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BlackBerry Bold 9780 Review

CrackBerry.com's Review of the newest BlackBerry Bold, the 9780, which puts the latest BlackBerry 6 software onto improved Bold 9700 hardware

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Review
By Kevin Michaluk on 7 Dec 2010 06:19 pm EST
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Following up on our Unboxing and First Impressions, I have been using the BlackBerry Bold 9780 as my main smartphone for the past few weeks. And you know what that means... I now have a lot to say on the newest Bold from Research In Motion. Most of it is positive, afterall, the Bold 9700 was already an awesome device so one would only expect its successor to be even awesomer. But it's not all positive. Surprising to me, I actually found myself having some mixed feelings towards the BlackBerry 6 experience on the touchscreen-less Bold 9780. There have even been a few times when I wished I could downgrade the 9780 to run on OS 5.0 again (I know it sounds crazy, but I'm just being honest - you'll have to read the full review to find out why).

The existence of the BlackBerry Bold 9780 has also created a couple of burning questions for existing and new BlackBerry users out there. I've been getting literally the same two questions via twitter (@crackberrykevin) daily since the device was announced. Is it worth upgrading my BlackBerry Bold 9700 to the Bold 9780? Should I get the Torch or the Bold 9780?

It's December and the holidays are almost here, so grab yourself an eggnog, kick back and keep reading and I'll answer these questions and unload all the nitty gritty details on the BlackBerry Bold 9780.   

Introduction - the *new-ish-ist* Bold

BlackBerry Bold Family

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 is the third Bold on the GSM side of the Bold family tree, following up the original Bold 9000 and newer Bold 9700. On the CDMA side (Verizon/Sprint), you have the BlackBerry Bold 9650, which was preceeded by the BlackBerry Tour 9630 which essentially was/is a Bold under a different name.

When you look at the plethora of BlackBerry device families (Bold, Curve, Torch, Storm, Pearl, etc.) and device models available, the analogy I like to use to keep things straight is to compare it to a car company. Specifically, I like to think of BlackBerry as the BMW of the smartphone world. Within the BMW family, you have your different BMW lines of cars (1 Series, 3 Series, 5 Series, etc.) with different body styles, engines, and detail packages available at a variety of price points. Regardless of which BMW you buy that best suits your needs, every model offers that Ultimate Driving Experience that BMW is known for. BMW tends to make minor changes from year to year on their vehicles, but every now and then will introduce a more major body style change. Everybody can tell a newer BMW from an old one based on major body style changes, but it takes more of an enthusiast's eye to pick out the year to year differences. You know what I'm getting at here...

When it comes to the BlackBerry Bold 9780, the best way to think of it is as the new model year of the 9700, in a year when not a lot has changed. From the 2008 to 2009 model year, big changes were made as the Bold 9000's bigger, blingier design was downsized into the more conservative Bold 9700 form factor. You don't need to be a BlackBerry enthusiast to see the changes between those to models. Going from 2009 to the 2010 model year, the changes from the 9700 to 9780 are much less apparent on the hardware side. Compared to the 9700, the 9780 gets a few internal hardware improvements and a slightly different paint job (on the dark version). Of course, the Bold 9780 does ship with BlackBerry 6 out of the box, while the Bold 9700 still ships with OS 5.0, but with BlackBerry 6 already unofficially available for the Bold 9700 and officially coming soon, this difference becomes moot point. When you take into account Bold 9700 owners can run BlackBerry 6 on their device and that the hardware differences between the 9700 and 9780 are pretty minor, it's no wonder so many Bold 9700 owners, even diehard BlackBerry owners, are wondering if it's worth upgrading to early or holding out for whatever new Bold will follow the 9780.

On the CDMA side of the Bold family tree, the decision to upgrade from the Tour 9630 to the Bold 9650 was much easier. With the Tour lacking WiFi altogether, rocking the old trackball vs. the slick new optical trackpad for navigation and not being upgradable to BlackBerry 6, you immediately have three strong reasons to want to jump up to the Bold 9650.

For GSM users though, the Bold 9700 already has the optical trackpad, WiFi (b/g), and supports BlackBerry 6. So while the Bold 9780 does offer some improvements, mainly more memory and a better camera, to many the 9700's lack of a lacking features makes the improvements in the 9780 seem pretty minimal for a device that is a year newer. It's almost as if the 9780's existence confuses the current BlackBerry landscape - it would have been nicer if RIM skipped the 9780 and went straight to the next generation of GSM Bold, one that adds a touchscreen and a bit more screen real estate into the mix. But I guess we'll have to wait for the 2011 model to come out to get that ;)

That all said, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is here, it's the latest and greatest smartphone from RIM in the traditional BlackBerry form factor, so let's get to the details.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Video Unboxing and First Impressions

Official Features and Specifications 

BlackBerry Bold 9780

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 packs into it the following features and technical specifications....

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Key Features and Tech Specs

Size (LxWxD) 4.29" x 2.36" x 0.56" / 109mm x 60mm x 14mm
Weight 122 g / 4.3 oz (includes battery)
Operating System BlackBerry 6
CPU Speed 624 MHz
Memory - 512 MB internal flash memory
Expandable Memory - 2GB microSD card included
- Exapandable memory with support for microSD cards
Battery - 1500 mAhr removable/rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Talk time: Up to 6 hours (GSM or UMTS)
Standby time: Up to 22 days / 528 hours (GSM), up to 17 days / 408 hours (UMTS)
Music playbook time: Up to 36 hours
Display High-resolution 480x360 color display
Camera 5.0 MP camera, flash, auto focus, face detection, image stabilization, scene modes, 2X zoom, video recording
Video Camera Normal Mode: 640 x 480 pixels
MMS Mode: 176 x 144 pixels
GPS Integrated GPS with A-GPS (assisted GPS) ready
WiFi Wi-Fi Band: 802.11b/g, support for UMA (carrier-dependent)
Bluetooth Bluetooth v2.1; Mono/Stereo Headset, Hands-free, Serial Port Profile, Bluetooth Stereo Audio (A2DP/AVCRP) and Dial-up networkign (DUN)
Audio & voice 3.5mm stereo headset capable; Built-in speakerphone
Network Tri-band 3G HSDPA networks: 2100MHz/1900MHz/850MHz
Tri-band UMTS networks: 2100/1900/850/800 MHz and 2100/1700/900 MHz
Quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks: 850/900/1800/1900 MHZ

Compared to the BlackBerry Bold 9700, the biggest changes to the 9780 are as follows:

  • it ships with BlackBerry 6 preloaded
  • the camera is improved from 3.2 megapixels to 5 megapixels
  • internal flash memory (for running OS and apps) is doubled from 256MB to 512MB
  • video recording is improved in Normal Mode from 480x352 to 640x480
  • while it uses the same battery as the 9700, the GSM standby time rating jumped up from 21 to 22 days, while the music playback time rating actually decreased from 38 hours to 36 hours

Tech specs aside, the dark version of the Bold 9780 features a slightly different "look" than the Bold 9700. On the Bold 9780, RIM chose to scrap the chrome band around the phone in favor of a blacked-out look (which is definitely hawt!). On the battery door cover, the 9780 features a tighter pattern - it's less of a faux-leather look and more of a car dashboard look.

With the Bold 9780 using the same chipset as the Pearl 3G and Torch 9800, it also lacks Open GL support for 3D graphics. I was sad when the Bold 9700 didn't support Open GL, and am even more sad to see that a year later the next GSM Bold doesn't either. If you're not sure what that means for the graphics experience, check out this video review comparing Need for Speed on the Bold 9700 vs. Storm2. It'll be the same story for the Bold 9780. I really hope that the next GSM BlackBerry we see supports Open GL. 

