BlackBerry 9000 Smartphone Review - Part IV - Eye Candy!

BlackBerry 9000 - a 4.6 New Look!
By Kevin Michaluk on 9 May 2008 04:52 am EDT
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[ BlackBerry Bold Review Series - Table of Contents ]

Another Look at the BlackBerry Bold 9000 

Just as I was about to wind down the BlackBerry 9000 Review series, BOOM... I stumble upon a gem (at 1:00am I might add). It seems there's more to the 9000 and OS4.6 than originally met my eye, and I just couldn't wait to show it to you.

While all of the new Precision themes we have seen to date thus far have had the same basic 'look', it turns out 4.6 also has another personality tucked up its sleeve. Check out the eye candy screenshots after the jump. This new theme adds some more color to mix, and organizes the ribbon more cleanly with folders, including default ones for Applications, Games, Downloads and Setup. Word To Go and Slide Show To Go get native icons, and within the Applications folder there is also Sheet To Go. It gives the 9000 a Bold look, very BlackBerry Bold you might say.

NOW, I'm going to go out on a limb here and make an educated guess... When the BlackBerry 9000 gets announced on Monday (WES Kick Off!) I am almost certain it will be packing a GIG of onboard memory. The 9000 I bought off eBay might not have that, but with such a focus being placed on Docs / Games / Downloads / Media on the 9000, I cannot for the life of me believe RIM would release it with anything less than that. Unless they ship each device with a microSD card (which I can't see them doing), there's just too much going on here to sell the device without ample onboard storage space. I hope I'm right. And I guess we'll find out soon.

Click for More Screenshots and Thoughts >>  

[ Disclaimer: Changes to the Hardware and upgrades to the Software will likely be made before the BlackBerry 9000 is officially released ] 

BlackBerry 9000 OS4.6 Screenshots 

BlackBerry 9000 Zen Homescreen BlackBerry 9000 New Ribbon

New Media Icon Shows it All Native Downloads Folder - We'll Need More Memory to Use This!

Moving a Shortcut into the Applications Folder Word To Go included, New Native Shortcut

Inside the Apps Folder - Note Sheet To Go. I installed FlipSide, TwitterBerry, and the CrackBerry Shortcut The New Menu Look - Blue it Back!

Some More BlackBerry 9000 Thoughts

I need to get to bed, but for all you BlackBerry Addicts out there I do plan on putting together another 9000 overview video that goes through the OS in more detail (though the current BlackBerry 9000 Quick Tour movie is getting some serious views on YouTube and if you also check out Reviews Part I, II and III you should have a pretty good idea of what the 9000 and OS4.6 is all about).

But before I adjourn for some zzzz's...I thought I'd leave you all with my current reasoning as to why I'll be buying this device again when it comes out, even though I love my 8320 Curve so much:

  • The Speed - Once you feel the increased speed, you don't want to use anything slower. Even transfering files between your computer and device via USB is MUCH faster.
  • The Display - It's so bright and crisp!
  • The Triple Threat - GPS/WiFi/3G All in One
  • The Sound - Improved Speakers/Speakerphone
  • OS Refinements - Though OS4.6 isn't revolutionary, it's execution from what I have experienced so far on the 9000 is solid and aside from the good looks there are little things about it that I'm liking (see part III for most). And beyond what I have seen, I think when the 9000 gets released there will be even more reasons to like it (ie. new web browser will make the final cut).

As for the 9000 form factor, it has grown on me a LOT. Unlike the reasons listed above, the form factor would never be one of the compelling reasons for me to buy the 9000, but it is very usable. It's a tad wide, but it feels thin in the hand and I *think* that extra width is what makes the keyboard so much better than the 88xx's despite looking much the same. And though it's heavier than the Curve, it doesn't feel heavy. If you're used to the Pearl you might not be able to make the jump, but I think any full QWERTY user (even Curve diehards) will find they can easily get comfortable on the 9000 within a few days as I have. Hopefully we'll see some good BlackBerry 9000 cases and accessories follow suit - I sooo need a holster for this thing!

That's it for now, I'm off to bed!

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Topics: Device Reviews

Reader comments

BlackBerry 9000 Smartphone Review - Part IV - Eye Candy!

39 Comments

WOW, That theme is SO much better & looks really cool now.

Thanks again Kevin for your fantastic reviews....RIM should give you a 9000 for free when it comes out for all the work you've done !!

Now off to bed young man.

This is not fair. While I continue using my broke-ass Pearl, you already got your hands on a BlackBerry 9000. It's too beautiful -- it honestly is. Trade?

One thing I wanted to see was if there was true threaded sms on the device. It has been said that all blackberries have it but it's not a conversational sms. It's simply a tad bit organized way of displaying sms that RIM uses. I'd much like to see the blackberry messenger style sms. But I guess nothing is perfect. So many phone choices in these next 2 months it's going to be a REAL tough battle.

Thank you for the Reply. The old App worked amazing well so no change is fine with me. Any word on when AT&T will begin selling it??

yeah, this is the best looking theme I've ever seen...
Someone PLEASE make a version of it for the Pearl...I don't care if it doesn't "look" as good on the smaller screen...I WANT IT!

(And not one of these knockoff 9000-ish themes, either, I want the real deal)

Kevin - Once again thanks for the preview of my next device. I hope you are right about the 1G of memory.

