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WMExperts on the BlackBerry Bold: The Round Robin Review

Welcome back to the Smartphone Round Robin, everybody! Today's episode: WMExperts reviews the BlackBerry Bold for really-real, to see what a Windows Mobile user thinks of this beast. Earlier in the week when we posted our video take on the Bold, I was having a few fits and jags but overall found myself much more impressed with the platform than I was last year.

What can a Windows Mobile user expect if they're moving to BlackBerry? What are we missing? What are we not missing? Read on.

(Of course, this is an official Smartphone Round Robin Contest Post. Every day you comment here, you're entered for another chance to win a Fuze and a Redfly!)

Hardware

We can keep this pretty short and sweet: the hardware of the BlackBerry Bold is great. It feels solid, there's very little creak, and most of all: the screen is gorgeous. In fact, I found myself wanting to use it as a touchscreen on more than one occasion and I don't think it's just because I so commonly use touchscreen devices.

I will say that it's a touch wide, although honestly it's no wider than a Moto Q9h -- must just be that I haven't used that Q9h in awhile. I also have to be brutally honest and say that I don't like the plastic/silver rails on the side of the Bold. Yes, the hardware is solid and looks good, but it doesn't look or feel quite as sexy or top-of-the-line as the latest stuff from HTC.

The keyboard is also very easy to type on despite the lack of spacing between the keys. RIM has placed ridges on each key to make them easier to hit and to distinguish from one another.

In my video review I bemoaned the lack of hardware shortcut buttons. This is mitigated by the fact that there are two 'convenience keys,' one on each side of the phone, but as a diehard WM user I'd like more. The good news, as I learned at the CrackBerry.com Forums, is that if you turn off auto-dial from the home screen you get a whole raft of keyboard shortcuts directly from the home screen.

They take some remembering and (barring a hack?) there's no way to remap them, but one-hit shortcuts to the most popular apps.

The leather battery cover is nice enough and if you buy extra covers it's fun to switch them out for different colors. Speaking of the battery, battery life is solid. Two full days without a recharge. Good stuff. Also -- glad to see they kept the flash on the Bold.

As for ports and doors and such, it's loaded for bear. In addition to the standard (yay!) miniUSB and standard (yay!) 3.5 mm headset jack, there's also contacts on the bottom for charging via a dock. I officially curse all smartphones that lack a real 3.5mm headset jack. It's the standard, folks, deal with it.

As far as trackball vs. dpad, put me in the middle. I like the trackball fine, but you will miss your target sometimes and you'll also tire of scrolling at other times. On the other hand, it's a lot more elegant than the clicky-clicky of dpads.

Main Brain (the OS)

As a Windows Mobile lover, using a BlackBerry for your one and only device means, well, the BlackBerry uses you! Well, it's not that extreme, but there are certain things that you're going to have to do the 'BlackBerry Way' instead of whatever way you might happen to prefer. This is one of the main reasons that I prefer Windows Mobile to BlackBerry -- crazy good customization. Again, if you're looking for an overly-involved explanation of what I'm talking about here, check out the email section of my first look last year, wherein I get into the “Protestant vs. Catholic” approach to smartphones.

To be fair, though, 'the BlackBerry Way' isn't all that bad of a way, it's actually pretty good. I do have my gripes (see esp. the email section), but many of them can be mitigated with third party software.

My first, biggest, and perhaps most surprising (to me) gripe is that I love and miss the today screen. I received several excellent suggestions that I download and install a custom theme that duplicates the functionality of the Today Screen, but I have to admit: it's not the same. Sure, I could experiment with different themes or even get into building my own, but I prefer the simplicity of setting up the Today Screen on Windows Mobile Pro. (Admittedly, WM Standard has some similar issues, but overall I also find it easier as well).

Overall, though, the BBOS feels like it has come quite a long way in a year. A lot of this is just subjective: the fact that RIM has a gigantic screen to work with means they can provide prettier, anti-aliased fonts. The new look of the Bold (the 'Zen' Theme) is pretty stylish, although like others I'm not fond of these wireframe icons, they're too difficult to distinguish from each other without giving the phone your full attention.

The other thing that's impressive about the BBOS on the Bold is that it's fast. Responsiveness overall approached PalmOS levels of speed when switching apps and performing tasks. The data entry on PIM and whatnot wasn't quite as good as the PalmOS, but it was certainly better than WM.