As for what carriers will get the BlackBerry Bold 9780, you can expect it to roll out everywhere the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is offered. The unit in this review is from Rogers in Canada, and you can already find the 9780 on T-Mobile in the USA. Expect it to hit AT&T (hopefully) soon too.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Hardware Impressions

BlackBerry Bold 9780

When it comes to hardware impressions, for the most part I could copy and paste what I wrote in my Bold 9700 review into my Bold 9780 review. And that's not a bad thing, as on the whole the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is one sweet piece of hardware.

Appearance, Form Factor and Build Quality

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Photo BlackBerry Bold 9780 Photo

The Bold family is RIM's flagship line of devices in the traditional front-facing full-qwerty design that is synonymous with BlackBerry (Curve is the entry-level line). The original Bold 9000 was a fairly big device, with an extra 1/4" of width in the display and keyboard as compared to the 9700 and 9780. I still personally think the 9000's keyboard is the best there has even been on a BlackBerry, but there is no denying that the Bold 9780's smaller size hits the sweet spot of pocketability and ease of typing/use. It feels great in the hand, has a very easy to type on keyboard, and is small enough to carry in a pocket.

Build quality of the 9780 seems to be equally good to the 9700, and arguably appears to be even better. Though the phone is very light in weight, it doesn't feel cheap, and the blacked out look gives off an aura of understated luxury. I've always been a big fan of Swiss mechanical watches, and the blacked-out look has really caught on there in the past few years - the 9780 definitely pairs nicely with a blacked-out watch. Although the build quality does seem solid, unfortunately I was unlucky with the Bold 9780 that I picked up from Rogers in that it had a defective trackpad. At first I thought it was a software glitch as my symptom was that the cursor often wanted to scroll up by itself (which is super annoying and had me wanting to throw the phone through a window), but after a week of futzing around with it determined it was definitely hardware (I could never reproduce the glitch if I covered the trackpad entirely with my thumb, preventing any light from hitting it). Luckily the return process was easy and my second 9780 is performing all good so far. Over the years I've been pretty lucky with my BlackBerry Smartphones in terms of reliability -- rarely even having to clean or replace a trackball -- but in the past 3 months had a Torch completely die on me for no reason and now a faulty 9780 trackpad. RIM has manufacturing facilities around the world (Canada, Hungary, Mexico) and in the 25+ BBs I've used since getting my first 7290, so far the only devices I've ever run into hardware issues with have been made in Mexico. I'm not sure if it's coincidence or a QA issue or what, but I'm nearly to a point where I'm going to check that my next BlackBerry is a made in Hungary or Canada unit before I take it home from the store.

BlackBerry Torch 9800 Photo BlackBerry Bold 9780 Photo

Looking around the perimeter and controls of the 9780, things are identical to the 9700. The top of the phone has hidden lock and mute buttons. I still love the way RIM discretely implemented these buttons, though on more than one occassion have run into BlackBerry owners who had their 9700 for months and didn't realize they were buttons - maybe they're a little too discrete! The left side of the phone makes room for the 3.5mm headset port, the microUSB charge/sync port and a left side convenience key. I love the left side convenience key - it still pains me that this is missing from the Torch, so I hope we see the left side convenience key return on future device models. The right side of the phone features the volume up/down keys and right side convenience keys. In case you're new to BlackBerry and not familiar with the concept of convenience keys, they are essentially application shortcuts tied to a button. By default they typically launch Voice Dialing (left) and the camera (right), but I typically change the left one up to either launch QuickLaunch or a Twitter client.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 vs Bold 9700 BlackBerry Bold 9780 vs Bold 9700
BlackBerry Bold 9780 vs Bold 9700 BlackBerry Bold 9780 vs Bold 9700
Bold 9700 vs. the Bold 9780 (Bold 9700 has chrome trim)

Like the 9700, the battery door on my 9780 was TOUGH to remove initially. It breaks in fairly quickly and becomes much easier to remove (but not too easy!), but I swear, the first time I had to remove the battery door I felt like I was going to break the phone. This really tripped me up when I first got my 9700 (see video below for how to remove it properly), but even on my 9780 and KNOWING how to remove the battery door it still was wayyy too tough. This is a pretty normal occurrence with a lot of the 9700 and now 9780 owners I've spoken too - it doesn't make for a very positive out-of-the-box experience so I'd love to see RIM smooth it out a bit.

All in all, when it comes to appearance, form factor and build quality, talking about the 9780 is the same as talking about the 9700.

Display 

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 features the same non-touchscreen 480x360 pixel high resolution display that's found on the Bold 9700, Bold 9650, Tour and Curve 8900. Overall it's a solid display and is much nicer than the 320x240 display found in the Curve 3G or Curve 8530/20. If you're trying to decide between purchasing a new Curve or new Bold, the higher resolution display is definitely one of the reasons I would go with the Bold. The colors are much sharper and brighter and smooth, and in the web browser the extra pixels make a big difference.

That said, like a lot of other BlackBerry users out there, I'm anxiously waiting for the day when RIM puts a touchscreen into this form factor of device. A lot of new BlackBerry users first make the mistake of trying to tap the icons on the screen, but especially with BlackBerry 6 (more on this later) I've even noticed myself wanting to reach out and touch the screen. With OS 5 I've never really found this to be an issue. Maybe it's the fact I've used BlackBerry 6 on the Torch a lot with a touchscreen so it's habitual, or maybe there is just something about BlackBerry 6 that is more compelling for touch, but either way, I want my next front-facing keyboard BlackBerry to also have a touchscreen. It would have been nice for the Bold 9780 to be the Bold that introduced this, but it's looking like we'll have to wait for the next Bold to get this.

While on the topic of what I'd like to see in the next Bold, I'm also hoping they find a way to up both the resolution and the phsyical size of the display. When people didn't use the browser on their BlackBerry (because it was painfully slow to use), and before apps became the thing, the smaller physical size of the display wasn't really a concern - using that frontal real estate for a solid keyboard was more important. Now that BlackBerry has a good web browser and you're using the phone for so much more than emailing, texting and BBMing, the bigger the screen, the better (assuming your battery can still manage to last through the day - big displays tend to eat battery life). I'm sure RIM realizes this too, so will be curious to see how they address this on the next Bold.

Chipset / Processor

The Bold 9780 uses the same chipset and processor that's found in the Torch 9800, which is clocked at the same 624MHz processor that the Bold 9700 and 9000 were clocked at. Though software updates have greatly improved the performance of BlackBerry 6 on the Torch since its somewhat laggy debut, the same processor on the Bold 9780 seems to be even snappier at powering the OS right of the box. Maybe the lack of touchscreen contributes to the speed. As usual I'm sure things will get even smoother with software updates (the Rogers unit in this review shipped with OS 6.00.285, but at the time of this writing we've already seen OS 6.0.0.359 leak for the 9780). 

Memory

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 doubles up the internal flash memory from the 256MB found in the 9700 to the now-standard 512MB found in devices like the Bold 9650, Torch and Style. This memory is where the operating system resides, where apps are installed and where things like browser cache and your email inbox eat up space. More memory doesn't really equal faster speeds, but running low on memory guarantees things will slow down. So compared to the 9700, on the 9780 you can load up more apps and do more on your device before you ever run out of room. Conversely, if you keep things on your Bold 9700 fairly "clean" you should find that BlackBerry 6 will run on it pretty smooth as well.  Out of the box, my Rogers BlackBerry Bold 9780 had ~271MB of free space on it.

