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I've had my blackberry bold for about a year now and to be contrary to popular opinion I do not like it. Blackberry's are known to be work phones however I bought this mainly for personal use and i just seemed to get constantly frustrated with the phone.
- First off the phone's roller ball is extremely annoying, it seems to constantly get stuck and I seem to spend hours trying to free the ball from the position.
- In my opinion I think the phone is too big it barely fits in my pocket.
- The camera quality is terrible but so our most blackberry camera's however the phone comes with a flash which seems to be very useful.
- The battery life is very bad I find myself having to constantly charge my phone.
- I find that occasionally the phone just freezes and I have to take the battery out for it to restart and many of my friends with the same phone seem to have the same problem.
- The design of the phone is very sleek and professional looking.
- Good for work purposes, it is extremely easy to send documents and emails quickly.
- BBM or blackberry messenger as it's known is a great feature to the phone and makes easy and cheaper to communicate with those who have a blackberry
-- The layout of the phone is well set out and everything is easy to access.
- Their are many different applications ranging from games such as word mole to facebook to the ever handy calculator.
Although their are quite a few pro's as well as cons I find that the cons seem to just weight out all the pro's.
I got this phone with Vodafone on contract about 3 years ago. Since then, I have switched a couple phones by other brands, but I have always found myself coming back to my beloved Blackbery bold 9000. Though admittedly, I like it because of its design and the qwerty keypad (which allows me to deal with emails really quickly) - instead of its functions and reliability.
- Good for work purposes, especially if you have a large amount of emails to deal with day to day.
- Good design. I dislike touchscreen so I love the scroll ball design. The qwerty keypad on this bold is also a little bigger so it is definitely easier to type compared to other blackberry models like the curve.
- After about 1.5 years using this phone, my battery nearly died and wouldn't even last 5 minutes. I had to get it replaced, after which the battery life is still quite poor.
- Absolutely terrible camera. Do not rely on this phone camera if you prefer to have your pictures at a good quality... The camera is especially useless when there is low light. The flash is not at all flattering as well.
- Takes ages to restart. And after about 1-2 years, I have to restart/ do a battery pull quite often because the phone sometimes just freezes.
Overall, this model and the specs are just a bit out of date. I would recommend you buying newer models. But as a phone that I got 3 years ago in 2009, this has definitely been a good companion!
I have been using this Blackberry Bold 9000 for a few years now; this is definitely something you needed with you at all time for business.
The functionalities provided are no less than a normal laptop. This include e-mail, address book, calendar, and navigation with the synchronisation with the office server to reduce the duplication of data.
Calendar - I have been relying on this as if it is my secretary, keeping me inform where and when I need to be at certain location (meeting room name and address) and meeting with who.
E-mail - Allowing me to replying urgent e-mail and clearing my mail box whist I am on the move.
Navigation - is not as good as the gps device in the market but it is handy when you do not want to carry multiple devices with you.
Address book - Do not ever need to worry about duplication/synchronisation with your outlook address book, as it will stay connected with the server.
There are some disappointed features, the scroll ball could become a bit sticky from time to time and the rebooting time could take a long time. The GUI interface is not as good as Iphone or Andriod.
I have had blackberry phones for years, and this version of the BOLD is the best I have had. The emails come straight to the phone, it has a version of messenger that allows you to message other blackberry members (as long as you have their blackberry PIN) and the internet browing is superb. It is much quicker to connect to the internet that previous blackberry's I have owned. The only flaw I would say the phone has is the length of life of the battery which is pretty poor compared to some phones that I have had. The battery needs charging every night, and I leave it charging overnight which can be a bit of a pain if you are out in the evening! However for all the facilities this phone offers I would say that it is a small price to pay. Looks sleak and, lets face it, at the end of the day is pretty cool to have a blackberry! I would definately recommend, and after using a friends iphone my thumbs are too big to use a touvh screen so will stay with blackberry!
For all you techy review readers, I warn you now this may be a far cry from what you are used to reading! This is my first 'tech' review so bear with me, I am a typical girl in the sense technology can sometime repel me but I felt like giving it a go!
Nowdays there are two phone brands which seperates friends, partners and the like. As we all know it's Apple and Blackberry. Of course you can still get other makes, other ranges but these two are the main ones now. In fact often when you meet someone you can always see the person in question give a quick sideways glance to check out your handset oo-er! Sometimes too what they find will add to their impression of you. I for one check out another persons handset and as a Blackberry girl if it's an I-Phone, that instantly knocks a few impressons points off the chart as they are regarding with inner raised eyebrows and a 'one of those' looks.
I live by my blackberry and the Bold 9000 has been my handset for the last year until this week when I upgraded to a newer model! Having used this phone for 12 months I feel I can very well review and summaries it's abilities and capabilities and point other in the right direction too.