Now, with the BBOS you're going to become intimately familiar with that BlackBerry / Menu button (henceforth the Menu button). I'm still not a super-big fan of this menu button -- it hides too many options and it changes too often depending on context for it to ever be especially intuitive for me. This isn't to say that Windows Mobile (especially Standard Edition) doesn't suffer from menu-itis either, but at least WM has the 'soft buttons' on the bottom to save you the occasional click.

I'm still confused by the settings, which sometimes feel like they're located arbitrarily. The BlackBerry-specific stuff like Service Books still feel like a foreign language. I shouldn't harp on this too much, though, as settings in Windows Mobile aren't exactly easy to figure out.

I've mentioned it before, but I'll mention it again: hooray for decent, on-device search!

A Long Aside on Where I Suspect the BlackBerry OS is...

Overall, though, I still can't get past the feeling that something feels un-modern about the BBOS. Kevin's recent reportage from the BlackBerry Developer's Conference has mitigated my feelings on what I'm about to write here, as has the Storm a bit, but I'm going to plow ahead regardless because I think it's still pretty valid. I've been saying this to people (and probably in a podcast or two) for a long time now, so it's past-time for me to put it in print:

The BlackBerry Bold is the Treo 650 of the BlackBerry Ecosystem.

What I mean by this is the following: for those that weren't around, don't remember, or mis-remember, the release of the Treo 650 was a watershed moment in the world of smartphones. Despite gains made with the Treo 600 and other smartphones before it, the 650 really was the first smartphone to get it. At the time, it had an incredible mix of form factor, features, software, power, looks, and more. There are likely tens of thousands (if not more) of these 650s still in active use and for good reason: it was a great phone.

It was also the last time that the PalmOS saw significant upgrades that made a real difference for users. Sure, the 700p brought 3G and some memory management “improvements” (scare quotes intentional there), but it was definitely evolutionary. The reality is that even back in late 2004 and 2005, the PalmOS was coming up on the limits of what it was capable of doing. Though for the next five years we continued (and continue!) to see incredibly cool 3rd party software created and released for the platform, the OS itself stagnated for a variety of reasons.

In many ways, I see the BlackBerry Bold in the same context. It's not quite the revolution that the 650 was, but it's brought together a great array of features and combined them with a snappy but slightly tired-feeling OS. Although I do think that the BBOS does have more 'legs' in it than the PalmOS turned out to have, I also think that it won't be long before it starts hitting the same sorts of ceilings that the PalmsOS hit.

Looking at the smartphone landscape in the US, we have Smartphone Operating systems based on:

  • Linux (Android)
  • Mac OSX (iPhone)
  • WinCE (Windows Mobile)
  • Java (BlackBerry)
  • PalmOS (Palm OS)

The order I've listed these in is intentional. The first two are robust, desktop-class operating systems that are proven to be stable, fast, and able to be extended to do pretty much whatever you'd like. The third, WinCE, has a clear roadmap for future features, a massively popular, and easy-to-use development environment. All three of these core OSes can be developed for in much the same way you develop for the desktop: the same tools, many of the same APIs, and much of the same power.

I'm not smart enough about Java to say this with absolute authority, but a desktop-class OS it is not. What's worse, the differentiation between different BlackBerry models, OSes (it's dizzying to track what runs on what), and carrier variants is so crazy bad it makes Windows Mobile's fractured device ecosystem look like the iPhone. What I mean is that while on Windows Mobile you do have to develop for multiple phones and a few variants of the OS, it's still easier to do that than deal with the fragmentation that's currently happening on the BlackBerry side of things.

Finally, although it's too early to say for sure, the early reviews of the BlackBerry Storm have a whiff of the Treo 700p to them: a nice enough upgrade, but some things are slower and the OS is starting to show its age.

The preceding paragraphs paint a pretty grim picture of the BBOS' future, but I don't think it's terminal. RIM -- and especially the developers -- can still squeeze some life out of the BBOS as it's currently structured. However my hunch is that they're going to need to completely start over -- from scratch -- within the next 3 to 5 years at the outside. They're going to need to let go of full backwards compatibility in favor of emulation and move to one of those desktop-class core OSes. Seriously, the BBOS still has the original 2-way pager code in there somewhere.

