Tuesday, March 22, 2011

BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test. BlackBerry Bold 9650 is the first global-ready smartphone to support. refurbished blackberry 9650 sprint review blackberry bold 9650 sprint no contract. I recently ordered a Barely-There case for my BlackBerry Bold 9650. From the pictures and reviews, I was very excited because the case looked great. The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is the follow-up device to the Verizon Wireless (and Sprint) BlackBerry Tour 9630 smartphone. The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is a high-end smartphone that is the successor to the BlackBerry Tour. Shaun Mahal brings us a review of a model.

Much of the device remains very similar, including many of the specs and overall design, but the Bold 9650 also offers twice the memory of the Tour, adds WiFi support, and also includes the optical trackpad that's also found on the Verizon Wireless Curve 8520 and on the BlackBerry Bold 9700 available on AT&T and T-Mobile USA.

The Bold 9650 is the best BlackBerry smartphone available on Verizon Wireless, and its solid battery life and good voice quality make it an attractive bet to those that want, or require, a BlackBerry. However, the phone's relatively poor web browser and feature set may make many other devices, such as more powerful Android phones, seem more attractive.

Most everything you read here, apart from things related to Verizon specific services like V CAST, will apply to the Sprint version of the BlackBerry Bold 9650, too.

You'll find a video from the BlackBerry Bold 9650's launch event after the Table of Contents, below.


What's Good:

 Additional system memory helps general performance; trackpad and Wi-Fi are also welcome improvements.

What's Bad:

More of a revision than an entirely new model. it's also way too expensive.


As BlackBerry smartphones go, the Bold line is at the top of the non-touchscreen heap. RIM briefly played with the Tour line on CDMA carriers (that means Sprint and Verizon) as another high end line but in the end, the Bold name has more traction. Like the appropriately named Tour, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 is a CDMA phone that works on Sprint's network in the US and it has a GSM radio for use overseas.

BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestThe Bold offers a few key improvements over the BlackBerry Tour, and they're likely good enough reasons to upgrade from an older BlackBerry. However, if you're a Tour owner, the improvements probably don't warrant an out of cycle upgrade. New goodies in the Bold 9650 include an optical trackpad, double the RAM and the addition of WiFi. The added RAM makes for a speedier 'Berry, even though the CPU isn't any faster. The optical trackpad means no more worrying about balky trackballs that fall prey to pocket lint and dust.

As we noted with the BlackBerry Bold 9700 on T-Mobile and AT&T, the slightly higher than iPhone 3GS resolution crammed into a tiny 2.8" display makes for tiny text, particularly in web pages. We found we had to zoom in at least 2 levels before we could easily read text on non-mobile sites and that our eyes were feeling mighty tired after a half hour of casual web surfing.

BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The keyboard is the standard Bold style with the wave-sculpted keys vs. the flat keys on the Curve line. I do find it easier to type quickly on the wave keyboard since it prevents finger slips and provides superior tactile feel.

Much ado has been made of the raised buttons above the keyboard for call send, call end, back and the menu key. Instead of sitting lower than the keyboard keys as they do on the Bold 9700, they're the same height as the key tops. Honestly, it's caused me no problems but from a tactile standpoint, the raised buttons do make it harder to sense where the keyboard ends.

In contrast, the trackpad is a definite improvement over the trackball: it's equally as responsive and an extension of your mind as was the trackball but it doesn't get stuck or mucked up.

BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test 

Specs and Features


  • Form factor: Sleek, thin design with full QWERTY keyboard and trackpad navigation
  • Networks: 800/1900 MHz CDMA, 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA, and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM
  • Dimensions: 4.4 inches x 2.4 inches x 0.6 inches (111.8 mm x 61 mm x 15.2 mm) Weight: 4.8 ounces (136 grams)
  • Display: HVGA+ (480 x 360 at 245 ppi)
  • Battery Specifications: Li-Ion Battery (1400 mAh)
  • Talk Time: Up to 5 hours


  • BlackBerry® service supports up to 10 business and personal email accounts, plus BlackBerry® Enterprise Server support for corporate email installations
  • 3.2 MP camera for picture and video capture with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization and autofocus
  • 512 MB Flash memory
  • Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g)
  • 2 GB MicroSD Card included, with support for cards up to 32 GB
  • Operates globally on CDMA EV-DO Rev. A, and 2100 MHz UMTS/HSPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks where Sprint has international roaming agreements. Sprint customers can make or receive phone calls in more than 185 countries, and access BlackBerry data services, including email, apps and Web browsing in nearly 150 countries
  • Features built-in GPS for mapping your location, conducting local searches, receiving audible and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, and utilizing the E911 emergency location services where available
  • Speaker independent voice dialing for hands free calling
  • Speakerphone for hands-free operation
  • Features an advanced media player for listening to music, viewing pictures and watching videos, plus there’s a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack
  • Bluetooth® 2.1 enabling hands-free, short-range wireless communication using a Bluetooth headset and wireless uploading/downloading to or from a computer. Also, supports Bluetooth Stereo capabilities
  • DataViz Documents To Go suite preloaded, for editing Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint files from anywhere
  • View and update your calendar, schedule appointments, check your task list and more while on the go. Also includes a calculator, alarm clock and memo pad
  • Features built-in GPS for mapping your location, conducting local searches, receiving audible and visual turn-by-turn driving directions, and utilizing the E911 emergency location services where available


