Round Robin: TheiPhoneBlog's Final Thoughts on the Bold!

By Kevin Michaluk on 22 Dec 2008 09:58 am EST

[ This is an official Smartphone Round Robin post! Every day you reply to an official Round Robin blog post or forum thread on, you automatically gain an entry ballot for a chance to win a BlackBerry Bold, Spare Bold Battery, and Case Mate Second Skin! ] 

Payback time! Over at The iPhone Blog, editor Rene Ritchie has followed up his initial impressions video (which you can watch above) with his full-out BlackBerry Bold review. How did he fair? You're going to have to jump over to TiPb to read it, but let me set the tone with a quote from his introduction paragraph...

...I loved it and hated it. How utterly appropriate. Not to be too tale of two-cities about it, but it was both the best of the Round Robin devices for me and the worst. 

Rene even took the CrackBerry Kevin philosophical approach during his review and examined the BlackBerry Way of Life (which scares him!). Agree or disagree, Rene's review is definitely worth reading. Even I think some of his points are right on the money. Don't forget to drop a comment there for your chance to win an iPhone 3G or here for a Bold (you can do both!).

Topics: Video Editorial

Reader comments

Round Robin: TheiPhoneBlog's Final Thoughts on the Bold!


Have just got the Bold and what an incredible phone. Thought the 8320 was a good phone but the Bold blows this away. Apart from the touch interface, is there that much difference?

What can you say? You really just can't compare Apples and...BlackBerries! Two completely different fruits that suit different tastes.

Interesting perspective but bb users have control over just how much gets pushed to the phone and what we want to be alerted for. So for the most part I can adjust my bb experience to the degree of "crack ness" I want. I appreciate having that level of control to dial in the intensity I want or need. So if I wanted to be laid back bb user, I could be.

I'm glad that the reviews for the Bold are favorable. Everyone can find something wrong with any phone given a few minutes. So the fact that people have a few issues with the Bold is no big surprise. I'm just glad that the issues people find are small and most say they can live with them.

I do like that he did't rehash all that was already said. An original view point. I can't wait to get my own BOLD

I own the blackberry bold and it is a very very nice phone. I have owned the blackberry curve 8310 for over a year and this bold is faster, more clear, and easier to use.

I researched the iphone and the bold a lot before making my purchase, the iphone is just too tready for me. I wanted the iphone simply because of all the hype about it. I started researching this phone and found out that it did not do many of the basic functions that I need in a phone ie no picture messaging and no copy/paste functions. Also read that you have to use multiple pages on the keyboard to put a PERIOD at the end of a sentence. I am infamous for using "..." at the end of my sentences when i type text messages so hitting alternate screens 6 times to put 3 periods down was just another annoying thing about the iphone. Lastly I realized I wouldn't get to use my corportate discount (some companies have corporate accounts with AT&T) I work for a company that gets a 20% discount on my bill each month, by adding the iphone, that discount goes away, and my internet bill goes up from $30.00 (blackberry internet) to $45 (iphone internet charge).

SO hands down the blackberry bold won me over. It has the best screen resolution that I have ever seen on a phone to this day. It responds very fast to opening applications, it streams videos like "the office" and "espn". The espn streaming is not as cool as the Verizon deal, but i do get to watch highlights and other things on there. The 3G internet is blazing fast. EDGE is like dialup, 3G is like DSL. I can't wait for the next generation of the phone internet speeds, they will be unreal. I also downloaded the google maps program on this phone which uses the gps on the phone to map your location to your destination. That is amazing as well. I enjoy using my GPS basically for free, without subscribing to AT&T's gps package. The directions on text and not spoken like the at&t version, but for $5.99 per month, i can read.

Nice round up. I agree that the any Blackberry browser is still not as good as the iPhone's, but the Blackberry Bold still crushes the iPhone.

It all comes down to your needs for a smartphone. I think that is the point of the Round Robin overall. There are lots of options.....although I can't imagine what you would be looking for that would make you get the Fuze.....terrible device.

I know people who carry both a Bold and an iPhone. They love the iPhone, but need a good busines/e-mail device. So they use both.

Well we're gonna have a party
but we'd better put a guard outside...

