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Device Reviews

BlackBerry 9000 Smartphone Review - Part II

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BlackBerry Bold Officially Announced!

By Kevin Michaluk on 12 May 2008 12:26 am EDT
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BlackBerry Bold 9000
[ See The BlackBerry Bold Review Series ]

Well my friends, it looks like we were DEAD ON THE MONEY. At the stroke of midnight, all of those publications under embargo have now revealed their BlackBerry Bold posts to the world and the BlackBerryBold.com website has been made live! They've also redone the splash movie at BlackBerry.com to include the Bold.

The Official Press Release is after the jump, and you can check some of the first impressions others have had at C|Net, PCMag and USAToday to name a few. All the specs laid out in our BlackBerry Bold Features & Specifications post is in here...starting with the BlackBerry Bold name and working down to the details: 128MB Flash Memory, 1GB onboard storage, native DivX support, iTunes via Media Sync, and More!

As expected, no firm launch date has been  announced just yet as the BlackBerry Bold 9000 is going through carrier certification, nor has any 'official' word on the lucky carrier to get the BlackBerry Bold first been provided --yet we all know it's coming to AT&T this summer :-)

And if you want a more hands-on look at the BlackBerry Bold, be sure to check out the web's first BlackBerry Bold 9000 Hands-On Review.

Press Release

RIM Introduces the BlackBerry Bold Smartphone

Top of the line BlackBerry smartphone features premium design and unprecedented performance; perfect for business professionals and power users. 

WATERLOO, ONTARIO--(Marketwire - May 12, 2008) - For customers seeking a smartphone that makes a bold statement, Research In Motion (RIM) (NASDAQ:RIMM)(TSX:RIM) today introduced the admirable BlackBerry(R) Bold(TM) smartphone. Crafted from premium materials, inside and out, that radiate elegance with a dramatic presence, the BlackBerry Bold is designed to give business professionals and power users unprecedented functionality and performance in an intuitive BlackBerry(R) smartphone. It is the first BlackBerry smartphone to support tri-band HSDPA high-speed networks around the world and comes with integrated GPS and Wi-Fi(R), as well as a rich set of multimedia capabilities. From its lustrous black exterior, satin chrome finished frame and stylish leather-like backplate, to its stunning display, sophisticated user interface and newly designed full-QWERTY(i) keyboard, the BlackBerry Bold smartphone is a symbol of accomplishment and aspiration.

"The new BlackBerry Bold represents a tremendous step forward in business-grade smartphones and lives up to its name with incredible speed, power and functionality, all wrapped in a beautiful and confident design," said Mike Lazaridis, President and Co-CEO, Research In Motion.

SUPERIOR PERFORMANCE

The BlackBerry Bold smartphone's support for tri-band HSDPA and enterprise-grade Wi-Fi (802.11 a/b/g) networks and its next-generation 624 MHz mobile processor make short work of downloading email attachments, streaming video or rendering web pages. The BlackBerry Bold also includes 128 MB Flash memory plus 1 GB on-board storage memory, as well as a microSD/SDHC memory card slot(ii) that is conveniently accessible from a side door. It comes with the renowned BlackBerry productivity applications, including phone, email, messaging, organizer and browser, and works with thousands of mobile business and lifestyle applications, making it easier than ever to stay connected, productive and entertained. With this powerful new smartphone, users can even talk on the phone while sending and receiving email or accessing the web, and download Word, Excel or PowerPoint files and edit them directly on the handset using the preloaded DataViz(R) Documents to Go(R) suite.

STUNNING DISPLAY

The BlackBerry Bold smartphone comes with the most vivid and bold display ever introduced on a BlackBerry smartphone. Its half-VGA (480x320 resolution) color LCD is fused to the undersurface of the lens, making images leap out with stunning definition and clarity. Pictures are vibrant and razor sharp, while videos play smoothly and web pages, documents, presentations and messages snap with exceptional quality and contrast.

DESKTOP-STYLE WEB PAGES

With its newly enhanced, high performance browser and high-resolution, ultra-bright display, the BlackBerry Bold smartphone gives users an on-the-go web browsing experience with desktop-style depiction. The trackball mimics a mouse, making it easy to navigate sites in "Page View" or "Column View" or to zoom in on specific parts of a web page, while various emulation settings allow users to choose between the full desktop-style HTML content and layout or the mobile version. Attachments can also now be downloaded from within the browser and there is support for watching streaming videos (RTSP - real-time streaming protocol).

