BlackBerry Bold 9780 review
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BlackBerry Bold 9780 (Onyx II) feature 2.44 inch TFT display on top and a physical QWERTY keyboard on portrait orientation below. The slight curves and 4 row lay-out, run on new BlackBerry OS 6, which is supposed to be geared towards multimedia playback more than anything, prove to be a superior messaging and texting handset and have a better user interface when it comes to handling media files such as music and videos.
Review On : BlackBerry Bold 9780
By Lim Pei Hao
At a Glance:
+ 5-megapixel Camera
+ Excellent exterior Design
+ Solid loudspeaker
- Average battery life
- Inaccuracy of the optical trackpad
In the box: - Transceiver
- BlackBerry User Tools disc
- Leather swivel holster
16 March 2011 – The BlackBerry Bold 9780 was released on November 2010, a year right after its predecessor, the Bold 9700 was released. Both the Bold 9780 and 9700 share the same the form factor, but the Bold 9780 gets a higher Internal RAM (boost to 512MB) and improved (5-megapixel) camera as compared to its predecessor.
Exterior, Controls and Screen
At a glance, it is hard to differentiate the BlackBerry Bold 9780 from any of its Bold or Curve brothers with its similar appearance. like the models in Bold and Curve, the Bold 9780 has a LCD screen that dominates the face of the device, a speaker grill on the top, LED notification on the top right, full QWERTY keyboard and a row of functional buttons above the QWERTY keyboard with the optical trackpad located at the center. It has a 2.4 inch screen with 480 x 360 resolution. There are two hotkeys, one on either side of the Bold, and they are preset to activate voice command on the left and camera on the right. In addition, the 3.5mm audio jack and Micro-USB is located on the left side, while the volume rocker is on the right side of the Bold. The Bold has a smooth plastic top with two hidden buttons on the edge of each corner, the button on the left is the unlock button, while the one on the right is the mute or silent button. At the back of the Bold, we have the camera and LED flash, with the speaker in between them. Plus, the rubber cover lit of the Bold has a silver BlackBerry logo embedded on it.
It has a measurement of 109 x 60 x 14 mm and a weight of 122g, which makes the BlackBerry Bold 9780 conveniently light and portable. The Bold is nice to hold too, with a good rubber grip at the back to prevent it from slipping from your palm.
The interesting part comes to the design of the full QWERTY keyboard. Typing using either right or left hand to key in the numerical number is pretty convenient. However, when typing text using both hands, we personally found that additional sloping given on the numerical keys on the right is causing us some discomfort while typing. Despite being small in size, the keys are well arranged and aligned, preventing mistakes when keying stuff. Plus, it would be great if RIM could add a NUM lock key instead of activating it via pressing alt with left shift key.
BlackBerry 6 OS
The latest BlackBerry operating system, BlackBerry OS version 6 comes preloaded in the Bold 9780. It is a proprietary and customized OS that is developed by Research In Motion (RIM) specifically for BlackBerry smartphones. We can safely say that we are actually attracted by its unique user interface and it is intuitive to use it. The version 6 homescreen has three essential bars. The top bar indicates the current connectivity status, date and time and the battery status. It is clickable via the optical trackpad to allow quick access on managing connection such as cellular and WiFi connection, as well as setting the alarm. The second bar is located below the top, it allows the user to tweak the sound profile on the left, showing any notification in the center and a Universal Search. The Universal Search is a new addition in version 6, which it makes searching the contents and settings of the phone easier. Finally, the apps bar, there are several categories on sorting them out, such as Favorites, Media, Downloads and Frequent. This is pretty handy for us, as we do not need to waste time searching for the app we used often in the drawers of all apps. Furthermore, BlackBerry 6 OS does support multi-tasking. Holding a long press on the BlackBerry logo on the phone will launch the app switcher, allowing user to switch from one app to another app that is running on the background. We cannot deny the fact that BlackBerry App World does not have the number of apps like Apple and Google, but it does have all the essential apps we like to use such as Facebook, Foursquare and MSN Messenger.
Another highlight worth pointing out is the BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). You can add friends by scanning your friend’s QR Code generated by the BlackBerry device. It supports instant messaging services as well as group chats among multiple BlackBerry devices. Additionally, it allows users to send pictures, audio recordings, files and location on a map. The only drawback is users could only enjoy this service on a BlackBerry device.
Camera, Video and Audio
The Bold 9780 has a 5-megapixel camera as compared to the Bold 9700, which has only 3.2-megapixel. The autofocus camera has plenty of scenes to choose, including Auto, Face Detection, Portrait, Sports, Landscape, Party, Close-Up, Beach, Night and Text. Overall, the Bold produces decent quality images especially with close distant objects. It has the capability of snapping images at 2592 x 1944 resolution and recording video at 640 x 480 resolution. It has a solid loudspeaker as the music does not distort even when the volume was maxed out.
The Bold is a regular quad-band phone and supports WiFi 802.11 b/g, GPS and Bluetooth 2.1. It also comes with a built-in modem and supports modem tethering. Modem tethering allows you to connect to the Internet via USB cable or Bluetooth. However, the latest BlackBerry Desktop Manager must be installed first. It also comes with a good HTML browser sans flash support. A BlackBerry user reported to us that it may not work with certain Bluetooth devices on the desktop or laptop.
The Bold 9780 is indeed an excellent smartphone with an excellent exterior design and a solid operating system. However, we noticed that it has an average battery life. Leaving data and WiFi connectivity always on, the Bold hardly could sustain itself for a day when we play some music and games, perform some calls, text some SMS, capture some photos and browse the net. We also found it challenging to select something specifically using the optical trackpad.
A great smartphone for communication and productivity purpose.