In terms of additional storage for media and photos, the Bold 9780 comes with a 2GB microSD card, which can easily be swapped out for other cards. It'll take a 32GB card all good.

Battery Life

Like the Bold 9700, THE BATTERY LIFE ON THE BLACKBERRY BOLD 9780 IS FRICK'N AMAZING! Of course, I do find myself doing a lot more web browsing on BlackBerry 6 than I did on OS 5, which eats into the battery a bit more, but all in all it's really solid. There's something really satisfying about going to bed at night seeing the battery level indicator still above (on lower-usage days way above) half full.

Phone Call Quality

This one often seems to vary a bit by carrier, but at least on Rogers for me the call quality of the 9780 seems hunky-dory (it's a word for real, look it up).

Camera and Video Recording

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 features the same 5.0 megapixel camera that is in the BlackBerry Torch, and I've found it's performance to be the same for me (photography is a skill I need to work on, so any pros in the audience can weigh in if they discover any differences).  I went pretty in-depth on the new camera in my Torch review, so if you want further details here click on the link below to jump over to that section.

More Info on the 5 megapixel camera

Other Internals: WiFi, GPS, Bluetooth, Speakers 

Everything else on the hardware side is what you'd expect. On the WiFi front, the most noticeable difference to speed for the "average" consumer comes from the fact that the BlackBerry 6 web browser now automatically uses WiFi when available vs. on older operating systems in which you manually had to switch to the HotSpot browser. Unfortunately, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 only has WiFi b/g (no N support), which is really stupid to me considering both the Pearl 3G and Torch 9800 do have WiFi N. Doing some digging, the word is that the Bold 9780 is so closely based on the 9700 that upgrading to n was not easily done on existing architecture. So I guess if it's too hard to do you, you just skip it and wait till you're making a more major change to a device rather than an incremental one.

GPS and Bluetooth are there working as they should, and the speakers seem to be on par with the 9700. I noticed a few threads kicking around the CrackBerry forums where members mentioned they thought the speaker/speakerphone was better on the 9780, but I'm not certain of that. I'm not aware of any changes here... but could be wrong - maybe some tinkering was done. 

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Accessories

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Accessories

For BlackBerry Bold 9700 owners who want to upgrade to the Bold 9780, the good news is that your BlackBerry Bold 9700's accessories will work just fine. Cases will fit, batteries will fit, and your charging pod will fit. It also means there is a large selection of accessories available at launch. Shamless plug time... Be sure to check out ShopCrackBerry.com for all your BlackBerry Bold 9780 accessory needs.  We just rolled out free shipping on orders of $50 or more in the continental US, so you can't go wrong!

Browse BlackBerry Bold 9780 Accessories at ShopCrackBerry.com

Hardware Wrap-Up

All in all, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 hardware is as good or better than that of the Bold 9700, which by definition makes it a pretty awesome device. You can't argue with more memory and more megapixels, and I like the blacked-out look. Though you know the moment it hits Rogers or AT&T in white, I'll be picking that one up!

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Software Impressions

If you're looking to learn about everything that's new in BlackBerry 6, be sure to check out our super in-depth BlackBerry 6 Review. For this review I want to focus more on BlackBerry 6 as it pertains to the user experience of being on a non-touchscreen device with a smaller display and with a front-facing keyboard. Seriously, if you want the in-depth details on BB6, check out our BlackBerry 6 Review.

BlackBerry 6
BlackBerry 6 Homescreen...

How much you love, like or maybe even dislike BlackBerry 6 on the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is going to be determined by your priorities (remember the Smartphone Hierarchy of Needs) and how much BlackBerry baggage you're carrying (ie. how long you've been a BlackBerry user for and how stuck in your ways you are). Dissecting this a bit further, I think:

First Time Smartphone/BlackBerry Owners and users who fit into the category of the consumer market are going to like the BlackBerry 6 experience a lot more than they would OS 5.0. Out of the box, the tutorial videos and new setup wizard get you up to speed more quickly, and the whole look and feel of the operating system is more modern and sleek than any BlackBerry of the past. The homescreeen views (All, Favorites, Media, Downloads, Frequent) expose more of your BlackBerry's capabilities to you, which get you using the device for more things than you normally would otherwise (yes you can use your BlackBerry as an MP3 player and watch movies on it!). The web browsing experience in BlackBerry 6 is much better than in the past too - so while the screen is on the small side compared to some of the smartphones hitting the market these days, you will be able to browse your favorite websites. And with a full keyboard right there all the time, you'll be pounding out BBMs, emails, texts, tweets and facebook updates like crazy.

BlackBerry 6BlackBerry 6
The new WebKit-based browser in BlackBerry 6 is much improved and ads tabbed browsing

Long Time OS 5/4.x BlackBerry Users, heavy communicators and those who fit into category of enterprise user are also going to like BlackBerry 6 more than OS 5, but there's going to be a bit of a re-learning curve and are a couple of annoying things that'll drive you bonkers that you'll have to get used to (which hopefully RIM will address soon). 

Let's start with the annoying part - the homescreen views. On a touchscreen, you normally open apps from the homescreen by by tapping on the icons, so accidentally scrolling between views is not an issue. However, with BlackBerry 6 on a non-touchscreen device, you have to scroll to the icon you want then press in on the trackpad. On the 9780, I constantly find myself accidentally scrolling between views while attempting to open specific applications (note, this can happen on the 9700/9650/etc. on BB6 too, so it's not a 9780 specific thing). Namely, my main messages app is always the first icon on the screen, so when I scroll quickly to it, I end up overshooting and change to the next view. Over the course of an average day, I've been finding myself accidentally scrolling to the next screen anywhere from 15 to 30+ times a day. Hitting the red end key does at least bring you back to the All view quickly when you get out of place, but I shouldn't be having to hit that all the time due to acciental scrolling. I'm not alone on this one either. It actually makes me kind of mad that RIM released BlackBerry 6 without having the ability to go back to a simpler homescreen experience, either via an option to disable homescreen views or by providing an alternative theme that does not have the views built in. Hopefully BlackBerry 6.1 will have this built in (to me this is HIGH PRIORITY! It got so annoying one day that it nearly made me want to go back to my 9700). In the meantime, theme developers will be able to address this once Theme Builder 6 gets updated and officially released - I'm sure we'll see the next #1 theme in the CrackBerry App Store will be a replica native theme that lacks the views). The other annoying homescreen change that is difficult for me to get used to is that it now requires two taps of the menu key (the one left of the trackpad) to open the full icon tray. On the teaser view (where you only see six icons at the bottom), I really think clicking that button once should open the "tray." Once the tray is fully open, then tapping the menu key again should pop up the menu options (Add Folder, Hide, Mark as Favorite, etc.). This also bugged me on the Torch, but I guess with the touchscreen use I found it to be less of an issue. On a non-touchscreen, it drives me bonkers. [ Update: So it turns out you can also evoke the full tray by scrolling down a long scroll down on the trackpad. It works, and really fixes this issue for me. It's not exactly intuitive though for discovery - seriously, I never stumbled upon this in literally weeks of use. Makes me feel like a rookie! ] These two gripes are likely of no-concern for 99% of the folks out there reading this, but for me there my two biggest issues with the BlackBerry 6 user experience on a non-touchscreen device. And for people who use their phone mainly as a communication tool and for one or two key apps, these little issues really do slow you down. The basic homescreen user experience feels less efficient. 