RICH MULTIMEDIA

While it is designed to meet the extensive requirements of the business professional during the day, the BlackBerry Bold smartphone also caters to the business person's consumer side during evenings and weekends. It features a 2 megapixel camera with video recording capability, built-in flash and 5x digital zoom. The enhanced media player can display pictures and slideshows quickly, play movies smoothly in full screen mode, and manage an entire music collection. Audio can be played over the handset's dual speakers in rich, stereo sound, and when using wired headphones or external speakers, the media player gives the user an equalizer with 11 preset filters - like "Lounge", "Jazz" and "Hip Hop" - that boost or soften audio ranges to create the perfect ambiance.

For managing music and video, the BlackBerry(R) Desktop Manager software includes Roxio(R) Media Manager for BlackBerry(R) as well as Roxio Photosuite(R) 9 LE, which makes it easy to enhance pictures and create photo albums on the computer. For users that manage their collection with iTunes(R), the new BlackBerry(R) Media Sync application provides a simple way to sync iTunes digital music collections with the smartphone(iii). Support for High Speed USB 2.0 allows all files to be transferred quickly from a desktop computer to the BlackBerry Bold smartphone.

POWERFUL WI-FI & GPS

For even broader high-speed network coverage, the BlackBerry Bold smartphone supports the 802.11 a/b/g Wi-Fi standards, ideal for use in enterprise or campus wireless LAN deployments, over Wi-Fi hotspots and on wireless home networks. A new "Push Button Setup" is included, making it faster for users to connect to protected wireless networks that require a sign on process.

Through its integrated GPS, the BlackBerry Bold smartphone can pinpoint its exact location, supporting applications like BlackBerry(R) Maps and other location-based applications or services. With its improved rendering capabilities, faster download speeds and ability to support simultaneous voice and data, the BlackBerry Bold smartphone even allows users to navigate while on a call.

FIRST CLASS PHONE

The BlackBerry Bold smartphone features a new acoustic design that increases the size of the phone's audio sweet spot, improving listening quality and clarity. It also comes with numerous premium phone features including Speaker Independent Voice Recognition (SIVR) for Voice Activated Dialing (VAD), Bluetooth(R) 2.0, with support for hands-free headsets, stereo headsets, car kits (including car kits that adhere to the Bluetooth Remote SIM Access Profile) and other Bluetooth peripherals. It is a quad-band EDGE and tri-band HSDPA handset that supports global roaming(iiii) and features dedicated 'send', 'end', and 'mute' keys, smart dialing, speed dialing, conference calling and call forwarding. It also features noise cancellation technology that offsets background noise, a powerful speaker phone and support for polyphonic, mp3 and MIDI ring tones.

ROBUST EMAIL & MESSAGING

Like all BlackBerry smartphones, the BlackBerry Bold gives users the industry's leading mobile messaging solution. It works with BlackBerry(R) Enterprise Server, which enables advanced security and IT administration within IBM(R) Lotus(R) Domino(R), Microsoft(R) Exchange and Novell(R) GroupWise(R) environments, as well as BlackBerry(R) Professional Software for small businesses. It also works with BlackBerry(R) Internet Service, which gives users access to up to 10 work or personal email accounts (including most popular ISP email accounts), and the BlackBerry(R) Unite! software for SOHO and home users.

CONVENIENT ACCESSORIES

The BlackBerry Bold smartphone comes with a variety of convenient accessories including a stereo headset, travel charger, carrying case or sleeve and USB cable. Users will also be able to personalize their BlackBerry Bold smartphone by purchasing replaceable leather-like backplates that come in a range of colors. The removable / rechargeable 1500 mAhr battery provides multi-hour usage with a target talk time of approximately 5 hours and 13 days standby time.

Accessories for BlackBerry smartphones, including leather holsters and totes, charging pods, premium earphones, the BlackBerry(R) Remote Stereo Gateway and Bluetooth headsets, are available through retail outlets or online at: www.shopblackberry.com.

AVAILABILITY

The BlackBerry Bold smartphone (model number: 9000) is scheduled to be available from wireless carriers around the world beginning this summer.

For more information please visit: www.BlackBerryBold.com.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Bold Officially Announced!

43 Comments

Now i can at least go to sleep, knowing i can get this on AT&T "this summer"

Way to break this Kevin, you were on top of things since day 1 with the 9000.

Still can't get the Bold name, i'm liking the 9000 better still

I wonder if your mysterious data issue will be resolved soon?

Well done Kevin. Great to see dedication on your part. You spent 800 bucks on a phone that could have been a fluke but you went with your instinct based on Blackberries and crack. Well done, soldier

Finally released thanks a lot Kevin for the updates. Can't wait to see all the WES news.

