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

  • 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.)

  • http://www.quicklybored.com/ Kyle

    can you guy settle an argument I’ve been having with my coworkers?wwHat is the Bold’s target market? I think pro-sumers and my boss says CEO types. If pro-sumer, pricing and launch issues are crucial. If CEO types, then these are non-issues right? Shed some light readers?

  • http://www.quicklybored.com/ Kyle

    can you guy settle an argument I’ve been having with my coworkers?wwHat is the Bold’s target market? I think pro-sumers and my boss says CEO types. If pro-sumer, pricing and launch issues are crucial. If CEO types, then these are non-issues right? Shed some light readers?

  • http://www.quicklybored.com Kyle

    can you guy settle an argument I’ve been having with my coworkers?wwHat is the Bold’s target market? I think pro-sumers and my boss says CEO types. If pro-sumer, pricing and launch issues are crucial. If CEO types, then these are non-issues right? Shed some light readers?

  • Jvlien

    Battery life is not so good comparing to the Pearl 8310 unless you don’t use the blackberry and keep it sleeping. The very nice screen seems to be a huge power sucker.

  • Jvlien

    Battery life is not so good comparing to the Pearl 8310 unless you don’t use the blackberry and keep it sleeping. The very nice screen seems to be a huge power sucker.

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

    @Mark

    Actually Mark, my Bold came with a Rogers Mall icon that launches into an online app store. I think RIM is more interested in leaving distribution to carriers, while still having references like the BlackBerry Solutions Catalog ( http://www.blackberrysolutionscatalog.com/ ) available for folks to peruse.

    @Kyle

    Considering the pricing, and how it’s replacing the BlackBerry 8800, I would place the Bold in the executive/enterprise category. Given, there’s a camera there that some companies might not be too happy with, and the slick screen seems a little too multimedia-friendly to be purely business, I think they’re more icing on the cake than anything else.

    @dubz

    Having pocketed the Pearl for a long time, the Bold definitely feels a little bulky. Right now I’m holstering it, but it actually fits in my front jean pocket no problem. It might be a little trickier if you’re putting anything else in there, though.

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

    @Mark

    Actually Mark, my Bold came with a Rogers Mall icon that launches into an online app store. I think RIM is more interested in leaving distribution to carriers, while still having references like the BlackBerry Solutions Catalog ( http://www.blackberrysolutionscatalog.com/ ) available for folks to peruse.

    @Kyle

    Considering the pricing, and how it’s replacing the BlackBerry 8800, I would place the Bold in the executive/enterprise category. Given, there’s a camera there that some companies might not be too happy with, and the slick screen seems a little too multimedia-friendly to be purely business, I think they’re more icing on the cake than anything else.

    @dubz

    Having pocketed the Pearl for a long time, the Bold definitely feels a little bulky. Right now I’m holstering it, but it actually fits in my front jean pocket no problem. It might be a little trickier if you’re putting anything else in there, though.

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

    @dubz

    Just to follow up, one part of my review I forgot to throw in was a mention of how I carried the Bold. I usually place my BlackBerry in the front breast pocket of my tweed blazer (from 7100 to 7130 to pearl to curve) and the Bold is the first one that doesn’t fit. But it’s fine in your pants pocket — just don’t put your keys in there too!

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

    @dubz

    Just to follow up, one part of my review I forgot to throw in was a mention of how I carried the Bold. I usually place my BlackBerry in the front breast pocket of my tweed blazer (from 7100 to 7130 to pearl to curve) and the Bold is the first one that doesn’t fit. But it’s fine in your pants pocket — just don’t put your keys in there too!

  • http://derekrossler.com/ Derek

    Can you show off some screen caps of the GPS working? How in depth are the GPS features?

    Thanks, Derek

  • http://derekrossler.com Derek

    Can you show off some screen caps of the GPS working? How in depth are the GPS features?

    Thanks, Derek

  • http://cio.com/ Al Sacco

    This is a great review. Thanks to Douglas and the whole BlackBerryCool crew!