If the folks come home
I'm afraid they're gonna have my hide!

There'll be no more movies for a week or two
no more hangin' round with the usual crew...

My-ma-my c'mon everybody!

It looks like he liked the Bold a lot, but it was not the right phone for his style of use. Just as you mentioned your perspective on the Storm two podcasts ago,the best phone is one that fits how you would use the phone.

True iPhone user trying to find anything negative to point out... its annoying... "Also, while I’m no BlackBerry ninja, I couldn’t find a way to quickly lock the device in the manner of the iPhone sleep/wake button. I could hold down the red phone button, but that seemed to actually turn the services off." How about you hold the mute button down and put it on standby? Is that not quick enough? His review sounded like someone who used the Bold for about an hour without reading a manual...

I think he is just a little too sold on the iphone. BB is a way of doing things that makes your (my) life a lot easier. Other devices haven't streamlined the way of doing this quite as good as RIM and think that makes the non-users just a little bit uneasy...Happy Holidays to All!

Good review but he clearly doesnt get the Crack and i think he completely missed the "on the go" philosophy, sure you could stop and start replying every single message that arrives on your Berry but thats not the point the beauty of it is that you dont have to, whitin a glimpse you could realize if a messege is important or not to reply to and that saves tons of time, people made the same argument when cellphones became popular "oh i dont want to be called everywhere i go, i need privacy!" it all comes down on how productive you want to be.

I love my Curve, and Would LOVE a Bold or Storm for the better screen, Being a 2 phone yeilder I'd take the Curve/Storm Combo over the Curve/iPhone combo, mind you I am an Always on type of personality,

I really like the way the review put it to the personality and life style over the form and function, the form and function debate has been pounded, YAA Bold has kick ass screen, and iPhone has multi touch, but why pick one over the other, and it is that desire for ALWAYS ON, that makes me a crackberry addict, I turn off audio notifications, so I only have the little red light blinking through my otter box at me, but even with out the light, I pick it up just to know I can message someone, or send and e-mail or surf a website.

The Review Pointed out a few things that are easily changed by the user.
The Annoying Voice Dail button, and Lack of Quick Lock are fixed with 1 item, re-asign the Voice Dial button with Keyboard Lock and you've solved both problems.

The Constant Pinging, Turn Audio Notifications off.

Being "Always ON" Set the Phone to Auto Off and Auto ON when you are not "on the job"

All in All it was a great review, far better than I expected from a Mac Fan boy. Usually they are very biased and singular minded, I guess Mac users have evolved in the last few years.

Other than Kevin's reviews... I truly enjoyed watching that video and reading Rene's final impression. Rene touched on a lot of my own gripes about owning a BB (24hour availability), but being a more experienced BB user, I know how to turn off and limit my availability when I leave the office doors.

Very well put and hat's off to Rene *applaud*

Other than Kevin's reviews... I truly enjoyed watching that video and reading Rene's final impression. Rene touched on a lot of my own gripes about owning a BB (24hour availability), but being a more experienced BB user, I know how to turn off and limit my availability when I leave the office doors.

Very well put and hat's off to Rene *applaud*'s just a completely different way of doing things.

As for the "crack" aspect, just change the profile to "Phone Only" and answer the messages on your own terms.

I wish a hybrid of the two would be created. I prefer the iPhone for games, Internet browsing (Safari), and general entertainment uses. I much prefer a BlackBerry for email, SMS, etc or business uses. Basically I can communicate better with the BB and its keyboard.

for my Dad! He doesn't want a touchscreen like the Storm, so the Bold is his best choice! Pick me, Kevin! :)

There just does not seem to be one device that will make everyone happy. They all have strengths and weaknesses.

It's a matter of function. If you need an iPod, then the iPhone is great. If you need a smart phone, then Bold all the way!!!!!

Great review but sounds a bit biased towards your love for the Iphone. All in all great phone and looking forwards to the full review.

I really think Kevin's right on the money here - it comes down to usage philosophy. RIM has adopted the utilitarian "add an hour to your day" approach, and Apple has taken the aesthetically pleasing "Apple Experience" philosophy.

