BlackBerry Bold 9780 review -

3

Review by Sunetra Chakravati, 6/5/2011 11:59:56 AM

6out of 10
Performance
8 out of 5
Look and feel
6 out of 5
Ease of use
8 out of 5
Features
8 out of 5
Battery life
Pros:

As with all of RIM?s devices, the emailing credentials are top notch with push email and multiple account setup

Cons:

While an improvement on previous operating systems, BlackBerry OS 6.0 just didn?t fit as well on a non-touch-screen device

When Mobile Choice reviewed the BlackBerry Torch only a few months ago we were for the most part impressed. RIM’s most feature packed smartphone was the first BlackBerry to boast the new BlackBerry OS 6.0, which brought a customisation that ‘Berry users had previously only been able to admire from afar at their Android and iPhone counterparts. However, we weren’t enamoured with the overall build, feeling it was too bulky with its slider design. In fact we concluded that personally we would choose to wait for the impending update to the BlackBerry Bold 9700, which we felt had a better form factor and overall appeal to the BlackBerry massive. Well guess what kiddies, the folks at RIM have gone one better and brought out a new and improved BlackBerry Bold complete with said OS 6.0.

Look and feel

RIM has kept the exact same form factor for the BlackBerry Bold 9780, as the 9700, bar there is no longer a titanium trim, opting instead for a sleek black body. It looks great, in a ‘serious’ kind of way. Wake the screen up and the display also impresses with sharp colours and crisper text and icons than we’ve seen on some previous BlackBerry devices. The QWERTY keyboard too remains finger friendly, despite being on the small side, as they’re raised just enough to determine between them. Something that did take a bit of getting used to however, was when you start to type a phone number for example, as the keys are alphanumeric, both a text bar (the Universal search) and a number bar appear on the screen, which looks strange and frankly a little confusing.

BlackBerry OS 6.0

As touched upon, BlackBerry OS 6.0 makes for a far more customisable experience than previous RIM operating systems have provided. OK so you still effectively only have one homescreen, but there are swipe-able menus at the bottom of the display that include, favourites and media menu, both of which you can determine what icons and shortcuts appear, while the frequent menu will automatically update itself depending on your most used features. Now here’s the thing, we’re completely aware that we’re going to sound like the biggest hypocrite this side of Whitehall, but, we’re just not sure how well this OS fits with a non-touch-screen device. Perhaps we’ve just become too used to touch-screen devices, but we were forever jabbing the screen trying to drag and drop various icons, before we remembered we’d have to go through the various menu settings using the trackpad.

We should clarify that we’re not turning our backs on BlackBerry OS 6.0. It remains superior to previous RIM operating systems, with nice touches such as tabbed browsing enabling you to surf multiple pages at any one time and the Social Feeds app that integrates all your social networking feeds and messages into one stream. Just perhaps it needs to be tweaked according to the type of device it sits on.

BlackBerry OS 6.0 is not the only new arrival to this next-gen Bold. RIM has tweaked the memory capacity, so it can now handle microSD cards of up to 32GB as opposed to 16GB, though RIM has only included a 2GB card in the box. There’s also an improved camera, matching that of the BlackBerry Torch 9800, which we deemed to have “the best snapper on a BlackBerry device.” It’s five-megapixels, has auto-focus and an LED flash and though we found you needed a steadier hand than most smartphone’s to secure a blur-free photo, the results were pleasing. Obviously the screen is on the small side which is not ideal when taking snaps or browsing the internet, but we can’t be overly critical of this fact after praising the Bold 9780’s form factor.

Conclusion

We loved the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and we liked the BlackBerry OS 6.0, so we’d have thought this would have only had led to a Bold 9780 love-in. Sadly the two aren’t so much as a match made in heaven, more a fumble behind the bike sheds.

Danny Brogan