BlackBerry Bold First Impressions

I was planning to skip the BlackBerry Bold and wait for the Javelin (the updated Curve), but decided to go ahead and get the Bold for a variety of reasons:

  1. I wanted 3G
  2. I wanted a faster processor for JavaScript, etc. in the browser
  3. I played with it a bit and found the keyboard wasn’t as bad as it looked
  4. The screen rocks
  5. The device I really want (touchscreen WebKit browser with a BlackBerry keyboard and OS) is a ways out still

After using it for a day, I’m pretty pleased with it.


I run pretty lean on the BlackBerry. I mainly rely on e-mail and the browser, but there are some apps I install. All are free.

  • TwitterBerry – the latest version is really nice.
  • Google Maps – just keeps getting better. Love the GPS integration.
  • Gmail – for quick pruning of my junk mail and web service notifications.
  • Google BlackBerry Sync – OTA sync for my calendar, don’t sync contacts (yet).
  • Google Mobile – mainly to track upgrades for Google Maps, Sync and Gmail.
  • Yahoo Go – this is primarily a Flickr uploader and browser for me, but I should also mention that the graphics look stunning on the Bold.
  • WeatherBug Direct – the icon looks like crap on the Bold, but it’s handy.


Some quick thoughts from the day and set-up.

  • Set-up was easy.
  • The battery life seems good (70% after a day and in bad coverage for much of the time).
  • The included belt-clip case is a big improvement over the classic plastic holsters.
  • The GPS really is pretty handy (over cell tower triangulation).
  • The keyboard isn’t bad – the ridges on the keys make it work.
  • It’s big – wide. It makes the iPhone feel tiny.
  • The screen is gorgeous (though I was seeing some weird image banding in places, need to test more).
  • The Zen theme seems to have a fatal flaw – the icons on the abbreviated home screen don’t update with status properly so you don’t see the little alert indicators.
  • Network speed seems pretty good so far.
  • Wifi was easy to set up. I used it until I switched the SIM card into the device, then turned it off. Not sure I’ll be using it much.
  • If you’re doing anything that is more than a 1 step process, go to a real AT&T store instead of an authorized reseller. Trust me on this one.

Questions? Let me know in the comments and I’ll try to answer them.