By September 29, 2008

BlackBerry 9000 Bold Review


As Matt mentioned earlier RIM released their new baby, the Blackberry 9000 Bold and this seems to be a popular choice among the Blackberry fans. When I was asked to review this handset I jumped at the opportunity, simply because I had never used one before and was resigning myself to being an HTC fan for the rest of my life. Announced by Blackberry “officially” on The 12th of May 2008 there was a desperation by all to get their hands on this device given that it was the first BlackBerry smartphone to support tri-band HSDPA high-speed networks and have integrated GPS with Maps and Wi-Fi at the same time.


Blackberry 9000 Bold Review
BlackBerry Bold 9000

This wasn’t the only thing that set this handset apart from it’s predecessors, there was a newly designed full-QWERTY keyboard.

Lets look below before getting my final opinions.


The 10 second review:
Device: Blackberry Bold U9000
Cost: SIM free only: £468.83 (Inc VAT) from Clove Technology.

Available from: CLOVE technology (Go and buy one from here)
Summary: Nothing special to look at but treat it like a packet of revels, you’ll be very surprised when you get inside and see whats in there. A wonderful phone with great features..
Best of: resolution, display, OS, packaging

Worst of: Dimensions


What’s in the box?

Well we wont go into too much detail about what’s in the box as we have an Unboxing Video already online and this would cover more than my words ever could.

Blackberry 9000 Bold Review Specification

Again Matt has stolen my first real review thunder on this by posting the specs already but as usual, words really don’t do justice where this device is concerned.


The Blackberry Bold follows in the same design as most of the other Blackberry handsets out there and whilst not being the most stylish / thinnest handset on the market it does, surprisingly, fit into the palm of your hand snuggly. Weighing in at 133g it is very light when considering the dimensions the handset has.

The front end of the phone could be described as having a very quiet top with the large 480 x 320 pixels screen, a sleek in the middle with the call, menu, trackball, back and call buttons and busy bottom(no puns intended) with the Full QWERTY keyboard which doubles up as the numeric keypad.

Blackberry 9000 Bold angled to the left

The left hand side of the phone is very busy starting at the top with 2 sockets, the top one being the 3.5mm Stereo Jack and the lower being the miniUSB charging / data socket. Just below the miniUSB socket lies a button with 3 protruding spots which acts as the voice command button as default but can be customised. Directly underneath lies the microSD card slot which finishes off that side of the phone.

Blackbery Bold from the left hand side
The Left Hand Side

Moving over to the opposite side we find the rocker volume button at the top and nearer the bottom another customisable button which acts as the camera as default.

Blackbery Bold from the right hand side
The Right Hand Side

The top of the handset has the Standby button which, if I’m being honest, I found a little annoying it it was sunken into the handset and needed a little pressure to get moving.

Blackbery Bold from the top
Top View

At the bottom is the microphone and the release button for the back casing.

Blackbery Bold from the bottom
Bottom View

The back of the phone hosts what I can only describe as a leather look with a plastic feel housing. Whilst this is not something I would normally like I feel that it fist in with the phones unique style perfectly. Sitting at the top of the rear (stop it!) lies the integrated flash and below the 2mp camera lens which has been sunk quite deeply into the housing. The only other thin on the back is the typical blackberry logo etched into the silver plastic that surrounds the camera and flash sections.

Back view of the Blackbery Bold
Back View

Removing the back from the phone allows you access (as normal) to the Li-Ion 1500 mAh battery and simcard area. The first thing I noticed about this was that I was confused as to exactly the battery came out to get into the the simcard slot. There appeared to be a rectangular opening at the bottom which instantly I thought to be the area where the battery released but to my amazement this was not the case. I then looked further up the battery itself and found an etched image of a padlock which suggested to me that there was some kind of locking mechanism to release the battery, again I was wrong. I finally found that the battery could be released by lifting up just underneath the camera lens (Finally!).

Highlights and Lowlights

+ QWERTY Keyboard

+ Trackball Navigation

+ High Speed Processor

+ Screen Resolution

+ Blackberry OS

– Handset Dimensions

– Inability to SMS / MMS using sim memory contacts



With a high price tag associated with the phone it’s clearly aimed at the business and techy guys out there.

Having never before used a Blackberry I was surprised as some of the things I found out when using the handset.

The fist thing that drew my attention when taking the phone out the box was the overall size of the device but more importantly the size of the screen on it. Matt had forgotten to power the phone off when sending it to me so instantly I saw an amazing resolution which really threw me.The screen was very bright and looked almost HD quality.

Navigating the device was something I took to right away with the really cool Trackball mouse stuck in the middle of the phone. The menu system was easy to use / navigate but at one point confusing (specifically the options menu). The view of the was almost full screen grid view with icons which not only highlighted when you scrolled through them but lit up as if having a neon behind the graphics. The only downside for me was the amount of menu icons that were there. This seemed to vary depending on the simcard used but on Voda there were 23 individual icons on there to scroll through. Notably these could me moved etc… using the menu button to put them into folders.

I found the QWERTY keyboard really useful when using the Browser and Messaging systems on the phone, I guess I’m just getting to used to the QWERYTY keyboard as a Touch Pro user. Switching between capitals, alt etc… were very easy however I feel that they were lacking a status led to say what was on and what wasn’t as password writing was not the easiest thing to do without this feature.

Keyboard view of Blackbery Bold
Keyboard View

I found the phone fast moving and quick responding but very slow on the Internet to load high graphics based sites.

The sound quality given when listening to music and watching videos was fantastic and I found the ability to listen to FM radio without having to have a stereo headset plugged in an absolute relief (ingenious Blackberry!).

I could talk forever about this handset and the amazing features it has but alas I have to point out some it’s downfalls. The size of the handset is very off putting and its not so much the height or thickness but rather the width. The first thing my wife said when she seen the phone was “it’s massive” which wasn’t far from the truth. It’s not the worst offender for this I’ve ever seen but it’s definitely up there with them.

The Blackbery bold angled right
Blackberry Bold

The next low for me was the inability to message someone using my sim memory contacts. Having the phone for only a few days I didn’t really want to upload my sim contacts to the phone memory but was forced to do this if I wanted to send text messages without knowing the phone number by heart.


I have to admit that my opinion has been changed and I’m now more than willing to look outside the HTC world for a phone. If asked would I like one of these to own I would say yes. The experience I had with this handset is one I never thought I would. I was set to go on the offensive and this really didn’t happen. Not only have I managed to change my opinion but my wife now also really likes it (ok its the games that done it) and said that if they were ever to do a phone with the same OS etc.. and no QWERTY keyboard built on it then she just might like one (maybe, just maybe…. one day).  Overall a very enjoyable review and I look forward to seeing what’s next in the Blackberry range.

If you are interested in this handset then why not pop over to CLOVE technology where you can get this handset for £468.83 (Inc VAT).

Posted by: John

Posted in: Phones, Reviews
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