Ok, I need to end this section on an up note, so here's one. The Bold solves one of my top 10 hates with cellphones. When you are connected to a bluetooth headset and answer the phone by hitting a button on the Bold, it automatically transfers the call to the headset. All phones do this, and it drives me batty. The Bold, however, pops up a dialog when you do this offering to immediately transfer the call back to the handset. Nice.

PIM and Sync

My original goal for the Round Robin was to never attach a smartphone to my computer (a Mac) for syncing PIM or installing apps. I don't typically use an exchange account, but I am able to quickly and easily sync the following from my Mac to the cloud, thusly:

  • my Contacts to Google, Yahoo, and Mobile Me.
  • my Calendar to Google and Mobile Me
  • my ToDo to Remember the Milk
  • I don't sync notes, but want to.

With the first round, the BlackBerry Bold, I failed in my endeavor. I am willing to settle for simply Contacts and Calendar, though ideally I would also sync todo. With the Bold, I was able to sync Calendar via Google Sync and ToDo via Remember the Milk's sync app. Contacts, though, stymied me and eventually I had to relent and install PocketMac. Aside: PocketMac is not a good app, very un-Mac-like and has a horrendous installer. If you have the cash, I think I have to recommend The Missing Sync to Mac Users.

Of course, yesterday Google updated their sync app to include contacts, so it turns out I gave up too soon. Since yesterday, I've had seamless sync of all my PIM data.

Now, as a Windows Mobile user, I'll just say this: there are several ways to sync all of the above without even resorting to an Exchange server or to tethering via USB. I think 3rd party app support for Windows Mobile is ahead of what's available on the BlackBerry.

Email and SMS

There's not much more to say here that I didn't say last year. I did my due diligence by setting up a full BIS (BlackBerry Internet Service) account. I figured out the “no password” trick: you enter in your Gmail address but leave the password blank, which tricks the BIS into letting you enter your email settings manually instead of setting up standard POP email. I did this so I could get true IMAP.

At least with Gmail, email set up via the BIS doesn't appear to be true IMAP. Items come in quickly (very quickly) and reliably, but they always appear as “unread” whether I've read them elsewhere or not. About once every half hour I'm finding myself just going into the email client and marking everything as opened.

Lots of people recommended I give the 'unified inbox' a try. This lists all of your email and SMS in a single page, which I suspect is very convenient. However I do my best to maintain a firewall between personal email and business email and so it wasn't for me.

SMS, well, it works fine, but truly, I wish that the BlackBerry either had true threaded SMS or it just let it go and listed messages individually. Instead what you have is a hybrid of the two that I found disconcerting.

...I don't know enough people with BlackBerrys to have messed around with BlackBerry Messenger. I will that that on principle I don't like the idea of BlackBerry Messenger. Yes, I get that it's fast, convenient, and cheap since it only costs for 'data,' which for most is unlimited. Still: communication shouldn't be platform-dependent. I'm unwilling to use a method of communication that can't be made to work on virtually any platform.

Yes, the carriers charge an ungodly amount of money for SMS, but the solution to that shouldn't be to switch to a method of communication that only works on one kind of device.

Directions

Google Maps is awesome on the BlackBerry, but I wanted to give the built-in BlackBerry Maps application a try. I was pleasantly surprised. Maps render quickly under 3G and I picked up a GPS signal in about 2 minutes.

It's not as good or as robust as Live Search, but it is on the device, is free, and requires no configuration to set up. Microsoft: make Live Search a required bundled app, please. It's time somebody stood up to the TeleNav/Carrier cabal, that somebody is you.

Bluetooth and WiFi

Quality. I miss the instant-on WiFi button/switch found on the Treo Pro and the Mogul, but if you set a convenience key to the network manager on the BlackBerry, it's not really an issue. Bluetooth supports A2DP Stereo and works well with headsets. I don't know if it's the BlackBerry or the Motorola H15 (review coming soon!), but I was able to walk a full 50 paces away from the Bold until static started getting introduced into my phone call.

Apps & Games

I've already mentioned the excellent Google Sync app, which I'm now officially a fan of. What I'm not a fan of is the certificate permissions system on the Bold. Every time Google would go to sync, I would get multiple (and I mean multiple) pop ups asking me to confirm the certificate. I tried to get it to just trust it and created a “Key Store” password, but that didn't seem to work. Some folks on the CrackBerry.com forums suggested that I need to plug it into a Windows Machine and change a setting there. I also tried a few settings in the security section, all to no avail.

