Display and Camera

The one drawback of having a non-slider full QWERTY keypad on a mobile device is the screen real estate you have to give up. The Bold doesn’t try to change this in any way; it maintains the same 2.4” 480x360 resolution display as BlackBerry smartphones of the past. Obviously this makes surfing the internet on the Bold cumbersome, at best, which is sad as we’ll see later that RIM seems to be focusing quite heavily on improving its browser performance. But for almost everything else the display works just fine. Reading emails, chatting and even watching the occasional YouTube video all work well on the Bold’s crisp screen. Visibility outdoors is also not an issue as the light sensor is able to ramp up the brightness sufficiently under direct sunlight.

(Left) The Bold's display is bright and sharp (Right) and the outdoor visibility is pretty good too

The 5MP AF camera with LED Flash on the 9780 is the exact same module as the one found in the Torch 9800. Under naturally well-lit conditions, the 9780's camera can pull off decent shots, but in poorly lit (or even artificially lit) situations, noise becomes increasingly visible. As such, everything that Brian covered in his Torch 9800 review is applicable to the camera found in the 9780 Bold--from the inability to choose what to focus on, to the low-by-todays-standards 640x480 limit on video resolution, and the silly message about how turning the LED flash ON for video will drain the battery faster, everything is the exact same. The only exception is that the image preview frame rate on the Bold seems to be on par with other devices as I could not notice any obvious stuttering.

I apologize for the overcast image and video samples. The Bay area hasn't caught a break in the last couple of weeks when it comes to bad weather! As such, the quality will be worse than what you'd get in better lighting conditions.

Design and Ergonomics Performance and Other Notes
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  • SonicIce - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    just kidding lol Reply
  • radium69 - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    Too bad the market for blackberries is getting saturated in europe.
    All of the teens have either a blackberry or an iphone.
    The image of a blackberry is getting seriously raped over here. Carriers are promoting the blackberries like mad, with a text bundle etc.

    Allthough it's a nippy little device, I will not buy it.
    Allthough the battery life is as always, good.
    Reply
  • IntelUser2000 - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    "the javascript performance as reported by the SunSpider benchmark has improved by a staggering 54% compared to the numbers before the update (which in itself was a decent 13% better than those posted by the Torch, which basically has the exact same hardware specs as this Bold)."

    Lesson in simple arithmetic. When comparing performance numbers that result in better score as "lower", the gain in performance is found by dividing the higher number by the lower number.

    For example:
    10612ms vs 22752ms

    22752/10612 = 2.14x or 114% faster
    Reply
  • mythun.chandra - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    Agreed. What I meant to say in the review was it executed the SunSpider benchmark in 54% less time. Reply
  • klatscho - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    i have been using the 9700 for 18 months now; the previous OS was terrible, but with the current os 6 it really works fine; i especially enjoy the search functions and the long battery life; the device is quite small and robust; also the keyboard augments my productivity.
    i would really like to see more hardware like this (small form factor, keyboard, long battery life) instead of all the supersized phones that are currently hyped. larger devices are fine for private used, but in a typical business environment, the just not cut the cheese.
    Reply
  • Kosh401 - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    I've been on the Bold 9700 for quite a while now and love the thing. It's functionality with my job is a huge time saver and being able to use BBM with coworkers and all my friends who have berries has been a nice touch. For entertainment I have a couple games on it but I don't really use it much for games. Play poker the most with some friends, otherwise just good old fashion solitaire. I probably watch more Youtube and check the news more than I play games on it I'd guess. So for me that's all the entertainment I require out of my phone :) Reply
  • tipoo - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    Do we know yet if the Torch is getting that update that improved the Bold's Javascript performance so much? With the same processor it would make sense that it would. Reply
  • Vinny N - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    There's an error in the article...the display resolution is stated as 320x480. It is actually 480x360. Someone must have been thinking of the 480x320 resolution of the original bold 9000... Reply
  • mythun.chandra - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    Fixed! Reply
  • tech6 - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    I can only partially agree with this review as it seems to approach the 9780 as a home user device. For the average home user this phone will not be very interesting so if you want apps to show off to your friends and family then get an Android or iPhone. The Blackberry is a corporate communicator and it servers that purpose very well delivering security, the policy based management functionality of BES and the focus of the UI. For business these are indispensable qualities that the competition doesn't yet offer. That is not to say that Android or iOS are inferior but their focus is more on turning phones into media consumption devices than serving business and your review needs to reflect that.

    I also don't agree with the assessment of build quality. I changed my 9700 for a 9780 a couple of weeks ago and it is every bit as sturdy as the Torch or the 9000 and 9700.
    Reply

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