Verdict: SureType Streak Snapped and Back on BlackBerry
Pros: Keyboard, Software, Apps, Memory, Processor, Screen, ... Smartphone Reviews forum
Review: T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9780
Verdict: SureType Streak Snapped and Back on BlackBerry
Pros: Keyboard, Software, Apps, Memory, Processor, Screen, Hardware,
Cons: Lack of themes
Overall Rating: 5/5
My BlackBerry history dates back to 2003-2004 when the 950 was released. I had that and then the 7730 which were both QWERTY devices. Then the 7100t, 7105t, 8100 and 8120 took precedence for awhile due to portability. I eyeballed the 8700, 8705g, 8800, 8820, 8900, 8220 Flip, and 8520 (in that order of BB device launches. I never really liked the 8300 series for some reason), but stuck with what I was comfortable with. Fast forward to last year when HTC dropped the Touch Pro 2 (WinMo) on T-Mobile. I tried that for 9 months this year (and felt bad about leaving it since I paid the equivalent of a monthly car note to get the thing LOL), and decided I had to have a BlackBerry again.
I ran back to my Pearl last week (Dec 9) and got a good day out of it before it began random reboots. I was on the phone for 4 hours last Friday (Dec 10) with T-Mobile for a new BlackBerry device (Due to the fact that I was not fully eligible until March for at least a 1 yr hardware upgrade, and not being able to wait that long, I asked to be transferred to Retention because I was not getting them to see I did not want another 8120). Since they don't offer the Pearl 9100/9105 (YET), I was stuck between choosing a Bold 9780 and a Curve 8520 or 9300. I had eliminated the Curve 8520 before I was even on the phone due to lack of 3G, GPS and WiFi calling. That left the Bold 9780 and Curve 9300. I was going to get the Curve 9300, but decided to try OS6 which was already preloaded on the Bold, so the 9300 was out the door as an option. I am happy I went with the Bold. I got what I wanted and the 9780 arrived Wednesday night unknown to me due to a lack of notification from UPS. I was like a kid in a candy store Thursday morning when I woke up and found my Bold on the bar in my house (my dad brought it in for me that morning on his way to work). I have not put the thing down for very long over the last 2 days.
Hardware: Identical to the Bold 9700, except for: 1) the camera which has been upgraded to 5 MP; 2) more memory (512MB), and 3) the bezel around the phone is now black. Users upgrading in any of the following scenarios will be happy about the upgrade: 1) Users of the T-Mobile or AT&T 9700; 2) Users switching to T-Mobile from AT&T and their 9000; 3) Users on other carriers that did not have a Bold (Users switching from the Tour 9630 on either Sprint or Verizon, your Bold variant will be the Bold 9650, which is slightly aesthetically different from the 9700/9780, if u choose to stay); 4) Users purchasing one online after having another BlackBerry.
By the way, when I got the phone, I was amazed as how small it is and how good it felt in my hands. The battery door was a little difficult to remove the first few times I tried it but it is now loosening up a bit.
Keyboard: I can type two- or one-handed on it as if I was still on a Pearl.
Screen: The brightness of this is much brighter than on my Pearls. The black background of the included theme on my phone is much brighter and easier to see outside. Even with brightness at 50% it is still readable indoors.
Device Navigation: Another difference is the trackpad that is also on the Curve 8520/8530/9300/9330, Bold 9650/9700 and Torch 9800. I HATED the trackball near the end of my usage of the 8120 (it was the reason I had to replace my first 8120 after 14 months). The trackpad does not light up so you won't see fingerprints on it. I strongly suggest that anyone who is still using the ancient trackwheel or trackball (any of the old 7xxx, and 8xxx series) and eligible to upgrade, skip the trackball of the original Bold and Tour, and go straight for the 8520, 8530, 9300, 9330, 9650, 9700, 9780, or Torch 9800.
