What would it take for you to switch carriers? I know plenty of people who have switched because of poor service, or because they didn’t like the phone options available to them. Would a bribe get you to change your allegiances? Sprint’s betting that it will. They’re now offering a $125 credit if you purchase a smartphone and port your number from another carrier. That seems like an opportunity to check out Sprint’s BlackBerry lineup. If you do switch, what Berry would best fit you?
BlackBerry Curve 9330
This might be the best option of the bunch. That might seem like an odd statement regarding the Curve, since it is not considered the top of the BlackBerry line. But it has always been a value model. On Sprint it is a tremendous value: $0.00. That’s after a $100 mail-in rebate, of course, but you’re responsible enough to mail that in the minute you get home, right? Good. Then you can enjoy a free BlackBerry and get a $125 credit on your bill. If you don’t need to pay a carrier early termination fee, you’ll be in great shape. Sprint offers a 450-minute plan — which includes unlimited messaging, data, and calls to mobile numbers — for $69.99 per month. That means your $125 credit will cover your entire first month and then part of the second. That makes the total two-year cost of ownership $1,554.76 plus tax. You’re not going to find many smartphone deals better than that. Also: The Curve 8530, which is basically the same, but with less memory, costs $49.99 after rebate. Just something to ponder.
BlackBerry Style 9670
It’s been almost six month since Sprint picked up the Style, and I’ve yet to see more than a handful while riding the subway. That’s no definitive measure of the device’s popularity, but considering the initial reaction and the lack of positive reviews, I presume it hasn’t sold very well. Of course, it becomes a bit more attractive if you have a $125 credit to go against the device’s $49.99 cost. That’s $75 you get to put towards your bill, so if you sign up for the 450-minute plan — and with mobile-to-mobile calling that’s all most people need — you basically get one month free. I’d consider this a far better deal than the BlackBerry Tour 9630, which, for some reason, is still for sale at Sprint for $99.99. To boot, it’s the camera-less version. I wonder why they’re still listing that when they also have the 9650, also in non-camera form.
BlackBerry Bold 9650
As a Bold 9650 owner, albeit on Verizon, I can say that this is my favorite BlackBerry device to date. It’s the basic straightforward design you’re used to, but with a few small improvements that give it an edge over the Tour and the Curve. It contains more memory than the Tour, and it has the trackpad, which eliminates the myriad trackball issues I and others have had with the Tour. The additional memory allows it to run BlackBerry OS 6, which, while it’s not the best smartphone OS, is better than OS 5 by a large margin. Think of it in these terms: OS 6 >>>>> OS 5 > OS 4.5 >>> OS 4.2. The drawback is that the $125 credit won’t cover the cost of the phone. That stands at $199.99, which seems a bit expensive for a BlackBerry at this point. Of course, that means you’re really spending only $75 on the phone, which is a quality enough deal considering the original price. Early termination fee As mentioned before, that $125 credit can also help you offset an early termination fee from your previous carrier. Now that they’re pro-rated, as long as you’ve had your service for at least a year chances are that $125 will cover most, if not all, of your remaining fee. You’ll still have to pay your old carrier up front, but the credit on your bill will offset the fee. That means you won’t essentially get a free month’s of service, but it will help you get out of your current contract without it hitting your wallet too hard. There appears to be a decent selection, relatively, of BlackBerry devices available on Sprint. Now that they’re offering $125 for ported customers, are you going to make the switch?