various scents of Chicago.

3. There was no need to tell people where I was or what I was doing. Without Foursquare, Facebook and Twitter, I didn’t have the impulse to check-in, or share information about my day.

4. I paid more attention to my boyfriend. On our date night, I didn’t have the phone on the table; I didn’t need to text or call anyone back.

5. I had one less battery to worry about charging. How many times have you forgotten to charge your phone, only to have it die when you’re out and about?

Though it was a very humbling experience, I will not be sad if I never have to go through disconnection again!

Can you add to my list? Let us know!