BlackBerry 6
I LOVE Universal Search

These two issues aside, power communicators and enterprise users will hugely appreciate universal search and the new web browser. Getting familiar with universal search saves a lot of time, and for a lot of people having a BlackBerry web browser that's now quicker and renders more accurately means they can now leave there laptop at home when they travel. Another homescreen improvement is the shortcut at the top for Managing Connections that saves time on toggling the Radio, WiFi and Bluetooth on and off. BlackBerry 6 also adds the homescreen message notification preview, which I've now determined to be a bit handy and a bit useless at the same time. I wish it could be customized more. I really like being able to preview my upcoming calendar appointments from the preview, but I find for messages themselves I don't really use it - if I have emails or tweets or anything else, I'm pretty much heading straight for the app as soon as my LED light blinks. 

BlackBerry 6 on the 9780 Software Wrap Up

In a smartphone market where having a big touchscreen is all the rage, one of the key reasons a person buys a smartphone in this form factor in 2010 is because they are heavy communicators - they want that keyboard to be there all the time for quick, accurate typing (they don't even want to wait the 1/10th of a second it takes to slide out a keyboard a la the Torch nevermind typing on glass!) and they're willing to sacrifice the screen real estate to have that keyboard. The user experience here is focused around speed. And historically, that's what the BlackBerry experience has always been about. I remember David Yach, RIM's CTO of Software, at the first BlackBerry Developer Conference on stage talking about RIM's philosophy and the red light test - you should be able to pick up your smartphone and accomplish anything you want to do in the time you would spend waiting at a red light. He also put it another way... the BlackBerry experience is all about adding an hour to your day by giving you the ability to turn all of those one minute chunks of time we all waste into productive time.

With that philosophy in mind and ignoring my couple of gripes which slow things down a bit, BlackBerry 6 does a solid job of adhering to that traditional BlackBerry experience while expanding the use of the phone beyond the basics.

 

Addressing the Big Questions

BlackBerry Bold 9780

Ok, let's tackle these two questions that I keep getting everyday....

Is it worth upgrading my BlackBerry Bold 9700 to the Bold 9780?

Carriers and RIM may honestly shoot me for saying this, but honestly, for the average person I'd say no. Going back to the BMW analogy earlier, it would be like getting out of the lease on your new BMW a year early to buy one a year newer that comes in a different color. You could pay the penalties and do it if you really want to and that would be fine, but you're probably better off waiting. This is especially true if you consider that the Bold 9780 revision was quite minor and that it's looking like the next revision to this device will have a lot more going on (bigger processor, touchscreen, etc.). And it's especially, especially true considering the fact you can load up BlackBerry 6 to your Bold 9700 if you want to. That said, if you're like me you're still going to run out and buy the newest BlackBerry no matter what ;)

I also find it interesting that carriers like T-Mobile and Rogers are not even listing the Bold 9700 for sale on their sites anymore. I think the reason for this is pretty clear - if they offered the 9780 and 9700, the price of the 9700 would have to be driven down since it's a year older, and at the lower price point is where they want to offer devices like the Curve 3G or 85xx where they have higher margins. The price of the 9700 would have to drop by quite a bit from a consumer standpoint being it's a year old, so it would be hard to justify the 9780's higher price (that camera and RAM can't cost that much), plus with the body/case design not really changing at all it makes much more sense to just transition straight to the 9780. So new customers won't even have the option to buy a 9700 or 9780 - for the most part they'll be going right into the 9780. 

Should I get the BlackBerry Torch 9800 or the BlackBerry Bold 9780?

This one all comes down to priorities. If you're on a carrier where the Torch isn't offered (ie. T-Mobile USA), the Bold 9780 is obviously the winner. If you're on AT&T or Rogers or a carrier which carries both, then the decision becomes a matter of preference.

Key Reasons why I'd pick a Bold 9780 over the Torch: The Bold 9780 feels better in the hand, is lighter and more pocketable. The keyboard is also a bit nicer to type on. The Bold 9780's battery life is way better (it's a bigger battery than in the Torch, and the 9780's smaller screen size helps save the battery juice). I also prefer having the keyboard right there and not having to slide the phone open to get to it. It's more efficient.

Key Reasons why I'd pick a Torch 9800 over the Bold 9780:  The bigger touchscreen makes everything in the BlackBerry 6 environment better. Navigating the OS by tapping is nice, web browsing with a touchscreen vs. trackpad is much nicer too. Once you get used to a big screen smartphone, going back to a smaller screen is TOUGH. Still has a keyboard, which while not quite as nice to use as the 9780's, is still pretty solid.

Which am I going to use?  I can't decide. I've always been more the traditional BlackBerry user, so the 9780 is a bit more suited to my personality. But until I get the ability to kill the homescreen views on BlackBerry 6 on the 9780 (be it with a theme or a setting), I think I'd go Torch as it's kind of pulling me away from that total speed of use mentality anyways (and I'm sick of accidentally scrolling to the next view on the 9780). I think what I'm actually going to do for rest of this month, for a bit of nostalgia, is actually kick it on my old Bold 9000 for a while. I miss that keyboard! :)

What if it's my first BlackBerry? Good question. And a tricky one. Buying a phone always starts with picking your carrier (you need coverage where you work, play, live).  Assuming you're on a carrier where the Bold 9780 and Torch are offered, it again comes down to your priorities. Getting a BlackBerry with a  always-present keyboard (Bold 9780, Curve 3G) means you have the best communication tool on the planet (go for the Bold 9780 if the budget allows). While the Torch isn't quite as efficient as a communication tool, if you haven't had a BlackBerry before you won't know what you're missing in that respect - so going Torch is probably the best option. Having a bigger screen and a touchscreen really adds to the experience. You might just want to grab a spare battery for if you get low on juice at the end of the day from heavy device usage.

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Closing Thoughts

I tweeted the other night that I'm apparently incapable of writing a concise review as this Bold 9780 review was taking forever to pound out. Good ole @andrewmunchbach of BGR fame responded with this clever little tweet:

@crackberrykevin the fact that you couldn't fit your entire review into a tweet is surprising. "9700+512MB+5MP camera=9780" Done.

And yep, Andrew was right - you literally can sum up the 9780 in 140 characters or less. It's too bad that RIM didn't put more into this revision to make it a really exciting one to talk about, but the good news is the 9700 was an awesome device so any improvement to an already solid device is a good thing. I know I harped on a few things in this review, but at the end of the day the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is an awesome BlackBerry. But you know it wouldn't be a CrackBerry review unless I gave you all the back story and way too much info. Hope you enjoyed it! 

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Summary

Pros
  • Blacked-out look is hawt!
  • Doesn't mess with the success of the 9700 - great feeling device, great keyboard 
  • BlackBerry 6 - yay for webkit browser and universal search!
  • More memory and megapixels than its predecessor the 9700
Cons
  • Need a way to disable the homescreen views on BlackBerry 6 (a lot of accidental scrolling going on)
  • BlackBerry 6 really makes you wish there was a touchscreen and a bit more screen size to work with
  • No WiFi N support, when sibling devices like the Pearl 3G and Torch 9800 do have it
  • Doesn't mess with the success of the 9700 enough - hard to get excited about minor improvements
  • Another GSM BlackBerry that lacks OpenGL support - hard to get developers making 3D games when the GSM phones don't support it yet
Bottom Line
  • The BlackBerry Bold 9780 improves upon the already-awesome BlackBerry Bold 9700 by adding more memory, a better camera, and the new BlackBerry 6 operating system right out of the box. BlackBerry 6 brings with it a lot of improvements and new features, including a faster web browsing experience, but also makes you wish the 9780 featured a touchscreen - BB6 wants to be touched! 

