RIM has been pushing the boundaries recently, stepping out of their usual businessman’s-best-friend design box, by adding their first touchscreen QWERTY slider, the Torch and clamshell, Style to their collection. The BlackBerry Bold 9780 returns RIM to their roots and is the latest spawn of the highly successful Bold family. It may have the same genetic make up of the Bold 9700, but the changes RIM has made give us little doubt that the Bold 9780 will keep the legacy going.
As we already mentioned, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 looks extremely similar to its older sibling, the 9700. However, after a good old game of spot the difference, we did notice that the chrome rim has been replaced with a dark black lining instead. This is the only change RIM has made to the exterior of the handset, so expect the same design aspects as before including the faux-leather battery cover.
RIM has also kept the 2.44inch TFT 480 x 360 resolution display too which compliments the Bold 9780 nicely with a bright, crisp picture quality. The four row QWERTY keyboard makes a return too, and is as user friendly and pleasant to type on as always thanks to the slightly curved keys. The Bold 9780′s almost identical look certainly isn’t a bad thing. We had little complaints about the previous Bold model’s appearance, so why change something that’s already perfectly good as it is? Good call, RIM.
Power and Operating System
In a slight case of déjà-vu, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 also features a 624MHz processor, just like the Bold 9700. It’s not the best processor we’ve encountered on smartphones these days but the increased RAM memory to 512MB works wonders for the handset’s overall speed.
The Bold 9780 gets a lot better than just a bigger memory capacity though. It’s the first ‘traditional’ BlackBerry handset to get a taste of RIM’s latest operating system, OS6 and boy were we pleased to see it! The boring text-only sub menus and dull looking complexion of the main menu are no more, and although OS6 doesn’t offer anything revolutionary in terms of features, it gives the Bold 9780 a much needed dose of 2010.
The biggest improvements we noticed with OS6, aside from its appearance are the added usability functions. The Universal Search tool scans the Bold 9780 for whatever feature you’re looking for, you can also view all your appointments and calendar dates from a pull down menu on the homescreen plus the Social Feeds app handily streams all your Facebook, Twitter and BlackBerry Messenger updates into a single place.
Internet: OS6 also brings with it an improved Web-Kit based browser which allows us to enjoy tabbed browsing, and while it felt a little old-school using a trackpad to navigate the web, zooming was effective and the text re-sized quickly.
The BlackBerry Bold has both 3G connectivity via HSDPA and Wi-Fi.
Camera: Another improved spec on the BlackBerry Bold 9780 comes in the form of its 5 megapixel camera, bettering the Bold 9700′s 3.2 megapixel snapper. It has an LED flash, geotagging and different shooting options such as face detection and sport mode. The camera also has an autofocus and a 3x digital zoom. Not too bad for a handset that isn’t primarily designed to please photography fans!
Media: BlackBerry OS6 has revamped the media player interface and the music menu is well organised with tracks sorted by artist, playlists, albums and the like. The music player displays album artwork now and plays MP3 and WMA files.
The Bold 9780 has DivX and XviD support and although the 2.44 inch display isn’t the biggest screen around, the bright landscape picture shows off video footage nicely.
Other tech specs:
- 3.5mm audio jack
- 256MB internal storage
- MicroSD card slot which supports cards up to 32GB
- Bluetooth 2.1
- MicroUSB port 2.0
- aGPS support with BlackBerry Maps
- Document editor
- 6 hours battery life
There isn’t anything particularly bad to say about the BlackBerry Bold 9780, but it isn’t the most ground-breaking new handset to be released. Then again, RIM hasn’t tried to chop and change things opting to just add in the essential improvements that make the Bold 9780 a little bit better than its predecessor, and we’re fine with that.
The Bold legacy continues to shine through the BlackBerry Bold 9780 which has only built on what the Bold 9700 lacked. OS6 was the obvious step up for the handset, and RIM delivered the goods so we have nothing but praise for the original QWERTY king. If you’re looking for a phone that has got communication down to a tee, the Bold 9780 is the handset for you.