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BlackBerry Bold - Dare to be Different
By Seow Tein Hee - 14 Sep 2008


A Macro Perspective

To put things into perspective, the Bold has definitely gone for a major overhaul in its aesthetic department. For one, you'll notice that it is a huge departure from its previous predecessors' less than stellar plastic look, the Bold now comes in two shades, i.e. primarily black with a chrome silver lining along its sides. We are reviewing a BlackBerry device after all, and when it comes to the BlackBerry name, QWERTY keyboards are often than not associated with it. Thus, we did the standard messaging tests on the Bold's keyboard, and out of ten attempts at typing "The quick brown fox jumps over the lazy dog.", we had at least two attempts with some mistyping. But even so, we can safely say the Bold has managed to give its other QWERTY keyboard rivals a run for their money with its wide keyboard, appropriately raised keys without compromising on the smoothness of its design.

The Bold will definitely be the winner if you were to pit it against similar QWERTY keyboard phones that's available in the market as of now. For those of you who feel that it can't match up to the HTC Touch Pro's slide-out QWERTY keyboard, do note that these two keyboards are vastly different in nature due to the generous amount of width as enjoyed by the Touch Pro's length (which will be the width of the keyboard).

As mentioned, the Bold comes with two primary colors, predominantly black with a silver chrome border running along the edges.

Do not mistake this button that's located at the crown of the device as the Power button. This would be the Hold button that'll lock your Bold's keyboard from any accidental typing.

Undeniably, the Bold comes with some vast design improvements, one of which is the microSD card slot. For those who are familiar with earlier BlackBerry models, you might remember and wince at the inaccessibility of the microSD slot which requires one to remove the battery casing and lifting the microSD holder (yes, we are using the word holder since it acts more like a holder than a slot) to reach your microSD. The RIM folks have made a wise decision to do away with the location, and instead shifted the microSD slot to an easily accessible location, i.e at the left profile of the device. Furthermore, the microSD slot is now protected by a hinged cover and easily opened, so you can bid farewell to inaccessible microSD cards. Likewise, the Bold follows through with the inclusion of a 3.5mm audio jack, a mini-USB slot (which, in our opinion, has more merits than using a micro-USB slot that's not easily interchangeable) and finally the voice tag button, all positioned with the microSD slot at the left profile. This leaves the right profile much cleaner, with only the Volume buttons and the dedicated camera button for its 2.0-megapixel camera.

 the microSD slot that's now located at the side of the device, instead of...

...underneath the battery casing as with its predecessor BlackBerry devices, thus giving you easier access to your microSD cards from now on.

The right profile is reserved for its Volume and Camera button, both of which were raised to an optimum level for pressing without creating an unnecessary bulge to the overall smooth design of the Bold.

As mentioned, the Bold comes with a 2-megapixel and an LED flash to combat low lighting conditions. But what caught our attention, and probably yours, will be the leather-textured battery casing that not only makes the Bold look good, but also provides a practical usage, i.e. a good grip with the traction of the leather material. As we move on to the Bold's display screen, there'll be some questions on its screen size and display resolution. On estimation, the Bold measures at up to 2.6-inches for its screen size, and comes as a half-VGA screen with resolutions at 480 x 320. We'll be going into further details on the screen performance, so in the meantime, here's a better look at both the screen and the back of the Bold.

The Bold comes with a half VGA screen at resolutions of 480 x 320, and measures at approximately 2.6-inches. Though it won't have the luster of what the HTC Touch Diamond or HTC Touch Pro provides with its VGA screen, we were still duly impressed with the brightness and details to attention for the Bold's screen.

Notice the little catch here? Battery casing removal is just a press away with the button here, and looking closer, you will see the leathery texture that's melded onto the battery casing.

And the leather backing is not all for show. Thanks to the traction from the leather material, you'll get a better grip with the Bold, which in turn allows you to type faster and navigate better on the device.

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