Related BlackBerry Bold 9780 Links

BlackBerry Bold 9780 Superpage
BlackBerry 6 Review
BlackBerry Bold 9780 Forum
BlackBerry Bold 9780 Cases
BlackBerry Bold 9780 Accessories
BlackBerry Bold 9780 Apps
BlackBerry Bold 9780 Ringtones
BlackBerry Bold 9780 Wallpapers

85 comments

R1cE

Kevin you can open the tray by clicking on the bar or by simply scrolling down. Glad to see you still poured your heart into the review, even though I am suspecting you copied and pasted some of it from the 9700 review. Good job as always! :)

Kevin Michaluk

hmm.. scrolling down doesn't open the tray on 6.0.0.285. Was just about to load the latest onto my replacement 9780. what version are you seeing that on?

scrolling up to the nav bar and clicking is still two steps... though granted so is clicking once on the menu key then moving your thumb back to the trackpad. but i still want a single click to launch the tray :)

CrackUK

From my experience a simple scroll down on the trackpad will not open the tray, you have to give a fast swipe down the trackpad.
Anyway thanks for a well written review.

Kevin Michaluk

HUH. Well look at that. Hard swipe down does do it.  That's awesome.  Sooo...  yeah, that's not really intuitive I guess as in three weeks on the 9780 and I never actually noticed that.  Better go edit my review and make a note of that. 

I guess it's that issue of getting stuck in your ways... I'm so used to hitting that button that once it was gone I didn't really discover that other way. 

I'm suck a rookie! :p  Might have to make a dedicated blog post on that one as a tip. I'm sure I'm not the only one.

mkye86

Hey that's great this works on my 9700 as well.

Thanks!

flyonawall

Kevin, don't feel bad. I've been running 6 on my 9700 since the first leak and didn't know this until the other day when I had a co-worker that just got his 9780 show me. I was stunned to find that I could do the same on my 9700 (now on build 418).

I'd sum up the comparison between devices, though, with the question of whether you're going/wanting to run OS 6. Although you can run it on the 9700 it's PAINFUL as you constantly hit your head on the 256 MB RAM ceiling. I'm running about 1/4 of the apps I was on 5.0. And the kicker that's tempting me to go back is that Viigo doesn't run (properly) on OS 6 (and no, the new Social Feeds app doesn't even come close to comparing to Viigo. Very disappointed RIM has apparently killed off one of the best BB apps out there). The browser is the only thing keeping me on 6. It seems like the 418 build fixes a few of the memory leaks so we'll see how it goes, but I'd say the extra RAM is all but a requirement for OS 6. I don't see RIM (or at least the carriers) posting an actual 9700 OS 6 update for this reason.

YourMobileGuru

Yep, remember the 8330 Curve which technically supported OS 5.0, but only one or two carriers ever actually released a build for it because it may have worked but didn't work well. It slowed the phone down and you had to run fewer apps due to memory restrictions.

jzajac

You ever have one of those moments where you read or hear something and then can not remember how you previously performed the task that you just heard about? Reading the 'scrolling down' advice was so simple yet genius that I can no longer remember if I clicked the title bar every time or not... I feel like I was a full time clicker, so just in case I was thanks for this post!

jzajac

I'm on a 9650 running 6.0.0.333 for what it's worth.

SnoopTodd

Yay! You did it! And sort of on time depending which calendar you use! :). Great review, worth the wait.

cbaboy88

Great job !

As a blackberry addict .. Ive bought 9700 on 25/11/2009 and 9780 on 1/12/2010 and i would purchase any upcoming bold series phone even with minor improvements!

thnx

Dodger52

Kevin,
The blackberry Torch does not use the same CPU as the 9700. The torch uses a Marvell PXA940, built using the smaller 45nm process instead of the older PXA930

Technoligy Analysis website UBM-techinsight has discovered this.

And RIM has told engadget.com that the Processor in the Torch is of a newer generation.

And i really don't like that you deleted my earlier post :(

Also according tot the leaked training slides at BGR.com the 9780 uses a different CPU as the 9700, not sure if it is the PXA940 though...

Kevin Michaluk

Dodger, I shot you a quick email. Had a typo in the review... meant to say the 9780 uses the same processor as in the Torch, which is CLOCKED at the same 624MHz as is the same as the 9000 and 9700 were clocked at.

I know it's a different chipset though and speak to such - they actually upgraded it not with the Torch, but with the Pearl 3G, which was the first to have the WiFi N and upgrade the video recording to 640 by 480. Then that went into the Torch and now the 9780.

Sad that it still lacks Open GL support though. You'd think that since the upgrade did happen, they would have addressed it that time. I thought RIM promised us Open GL back at DevCon, shortly after the original 9700 was announced. 

 

Bla1ze

Newer generation, same speed. Still clocked for 624mHz. In reality, the difference is only there to make better use of the more graphic intense portions of the OS which aren't really all that intensive over previous versions. If anything the newer processor, although clocked at the same speeds sucks back battery life faster. As you can tell by using a Torch (rather, trying to use) for a full day. In terms of the OS, the only noticeable thing is the reboot times.

Dodger52

The PXA940 actually uses a smaller more energy efficient production processo (45nm) the reason that the 9800 gets empty more quickly is the fact that it has a smalle battery a much bigger and brighter screen, and more intensive graphic features Considering all this the torch is relatively energy efficient.

Fr3lncr

Kevin, sorry but the 9780 doesn't have 'N' wifi. We verified it in the forums:
http://forums.crackberry.com/f219/does-9780-have-n-standard-fi-548669/

Plus, RIM's site only shows 'b/g':
http://us.blackberry.com/smartphones/blackberrybold/#!phone-specifications

If you could show a screenshot of it showing 'N', please do so.

Thanks!

Kevin Michaluk

Thanks for the comment. I'm looking deeper into this. For now, I removed the N stuff from the review.

It's funny you mentioned the US BlackBerry site as listing the 9780 as not showing N. I actually flagged that as an error to RIM to look at. It just makes no sense that the 9780 wouldn't get WiFi N, considering the Pearl 3G and Torch 9800 have it. Makes zero sense for it not to have it. It makes no sense also for RIM to leave it off once other devices are getting it.

 

Fr3lncr

Don't get me wrong, I wish it had 'n' too as I liked it on my Torch so when I saw your unboxing last month, I picked one up and noticed it didn't have it. That's when I started the thread to make sure.

Interestingly, some in the thread stated they did have 'N' but theirs were pre-release versions.

And, yeah, don't know why they didn't give it especially since the Torch and Pearl have it.

Oh well... what are you going to do.

Cheers... and keep up the good work!

Kevin Michaluk

Ok, just did my DIGGING... and man oh man, is it depressing....

Bold 9780 definitely does not have N, which is really stupid to me, considering both the Pearl 3G and Torch have it and this is basically the same chipset.

Word is though that the 9780 was so closedly based on the 9700 that upgrading to n was not easily done on existing architecture so RIM left it out :(

bigspender339

thank you kevin! i HATE the 9780. HATE.

if you are a veteran bb user, do NOT do NOT do NOT get the 9780. It's not the phone, but BB6 is just NOT suited for this for factor as it stands atm. the 9700 is the best phone i have ever used so it's quite a shame that it's direct successor is the worst. Everything kevin said about accidental tray shifting and the meaningless notifications bar holds true. Also, i don't see the point of those 5 trays. If i visit something "frequently", it is a "favorite", and if it is a "favorite" it will probably be on the top row of my menu, so really the frequent and favorite trays are useless. additionally, i don't need a media and downloads tray when i have DEDICATED folders for them!. RIM trying to go the Apple/Android way is really disappointing as it takes away the core blackberry experience.

