WMExperts Final Take on the BlackBerry Bold!

By Kevin Michaluk on 21 Nov 2008 01:16 pm EST

WMExperts final take on the BlackBerry Bold!

[ 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! If you somehow still don't know what this is all about, visit!!]  

Our Windows Mobile-loving pal Dieter has packed up my BlackBerry Bold and shipped it off to our Treo-loving gal Jennifer. Now without CrackBerry, Dieter has posted his final thoughts of the Bold and his BlackBerry experience in a very detailed, must-read review (even RIM should read this one!).

Overall Dieter is much happier with his BlackBerry experience this year than he was with with the Curve in our first Round Robin, but he does take the BlackBerry OS to task with some pretty pointed remarks, namely by saying the BlackBerry Bold is the Treo 650 of the BlackBerry Ecosystem. Looking at where Palm is today, it's a pretty bold statement to make... we've all seen where Palm has gone since that device came out. You'll want to head over to and read the full review. Be sure to leave some comments on behalf of CrackBerry Nation. And in case you missed Dieter's initial impressions video on the BlackBerry Bold, we have that after the jump. Enjoy the show!!

Windows Mobile Lover Dieter on the BlackBerry Bold

Topics: Editorial

Reader comments

WMExperts Final Take on the BlackBerry Bold!


Be warned, AT&T 3G service is terrible. I bought the bold, and because of the poor signal quality, Im returning it within the 48hrs of buying while i can still get my money back

As I said on the wmexperts page, Bold is more of a contender this year than the curve was. RIM has made some big strides in a short amount of time.

Overall, I don't agree with his comments of this being the BB equal of the old Treo 650. Honestly, I used a 650 for several years and was a BIG fan of PalmOS, but my Curve is WAY better than what my 650 ever was. And the Bold is a huge leap on that from what little I've been able to play with it since I don't own one yet.

I'm sorry, Palms cannot touch BlackBerry(nice pun... palms..hands...touch...ok i'm lame).

but i'd sure like a Bold!!

I think he did a fair job on the review. I can definitely see people missing the WinMo Today screen, it's a nice feature and it's highly customizable.

There a BlackBerry apps you can buy but they're not quite as good and they don't quite work the same way (you can't make some of them the default thing you see when you unlock your phone).

However, his review gave enough insight that I'm more encouraged to upgrade my Curve to a Bold rather than wait for the Javalin.

I think I am ready to go BOLD. I have been waffling with the decision of Javelin or Bold - but I like what I saw here. And as a former WM user - WM is slow. SLOW. I can't wait to have a fast Bold.

Not a bad review at all. As a user of both WM and BBOS I think both have their place just depends on what you want from the phone.


how can one even find their way around on a Palm OS. at least you know what you are doing and how to do it on the awesome BB Bold and Blackberry OS.

I am an advid Blackberry fan that switch over from the Treo to the Curve and now have upgraded to the Bold. The treo cannot touch the Bold in performance, speed, or picture quality. Even tho some things he said were true (very impressive review) but no way is there a comparison!!!

I guess I could clarify: I didn't mean that the Bold and the 650 as phones were similar, just that in the histories of the companies and of the platforms, I wonder if the Bold will be the in same place for RIM that the 650 was for Palm.

Good, balanced, and fair review. I agree with Dieter, in that while I love my Blackberry 8800, the OS is still something that needs to be revamped from the bottom up. The reviews of the Storm is a good reminder of this. The inclusion of a "Today Screen" would be really nice as well.

I can't remember the number of posts in the Themes forum that simply ask the Theme Creator if they can post a version of their creation in a "Today" format. And even then, the formatting is...just not right. Too much spacing, almost ugly at times, and certainly not the most information you could fit onto the screen.

All that said, I still want a Bold. Right stat!

Im sure they didntlike our review of their fone...its all each to his own. We love BB's and they love the Palm...Meh as long as we're all happy with our fones who cares!

Well, I'm sorry to hear that Dieter hasn't seen the light... :) I went and played with a Samsung Behold today but I just don't hink I can do touchscreen. I will wait for my Jav and after that whatever hybrid comes clong...

I still think the Bold is the best blackberry for me. But unfortunately, T-mobile does not support its 3G and AT&T will never get my business again.

If the bold was on verizon, I would have one today. Went in for the storm, tested it out, gave up. I will wait with my good old Treo 700P. The curve is tempting me but I really want the bold. Can't switch carriers though.

As a few others have stated, I also disagree with some of Dieter's comments. But I must say, he did a very thorough and detailed review of the phone. Gotta give him credit for that.