As for the Bold I can not wait till this comes out I will be getting this for sure.

you guys are right, summer is too long to wait but at least I won't have to switch providers. Look forward to posting on the 9000 thread when I get one.

So looking back at my eBay 9000,

It Totally has the 1GB of onboard storage space. I just somehow never noticed it as it doesn't show up on the Help Me! screen.

Diving into Options > Memory, that page is now split up into Application Memory / Device Memory / and Media Card.

Boy o Boy...I said there's still things I'm learning about 4.2.2, nevermind 4.6, but that one was a big one to overlook!

Ahhh well, it's all good news!

At least you found it! Question then is, can you install apps on it? Then again 128mb flash should be fine to put lots of apps on. Good catch Kevin and we look forward to all the WES coverage!

Oh man, I can't wait until AT&T gets this phone. I want to be the first kid on my block to have the new BB Bold 9000.

Um, I LOVE my 8800 but I'm REALLY disappointed in the now even smaller screen size of the 9000. The chassis seems to be able to support a MUCH larger one by A) sliding the keys down much further, B) shrinking the size of the trackball/buttons that no one uses anyway, and C) sliding the logo up and smaller at the top, etc.

What good is a higher resolution display if it's now less than half the size of the faceplate? So now I can read even less text, tinier web pages, and smaller images...but at higher resolution? :(

They should be moving into more screen and adding touch capabilities to get rid of the aforementioned much too large buttons that no one uses.

Oh, and AT&T is the worst.

Pass, pass, and more pass.

So negative about this whole thing. B) shrinking the size of the trackball/buttons that no one uses anyway? what do you mean no one uses the trackball? How do you select your apps?

adding touch capabilities to get rid of the aforementioned much too large buttons that no one uses? Have you read any of the reports on touch screens there over rated. RIM is known for there qwerty keyboards. But to touch a whole new market they will come out with a touch screen just for you.

re: trackball - I use the wheel on the right side of my Blackberry. Why do I need a silly little trackball too?

re: screen size - I typo'd. I have an 8700, so yes the 9000 has what appears to be the same size screen at the 8800, but that still appears to be much smaller than my 8700.

re: touchscreen - well, you might want to read the comments by the RIM management. They've announced they're working on this because well, they are behind everyone else now (even the Chinese knockoff artists). I love my BB Qwerty keypad for email, but if you want me to use the BB as a media player, etc., you'd better start catching up with the times.

re: AT&T - if you lived in California, you'd know why AT&T is so despised. We drove them out of business we hated them so much...only to see them come back (in name only) with Cingular.

re: disappointed - heaven forbid I should state my honest opinion. I love my blackberry, but, if I'm being forced (for now at least) to go with AT&T to upgrade...I'm going to have to seriously consider the iPhone 3g rev.

Pretty sure you are the only one who is disappointed.

Is anyone else disappointed? Can we see a show of hands?

No? Yup it's just you.

Not sure about the "smaller screen size" comment. The 9000 has a LARGER screen and better resolution than your 8800.

I have an 8700. I typo'd too many 8s. So my comment still stands regarding the screen size regarding the 8700.

I am so sick of people bashing AT&T. I have not had one problem with them and their customer service has done everything I have ever asked them to do. I have newly joined up with them in NOV. 2007, had Verizon previous. I am sick of people bashing AT&T. Not every carrier is perfect everywhere, I had problems with Verizon but it doesn't mean that they are terrible and I won't bash them. You go with the carrier that works best for you. Stop being such a hater!

SoCal business users helped close AT&T's doors in this state. We hated them for good reason...and we still do. They earned ALL of our eternal wrath, so you might want to get off the high horse, hater. ;)

I agree; I have been with AT&T/Cingular for almost 10 years and they have done nothing but good with me. I find thier customer service great and they have the best coverage which is very important. They also always manage to get the best phones first which I appreciate since I am a user of theres.

I don't care what US company launches it, I am going to get it whatever. I just got the curve and they would be used for business only now!!! and the BOLD will be great addition. Way to go!!

I have goosebumps reading this!
I am so excited!
I wonder what the retail or 'upgrade discount' is for this?
I'm so ready!!!

I just got my curve and I love it with Verizon and its not even in most of the stores. Bold...whatever who can keep up?
It almost seems like blackberry is trying to be the next apple.