Lets start with the appearance of the phone itself. Due to Blackberries having a keypad with a similar keypad to a computer the buttons are usually quite small due to their being so many of them, this model though has the largest of the Blackberry keys I've found. Not a huge improvement but larger than it's predesessors. Which does make typing a little easier. It also has the centre trackball which has now been replaced on newer models with a sensory cube in the middle. I personally much prefer the trackball, it's a little ball that rotates to the motion of your finger and I like it because it doesn't get hot underneath your finger tip no matter how much useage the Blackberry has had. In comparison to the newer sensory cubes where this seems to happen a lot. The back of the phone is a leather-ette style backing which is a nice addition to the phone market. Feels less like a piece of small machinery and more like a comfortable addition to the family! Being that it's quite a bulky heavy phone this is a welcome cosmetic feature. As with all Blackberries it does come with a pouch to keep it in when it's in your bag, which for women is fantastic because at least you know when you pop it in your handbag along with everything else that lurks in there, the screen wont get damaged when it's securely in it's case. The dimensions of the handset itself are 116x14x66mm. A good size but as before, a larger Blackberry and quite bulky. One of the heviest Blackberries I've owned which is a downside.
Now for the features! It's a large full colour screen with 480 x 320 pixels (not the kind that live at the bottom of the garden may I note). And you have the ability to adjust the brightness and contrast of the screen lighting too to suit your prefernce. The size of the screen is a big appeal for me personally with Blackberries. The size and clarity of what you see is designed to compete heavily in the market and therefore is very impressive from the first time you switch it on. The built in camera is 2 mega pixels which is located on the back of the handset is very easy to use but the picture quality is poor and grainy and is made all the more noticeable but how visually superior the normal screen quality is. The poor camera quality is a major disadvantage for me, looses a few brownie points there!
The capabilities of the Blackberry 900 certainly exceeded my expectations when I got it, although now it's been out done by the newer models at the time I was very excited with what I could do with this phone. Please find below a list to summarise the main capabilities with this handset:
2 Megapixel Camera with flash settings
Quad Band technology
To summarise this list it's best to describe this phone as a mobile and handheld computer in one! It's got a 624 HZ prosessor which makes surfing the internet quite easy although the fact it's WI-FI or 3G operated means the speed is far from up to scratch. Due to the speed the only things I really use the internet for on this phone are searching for addresses for my sat-nav, phone numbers etc to save ringing premium rate 118 118 type numbers. I have used it to look this up as I would on a normal PC but usually only whenI'm desperate or bored, or desperately bored as the speed is frsutrating. But hey at least it offers that service. When you set up the phone and choose to link it to your email address it means all your emails come through to your phone as well as direct to your mail box on the PC. The fact it enables you to view documents on the handset is a fantastic ability and makes working from home very simple. It also allows you to manage your inbox from your handset, deleting emails etc and sending them too with attachments.
Like all mobile phones it's capable of text messaging, and picture messaging but Blackberry take this to a new extreme with Blackberry messenger. An application only available on Blackberries that allows a chat like feature with selected friends and family. I'm not going to lie, this feature is the reason I stick with Blackberries every time I reach upgrade-time! You request your friends by their personal Blackberry pin numbers and therfore have a ready made, and selective friends list ready and waiting, much like many social networking sites. This means I can chat to my friends all day every day without interuption and without ever eating in to my text message allowance (is set by your tariff). The messenger function or BBM as it's called also gives another key feature-it allows you to send picture messages to your friends on BBM without the cost implication as it's classed as an internet function and not a multimedia message. These cost upwards of 25p each depending on your network so sending them for free is brilliant and far less restrictive cost wise.
All Blackberries also come with a connection (USB) cable to connect and sink with your PC. So you can sink it with your ITUNES, windows media player and files stored on your computer. It's also easy to transfer pictures back and forth too. The USB cable also gives you the option of backing up all your Blackberry files. Because the most annoying feature of a Blackberry is the fact that it wipes your sim contacts every time you put your sim in a new phone. Therefore it allows you to sink your phone with your PC and save your contact list so that next time all you need to do is link the two and voila-ready made contact list rather than having to write them all down and re-add them, trust me this takes a huge amount of time!
Another great feature is the built in GPS. It's fabulous because it means you need never get lost! It always knows where you are and can get you where you are supposed to be going with relative ease. Again though it's based on connection speed which is usually fairly slow, so in all honesty if your lost-best to ask for directions if you are in a rush!