Again, DO NOT get the 9780 if u are used to and love the 9700. you will be disappointed.

Kevin Michaluk

Yeah, it's kind of sad. When I went to exchange my 9780, I went back to my 9700 for the day.  All I could think was how much quicker it was to use (in terms of homescreen experience) and that if I only had the WebKit browser (and maybe universal search too) I'd be so happy. 

bigspender339

You know, I'm actually not high on the whole Universal Search thing. Well, actually I'm not happy with the way it's set up. When I type something on the homescreen I am used to a near instant result from the phonebook, and I think that's how it should be. I would be much happier if US was something you could conveniently go to on the home screen (which it is) and THEN search the phone. And if you disable said feature, you are left with app shortcuts, which are equally annoying. I don't get why typing something automatically pulls up US when there is a US icon on the homescreen! What say you?

Kevin Michaluk

Well... it depends...

I pretty much have all of the contacts I talk to regularly saved to Speed Dial. S 95% of the time, I don't need to use the address book for placing a call off the homescreen. And for SMS I normally just go to the SMS app (i usually have my most active conversations there and open with active contacts).  And for composing emails, I normally enter the app first and then compose from there too.  

So as long as I'm in that work track, Universal Search is good from the homescreen is good. 

But you're right.. the instantaneous reponse of the contacts is a nice as it is.  It's almost like you need a way to easily toggle to Universal Search.  Hit the space bar before typing something from the homescreen, etc.  And even though the icon is there, I don't like having to scroll up on the trackpad and click an icon to evoke it. If you're about to type on the keypad, there needs to be a button to toggle US. Needs more settings for sure.

bigspender339

Okay so I need your advice. I am seriously (and I mean SERIOUSLY) considering buying a 9700 again. Like I'm about to do it tomorrow. Do you think the next software update for tmo will satisfy a user like me? Or do u think that no software update can possibly satisfy a bb addict spoiled by the 9700? Honest opinion!

The only thing working for the 9780 right now is it's support for upto 32gb micro sd memory. i am using a 32 gig cause i have a lot of music. (though i should add here that i also don't like the new media player as the cursor skips without being pressed, u only have to highlight it. when the phone is in my pocket playing a song it often skips through the song because the trackpoad rubs up against my pocket!)

Moreover,how soon do u think it will come?

Kevin Michaluk

Hmm... tough call.  I think a 6.1 upate is probably a few months away. Assuming RIM is still working on it (who knows, maybe everybody is working on getting the BlackBerry Tablet OS into phones now - but RIM has lots of people so assume some are still working on BB6 improvements!).

I think Theme Builder 6 should hit sooner though, and from there it'll take a day for a theme to hit that kills the homescreen views. With that issue solved, then I think sticking on the 9780 is worth it for the web browser alone. 

good luck in the decision

av8ryxx

DO NOT wait for the update to 6.0 on the 9700. I really think the new OS needs that extra bit of memory to run properly. I tried to run 6.0 on my 9700 and ditched it after a few days (I know leaks can be buggy). The only reason it lasted a few days was I really wanted universal search to work but the hardware just couldn't keep up.

The comments Kevin made about the scrolling stuff on the home screen frustrated me to no end. I had the same problems of over scrolling to the left or right, etc. When I had my Storm, I always ran an app that allowed me to disable the screen tilt... would be nice for something similar to stop the scrolling to be available on 6.0 for non touch screens. OS 6.0 just doesn't feel right on the 9700, it needs a touch screen.

If you must upgrade, I would just take the 9780 with the better specs and hope for a theme or some apps that will allow you to tweak it to act more like a 9700 (as sad as that sounds).

Anyway, my humble opinion...good luck making a decision.

Diggs31

I'm a Bold 9650 user who switched to app shortcuts, not because automatic US annoyed me but because I'm used to it. I'm not understanding what's wrong with US when if you just start typing you're gonna get to that contact anyway...can you further explain what the problem is because I feel like I'm not getting it

Fr3lncr

I sold my 9700 just before the 9780 came out thinking it would be better. Now I wish I didn't even though I sold it for a good price. I'd go back to the 9700 but they sell it for more than the 9780! (Well, $50 more).

I've been using my old 9000 until I can figure out what I will do. Maybe buy a used 9700 to keep me going until the next round of Bold's. :-(

Chriz

Thank you Kevin for the great Review.
And after reading this i think the 9780 is my next BB. But...Who needs OpenGL on such a small Device? You know the Name PlayBook Kevin? ;-)

Jerry Hildenbrand

I'll pass on the phone, but that's one helluva review Kevin. Nice job.

Yandar

An honest review Kevin. Just the one obvious typo :-

I really like being able to preview my upcoming calendard appointments from the preview, but I find for messages themselves I don't really use it - if I have emails or tweets or anything else, I'm pretty much heading straight for the app as soon as my LED light blinks.

You have a D on the end on calendar.

Kevin Michaluk

fixed! i'm sure there are many more typos than that... by the time i get through typing a novel of a review like this i have zero energy left for proofreading. just like to hit publish and fix on the fly :)

phone9

Thanks for the review, this was also useful to us CDMA users trying to decide to wait or not. I also find the double-click of app key annoying, like to just click that once and see as many of my most-used apps as possible.

hunoosh

Great Review Kevin! Thanx. I am patiently waiting for Att to get it if they are even going to get it. I love my Torch for now but miss my 9700 dearly!

l1ghtn1ng

For Christmas I wanted to buy my dad a Bold (he's currently using an old 83xx Curve) but I can't decide which one now. I could buy a 9700 off contract for a good price, or I could get the Bold 9780 on contract.

What would you recommend?

Kevin Michaluk

Hmm.. tough call.  Once Theme Builder comes out there'll be themes that don't have the homescreen views, which will solve what I consider to be the biggest issue with the experience. So 9780 isn't a bad choice.

But if in six to eight months we see a touchscreen Bold, then that'll be the one you really want to sign a contract on. So a cheap 9700 off contract till then isn't a bad idea. Maybe that is the way to go...

l1ghtn1ng

Awesome, thanks for the reply!

kevindharner

is RIM ever going to increase the built in memory? I mean come on 512mg

ubizmo

Why? How many people are running out of memory with 512 MB?

diegonei

"9700+512MB+5MP camera=9780" ? Nope, not right.

"9700+512MB+5MP camera+WiFi N=9780" That guy is a genious? He can't even do the math right... :p

GG1

Very Nice review Kevin. Have to say its one the best and well thought reviews I have read. You might want to change "card dashboard" to "car dashboard" when speaking of battery door finish.
Again nice review and couldn't agree more with everything about it.

Kevin Michaluk

typo fixed. thanks for the kind comments!

GG1

You're welcome. ..Loved the BMW analogy.

Brazen9000

Wonderful review.

So gutted though you fence sat on the Torch v 9780! I'm buying one or the other next week :) I used your hierarchy of needs, weighted them, awarded points and came out with them equal. I decided that when your review came I would make the decision based on it. Looks like I'll be tossing a coin :)

Karlos349

I totally agree with the swiping a little too vigorously and ending up on the text view. I do the exact same thing when quickly scrolling to my message icon.

I also am seeing a lot of issues when you turn the font size up. After doing this I find that doing spell check on emails causes the suggestions to pop up under the screen so you can only see half of the first result.

On the upside, I’m LOVING the swipe down to show the full tray, this was driving me CRAZY. I hadn't realized how instinctive clicking the BlackBerry button had become.