I'm not sure what I did to deserve seeing the following pop-up so often, but it must have been very, very bad:

Otherwise I love Viigo and FlyCast. I love BrickBreaker. I love Nintaii. Actually, it's unhealthy how much I love Nintaii: check it out:

There are more and better apps for the BlackBerry than I remember last year, but for power and breadth of apps, it's still not caught up to Windows Mobile.

Browser

The default browser on the BlackBerry Bold is better than Windows Mobile's Pocket Internet Explorer. That's faint praise, to be sure, but it's praise nevertheless. It's relatively fast at rendering pages, but not perfect. I find that Opera Mobile 9.5 Beta is better all around than the default BB Browser (and better than Opera Mini as well), although Opera Mobile is a little heavier than it ought to be.

Still, quick rendering of pages and -- for me at least -- the biggest hassle were the constant certificate pop-up messages.

Media

As with the Browser, the default media app on the Bold is better than the default you'll find on Windows Mobile. Again, though, I find that there are 3rd party apps on Windows Mobile that seem to be better at this than the third party apps available on BlackBerry. I'm no BB app expert, so I could be proven wrong here, but in my perusal I didn't find anything that held a candle to Kinoma Play.

Still -- kudos to BlackBerry for making the default app good enough.

Concluding Thoughts

So there you have it, my review of the BlackBerry Bold as a Windows Mobile user. I should say right now at the beginning of this Round Robin that you're not likely to see me (or any of our editors) suddenly want to switch camps. What we're doing is trying to get you some perspective on the advantages and disadvantages of each platform from another platform's perspective.

From a Windows Mobile user's perspective, then, here's the quick summary of how the BlackBerry Bold looks:

Pros

  • Snappier
  • Generally (but not always) prettier
  • Good at email in the 'BlackBerry Way'
  • Generally better default apps like the Browser and the Media Player

Cons

  • Confusing settings, especially with regard to security
  • Less powerful
  • Less customizable
  • Less 3rd party software

If you can adapt yourself to the 'BlackBerry Way,' and don't need the power of Windows Mobile, a Bold would be a totally respectable choice. I'll admit there's not a front-facing QWERTY-Keyboard device, touch-screen or no, that matches it feature-for-feature, since the Treo devices only have 320x320 screens. I hope (and expect) that to change someday and an exciting day that will be for me.