BlackBerry and iPhone cannot really be compared because they are so different in many ways and are both offering differents features for differents smartphones users.

Great review.

I thought his review was on the money on a lot of aspects. However, push notification is a compelling feature when coupled with the ability to turn it on or off. At least you have the option of using it if you need to/want to!

This was a great review of the Bold from an iPhone user's view. The comparison pictures were really good as well.

The review was alright. It just sounds like he can't handle the life style of a busy professional. Oh well, it takes all kinds.

it was an alrite review...people who dont come from our world dont appreciate the bigger things that blackberry give us....blackberry 4 lyfe!!!!!

I've enjoyed reading all of the Round Robin reviews, especially because I'm new to the "smartphone" world. It's interesting to see individual preferences and comparisons - and I hope that developers and manufacturers will pay attention to consumers' favorite features when planning new devices. I can't wait to see what the next generation of devices will bring.

I'm thoroughly enjoying my Bold, and the amazing resources available from the CrackBerry community. I'm glad I waited for its release!

Now all I have to do is move my family and friends into CrackBerryLand . . . .

There will always be polorized views between the Blackberry and iPhone. I believe each attracts a different kind of person. It's just that the BB person will be the most satisfied.

the phone with no buttons...nope, just can not get passed that one yet. trying the sprint htc diamond and just a pain without my buttons, need the buttons man!

love the bold but still some issues with the phone that needs to be corrected. hopefully new firmware will correct these soon.

Im strongly considering the Bold as opposed to my Storm, which I do love, but there is just something about the Bold. But the cost of the ETF on Verizon, then 400 out the door for the device at ATT just doesn't make sense for me at the moement

That was probably one of the better reviews I've read on the Bold. I think he's right that RIM really needs to be working on a new OS.

I don't really think there is much more than can "tweak" and perfect in this version to make it different. Time to go back to the drawing board, but until RIM gets that out, I'm perfectly content w/ Blackberry. It still works better for me than any other current mobile OS out there.

Good review and perspective. Blackberry and iPhone both have different strengths and weaknesses. As they continue to compete they will develop their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses. Blackberry media & browsing has improved greatly, and the iPhone will even cut and paste one day. The competition makes both of them better, and I'm looking forward to the next round of improvements.

Not a bad review. He is leaning ever so slightly but needs to be Bolder. He just can't give up his play stick. Everyone needs the right phone for themselves.

I've really become a great fan of these Round Robins. Its really funny to see how everyone is unable to hold back the hate for devices that they don't generally blog about.

Its really almost pointless to talk about the iPhone as everyone knows just how awesome it is....but the Bold has really impressed me. It's maybe the phone that I wouldnt have thought would do it for me, but some how after watching these videos I've been converted.

The written reviews are definitely a lot better for me than the video (unable to view on pearl). Although I could watch the video reviews on a free Bold. Hint hint, nudge nudge.

Juuuust dropping by to say pleeeeaase, oh pleeeeaaaase give me this magical phone. I'll read the post, I promise.

I found Rene Ritchie's final thoughts on the iPhone vs Bold concepts both enlightening and thoughtful. I am a loyal Berry user. I carry an 8830WE of my own and a work provided 8800. I fully appreciate the gravity of the "Crack!" and at times dispise it. Having said that I can also say that I experience what could be called withdrawl when that red light doesn't blink after too long. It's a feeling of "Ok, am I missing something or darn nothing's happening." I have a colleague who owns an iPhone and if I am being absolutely honest the phone is impressive. On one occasion he walked from the front of the classroom to the back (a distance of 15 or 20 feet) and performed a google search on a particular video we were looking for and was playing it for all to see by the time he was at the back. Wow! All I could do was sit there and say wow. Granted I'm not using a BB Storm or Bold but Apples iPhone is impressive. Was it impressive enough for me to jump ship? No, I need my push email and my productivity tools. I would type more but my red light is blinking... Have to go.


