Friday, November 14, 2008
Looking At the Competition: The Blackberry Bold
Posted by Jason Dunn in "Pocket PC Competition" @ 11:09 AM
Being so heavily Windows Mobile-centric, I find it interesting when I can get my hands on devices from companies that compete with Windows Mobile. I had an opportunity to play with a RIM Blackberry Bold earlier this week, and was extremely impressed with the hardware. I thought it might be useful to share what I thought was good about the Bold, if for no other reason than to point out to anyone from Microsoft, HTC, etc. reading this site that Windows Mobile devices are lacking somewhat in the area that the Bold inhabits.
The 2.66 inch, 320 x 480 screen was simply gorgeous - very crisp, with great contrast. It made everything look excellent - I think the Blackberry OS, for all its faults, gets many things right on the home screen - the indicator icons on Windows Mobile are huge in comparison, so even by making them smaller, things look sharper and more organized on the Blackberry home screen. The keyboard felt really good, although I thought the width of the device was a bit much - it's closer to the Motorola Q9h in width, while I prefer the more slender Blackjack II. Not a deal-breaker though, I'd put up with the extra width to get that screen. Device thickness and weight were reasonable.
Performance was very snappy - apps just flew, screens appeared and vanished quickly. I've always felt that other Blackberry models had a nice home screen, but looked like pagers once you dug a layer deeper, but the Bold has a pretty good second level as well. Video playback was very impressive as well - there was a Speed Racer sample clip that looked amazing, the best I've seen on a mobile device in a long time. The media player software was pretty weak though - it was a combination of VCR-like buttons and a DOS-like directory listing of videos. I'm spoiled by how fun and easy media browsing is on my Zune, and everything else pales in comparison. Read more...