WC Staff
WC Staff
79 Comments
  • It looks really nice and would probably be the only Blackberry I would consider getting. I'm going to have to convince my dad to get one, just so I can play with it.
  • I have to say, the new BB's are looking better and better. I hate to say it b/c BB's are another word for iphone i.e. a piece of equipment that could fulfill your needs but generally is just something people buy b/c they don't know all the choices and fall prey to advertising. Not saying they're bad, just easy choices for the average consumer.
  • Hmm...yet another blackberry.
    I'll stick with windows mobile.
  • Sounds like it was a more solid contender than the curve last year.
  • When I heard this was coming to AT&T, I was a bit curious on getting this. I've never had a blackberry. My company told me I should get one but I opted for the Blackjack II. It seems everybody has a Blackberry and I didn't want to be like everybody else. Plus my company use on the phone is not "hardcore". So I went to the store and played around with it...but still prefer the Fuze or the Xperia. That is, whenever the Xperia gets subsided by AT&T (hopefully).
  • If I were to make the switch, I think its the screen, but this gets me thinkin. Hopefully the Touch Pro will be out on VZW soon enough to get my head straight :-)
  • Would be a great device on WM, non touch screen and track ball.
    I mainly stay away because of the manditory Black Berry server stuff that I don't need..
  • for all the people that love blackberry, u have me not liking it. dont like the trackball, not nearly as customizable as windows mobile. The os makes me feel very limited. But i will say the storm on the other hand looks pretty nice
  • Great review! I was on the fence for a bit about waiting on the Bold, but from your review I am glad I chose the epix. Still, very in depth and nicely written article!
  • I think it's funny to read all of the comments on the crackberry post of this review.
  • I could almost live with something like this....wait what am I saying of course I couldn't. I do carry an BB8830 for work and would take a Bold as a replacement but I'm still to attached to my HTC Kaiser and WM in general to be persuaded to use a BB as my primary phone.
    Kirby
  • Coming from such a windows mobile fanboy I think this the most positive review of a blackberry possible. I doubt Kevin will be so kind to the windows mobile phones.
  • Nice review. As a Blackberry user at the end of my contract, I'm debating whether to upgrade my BB or move to WinMo (or Symbian). I do sync work e-mail through Exchange, have a PC, not a Mac and don't use Google for anything. While WinMo does all that, many of your issues around IMAP for example, are non-existent for corporate users like me. I looked at the Epix, and the screen is just very weak compared to the Bold. The Fuze is an option, but I'd prefer a front facing qwerty. The Nokia E71, with the Bold's screen, running WinMo Pro, that's the phone I want.
  • I have to agree with you on the SMS part... it can be annoying at times
  • Great Job in your review Dieter. I am a blackberry user so am slightly biased, but found your review to be very well researched and as your ending states, a WM user's view on the Bold. The SPRR is a great tool for anyone looking at switching platforms or for someone who is debating on their next smartphone. GREAT!!!
  • I don't really like the Blackberry way of email all that much myself, but this is an intriguing device.
  • wasn't this really easy to break when the first reviews came out??
    PS: I really want the Fuze!!!!
  • I am intrigued to see how Rene finds the Bold, as Dieter(WinMo) seems to find it quite well.
  • A great review Dieter! Having both a personal WinMo 5.0 device and a BB (curve) for work, I can definitely agree with many of your points. I do have to say though when a BB is connected up to an exchange server and through a properly configured BES it works great for e-mail, not perfect, but great. However since my personal WinMo (Moto Q) is connected to an exchange server I would have to say they about tie. I can't wait to try out WinMo 6.1 to see how much better it all is over WinMo 5.0. Thanks again for a great review, this is a very interesting series and I can't wait to see the reviews of the other devices.
  • Great review, since I may be forced to switch to BB (work), the Bold doesn't seem that bad. Hopefully I can push it off since I prefer a touch screen. The biggest negative is the size of the screen I currently use a tilt mainly in landscape for email. Hoping to the Fuze before and can push off the switch.
  • a complete review! are you a future crackberry user???? hahahaa
  • good review.. but you're right its something about the "blackberry way" that I can't fall in line with... WM rebel LOL
  • The company I work for is all BB though I continue to have and support my own WM device. Now, if I could only find a way to sync up with my companies Outlook server via my desktop like I use to do w/ Verizon Wireless Sync...
  • I found the section regarding the OS very interesting. Thanks for the review.
  • As Dieter mentions, it is damn near improbable that any of the reviewers would end up picking a different device at the end of this process, even, one suspects, if they actually did prefer another device. It WOULD therefore be interesting for each of the reviewers to declare their SECOND favourite device. ie, stuck on a desert island (with a cell tower and AC outlet of course) and their primary device washed up unusable. A second place tally might prove interesting...
  • Very good review Dieter. I bought a Bold and used it for a week, but with an Exchange server at work I just could not give up the seamless and powerful functionality of my Windows Mobile devices so I went and bought a Fuze. I was able to get most things working through 3rd party utilties (like you mentioned with Google Sync, etc.), but it just isn't the same as having seamless access to your Exchange server with Windows Mobile.
