• Full Review
  • Specifications

Full Review

A better range of features and a new operating system are on offer from the latest BlackBerry Bold.

It’s a few months since we reviewed the BlackBerry Torch, and at that time we were mostly impressed with that handset. It was packed with features and was the first BlackBerry to show us the new OS BlackBerry 6, which offered users the sort of customisation that before had been only available to iPhone and Android phone owners. But we weren’t too keen on the handset’s build and found it a bit too big, thanks to the slider design. In fact we concluded that we’d rather wait for the BlackBerry Bold 9700, which was waiting to get an update. Well, forget that, because RIM has gone one step further and released a new BlackBerry Bold that runs OS 6.0.

First impressions


RIM has stuck to the same look as the 9700, except it has done away with the titanium trim, leaving a sleek black chassis. It looks good, in a rather businesslike way. Wake up the display and you’ll be impressed by the colours, crisper text and icons – better than we’ve seen on some BlackBerry handsets. The QWERTY keyboard offers a finger-friendly experience, even though it is rather small, thanks to the fact that the keys have been raised enough to allow you to distinguish between them.

What we did find a little odd – and confusing – is that if you start to type a phone number, the alphanumeric keys determine that both a number bar and a text bar (for Universal search) both pop up on the screen.

BlackBerry OS 6.0

As we mentioned earlier, the new OS BlackBerry 6.0 allows users to customise far more than was previously possible on RIM handsets. While you do still only have the one homescreen, it also offers swipe-able menus at the bottom of the screen – these include media and favourites menus – and here you can choose which shortcuts and icons are on display. The frequent menu updates itself depending on which features you access most often. Now, here we come a bit unstuck, as we’re not convinced that the OS suits a device without a touch-screen. It may be that we’ve become so used to touch-screens, but we found ourselves tapping at the display to drag and drop icons, and then remembering that we needed to navigate through the menus with the trackpad to carry out tasks.

Let us make it clear, though, that we’re not rejecting OS 6.0 on this account. It is certainly the best of RIM’s operating systems, and has some nifty touches, such as tabbed browsing, which lets you access multiple pages at the same time, and the Social feeds app, that can integrate all your social network messages and feeds into a single stream. Maybe the OS just needs to be tweaked depending on which type of device it is running on.

The OS is not the only new thing on this latest-generation Bold. Memory has also been addressed – the Bold 9780 can accept microSD cards up to 32GB, rather than 16GB (note that you get only a 2GB card included). The camera too has had a revamp – it’s now a five-megapixel version that equals that on the BlackBerry Torch 9800 (and we called that “the best snapper on a BlackBerry device”). With LED flash and auto-focus, we were very happy with the results, although you need a pretty steady hand to ensure you get a crisp image. The screen is a touch small for taking pictures – or indeed for surfing the web – but we can’t be too harsh, as we love the design of the Bold 9780.

The verdict

Because we were truly enamoured with the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and impressed with BlackBerry OS 6.0, we thought that combining the two into the Bold 9780 would provide a fantastic user experience. Sadly, the two just aren’t that compatible and ultimately we were left disappointed.

Specifications

Specifications

Size:

109 x 60 x 14 mm

Weight :

122 g

Display:

2.44-inch TFT

Resolution:

480 x 360 pixels

Camera:

Five-megapixels, autofocus, LED flash

Video recording/playback/streaming:

Yes/yes/yes

Video calling:

No

Audio playback:

MP3/WMA/AAC+

Ringtones:

MP3

Radio:

No

Connectivity:

 microUSB, Bluetooth, A2DP, Wi-Fi

Internal memory:

256MB

Memory card slot:

 microSD (up to 32GB)

Messaging:

SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM

Internet browser:

HTML

Java:

Yes

Games:

Yes

Data speed:

HSDPA

GPS:

A-GPS

3.5mm headset port:

Yes

Frequency:

Quad-band

Talktime:

360 minutes (3G)

Standby:

408 hours (3G)

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