A key feature with this phone is it's memory. It's got 128 Megabytes built in and supports micro SD cards which usually come with it, if not are widely available for relatively low cost. Together can support up to 8GB of data, but it will really slow certain features down. Something else that slows you down with this handset is the talk-time ability. The information provided says the phone has 5 hours of talk time ability and 310 hours standby. What that means is that you should be able to talk constantly for 5 hours with a full battery before the battery life is used up. It also means that if you don't use the phone and leave in standby mode it should have some level of life for 310 hours. Total con there! An absolute lie! I've never spent 5 consecutive hours on the phone but I have regularly used it for approximately one hour and the battery life is significantly less than when I picked the call up. Therefore I would make an educated guess it deffinately wouldn't get to 5 hours. Also although I do use my phone every day, on days when it has minimal useage and I don't charge it over night I would get to approximately 36 hours before the battery would die and if any longer than that it would NEVER reach 48 hours life without switching itself off and informing me the battery is too low for any type of useage. So 310 hours?! The biggest bare faced lie I've seen!
The final thing to mention is that Blackberry are trying hard to continue to compete for users with Apple. And one major thing that Apple rule the roost with is the applications and downloadable content market. Blackberry have therefore steadily increased their abilities in this market area which is great for it's users. Through it's Blackberry App World users have access to all kinds of downloadable content both free and paid for. Games, extra features, music, videos, wallpapers, layouts etc. This is an area I feel Blackberry will continue to invest in but on this model it's pressence is minimal and not easy to access or use.
Overall I would give this phone 3.5 stars out of five. I love Blackberries and I enjoyed this phone but in the current market it's now an older model whch has been succeeded with better, quicker, lighter and easier to use handsets. It's still a far superior phone on the market but in the current age where almost daily newer and better models are released it's just not as up to scratch as it was when it was released. I would still recommend this phone though if your new the Blackberry world. It's a perfect handset to get you aquainted with this way of living!
I have just reluctantly changed my phone (sony ericsson k800i) to the blackberry bold 9000 (reluctant because i love taking pictures and from reading reviews so far I had the idea that the blackberry bold did not have the greatest camera in the world).
My reasons for changing my phone where mainly that I wanted
-ability to upload my pictures to facebook easily at anytime.
-ebay- quickly upload photos to sell items (cuts down time greatly)
-access to the internet anywhere at a good price (o2 have a blackberry bolt on at £5 a month-which is more than enough to readily access the internet)
So far all my needs have been met. I downloaded the facebook app (very easily), and get updates when something changes on my page discretely (i never used the text message service that facebook provides because of this). I found it incredibly fast and easy to upload my photos. The ebay app was very large but I purchased an 8GB card on ebay (£8.99) which is more than enough memory and have been able to use this ap to easily sell items. (really handy if you don't have much extra spare time to devout on selling your items on ebay. The access to the internet anytime is great, makes me feel much more secure and up to date mwith my friends and the world.
Other features that make it great...
Another feature that I love on this phone is that it has a red led light that flashes when you receive a txt, call, facebook message. I love this feature as I have my phone on silent in work and so I can see when something has came through to me on the phone without even touching it.
The camera isn't as bad as I thought it would be, I used it in a nitghtclub and the photos were clear and fine. However I do think the phone is a bit expensive for what you get. I got it second hand on ebay but i suppose if you got it on contract it wouldnt matter as you would get upgrades.
Also you have to hold the phone very steady to ensure the picture doesn't become blurry- isnt that handy if you have a shaky hand.
Another added bonus of this phone is that if you like to be fashionable and to have your phone personalised to your taste this phone embodies fashion. It looks good, it is light to hold ,and you can buy all numbers of accessories for it (for very cheap- less than a fiver)... I have just recently bought a privacy screen cover which means people can not snoop at what i am doing (but obviously accessories are up to personal taste).
Overall I am very happy with the phone and I can see keeping it for a very long time. If you have the same needs as be I can't see why you wouldnt be happy with it. But you must buy a large memory card with the phone to ensure it works fast.
This classic model was one of the first blackberry phones i owned. I is a sturdy piece that does almost all the functionalities that its modern day brother Bold 2 does. The only difference is the track pad and the better camera on the bold 2.
Receiving and configuring emails are a breeze and I love the function of blackberry messenger that allows you to send instant text messages to fellow users at zero charge.
One of the downsides is of course its low battery life and if you are a heavy user, you are unlikely to go a day without having to charge your phone, as such always have a portable charger handy.
Another disadvantage is its small screen which makes surfing the internet a very limiting experience. Some also say that the trackball was better than the new trackpad on the bold 2. However, after a few months of wear and tear, my trackball is starting to be unresponsive.
If you have the budget, I recommend you spring for a bold 2.
