First of all, let me be clear, this isnâ€™t intended to be a full-blown review of every single little feature and function of the BlackBerry Bold. There are plenty of great, in-depth reviews of the Bold: CrackBerry, APC Mag, and more. Instead, Iâ€™m looking at this from a previous Curve and current iPhone user. I havenâ€™t been very happy with the iPhone, especially its worse-than-mediocre wireless performance, and I wanted to see what else was out there that could replace it. After looking around, the Bold came out as the most probable candidate, given my happy history with the Curve.
What’s in that case?
I was lucky to get the opportunity to use a Bold for a day. This comparison tackles the larger usability points and looks at the fundamental differences between the iPhone and the Bold to see which is better suited for my use.
A Beautiful Device
BlackBerries may be traditionally thought of as â€˜suitâ€™ devices – very business-like and serious – but with Research in Motion focusing more and more on the vast consumer market, device design has vaulted up its list of priorities. The Bold is without a doubt the best-looking BlackBerry to date; I’ve used a Curve extensively and played with an 8830 on end. The chrome (plastic) ring around the device works well with the otherwise black design. The large menu and call/hang-up keys feel far more integrated into the design, as opposed to the chrome-y stubs that adorned the 8300 and 8800 series.
The fake leather back actually feels much harder than it might appear in photos. I half expected the soft touch of real leather (or at least some decent pleather). You certainly won’t mistake the feel of plastic for leather. It does however prevent the device from sliding around on a desk unlike the bulbous, glossy backed iPhone 3G. It also won’t show scratches, unlike other glossy phones. Great for business types who would rather worry about the meeting with the CEO rather than scratches on their phone.
The Bold is a bit thicker than the iPhone 3G, but remains a pretty thin device. The chrome trim adds to overall width, but makes it feel far thinner than it actually is. The rest of the back curves in beneath the border, disappearing in the palm of your hand. The iPhone is definitely a bit easier to hold, simply due to the width differences. I still have a bit of muscle memory from the Curve and it’s a pretty big step up in width to the Bold. In comparison, the Bold feels a bit better than the 8800 series, which is just as wide, but doesn’t have the sloping back to make it feel thinner.
The Bold’s screen is beautiful. The Bold and iPhone both have 480×320 pixel resolution displays, but the Bold crams those pixels into a much smaller display, making it a bit crisper. A compromise had to be made to fit a hardware keyboard. It’s a trade-off between the larger, more usable display of the iPhone and the smaller, but sharper display of the Bold. Still, the iPhone’s display is still quite clear, so I’d go with the larger display in this case. Still, that doesn’t take anything away from the quality of the Bold’s screen.