The Bold 9650 for Verizon Wireless is black in color and has a sharp silver chrome accent around its front face. Its back cover has an attractive faux carbon fiber etching and a matte black border. It is corporate looking with a hint of style, and would seem right at home in at any board room in corporate America.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 measures 114 x 66 x 15mm (4.48 x 2.6 x .59in) and weighs 136g (4.8oz). That's just a hair taller, wider, and deeper than the original BlackBerry Tour. The face is home to a 2.44-inch 480 x 360 pixel display, which is the same as the one available on the BlackBerry Tour. I've always found that the latest generation of BlackBerry smartphone displays were easy to view under direct sunlight, and the Bold 9650 was no exception. I had no trouble viewing the screen even out in the park during a sunny summer day.

Below the screen there are four buttons, including send/end, a return button, and the BlackBerry menu button, and they flank a square-shaped optical trackpad controller. I've found that the optical trackpad is a great deal easier to use than the trackball, primarily because it can't get jammed with dust or pocket lint. The buttons and trackpad offered a good amount of travel and felt solid to the touch. A full QWERTY keyboard is located below the controls, and, as a BlackBerry Bold 9700 user myself, I was very pleased with the keyboard. It was a breeze to type quickly and accurately on, and it remains one of my favorite smartphone keyboards.

The phone has two buttons on its top edge that make it easy to silence or lock the device with one touch. They don't travel very far, so it can sometimes be hard to tell if the phone registered your tap, but they otherwise worked very well. The right side of the phone is home to a 3.5mm headphone jack, an easy-to-reach volume control, a quick-launch key that defaults to the camera, and a micro-USB charging port. The left side of the phone has a single silver quick-launch key that defaults to the voice-dialing application. The back of the phone is home to a single LED flash and a 3.2 megapixel camera with autofocus.


The Bold 9650 comes pre-loaded with OS I know we were all wishing for Blackberry 6 to be loaded, but we'll just have to settle with 5.0 for a little bit longer. The Bold has 309MB of free memory out of the box, leaving plenty of room for you to load tons of your favorite applications. BlackBerry Messenger version 5.0.0 is also pre-loaded.

The device seems to be pretty snappy and responsive, and I'm sure that has to do with the extra memory added to this device. All the standard games you have come to know and love are still included also. One change in the software lineup for Sprint is the loss of the NFL Network to Verizon. It has now been replaced with Sprint Football Live. I guess time will tell when the season starts back up if this new app with offer the same value to Sprint customers as the NFL Network did. Other included Sprint specific applications are NASCAR Sprint Cup Mobile, Sprint TV, and Sprint Navigation.


The Bold 9650 packs 512MB of built-in application RAM, twice the amount that's on the Bold 9700 and the Tour 9630. I noticed that the device rarely felt sluggish and was able to handle everything I threw at it. That said, the BlackBerry OS 5.0 user interface is also feeling very dated in comparison to the robust Android handsets that are flooding Verizon Wireless store shelves. The homescreen, for example, displays a row of shortcuts that you can customize, but it cannot display widgets or anything more than a background image. It's stale, even in comparison to some feature phones.

The main phone menu is home to a list of icons that you can shuffle around any which way that you like to make your most used functions most accessible. There's also the option to create custom folders. If RIM OS 5.0 is anything, it's intuitive and easy to use for the most part. The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is easy to pick up and get going with, even for many first time smartphone users.

I was able to add contacts on the fly simply by typing a number and saving it, and you can store a fair amount of information in each contact record. If you use Facebook, I recommend downloading the BlackBerry Facebook application, which will pull down contact birthdays and photos for use in your address book. When a contact from Facebook calls, their current Facebook photo will appear.

There are a host of themes available in the BlackBerry App World application store, but other than changing the theme, there isn't a whole lot of customization that you can do with a BlackBerry 9650. I'd love to see live-updating, customizable, homescreen widgets in the future, but that's not something you'll get with this operating system. If you're buying a BlackBerry Bold 9650, you're getting a first-rate push email experience, a killer keyboard, and more, but you're not getting a jaw-dropping fun to use operating system. I'll revisit the email in later sections.

Calling / Data

During my tests in New York City, call quality was generally very good and I didn't experience any dropped calls or issues. I did notice that some calls sounded a little hollow, but overall I didn't have any complaints with the quality. The speakerphone was loud enough to hear while on my desk and audio came through very clearly while placing a call to Amtrak's reservation center.

The Bold 9650 felt a bit sluggish while loading websites in terms of data speed - the mobile version of our website loaded in 18 seconds, and the full HTML one took over 45 seconds, but downloading files such as a 16MB software update finished rather quickly, in just a few minutes. Web browsing was much more fluid over a WiFi network, but we weren't able to run our standard DSLReports.com/mspeed test as it does not support the BlackBerry web browser. The phone also supports Bluetooth 2.1 for Bluetooth headsets and speakers.