I am one who still uses a BB8830WE (personal) and a BB8800 (work provided)smartphones. I found Mr. Ritchie's final thoughts both insightful and thoughtful. On a daily basis I can appreciate the gravity of the "Crack!" and know exactly what he means. Still, it is this crack that makes the BB experience so compelling. I have a friend who owns an iPhone 3G. Let me share how he flexed it's power. From the time it took to walk from the front of a classroom to the back of this classroom we work in he performed a Google search on a particular video we were looking for, loaded it, and played it for all to see. This happened in a span of approximately 20 seconds. All I can say is WOW! If I hadn't witnessed it with my own eyes I would have thrown all kinds of BS flags! Nevertheless, this media prowess does not translate into functional business class messaging and message management. The visual beauty and video capabilies of the iPhone 3G are impressive but not enough to compel this Blackberry user of 18 months to abandon a tried and tested method of conducting business. After all, it isn't the movies you watch that generate business it is the accuracy, availability, and expeditiousness in which you respond to customers and colleages that make you money. Just sayin.

My bad on double posting. On the first attempt I received some bogus internet explorer message indicating the messagee didn't load. In any case, my bad.

Interesting review, but I think that he missed the point. BB is not a toy like the iphone, it is for people who are (mostly) serious about what they do.

PS - and we can change our battery!

I previously had a BlackBerry Curve 8310, which I got in June of this year. I originally wanted the Bold, but it was postponed so many times. When the Bold finally arrived on 11/04/08, I spent $549 plus Tax to get it. I was so excited, and the phone hasn't let me down one iota. Knocking on wood, I haven't had the problems a lot had with the Bold's original platform, and I have not upgraded it to any other Beta OS. Bascially, a cell phone should serve the needs of the person buying it. Whether it is a BlackBerry or other company's phone, is not as important, (though I love BlackBerries!) as what features the cell phone has that can be used to best serve the needs of the owner. I have tried a lot of different cell phones, and I found the BlackBerry suits my needs, especially the Bold, but I would never knock any other company's phone, the way I would hope they wouldn't knock my Bold. I enjoy a phone that does what "I" want it to do for "me", not just for the sake of having a phone from any particular company. In conclusion, The BlackBerry Bold has served my needs and expectations since it's arrival in New York, and I'm thrilled it's finally here. :)

I'm Dieing here. I neeeeedddddd the Bold!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Out of all the phones reviewed I still think I'd rather have a Bold. The others attempt to look pretty and add certain bells and whistles, but the Bold provides both those and a stable system with good functionality and reliability. Now I just need to not be poor so I can get one! :)

That was a pretty interesting interview. The iPhone and the Bold definitely appeal to different demographics, but it's nice that both sides can openly acknowledge the good points of both.

After reading this review and the subsequent final thoughts over on the iphone blog, i found myself remembering being out to dinner recently and noticing a guy one table over with a new Bold. I mention that I "noticed" this because he didn't put the thing away for the entire time he was in the restaurant. He just sat there, eyes glued to the screen with (presumably) his soon-to-be ex-girlfriend sitting across from him trying to hold a conversation. When I say this went on for a good 20-25 minutes, I can assure you that is a conservative estimate.

I think this is what is scaring Rene when he looks into the life of a blackberry user. I just sat there and laughed. I have a storm, which was zipped up in a jacket pocket on my chair because I have a life, but this must be the poster child for crackberry addiction. I wish I had thought to pull out my storm, take the video and post it here for everyone. Oh well, I'm sure to catch another addict sighting soon so keep your eyes on the forums.

This could be the start of an interesting thread: "Random photos and video posts of the biggest addicts you can find." Kevin, if you're reading this, can that be a new contest? A little late for a holiday-oriented one, but how bout a good way to kick off the new year?

I like the review but I think these reviews should have some in-depth knowledge to the device before making it public. There are some very easy fixes that were complained about, i.e. not being able to put the Bold on a standby setting when all you have to do is hold down "mute" button.

I am looking forward to my Bold though, hint hint Kevin :p

I've been hearing a lot of polarizing responses to the bold lately... guess I'll just have to see for myself.

I've learned through this years Round Robin that the I use a cell phone and the way Rene uses a cell phone are completely different so anything he has to say about the Bold are probably irrelevant to me and will just piss me off.