Great review as always!

spegs

Yes, the side swipe is sooo annoying. And then I have a tendancy to get lost in the tray and not know which way to swipe to get back the fastest!

Also, that down swipe, thank you. I did it once by accident and could never figure out how I did it. I was trying to swipe down, but was never going fast enough.

Loved my old them on my 9700. Can't wait for themes for the 9780!!

Diggs31

I'm not a GSM head but I have a lot of friends with the 9700 so I thank you Kevin for this review so I know what to tell them about the 9780 when they ask me.

On a somewhat separate and yet somewhat related note, has anyone else noticed that hard swipes within messages takes you to the next message? I can't remember reading that anywhere and I just accidentally "discovered" a few minutes ago.

trini_pirate

Sorry but I can't waste my upgrade and go from 9700 to 9780. Nexus S here I come!!

luqe

What about Automatic Font Size Adjustment (AFSA)
is it exist on 9780 device ???

briswolf

I think it's really sad that RIM are missing opportunities to put out some great products. They obviously know how to make a phone in terms of hardware, I don't think anybody anywhere can argue with that, but when it comes to the software running on the phone I think they are just missing the mark. I think OS6 just makes things worse - the only reason I can see for using OS6 over OS5 is the browser - the rest of that awful OS is just there to pander to touchscreen devices like the torch. If I wanted a touch screen device I'd get an iPhone or an Android phone - the only reason I am using a BB is for that keyboard. Ergo RIM, please keep my OS snappy!

- Get rid of this menu->open tray nonsense. It is complete nonsense to make me click twice to get into the tray.
- Get rid of the views nonsense.
- Get rid of all animations. They just slow things down. Obviously trying to make consumers happy here. Get your target demographic sorted out please.
- Bring back the old full screen app list - it is much nicer from a visual standpoint IMO.
- Put the profile icon where it used to be on the home screen (i.e. top left: actually navigating to it on OS6 is now harder, on OS5 you could just swipe left then swipe up, click and press "A" for All alerts off, or "N" for normal. Now on OS6 you have to go up two spots then left - it isn't as instant and I really have to concentrate to get to it).
- Bring back spacebar to toggle flash setting in the camera app - why would you remove keyboard shortcuts I use every single day!

Lastly, RIM, here is what you need, nay MUST do if you want to stay in the smartphone game. Get rid of BIS. Yep, you read that right, get rid of it! The other guys who are killing you (Apple and Android) don't have BIS, and their web browsing is SUPER fast because of it. Maybe it is because I live in Australia - but quite often BIS browsing (i.e. not hotspot browser) just doesn't work for me, I have to try many times and in the end I will just do a google search for something and put the phone back in my pocket, getting it out minutes later to find it has finally gone where I wanted it to go. This whole argument that BIS is good because it does away with managing APN, direct TCP with carriers etc is nonsense obviously because all my friends with iPhones have never heard of APN settings so it seems this day and age it is all handled for you. Also it is now the future and data is cheap(er than it used to be) so you don't really have to compress my emails and web browsing to save a few bytes if it means my browser doesn't function at all. You can keep BES because it actually serves a useful purpose, but please, PLEASE, get rid of BIS, at least as far as web browsing is concerned.

greatscoot

Great review. I am currently running OS6 (344) on my 9700 and really like it. Seems faster than OS5. Hate the home screen views, really stupid. Like others am constantly finding myself in another view. Also how about putting Sepia or B&W option back in the camera. OS5 also let you know how many unread messages you had per email account (gone now) when that account was highlighted.

Probably going to keep my 9700 and go colorware.

Dinodeal

Great review, I have both the 9780 and Torch and totally agree about the OS6 experience on a non-touchscreen device, it can get annoying at times when it switches to a totally different window...still love the feel of the 9780 a bit more than the Torch.

joshua.worth

I'm a CDMA user but read everything and really enjoyed your BlackBerry6 re-review for non-touchscreen BB's. Somehow I figured out the scroll down thing right away on my 9650 but it takes too much of a swipe down its kind of annoying if I don't successfully swipe down and open the tray. Used someone else's 9330 on OS 5 the other day and I couldn't remember how to open the tray/full icon page. This after being a BlackBerry user for the last few years.. I agree the views being way to easy to scroll over to is highly annoying. Let's pray they(RIM) read this sites forums and your post and that they correct this non sense. No need for views at all in my opinion.

hakeem23

typo: 1) "... in my Torch review, so if you want further details here click on the lick below to jump.." lick = link.

2) "Key Reasons why I'd pick a Torch 9800 over the Bold 9700.. " 9700 = 9780.

Kevin, im planning to upgrade my bold 9000... i think i should go for Torch. I think. or maybe 9780? God. Okay Torch it is.

Mikey_D

I purchased a 9780, coming over from a 9000 and I Love it!

I must say Kevin, Your write up, is truly amazing!

Good Job!

Mikey_D

I purchased a 9780, coming over from a 9000 and I Love it!

I must say Kevin, Your write up, is truly amazing!

Good Job!

wazzu

At the end of the day, Bold 9000 is still the best....

droid2BB

Whelp for a first time ever BB owner/user, the BB bold 9780 is a winner! I'm a new converter from Android, and a lot of people don't understand it. The 9780 just takes care of my business better and more fluidly than my previous Android phone. Do I miss my larger screen? When I'm playing, sometimes...when I'm working (which is all the time), nope not at all. I can understand the gripe of the non-major improvments from the 9700 to the 9780 that won't make most upgrade. But being new to the BB world, I can say I'm in communications bliss. Android who? Btw, I tried 3 different torches in the store and they all locked up on me within the first 3 - 5 seconds of play. Killed that sale. I fell in love with my white Bold at first sight and never looked back. So no Torch for me. After having Android for what seems like for ever, I'm over the whole touch screen thing. Optical trackpad suits me just fine. Nice review!

Kevin Michaluk

droid2BB...great user name! welcome to BlackBerry. glad you're loving your 9780 (as i say, overall an awesome device) and sweet on going with the white one - definitely one of the hottest phones ever.

nouman kayani

sir i have blackberry bold 2 9780 when i have to put the battery i the cell only red light dispay for almost 10 sec then no result will be output through the cell phone how i have got tha whats the problem my e-mail adress is nomykayani99@gmail.com iam wating 4ur reply

ubizmo

I agree that OS6 needs a version customized for non-touchscreen devices.

I don't think anyone has mentioned that when you accidentally scroll away from the "All" tray, pressing the red hangup button brings you back.

You overlooked another fairly serious problem (in my opinion) that has been discussed in the forums. The OS6 webkit browser lacks Column View. This may not be a problem for devices with larger screens and pinch-zoom, but on the 9780 it means that it is often impossible to read the text on a web site without constantly scrolling from side to side, which is highly annoying. In addition, the browser no longer allows you to set its identity, so the user has less control over how it interacts with various sites. If the text on a site is formatted in columns, then the browser will zoom in and re-flow the text nicely. On most sites, however, this won't happen, and fitting a line of text to screen width will give you text that's too small to read comfortably. Try reading CB forums on your 9780 and you'll quickly see what I mean. So, while the browser tabs are nice, and the speed is better, in some ways the browsing experience is a step backward for me, coming from the 8900. This needs to be fixed asap.

coffee-turtle

Is anyone annoyed with BB OS6 narrow band of undimmed screen real-estate for the background wallpaper?

ubizmo

I am. I have no need for the added notifications bar. That seems like yet another "touchy" feature that is irrelevant on a keyboard device.

blockbuy

"You might just want to grab a spare battery for if you get low on juice at the end of the day from heavy device usage"

?????

