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Of course email is the real killer feature that the BlackBerry has always had in its arsenal. Despite the fact that push email is available on a number of different platforms these days, it's still the BlackBerry brand that's synonymous with email in your pocket. There's a good reason for that state of affairs too, BlackBerry devices just work and work well. Add to that the fact that pretty much every corporate IT department will support BlackBerry, and it's easy to understand why these devices are still the most popular choice for mobile email.
There are two distinct ways that you can use a BlackBerry for your email - it can be setup for Enterprise use, where it can synchronise with your company's Exchange server completely securely, or it can be setup for personal use with any standard email account. It's the former that makes BlackBerry the default choice for business, but considering that the Bold is the most consumer friendly BlackBerry yet, it was important that RIM got the latter right.
Setting up email accounts is an absolute breeze, it's simply a case of inputting your login details and password, then, well, that's it. You can add multiple email accounts to the Bold, and although you have a single Messages folder where everything goes, each email account also has its own mailbox, so you can keep things separate and tidy. If you have a main email account you can keep that on your shortcut bar, and then relegate subsequent accounts to the main menu. Obviously the New Mail alert will highlight incoming mail to any of your accounts.
Being that the Bold is trying to appeal to consumers as well as business users, RIM has been smart enough to include one very important feature - a 3.5mm headphone socket. This means that you can use a decent set of headphones with the device, without having to resort to some kind of converter. The media player application is pretty basic compared to a modern MP3 player or iPhone, but it does the job well enough. There's a 1GB micro-SD card bundled with the phone for you to store your music on, but if that seems a little measly to you, an 8GB card can be had for around £15 online, which should satisfy most peoples' mobile music needs.
Talking of sound, the Bold has the best built-in speaker that I've ever heard on a handset. You literally could watch video without the need for headphones, or if you wanted to annoy all the other passengers on a train, you could listen to your music through the speaker, but please, please don't! Of course the best thing about the quality and volume of the speaker, is that the Bold makes a truly excellent speakerphone, which again is a major plus point for a business user.
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