Wow I was totally into the Bold, before this reveiw, the reveiwer made it seem like middle of the pack. I don't think he did his homework, to take full advantage of the bolds capabilities. I felt like he was pushing the iphone more than reveiwing the Bold. but hey that's why we have this round robin right.

Enjoyed the review. I kinda agree with what he mentioned regarding the BB's 'push' and how it almost forces you to do things right away. It can sometimes break a moment.

Good review I guess from an iPhone owner perspective... Still lacks the crack, but BlackBerry lacks something else... Looks like I still dunno what my next phone will be (hope it will be a BB)

Like a lazy person. Dont want the boss to be able to get a hold of you? hmmm. Well, maybe no one does, but sometimes its necessary.

Itunes all fun and games, which has its place.

Blackberrys business, but moving into the fun and games market now. I hope they keep taking this route. Fun is fun, but sometimes there is work to be done.

I have not owned a blackberry yet, I'm currently using a less than mediocre sidekick. Please save me from my misery! Thanks for the opportunity Kevin!

He liked all the meat of the Bold, but is stuck on screen size and the fact that he has to personalize his Berry for it to be the way he likes it. Aren't options great. I dont mind setting my phone up just the way i like it. I understand if it doesnt come out of the box knowing i dont want a pink flowery background. Leave that stuff up to me!

Picture this: Fashion show in Milan:
The models have Ismudges,
The designer and company owner has a Bold,
case closed,

Iphones are DeLoreans, cool but limited!

I just have to say the bold is much better than the iPhone. That's it, yes that is all I am contributing. I want one, though I'd much prefer the 8900 but I wouldn't complain.

I see his concerns..

and some of it I agree with completely.

I do think that when used in a personal sense its fine and not so intrusive. Some people love to have that at work as well.

As far as notifications go that is one of the big reasons I did not like iPhone ;)

Sadly I only ever had the edge version so I am not sure what it would have been like to have 3g on..

but all of these phones have there place somewhere..

The Bold definitely has the feel as a business class smartphone however I feel it could be used as a personal device very easily.

Thats why I hope I win one! ;)

Next time you mock the "Faux" leather back perhaps you should wash your hands cut and clean those nails.. I thought I was watching the wino at the downtown bus stop giving that review with them fingernails.

Of course, there will always be things that each writer misses most from their preferred device. Duh. Its why they HAVE their preference as their primary smartphone. I don't get how anybody can go accusing said writers of being biased, and then say its to be expected. No - the whole point of this is to show how users of other platforms react to the new environment they're placed in with another brand of smartphone. Having said all that... anybody else notice how the Bold seems to be doing quite favorably (generally speaking) amongst the other blogs?

He is an iPhone loyal. On his comments regarding notification and such, it would make sense to build a pair of new profiles. You get work level notifiations when you are working and personal level notifiations when you aren't. I guess it depends on who is paying for your phone (you or your job) and what their expectations and your job dictates as "work" time. If you get paid for 24/7 contact then you suck it up.

Looks to be the Bold kinda Took the I-Phone people by suprise... Just shows what a great product it is... Had to laugh that it made them jealous and yet despise the BB at the same time...

Hey I really liked the review of the Bold over at TiPb. I think he hit the nail on the head about the Blackberry lifestyle, although I don't think you become a slave to it to the point that the author eluded.

One point though. He talked about 'duel wielding' a BB and an iPhone as a solution to get the best of both worlds. I have another, 2-word solution to this problem...

Ready for this?...


I found his review very interesting. The points why peoplelove hte Blackberry were among why he didn't like it. It also seemed like he wrote mote about using Blackberry Messenger than the rest of the device itself (people seeing if you ahve received a message, if you are typing a reply back....).

I run my own business. My business lives and dies by e-mail and phone calls. Some e-mails need to be responded to quickly, others can wait. The blinking red light keeps me in business.

I did see how some of the things can be annoying (especially to someone who is used to the iPhone). That is soemthing that I love about the Blackberry - you can change things! Don't want voice dialing on a convenience key? Change it. Don't want the phone to notify yo uof new e-mails or messages? Change it. Don't want to press the Alt key just to get a period? Press the space bar twice and not only does a period display, the next letter is capitalized automatically for you.

