Lance Armstrong, Blackberry User

I watched the second episode of The Lance Chronicles on the Outdoor Life Network this afternoon. There is more about people and less about technology in this episode. But, it's not without highlights for the gadget freak.

Chris Carmichael, Lance's training consultant, gets a lot of camera time in this episode. At one point, while they are adjusting a bike for Lance, Carmichael says (in a voice-over): "His ability to embrace technology, in all aspects of the team, is another key element." It's pretty obvious that this extends to all aspects of Lance Armstrong's life as the cameras follow him around.

We see a lot of glimpses of Lance Armstrong using his RIM Blackberry handheld in this episode: on the set of a Subaru ad, and on a private jet travelling with Sheryl Crow. The Blackberry he's using is clearly black. Assuming he is using a GSM/GPRS model so that he doesn't have to switch when he goes to Europe, he's either using the Blackberry 7730, so new that it's still not generally available from T-Mobile, or the Blackberry 6710 from AT&T Wireless or T-Mobile (although T-Mobile is probably phasing this model out).

I generally pick from devices that are available at the moment, rather than those that may be available in the near future. For my money, the best Blackberry on the market right now is the Blackberry 7230. It was the first Blackberry to ship with a color display. It's a tri-band GSM/GPRS phone, so it's ideal for international travel. It also has a backlit keyboard, which makes it a significant improvement over devices like the first-generation Handspring Treos, which I am currently using as my main phone.

Update: Operation Gadget readers are still looking at this article, so here's a gadget update. People looking for BlackBerrys in mid-2006 should check out the BlackBerry 8700c from Cingular or the BlackBerry 8700g from T-Mobile.