Anyone know what the plans are for launching on Rogers here in Canada or typically how long after AT&T launches Rogers comes out with new hardware? Gotta replace my dying 8700r soon, but I'd love to old out for a BOLD if it will last.

to whomever doesn't like the name and wishes it was just called the 9000... you should realize that in this post-Razr world, the lemmings out there need phones to have branded names to make them sound cooler and more familiar, so RIM has no choice but to follow suit as they have done since the pearl (as thought BlackBerry unto itself wasn't enough of a brand)

So, because some people find random numbers less human and interesting than actual product names they're suicidal rodents now? Don't go for that career in sales, advertising, corporate branding, business, or anything capitalism related, m'kay? 8P

Personally, I love the way the new BB Bold looks. I can't wait to get it. I have Verizon, even called EVERYONE I know htat works for them to see if they can give me a street date. Not even global tech support has even heard of the new BB Bold 9000 yet! So either two things is happening:

1. They're playing stupid! and just don't want to tell anyone.

2. They really don't know since I've even had to show some of the people I know how to work the 8830!

Also, I wonder, since you know how Verizon has a lock on all their shiot, if they're going to enable it for the whole WiFi? Hmmmm....Anyone? Anyone?

Kevin, any news on this? Insights?

I think this will be an excellent phone. I'm not worried about not having cheap gimmicks like other phone may have. Blackberry has built its reputation on rock solid and reliable technology and smart phones that actually work.

I too have Verizon, I don't think Verizon is playing stupid. They just released the Curve for goodness sakes! Do you really think the Bold will be on Verizon's horizon anytime in the foreseeable future?

For the person with the lemmings comment, you may need some historical perspective. Cell phone had names long before the Razr. I seem to remember owning a Motorola StarTac in 1995. It is only intelligent to market products in ways that are proven to sell them. Comparing people to rodents for liking a name for a product rather than a number is irresponsible and immature. Most consumer products sold in any industry have names, not numbers attached to them.

DrewDT:

I'm just impatient when it comes to phones! I was standing outside the VZW store when the 8830 was announced and streeted. I actually had EVERYONE in their store, including their data people working on getting the phone hooked up as they said that I was the first one who ever went into the store to get it hooked up. Duh! I was waiting outside at 8am! ((Yes, I'm addicted to my BB and my fiance HATES it)).

Anyways, I really hope they release the 9000 soon, although I really wish they'd let it be WiFi and unlock their phones for other apps that other providers allow their users to have and actually use.

I read that VZW is supposed to be opening up their market to customers by the end of this year, so maybe that'll help curtail the wait time for new phone releases? And possibly more avaialbility to apps and features?

Who knows, I'm still getting the 9000 when it comes out on VZW. Will take the day off from work to get it at the store! Good thing too, my contract is up this August and then I'll get that phone, give the 8830WE to the fiance, maybe get the Pearl or the Curve for our daughter... Hmmm... Possibilities are endless!

Has anyone released anything on the 9000 being World? or able to go World like the 8830?

Believe me, I am somewhat impatient too but I see a carrier like AT&T getting it first as a good thing. AT&T and it's users can beta test and suggest improvements to the Bold so when other carriers get it, the Bold will hopefully be more refined. It is a little disheartening to expect (due to past history) Verizon to not carry this for another two years. I hope it won't be that long but I am not holding my breath.

Kevin, do you think there is a chance that the 9000 will also be available to Verizon users as well this summer???

I am now the proud owner of a Verizon 8130 Pearl and have been saving up (as i am not eligable for any rebates/discounts)for the FINALLY released Curve. I am wondering if i would be wise to wait it out for Verizon to release the Bold? Any suggestions/ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I am eligible for an upgrade and my dad just got the curve which is a great phone, I love it. But should I just wait for the Bold to be released for Verizon or should I get the Curve now? Im leaning towards waiting?

I'm in the same boat as you regarding being out of contract and about to buy a Blackberry Curve....then I hear all this wonderful stuff about the Bold...what are you going to do? What other feedback have you received? Thanks.

Steve F

Oh Pu-LEEZE don't throw another exclusive to AT&T, the worst carrier in the known world. AT&T is awful- bad coverage, bad service, non-existent customer service... shall I go on? Give us a BREAK!

I currently use the BB Curve and I love it, but with the Bold being able to record video, I am totally getting one! I'm glad it's being released to AT&T. I know people bitch about their service (or lack thereof), but I've had them 2 years and never a problem with signal or service. Bring on the Bold!

they're not bad - just expensive! T-Mobile has the best rates for BB users and AT&T bends you over!

BlackBerry handhelds are integrated into an organization's e-mail system through a software package called "BlackBerry Enterprise Server" (BES). Versions of BES are available for Microsoft Exchange, Lotus Domino and Novell GroupWise.