The Ultimate BlackBerry Bold Review

123 Comments

BlackBerry Cool BlackBerry Bold Review Header

What, you think we didn’t have one before today? While we’re still not sure when you’ll be able to walk into a Rogers store to actually buy the shiny new device like Simon did, today still marks the official launch of the BlackBerry Bold on Rogers. In honor of this special day, we’ve decided to post our exhaustive review, if only to whet your appetites.

And boy, has this day been a long time coming: three years in development, three months since its official announcement at WES 2008, and three times the hype of any other BlackBerry release. The first in RIM’s next generation lineup of smartphones, the BlackBerry Bold has been labeled everything from an enterprise company’s desperate push into the prosumer space to a true iPhone killer. Most of the BlackBerry faithful are just hoping that it turns out to be a worthy merger and evolution of the BlackBerry 8800 and Curve device lines. This review will settle the debate.

Be forewarned, our review of the BlackBerry Bold is fairly large. However, we’ve broken the review down into specific sections for quick and convenient access to the information you seek. Make sure to post a comment to let us know if there’s anything we’ve missed, anything else you want to know about, and whether or not you feel RIM’s new flagship device meets the hype.

Enough talk! Behold, the BlackBerry Bold.

BlackBerry Bold Review Quick Links

Key Statistics
Key Features
Keypad
Form Factor
Screen
Phone
Battery
Key Updates
OS
HTML Email/Spell Check
Document Viewing
Web Browser
Camera
Media Player
Applications
Final Conclusion

BlackBerry Bold with BlackBerry Cool Background

BlackBerry Bold Key Statistics

OS: 4.6
Network: Tri-band HSDPA (850/1900/2100MHz), Quad-Band GPRS/EDGE (800/850/1800/1900MHz)
Wi-Fi: 802.11 a/b/g
GPS: Internal GPS with extended ephemeris, A-GPS support
Memory: 128MB Flash, 1GB on-board storage,
Expandable Memory: max. 16GB external MicroSD/SDHC
Screen: Half-VGA (480×320) resolution, Transmissive TFT LCD, 65k colours
Camera: 2.0MPx, 3x digital zoom, video recording, 1600×1200 max. resolution
Bluetooth: 2.0 support, Bluetooth Stereo Audio via A2DP and AVCRP
USB: 2.0 support
Video Support: DivX 4, DivX 4/5/XviD (partial support), H.263, H.264 (MPEG-4), AVI, WMV3
Audio Support: 3GP, MP3, WMA9/WMA9 Pro/WMA 10, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
Processor: Marvell Tavor PXA930 (624MHz)
Dimensions/Weight: 114x66x14mm, 133g
Battery: 1500mAhr

  • Jon

    I have to agree with you about the slot for the SD card; I find it very difficult to use.

  • Jon

    I have to agree with you about the slot for the SD card; I find it very difficult to use.

  • http://AdventureEscapades.co.za/ Gary

    Wow!! What an informative and well written review.

    Thankfully South Africa seems, for once, to be right up there when it comes to launching new Blackberry models. I upgraded to the Curve about a year ago and can’t wait for the Bold.

    Wish I had not read the review :) – already drooling.

    Gary

  • http://AdventureEscapades.co.za Gary

    Wow!! What an informative and well written review.

    Thankfully South Africa seems, for once, to be right up there when it comes to launching new Blackberry models. I upgraded to the Curve about a year ago and can’t wait for the Bold.

    Wish I had not read the review :) – already drooling.

    Gary

  • Seth

    I have never used a blackberry before, but I have heard you don’t have true threaded sms. Does the new OS change that, or is text messaging largely unchanged. This device looks hot, but that is an important feature for me to consider.

  • Seth

    I have never used a blackberry before, but I have heard you don’t have true threaded sms. Does the new OS change that, or is text messaging largely unchanged. This device looks hot, but that is an important feature for me to consider.

  • Austin

    What about the browser?

  • Austin

    What about the browser?

  • Terry

    Any issues with the 3G network? Does the Bold, like the iPhone, revert from 3G to EDGE sometimes, for no apparent reason? Or is that just a U.S. problem?

  • Terry

    Any issues with the 3G network? Does the Bold, like the iPhone, revert from 3G to EDGE sometimes, for no apparent reason? Or is that just a U.S. problem?

  • Matt

    To echo Austin, what about the browser? I think most people would agree the poor native browser is Blackberry’s single biggest weakness in relation to other smartphones, and the fact that it’s not even mentioned in this review leaves me with more questions than before I read it. I own a Curve and won’t buy another Blackberry until the browser improves significantly; I wonder what it’s like on the Bold.

