Review: RIM’s BlackBerry Bold

Research In Motion’s BlackBerry Bold smart phone proves to be the ultimate do-it-all device for working professionals and mobile enthusiasts. With phone, e-mail, Internet, camera capabilities and more at the helm of any users’ fingertips, it’s easy to see why many mobile professionals rely on the BlackBerry to stay connected.

With its dimensions measuring at 4.48 inches x 2.6 inches x 0.59 inches in height, width and depth, the Bold is a bit bigger than the BlackBerry Curve 8330, which measures 4.2 inches x 2.4 inches x 0.6-inches. Combined with a weight of just 4.8 ounces, the Bold can comfortably fit into any handbag or pocket with ease.

The Bold looks professional from its glossy black keys and face, to its metallic silver side trim, right down to its black leather-like textured back plate. The Bold’s half VGA 480 x 320 colour resolution LCD display offers users sharp, attractive images, which makes surfing the Internet and watching videos all the more pleasant.

As a newbie to BlackBerry devices, I found it took some time to get used to the trackball on the smart phone. However, after a few minutes of using it to navigate through some of the already-installed applications, I found the trackball fairly easy to use.

For me, one of the handier features of the Bold is the password-protected keyboard lock function. In order to unlock the device and its functionalities, users have to input a user-generated password, which can always be changed later. With all of the different types of data that can be stored on the device such as appointments, messages, e-mails, notes, pictures and so forth, the last thing any user would want to have to worry about is for someone to easily access stored information.

Some of the pre-installed applications on the Bold include a clock, calendar, weather-notification, GPS, camera, and more. What’s nice is that the application icons can also be arranged in the menu so that the six most accessed ones show up on the home screen. In addition to these applications, the Bold also has video recording, media player, organizer and speakerphone capabilities. For mobile professionals on-the-go, Bold users can also take advantage of the Bold’s document editing capabilities by accessing the pre-installed Word, Excel and PowerPoint documents on the device.

As someone who prefers to send text messages to others instead of connecting over the phone, I found the QWERTY keyboard along with the keyboard’s backlighting made texting quicker and easier.

Although I did not use the Bold’s e-mail capabilities, the device does offer push-delivery technology with e-mail, so messages are automatically delivered. The Bold is also Wi-Fi 802.11 a/b/g enabled.

The battery life of the Bold is designed to have an average talk time of 4.5 hours, with about 324 hours of standby time.

Overall, there wasn’t anything really glaring that I disliked about the Bold. In fact, I was so impressed with the device and its features that I’m seriously considering the purchase of one as a replacement to my current mobile phone.

The Bold is now available in Canada and operates on Rogers’ 3G network, which Rogers deems to be Canada’s “fastest” mobile network. The MSRP of the Bold on its own is $599.99, or is available for $199.99 based on select three-year plans with Rogers Wireless.

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Maxine Cheung
Maxine Cheung
Staff Writer, Computer Dealer News

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