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The much anticipated BlackBerry Bold will be released in the United States next month

After numerous delays left consumers frustrated, Research in Motion (RIM) announced its Blackberry Bold 9000 smart phone will finally be released in the United States on November 4.

Even though it has been delayed several months, AT&T reportedly went back and retested the phone so it wouldn't have to deal with the 3G connectivity issues the Apple iPhone 3G bumped into in July.

The phone has a QWERTY keyboard, 2-megapixel camera, WiFi, 3G connectivity, Bluetooth, integrated GPS, and microSD card support up to 16GB.  It can be used both in the United States and across the world, with full-support in Japan and South Korea.

Interestingly, the phone has simultaneous voice and data ability, so owners will be able to easily check e-mails or text messages during a phone call.

"The development of the BlackBerry Bold smart phone was an ambitious undertaking, and we focused intensely on the things that are most important to mobile customers when developing this best-in-class smart phone for HSDPA networks around the world," RIM co-CEO and President Mike Lazaridis said in a statement.

The Bold will have to catch up with the Android G1 phone, which was recently released, and promptly sold out at many locations across the country.

The BlackBerry Bold will be available exclusively with AT&T, and will start at $299.99 with a new two-year contract. Analysts expect the higher retail price of the phone to make it more appealing to executives rather than consumers.  

It seems that reviewers and phone owners have had both good and bad experiences with the phone, although several phone service providers have stopped shipping the phone due to network problems.

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This phone is sort of cheesy
By PKPunk on 10/23/2008 12:03:05 PM , Rating: 2
My coworker got one of these at the roll out party in San Francisco yesterday. This phone has the cheesiest back plate cover, it's a plastic fake leather back (right down to that 70's fake leather texture). Rumor has it they used this plate because the phone runs too hot, and it does run warm. The screen and battery are warm to the touch. I really haven't played around with phone much but my initial reaction was that the new LCD seemed to have a higher resolution than the curve which made web browsing and viewing e-mails much better. I didn't like the keyboard compared to the Curve, I don't like how all the buttons touch each other on this phone. This phone also offers HTML support so you can view full HTML web pages and e-mails but this feature isn't all great because the next OS for the curve will support these features. I think all in all this phone isn't going to get much as much attention as the curve. I think they'd have a bigger hit if they just added 3g to the current curve.

RE: This phone is sort of cheesy
By robinthakur on 10/23/2008 12:12:20 PM , Rating: 2
Whilst this is a big improvement on the 8800, on the curve, I agree with you by and large. The screen is way better than its progenitors as its actually bonded to the plastic screen lens, which would explain why its hotter. Functionality wise it is way better all round with the browser being much more responsive and actually useful. Build quality all round is far beyond the usual sturdy yet plasticky BB's I've used. It just feels more sturdy and polished now. Love the fake leather back, its just what executives want :) Having said that it doesn't touch the iPhone for non-corporate use, so make of that what you will.

By RubberJohnny on 10/23/2008 7:00:57 PM , Rating: 2
I've had this phone for about 2 months already (i'm in Australia) the faux-leather looks good in my opinion and stops the back from getting scratched...the last firmware upgrade for the curve added HTML emails, it came out about 3 months ago too so you're a bit behind the times mate ;)

The buttons are fine being so close together, the corners on each key are raised so you NEVER hit the wrong key. Best qwerty keyboard on a phone EVER.

RE: This phone is sort of cheesy
By ATC on 10/24/2008 10:00:44 PM , Rating: 2
Maybe it's just me but I absolutely love this phone and this is coming from someone who had a Curve and briefly had a 3G iPhone before exchanging it for the Bold through Rogers wireless.

I've had this phone now for 5 weeks and here are my thoughts on it:

The screen is just gorgeous. It's razor sharp and viewing angles are very good.

The KB is excellent. Much better than the Curve IMO. The size, layout and spacing is just perfect for my hands. It's actually hard for me now to mistype.

The plastic leather-like backing is actually nice and grippy. The black-silver accents makes it look retro (in a good way). But I started using the BB rubber Skin so now I don't even get to see or touch that leather-like backing. Also, my copy never got hot even while on a 30 mins call while viewing emails and PDF attachments at the same time.

Battery life is impressive compared to the iphone, especially after RIM's .162 firmware update. I no longer have to recharge the battery every night and I'm a relatively heavy user.

The camera for stills and video is very handy. Picture quality is better than I ever got out of my previous cell phones in terms of sharpness and colour, but it certainly won't replace your digicam.

Reception and call voice quality is excellent in both 3G and EDGE coverage. Push email and notification profiles work much better than on the iPhone.

The sound quality and usability of the speakerphone are great. Also, using good quality ear phones, music sounded better than my iPod nano.

The Bad:

The screen, while super sharp and crisp, is too small for HTML web viewing. It's perfect for email/text/WAP though. Also using the scroll ball for scrolling is a bit of a pain compared to the touch screen interface on the iPhone.

Streaming Youtube videos at times appear blocky and pixelated (very poor visual and audio sync quality) to the point that it was almost useless being able to view them. Videos that aren't streamed over the network are a different story; they are very good.

Overall, it's a great phone and well worth the asking price IMO. By far the best Blackberry I've ever used.

"If a man really wants to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion." -- Scientology founder L. Ron. Hubbard
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