With its top notch keyboard, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 was born to message. It's loaded with BlackBerry Messenger, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Chat, Google Talk, and AIM out of the box, and all of the applications are a pleasure to use. BlackBerry Messenger allows you to chat with friends and family with BlackBerry smartphones for free, and even lets you create groups for sharing messages and photos with a number of people at once. These days a large number of fellow twenty-somethings tell me they buy BlackBerry devices for this very application.

It's possible to use up to 10 personal email accounts on the BlackBerry Bold 9650, including AOL Mail, Windows Live Hotmail, Gmail, Yahoo Mail, and POP/IMAP accounts. The 9650 also supports Microsoft Exchange, IBM Lotus Domino, and Novell Groupwise accounts. I was able to setup my personal Gmail account and my work IMAP account in under 5 minutes easily, and real-time push email messages began rolling in right away.


Apps / App Store

BlackBerry App World is home to 7,000 applications. That's measly compared to Apple's iTunes App Store, which approves twice that number per week. There are some compelling applications available, but the BlackBerry Bold 9650 isn't a powerful 3D device so you can't expect killer games or beautifully rendered applications as you would on other platforms.

Verizon Wireless includes a few of its own applications on the Bold, including V CAST Videos, VZ Navigator, V CAST Music with Rhapsody, Visual Voicemail, City ID, Bing, V CAST Song ID, and VZW Tones. Most of these felt like bloatware that I'd never use, but V CAST Music with Rhapsody is good for loading up your phone with music, and VZ Navigator provides accurate voice-guided turn-by-turn directions for $9.99 per month. If you have family overseas, I recommend installing the free Skype Mobile application, which allows you to place free Skype calls over Verizon Wireless' circuit-switched voice network.


The BlackBerry OS default browser is stale and pales in comparison to the better WebKit browsers found on Android devices and on the iPhone. Full HTML pages show up just fine, for the most part, but scrolling around a big page is slow and tedious, and for that reason I mostly stick to mobile sites while using a BlackBerry. RIM has said that it plans to update the browser in the future, but for now you're stuck with a pretty lame one - for a smartphone, at least. Thankfully, it's easy to do a number of other things, such as saving and adding bookmarks, entering in a URL quickly, and viewing your history. Overall, the browser on the BlackBerry 9650 is one of its worst features.


The 3.2 megapixel camera on the BlackBerry Bold 9650 took pretty solid shots in the daylight around New York City. There were some overexposed shots, but I found that the camera handled movement pretty well without too much blurring. In the dark, the LED was able to light up our object enough for it to come through clear enough in the image. The device doesn't have a high megapixel camera like the DROID Incredible or DROID X, but it does a reasonable job of producing useable shots that are satisfactory for Facebook and sending to friends.

BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestI was able to record video in a 480 x 352 resolution, and there's also a smaller 320 x 240 resolution one for sending MMS messages. The video was a bit pixelated when I played it back on my computer, but was satisfactory for viewing on the phone and showing clips to friends.


The BlackBerry Bold 9650 serves as a solid music player. It comes with a 2GB microSD card to get you started with tunes, and its music player shows the album artist, song name, and album art. It's a breeze to switch between songs and create playlists on the fly, too. Verizon Wireless' spices the device up with its V CAST Music with Rhapsody application that can be used to purchase tunes individually, or download them with a Rhapsody subscription. Using BlackBerry App World, you can install a number of other popular music applications such as iheartradio, Slacker Radio, and Pandora.


The Bold 9650 has a 1,400mAH removable battery that's rated for up to 5 hours of talk time or 13 days of standby. That's the same battery that's found on the BlackBerry Tour 9630 as well. I found the battery ratings to be true during my tests, and was regularly able to get through a full day of moderate usage before needing to charge. Generally, I've found that BlackBerry smartphones offer some of the best smartphone battery life these days.

BlackBerry Bold 9650 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Reviewer Spin

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is, no doubt, the best BlackBerry on Verizon Wireless or Sprint; but it's not the best smartphone. I'm a big BlackBerry fan myself and use them regularly, and the best hardware aspects of a Blackberry these days are their awesome keyboards and good battery life. Verizon Wireless throws in a solid data network and top-notch call quality as well. That's enough for many people. That said, multimedia fans may want to consider more robust Android devices such as the HTC DROID Incredible or Motorola DROID X. They offer better cameras, larger displays, and much more customizable and fun user interfaces. If you're a twenty-something, like I am, then you may be drawn to the Bold 9650 simply for its BlackBerry Messenger application. If that's the case, you won't be disappointed with the Bold 9650.

Conclusion and Final Thoughts

Now has come the time where you may be looking for me to tell you that you must upgrade your current BlackBerry to the Bold 9650 because it is so great. Well I do agree it is great, but I think the necessity for an upgrade will really depend on what device you are currently using. For users with the Tour 9630, the need to get the addition of additional memory, trackpad, and Wi-Fi may not be that great. Sure we all want the newest and greatest thing, but the Tour is already a pretty great device in it's own right. You'll just need to weigh the factors out and see if the upgrade is worth it to you. Personally, I would do it, but I know not everyone will feel the same.

However for users with a 8830, 8330, or 8130; I think the time has come for you to retire that device, and move up to the Bold 9650. Not only will you be getting a newer device with all the great features we have previously talk about, but you'll be getting the best BlackBerry on the market. No other carrier can compete with the Bold 9650 at this point. Sure Verizon and other CDMA carriers will get it at some point, but for now, you can be the cool kid with the exclusive new device.

