Tools & Technologies

Review of the RIM BlackBerry Bold

I have been using an evaluation unit of the RIM BlackBerry Bold for two months. In short, it is the best BlackBerry that I have used to date (vs. 8700, 8707v and 8310), and I highly recommend it.

The device is a stunning marvel of engineering. The keyboard is super-simple to type with — the feel of typing almost pulls you into using it (unlike the awkward on-screen keyboard on the iPhone 3G). The screen is bright and crisp. The Web browser works, and works well. The ability to zoom in and pan around on the screen makes it usable and useful — it’s not quite the same marvel as the two finger zoom approach on the iPhone 3G, but it is as easy and does the same thing.

The Bold has some definite advantages over the iPhone 3G: the keyboard is much more usable, the battery can be taken out and replaced, as can the memory card. So unlike with the iPhone, where the battery is not replaceable and the memory size is fixed, you as the end user have full control over how the Bold supports you in your work. If you run out of memory (“I’ve filled up my 8GB”), go buy a bigger memory card. With the Blackberry, making the decision about how much stuff you will carry around with you is not an upfront pre-purchase decision, as it is with the iPhone.

When I was using the Bold with a Microsoft Exchange Server account, email, tasks and calendar items would all synchronize seamlessly. That’s always been a promise of BlackBerry devices — “it just works” — and it’s no different this time. With my shifting away from Exchange for email, I can’t do the task and calendar synchronization at the moment.

iPhone vs BlackBerry?
This isn’t an iPhone 3G vs BlackBerry post, but since I have both, I have been asked which I prefer. Both phones are on full contract with Vodafone New Zealand. The division of tasks at the moment is that the iPhone is my phone, text messaging device, and useful for Web browsing, and the Bold is my mobile email device. If I had to choose one or the other and drop back to one contract … I’d go with the BlackBerry Bold over the iPhone.

Categories: Tools & Technologies