The BB OS can be confusing at first to figure out settings, but in reality, it only took like a day or so to really get it down pat, and from then on it's been golden. I used a couple of Winmo devices in the past, and they've never given me as much information, as quickly and easily as my Curve.

It's by no means fair to say that the Bold is the Treo 650 for Palm. I had a Treo 650 and although it was a good phone by no means it is better than a Curve, much less the Bold. The Bold is in the cutting edge of cellphone technology right now.

After all the "Storm-chasing" and research and being disappointed by some of the functionality of the Storm after having some alone time with it, I have decided to wait it out and possibly wait until the Bold/Niagara? comes to VZW. Unless, of course, I win a Bold on here. Then I won't have to wait.

The bold looks nice might be a good alternative if I decide I don't like the give it a test drive first!

As a previous Windows Mobile user (albeit WM5 and not WM6), I appreciate the review but couldn't disagree more with the end analysis. I used to have an HTC 8125 with a slide keyboard and it served me well for a long time. When it came time to upgrade, I looked at my other WM options and also looked at jumping ship to the Curve. The more I learned about what a Blackberry was capable of doing and the ease at which a power user could do it with all of the tricks, it was a "no brainer" to jump ship. My problem was that the Bold was already announced, so I waited and waited and waited (you get the idea) until Election Day and cast my ballot for the Bold (after I cast me other ballot). The Bold has exceeded my wildest expectations and is a rock solid device. My battery life on 3G is far better than my old HTC 8125 hoped to ever provid or what I understand the the HTC Tilt provides. The browser is much better than what WM5's or WM6's is, albeit I have to concede that the iPhone 3G's browser is best in class. There is no waiting for the Bold's processor to catch up with me since it is lightening fast. I can type faster, I can be more productive, I can almost rule the world (at least my world) with it! I don't understand how Dieter can say the Bold is less powerful and less customizable (see the Pros & Cons section of his review). I find the contrary to be true, and I am now a true convert to the Blackberry way.

I wonder how many of the commenters actually read it. Many teed off on the quote, "BlackBerry Bold is the Treo 650 of the BlackBerry Ecosystem," failing either to read or to understand that, as Mr. Bohn was kind enough to clarify in his comment here, he was using the Treo 650 as a metaphor, not comparing it to the Bold.

As they say, to each his own. That's why they make Fords and Chevys. I used to love WinMo -- till I got my first 'Berry.

This is such a refreshing review of the Bold compared to the absolutely and unnecessarily sugar-coated reviews from Kevin. When it comes to the Bold, Kevin has lost any sense of impartiality.

I believe that the Bold is not a particularly innovative or impressive phone, and will not enjoy the widespread success of the Pearl, Curve, and Storm.

Looks like a really impressive phone. I hope we will have access to lots of 3rd party apps like the apple Iphone.

Im confused as to how the BOLD is less customizable. Wasnt dieter holding a one of a kind BOLD? Anyway, it was a good review from an (un)biased third party lol

I completely agree with the Operating System robustness ratings, and putting RIM next to the bottom.

Palm made the mistake of waiting until their OS was already out of gas before they started the multi-year effort to replace it. They pretty much went out of business in the process.

I hope that RIM has already started working on a replacement for the BB Operating System.

after trying the storm out yesterday, my experience just went on to put in stone that the bold is the best bb out there.

Now that the storm is out...I would love to see an in depth comparison of the bold and the storm...because while I was very excited about getting the bold the storm has caught my eye as well!!!!

I have to say, after watching all the first impressions video's, Kevin was the only one interesting when he spoke. I couldn't even make it through any of the other video's (even the bold) i was so bored...

Having a today theme helps, but it still seems lacking in comparison what's available on the default today screens on some Windows Mobile devices (coming from an HTC Tilt here). The today theme calendar restriction to the one listed under Default Services needs to be addressed.

That said, I appreciate the stability of the BlackBerry OS over WM, the lightness of the curve, and the instant email can't be beat. The battery life is so much better too. I'm looking forward to upgrading to a bold.

I have to chuckle with the WM users touting the superior Exchange access with their phones, when for quite some time, the only wireless way to get your Exchange e-mail was with BES.

It's interesting to hear what users of others phones think about the Bold. Blackberry was my first ever smartphone, so once I got the hang of how everything worked, I loved it. However, when you switch from one platform to another I think it is harder to get used to because you are constantly trying to do things the way your other phone did them.

i've always liked blackberrys, they alwasys seemed like the high end type of phone one would buy if they wanna feel important or something lol they look great w/the full qwerty and BOLD just seems to pull everything together pretty nicely

The video was informative tho as as BB user, it seemed redundant. The video was too long. Yet, I want one after seeing this tho my contract is only half way through.

the comparison to the treo is way off but other than that he did an extremely fair and well researched review!