Blackberry Bold 9650 Price

Latest BlackBerry Bold 9780 price. Check out the latest offer price for BlackBerry Bold 9780. Clik Here [Via eBay]

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BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test


BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestBlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test. BlackBerry Bold 9780 Review, Technology News and Reviews, Mobile Devices and gadgets. Smartphone and Android Reviews; HTC, Samsung, HTC Desire, HTC Legend. With enhanced RAM and the BlackBerry 6 OS, the BlackBerry Bold 9780  is an improvement on its predecessor, but it's certainly not going to. The BlackBerry Bold 9780 offers an unparalleled QWERTY keyboard and the new OS 6 addresses a number of key complaints.

Blackberry Bold 9780 Expert Review: Will the addition of BlackBerry 6 operating system breathe new life into RIM's flagship phone?. The BlackBerry Bold 9780 has been improved a lot in hardware (camera and memory) but the real changes are in the new operating system OS6. Review of the BlackBerry Bold 9780 Smartphone from Research In Motion!.

With the arrival of the BlackBerry Bold 9780, fans of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 will no doubt be jumping at the chance to see how good RIM's latest flagship phone is. While there are a few physical changes to note from its predecessor, the big news is the addition of the BlackBerry 6 operating system.

We've got the Social Feeds view, a new WebKit-based internet browser, Universal Search, a richer media experience and lots more besides.

The camera has been bumped up to five megapixels from the 9700's three, while the chrome edging has been toned back to black or white and the faux leather has also been dialed down.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestInside, things haven't undergone a major revision either, with one significant exception: the RAM has been doubled to 512MB from the 9700's 256MB.

That's great news for the all-singing, all-multitasking new operating system.BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestOtherwise, we're still looking at 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity, the full QWERTY keyboard, 480x360 2.44-inch screen and a host of built-in apps, including BlackBerry Messenger and BlackBerry App World.BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestThe Bold 9780 is available in black or white and is free on contract depending on your monthly bill. Ours was supplied by T-Mobile, and was tested on that network.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Desain And Handling

The BlackBerry Bold 9780's design won't exactly provide a huge shock to the system for RIM fans. In fact, those familiar with the Bold 9700 (the 9780's predecessor) will be even less surprised.

It's not just Bold owners who'll be in familiar territory, though. The layout of the buttons on the phone's front is also identical to the Curve 9300.BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestEvidently, RIM has no particular interest in re-inventing the wheel when it comes to the businessman's favourite line of BlackBerry devices – that can be left to the likes of the BlackBerry Style.

The main difference from the Bold 9700 is the lack of chrome from earlier versions. Whether you lament this loss or feel it's better this way will come down to personal taste, but this November's colours are black, black and yellow. Only kidding! It's more black.BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestNot that we're complaining, you understand. The Bold 9780's glossy exterior makes for a very handsome handset. It doesn't have the smooth all-covering glass surface we've become used to on everything from the iPhone 4 to the HTC HD7, but with no touchscreen on this BlackBerry, there's no real need for that type of covering.

At 114x66x15mm, the Bold 9780 is comparable in size and shape to the Bold 9700. It's a nice thickness in the hand, and the unit on the whole is just about the right size to get your fingers around.BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestIt weighs in at 136g, which isn't light considering its size. However, we have no problem with a bit of heft on handsets that expect you to use two hands from time to time.

The build quality is excellent (not that we'd expect anything less). There's simply no unexpected give or sloppy joints anywhere on the handset.

There are a few different materials on display here. What used to be the chrome edging is now glossy black, as are the menu keys. The QWERTY keyboard is more of a matt black, as is the area surrounding the battery cover on the back.

The battery cover itself is no longer a sumptuous faux leather. The effect is still vaguely attempted in the form of a lightly mottled plastic, but it's hardly the same. However, it serves its purpose: it's extremely grippy, making the phone feel secure when you hold it.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

On the front, the 480x360 pixel screen shines out. It's crisp, clear and gloriously bright. It has automatic brightness adjustment, which is nothing unusual, but it's particularly aggressive here. You can often see it switching about several times in the space of a minute – just as the Bold 9700 did.

Beneath the screen are four familiar buttons. On the far left is the green Call button, and to the right of that is BlackBerry Menu key. In the centre we have the optical trackpad.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

On the right side is the Esc/Back key and the Terminate button, which serves double duty as the on/off button.

Beneath that is, of course, the keyboard. The keys have a certain curve to them depending on whether they're on the keyboard's right or left side. We're not convinced this really makes a difference to usability, but the fact remains.

We'll go into detail on using the keyboard for messaging later in the review, but we will say that the keys have a firm click when you use them, offering a nice amount of feedback.

The keyboard is backlit too, nice and clearly. It's fair to say you'll have no night-time usability issues here.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

On the left-hand side of the phone is the 3.5mm headphone port, the micro-USB connection for charging and hooking up to a PC, and a button that launches the voice dialing function.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

On the right side are two volume keys and a camera shutter/shortcut. The camera and voice dialing buttons can both be customised to perform other functions, if you're so inclined.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

On top of the Bold 9780 are two buttons that looks like they're touch sensitive, but actually the entire top of the handset can be depressed. On one side is the lock/unlock key, while the other is a mute button. Bizarrely, you can't use this to simply mute the ringer from the Home screen – it only mutes music playback and similar noise.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Oh, and don't worry, BlackBerry's usual little red light is at the top-right of the phone's front fascia.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Interface

While the design of the Bold 9780 might be pretty familiar, the new BlackBerry 6 OS is… also pretty familiar.

