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Blackberry Bold 9000 Review

Fans will note the BlackBerry Bold 9000 (3G) is still physically a huge phone, but has a ‘sexier’ look with rounded edges.

Fans will note the BlackBerry Bold 9000 (3G) is still physically a huge phone, but has a ‘sexier’ look with rounded edges. Research in Motion (RIM) has gone against recent downsizing trends of mobile devices by manufacturing this bold and beautiful device. The Bold does knock a millimetre off the dimensions of its predecessors, but it doesn’t make a lot of difference. The result of this boldness of size means there’s plenty of room for what’s important, E.G. the full QWERTY keyboard.

People expected the BlackBerry Bold to be of high quality, and no one is going to be disappointed. BlackBerry’s keyboard is still much better than the rest of the competition. Each key on the Bold is quite big when compared with its counterparts, and is tapered with finger indents, which help to define and separate each button from one another. You will rarely need to use the ‘backspace’ key to correct typos from miss-strikes on this keyboard.

As with the Blackberry Pearl series, the Bold navigates with a trackball. This usually works well, but you may have to turn down the default sensitivity to move around the menus more precisely. Whilst checking out the Internet, the trackball is great for scanning the page both horizontally and vertically.

The physical feature of the Bold worth lauding is its incredible display. This screen features widescreen media playback using WQVGA resolution (480x320) positioned in a landscape style. The colour and clarity produced by this display are breathtaking.

It's taken a long time, but finally there’s a BlackBerry with HSDPA fast Internet data transfer. Working together with inbuilt Wi-Fi, data speeds make the Bold a force to reckon with in the handheld Internet game. There’s also an on-board GPS receiver, but unfortunately the preloaded BlackBerry Maps are nothing less than undesirable.

BlackBerry is renown for being the leader in messaging mobile phones, and in this field the Bold is great. Setting up an email account couldn't be easier. All you have to do is type in your email address and password; the phone will automatically search through a giant database of known servers for all the required settings.

The Bold is enabled with the best camera in a BlackBerry thus far, a 2-megapixel lens together with a LED photolight for pictures at night. With a 3.5mm headphone input you can plug in headphones for listening to music or watching videos.

The BlackBerry Bold has speedy handset performance. Using a 628MHz ARM processor, the Bold has Superman-like power to handle everyday tasks without lag, and enough strength so that graphics-heavy processes like video playback and Web page rendering are executed without lengthy waiting time.

For a smartphone with its extensive range of connectivity features, BlackBerry’s reputation of top-notch battery life lives on, with the Bold having one of the longest battery cycles seen in a phone of its type. While using 3.5G and Wi-Fi connectivity, push email, as well as a moderate use of calls and messaging, you’ll get at least three whole days between charges.

To focus on any inherent flaws, BlackBerry's own software solutions could do with work. The BlackBerry browser is fine and Web pages are rendered clearly, but processes such as navigation of standard pages, plus zooming in and selecting links, could all done more easily. However, the point must be made the screen is so sharp and clear the need to zoom-in is nearly always unnecessary. For maps and navigation you’re simply better off going with Google Maps, at least until Blackberry improves their own pre-installed mapping software to include coverage of Australia. There are several third-party mapping applications available, including one from Garmin, but you will have to pay extra.

The Bold is a logical and inspiring move forward for BlackBerry, so fans will not be disappointed. Everything you love about older versions is here in the Bold, plus a few more new features thrown in. The handset looks great, though it could be slimmer, and some of BlackBerry's software needs work to come in line with the competition, but overall it’s a great smartphone.

•    Beautiful design
•    QWERTY keyboard leads the class
•    Email set-up is easy
•    Exceptional battery life

•    Software, like the browser and maps, needs work
•    BlackBerry service accounts are pricy


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