OS6: Preloaded OS6 is the biggest difference between this Bold and the others (9000, 9650, and 9700). Unlike the Torch, which comes with the touchscreen, the 9780 utilizes the trackpad to get to the other screens of OS6. Swiping to the left or right switches the screens. I haven't used it much yet but the open tabs seem like a nice feature to have. Device Setup has also been drastically upgraded with so many options you can get lost. Another blessing from OS6 is the drastically shorter reboot time. It reboots in under 60 seconds as opposed to older BBs that take nearly a full minute.
Software: Since T-Mobile only offers this phone (for now...hopefully AT&T users will get this phone soon), there are only a few bloatware apps which a few actually come in handy: T-Mobile Downloads (games mostly), and T-Mobile TV (I have yet to try this as it's not a free app to use). Social Feeds is a new social networking app for OS 6 that incorporates IM and social networks. The Podcasts app is new and offers a multitude of podcasts of all categories. As far as Instant Messaging apps, ICQ users will have to find a new way to use that client as the ICQ app was yanked from BlackBerry devices recently. All others are the same (BBM, AIM, Google Talk, Windows Live, Yahoo). I have not used the voice activated apps yet. The ONLY issue I am having software-wise is that BeeJive (aka JiveTalk) freezes and crashes when I am chatting. UPDATE: This beta link has solved the crashing problem for OS6 http://www.beejive.com/otabeta6.0
Battery Life: ABSOLUTELY AMAZING. I got 12 hours out of the included 1500mAh battery yesterday after having the screen at full brightness, with BlueTooth, Profiles set to Normal and Soft, and WiFi and LED coverage indicators turned on. I played BrickBreaker, had all IM apps open, and texted heavily. I only made one phone call. By the time I plugged my phone in around 9:30 PM last night, I still had 35% left over. I cheated and played music later that night with the phone plugged in. I tried another battery test with music and other tweaked settings to see how stable the battery life was before I plunk down money for an extended battery and got 12 hours out of the same battery that comes with the device (45% left over at nearly 1:30 AM Central). Seidio offers 2 varieties: a bulky 2700mAh with an extended back door ($70); and a 1750mAh slim extended which uses the regular door ($50) located at http://www.seidioonline.com/category-s/3731.htm. It will be awhile before I buy a backup battery LOL
Media Player: This thing about blew my eardrums out last night even with headphones LOL I have not played with the settings yet but I am sure I will find the perfect settings for my ears.
Camera: I took a few pics of my nieces over Christmas and the pictures came out VERY bright with no problems at all.
Processor: I am still in shock that I can have just as many apps as I want (23 so far, not including what was preloaded) without it rebooting or seeing a continuous hourglass like on my Pearl (this was my same reaction when I got the HTC Touch Pro 2 back in March 2010, although it just lagged as there was no hourglass icon). I have seen it a few times while adding apps from App World and switching apps. Thankfully, this has led to the end of my streak of multiple daily battery pulls.
Connections: I had to enlist the help of an online T-Mobile chat support rep for this one. My phone came with a new SIM card installed and I took it to T-Mobile to have my account information switched to the new one. I get home and try to setup my phone. It then tells me I don't have the correct data plan for setup??? Turns out all that was transferred were my contacts! I am back on the old SIM card and I have 3G nearly everywhere I go. BlueTooth and WiFi connect easily. Having BlueTooth, WiFi, GPS (even for a few minutes) and 3G on all at the same time made no difference in the performance of the battery.
Conclusion: Overall this has been the best BB I have had so far and I have had a lot. I never thought I would enjoy a full QWERTY keyboard BB again after the disaster that was my 7730 LOL
Last edited by EricaJ1073; 01-02-2011 at 05:41 PM.
Thanks for the review. I'm glad you finally found a phone that you love
VERY nice review Erica, thank you!
For some reason, I knew I should have waited when I was eligible for my upgrade back in March but the Pearl was on it's last legs at the time. Jumping ship was a welcomed break at the time but it just showed me where I needed to go back to for reliability.
Originally Posted by pdxmatts
One thing I forgot to mention in the keyboard section of the review is that even though the keys look small on the 9780, they are very comfortable to type on. I enabled a few of the options to help make text entry easier and am flying through PIN and text messages.