But that's no criticism. Familiar it may be, but there are changes, and they add up to significantly improve the usability. You rarely need to stray more than one menu from the Home screen to access anything, and yet it's not cluttered or confusing.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

We love the new Quick Access Points, which offer immediate access to options such as connectivity settings, the alarm clock, the ringer/vibration settings and the new Universal Search.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Notifications are now also an access point, bringing your a list of all recent activity and upcoming calendar events when selected.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

At the bottom is the Navigation Bar, which enables you to access apps and functions in different categories. The All option is exactly what it says, offering access to to everything in a big scrollable list, but it's the addition of the others that refines the experience.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Scroll right on the Navigation Bar and you'll get to Favourites, to which you can manually add the items you use most.

Improved media functionality is a big push of BlackBerry 6, and this is demonstrated by the fact that Media now gets its own option on the Navigation Bar, to the right of Favourites. Here you'll find everything from music playback to voice recording and ringtones.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Next up is downloads, for seeing the apps you've added to the handset. Finally, you have Frequent. This simply offers you your most-used apps and functions, changing dynamically as you get more obsessed with Twitter/BlackBerry App World/BrickBreaker.

The BlackBerry button brings a contextual menu on the Home screen, in which you can access options for moving or removing apps, opening the current 'tray' in the Navigation Bar, access the app switcher (you can still hold down the BB button to bring this up) or get to some Home screen options.

By default, just typing on the keyboard will open Universal Search (which searches for terms both on your phone and online), but you can set it back to BlackBerry 5's app shortcuts here, if you wish.

Now, we're massive fans of this new layout. It feels both usable and powerful – you need never touch, say, the access point to the connectivity settings if you're not into that sort of tinkering, but it's quickly accessible if you are.

However, these enhancements feel more suited to a touchscreen than the optical trackpad on the Bold 9780. Being able to just tap the top-left to get to the ringer options, or swipe left and right to go between the Navigation Bar's 'trays' would be far more intuitive than scrolling up and then across to where you need to be.

At first, we found getting around the Home screen using the trackpad to be infuriatingly imprecise. Eventually, we tweaked the sensitivity down to 50 from 70 in the options, and this made it much more bearable on the Home screen.

However, once we did that, scrolling through the Twitter app or your contacts felt irritatingly slow. Oh, how we wished for the nuanced momentum scrolling of an iPhone 4, HTC HD7 or HTC Desire HD.

One final new interface feature to note is the Social Feeds options. It's technically an app, but because it feeds into so many of the other sections in this review, we'll include it here (plus, it's a big new BB 6 addition).

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

It basically integrates your online life into one giant feed, pulling messages from the likes of Twitter, AIM, Windows Live Messenger, Facebook, Google Talk, BlackBerry Messenger and more.

In this way, you can catch up very quickly with any cloud-based messages you might need to. On top of this, it has a second screen dedicated to an RSS reader.

It's basically a giant info dump, and it's confusing in the best possible way. It's just an online assault on the sense, and we love it because of that. You can filter by service (so you can, say, just see Facebook updates), and you've got the option of using all the separate apps, so if you want a careful experience for each different service, go that way instead.

This is for just looking over everything that's going by just opening your brain and pouring words in. Superb.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Calling And Contacts

When we reviewed the BlackBerry Bold 9700, we commented about the boring nature of the contacts. Alas, RIM has not seen fit to overhaul this particular part of the operating system.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

To be fair, there's little functionally wrong with what's here, so we're not going to hold it against the Bold 9780, but we would politely request someone at RIM take a good hard look at the rather excellent People hub on Windows Phone 7 handsets, such as the HTC Trophy and Samsung Omnia 7, and then give their own some thought.

Boring list aside, entering a contact presents you with all the information you could really need. A selection of contact info you might have entered is presented simply, and is accessible. Scroll over phone numbers and press the select key to call them, move to an email address and you'll create an email, and so on.

Adding a new contact brings up the usual name and number options, along with the expected email and address fields. Birthday and Notes options are also standard, but the ability to create custom fields could be potentially handy. There is also, of course, an option to enter the contact's BlackBerry PIN.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Call quality was perfectly good, with a nice strong signal. It wasn't the best we've heard, but the other person's voice could be understood clearly. The external speaker is impressively loud, so letting multiple people hear a call is no problem.

Of course, making a call is rather dependent on having a signal. Our Bold 9780 on T-Mobile was totally useless in any known trouble spots, losing all signal when even an iPhone 3GS (on a different network, admittedly) was holding on to enough to make a call.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

When we were clear and in a strong 3G signal, speed was generally good, and signal was maintained well enough, but it's clear that people out in the sticks are not top of RIM's list of priorities (for the record: we actually weren't out in the sticks. We were in the middle of a city, and still had signal woes).