    I am also testing the Storm and still think the Bold is the BEST BlackBerry currently on the market. The Storm's touch screen is too much a departure for BlackBerry and I am not that happy with it.
  • Wow....I really want one bad. After all the waiting and heartache, it seems to have turned out to be well worth the journey. Now I just need one in my hands!
  • Excellent review, one of the more detailed ones and I'm really liking the point of view dieter has.
    Now, let's just hope I can get my hand on one of those.
  • the bold has gorgeous hardware. i guess my main gripe re: bb device is i'd have to pay extra to get the bb service to really take advantage of it. I am not sure I'd want to give up the power/customizability of WM just yet. Still it is on my short list of devices to consider.
  • The hardware on blackberries is getting better and better and better... it's the lack of developer's "hackability", if you will, that has me stuck to windows mobile. If there is anything about your winmo phone that you don't like, you can either find a good program or tweak to fix it, or write a program yourself! It's this reason that the blackberry will never stand up to Windows Mobile
  • I cant wait to see the next item you get dieter. Windows mobile is a nice OS, but it is always a good thing to try new things. :D
  • I just can't see myself liking BB
  • Heh, I knew ya'd like the Bold much better then the Curve from last year Dieter, many improvements at this point, a great review by you and honestly the outcome came as I suspected it would, ya didn't come away loving the device, but at least you have an appreciation of why a BlackBerry user does like the device, even if you could never be a crackberry addict yourself.
  • OK now after your review I begin to see that all the so called smartphone companys plan to sell the phones to the public. Knowing full well that the (billed as) smartphones are dumbphones
    I don't think you should buy a product pay to use that product and than have to pay a third party for thier product to make the product that you first bought work properly. You found fault with both systems at points that are important. There is no clear choice without more information or the use of both products
    Thank You for the information that you were able to give.
  • Solid review, Dieter. It sure does look a lot prettier than previous versions, but it's still BBOS. I love the comparison to the Treo 650! Very apt.
  • I love this round robin, It really allows me to get an unbiased review of all these phones from different experts.
  • I love how everyone still complains about "I have to have a separate data plan and I don't wanna have to do that", don;t you pay for your PDA plan anyways? Take off your PDA plan and replace it with a BB plan and it's the same thing, it's not as if you are paying for the PDA plan and THEN the BB data plan as well, and with the carriers more recent offerings, this puts all the plans pretty much on par so if your using a WinMob device your going to be paying the same amount for a BB data plan, this concept of paying more may have been reasonable 2 years ago, but now it's no longer even feasible to claim that as a reasoning.
    @J22JJ22J- Your comment conflicts with..your comment lol, you can't like the Storm and not like another BB, it's still a BB..OS is the same all around cept it's just touch, so your making me believe your issue is with the trackball and the trackball alone.
  • Wow Nice, You have officially made me wait, i highly agree that BB needs to start a brand new OS from the ground up, just like Android and MacOSX, Then when they do that, i just might buy one then, but as of right now, im perfectly happy with my ATT Tilt.
  • Interesting analysis of the OS, with the comparison to the 650. Given that the Storm looks like a home run, I think BB is in much better shape than Palm was, BUT, they need to avoid the Palm mistake and put money into that OS. I don't know if it needs to be from the ground up or not. The rumors about MSFT buying RIM were interesting. Right now there is no WinMo device with HW that compares with the Bold. Also, the BB OS strengths, speed, simplicity, are the weaknesses of WinMo. Get those folks working together and you could have a perfect convergence device.
  • I just can't see myself liking BB
    Actually reading thru the BB threads, it looks like it has came a long way.
  • If I wasn't going to use a Windows Mobile phone, I'd be using a Blackberry. Cant stand PalmOS, no 3G coverage for iPhone, and I just don't like the G1.
    Oh, and I'm really enjoying the Round Robin. Thanks guys.
  • Great reivew. I use a Blackberry for work & a Motorola Q9M as my personal device. I love the Blackberry for work & I think it gets much better battery life. But, it just cannot handle my extra curricular activities.
    I have a full version of Documents to Go on my Q. Meaning I can edit AND create MSOffice documents. Not so on the Blackberry (at least not without upgrade pay for an upgrade). I can download podcasts to my Q, through my BeyondPod RSS reader. Viigo has been promising this feature for at least 6 months with no results (I use this feature A LOT). And, the PIM apps available for my Q are more robust than the ones I can get for my Blackberry.
    Windows Mobile is the only way to go for an advanced PDA users. I really wish Dieter had picked a Windows Standard device. You get most of the capabilities of a Windows mobile Pro device with the ease of use of a Blackberry. That would have been a must more interesting and valuable head to head.
  • I'd like to give the Bold a try. Primarily because I'm considered to be the resident pda / smartphone guru for work, family, friends, etc. However, I'm only knowlegable on palm and windows mobile platforms. I need to diversify a bit more.:D
