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BlackBerry Bold (AT&T)


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It was worth the wait. As befitting its name, there’s nothing subtle about the BlackBerry Bold. It’s the most elegant smart phone with a full keyboard we’ve ever laid eyes on, and its $299 price makes it the Bentley of devices in AT&T’s lot. The Bold is also the first BlackBerry to offer both 3G and Wi-Fi data, and its 624-MHz processor provides amazingly quick performance. Although it’s larger and heavier than the Curve, the Bold is the most powerful BlackBerry yet, and it’s the best business smart phone on any carrier.


The BlackBerry Bold looks and feels like a premium smart phone. While it has the same dimensions as the BlackBerry 8820 (4.5 x 2.6 x 0.6 inches) and it is one-tenth of an ounce heavier (4.8 vs. 4.7), it is a much more visually appealing device. That’s because the Bold has an absolutely stunning 2.8-inch, 480 x 320-pixel resolution display; it’s bright and colors really pop; in fact, every pixel looks like it was painted on. Also, the Bold’s glossy black finish and silver border lend to its sleekness, and the changeable leatherette rear cover is available in different colors, including red and blue.

However, owners of the BlackBerry Curve may not like how large and bulky this device is in comparison. The AT&T Curve 8310, for example, weighs nearly an ounce less, and it’s dimensions are significantly shorter and narrower (at 4.2 x 2.4 inches), making it more pocket-friendly.

The Bold retains the white trackball for navigating its user interface; however, like on the Pearl Flip 8220, this one is slightly recessed into the face of the phone. The Berry key and call button reside to the left, while the return key and end-call button are to its right. The Bold’s keyboard has beveled keys like the 8800 series BlackBerry, and each is a hair larger than those found on the BlackBerry Curve. Typing was extremely easy and comfortable, and each key offered soft feedback when pressed. Fans of the Curve keyboard will love this keyboard as well.

The Bold has a mini-USB port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, a customizable menu button that defaults as a shortcut to open tasks, and an external microSD slot that supports up to 16GB of additional storage on the left side. The right side of the unit has volume controls and a camera quick-launch button.

BlackBerry Bold, left edge

BlackBerry Bold, right edge

Updated User Interface

The BlackBerry Bold, like the Pearl Flip 8220, sports RIM’s new 4.6 operating system. We love its cleaner look, and while we thought the icons were hard to distinguish from one another on the Pearl Flip’s smaller display, the text for each folder name, as well as the folder icons themselves, are large and easy to read on the Bold. Aiding in identification, when an icon is selected by the user it glows white. Three icons in particular should stand out to any new owner of the Bold: DOC, XLS, and PPT. Those are part of RIM’s new integration of DataViz’ Documents To Go for viewing and light editing of Office files.

BlackBerry Bold, top edge

BlackBerry Bold, bottom edge

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