I'm thinking of getting a blackberry but I just wanted to ask that question.
RIM (Research In Motion; the company that makes Blackberry) only makes BlackBerry smart-phones, NOT basic phones. What exactly are you trying to compare? If you are trying to compare regular phones to BlackBerrys, well BlackBerrys require a data plan (you already know I assume lol) so having the internet handy is very useful (Facebook app, Chase mobile etc.), also when you text (sms and mms) it is similar to IM style messaging w/ the added feature of spell check. Hope this kinda helped lol anyways Good Luck!