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Blackberry Questions… Help Please!

My palm Treo pro is dying, while it hasn’t completely conked out it has been with me for more than 1 year (the longest ever for any device). I would like to retire it while it is still working.

So I did some initial canvassing and the prices seems fair for an unlocked device. For a Blackberry Bold 9700 around PhP 28,000.00 and for a Blackberry Curve 8520 around PhP 12,000.00

So why would I try the oldest and honestly the crappiest looking, hardest to navigate mobile OS in the market? Well the short answer is CENSORSHIP, or circumventing censorship to be more precise. I learned recently that everything you do with your BB has to go thru RIMs servers in Canadia! Meaning if I were in China and using a China Mobile SIM or hotel wifi. I will still be able to punch thru the Great Firewall of China. Well that is the plan or working theory for the moment.

  1. Does anyone have actual experience using a Blackberry device in China? Can you really access the whole interwebs (with your own SIM doesn’t count as that’s roaming, I mean with China WiFi or local China SIM)?
  2. Chinese input (read as minimum, read & write preferred of course) – just in case I would be needing this.
  3. Swapping SIM cards and registering the device with Blackberry servers – Is this possible? I have lot’s of SIM cards that is why I prefer unlocked devices (it is cheaper to get a local SIM from the country you’re visiting vs roaming), how easy or difficult is this?
  4. Using Blackberry Messenger (BBM) without-Blackberry plan – I am going to use my Sun Cellular SIM (and plan) on this device when in the Philippines. I have an unlimited data plan but I don’t know if BBM will work without a Blackberry plan.

I am still undecided if I should go with a cheapo Curve 8520 or go with the 3G enabled Bold 9700.

With the Curve, aside from being cheaper and lighter. China mobile doesn’t have the same 3G as ours, so I would have no use for 3G when in China. However most of the time I am in the Philippines where we do have 3G which is a point for the Bold.

But before purchasing the device I would appreciate some answers or any more insights you might have about using Blackberry’s to get over the Great Firewall of China.

Sound off in the comments or send me a tweet/email if you have some answers.

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