Now - You premium theme makers - here is an opportunity to serve the blackberry community with cool new themes. I look forward to an 8800 version.

With Wifi on board - can you PLEASE tell us if the 9000 will support UMA like T-mobile's hotspot and Rogers Home-calling-zone? would love to make WIFI calls with this baby..like the 8320.

I'm sure it's capable of it...but when it comes to AT&T it wont have the software on it do that.

When T-Mobile gets their version of the phone, it likely will be set up for UMA calling. comes down to what the carrier wants to do....but for sure the hardware capabilities should be there.

Thanks for that Kevin, it would be just fantastic if it could.
your review on the 9000 has made me a perm subscriber to your site. keep it up!

Also: i noticed you're on rogers. If you're bored, why dont you try signing up to the new HCZ (home calling zone) service released this week for $10/month for wifi calling?

http://www.rogers.com/web/content/wireless-products/home_calling_zone?cm...

it would be a great test of the phones capabilities. although i dont know how you would "install" the required firmware..

Now let's say that we purchase the 9000 but what happens with the 3rd party programs that we have already on our older device, is there a way of transferring them to the new OS4.6, will it be compatible?

I will definitely be purchasing this device...

I just need a date... I already have my "9000" savings account waiting for this bad boy to be released.

* Can 3rd party apps be installed to the memory card?
* Memory leaks still present?
* If you install Opera on it, how is the 3g on it compared to the BB browser?
* How is the battery?
* Any issues with being on the phone and receiving BBM/IMs and surfing the web?

Dear Kevin, could you please show a bit more on the Calendar function? I wonder if it goes through any improvement or not. Thanks a lot!

So, um, I bought an 8310 today. Am I going to be kicking myself in a week? Or can I chill with my phone for a year and not hate myself?

Thanks for the great review!
What about the battery life of the 9000? Especially with all the media options used (like listening the whole day to some songs...)

Much appreciated!

Greetings from Switzerland

Hi, this is a concern to me, The Bold was relased here in Chile 3 weeks ago, and I owe one since then, this is my first Blackberry so I'm still getting use to it.
The only thing I don't like for now is Battery life, I'm not a big talker or website user I only use email reading and some writing, and If I charge it all night at mid day I have half battery remaining, and arround 5 pm battery is dead.
I switched from a Nokia N95 to the bold and this battery thing *&*!@&^*#.
Any one else???
Rgds
Cristian

Kevin do you see anything in terms of video call support? Even if a phone does not have a camera on the front for video calls it should still support video calls. You should be able to see the other person, or they can see you through the camera on the back. This is standard on any 3G phone which I have seen in the past 3 years. If the 9000 doesn't have it I would find it very odd.

I currently own a Curve 8320 and after reading this review, I can say in no uncertain terms that I will most likely be seeking this phone as my next move forward. I love my Curve, especially coming from a crappy Moto Q, but the specs alone are enough to make me consider a jump. eBay, my Curve isn't far away.

hi...thanks for a fantastic in depth review. quick question: Can you edit a mail when you use the forwrding option in the new OS? i have to copy & paste relevant parts of a mail as i am not able to edit once i sue forward option until now. thanks, raj

Just a few Questions for Kevin if he knows them:

- Despite the lack of a front self-cam, is it able to do 3G videos calls using the rear camera, i.e. show caller what you see etc?

- Can you also receive 3G video calls?

- What resolution and FPS can the video camera record in?

- Can it use the LED flash while filming video-clips too?

- Does the 2MP camera use an Auto-Focus lens?

- Has it got a hardware silent ringer switch?

- Does the desktop sync software work with 64-bit Windows Vista or XP?

Great reviews, I will definitely be waiting to get this phone. Unfortunately I am with Telus so I will have to wait for a CDMA version of this phone to come out. When that happens, my contract will probably be up for renewal. Can't wait to get my hands on this phone, it looks awesome. Again, thanks.

Im seeing a few offers online for the BB 9000. I see them in some forums. Do you think they are legit? I so tempted to buy one and they mention the payment is through western union. But im not actually sure...

If anyone asks you to pay for something via Western Union, it is a SCAM...ALWAYS...stay far away from them!!!

Can someone tell me whether the Bold
will read and/or write Japanese characters?

If it will read, even that'll do !

Sorry, does not work (just tested it because its also quite important for me). Not even Hiragana :-(

Sascha

Have had my new Bold for 2-3 weeks. It replaced a year old Curve. This phone is the most disappointing RIM product I have had..... battery life is terrible.

As my buddy put it "The Bold is drech. Seriously thinking of replacing it as the battery life is excretable."

How they RIM could have had the gall to bring this piece of crap to the market makes me wonder if it is not time to sell the RIM stock we have had along with the phone.....

drc

Hi,

The BB Eye Candy screenshot depicted here looks beautiful but unfortunately my Bold is from Vodaphone and the nandset does not have this particular wall paper.

Would appreciate folks out there to advise where can i get my hands on it, or if any folks here can email the image to me at media.cheong@gmail.com

Appreciate your kind favour.

ABNN

On my top banner it shows "AT&T-Home" the "Home" is my WiFi connection, but how do i change it from "AT&T" to something else like shown above (ROGERS)?