BlackBerry Bold 9780 review: Business as usual

GSMArena team, 21 January 2011.
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Tags: BlackBerry

Smart dial is the telephony highlight

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 in-call performance was as good as we’ve come to expect from the Canadians. No voice drops or reception issues were experienced.

What gives the Bold 9780 some extra points however is the Smart dial feature. Indeed that was our preferred way of locating contacts on the handset - you just press a few keys straight from the homescreen and a list of names that contain them appears on the screen. There’s no unpleasant delay or anything like that.

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The smart dial is integrated into the universal search

You can then select them with the trackpad and initiate a call - it doesn't get any simpler than that, does it?

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The in-call screen

Another worthy call feature is the Voice dialing, which gets activated by pressing the left convenience key by default. If you change that key functionality you can add the app to the favorites list and start it by scrolling to it and clicking over it.

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 didn't fare too well in our traditional loudspeaker test. It achieved an average score, but only just. Still, the performance of most of its rivals isn't much better so it's not a big hit to the 9780 reputation .

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score
Nokia E7265.7 60.266.3Below Average
BlackBerry Bold 978066.366.268.9Average
BlackBerry Bold 970070.766.670.6Average
Nokia E7168.066.576.2Good
BlackBerry Curve 852069.868.776.0Good
HTC Gratia73.273.683.5Excellent

You can learn more about our test here.

Messaging is all fine, but email needs BIS subscription

The BlackBerry Bold 9780 handles has all kinds of messages, though its nicely organized apps. You get SMS, MMS and email support out of the box and there are also a few IM apps preinstalled.

BlackBerry Bold 9780
Checking out the messaging menu

Of course, much like with the other BlackBerry handsets, a BIS account is a must if you are to use email on the Bold 9780. And while we understand the advantages of the BlackBerry internet service, it would have been nice to give users some kind of choice. You know – you can go for the security we offer or you can use whatever internet plan you have and live without it.

And we shouldn’t forget that not every carrier worldwide is offering BIS, which reduces the Bold 9780 reach. Still if you do get a subscription you can check out the nicely organized and easily customizable client, which has deservedly earned itself good reputation over the years.

Photos can be resized to 1024x768, 800x600 or 640x480 for sending, emails can be flagged and filtered by request, color and status, while folders can be created, edited and deleted from the device itself.

The message editors, which look identical for all types of messages, is pretty simple to use and packs a neat interface. There is a counter at the top indicating the remaining characters to 160, and another one showing the number of parts the message will break down into for sending. That one turns into a data counter if you are creating an MMS or email.

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Sending Dexter a message with the Bold 9780

Entering recipients is as quick and convenient as it gets. You just start typing and the smart-dialing kicks in, giving you a list of contacts containing the typed letters.

All that combined with the comfy keyboard makes the Bold 9780 pretty great at the task it was meant to perform – texting. Some visual effects would also be welcomed, but getting the job done is what really matters here.

Music player stays the same

But for the mild UI refresh the BlackBerry Bold 9780 music player hardly brings any news. It’s still pretty conservatively styled, but most of the functionality has been there since BlackBerry OS 5.

Still there’s quick searching of tracks and automatic sorting by artist, album and genre. Creating custom playlists is also supported.

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Browsing your tracks in the music player

Album art is on the list of included features too, along with equalizer presets and the single track repeat option.

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The now playing screen and the available settings

Quite naturally, the player can also be minimized to play in the background. You can then go back to it via the task manager or the main menu. Pausing it by hitting the mute button is also possible, but unfortunately, there's no indication of the currently playing song on the home screen.

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