Absolutely fantastic phone, got it with orange as part of a contract. with a large screen and exquisite display. with wifi capabilities i found this phone fantastic while on the go, i used national rail service alot, so when travelling from place to i could hook onto the internet, with a speedy connection. the only problem i had with this phone was every so often it would freeze and a little red light would show on the back of the phone, then i had to remove the battery and then put back in and turn on again, but starting the phone up took several minutes. the video quality was superb, it came preloaded with a couple but when i accessed youtube the playback was immense. Camera quality was good to say it was a dismal 2 megapixel, but in the right light, you could have mistaken it for a 3.2m.
overall id give this phone a 9/10
After resisting being given one of these at work for 12 months, I went and changed my job and lo ad behold on my desk arrives a BlackBerry Bold.
Now I like the fact I have my "personal" phone and my "work" phone. And I am lucky in the respect that once its 5 on a Friday I chuck my phone in my bag and forget about it completely until Monday morning!
****THE PHONE ITSELF*****
- Quite a chunky phone, my came with its own leather pouch
- Qwerty keyboard. I find that the keys are small and close together which can be frustrating, especially as I use the BlackBerry to send work emails (note to self when signing "Regards" always make sure you haven't replaced the "g" with a "t" by accident!)
- Scroll menu button. I like the ball rolling menu function key, it works well when scrolling through emails rather than the repetitive, constant pushing the "up" key on other phones
- Primary function of a phone is to make calls! Especially a work one!
- Phone book, mine is split into those numbers saved on my SIM (pre-Blackberry), those saved on my BlackBerry and those available via their email address from the works network. To say this is frustrating would be an understatement. Now I am sure that this is due to the fact that my phone is linked through to a wider internal work network in relation to the "email address" book. But it is still frustrating to swap from SIM to phone whilst searching for a number! I would hazard a guess that this would still be the case if you used a BlackBerry as a personal device!
- Missed Calls, these come up as "Emails" which is great as you know the date and time of each call you missed (a useful function!)
- Placed/Received calls, try as I might I have no way of knowing my call details, I have looked under everything but not been able to see call details!! Very frustrating, especially when I'm phoning people constantly and need to refer back to when I last tried to speak to them if I received no answer first time!!
- Great sound quality and easy to turn volume up and down (button on the side!)
- Overall Phoning - does what it says on the tin, though improvements could be made! (Either to the phone or the user!)
- I will touch briefly on this, I do text on my blackberry, not often, but again that is due to the nature of why I use my phone!
-I do like the fact that, similar to an iphone, a whole text conversation comes up under the one name, provided that you reply using the same message!
- Overall Texting - not a function I really make use of
- This is the primary function of my phone now and I have to say its great!
- As I am linked to a network it automatically searched my internal email addresses which is good when I don't know the email of the person I need to contact! Also with my saved email addresses I only need to type in the first couple of letters and then the options show up for me, great for being lazy!
- I find the large screen makes it easy to read emails
- Sending emails, well its ok to do provided you don't go all fingers and thumbs on the qwerty keyboard! Spell check before they let you send the email is good, flashes up where your fingers have "mashed" the keyboard
- Large storage (think thats something to do with megabytes, but I am a technophobe!)
- I find it frustrating to read email attachments as they can take a while to download, but I guess to give the BlackBerry its due, it isn't really designed for that!
- Overall Email - function I use most on the BlackBerry, easy to use, simple to follow and great for technophobes!!
- Again no real complaints, its relatively quick WHEN you can get on! Not sure if it is just my phone, but I find quite often I receive an error message saying I am unable to connect. I would hazard a guess that this is due to signal problems
- Well it brightens up my day! A neat little messenger service between BlackBerrys that allow you to send pictures, voice recordings (had some fun with that one!) and symbols/emoticons! Not really that different in my opinion to sending emails, but it is a nice distraction during the day!
- I used my camera for the first time last week and found it easy to use but the picture quality is very poor, grainy images that look as though you were shaking as you take the photo. Not a redeeming feature of the phone and if this is something that is important to you then I wouldn't recommend.
- The BlackBerry does come with other features, I have focused only on those that I use and as it is primarily a work phone things like games, music and downloads do not generally get used by me! But they are on there, that's all I can really say about them!
- Battery life isn't great and I am having to charge my phone at least once a day (Mon-Fri only obviously!!) but it is quick to charge at least!
To me personally the BlackBerry will only ever be a work phone. I couldn't imagine using one for personal use but again that is personal opinion.
A great work phone, which does leave you a little bit too contactable!! Looks professional and is great if you spend a lot of time on the road, I honestly believe that the apple iphone however has outstripped the BlackBerry for personal use.
I have had my BlackBerry 9000 since January when I changed jobs. I was already a BlackBerry addict as I have one for personal use - but this was the first time I have had one for work. It is my main method of communication as I work across the country and it is easier than firing up the archaic laptop they gave me.
