Blackberry BOLD: First Impressions

Posted on September 9, 2008 Under Gadgetry


It’s true, I have one here in the US of A working on T-Mobile. After a very successful acquisition of the coveted Blackberry BOLD from my favorite auction website, I unlocked it with some Google Kung Fu (it was a Rogers version) and began playing. I plan on doing a more in-depth review after I’ve spent some time on it traveling around the globe, but here’s a quick break down.

Why I Splurged

I’m headed on a trip around the world and wanted a phone that would work in Europe, the USA and Japan. GSM service doesn’t work anywhere in Tokyo, so I had to find a Quad-band phone that had WCDMA 3G for Japan, as well as standard GSM for China, Europe, and the US.

The Blackberry BOLD boasts the most number of bands, service offerings, and coverage of any phone I’ve ever seen. In fact, the Quad Band nature makes that Blackberry World Edition look like a kids toy.

Why T-Mobile, You Ask?

One simple reason:

As far as I can tell, it’s the only service provider that offers a real unlimited international data plan. Everyone I know who has ever left the country on AT&T was sucker punched with a data bill that put them in tears. On top of that, what an unlimited international data plan really means is unlimited e-mail, web data, and Blackberry Messenger service from anywhere in the world for that same monthly flat fee. Sure, if you use the phone it will cost an arm and a leg, but I can retrieve voicemails as MP3’s through Simulscribe for free, as downloads.

What About The Phone?

Although the screen isn’t nearly as large as the iPhone, it’s still gorgeous. The resolution is twice as much as the current Curve model– very sharp.

"¢ The keyboard is noticeably different, a little bit wider. It will get take some getting used to but so far I like it.

"¢ The back of the phone is some kind of faux-leather, very sexy and makes the utilitarian Blackberry seem a bit more fashion and design friendly.

"¢ The User Interface has changed a ton, and it’s dead sexy. There are plenty of videos floating around the web with walk through, but they really went to town with the transitions, icons, and applications as a whole. Great improvement.

More soon… If you can’t wait, check out what my pals from Gizmodo had to say.