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My BlackBerry Bold Experience So Far

I received my shiny new Bold on Saturday. I was soooo excited. After waiting over so many months filled with delays, it was finally here. I thought it would be nice to share my personal experience with our fellow readers.

The unit feels a tad heavier than my Curve 8320, and of course it is wider. But after a couple of days worth of usage, I don’t mind the size, as I love the screen size/resolution. The new screen resolution (480×320 vs 320×240) makes a lot of difference. It is easier to browse the web sites, do remote desktop connection to my machines, or simply reading RSS feeds. What I noticed though is that some applications are not designed for this resolution and show very tiny font sizes. I guess in time more apps will be compatible fully with this resolution.

The keyboard felt weird as the keys don’t have any spacing between them, it took me a while to get used to it. After that, I was back at full speed with no typos. The buttons beside the trackball are flat, making it harder to roll the ball.

After finishing my Enterprise Activation, I started to install my apps. One of my favorites is the Telmap Navigator. They had a beta version for the 480×320 resolution and installation went fine. To tell the truth, all my favorite apps installed just fine. But to my surprise, the icons were missing. It turns out anything you download and install goes to the new Downloads folder. After figuring that out, I moved on. I tried the GPS and it locked on to my position in less than 30 seconds.

Moving onto connectivity, bluetooth and wifi was nothing new, but 3G was the part that got me excited. I have seen upwards of 1.3Mbit/s around my home which is far better than 2.5G Edge speed. I need to test it further when I am within better 3G coverage. One note here, if I set the Mobile Network to use 3G and 2G, it usually drops to the Edge network, whereas forcing it to use 3G, I get 4 bars. And when you force it to 3G, it automatically reboots the unit without any warning. Interestingly, switching it back to 3G and 2G did not require it. And it looks like whenever it drops to Edge, it doesn’t easily switch back to 3G. Most of the other 3G devices I used (from Windows Mobile to the 3G iPhone) have no problems with it. Also, doing a Network Diagnostics test drops it to Edge somehow. Weird.

The camera takes better pictures compared to the 8100 or 8300. The little flash led works OK with closeup pictures, but it is nowhere decent for being a flash similar to digital cameras. It would never replace my digital camera, but a camera on a phone you carry around can come in handy for those impromptu pics.

One of the major concerns I had with the unit was the battery life. With regular usage, it lasts me two days, which is more than enough for me, as I tend to charge my devices at night before going to bed. So even with heavy usage, it should last me the day.

Overall, I am happy with my Bold. I highly recommend it. If you have any questions let us know!

9 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Nice stuff :-) Have to wait when its on T-mobile. There will be software upgrades fixing alot of issues that are here now.

  2. That 3G/2G awkwardness is puzzling. Almost makes me think there’s a bug in the firmware…or else some pretty sloppy programming. Why else would the Bold force you to actively manage your network? On the other hand, making it slightly harder to use 3G might save some battery life…so, silver lining there?

  3. Hi Sems, where did you get yours from?

  4. T-Mo already released .126, and AT-T is testing .134 as final release canditate, which I am about to install.

    Dave, on almost all 3G machines I used, there is an option to select auto, 3g only or 2g only. So it is nothing new. For example you might be traveling to an area where there is no 3G coverage and leaving it at auto (or 3G/2G in our case) will spend more battery as it will look for 3G towers from time to time.

    Ronen, it was from your neighborhood Rogers store :)

  5. @Sems: Sure, I’m aware of that. Being able to select your service based on current needs is an excellent thing. I was referring to the problems the Bold is having switching automatically between the two. If setting it on auto means that “it usually drops to the Edge network…And it looks like whenever it drops to Edge, it doesn’t easily switch back to 3G” even though “forcing it to use 3G, I get 4 bars” that’s awkward. Not a deal breaker, though.

  6. True, I’ll report how .134 behaves in an hour, installing it soon

  7. Seems like there is not much change in regards to radio, once it drops to Edge, it never goes back to 3G.

  8. Where did u find the TelMap Navigator beta? Just got minr from Rogers too and want to test that out… Thx

  9. I am one of their beta testers. It is in closed beta for now.

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