1) Push email
2) Good call quality and reception (it has wifi and 3G)
3) Mobile Interweb is suprisingly easy to read
4) Good screen size and quality.
5) QWERTY keyboard is tiny, probably not so good for pudgy fingers, but is fine when you get used to it.
6) Camera and video quality are fine for when you haven't got a better gizmo to hand.
1) Heavier than most phones.
2) the back keeps falling off - although admittedly I am clumsy and perhaps another way to view this, is that it is robust enough to continue working after going for a skid as I run through train stations.
3) THEY can get hold of you anytime of day or night. Don't be fooled by the off button. You won't use it when the paranoia grips you - "what have I missed in the five minutes since I turned it off?"
4) Battery life is rubbish after 6 months.
This is an ok BB, but there are better ones in their range.
So there is sometimes a bit of a preconception about people who own blackberries, that they are glued to their phone, can;t live without out it etc. Whilst this may be true for some it really does depend on the person, its just that the blackberry is soo good that you can pretty much do everything on it.
From checking your emails, chatting on the brilliant BBM (like txting only free between you and other blackberry owners), surfing the net (which is usually a pretty good speed on the bold), cool apps (yes like the iphone you can get apps, they are just a little different), plus more including all the standard phone things like texting, calling etc.Its very easy to use with a great qwerty keboard that makes texting a breeze, plus a nice big screen with good display.
It is also a really nice looking phone, especially with the leather back which just adds to the appeal. some say it is quite big but i actully like the size as it fits nicely in my hand/hands when texting or holding it; for girls don't worry it will easily fit into teeny tiny bags when you go out plus it will fit into normal sized pockets easily. Its not a very heavy phone but it is sturdy, mine has been dropped and abused constantly and only has a few chips, if you look after it, it should fare well. only delicate point seems to be screen, don't put great pressure on it as I have friends whose screens have cracked this way, though it was easily repaired for free by Blackberry as far as I know.
the cons of this model are firstly the battery life, which is not too bad but if you use the phone, especially if you use the internet constantly you will have to charge it up once every day/two days; to be fair though this is the same with most similar phones that use the internet, its just a fact of life, you would be hard pushed to find a phone with decent internet that has long battery life. The other main con is that his model has a samll rotating ball (like on some laptops) to move the cursor on screen. This has a tendency to gte stuck. However if you buy the new bold this has been recitified by replacing the scroll ball with a track pad.
Overall a great phone though you will need to charge it up loads and maybe consider getting the newest bold as it is small and lighter and has the trackpad, though personally apart from the trackpad I think this model is better overall> i would definitely recommend getting a blackberyy to everyone, especially the Bold.
After the phone on my contract ran out I decided to buy the BB Bold 9000 and thought it was great until recently. It's much lighter than expected although I bought a rubber case for it which made it considerably heavier - it ran smoothly and quickly and had access to the BBC's streaming mobile TV (Although I believe the newer BB Bold 9700 is able to use the iPlayer). The messaging system had high points and lows, after so long messages were automatically deleted, which is good if (like me) you regularly fill your inbox and have to delete all your messages 0 but on the other hand not so good if you want to refer back to a message which is no longer there. Phone calls were clear though the speakerphone gave a lot of feedback and the media player was pretty good too, 3.5mm jack as opposed to a phone specific one is always a bonus. Unfortunately though, the battery drained on it - completely (it died, I accidentally turned it on in my pocket, it died again, then did it again). Since then it won't charge/turn on. Fortunately I only had 2 months left on my contract so was able to get a delayed contract with a new phone from 3.
It's remarkable. The more devices we acquire to keep us in touch with the world around us, the less we actually communicate with each other. How many times have you seen two people sitting in a pub, both industriously typing on their phones, PDAs or laptops, and utterly ignoring the person sitting right opposite them? Partly for this reason, I'd avoided joining the Crackberry - oops - I mean Blackberry generation. My trusty Nokia was (and still is, for personal use) sufficient - I could make and receive calls, and send and receive texts, and even take the odd picture. What more did I need?
This all changed six months ago, when I changed jobs. Within two days of joining, I was given a box, in which nestled a sleek Blackberry 9000, two charging cables (one for the mains outlet, the other for a usb connection), a set of headphones, a carry case which is, apparently, magnetic, and four booklets of instructions (two of which, admittedly, were in Spanish). I was well on my way to a serious Crack(berry) addiction.