My Torch lasts 2 days easy!!!!!

Brazen9000

Questions, for Kevin (great review) or anyone. I'm buying either the 9780 or the Torch.

(1) The CPU and Ram on the Torch seems "maxed out" running 6 with the big touch screen. Add a year or two of emails and I fear it would be no faster than my 9000?

(2) Yes 6 is a touch screen os - but plan on using my phone for years, surely I'd get used to it and master it? And with add on themes what's the long term problem?

(3) Given the small non touch screen, the 9780 is a pretty powerful device ram wise, look what the same ram has to deal with on the Nexus S! I think it won't get clogged up in a year or two's time like the Torch will and will have "breathing room" to cope with os upgrades down the line?

I'm just a little bemused by the lack of love for the 9780 and see it as the true sucessor to my Bold 9000, the next bold will be touch screen - my 9000 is not the genetic predecessor of any touchscreen :)

blockbuy

oh and arent the 9780 and Torch the same hardware/software just different form???

cathomas1972#CB

I am a Storm2 9550 user. Your review Kevin, of the 9780 points out why RIM still should put out the Storm3 or 2.5 whatever you want to call it. The Storm 9570 has the minor but useful improvements from the 9550 like the 9780 improvements from the 9700. A lot Storm1 and Storm2 users would upgrade to it. It is like cars when each model year have some minor upgrades of the interior, engine or features but still having the same overall look. And then one year they do a complete redesign! I think you hit it head on with the Blackberry to BMW comparison! When a new model year comes out whether it's a car or cell phone you have to try to resist to upgrade or decide to just go for it! Everytime I take my car in for servicing at the dealership and I see the new models in the showroom I of course want to trade in my old one after I sit in a new one! The same with Blackberrys when I hold the latest one in my hand I want to upgrade! RIM should keep putting out phones like automakers put out cars because somebody will want to and some will upgrade when given the choice. It's a cool approach!

altroy

I bought the 9780 last week. So far I like it. Compared to my 9700 sure it's a step up. Nothing over the top, but hey it is what it is. And I don't know why some people keep saying that they do not get a discount on phones until their 2 year contracts are up. I've been with tmo since high school, and I've gotten a discount every time. Now, my point is, that I change and do upgrades every year around the holidays and ALWAYS get the full 2 year contract discount. I got this one for under 50 bucks. (Yes, direct from tmo)

Also, I am still wondering about the wifi being N. I have a picture that I got the other day from the internet stating all the stats and wifi N is on it. If anyone would like to see that picture pm me. I can't remember the site I got it off of but I did snip the pic.

Great review.

campwallyf

I want that color wear case that you have, with the maple leaf. Where can I get it?

JeffreyVB

Once again, a steller review!! Like you Kevin, I am really digging the new battery cover on the 9780, are the covers interchangeable between the 9700 and 9780? I'd love to throw a 9780 cover on my 9700. Thanks.

ItsaRaid

Dear Santa- (The One that works at RIM or CB.Com)

Could use a really "Big Favor" Is there any way to have Rudolph, Blitzen or Santa drop off a AT&T Branded Bold 9780 for Christmas.? We just had the Chimney cleaned, so we wouldnt scuz up Santa's Nice Suite or Pristeen White Beard.

Dad really works hard, his 9700 has problems and really likes AT&T. Thought we would ask on his behalf-

No Corned Beef or Ham Please, were trying to get him to dump a few pounds. Even a tiny bit of AT&T News Confirming about the 9780 would be Cool.

Just in case you get "Cold Feet" we have a couple mugs of Gourmet Hot Chocolate waiting for you, Hmmmmmmmmm! even with whipped cream!

thestillwind

Great review it was really interresting. I have to say that I will keep rocking on my 9700 till something better get released. Thanks and continue like that.

ririeisdead

hi kevin (or any of u berries there..) i must admit, i never used a BB. Since the launch of BB9700, a ring of light came down on me..and made me thinkin, its time to move on from this retard Symbian shit. So.. i do started reading bout BBs and stuff.. and im still discovering.. im plannin to get myself a 9780 very soon! but this two main question of mine needs to be clarify, i really..i meant it, appreciated much!

1. Does BB9780 come by with a dictionary?its very important to me. Or is there any Apps tht can suppport it on ur phone?cos ive been using MsDict on Nokia for years,and i cant live without one.

2.Is there any other way to transfer contacts(Stored on my comp using PCsuite) to BBs device? cos i had a5xx contacts..and please dont tell me to write it all down one by one??

please...any berries cud answers fine with me. lots of thanx!

devilzlitangel

i have TMO and will be switching from my BB8900 to the BB9780. I never had the BB9700. I want the BBTorch but it's not available for TMO customers. Even if i get a BBTorch, it won't run on the TMO 3G network unfortunately. So can you tell me what i will be expecting between the BB8900 and the BB9780? Your video didnt compare the BB8900 to this phone.

joannawoo

I recently received a 9780 from Rogers when my 9700 stopped working and they sent me a replacement. It was a bit of a surprise but I'm loving OS 6. :) It's not so bad for me because I disabled home screen dialing and use a bunch of shortcuts to access most things. I don't have to open any of my trays since between my All, Favourites, and Media menus, those are all the icons I use.

crackcookie

OS6 def was made for touch screens in mind, I bet the next bold will be bigger and have a touch screen

I have the first two bolds, and I think I might wait until the next Torch comes out. I want that bigger screen but right now I think the Torch 1 took baby steps.

zazazone17

honestly, i dont care what anyone has to say about the 9780, its such an amazing phone and an amazing upgrade for any 5.0 user, yes there will always be an ongoing debate as to if its worth it or not but the way i see it is : if you are a 9000 user or storm2 user, chances are your upgrade is up pretty soon so go for the 9780 as it is the newest and refined blackberry out there, if you have the 9700 and want somthing more then go for the torch, but if you love your 9700 and want to see what the 9780 has to offer, then there is no debate, the 9780 is the best handheld rim has offered to date

Toxicity

I am extremely excited, monday I will be recieving my new 9780! I haven't had a new Blackberry sence my 8320 and so I just wanted to let everyone know! Extra happy!

ljcn

I've read a lot of comments about the 9780 and how little difference there is between it and the 9700. Having just made the switch from a 9700 running BlackBerry 6 to a 9780 I would point out that the html rendering on the 9780 is completely different to that of the 9700. The 9780 runs in a similar way to the Torch - anything sent in html is rendered that way, whereas the 9700 still renders the majority of e-mails (even if sent in html) in text form, with the usual messing about we have gotten used to from BlackBerry. This is good and bad - the e-mail on the 9780 can often spill over the side of the screen, but is faithful to the original - but it is certainly different.

Steve4745

I'm having a terrible time with the clock/bedside mode. I have it set to DO NOTHING and every time I put the phone in the cradle, the clock setup options page comes on the screen full bright.

Daarkwind

Kevin.....

FWIW.......

I dropped my 8900 curve to go Android, and frankly I am going back to Crack! Most likely going for the 9780, since it is an upgrade for me. Being with TM I lust for the torch, but not down for jail-breaking the phone to loose 3G on it.

Great review, see you in the funny pages.

drenio

Hi Kevin,

just got my 9780 last week. I was wondering how long can your 9780 get out of a single charge? Mine gets 2 days max, with the 3g network switched off. Is that normal? if so, why would they advertise 21 days standby time? My old 8320 gets about 3.5 - 4 days standby (same battery since new). Quite disappointed, honestly...

andre