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BlackBerry Bold 9780 Review

By on January 5, 2011
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Stuck in between it’s predecessor and older brother.

Good: Excellent Battery Life, Light in weigh
Bad: Not much of an upgrade, OS6 feels more suited for Touchscreen devices
Price: AED 1,999
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

On the usability side, the 9780 sports the same keyboard as the 9700 which is a good thing. Although the keyboard looks the same as the Torch 9800, the keys aren’t as flat making typing on it a faster experience. Above the keyboard, you have the four standard BlackBerry keys as well as the optical trackpad for navigating.

The BlackBerry OS6 is obviously the big change and the Bold 9780 is the first non-touch screen device that I’ve tested the new OS on. In a nutshell, I feel that RIM has designed OS6 to be optimized for Touch screens. Gestures such as flicking the screens and pulling up the menus are a lot more intuitive on a touch device than on a non-touch one. I’m not saying that it doesn’t work on the 9780, but it just doesn’t feel as intuitive.

There are a few things that are easier to use though- such as Universal Search. Since you already have a full keyboard in front of you, it is easier to use this feature on a non-touch device. Also, like the older BlackBerry devices, assigning shortcuts to keys makes you work faster than having a touch screen.

One area where RIM has improved upon is the Battery life. I’m not sure if this is because of newer hardware or the new OS- my guess would be that it’s a bit of both. The original Bold 9700 has a pretty awesome battery life of two days, however, my Bold 9780 went for a full three days on a single charge which is the most I’ve experienced on any smartphone. To the business user, this matters a lot and RIM has done a pretty good job with that.

Overall, it’s a bit hard to recommend the 9780. It has a couple of things going for it, such as its light weight and extremely impressive battery life. The OS6 upgrade is nice but RIM has already promised that to current 9700 owners. However, OS6 seems optimized for touch screens so the Torch 9800 should be the one you should be looking at if you want a new BlackBerry device.

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About

Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of tbreak.com and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

Comments
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  • Georgess

    When you say excellent battery life. How long does it last for a full charge. Mine is only a week old and battery lasts for almost one day only. My previous Nokia was way better. Maybe battery is corrupted?

    • Imadsani

      my bb9700 used to last me a good 3 days, wifi off usually .. im talking about casual usage, alot of emails and a moderate number of calls

      • Jmo97

        I’m waiting for a Blackberry to come with an FM radio built in, then I’m sold :)

    • Imadsani

      my bb9700 used to last me a good 3 days, wifi off usually .. im talking about casual usage, alot of emails and a moderate number of calls

  • Humaid

    the battery life is nowhere near as good as the bb9700.. it keeps on dying within the day.. again with ‘casual’ usage. the battery life depletes on standby. checked it out with the guy who sold it to me, and he changed the battery – nothing has changed.

    • http://twitter.com/ajaffarali Abbas Jaffar Ali

      Hmm- thats totally opposite of what I experienced. I had mine running for three days on a single charge. I think a lot of it also depends on where you live and how strong the signal is. Here in Dubai, I would easily get 2+ days but I travelled to the US with it and was on the AT&T network which the mobile kept struggling to stay online with and my battery wouldn’t even last a day. But back in Dubai, it went back up to 2+ days.

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