  • Matt

    To echo Austin, what about the browser? I think most people would agree the poor native browser is Blackberry’s single biggest weakness in relation to other smartphones, and the fact that it’s not even mentioned in this review leaves me with more questions than before I read it. I own a Curve and won’t buy another Blackberry until the browser improves significantly; I wonder what it’s like on the Bold.

  • Mike F.

    Nice review. Now if I can only get my hands on one. Damn you Rogers and your really, really sad Bold launch.

    On a side note… Where can I get the Blackberry Cool Wallpaper you showed on page 4 about the Bold’s Screen?

    Thanks

  • Mike F.

    Nice review. Now if I can only get my hands on one. Damn you Rogers and your really, really sad Bold launch.

    On a side note… Where can I get the Blackberry Cool Wallpaper you showed on page 4 about the Bold’s Screen?

    Thanks

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ Simon Sage

    http://www.blackberrycool.com/wp-content/uploads/shirtlogo.jpg

    Here ya go, Mike. I’ll cook up a few more dimensions in case you want it something other than a Bold, maybe even desktop if you dig us that much. ;)

    The design is from our t-shirt, available here…

    http://www.cafepress.com/bbcool

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com Simon Sage

    http://www.blackberrycool.com/wp-content/uploads/shirtlogo.jpg

    Here ya go, Mike. I’ll cook up a few more dimensions in case you want it something other than a Bold, maybe even desktop if you dig us that much. ;)

    The design is from our t-shirt, available here…

    http://www.cafepress.com/bbcool

  • Terry

    Hi there. Is anyone else having trouble viewing the full review? Page 8 is the section on Words to Go, and then section 9 is the final conclusion, but the homepage indicates that there should be sections in between for Web Browser, Camera, Media Player, and Applications. Am I crazy?

  • Terry

    Hi there. Is anyone else having trouble viewing the full review? Page 8 is the section on Words to Go, and then section 9 is the final conclusion, but the homepage indicates that there should be sections in between for Web Browser, Camera, Media Player, and Applications. Am I crazy?

  • http://www.rim.com/ Jamarcus Hammer

    Terry,

    The only crazy thing is that people actually view the RIM offering as a better option than Apple’s iPhone. Sure you can spend $399 on a sub-par device for a 3 year plan….that my friend is the only crazy thing.

  • http://www.rim.com/ Jamarcus Hammer

    Terry,

    The only crazy thing is that people actually view the RIM offering as a better option than Apple’s iPhone. Sure you can spend $399 on a sub-par device for a 3 year plan….that my friend is the only crazy thing.

  • Sean

    Are you certain about the maximum of a 16GB MicroSD card? I received the official Rogers spec sheet this week and it states up to 32GB for it.

  • http://www.rim.com Jamarcus Hammer

    Terry,

    The only crazy thing is that people actually view the RIM offering as a better option than Apple’s iPhone. Sure you can spend $399 on a sub-par device for a 3 year plan….that my friend is the only crazy thing.

  • Sean

    Are you certain about the maximum of a 16GB MicroSD card? I received the official Rogers spec sheet this week and it states up to 32GB for it.

  • Bryan

    shweet.
    what about the mp3 player.
    very important feature to me as I am a public transportation commuter. I didn’t love my curve for that. it lacked 2 basic abilities, playlists and equalizer controls.
    any thoughts?
    cheers
    b

  • Bryan

    shweet.
    what about the mp3 player.
    very important feature to me as I am a public transportation commuter. I didn’t love my curve for that. it lacked 2 basic abilities, playlists and equalizer controls.
    any thoughts?
    cheers
    b

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool

    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the issues. We’ve never tried to make a post this large before, and either WordPress or our theme is refusing to display all the pages.

    We’re working to figure out what’s going on right now. Won’t be too long hopefully!!!

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool

    Hey guys,

    Sorry for the issues. We’ve never tried to make a post this large before, and either WordPress or our theme is refusing to display all the pages.

    We’re working to figure out what’s going on right now. Won’t be too long hopefully!!!

  • Guest

    I look forward to the media player review. Maybe it will be up after lunch.

    BTW … great job on the review .. now ATT just needs to launch the Bold.

  • B!

    I look forward to the media player review. Maybe it will be up after lunch.

    BTW … great job on the review .. now ATT just needs to launch the Bold.

  • Guest

    Sweet….. only two pages missing of the review now. Almost there guys! (OS & Media Player)

  • B!

    Sweet….. only two pages missing of the review now. Almost there guys! (OS & Media Player)

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool

    Thanks for the encouragement, B! OS is now up and Media Player will be up soon. They were the only two I couldn’t salvage and so they have to be rewritten.

    Remember kids, always backup your work. Because the Internet hates you.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool

    Thanks for the encouragement, B! OS is now up and Media Player will be up soon. They were the only two I couldn’t salvage and so they have to be rewritten.

