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BlackBerry Bold 9000 review



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Key Features: 2.6 inches, 480 x 320 pixel screen; 624 MHz processor; 2 megapixel camera

Manufacturer: Research In Motion

I remember a conversation I had with the guys from RIM back in 2006 at the launch of the BlackBerry 7130g. I said that the company's insistence on creating devices targeted only at the corporate market was self defeating. I told them that there are many consumers out there who would want to receive their email straight to their pocket, but wouldn't want a device that's so light on features. RIM insisted that it would not make a BlackBerry with a camera or Bluetooth file sharing, since big, paranoid, corporate clients wouldn't want those features. Oh, how things have changed.

It's probably fair to say that the real turning point when it comes to consumer friendly BlackBerry handsets was the introduction of the BlackBerry Pearl, which came around six months after the above conversation. Of course I'm not going to take credit for RIM's movement into the consumer space, since the company clearly had the Pearl on its roadmap before I spoke to them, but what surprised me was how development seemed to stall for so long after the launch of the Pearl. However, it's clear that the bods at RIM have been beavering away in their labs, because the company recently launched its most powerful and consumer friendly BlackBerry yet, the Bold.

Although the Bold has been available for a while off contract, most BlackBerry users are more likely to upgrade through their network operator. As such, I'm looking at the Vodafone version of the Bold, which is available on a plethora of price plans. For the sake of this review though, I'll be working with the £39.99 (inc. VAT) contract, which gets you unlimited email, data and calls to landlines, as well as 700 minutes and 250 texts - a pretty comprehensive package then. On this package the handset itself is free.

There's no denying that the Bold looks the part - I'd go as far as saying that this is the best looking BlackBerry ever, although the forthcoming Storm could steal its thunder (pun intended). The glossy black fascia is offset perfectly by the chrome surround, although I'm not completely convinced about the faux leather back. The front fascia is split into two halves in traditional BlackBerry style, with the screen at the top and a hardware QWERTY keyboard at the bottom.

Let's start with the screen, since this is one of the major highlights of the Bold, and is actually one of the best screens I've ever seen on any handset. The Bold has a high resolution display with 480 x 320 pixels, which is, coincidentally the same resolution as the Apple iPhone, but since the Bold's screen is physically smaller, it's also sharper, thanks to a finer pixel pitch. At 2.5in the screen isn't really small, but in this fully touchscreen iPhone age, any device that sacrifices screen size for a keyboard will appear slightly underwhelming. But in the case of the Bold, you shouldn't make rash judgements, because the screen really is superb.

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October 10, 2008, 1:12 pm

Any comment on the software issues that ive noticed have been reported about the Bold? was reading today that Orange have suspended shipping the Bold until RIM sort the issue out! Pretty serious then!


October 10, 2008, 2:19 pm

You said "it can be setup for Enterprise use ... or it can be setup for personal use". But can it set up for both types of email account at the same time? If so, I think it may be the answer to my prayers.


October 10, 2008, 2:49 pm

I don't think it can be setup for both, since originally Vodafone sent it to me configured for Enterprise use, then I couldn't get my IT guys to give me access to the Exchange server, so they had to switch it over.

I wanted to test the Bold using Exchange, but after three weeks of trying to get mobile access to my email, the IT department in New York said no. The joys of being part of a big multi-national!

Matthew Martin

October 10, 2008, 3:24 pm

Hi, I work for one of the big 4 networks and we support set up for both sevices on blackberry, I guess you just need to speak to the right person in customer services, preferably some one who knows what they are talking about re blackberry. It is through a RIM portal that it is configured so I guess the other networks should support it!


October 10, 2008, 3:31 pm

What's the battery life like? That's the winner for me with the E71. It lasts forever!

Also worth noting if you are paying for the contract yourself that Voda would do you a much better offer than that quoted - I would expect to pay no more than 㿊 for that bundle with a handset like this with a bit of bargaining!

Tommy K

October 10, 2008, 4:30 pm

one important thing that you have missed,


zeus 01504

March 9, 2009, 10:20 pm

In the last 18 months ive had a TyTn II a SE Xperia X1 and the new 8MP LG, just got the BB Bold on an O2 tariff and its completely phenomenal, does exactly what it says on the tin, and is the all singing all dancing BB it claims to be, even the browser which can never be expected to be in the same league as an iPhone is remarkable impressive on 3G and even better on a Wifi or Hotspot connection, the seamless integration with itunes and Outlook 2007 was the clincher for me. First BB and ill not be trading it in any time soon!

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