On doing yourself an expensive favour, avoid the new BlackBerry Bold

Hobbes, I had it already with the new BlackBerry Bold 9000.

I have had crackberries for the last 3 years, always getting the last model (what’s life without those little caprices?) and this is the first time I had to regret the change and go back to my 8310 (or 8300, it doesn’t matter if I can get away from the iPhone challenger).

At first I thought, reasons to move up to the Bold? Many. Edgy, 3G, larger screen, resolution, faster microchip… the lot!

But I got my first one two Fridays ago and had to exchange it the Monday after. It wouldn’t vibrate (I physically hate ringtones), and it would restart itself for no reason, even in the middle of a conversation.I got my second one, and I have been working with it for a week. But it kind of drove me nuts. I can browse faster and more efficiently! Wrong.

Well, it is true that you can enjoy faster downloads using the 3G network, but it is also true that I was getting 1/6, 1/7 of the battery life I would normally get on the 2G one.
And as for 3G voice availability, as patchy as a Lehman Brothers executive’s credit report. You end up switching it off and staying on the old reliable 2G (note to Bold owners, don’t leave it on “2g and 3G” otherwise you will end up with cuts on signal when jumping from one to the other and seriously compromising the battery life).

The Bold has an iPhone look-alike menu, but since I write quite a lot on my BB, after playing with Apple’s toy (not for those with sweaty ears, huh?) I realised that BlackBerry was still my thing. But once you go through the desktop and the first-level menu, what lies underneath is nothing but the old Symbian OS. They haven’t even bother to change the type face. Absolutely nothing new there either. And it responds slower to the  than the, now old, 8800 Pearl.

One thing is true, the keyboard is a huge improvement from later models, and I look forward to that. Another thing is that if you expect to notice the vibration mode, you better work at a bomb squad.

I am taking it back to Vodafone tomorrow. I cannot believe that the long awaited Bold 9000 (coming out in June, July, August and finally September) is nothing than a beta product that shouldn’t be retailing at the moment. Before wasting £500 on an eBay purchase, I recommend you to stay clear of the gadget and wait for news of improved battery life and fixing of software and signal issues.

I will give you an example. On Monday I left home around 10am and after using the navigator and spending around 1h on the phone, by 3h30pm there was 10% battery left. To make things worse, even though having full signal (well full, moving average I would say), for 3h they tried to text and call me with no success. Did I tell you that my text messages stayed at home?

Note for RIM, you never chased anyone on the market, so don’t try to do it now, you rushed to the market with an untested and unfinished product. And all for what? Is that your new strategy? I wonder how the Pearl 8220 is going to do… it didn’t work for Motorola. If it works, don’t fix it, is it really that difficult to understand?


PS. By the way, attention! If you try to go restore your old BlackBerry from your faulty or disappointing Bold 9000, you should know that the desktop software provided (v4.6) doesn’t work with older handset versions (8300/8310 v4.3). I learnt it the hard way, don’t make the same error, I lost my calendar records.


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