  • Excellent review. I learn a lot about the Bold. Still I think it is a corporate phone. I like the versatility of windows mobile devices maybe not as simple but I feel i can do more with them
  • These RR stink ;)
    I'm starting to like it.
  • I must say, over the past few years, I have slowly been moving towards more business-style phones. I just got a BlackJack II a few months ago, and love it a lot more than other phones I got. Having a QWERTY keyboard is nice!
    Great review. When I'm looking for my next phone purchase, I'm totally going to look hard at the Bold.
  • i love how the bold has great gmail apps that are compatible but hate the dam interface. my scroll ball still out so ill give it one last try when the new one comes in. not switching anytime soon though
  • I would like to see all the internet phones have a better screen.
  • Is it better than a Blackjack?
  • As you say:
    "I will say that it's a touch wide, although honestly it's no wider than a Moto Q9h -- must just be that I haven't used that Q9h in awhile."
    I liked the q9h, but it is a little wide for me.
  • 2 minutes to acquire GPS? No thanks, crapberry
  • @Bla1ze
    Yea, but I did say "on the other hand". only commenting on the fact that it looks nice, I can say that right? The Storm is a totally new form factor for Blackberry and its a form factor I love, but I would only purchase it if WM is under the hood combined with being on the sprint network. My deal at sprint is too great to ever leave.
    I keep hearing rumors of a windows phone too, might have to be looking out for that.
  • I was pleasantly surprised to see the BB plan is now the same price.
  • I think BlackBerry can take some cues from WinMo and vice versa.
  • Is the BlackBerry OS fully written in Java? Or is it more like Android where the entire application stack is Java, but underneath you have a Linux kernel? Time for some googling me thinks. Nice review, BTW.
  • What about making it thicker adding a better battery. With a weak signal it eats more power.
  • I wonder if RIM will do a combination touchscreen and keyboard BB--might work better than the Storm as a "best of both worlds" device. And Dieter, that would help someone like you or me who taps the screen out of habit.
  • I'm starting to get lost. The places to view the Round robin reviews are inconsistent, sometimes under reviews, other in the forums, next week in their own site or this week the opposite site.
    I spend more time finding the places where the round robin is going on than to actually reading and posting
    This goes for sites not just this.
  • What about making it thicker adding a better battery. With a weak signal it eats more power.
    lets do that to every phone. more battery is always better.
  • I listened to podcast 37 last night.
    what buttons are so hard to press on the storm? all this talk on Android with Linux, Sharp tried Linux on the Zaurus around 2002 with a slide out key board. Was a nice device but never took off.
  • I like the fact that it has a standard headphone jack (3.5).
  • Hey look its the holiday no tome to type just time to post a comment to enter. I need to go now its time to SHOP.
  • ya google sync has been awesome on the bb now i dont ever need to sync unless im updating the os!
  • I am currently a pearl user and love my blackberry. But for some reason I crave windows. maybe its the availability of software that isn't available to BBOS or maybe its just the hardware configurations that aren't available. I don't know but I am just tempted to give it a try.
  • I think the best BB design would be a mix of the Bold and the Curve--screen/color scheme of the Bold and shape & keyboard of the Curve (the best BB keyboard, IMO). Not sure if that would be enough for me to get one--I'd miss having a touchscreen and other features on my Treo--though it would probably have the best shot.
  • I am impressed with a very thorough, balanced review of the Bold. As the user of both a WM (Moto Q, Sprint) and BB (Pearl Flip and Curve, T-Mobile), I enjoyed your comments. The only point I disagree with relates to the inability to personalize the BB. Although the often confusing settings menus make customizing the BB difficult, it is very easy once you learn your way around. My Sprint Q lacks the snappiness of the BB OS, wireless sync of all PIM data is a huge plus.
  • WMExperts reviews the BlackBerry Bold for really-real, to see what a Windows Mobile user thinks of this beast.
    What can a Windows Mobile user expect if they're moving to BlackBerry? What are we missing? What are we *not* missing?
    My thoughts exactly.
  • Everyone has been praising the Bold?s screen, now I?m getting curious how it looks like in person.
  • The one thing that will keep me from ever getting a Blackberry is that I have relatives who have them, and are always asking me if I can make them work for them. I just say, sorry, all my experience is with PalmOS and WinMobile.
  • its such a waste to have this great display quality in a cramped screen
  • Big screen with static kb would be difficult
  • That Bold is pretty sexy...
  • Does google sync on the blackberry still require a BIS plan? I'm assuming yes, since that's the most basic data plan as I understand it.
    Also, is there any technical difference between a BIS and a BES data plan on blackberry's? In other words, if my company uses BES, can I just get the BIS plan (which is cheaper) and will it still work?
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  • I highly recommend both the Blackberry Bold and getting it with service from Amazon. AT&T could not match the price and there was no pain in setting it up with the instructions Amazon sent. After using the iPhone for two years I was tired of all the typing mistakes. The Storm was not for me. With the Bold I can keep up with emails and impact on documents, etc. without all the errors of touch screen keyboards. Also iTune classical music sounds far better on the Bold than it did on the iPhone.