The best thing about BlackBerry devices is that they are like a pair of Russian Matryoshka dolls, where the bigger toy houses a smaller one inside. Similarly, the BlackBerry devices do not undergo a complete overhaul but they keep things intact while changing innovatively, so as not to let users feel that they got something that landed from the planet Mars.
Same is the story with the BlackBerry Bold 9780, which is also popularly known as the Bold 3. Built on the same lines as the Bold 9650, the Bold 9780 is marginally smaller and thinner than its predecessor and weighs lesser by 14 grams. Although it is not much but during that long call every gram of weight counts. In comparison to the Bold 2, it has the same specifications except for a few hardware changes.
The Bold 9780 has a fuller but a non crammed look, the space available has been utilised well with no room for empty spaces. The display has a very thin bezel that gives a better feel while using the device and the keys on the Qwerty too run from edge to edge. The space utilisation on all BlackBerry devices has been superb and the legacy still carries on.
The Bold 9780 comes in a two tone finish, in black and white colours. The front carries a glossy piano finish, while the back has a rubberised matte finish following with a faux leather finish on the battery cover. It has a comfortable grip and enthuse confidence in users that it will stay in the palm no matter what unlike other phones that tend to slip. Similar as other phones, the glossy finish is a fingerprint magnet and needs regular cleaning.
Coming to usability, the Bold 9780 features a 2.44 inch screen, 65,000 colour TFT display with a resolution of 480 x 360 pixels offering ample viewing comfort to the users. The ambient light sensor keeps track of the display brightness, offering optimal display readability under different light conditions.
The Qwerty keypad on this device is designed for typing with two thumbs and therefor the keys have a slight angular outward slant that aids fast and accurate typing. The keypad has a gentle feedback that gives a comfortable typing experience. The key pitch is on the lower side, hence not suitable for people with fat fingers. The optical trackpad is a beauty to use; it reads the intensity of the finger motion and translates it in to a faster or a slower scroll.
The biggest change in the Bold 3 is the inclusion of the OS 6.0 as a preinstalled option, which is the most appreciated BlackBerry operating system till now. Although much better suited for a touch based operation, the new OS 6.0 works flawlessly with the trackpad also. Research In Motion always had in mind that this new OS has great touch capabilities and that also explains the making of the next gen touch and type BlackBerry Bold device, the Bold 9900.
The OS comes preinstalled with the BlackBerry native applications such as the BlackBerry Messenger, email client and the BlackBerry App World. One of the coolest features of the new OS is the ‘quick search’ facility. On the home screen just type in a few words and everything related to those words, be it contacts, apps email anything is shown right on the home screen.
The new browser is probably one of the best ever to feature on mobile devices rendering every web page almost the way they appear on the computer screen. The trackpad works flawlessly by automatically locating links and adding support for navigation too. The browser is flash enabled but strangely certain flash objects and videos fail to run on the device. Even the link they present for downloading update fails to locate.
With 3G HSPA capabilities, the Bold can connect easily to high speed networks for faster data transfers but sadly it still lacks a front camera, hence video conferencing is not possible on this device. The inclusion of WiFi can help users save on 3G data costs which are on the higher side right now. The phone can be used for internet connectivity and can be easily teetered to computers as an internet modem.
In terms of calling, it has a great bundle to offer but since it lacks video conferencing, calling it perfect would be an overkill. Otherwise the quad band phone can be used on both 2G and 3G networks.
Users will obviously have to take the special BlackBerry data and call plans from their telecom operators in order to make any of its features work except calling and SMSing. The onboard GPS chip and AGPS capabilities along with preinstalled BlackBerry maps add more functionality to the device but here also the maps do not work in the absence of data network.
BlackBerry Bold 9780 offers a superb call quality with ample earpiece and loudspeaker volume. The microphone offers noise cancellation and voice privacy so the receiver can only hear your voice and nothing else.
The multimedia department of the Bold 9780 is red hot. The inclusion of Divx content playback is like a sigh of relief for many; the audio player offers decent amount of features and playback quality which is enough to satisfy anyone on the move. The missing FM radio is still one big concern.
The 5 megapixel camera comes with a power LED flash. The images are sharp and vivid in outdoor light but the flashlight makes the images loose details and turn to a grainy texture.
To sum it up, the Blackberry Bold 9780 is a nice update to the Bold 9700 and the 9650 with additions like the new OS, faster browser and an attractive design. All these make it worthy contender and a perfect companion for any businessman.
But the price tag of Rs 27,990 will hold back many users from buying this. Even the market operating price of Rs 26,000 also does not make it very appealing for many users. RIM seriously needs to reconsider the pricing of Bold 9780 as, with the new generation touch and type devices that are in the pipeline, it will be difficult for this device to gain ground among the potential users.