For journalist and radio host Jeremy Bradley, a 9-to-5 job was never really in the cards. That’s not to say he doesn’t keep himself busy, of course: a best-selling author, Bradley writes several syndicated columns for some of the largest newspapers in North America and hosts radio shows that air all over the continent. He’s interviewed hundreds of celebrities, and attended events such as Betty White’s 90th birthday, the Celebrity Apprentice Finale, Fox’s American Country Awards, and – most recently – the Dawson City Music Festival in Canada’s Yukon Territory, 3,000 kilometers north of Vancouver by road (there’s Bradley with one of the artists at the festival).
It’s a busy job, and often one without a clear schedule – and Bradley wouldn’t change a thing about it.
“There isn’t really an average workday for me,” says Bradley. “It’s sort of all over the place. One day, I might interview celebrities; another, I might promote a book or tape a radio show. It can get extremely busy, but I think that’s one of the things that makes it really fun. The variety and the intensity of my work is really energizing.”
For a high-energy professional like Bradley, BlackBerry’s the natural choice – and he’s stayed with the brand ever since he got his start in the industry. Currently, he uses both a BlackBerry Classic and a BlackBerry Torch.
(Read about other Classic fans in creative professions, such as this broadcast journalist, Hollywood exec, newspaper editor, commercial photographer, club DJ, digital marketing agency CEO, and this fine arts photographer. Other Classic fans we’ve recently profiled include this serial tech founder, financial TV guru, Toronto Maple Leafs executive, high-tech CTO, and this retailer/app developer. Also, Bradley’s web page at speakfreebooks.com is offering a 25% discount to Inside BlackBerry readers with the code BB25.)
Greene: You used a BlackBerry Classic for the first time at The Dawson City Music Festival last month – tell us a bit about that.
Bradley: I originally went into the trip thinking I’d be without a signal the whole time, but both my Classic and my Torch were able to connect to the Rogers network. This was a huge help, and let me cover the entire festival without missing a beat. I was the only one there with a network connection – another journalist from Toronto had an iPhone on Rogers, but she wasn’t able to connect at all.
The Classic’s camera was fantastic, and made it really easy to take and tweet rapid-fire photos. I was able to get some incredible panoramic shots (above), and the ability to switch seamlessly between camera mode and video mode without having to flip the phone or navigate a menu was a huge help, as well. I loved the fact it has a camera on both sides – it made taking selfies really easy.
It was also quite durable in the rain. At one point, we suffered a sudden downpour, and it got soaking wet in my hand. It still worked afterward.
Some of the other media types at the event were laughing that I had a BlackBerry. They certainly weren’t laughing when I had a signal and they didn’t. I actually jokingly offered to rent them one of the phones I wasn’t using.
Greene: Besides the superior call reception, what’s generally kept you loyal to BlackBerry?
Bradley: There weren’t many other smartphones around when I first started. BlackBerry was sort of the businessperson’s phone at that point, it was the phone to have. And it was fascinating, going from a Nokia or a Siemens to something that had email and browsing – to be able to set up mailboxes and surf the Web from your mobile device. It sounds a bit old-fashioned now, but at the time it was huge.
A lot of people say that once you’re a BlackBerry user, you’re hooked, and it’s true. The email, the keyboard, the navigation; I’ve gotten so used to all of these things that I can’t imagine using anything else. Not that I haven’t tried using touchscreen keyboards. I have, and I just can’t do it. It’s too slow. I’m known to write my newspaper columns and entertainment show scripts on the phone. I even wrote an entire chapter of one of my books on my Torch. That’s something I wouldn’t be able to do on a soft keyboard.
(Read the many glowing media reviews of the BlackBerry Classic and its keyboard.)
Greene: How does the Classic compare to the Torch?
Bradley: It’s a lot faster than my Torch, for sure, and the menus are a lot more intuitive. And it worked a lot better than my Torch would have for coverage of the festival. The BlackBerry Hub took a lot of getting used to, though – separation of my mailboxes is a bit better for me, since it lets me keep messaging related to my books, radio shows, and company compartmentalized. That’s a user preference thing, though; I can see why people like the Hub on the Classic.
Greene: How would you rate both devices overall?
Bradley: I’d rate both devices 10 out of 10, bearing in mind that I use them strictly for business. I don’t have dozens of apps like some people do. For the Classic, I love that it’s a different operating system, that it’s quicker to use, and that the camera works so well. With the Torch, I love the slide-up screen; it’s what I’m used to.
I’ve had my Torch for years, and I even have an extra one in case the first one stops working, since I know they’re not made anymore. I think both phones ultimately have their good qualities, though. I know I’ll be using both for work in the future.
Pricing and Availability
Ready to find out how a BlackBerry Classic can make your hectic day more fun? In the U.S., you can own an unlocked Classic for just $329.99. You can also get the Classic via T-Mobile for zero down and $15.42 a month for 24 months. Verizon and AT&T offer similar deals. In Canada, look to carriers such as Bell, Telus, Rogers, and others for good deals.
U.S. and Canadian consumers also may buy unlocked Classics directly from ShopBlackBerry. We also recommend regularly checking here for availability in your region. (Note that pricing differs per market.)