This review is the one that I have been looking forward to the most, since in my family there is a big Blackberry vs. WM battle. Me, my sister, and dad are all on Blackberries, whereas my mom and other sister are on the WM, so I've been looking forward to how the WM looks at the blackberry, and how a blackberry user looks at a WM phone.

All I want for Christmas is a Bold. My piggy bank is getting full and its almost time to upgrade my beloved Pearl to the Almighty Bold. I'm glad Rogers has it up here in Canada. Their rates are actually much more reasonable than say a year ago.

It has come way way down! I've worked in cellular for the last 3 years. One year ago, you'd get 2MB for $25 bucks, now, you get 500MBs! Add 5 bucks and you get a whopping 1GB! I'd LOVE to see a blackberry user go thru that.

I think dieter liked it alot, and was still in denial about how much easier it is to run. I wonder if he missed the crashing of WM as much as the homescreen? lol

Maybe I should tattoo a Bold with WinMo sucks. haha jk
But I am glad to see someone love BlackBerry even though they love another kind of phone.

I need to leave this here so I can enter to win a BB BOLD
After I leave this here I will then go over to WMExperts and read the final review of the BB BOLD that Im going to win. After I win it I know that I will just love my BB BOLD.
I will be proud to brag about it and be a walking and talking advertisement for the BB Bold and
I think all of my fellow members would want me to be the winner. I must go now so I can read the review.

I think Dieter gave it a better review then most would give HIM credit for, much better then last years curve review, with the Bold and it's improvements I think Dieter finally "gets" what it is about a BlackBerry that a BlackBerry user loves, while tossing in it's faults from a WinMob users perspective, he also gave us a glimpse of what it would take to make him a BlackBerry user, which aside from a few minor issues, is not verry much and is highly possible some day if RIM shaped out those small details.

Using a Curve past year and a half or so, first 8300 then 8310. Bad luck with 8310s, having gone through several warranty replacements. Also tried going to WinMo with the AT&T/HTC Tilt most recently (I have a one day used one and a brand new one that I do not want, if that is any indication of what I think of those), and the touch screen drove me nuts.

Being a RIM user since before BB when RIM made 2-way pagers (with many BB-esque features), it was hard to adjust to everything. Even the slide-out keyboard on the tilt was no match for a BB QWERTY. I can type with 1 hand with the Curve, but since Tilt's kbd is landscape formant I could not do the same with it. I guess I am a BB lifer.

I picked up a BOLD on the 4th after voting and on the way to the hospital for reconstructive surgery on my leg that got shattered in a freak accident the day before. Hell, I needed something to keep me occupied for the week or so in that place!

I am not crazy about the keyboard. It is slick and smooth and cool looking, but the keys are not individual feeling (or looking) as on the Curve. Then my battery started draining fast when I linked up with the hospital's WiFi patient network.

Got home, still not as easy to type on it, and then started having problems accessing the web. The hourglass would come up and the system would just have a tendency to wait before doing anything. This was especially prevalent when answering calls. Speed dialing was also a PITA. Press and hold the applicable speed-key, and then the phone would start ringing, after which one would hear the simulated DTMF tones that announce the dialing of the quick-call. Doh!

When accessing the internet, the progress bar would show progress and the text "Requesting" but requested page would never connect. The phone shows a 3G connect and full signal strength, voice and SMS messaging work just fine.

I took the offending Bold back to AT&T, and exchanged it for a different one. No problem, no hassle with the transaction, just not sure what to do.

I have not yet even opened the box on the new Bold. I have been using the Curve while waiting for someone to drive me to the store to do the Bold swap. Now, am deciding whether I really like the bold enough to keep it, or sell it with the new Tilts.

I am sure someone here can elaborate why -- without just reading off the features list -- the Bold is better than the Curve and why I should keep the BOLD over the CURVE.

As for the review... I have yet to see a WinMo device that can really go toe to toe with a BB. The question for me is whether the Bold really is a step up and a reasonable replacement for an almost new 8310 Curve.

I love my Bold. The Curve was great but this BlackBerry is one you'd take to a Tuxedo only party. It just has a extreme amount of class.

Had a palm awhile back for about and hour and blackberry far exceeds palm and windows mobile by a long shot!

