RIM Blackberry Bold 9000
Smart looks and a feature-full package
Review Research in Motion's BlackBerry series has been trying to edge its way into the pockets of consumers for some time, and despite its hefty price tag, the new Bold could be its best attempt yet.
It's certainly a stylish looker: all black and chrome with splashes of red for the keyboard numbers. Its appearance is smooth enough so you don't look like a sad office drone the moment you unleash it from the bundled leather pouch.
RIM's BlackBerry Bold: consumer friendly
It's not the most petite Blackberry - that honour would go to the Pearl series, which makes more of an effort to look like a standard mobile phone. But though it makes no secret of its business cred, the Bold offers the best combination of practicality and desirability we've yet seen from RIM.
On the front, the Bold has a full Qwerty keyboard, which necessarily bulks it out at the sides. At 66mm it's not huge, but still makes for a broad pocketful. Fortunately, those portly dimensions aren't echoed with its thickness, and at a mere 15mm it feels surprisingly svelte in the hand.
The back has a nice leather effect which grips tabletops nicely, and on the sides there are a volume rocker, camera shutter button, USB port, Micro SD slot - though you'll need to supply your own memory card - 3.5mm headphone socket and a dedicated voice notes button.
First impressions of the Bold
I got a pair of Bolds 3 days ago on Vodafone for my business with their branded version of the 18.104.22.168 firmware. It is my first BlackBerry handset and I love it. Every day I find something new and cool it can do. I've used the iPhone too and I wouldn't even be tempted to do a swap if someone offered me one.
I run Facebook and JiveTalk IM on my handset and use it as a phone quite heavily. Network coverage isn't excellent where I live (despite what Vodafone tell you). The reception is better than my Nokia but I leave 3G enabled as the 3G is marginally better than the 2G coverage. I have WiFi switched on and most of the email and IM is done over it when I'm in my home/office. I'm just about getting a day out of it (much less than the 216 hours promised in the brochure.)
I'm wondering if battery life is related to firmware. I would find it interesting if the posters above, both good and bad, would post again with which network they use. I wouldn't be surprised if a pattern emerges between the network and firmware version and who gets decent battery life.
The stills camera is pretty good for a 2mp but when using it for video I found the artifacts to be very unpleasant, totally chalk and cheese with the included sample videos that looked great.
The most disappointing thing about the Bold for me is the Blackberry Desktop Manager Windows software. I find it brain damaged in comparison with the software for my old Nokia 9300i. It can backup and restore, install/remove applications and sync with Outlook but not much else. The Nokia software could send and view my messages, edit my contacts and ringtones... Enough things that I never used them all.
I also find the Desktop Manager software very unreliable at the things it does do. I've had to reboot my Windows PC on a daily basis to get it working when it decides it won't recognise the handset. The main OS in my business is Linux and I run Windows XP SP3 virtualized with Virtualbox on my main machine. The Blackberry software sees the handset in this environment but won't play nice and hangs up whenever I attempt any transfer of data to/from the handset. I've found many reports on the net that it doesn't work with virtualized Windows on other virtualization platforms either. I'm going to take a look at Linux software projects for it.
On the subject of email privacy, I don't have any particular problem with RIM checking my mail for me. I don't think anything really bad is going to happen (if RIM got a reputation for that then it would be very bad for their business.) If it's the spooks you're worried about then if the US or Canada want to read my mail I'm sure the UK Security Services would go to my ISP who would just hand it over so I don't think I've really lost anything.
Size and BIS/BES mailbox separation
Copmared to curve it's a brick, period. The echo's in my team were "why would I want anything bigger"
Also still no separation of BIS and BES, so no reason to upgrade.
TOM TOM navigator on BB BOLD???
RIM Blackberry Bold 9000 doesn't support the TOMTOM as described in the the review article . Please update the review as the suggestion that you can install/run tomtom applications is misleading..