I have been in the Arctic, in Canada’s second most northern community (Resolute Bay, Nunavut) for the last few of weeks, flying planes and looking for diamonds (seriously).

I must say, I am surprised at how my DevQ was still of great use to me. There is no real mobile coverage up there, and the internet is slow.

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Nevertheless I found ways to keep using my BlackBerry, and staying in touch with friends down south. FaceBook on my DevQ responds quickly enough that I use my phone as my main device, as it is too slow on my laptop. Obviously text messaging and cellphone calls are out of the question. Not sure how BBM Voice works, as I dared to try it with the grueling slow internet.

That is all fine and dandy, but I am sure many of you would like to know how BlackBerry performs against the competition (i.e. iPhone and Android) in the great, white, chilly, North.

My coworkers have either an iPhone, or an Android device. The biggest complaint is increased battery drain, how slow the internet browsing is on it, and how it randomly shuts down in the cold. That can be a real bummer when trying to take a picture of a polar bear, which I always get the perfect shot using the Time Shift feature.

None of these problems exist on my BlackBerry. What about messaging services? Well, iPhone has iMessage, though it does not remotely compare to the speed and usability of BBM, which has the added feature of BBM Groups.  BBM works very well, and is snappy, even with the mind-numbing 8kb/s internet, yes, kb/s. That’s one great thing about BlackBerry’s data compression.

If I were to compare the experience of a BlackBerry 10 device versus an iPhone or an Android phone in the Arctic, it would be like comparing the experience going off-roading with a Jeep Wrangler versus a Toyota Yaris. Both vehicles have a set of tires, only one will allow you to “keep moving” forward.