The BlackBerry 8703e is very similar to the BlackBerry 8700g, but there are some differences. They are subtle, but they make a noticeable difference in the user experience.
- Key Shape – This may be the biggest issue for me. The keys are shaped slightly differently on the two devices. The 8700g has a slant along the inside edge of each key, effectively increasing the space between the keys. The 8703e has a bevel along the top inside edge of each key, which may look cool, but does not deliver the functional benefits of the bevel on the 8700g.
- Fit/Tightness/”Rattle” – The 8700g has a number of slightly loose parts that shift around. This includes the battery cover on the back, the keyboard and the scroll wheel. The 8703e is much tighter, the keys are more solid and slightly harder to press and the scroll wheel is tighter and harder to press in. The battery cover fits like a glove. It almost feels like they couldn’t get everything to fit and it’s busting at the seams.
- Data Speed – EVDO is a lot faster than EDGE.
- Weight – The 8703e is noticeably heavier than the 8700g.
- Screen Brightness – The 8700g has a brighter screen and brighter backlight on the keypad.
- GPS Data – Supposedly GPS data is accessible to applications, I hope there will be a new version of Google Maps to take advantage of this soon.
When you factor in the better coverage I get from Sprint (at least around the house), I prefer the 8703e a little better. If the keyboard was the same as the 8700g, it would be a no-brainer.