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  • BlackBerry Bold 9000, Too Clicky & Other Shortcomings

    Posted on August 17th, 2010 Shawn 2 comments

    I have used the BlackBerry Bold 9000 as my primary all-in-one converged phone/media device for 18 months. It’s about time I put this device in its place. Let’s get into the issues: keyboard, no touch screen, Gmail integration, limited internal/application memory, and more.

    Don’t get me wrong, as longtime user of smartphones, the Bold 9000 has some excellent features, but I’m going to be the grumpy old man today. Remember, my smartphone history is: PalmOne Treo 650 (Verizon), Palm Treo 700p (Verizon), BlackBerry Storm 9530 (Verizon), iPhone 3G (AT&T), and of course Bold 9000 (AT&T).

    Keyboard: This keyboard first is just too wide for me. The width needs to be trimmed down a smidge. My former Treo devices had the perfect spacing of keys making typing a breeze. With the Bold 9000, my thumbs need to travel further than necessary. “Click, click, click”, says my keyboard as I type. These keys are ridiculously loud. Just try to type on this thing when you are in a meeting without disturbing everyone in the room; or worse, try checking your email while sitting on a public loo. The guy in the stall next to you is bound to count your clicky keystrokes.

    Lack of Touch Screen: There’s not much to say about this. It’s 2010, get with it. Granted, the phone came out in 2008, but still, combined hardware keyboard and touch screen smartphones (Palm OS, Windows Mobile) have been around since 2005. What’s taking RIM so long to get touch screen phones, with a physical keyboard on it? Yes, we can now get our hands on the BlackBerry Torch 9800, but it astounds me that the flagship BlackBerry devices of 2008 and 2009 did not have touch.

    Gmail Integration: Gmail has 26 million user accounts. Presumably, many of them are using BlackBerry to read/send Gmail. So, how is it that the BlackBerry operating system still does not support 2-way synchronization? If I archive a Gmail message on the Bold, it will automatically archive when displayed on the PC’s web browser. Though, if I archive a Gmail message on the PC’s web browser, the BlackBerry OS is not smart enough to automatically sync. In fact, there’s no way to force a synchronization, which requires me to archive the same message twice.

    Also, if using the BlackBerry’s integrated “Desktop” email client, it displays messages from all integrated email accounts; Exchange, Gmail, Yahoo, Hotmail, AOL, etc. Though, when using Desktop to display messages, there are none of the expected Gmail features, like Archive and Add Star. If you want to use the Gmail features, you have to leave the Desktop and open the Gmail icon to get those features. Simply, it’s a poor and inefficient implementation of Gmail integration and support.

    Application Memory: This device has a whopping 128MB of memory reserved for the OS, installed applications, and running applications. What this means is if you install more than 10 apps, get ready to run out of memory and have the phone lock-up forcing a reboot. Also, if you have more than three 3rd party apps running simultaneously, same story…out of memory, forced to reboot. Even though there is 1GB of on-board storage and up-to 16GB of microSD storage, you are still limited to 128MB for all apps. That’s just crap.

    Media Playlist Syncing: If you have playlists on the computer in Windows Media Player (WMP) or iTunes, the playlists will only sync to the Bold with the PC installation of the BlackBerry Media Sync application. If you were to use the native WMP or iTunes syncing; music, video, and photos will sync, but no playlists. Stupid, just stupid that RIM cannot use the WMP or iTunes API to get playlists to sync.

    On a good note, that’s about all I can complain about. The Media app is sub-par to iPod or PocketTunes (Palm OS), but it’s usable. The screen resolution is great. The phone, speaker, Bluetooth, and other features are great…but this is my Debbie Downer rant.


    2 responses to “BlackBerry Bold 9000, Too Clicky & Other Shortcomings” RSS icon

    • Thank you for the insight. I had a Droid X but due to Verizon’s everlasting problem of screwing up billing and the phone locking up sometimes I no longer have it. I was thinking about getting the Bod 9000 because I am 6’4 and have big hands it would be good for me but the lack of Rim not offering the latest software for the 9000 is unbelievable, so much for getting your clients happy and up to date. Also what you have stated here and the fact that Rim thinks the new Blackberry Torch is groundbreaking, someone needs to wake up over there, what a disappointment.

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