Review: First Look: BlackBerry Bold, striking back at the iPhone

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Review: First Look: BlackBerry Bold, striking back at the iPhone

RIM has finally fired its long awaited new weapon, in the most powerful Blackberry device to date that not only handles essential business communications but packs in enhanced entertainment features.

No doubt Research In Motion has been cautiously watching the likes of Nokia, Motorola and Samsung muscling in on their monopoly of the business smartphone market with their own take the ultimate pocket-size office.

A tad heavier, but the screen's superb
Whether you’re hooked on the Blackberry already, or not, there’s no denying the new Bold is a fine looking filly, and arguably the best dressed to emerge from the RIM stable.

Though slightly thicker and heavier than its cousin the 8800, the form factor feels spot on in the hand.

As already widely reported, the Bold earns its title from the truly outstanding 480 x 320 pixels display. While the iPhone offers the same resolution, the reduced screen size results in ultra sharp, vibrant visuals which can be seen across the revamped menus through to stored images and videos.

The cleaner looking menus and icons are also some of the slickest we’ve seen, and navigating them with the scroll wheel is a breeze.

Unsurprisingly one of the device's outstanding features is the QWERTY keyboard with its firm, shaped keys, which we found hard to fault.

Connecting you now
It’s been a long wait for the blackberry community (literally) while earlier models slogged away in the 2.5G spectrum, however the Bold amends this with tri-band HDSPA in addition to quad-band GSM, GPRS and EDGE support.

In addition to high 3G speeds, WiFi a/b/g, Bluetooth 2.0 GPS and the ability to act as a tethered modem cover all the key wireless bases.

Lag-free,
We found multitasking between voice, data and media tasks pleasingly lag free, which is common complaint with others. This is thanks to the horsepower of its 624MHz Intel PXA270 CPU.

The high-capacity 1500mAh battery is rated at 13 days on standby or 5 hours talk time, though it needed charging every 2-3 days during our persistent testing. Naturally, you can expect improved performance by disabling various wireless functions.

From our initial look, the Bold takes its rightful position at the top of the Blackberry pile. While there’s not a great deal in the way of revolutionary new features, it does however address most of the missing functionality in previous models, in particular 3G data speeds.

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