    AS

  • http://cio.com Al Sacco

    This is a great review. Thanks to Douglas and the whole BlackBerryCool crew!

    AS

  • http://www.salesby5.com/ nan palmero

    Douglas, you out did yourself with the mother of all BlackBerry Bold reviews. I loved it, especially for the table of contents at the beginning. This is definitely NOT bush league. ;)

  • http://www.salesby5.com nan palmero

    Douglas, you out did yourself with the mother of all BlackBerry Bold reviews. I loved it, especially for the table of contents at the beginning. This is definitely NOT bush league. ;)

  • John

    Excellent review. However, with the absence of A PDF creator and lack of Flash and Java support for web browsing, I have to wonder whether one perhaps should let the hype wear off for a week or two and then see if he or she still wants one.

  • John

    Excellent review. However, with the absence of A PDF creator and lack of Flash and Java support for web browsing, I have to wonder whether one perhaps should let the hype wear off for a week or two and then see if he or she still wants one.

  • John

    Excellent review. However, with the absence of A PDF creator and lack of Flash and Java support for web browsing, I have to wonder whether one perhaps should let the hype wear off for a week or two and then see if he or she still wants one.

  • Tex

    Great Review. I can’t wait for ATT to launch the bold.

  • Tex

    Great Review. I can’t wait for ATT to launch the bold.

  • http://www.draligus.net/ draligus

    what is the screen size of this phone?

  • http://www.draligus.net draligus

    what is the screen size of this phone?

  • http://mobilefonts.blog.co.uk/ Paul Simpson

    The screen size is 480 x 320

    It is launched in the UK on Orange and there are problems with Maps not being implemented.

  • http://mobilefonts.blog.co.uk Paul Simpson

    The screen size is 480 x 320

    It is launched in the UK on Orange and there are problems with Maps not being implemented.

  • http://derekrossler.com/ Derek

    GPS? Can we see how it works? What about Google Maps? And Blackberry Maps?

  • http://derekrossler.com Derek

    GPS? Can we see how it works? What about Google Maps? And Blackberry Maps?

  • look-fast

    hi..for the blackberry bold model …. does anyone know if u can delete/edit original text from an email you are forwarding on….? much appreciate if you can help!! thanks!

  • look-fast

    hi..for the blackberry bold model …. does anyone know if u can delete/edit original text from an email you are forwarding on….? much appreciate if you can help!! thanks!

  • Steve

    Will the Blackberry Bold’s email and phone work in Asia, e.g., Japan, Korea, and China?

  • Steve

    Will the Blackberry Bold’s email and phone work in Asia, e.g., Japan, Korea, and China?

  • Jnevons

    No GPS info? Hardly an ‘ultimate’ review with zero information on the GPS. Honestly.

  • Jnevons

    No GPS info? Hardly an ‘ultimate’ review with zero information on the GPS. Honestly.

  • Lee

    With living in South Africa we always get the tail end of the deals, will the BBB GPS maps work in SA or is it compatible with other maps that are available for download?

  • Lee

    With living in South Africa we always get the tail end of the deals, will the BBB GPS maps work in SA or is it compatible with other maps that are available for download?

  • BM

    I’m thinking of getting a Bold and comparing against the iPhone and E71

    One of the great things about the iPhone is that (once set-up) it will seamlessly flip from using wifi comms to mobile provider comms. So I sit in the garden looking at a site or two on the net and it is using my wifi link. I walk off and it automatically then moves to mobile comms to get web pages without me having to do a thing – nothing. And when I wander back it picks up the wifi and starts using that again. Can the Bold do this?

    The reason I ask is that I have a Nokia E61 and this will not do the above. I have to endlessly click and do stuff to swap – and even to just pick up email it seems to want to keep asking me what comms to use. Very annoying. There is a third party app to help correct this but I’d prefer a phone (like the iPhone) which does the right thing from the off.

    I do appreciate with the advent of 3G that wifi is not so vital perhaps but I do use my mobile device around the house a lot and I don’t want to be eating into my ‘all I can eat’ mobile data allowance – which is actually capped and expensive if I were to go above.