As this is a work phone, most of the set up was done for me. The device was set up to 'push' my work emails to my phone, and allow me to look up company names, numbers and email addresses from the global list. The phone number was already printed on my business cards, so it was pretty much ready to go. Yes, I did customise it to an extent, but it must be remembered that as this is a work phone, it's not got tons of memory, so I haven't loaded it up with music (though it will play music), nor games (though it has a handful) and I have not downloaded oodles of funky apps. I use it primarily, though not exclusively, for work, and so will be reviewing it from that perspective.
The Mirror Crack'd - look and feel
Not surprisingly, this is a hefty little device. It has a full QWERTY keypad (by full, I mean it has all the letters, not that it's full sized - you'd need awfully tiny fingers to touch type on this bad boy) taking up the bottom third(ish) of the 11.4 cm height, and an easy to view, well lit, high resolution, colour screen filling most of the rest of the top. Between the keypad and the screen you'll find the answer, hang up, menu button, back up button and little scroll nipple thing (the little ball that allows you to navigate the screen - this isn't a touch screen, and the ball does stick from time to time). It's black with a chrome 'frame', and has a leatherette back with the inevitable camera lens. There are a number of buttons and holes on the sides, including one to activate the camera, one to lock the phone, a volume control, and a couple that are frankly a mystery to me.
It is heavier than a 'normal' mobile, though not uncomfortably so. The official specifications tell me it weighs 136gms, this hardly matters though - it's heavier than a stupid phone, but not brick like. Oddly, I find it fits more comfortably on my ear, when using it as a phone, than does a normal phone. It covers more of my ear, and sits better.
It is a bit large to fit comfortably in a pocket. Height, width, depth and weight are considerably larger than my little Nokia. I have carried it (in its supplied case) in my jeans pocket. This works only if there is nothing else in the pocket, and the jeans aren't too tight. In a suit jacket pocket it sits like a stodgy pudding consumed after a big meal. It drags and you can certainly feel the size and weight. It fits better in many coat pockets, but no matter which pocket you put it in, you will be aware of its presence. If, like me, you carry two phones, one for personal and one for work, you will soon feel weighed down my technology.
Hangin' on the Telephone - Call Me!
Call quality is good. My Blackberry is on Vodaphone, and the sound is usually crisp and clear, and I don't suffer many dropouts. Whilst it is comfortable on the ear, do be aware that if you are wearing make-up, you will find it smeared on the screen after your call. Mine is currently set up to vibrate a couple of times when it is in its case (putting the phone in the case automatically locks the phone, requiring a password to unlock to make calls, but not to receive them - that's what the magnet is for), and then ring. I rarely make it in time to answer the call before voicemail kicks in, particularly if I have to frantically search to discover into which pocket I have stored it. I have fiddled with the settings to change this. The ringtone setting is easy to find. There is a little loudspeaker type symbol at the top, you simply move the little ball until it's highlighted, and you can adjust the settings for various ring profiles from there. However, I've not found a setting that has a good balance between a couple of vibrations and full blown ringing. I am still working on it.
It did take me a couple of gos to work out how to make a call, particularly one to someone not in my address book. It does turn out that this is fairly simple. There are red numbers printed above some of the letters, arranged in a typical phone fashion. Simply press those to make your call. However, it wasn't immediately obvious to me, as you need to enter a menu item to do almost everything else.
Texting is not as straightforward as I'd like - simply navigate to the appropriate menu item (mine is on the 'home' page), and hit the menu key, and then go to 'compose SMS', unless you are replying to a previous text. There may well be a simpler way to do this; if so, I've not yet found it.
Stalked by Work - email and stuff
Clearly, my firm didn't give me a Blackberry just to use as a mobile phone. Oh no. They want to make sure I can deal with obstreperous clients at all times of day and night. Using email (it's set up to give me access to the Exchange server at work) is considerably simpler than texting. A little red light (the bane of my existence) flashes insistently when an email has arrived, and a little yellow envelope symbol appears at the top of the screen. I simply highlight the envelope symbol (bigger, and not yellow) at the bottom of the screen, and lo, I am sent straight to my inbox, and sometimes to the new message that has arrived. Reading and replying are easy - the screen is clear, and the menu button gives me many of the same options I have on my computer - forward, reply to all, reply and the like. I can download attachments, but I don't - who wants to read a spreadsheet on a dinky little screen? Some graphics are rendered in email, some not so much. But given that it's more designed to quickly read emails on the go, I don't usually find this a huge problem.
When composing an email, I can use the lookup feature to find colleague's email addresses, or to find any addresses I've put into my personal address book (on Outlook at work). The Blackberry automatically picks up any addresses I add to my Outlook address book. Because it's a QWERTY keyboard, typing a message is easy - no predictive text required here. The keyboard is small, and a bit fiddly, even for my tiny hands. Symbols can be accessed either through the little 'sym' key near the space bar, or more commonly used symbols are on the keyboard, accessed by hitting the 'alt' key first. Numbers are also accessed via the alt key (i.e. hit 'alt' followed by W, and that gives you a 1). Irritatingly, I have not yet found a reliable way to delete large chunks of text at one time, nor to copy and paste large chunks. I have sometimes managed to highlight a chunk, but for me, it is very hit and miss.