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Messaging

Funnily enough, messaging on the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is pretty comprehensive. This won't exactly comes as a shock to anyone, but it's worth remembering that all the improvements of BlackBerry 6 come on top of the famous messaging prowess the phones possess.

The Messaging app brings together your email and things like Facebook messages in one view. Select a message and you'll be taken into the relevant email account, or into the Facebook app, where you can interact with it more directly.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

From the Messaging app, you can compose messages for just about any of the services on your device. Text, Twitter, IM and others are in the list, along with any of others indirectly thanks to the way it ties into the Social Feeds app.

You can set up several email accounts on the device, with services such as Gmail able to be set up with just your username and password – no fuss, no waiting.

Of course, you can't use the fancy Wi-Fi to do any of this – it's still strictly done over mobile internet only. As we said, we weren't exactly raving over the signal picked up by the Bold 9780, but if you've got a good 3G signal, setting up an email account is painless.

Emails are arranged in date order, and you can actually navigate by skipping forward and back whole days (as well as skipping to the bottom).

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Enter into a message and you naturally do all the usual reply and forwarding things people like to do with emails. Handier features, such as the ability to search for terms within a message, are included, and you can copy and paste portions of emails.

It's a bit fiddly clicking and dragging using an optical trackpad, but nowhere near as bad as we were expecting.

More importantly, every part of the messaging process is fast and responsive. Even with music playing the background, the Bold 9780 had no problem handling its tasks.

Text messaging has its own separate app, though you could easily mistake it for the email inbox. With the same design and layout as the email inbox, and similar options to skip days when navigating, RIM is nothing if not consistent.

However, access one of the entries in this inbox and you get a threaded message view, detailing the conversation you've had with the contact in question.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Typing messages is nothing out of the ordinary, and you can attach everything from videos to appointments to a message.

BlackBerry Messenger is as good and specific as it ever was. As usual, you need only enter a PIN to connect to your friends.

Of course, the real meat of messaging on the Bold 9780 comes from the keyboard as much as anything. When we reviewed the Bold 9700, we were concerned that the Bold line had become a little cramped and hard to use.

Frankly, that hasn't changed. Call us fat-fingered if you like, but we had to use our nails to get any kind of consistent accuracy. When poking with our thumbs, most messages ended up with an awful lot of stray letters in them.

We preferred, for example, the Nokia C6's landscape keyboard simply because there was enough space to use it.

The thing is, the actual messaging software on the Bold 9780 is pretty much beyond reproach. Inevitably, our verdict is that it's right up there with the best, especially with the extra social integration.

But surely a less-than-ideal keyboard isn't what you want on the flagship BlackBerry phones? There's no doubt this is a messaging powerhouse, but we long for a larger QWERTY (no "That's what she said" jokes, please).

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Internet

Of all the changes in BlackBerry 6, the new WebKit-based browser was surely one of the most hotly anticipated. The same engine powers the glorious browsing capabilities of the iPhone, the Palm Pre Plus and Android phones such as the HTC Desire HD.

With that in mind, we (and many others) were hoping for a big leap forward for BlackBerry web browsing.

And, well, we've got it. It won't leave Apple or Google nervous about their dominance in the mobile browsing stakes, but it certainly produces the rich web experience we're now used to on smartphones.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Speed-wise, it doesn't win any awards. We'd say its comparable with the Internet Explorer browser on Windows Phone 7 devices, such as the LG Optimus 7 or the HTC 7 Mozart, and is lagging slightly behind Apple and Google's respective efforts.

Once a page is loaded you can zoom into text and it will reflow fairly quickly to make it legible on the 2.44-inch screen. The browser does an excellent job of this, and type is nice and readable thanks to a fairly high 245ppi display density.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Navigating a page using the trackpad feels awfully old-school on a phone these days. Moving a cursor around feels odd, but is perfectly serviceable in the end. It changes to a magnifying glass when you're over something worth zooming in on (such as a text column), and then turns to a standard text cursor when the words are big enough.

Using this, you can copy and paste parts of websites, and there's also a Find on Page option to quickly search for a term.

Tabbed browsing has arrived, and you access it by selecting the button in the browser's top-right corner. There's a neat Cover Flow-style interface to flick through, and you can close open pages from here.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Responsiveness when browsing tabs was all over the place. Sometimes we'd be waiting a couple of seconds for any commands to be picked up, while other times it would be smooth as butter. Tabs don't need to load when you open them thanks to the ample 512MB of RAM on the Bold 9780 – you just choose them and they pop up ready to be browsed.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Pages can be added to your Home screen for fast access to them, and there's bookmarking and the ability to subscribe to RSS feeds (and they'll then be added to the Social Feeds app).

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Camera

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 features a five-megapixel camera, which is a handy improvement over the 3.2-megapixel snapper in the Bold 9700.

There's an LED flash, geotagging, and you can quickly access the mode options (including Face Detection, Sports, Text and Party, among others).

The Autofocus mode can be set to Continuous or Single Shot, and there's a 3x digital zoom.

There's no metering or white balance options, or any effects – but the camera functionality has definitely been improved from previous versions.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Video

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 isn't a video recording powerhouse, but it takes 640x480 (VGA) videos at 24fps in 3GP format.

