BlackBerry Bold 9780 review: Business as usual
The trackpad scores a point for the browser
The web browser on the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is certainly one of the best we have seen among non-touch phones. Good software, quick-QWERTY input and precise trackpad navigation add up to a combo that is hard to match.
Panning is great thanks to the trackpad and the virtual mouse cursor. You just push it towards the border of the page et voila.
Multiple tabs are supported and alternating them is pretty easy. Page rendering is near perfect, displaying almost every page like on a desktop browser.
By default, pages are loaded to fit the display width with the virtual cursor taking the shape of a magnifier. You then just click on the part you would like to read and it gets zoomed in to fill the screen. A press on the back key and you are back to the fit-to-width view. Rinse and repeat.
There is also text reflow so you can be sure that the column you are reading will always match the width of your screen.
In fact the only bad part about the web browser of the BlackBerry Bold 9780 is the lack of proper Flash support.
Other than that, the handset provides probably the best user experience in browsing the web as far as non-touch handsets are concerned.
Excellent organizing skills
True to its business objectives, the Bold 9780 has superb time-management capabilities. Its organizer includes a decent set of applications and although some of them are hardly lookers, their usability cannot be called into question.
The calendar has monthly, weekly and daily view modes and allows easily customized events to be set up. We have to admit that some event presets would have been useful but sadly the device fails to provide them. Calendar entries can be forwarded and conference call information can be merged into the Calendar.
Mobile office is also fully functional, with preinstalled applications able to open Word, Excel and PowerPoint files. Furthermore, document editing is also supported right out of the box, unlike some competing phones. Unfortunately, there is no PDF viewer preinstalled so potential users will have to get one themselves.
The organizer package also includes a calculator with a built-in unit-converter, as well as a voice recorder and a Notes application. A handy To-do manager allows you to set-up and organize your upcoming tasks.
The alarm application has only one alarm slot and fails to impress. It's quick to turn on but most of its settings can only be adjusted from the settings menu. There you can change the tone, snooze time and the volume as well as the vibration intensity.
Finally, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 comes with a stopwatch and a timer. Both are accessed from the clock application and have the usual functionality.
The clock also offers a bedside mode that turns off the status LED (unless you set it otherwise) and displays a large clock on the screen.
BlackBerry App World kicks in
The BlackBerry App World is the RIM application distribution solution. Quite well organized, it accepts payment by credit card or Paypal.
Managing your apps can be done through your computer or directly from the device itself. There are enough categories and a search box to make searching easier.
There's a basic filtering system as well - it allows you to check out the highest rated free and paid applications, as well as the newest titles. In general there's hardly much to complain about the BlackBerry App world interface, it provides pretty solid user experience.
The thing is that the number of applications is rather modest, at just over 4000, and only a small fraction of them are actually free (though some of the paid apps offer free trials). That’s nowhere near the iOS and Android standards, not to mention that even the fledgling WP7 has more apps than that.