My work calendar is also accessed by the Blackberry, and the device will alert me when an appointment is due. I don't add appointments via the Blackberry; I tend to do this at work, and the Blackberry syncs with my calendar. I get a wee tingle and a flashing light when an alert is there, I can then dismiss or snooze it just as I would from my computer. I can also view my calendar day by day, scrolling across to change days. This all works much as you'd expect - it's not as clear on the tiny screen as it would be on my computer, but I wouldn't expect it to be.
All Work & No Play Makes Matty a Dull Girl
No-one expected to give me a toy and not allow me to play with it! There is a pretty much fully functional internet browser on this, which even allows me to view web pages much as I would on a computer (albeit much smaller). These days, many sites will automatically default to a PDA view in any case when browsing to them - the BBC's site is an example of that. Browsing is easy. The 'go to' page, which is accessed via the ever useful menu key allows you to either type in an address directly, or use the other input box causing a Google search to happen. It's not the quickest internet browser in the works. This is to be expected, given that it is still essentially going through the mobile phone network. It is, however, adequate.
I find the browser especially useful for finding pubs, in conjunction with Google Maps (a downloadable, incredibly useful app that acts as a silent sat nav system). Pop over to www.beerintheevening.com, bung in your postcode and find yourself a decent pub. Find the postcode on BITE of the pub you want to visit, stick that in Googlemaps, get directions, and Bob is your proverbial uncle.
I have also downloaded the Googlemail app, allowing me to access my personal email as quickly and easily as I can my work email. The screen looks slightly different from the 'real' email screen, but the functionality is much the same, right down to the blinking red light to alert me to a new email.
The camera is...ok. It is easy to use, and includes a zoom of up to 3x, and a flash. It doesn't take the world's greatest pictures, which is not surprising, given it's only a 2 megapixel camera. It is adequate, but you won't be setting the world alight with your masterpieces.
The phone is Bluetooth capable. I do not, however, have a Bluetooth headset, nor have I had occasion to swap pictures or other bits and bobs via Bluetooth. I have found the Bluetooth menu, but not yet used it, so really cannot comment. Do bear in mind, though, that Bluetooth is a real battery sucker, and so it is not wise to have it always on.
There are many features to make the phone 'fun', many of which I just do not use. I don't use Blackberry's own map feature, nor have I downloaded any music or other multimedia. I have played Breakout a few times, but soon tired of that. For the most part, I really do use this for work. Once the novelty value evaporated, I realised that I already had an iPod (RIP - stolen a couple of weeks ago), and access to plenty of computers, most of the time, and that I'd rather read a book than play the games. The only other apps I have downloaded and use regularly are IM clients - Googletalk, Yahoo Chat and MSN Messenger. Even those, I don't keep on all the time. I tend to sign into them if I don't have a book on a long train journey. I don't really need to be in contact all the time. But more on that shortly.
According to Blackberry's own website, http://uk.blackberry.com/devices/blackberrybold/bold_specifications.jsp, this thing should stay alive for 13.5 hours on standby, and 4.5 hours of talk time. Bullocks. I find, even though I have mine turn off automatically at 11.00pm and back on again at 7.00am, I have to give it a wee top up at least once every couple of days. I don't use it that often as a phone, though I do check it and use it for emails quite a lot. Even so, I do find this thing eats power. Furthermore, whilst you can charge it with the usb cable attached to the computer, it doesn't really like it. It absolutely must be charged from the mains from time to time, or else it will die, and appear utterly dead. This happened to me; I thought I'd somehow broken the phone. It just needed some proper, mains power and then it was fine. Fortunately, it didn't lose anything in the memory.
Online, All the Time - the bottom line
Looking at the device itself, it is fairly easy to use. It feels good on the ear when using it as a phone, and isn't too hefty, though slightly inconvenient, when carrying it around. Using email is a dawdle, and it works consistently. The keyboard, though small, is easy to use and has a good, responsive feel to it. The trackball is useful, though it does stick sometimes. There are a number of useful (and not so useful) apps out there for it. Battery life is appalling, but, on the upside, it does recharge from the mains reasonably quickly.
The Blackberry is, without a doubt, a useful device. If I am on my way to a meeting, or running late, or away from my desk, my clients don't have to suffer. I can even catch up with personal email, update my Facebook status, IM friends or colleagues or just generally mess around with the great wide world outside my immediate sphere of influence. I can be in constant contact with people I cannot see.