I am quite surprised, especially coming from a WM Expert user, with the good review the BB Bold browsing experience got. Again, coming from the outside, it seems like BB really improved its browser which is good news for them... and us, BB users.

Second, not so surprised though with the complaint about not being able to tweak (custom-controlled ???) the BB OS; after all, isn't that part of the very fundamental philosophy behind Windows, being able to adjust and control the OS at will or almost? Although, one might say, it comes at a price... getting into problems and all by messing with stuff you don't really master!!!

i like this review. just informed me a lot about the bold. Good job on the review! You can always count on the experts

I really want to get a Bold, My father already has one! But from reading your article based on positives and negatives, it really is very informative. To be fair i have to agree with PRIMECHUCK's worthy comment "I don't think you should buy a product pay to use that product and than have to pay a third party for thier product to make the product that you first bought work properly." I dislike it too. I really love the Bold though :) I tend to agree that it is also as the 650 mentioned in the article. Great review and i also like the new Palm Pro, though would prefer a Bold above any other phone and Storm for that matter!

I love the idea of the newest phone and newest bb os...anyone have any idea of how much larger than the curve?

Another day, another post. It is nice to see that as time goes on, more people are trying in the contest. At first, very few ventured out to comment, even if it was something substantial.

This was a nice review, but I believe the BOLD is better than Palm 650.... Blackberry BOLD outdose any device that I have used; hands down..... I could use a BOLD, so pass it here because its mine! I would use the BOLD to the Fullest, like I use my Curve.. I have to charge it twice a day to make sure that it is charged... By the afternoon (12pm) I am at 35%.. When I get off of work by 4pm I am at 10% and I can email, tmt, mms, email or make calls, due to the wireless signal is off... I have to wait 20 minutes for the wireless to turn back on while I am driving on the eway... So, by this I am a heavy user of my BBCurve 8310... Need the next generation BB, which is the BOLD... This article does nothing to stear me away from getting the BOLD... I am not a fan of this Storm version of a Blackberry. I can not even understand why RIM stupped to the level of Apple to make a touch screen.... I would stay with what most Professionals rely on his the touchpad (QWERTY). I am a loyal BB user and I stand by the QWERTY pad all day!

I don't Blame Dieter for having Bold love, It's a fantastic smart phone. If anybody I know would actually buy it for me it would be on my xmas list. But seeing as nobody will, I have resorted to entering contest after contest on Crackberry in order to win one. I am hoping that someday soon I can GO BOLD!!!

Good review, although he keeps bringing up the lack of "settings" and not enough buttons. IMO keeping it simple and having one button(the BB button)to do most options is what sets BB apart. Sleek & Smooth not all that clutter.

If I win for a Bold, I'll be sooo thrilled to pass my curve to my husband who currently uses the Treo (eww). I wouldn't even touch his Treo if he needed me to read a msg or something!! I also pointed out to him that if he gets my curve, he'll be in more contact since most of our friends uses a blackberry and prefers to use PIN for communication as he only uses sms on his Treo which most of my friends don't have/like sms.

That was one of the best reviews I have read, I watched the first video a few days back, & I just finished reading the entire review today. The only thing I hope Dieter is wrong about is that this might be the "treo650" of the blackberries. While that sounds wickedly awesome, it also is a downer because it says to me that the Storm is an evolution and not a revolution. I have very high hopes for RIM's latest device. Having a curve and a world with me, as well as an iphone at all times(yes they all work) it saddens me that RIM's latest device does not stack up against the Bold. I'm thinking of replacing the World with the Bold, and the curve for a Storm, and I want to retire my iphone... I've played with the Bold (a lot of my friends have it) and it is definately a beautiful machine... I guess I'll reserve final judgement when the Storm hits canadian markets.. until then, Thanks Dieter for an awesome review

da bold is hands down da best smart phone :c) of course this is a bias view since ive only owned da bold ;cP

Dieter provides very solid reviews that explain the differences in the devices well. I'm a BB user due for an upgrade. Do I get a Bold? Switch to WinMo with a Fuze, Epix? I'm the perfect target market for this round robin. We all need to think about what we need the smartphone to do. So far, I've stuck to phone, e-mail, calendar, and light browsing. My 7130c has no media capability. Do I need it? Want it? I do want to edit Office docs...but both do that. I understand blackberries, but I've used Windows since 3.11, so WinMo is fairly intuitive as well. I'm waiting for Kevin's final review of the Treo Pro, and to see his take on the Fuze.

Kevin, the other four final reviews were all in a couple days ago. Where is yours? I'm curious to see how it fared with a BB fanatic.

