Feeds
90%

RIM Blackberry Bold 9000

Smart looks and a feature-full package

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

The music player is rather good, though there's none of that dedicated music button malarkey you get with music-centric phones like Sony Ericsson's Walkman W980.

With the Bold it's all controlled on-screen using the track ball, though there are automatic shuffle, repeat and replay options as well as the ability to create playlists. It goes surprisingly loud too, though an on-screen warning pops up to tell you that you might damage your hearing. But, unlike the iPod, at least it has the good grace to leave the decision to us.

The loudspeaker sounds surprisingly full - or are we just getting a bit too used to listening to music on tinny mobile phone speakers these days? Either way, it's certainly got more bass than most phone speakers. The supplied headphones aren't bad either, though they lack a bit in dynamic range at either end of the scale, which leaves the music sounding a bit closed in.

Blackberry Bold 9000

Complete connectivity: 3.6Mb/s HSDPA 3G and Wi-Fi

Thankfully, you can add your own headphones thanks to the 3.5mm socket, or using Bluetooth - the Bold supports playback over A2DP wireless stereo.

As hinted earlier with the photo geotagging feature, there's GPS on board backed up by BlackBerry Maps. It's not bad, but suffers from the inevitable comparison with Google Maps. However, you can always add the Google tool, or others such as TomTom.

BlackBerry Maps will get you out of a tight spot when you're on foot, but we found it could be frustratingly slow on occasion while driving. In the car you can keep the phone charged up - outside it, battery life wasn't great and we generally found ourselves needing a recharge on the second day of use, though keeping the Bluetooth turned off helped.

Verdict

The BlackBerry Bold is a beautiful combination of understated elegance and top-notch practicality, though with a price to match its classy looks. It's still ahead in practical terms of business pretenders like the iPhone and the HTC Pro, and even though camera and GPS aren't of the very best, its excellent Qwerty keyboard even puts Nokia's powerful N71 in the shade.

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

90%

RIM Blackberry Bold 9000

Smart looks and a feature-full package means it beats many of its Qwerty-packing rivals thumbs down.
Price: Contract: from free, handset only: £590 RRP

More from The Register

next story
Mighty Blighty broadbanders beg: Let us lay cable in BT's, er, ducts
Complain to Ofcom that telco has 'effective monopoly'
Download alert: Nearly ALL top 100 Android, iOS paid apps hacked
Attack of the Clones? Yeah, but much, much scarier – report
Broadband sellers in the UK are UP TO no good, says Which?
Speedy network claims only apply to 10% of customers
Yahoo! blames! MONSTER! email! OUTAGE! on! CUT! CABLE! bungle!
Weekend woe for BT as telco struggles to restore service
Fujitsu CTO: We'll be 3D-printing tech execs in 15 years
Fleshy techie disses network neutrality, helmet-less motorcyclists
Facebook, working on Facebook at Work, works on Facebook. At Work
You don't want your cat or drunk pics at the office
Soz, web devs: Google snatches its Wallet off the table
Killing off web service in 3 months... but app-happy bonkers are fine
prev story

Whitepapers

Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
Go beyond APM with real-time IT operations analytics
How IT operations teams can harness the wealth of wire data already flowing through their environment for real-time operational intelligence.
Why CIOs should rethink endpoint data protection in the age of mobility
Assessing trends in data protection, specifically with respect to mobile devices, BYOD, and remote employees.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.