RIM upgraded its Bold line with an all new Bold 9780. At first glance, you’d miss the Bold 9780 as the Bold 9700 but it comes with one major difference – the Blackberry OS 6. The new Bold 9780 comes with RIM’s new eye pleasing OS, making it first the non-touchscreen Blackberry phone to run the BB OS 6. But does it manage to do the justice? We try to find out.
You really need to be a Blackberry enthusiast to find out the difference amongst various Blackberry models and this holds true for the Bold line as well. As I said 9780 is designed similarly to its predecessor 9700 that looks stylish with its glossy front and a faux-leather finish at the back. The front area is taken up by a nice screen with the trackball, menu buttons and QWERTY keyboard taking the other half. The back is rather clean with the faux-leather battery cover and camera lens and LED flash taking the rest of the area. On the sides are two volume keys and a camera shutter/shortcut. You can even customize the camera and voice dialing buttons as per your desired function. The unlock key and the mute key are housed on top panel of the phone.
Overall, the phone looks good, has a pretty good build quality and perfectly matched to suit-clad consumers. The keys on the QWERTY keypad are well spaced and tapering but sometimes gave a squeaking feedback after about couple of weeks of its usage.
The 480×360 pixel screen is crisp and is good under sunlight as well. We do hope that the guys at RIM provide a touch-screen in this kind of form-factor as the BB OS 6.0 really complements the touch-screen.
On the connectivity front the Bold 9780 comes with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, GPS. RIM has also doubled the internal flash memory from the 256MB found in the 9700 to 512MB. Double memory means a user can install more apps into his phones as compared to 9700. Installing apps on SD card is still forbidden, which is a drawback considering it allows expanding memory to up to 32GB.
Just like other Blackberries, 9780 is also the victim of slow boot-up time. It takes forever to boot but thankfully, once its past through this, everything else is a breeze. The phone is responsive throughout and takes little time to execute a command.
Coming on to BB 9780’s biggest change – the OS, I would say it’s a welcome addition. Of course, the OS has a lot to catch to match with iOS or Android, the UI is certainly a breather from the aging BB 5 OS. However, when you compare the experience of the BB OS 6 from Torch 9800 and 9780, it feels that BB OS 6 is more optimized and user friendly to touch-based devices.
Other new features BB OS 6 boasts are a webkit browser, Social Feeds and universal search. The webkit browser is a really good addition that also supports tabbed browsing whereas Social Feeds brings all the social contacts under one roof. Universal Search allows users to search anything on their Blackberry or web, right from the homescreen.
The back houses 5-megapixel shooter, an upgrade from 3.2-inch from Bold 9700. Picture quality is good and the camera can capture pictures at a resolution of up to 2592×1944 pixels but it is the video where the camera lacks. It is capable of recording at only 640×480 resolution, which is kind of underwhelming for a high-end smartphone considering other phones in the same price range are capable of delivering HD quality video.
In a nutshell, if you are already using the Blackberry Bold 9700 and are happy with its performance, there’s not much of an incentive. However, the new OS and the memory bump are few things that matter as a Blackberry user, you can give the new Bold a try or go for Torch 9800 which feels more user friendly with BB OS 6.
The Bold 9780 retails for Rs.27,990 and we feel is steep for a phone that can be termed as evolutionary rather than revolutionary.