    Thanks for you help and also such an informative review.

  • BM

    I’m thinking of getting a Bold and comparing against the iPhone and E71

    One of the great things about the iPhone is that (once set-up) it will seamlessly flip from using wifi comms to mobile provider comms. So I sit in the garden looking at a site or two on the net and it is using my wifi link. I walk off and it automatically then moves to mobile comms to get web pages without me having to do a thing – nothing. And when I wander back it picks up the wifi and starts using that again. Can the Bold do this?

    The reason I ask is that I have a Nokia E61 and this will not do the above. I have to endlessly click and do stuff to swap – and even to just pick up email it seems to want to keep asking me what comms to use. Very annoying. There is a third party app to help correct this but I’d prefer a phone (like the iPhone) which does the right thing from the off.

    I do appreciate with the advent of 3G that wifi is not so vital perhaps but I do use my mobile device around the house a lot and I don’t want to be eating into my ‘all I can eat’ mobile data allowance – which is actually capped and expensive if I were to go above.

    Thanks for you help and also such an informative review.

  • tash

    already using and loving it!

  • tash

    already using and loving it!

  • tash

    already using and loving it!

  • tash

    already using and loving it!

  • Alex

    Can anyone tell me if there is a slot for a 1 gigabyte expansion? Can someone also tell me how many gigabytes The BlackBerry Bold Has?

  • Alex

    Can anyone tell me if there is a slot for a 1 gigabyte expansion? Can someone also tell me how many gigabytes The BlackBerry Bold Has?

  • http://Mill Alex

    Can anyone tell me if there is a slot for a 1 gigabyte expansion? Can someone also tell me how many gigabytes The BlackBerry Bold Has?

  • someone

    there is 1 gb memory on the phone
    but you can expand up to 16 gb with micro sd cards

    wow! i cant wait to get mine!!

  • someone

    there is 1 gb memory on the phone
    but you can expand up to 16 gb with micro sd cards

    wow! i cant wait to get mine!!

  • mr cashier

    this shows Mpix has nothing to do with the pic-quality! no need for 8mpix if the photochip is crappy! Bold is a great proof of that!

  • mr cashier

    this shows Mpix has nothing to do with the pic-quality! no need for 8mpix if the photochip is crappy! Bold is a great proof of that!

  • mr cashier

    this shows Mpix has nothing to do with the pic-quality! no need for 8mpix if the photochip is crappy! Bold is a great proof of that!

  • BB Bold LOVER!

    I’ve had the Bold from Rogers for about a week now… and what can I say… AMAZING! I was a loyal fan of the Sony Ericsson before I moved into smartphones, then became a very very loyal fan of the HTC line-up of smartphones. When Rogers decided to discontinue the HTC Touch and not pick up the newer HTC phones, I was talked into buying a BlackBerry. As I’m a 21 year old male, I figured I needed the best, and folks, that’s exactly what I got! My phone seamlessly switches back and forth from 3G to WiFi and back (but the WiFi does drain a TON of power). As I’m still getting used to going from a Windows Mobile 6.0 to a BB OS .162, there are either things lacking, or I’m just not as tech savvy as I think I am. The documents to go is great, but having to pay to be able to creat new documents is a pain, so I just leave a blank file on there and edit and “save as”. Pictures load quickly and are actually displayed better than my digital camera! And for the review writer, you are incorrect about one thing: there is a stand-alone video recorder icon. You just have to search for it ;) (its in the applications folder).

    My only complaints so far: lacking applications, which is what the WM and iPhone are killing the market with, the browser is really good, but could be better, storage card easy accesibility (its a bitch and a half trying to get that sucker out), and whenever I try to sync the phone with my computer for pictures, videos, and music, while it does it, it tends to slow my computer down and has actually caused a 30 minute freeze!.

    Other than that, it’s an amazing phone, and while its $30/mos. more than a typical cell phone, I can’t figure out how I went without one for such a long time!