Sunday, August 23, 2009

Blackberry Bold? Or overpriced brick?

I had an opportunity to play with the Blackberry Bold today. There's a new corporate AT&T store near my house. Since I'm a glutton for punishment I wandered into it today to take a look-see. In a word, I was not all that impressed with this flagship smart phone.

The phone was big - bigger than my 1st generation iPhone. It was both wider and thicker. It did weigh less though, but that's because it feels, well, cheap. I've seen Blackberry's hit the floor a number of times. Battery, body and battery door all bounce in different directions making a very gratifying "crash!". Owners simply put them back together, turn them on, and go on with life.

Speaking of a crash - the very nice girl that helped me crashed the phone trying to show me something on the browser. We locked it up good and could not get it unstuck. She finally popped it open and took out the battery. It took several minutes after she reassembled it until we were able to use it again. As she said, Blackberry's take the longest of any of their phones to turn on, and I believe it. It was horrible. This little hourglass kept flashing - and after it came up we had to go through the initialization questions again.

It did have a very nice screen - she showed me an "HD" movie and it looked very nice. And the little phone has one heck of a set of speakers on it. She turned it up and let's just say you'd make a scene in your local coffee shop.

Email and text-oriented stuff like dialing and the contacts list were excellent. As a phone I think it would work exceedingly well; as an email client it is legendary. As an iPhone replacement, however, I'm worried that it will leave me disappointed. I'd need to play with it more in the real world - unfortunately, I suspect they'll not lend me one to play with for a week. Test drives have not yet made it to the telecommunications industry.

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