RIM BlackBerry Bold 9000 review

Price when reviewed

RIM kicked off the whole push email thing, when only pin-striped business types owned its oversized handsets. Now that everyone is muscling in on its territory, though, it’s having to put a lot more effort into its hardware.

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9000 review

And with the BlackBerry Bold, RIM lives up to the name. The phone isn’t what you’d call classically good-looking; its leatherette rear panel is an acquired taste. And although its 320 x 480 display is good, it isn’t a touchscreen, so browsing the web isn’t as slick as it is on the iPhone or the HTC Touch HD.

But what it has got, for heavy users ofemail, will overshadow all of that: the best keyboard on a phone we’ve ever used. Its predecessor, the 8820, was good to type on, but this is an order of magnitude better – rows are separated and the keys are shaped, so it’s difficult for your thumbs to slip off and hit the one next door.

It isn’t all about the keyboard, though. That screen is bright, and useful touches abound. A light sensor turns the brightness of the screen up and down automatically, saving battery life as well as making it easier to read outdoors and, as with other BlackBerry handsets, there’s a sensor in the phone that puts it into standby whenever you slot it into its bundled holster. The phone also has a 3.5mm headphone socket, so you can use decent headphones to listen to music on it. And the swish BlackBerry OS is very fetching.

Then there’s the battery life. Even though we were running the phone with push email turned on (you can’t switch it off), it still lasted more than 90 hours in our real-world tests.

There are no core features missing, either – there’s HSDPA, Wi-Fi, assisted GPS – including a subscription to Vodafone’s turn-by-turn car navigation software for the lifetime of the contract.

Overall, the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9000 is a great value phone and worth its gong for the keyboard alone. However, it misses out on the outright award, since web-browsing abilities aren’t as good as some others here.


Cheapest price on contract
Contract monthly charge
Contract period24 months
Contract providerVodafone

Battery Life

Talk time, quoted5hrs
Standby, quoted14 days


Dimensions66 x 14 x 114mm (WDH)
Primary keyboardPhysical

Core Specifications

ROM size1,000MB
Camera megapixel rating2.0MP
Front-facing camera?no
Video capture?yes


Screen size2.6in
Resolution320 x 480
Landscape mode?no

Other wireless standards

Bluetooth supportyes
Integrated GPSyes


OS familyBlackBerry OS

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