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BlackBerry Bold Review

BlackBerry Bold 9000 9

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Camera interface - BlackBerry Bold Review
Camera interface - BlackBerry Bold Review
Camera interface - BlackBerry Bold Review

Camera interface

We didn’t expect miracles from the camera, but since there was one, we took a closer look. It starts in a second after you press its shortcut and unlike other phones, it will work no matter the menu you’ve been to. The interface is as simple as it can be, with a few icons below the small viewfinder. Point the phone, press the trackball and you’ll see the captured image in a second or so. Press again, wait another second and it is saved. It is fast, but are the photos any good? Not really, even the ones taken during the day look as if taken with the first digital camera to have ever been sold, the shots are blurry and their colors rather washed-out.

Outdoor samples - BlackBerry Bold Review
Outdoor samples - BlackBerry Bold Review
Outdoor samples - BlackBerry Bold Review

Outdoor samples

Strong light - Indoor samples - BlackBerry Bold Review
Medium light - Indoor samples - BlackBerry Bold Review
Low light - Indoor samples - BlackBerry Bold Review

Strong light

Medium light

Low light

Indoor samples

As other 4.6 phones, Bold has central media player, which lets you play and manage music, videos, ringtones, pictures and voice notes. It is good and simple to use, but not overloaded with features. It supports folders, and will sort your music by Artist, Album and Genres. It also supports album art and playlists, which the user can create on the run, the other options are Repeat and Shuffle. 

Music player - BlackBerry Bold Review
Music player - BlackBerry Bold Review
Music player - BlackBerry Bold Review
Music player - BlackBerry Bold Review

Music player

What we are really surprised with is the high sound quality coming out  the stereo speakers. They will not replace your home stereо system, but the sound is decent and pretty loud as well! The 3.5mm jack allows you to connect a good pair of headphones to enjoy your music in really high quality.

Video player - BlackBerry Bold Review

Video player

So, this business phone has great music player, now what about its video capabilities? Based on its specs, they must be good as well, supporting DivX, Xvid and H.264 codecs. Our initial tests show that the phone plays them all without a hitch, as long as the width of the resolution doesn´t exceed 640 pixels. Although the screen has only 65k colors you rarely see image artifacts, we only wish it was larger.

Unfortunately, the 720 pixel width videos played sound only. During the tests we also experienced some problems with the video library: initially all our clips appeared on the list, but later, some of them just vanished, although they were still stored on the memory card.  We hit a snag when we tried to fast forward on a clip as well and ended up with  sound to video delay of about a second. RIM recommends that the clips are stored in the \home\user\videos folder on the memory card and are up to 480 pixels in width to avoid such problems.


The Bold has the most powerful processor ever used in a BlackBerry, with a clock rate of 624MHz. In comparison, the Storm runs at 528MHz and the Curve 8900 has a 512MHz unit. As we’ve mentioned earlier, the phone runs pretty fast, yet it could be faster. Unfortunately, Bold has 128MB of RAM (same as the Storm) and not 256MB as the Curve 8900. However, we can’t really say it is a drawback, as despite we were multi-tasking during all tests, we couldn´t manage to slow it down. The only time we had it unresponsive was when we had inserted a full 8GB microSD card for one of the tests. The ‘Berry turned virtually unusable (very slow) and in about 10 minutes we just had to get the card out and “restart” it by removing the battery.

Bold has got 1GB of internal memory and the card slot allows for up to 16GB of additional storage, which should be about enough for anybody. Like other RIM phones, it comes preloaded with DataViz’s Documents to Go Standard Edition, which adds Word, Excel and Power Point support.  It works pretty sweet with both Office 2007 and 2003 documents and we only wish the free version supported PDF as well. Still, it is great that you can at least preview PDF files that are received as email attachments. RIM has packaged four games with the Bold: Word Mole, Sudoki, Klondike (solitaire) and of course the ever-popular Brick Breaker. The high-end BlackBerry of course has an integrated GPS and comes preloaded with BlackBerry Maps applications. We also downloaded Google Maps, which was good as always. Paid apps include Garmin, TeleNav and Trimble and many carriers offer alternatives, such as AT&T’s TeleNav-powered one.   

BlackBerry Bold Review
BlackBerry Bold Review
BlackBerry Bold Review
BlackBerry Bold Review
BlackBerry Bold Review
BlackBerry Bold Review
BlackBerry Bold Review
BlackBerry Bold Review

BlackBerry Bold Review
Other third party applications can also be downloaded fairly easy; among our favorites are Opera Mini, Facebook and Flickr.  We´ve downloaded the yet-to-be-released Facebook 1.5 and are impressed by the way it recognizes your phonebook contacts and can assign Facebook pictures to them. There is decent third party support for BlackBerries, but it is not as extensive as the one for Windows Mobile, Palm or the iPhone.

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posted on 20 Oct 2010, 01:55

1. Rhyno (Posts: 5; Member since: 05 Apr 2009)

I am trying to decide between The Bold and The Storm. My main uses on the phone would be web-surfing and some e-mailing. Is the big touch screen and finger scrolling better for this? I am aware of some of the problems that this has had, but believe that firmware updates are sorting them out.(I also like the gimmick of a touch screen though) I really like the look of The Bold and like a physical keyboard.I also believe the web browsing isn't as easy on The Bold. Is that correct? What should I do? Any help is appreciated!

posted on 12 Apr 2009, 16:41

2. briankeith513 (Posts: 8; Member since: 12 Apr 2009)

The Bold has less software issues at the moment and may be the best phone out of any phone on the market imo. However, the Storm, is also very nice, and has a nice large touch screen, and better camera. The main difference are, the Bold has wifi and qwerty keyboard, whereas the Storm has a better camera, and nicer, larger screen. I love them both, with the recent improvements on the Storm's os with .122 os, it's definitely improving. If you already like the physical keyboard, you should stick with the Bold, or wait for the Blackberry Niagra, which is a smaller sized Bold, with a better camera.

posted on 13 Apr 2009, 06:29

3. Rhyno (Posts: 5; Member since: 05 Apr 2009)

Thanks, for the info. I was beginning to think I wasn't going to get a response. I like the idea of the physical keyboard, but it's definitely not the be-all-and-end-all. I like my gimmicks and really like the idea of a touch screen. I've have heard mixed reviews about the Sure-Press. Some people love it and say it doesn't affect their type speed, but then you get some who say it's useless. How do the two compare in terms of ease of use for web-browsing. I've had a little play on a Storm and found it fairly easy. However, I haven't been able to have a look at The Bold. I am so confused and appreciate any more help you can give me! Thanks

posted on 13 Apr 2009, 06:49

4. Rhyno (Posts: 5; Member since: 05 Apr 2009)

I think I like The Bold again, no wait The Storm. Arghhhh

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Display2.6 inches, 480 x 320 pixels (222 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
624 MHz
Size4.49 x 2.60 x 0.59 inches
(114 x 66 x 15 mm)
4.80 oz  (136 g)
Battery1500 mAh, 5 hours talk time

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