And there's the rub. With a Blackberry, you ARE in contact all the time. You are expected to respond to emails, or appointments, or even IMs instantly and effectively. You are never offline. Every silver lining has a cloud, and the constant availability truly is a double-edged sword.
If I were asked 'what do I think of the Blackberry as a concept', I'd swing between the poles of convenience of contact, and on the downside, convenience of contact.
This is an excellent phone for both businessmen and gadget-lovers alike. It has a wide array of features and functions to keep anybody connected with the rest of the world, whilst keeping them entertained at the same time!
The phone has a very pleasing design, with a nice glossy black front finish and a unique real leather backing, allowing for a very nice grip on the phone (which you want for such an expensive device!). Along the side of the phone and surrounding the screen and keyboard is a silver bezel, highlighting the phones main sections with a classy looking edge. The front of the phone is dominated by the huge, bright LCD screen and the keyboard, both looking very professional whilst not being too garish or ugly. On the back is a simple BlackBerry logo and the camera with the flash light. The full QWERTY keyboard that you use on the phone is fantastic, allowing for full texts or e-mails to be written much quicker than on an average phone. Overall, the phone has a high quality look, good for impressing both your mates at the pub and the executives you're trying to sell a contract to!
This phone has such a huge selection of features I have broken this category in to more sub-categories :-
A pretty standard mobile telephone contacts book with the ability to store huge amounts of information. Some notably useful information that can be stored is different home and work addresses, up to 8 different telephone numbers per contact and a customizable image to appear when a particular contact calls you.
This is again a very standard feature of the blackberry, but as with everything on this phone, it is incredibly simple and easy-to-use. You have the ability to send a particular SMS/MMS/E-mail to up to 20 different contacts, allowing for easy mass texting/e-mailing.
Whilst there is not a very large selection of games available on this device, only 4, they are of a consistently high quality and are great for passing the time or holding off boredom!
The camera is of a good quality and you can easily take pictures using the device. The BlackBerry can also shoot video, however I have found the video recording to be of a very low quality and the sound quality to be poor.
A pretty bog standard notes taker, however I must point out that the sound quality is average at best.
Again, an average internet browser that does exactly what it says on the tin, quickly and accurately.
A brilliant MP3 player with easy to use controls and a very high sound quality. The phone also has a built in microSD card slot, allowing for a huge amount of music to be stored on the device.
I could go on and on for ages talking about the features of this phone, however, anything that I have failed to mention above is of a fine quality, however, I cannot write about absolutely everything!
I have actually found the battery life to be extremely disappointing on this phone. When I first purchased the phone, the battery life was perfectly acceptable, as long as I wasn't using the internet heavily, and I would get about 5 days of average use out of the phone without any problem. Now, even when I just use the phone for texting and phone calls (with no internet or e-mail use), I am lucky to get 3 days of battery life out of the phone before it starts beeping at me for another charge. Whilst I understand that batteries do reduce in usable length over time, I think that it is unacceptable that I have seen such a huge performance drop in just over a year.
The included BlackBerry Desktop Software which 'talks' to your phone over USB or bluetooth is extremely useful and very intuitively designed. I believe it is pretty easy to use for even a novice PC user. On the main menu, you are presented with a few, simple options to choose from, e.g - Backup/Restore my data. That particular use of the software (Backup/Restore) is my most commonly used feature of the program. It is the best backup system I have ever come across, backing up absolutely everything, from your sent text messages to your wallpaper settings. The program also has many other features, but I haven't used any of them anywhere near enough to write a fair review on them
When considering everything together, this is an excellent phone. There are a few things that pull it down to a 4 star rating however, predominately the price. On Pay-as-you-go, you are looking at paying around £450 for the phone itself, which I consider extremely expensive for what i see as a good, but not amazing phone. As a previous iPhone user, I would say that this phone is just as good, as whilst it doesn't have as many applications and features, the full QWERTY keyboard makes up for it. I would recommend this phone to anyone looking for a decent business phone which you can impress your mates with at the same time.
Since purchasing my Blackberry Bold 9000, I now couldn't live without it. I upgraded from a Nokia N95 and it took a while to get used to the new menu layout but now the navigation comes as second nature. The primary reason for purchase was to access my emails and the internet while on the road at work. One application that I have found really useful for both business and personal use is the Blackberry Instant Messenger application. This allows you to create 'Blackburry Buddies' and communicate in real time using Instant Messaging. This is particularly useful when on public transport when you cannot have a telephone conversation.
The only negative element of the phone is that the ease of access is very addictive and I find myself checking my work emails out of hours - no wonder the devices are often referred to as "crackberries". Definatley glad I have one though and when I come to replace my phone I will upgrade to another Blackberry.