I think the things Rene touched on were good. It just sounded like he didn't delve into the device deeply enough.

I have a iPhone 1st gen and instead of getting the iPhone 3G I wanted a phone with more to it. I like the iPhone for music, internet and pictures but hated it as a phone. And after all it is supposed to be a phone first as in cell phone. I researched the Bold and some other phones and it was Bold hands down. Now I keep my iPhone for my music and picture album and the free games I dl'd to it. But for everything else I am Bold. It is just what is more important to you. Both are good phones and different as night and day. I just found that with having the iPhone I do not care for Touchscreen. I know when the screen is dark buttons are not supposed to be pushed but somehow they were. It just got very annoying. But to the Touchscreen lovers have fun.

I disagree with Rene that with the Bold she feared every call was her boss calling. I'm pretty sure you'd get that feeling regardless of your phone.

The Cadillac of Qwerty -- sounds good to me! I liked this review -- interesting perspective on the Blackberry "lifestyle." I guess some people want that and some don't. My BB is primarily to keep me in touch and on top of things -- not to be a media player or whatever. So the BB lifestyle suits me fine!

I love the Blackberry and hate the Apple. It's that simple. I don't want to BE LIKE the apple people- can't stand 'em. I guess I have a thing against cults...

Haven't you heard? Radical Islam and Radical Apple fundamentalism are infiltrating everywhere- the death cults are spreading lol

Beware the Apple Death Cult...

Some valid points there, it just comes down to preference. I bought BB because I DID want to know when an e-mail arrives.

Some review, nothing new... just lil pet peeves to be expected from an iPhoner... i ain't mad at him.

can't stand how att has made some functionality difficult to access because they don't want to internally compete with the iphone...

with that said, if it wasn't for the potential for damaging the touchscreen, or the super crappy battery life, i might consider an iphone.

What a terrible review. Just because this guy still plays with Dungeons and Dragons toys doesn't mean he has to be quite so obvious about it. No, you're not funny. Sorry. And, no- your review was not useful.

. . . He's an iPhone guy. The things that annoy him about the Bold (like the blinking notifications or read receipts), if they annoyed me, I'd change. He thinks it great that he doesn't have to change settings on the iPhone; I think it's a shame that Apple makes the choice for me rather than letting me decide.

But I'm a BlackBerry guy. I'd choose the 37" HD over the 52" if the 52" only had a touch screen user-interface and no hard buttons.

I read his review and partly agree. I use my Blackberry for work and the notifications are essential. Most of us don't have the luxury of checking e-mail when it's convenient, we need to know ASAP. This is the old "pager" aspect of the BB world, and it is valid. If all I wanted was a portable media player, that would allow me to check the web, maps and allow me to check e-mail when it was convenient for me, the iPhone 3G is probably the best device for that.

Perhaps your "on the go" vs "stop and use" has another component. Need to use vs. use at your leisure. If you need to get your calls and e-mails immediately, and need to respond quickly, the Blackberry is the king. The Bold is an excellent leisure device now as well. The iPhone is the king of use at your leisure, with an emphasis on games, media and web browsing, but does have push e-mail. It's a decent "need to use" device, but not as good as a Blackberry.

to me it is stupid to compare a touchscreen with a non touchscreen. Oh yeah buddy In the pin messenger options you can turn off that option. Plus this guys voice is annoying with that corny fake message thing. get creative. we can agree that they are both good and fun phones. they are only going to get better..

...and am currently really impressed with the Bold. Its weak link so far is the camera: quality sucks but the controls are much better than the HTC's. Fast too. If this one doesn't pan out, its off to the iphone...

they both have their own advantages in their own different ways. just depends on what you are looking for. go bold :)

I'm here for my brother.
I'm a crackberry for life, and happily the owner of a Blackberry Bold. My brother, also a crackberry (and the one for whom I owe gratitude for introducing me to these wonderful devices) is the user of a worn, jaded, and dying curve. If I were to win a Bold from this competition, I'd love to be able to surprise him with it.

I don't really know what else to say.
I'd just love to win one of these mobile powerhouses to give him...
and if I were to win one of the acessories from this giveaway, I'd be stoked too!