And, you know, the quality isn't bad. It takes a few seconds for the Autofocus to kick into gear, but once it does, the tray in the video has visible texture and you can even just about make out some of the dog toy's fur (no small accomplishment for VGA video).

There are one or two random jerky moments, but the dog's sudden flip is actually recorded quite smoothly. There also aren't as many compression artefacts as we've seen on competing phones.

You might also notice that the microphone does a very competent job of picking up sound.

Overall, we were fairly impressed with the video abilities of the Bold 9780, considering its spec sheet.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Media

A revamped media interface is one of the points RIM is really pushing with BlackBerry 6. The music player sports a further refined interface, now boosted with the addition of album artwork.

You can browse songs by Artist, Album, Genre, Playlist or you can just go through all of your songs.

The Now Playing screen features the usual play/pause/next/previous controls at the bottom, along with repeat and shuffle in the top corners. If you scroll to the name of the band or album on this screen, you can click to bring up the full song list or list of albums respectively.

Interestingly, if you scroll onto the actual album art, you can then flick through to the next song's album art – very similar to Windows Phone 7, in fact. Just like on WP7, this is somewhat pointless when you're on one album, but is nice if you're shuffling all your songs.

The audio quality from the Bold 9780 is actually quite good, if you dump the provided headphones. Stick a higher quality set of speakers into the 3.5mm jack and the music has plenty of detail, and you can tweak with the equaliser to get it how you want it.

There's now a native podcast client, along with a YouTube app, though all it does from the Home screen is offer to take you to the YouTube mobile site or enable you to upload a video. However, this serves its purpose of getting you to the Sesame Street Old Spice spoof.

Similarly to the addition of album art to the music menu, the video player now generates thumbnails to give the menu some character.

The screen itself is bright and crisp, and videos look great on it. However, it's undeniably small, and we don't recommend anything too long on it.

BlackBerry's website only lists MPEG-4 Simple Profile, H.263 and WMV as compatible video formats, but it also plays 3GP (since it records in it) and we loaded an H.264 video on for fun, which played without any problems.

The picture gallery is snappier than ever, with little or no waiting for pictures to load. You can easily send anything you snap as a message or email, or send it straight to Facebook.

BlackBerry Bold 9780: Apps

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 is positively bursting with apps and things to do. We've already looked at the Social Feeds feature, but there's also dedicated Twitter and Facebook apps that it ties into.

The Facebook app is styled very much like the messaging portions of BlackBerry 6. There are icons at the top for News Feed, Notifications, Upload a Photo, Friends, Add a Friend, Write on a Wall and Send a Message.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Each of these has a shortcut key assigned, so you don't have to scroll all the way to the top from the bottom of your news feed to get to them.

If you ever feel limited by the app, you can go straight to the Facebook mobile site from the options that come up when you press the Menu key.

The Twitter app is actually more comprehensive than the Facebook app (though it's a simpler service). You can use it to just view your Twitter feed, or check your mentions, your profile, your direct messages, and you can see current and recent trending topics.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

All of these options don't have shortcut keys, like the Facebook app, but you can instead use the Menu key to bring up shortcuts to them.

Pretty much all the functionality you'd want is here, and you can click any links to open them in the browser.

The calendar can sync with the email address you used to set up the device, as well as with services such as Google Calendar. This was all totally painless for us, and the ability to see upcoming events from the notification Quick Access Point on the Home screen is very handy.

The Calendar app itself is, once again, styled quite simply. The amount of information you can fit on a 2.44-inch screen is understandably limited, but it presents what you need to know well enough.

The Calculator app cunningly has conversion options rolled into it, which is great because it means you can convert something and then do any calculations you need to with the new figure.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The Calculator is a little confusing at times. You can either navigate all the buttons on-screen using the trackpad, or press the corresponding button on the keyboard. While this works fine mostly, things like having the 'C' option on the calculator not corresponding to the C key below (because that's the 9 key), can take a bit of getting used to.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

For the IM lovers among you who don't use BBM, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, Yahoo Messenger and AIM are all included (not surprising, since they tie into Social Feeds).

Word to Go, Sheet to Go and Slideshow to Go are all included for viewing any Microsoft Office documents you're sent.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

Should you find yourself with some down time, there are a load of games included. The optical trackpad really makes a meal out of simple concepts such as Klondike and BrickBreaker, but they're playable (and there's always Texas Hold 'Em anyway!).

The BlackBerry Maps app really wasn't keen on opening on the Bold 9780. The first few times we tried to bring it up, we were greeted with a frozen handset (although bringing up the App Switcher enabled us to get back to normalcy). After that happened a few times, it just stopped acknowledging our attempts to open Maps at all.

Not that it matters that much – our handset already had Google Maps downloaded, and we'd only suggest you pick it up yourself. There are no issues with getting that open, and it's far nicer to use than BlackBerry's option.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The BlackBerry App World store is coming along, but at the moment isn't much more capable in terms of discoverability than Nokia Ovi store. There are some nice apps to be found, but with RIM's renewed interest in developers recently, we're hoping to see more from this in the future.