    Remember kids, always backup your work. Because the Internet hates you.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com/ BlackBerry Cool

    @Terry,

    No issues with 3G at all. Obviously Ottawa isn’t the most metropolitan city in the world, but you might be able to chalk it up to Rogers > AT&T when it comes to 3G coverage.

    @Sean,

    Not certain about the maximum MicroSD capacity. We only have a 4GB lying around, so we’ll have to look into it. For the record, the 16GB number comes from the initial Bold press release in May, so things could have changed since then.

  • http://www.blackberrycool.com BlackBerry Cool

    @Terry,

    No issues with 3G at all. Obviously Ottawa isn’t the most metropolitan city in the world, but you might be able to chalk it up to Rogers > AT&T when it comes to 3G coverage.

    @Sean,

    Not certain about the maximum MicroSD capacity. We only have a 4GB lying around, so we’ll have to look into it. For the record, the 16GB number comes from the initial Bold press release in May, so things could have changed since then.

  • mb

    So when is it gonna be in the US?!

  • mb

    So when is it gonna be in the US?!

  • mb

    So when is it gonna be in the US?!

  • mb

    So when is it gonna be in the US?!

  • mb

    So when is it gonna be in the US?!

  • dino

    I hate blackberry!!

    Wait for it….

    NOT!!!

  • dino

    I hate blackberry!!

    Wait for it….

    NOT!!!

  • dubz

    1st of all tanx bbcool for the superb review.. i fil this is one of the most complete reviews available for the BOLD.. i have a question.. how does it fit in ur chest pocket? how bout in ur trousers pocket? or jeans? probably u could post up sum pictures on the size of the bold compared to how it fits ur pockets.. ive seen sum reviews on the size of it but none which shows d Bold being tucked into ones pocket.. probly sum of us dun fil comfy clinging it onto the belt.. plus i dun wan my BOLD to be d target of snatch-thefts if i just cling it there.. i feel this (the BOLD’s size) is one of the problems for those who arent dat much in the business side but wants a rili great BB.. other than dat, its perfect~

  • dubz

    1st of all tanx bbcool for the superb review.. i fil this is one of the most complete reviews available for the BOLD.. i have a question.. how does it fit in ur chest pocket? how bout in ur trousers pocket? or jeans? probably u could post up sum pictures on the size of the bold compared to how it fits ur pockets.. ive seen sum reviews on the size of it but none which shows d Bold being tucked into ones pocket.. probly sum of us dun fil comfy clinging it onto the belt.. plus i dun wan my BOLD to be d target of snatch-thefts if i just cling it there.. i feel this (the BOLD’s size) is one of the problems for those who arent dat much in the business side but wants a rili great BB.. other than dat, its perfect~

  • http://ashleyarmitt.blogspot.com/ Ashley Armitt

    1 Blaring Omission from this review is the Headphones! Is it just in Oz they are suction based ?

    @ Bryan, these are features of 4.5 OS and well integrated into the 4.6 OS of the Bold

    @ Blackberry Cool, HSPA to GPRS handover works extremely well here in OZ. Over 100km’s between work and home moves seemlessly between the two. Best review so far by the way, the screenshots made you beat out BGR’s :)

  • http://ashleyarmitt.blogspot.com Ashley Armitt

    1 Blaring Omission from this review is the Headphones! Is it just in Oz they are suction based ?

    @ Bryan, these are features of 4.5 OS and well integrated into the 4.6 OS of the Bold

    @ Blackberry Cool, HSPA to GPRS handover works extremely well here in OZ. Over 100km’s between work and home moves seemlessly between the two. Best review so far by the way, the screenshots made you beat out BGR’s :)

  • Aaron

    The calculator says boobs when you hold it upside down.

  • Aaron

    The calculator says boobs when you hold it upside down.

  • Aaron

    The calculator says boobs when you hold it upside down.

  • http://www.marky.com/ Mark Rejhon

    One MAJOR thing is missing that greatly hurts the BlackBerry, according to some friends I know:

    An AppStore for BlackBerry. We need easier development, easier accessibility, for BlackBerry so that new users of BlackBerry can easily find a favourite application without needing to hunt many different sources on the Internet for it.

    Apps doesn’t have to be exclusive to the BlackBerry AppStore, but a pre-installed well-stocked AppStore makes it irresistible for developers to provide copies of their application for the unified AppStore – since everyone would be able to access it and purchase applications that way.

    There is some trickiness tiptoeing around corporate users whose admins don’t want such functionality, but if RIM want to be serious about selling more units to consumers, we need a built-in AppStore, as well as the addition of improved development environments.

    (P.S. RIM API needs to really be overhauled, baby… There’s a lot of legacy stuff that’s holding it back.)