So I’m sure we’ve all misplaced our BlackBerry’s at some point, I imagine you all get that horrible gut feeling, thinking you’ve lost your entire handheld life, whether you’ve misplaced it around the house or you know it’s been stolen, you wake up with that sinking feeling that just doesn’t go away. A few month ago I had my phone stolen out of my back pocket in a nightclub and vowed ever since to get some kind of anti-theft software to at least try and get my device back if it ever happened again.
After looking around at some options I seen the price of SmrtGuard and initially wasn’t happy to pay that, then I thought about the price of my handset, I own a 9000 Bold and don’t currently have handset insurance from my network provider. That means if I lose my handset I have to pay for a new one for myself (£400 or so if I buy one from eBay).
Introducing SmrtGuard (pronounced Smart Guard), Your self-proclaimed “Smartphone Guardian”, and it is!
So let’s get onto the features of SmrtGuard.
You open the app from an icon on your menu, you’re then given 4 Submenus:
Backup (Gives you automatic Backup Options)
You can set the frequency of your backup, what you want to backup, and even set it for a specific time of day, as you can see I’ve set mine to backup every day at 4am (normally when I’m asleep and just before a scheduled QuickPull).
Restore (Gives you an option to restore anything that you’ve backed up – this is good if you’ve got your phone back from whoever took it)
SmrtGuard automatically restores everything to your phone that you have backed up
The other two options are pretty straight forward, The Your Data screen simply gives you an idea of what you have on your device at that present moment, and tells you when your automatic backup is scheduled.
The final option turns on and off SmrtGuards FollowMe feature (explained later).
Unlike other Anti-theft software SmrtGuard supplies you with a login for SmrtGuard.com (which can be accessed from another phone or your home computer), this is your remote Dashboard.
From here, you get your remote options:
Track (Start and Stop): This option allows you to continuously track your BlackBerry if you have turned on the Follow Me feature, you can track your phone either in vehicle or on foot)
Self Destruct: This is a really good option if you know you have sensitive information on your device, it will remotely clear EVERYTHING from your device, meaning your texts, contacts, memos, and even everything from your memory card, I personally wouldn’t use this feature, as I don’t have any sensitive info on here, but for the person who keeps bank details, or those pictures you want nobody to see, it really is great. Self Destruct TEST just sends a message to your phone which appears on screen and tells you that it is a test.
Remote listen: Another really great feature, this will make your phone call a number.
From there, your phone will call a number as if you had dialed the number on the device, this is good if you want to remotely listen to the surroundings or listen to your thieves, very sneaky!
Locate my BB: This works in a similar way to Track My BB, but instead of continuously tracking your device it will just send a single location.
Audio Ping: I’m one of those people who leaves their phone around their house, I put it down on a counter top and walk away, then leave it. This is perfect for me, When you press audio ping, a few seconds later your LED on your phone will flash blue and you will hear a very annoying noise coming from your phone. This is also a good feature if you know the vicinity of your phone (if your robber is in a public place), and want to find out who has it. Even if the phone is in its holster, it will still flash and a noise will still go off loudly.
Lock Device: This feature remotely locks your device.
Also from the Dashboard, you can view all of the things that you have backed up.
As you can see, it gives you all of the info that you have on that contact, including pictures. It also has the option to export as CSV, XML or to delete all of the contacts you have backed up.
With SmrtGuard you also get two additional features SIMGuardian and PersonalGuardian.
SIMGuardian: SIMGuardian tells you when another SIMCard has been put in your phone, and notifies you by email.
PersonalGuardian: as you can see above, once you’ve put details of a loved one into the appropriate boxes it will notify that person that you’re in trouble by EMAIL, CALL or SMS. I was unable to get this feature to work so that is one bad point about the program.
- Very Simple UI
- Remote Tracking + Backup
- Having your information always backed up online
- 3 Different subscription options (Monthly, Bi-Yearly and Yearly)
- Price (although I really do think it is worth it)
- PersonalGuardian not working for me. (this is an OS Issue – newer OS have an App popup when u hold menu key, SmrtGuard are currently trying to find a solution)
Conclusion: I really like SmrtGuard for BlackBerry. I think it is the best program out for the job that it does and although it is one of the most expensive I really feel, after using it that it is worth every penny. I haven’t had the chance to fully test it in reality, but I’m completely sure that if I was to lose my device, I’d be able to find where it was, with its automatic OTA backup of everything on your phone I feel that it it’s the best you can get. Head over the BerryReview store here and pick up your subscription today. If PersonalGuardian worked okay for me and the price was a little lower, it would have been a 10/10.