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BlackBerry claims its new
Bold smartphone features an "elegant design not sacrificing features
and functionality." As a user of the BlackBerry Curve we find the
recently released version more of a fashion statement than an upgrade –
maybe attracting a more professional audience to the iPhone. With
claims that it offers advanced email, phone and IM, does this upgrade
have any technology different to its previous releases?

In
fact it does offer faster speeds on the 3.5G High-Speed Downlink Packet
Access (HSDPA) network and along with the smartphone’s 624MHz Intel
PXA270 processor makes downloading email attachments, streaming video
or rendering web pages an easy thing to do. (Of course there is also
quad-band GSM on the phone as well).

It is also bigger than the curve, measuing in at 115.5mm by 62.1mm by
12.3 mm (compared to the Curve’s 107mm by 60mm by 15.5mm). This is to
accommodate the full QWERTY keyboard and display.

The
mobile has 128MB of flash memory and 1GB of storage suitable for
filling up with photos, videos and music tracks. There is also a
microSD/SDHC memory card slot that is accessible from a side slot and
the Bold can support up to 16GB in storage. Also on board is a
2-megapixel camera and a 3.5mm headphone jack.

An
upgrade to the multimedia on the Bold is featured as "Blackberry media
sync." A way to transfer desktop iTunes files to your BlackBerry Bold –
making it easier to enjoy music on the move – supposedly stopping that
unnecessary manual transfer of files. Unwillingly I feel that the
attraction to iTunes is far too great for buyers to resist, bringing me
back again to my original argument.

We
have to admit that the introduction of BlackBerry Maps would be a good
piece of technology. The integrated GPS paired (alongside
location-based services) enables users to get a "turn by turn account"
of where they might be, making walking round London a thrill rather
than the usual stressful experience. The map definition is helped by
the WQVGA 480 by 320 65,000 colour LCD display.

More on next page….

 

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{mospagebreak}As far as applications are concerned, the smart phone comes with WordToGo, PowerPointToGo, WordMole, and a couple other games.

The
Wi-fi connection (supporting a/b/g networks) is very much the same, and
although it suggests on the website that it may "lower your costs" it
does not offer any obvious benefit that has not been featured on any
previous BlackBerry. Just as the website suggests, an exaggerated
description of the display and colours provided to users – after
looking into the design, there seems to be no difference between the
two phones that we feel is worth forking out another £100 on top of the
RRP.

After comparing our
already-swayed judgement to the BlackBerry Curve, we feel that our view
has slightly changed. The BlackBerry Bold does offer an introduction of
the very practical Blackberry Maps and has made transferring music far
less monotonous, however at around £400 (£100 more than the Curve) does
not make me more inclined to go to the next phone shop we come across
and hand over our hard-earned cash.

Rating: 6/10

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