BlackBerry Bold 9780: Battery life and connectivity

Unsurprisingly, given the lack of physical changes from the BlackBerry Bold 9700, it will probably come as no surprise at all that an identical 1500mAh battery lives inside the Bold 9780.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

That's actually on the large side for most modern smartphones, and it shows in the battery life. With very light use, you could easily get four days from a single chargeBlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestBut what sort of madman only uses their BlackBerry lightly!? Well, the good news is that the battery should still last you comfortably for a day of serious playing. You'll probably need to charge it pretty much every night (particularly if you're taking advantage of the Wi-Fi and new media-rich browser combination), but you won't have to worry about it letting you down in the middle of the afternoon.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Connectivity

3G and Wi-Fi handle data duties on the BlackBerry Bold 9780, and the ability to quickly access the settings for them from the Home screen is great if you're wary of battery life.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

The Bluetooth 2.1 capabilities of the Bold 9780 can also be accessed through this same menu, and A2DP audio streaming and mono/stereo headsets are all supported.

As we said before, our Bold 9780 on T-Mobile didn't exactly blow us away with its mobile data prowess, but when we had found a good, strong 3G signal, speed was perfectly acceptable. In the event that 3G isn't available, Edge is also supported, of course.

The GPS was highly accurate and reasonably fast in Google Maps.

Connecting to PC through the micro-USB will take you into the realm of the BlackBerry Desktop Manager, which enables you to back up your device, as well as syncing options for Tasks, Notes, Contacts and Calendar.

You can bring music across too, and it ties into your iTunes playlists, enabling you to selectively import songs.

Alternatively, you can just sync all of your songs, but many people might struggle to fit them all on the 2GB microSD card included. (Oddly, our test sample only came with a 1GB card, but RIM insists that the retail version includes a 2GB card.)

You can swap out that microSD for a larger one, of course, and then just go nuts with your music.

BlackBerry Bold 9780: Comparison

The most obvious comparison for the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is the Bold 9700. The new Bold flagship is almost physically identical to its little brother, save for the improved camera, increased on-board memory and lightly tweaked exterior.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestThe real upgrade is the new BlackBerry 6 operating system, and we'd say any BB owners will find a significant evolutionary step from their current system. The new Home screen is very well thought-out, and the new browser could be worth the price of admission alone.

With its new Social Feeds application, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 brought to mind the Friend Stream feature on HTC phones such as the HTC Desire HD, HTC Desire Z, HTC Desire and HTC Wildfire.

While three of these are touchscreen, and so offer a different experience to the Bold 9780, the HTC Desire Z features a landscape QWERTY keyboard.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

However, our review found the build quality occasionally suspect and the battery life fairly disappointing. For those reasons, we doubt it will win over BB purists, but Android is extremely capable when it comes to messaging, so remains a viable alternative.

There is also, of course, the iPhone 4. While the slick nature of the iPhone's internet and media experience won many BB users over previously, BlackBerry 6's huge strides in these areas have narrowed the gap considerably.

However, BlackBerry App World is still far behind Apple's App Store when it comes to diversity and sheer quality in third-party applications.

It's also worth looking at the Nokia E5, which is the closest to the Bold 9780 in terms of form-factor (though is a generation behind in terms of software).

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780: Hands-on gallery

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | Test

BlackBerry Bold 9780: Verdict

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Specs | Price | Reviews | TestUltimately, the story with the Bold 9780 isn't the hardware, but the new BlackBerry 6 operating system.

The aim was to be more refined and take another step towards appealing to a market outside of the business types normally associated with BlackBerry.

That's not to say no tweaking was made on the phone, with a welcome camera improvement and some spec tweaks to really get that new operating system humming along.

We liked

BlackBerry 6 is a great stride forward in terms of refinement and usability. We're big fans of many of the tweaks made – especially the Quick Access Points. The Social Feeds app is another very handy addition, and works to make social networking as integral to the BB experience as messaging.

The browser is probably the single biggest change, and it bumps the internet experience on the phone right up to date. It may not be class-leading, but that's fine. It's plenty good enough.

The changes to the media options are nice too, with music in particular being much improved.

The improved camera is a bonus, though it's hardly the best around. Still, it can take some nice photos, and the video recording wasn't too bad either.

As usual, the Bold 9780 is a very well-made device, with a sturdy build and nice materials. The screen is also lovely and sharp, just as it was on the Bold 9700.

We disliked

The keyboard hasn't changed from the Bold 9780's predecessor, which might not be an issue for some, but we're not keen on it.

BlackBerry 6 does have moments when it feels like a new operating system, despite it being generally polished overall. More than that, it seems far better suited to a touchscreen than an optical trackpad.

On T-Mobile, we found we got far worse signal than on other smartphones. When you're in a clear, strong area, it's fine, but any trouble spots were really bad – losing signal completely while other phones had a couple of bars of Edge.


The BlackBerry Bold 9780 is a worthy upgrade to RIM's flagship range. The new operating system is a significant improvement, making the phone more relevant to the wider market than anything that's come before.

While we're still not too sure about the size of the keyboard, there's no denying that this does what BlackBerry does best – integrated messaging – and then some. It's a far better internet and media experience than ever before, and social networking addicts are well taken care of, too. But you are better off using it the middle of a nice 3G-covered city. Maybe on a high floor.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 : Price

Latest BlackBerry Bold 9780 price. Check out the latest offer price for BlackBerry Bold 9780. Clik Here [Via eBay]

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