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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  • Lord 666 - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    Annoying side scrolling
    Annoying that pressing the seven dots button doesn't expand the full screen anymore
    Annoying sluggishness
    Annoying how SMS sometimes does not allow seeing older messages and just freezes

    The only thing going for BB right now is the great GSA pricing on handsets and true centralized management.
  • Johnmcl7 - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    I don't think it's a bad idea to focus on the enterprise market as it's an area where RIM have less competition. In the company I work for the 9780 is now the only smartphone availble to employees (simpler and cheaper than the Torch) and I'm sure that's not unique to this company either.

  • Zink - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    Blackberries are beautiful for phone and email functionality because of the durability and the keyboard but just can't do the entertainment stuff as well. I think a blackberry would make a great companion for a 7" tablet for mobile use if you're carrying some king of bag.
  • Faruk88 - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    Just a comment on signal performance: On Blackberries, you won't get an accurate dBm reading unless you go into the Engineering screen. Otherwise, anything better than -90dBm is reported as -70dBm. In the Engineering screen, the numbers are more accurate and are refreshed more frequently.
  • mythun.chandra - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    Thanks for the heads up Faruk88. I will try and get the numbers updated at the earliest. Appreciate the input! :)

  • Brian Klug - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    Or on the home screen, press and hold alt, then type nmll ;)

  • Titanius - Wednesday, March 23, 2011 - link

    The article is good and all that, but it has been 4 months since the Bold 9780 came out on the market...FYI.
  • SonicIce - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    no one gives a fuck about smartphones what has this site become
  • strikeback03 - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    I'm gonna guess they could pull their page hit numbers and tell you differently. But feel free to go back to waiting for Llano to be released and SNB to be fixed.
  • kmmatney - Friday, March 25, 2011 - link

    Time for another $700 video card article...

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