I like seeing experts/fanatics of other types of phones giving a good review of the Bold.

I would have bought one already but I'm hoping it will drop in price sometime soon. A free one would be even better :-).

I love my bold (got it for free from the BB Storm Contest!!! : )) and after testing out the storm yesterday I'm really happy with my choice. If you don't want AT&T then get it unlocked. I think it would be worth the money

Wow, he meant that the bold is revolutionary to blackberry like the 650 was for palm, not that the bold is just like the 650. Education, folks, it's a beautiful thing. I have a bold though, and it is pretty awesome.

I am looking to upgrade to a smartphone but have never owned one before and so far I have narrowed it down to either the Bold or the Q9h but can't decide from there. I was hoping to get some advice on which would be better for a first time smart phone user that doesn't want to pay a fortune monthly for its services. Whats your opinion?

This review was pretty well balanced, but put too much emphasis on the Bold's shortcomings, and made little mention of Windows Mobile's shortcomings.

I had a MotoQ. Got it around February of this year. It came preloaded with 6.0, and I eventually upgraded to 6.1. I was a great phone, but its quirks and shorcomings had me longing for a phone that worked for me; not the other way around. I spent too much time fiddling with and fixing the Q, leaving little time to actually use the device.

I've been carrying a BlackBerry for work for a couple of years now. I started off with the 7130e, and shortly after getting my Q, upgraded my work BB to the 8830. Had the upgrade gone in reverse, I would most certainly have grabbed a BlackBerry for personal use. The 7130 was sorely outdated and an overall nuisance to use. The 8830, on the other hand, has been a pleasure to work with.

I eventually got fed up with my Q and sold it, and used that money to buy a Curve (8310). (Consequently, the person I sold it told has since sold it and bought an 8830).

In an attempt to fix the Curve of its previous owner's abuse, I made the problem worse, and the phone was pretty unusable (I'll refrain from saying something along the lines of "It was like using WinMo all over again!" ;)

I have since ponied up the cash for a Bold. This is, in my opinion, the epitome of BlackBerry perfection, and close to the epitome of cell phone perfection. It does everything I want it to do and more, and IT JUST WORKS.

I'm a tech by trade, so I spend 60+ hours of my week fixing various technical problems. When I get home at the end of the day, I don't feel like futzing with MY stuff to get it to do what I want it to do. It's why I run Windows instead of Linux, and it's why I use a BlackBerry instead of a WinMo device. Life is too short to spend 50%+ of your spare time fixing the very devices that are supposed to be making your life easier.

WinMo is a great OS, but it has a long way to go before it can even hold a candle to BB in terms of stability and ease of use, which is a bit sad, considering that WinMo has been around a lot longer than BBOS. That's Microsoft's M.O., though. Windows took forever to surpass Linux and MacOS in terms of stability and security, IE still hasn't passed Firefox, Opera, Mozilla or any other serious competitor, and WinMo only beats out PalmOS because Palm fell asleep at the wheel a looooong time ago.

PICK ME! PICK ME! PICK ME!! I feel that I should have it. Why? Because like everyone else thinks they should:

I want it!!! I want it!!! I want it!!!

I so love my Curve 8320... But a Bold, how so very nice that would be: The proud owner of the Bold.

Thanks... I'll be looking for it in the mail.

I don't agree with his comments about wm devices allowing faster app selection.

How to turn on Application shortcuts:

phone app
menu - options
general options
change dial from home screen to "no"
save & close

Now if you need to make a phone call, press send (FIRST) then the # keys. Other then that you can jump between apps easily:

A: address book
L: Calendar
T: task
D: memo

Highlight an app and if there's an underlining letter that's the short cut key.

but I think it is way ahead of the Treo and I like the Palm OS. The main thing that stuck out to me is that he noted the speed of the OS. That was key to me picking a BB over a WM device as well as the simplicity. I also agree that we have to adapt to the BB way rather than the other way around. I'm ok with that though.

oh man, i want a blackberry bold sooo bad... i wonder if the retail price will come down now that the storm is being released...?

Man I love the way this phone looks and works! But I cant decide if I should get this or wait for the 8900. I dont have 3G where I live so that isnt the most concern.

A very interesting an insightful review. I enjoy seeing a regular smartphone user review our phones without the rose colored glasses that we all have. I must say, I agree with most of what he complains about, but to me they are not deal breakers.

Although I love VZW's network coverage, I shudder to think what they'd do to the Bold if it ever got ported. No Wi-Fi, locked GPS...blegh