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BlackBerry Bold Review

BlackBerry Bold 9000

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

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.


Software:

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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PhoneArena rating:
9Excellent
Display2.6 inches, 480 x 320 pixels (222 ppi) TFT
Camera2 megapixels
Hardware
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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