The FedEx person graced us with a genuine ATT-branded BlackBerry Bold 9000 today. Due to go on sale next week (finally!!), this little bugger has fully functional ATT-flavored 3G HSDPA with a strong signal-- albeit with some occasional bouts of signal fluctuation and odd drops to EDGE while our Samsung Epix and iPhone maintain full bars of 3G. Shades of the initial iPhone 3G release issues? We hope not. Stay tuned for more info on that as we use the Bold more over the coming days.
AT&T and RIM include the phone, charger, USB cable, stereo headset, carry case with belt clip, software CD and a manual.
The Bold dares to flirt with iPhone resolution and its half VGA 480x320 resolution is absolutely sharp, bright and vivid. Very, very sweet. The display isn't as large as the iPhone's, and it's not a touch screen, but it's a definite step up from the Curve or BlackBerry 8800.
Above: the web browser showing our home page. Despite a full 3G signal, web page download times haven't been significantly faster than our BlackBerry Curve. Again, we'll test that more and report back in our full review.
The Bold runs BlackBerry OS 4.6 with a theme and look that are similar to the recently released BlackBerry Pearl flip on AT&T. The program launcher is a black background with wireframe style icons. It looks pretty cool, as does the new home screen large quick launch icons at the bottom for messaging, contacts, calendar, Media Net (web),AT&T Navigator and the media player.
The keyboard is superb-- a serious improvement over the Curve. The keys are large, sculpted to prevent finger slips and the keyboard has the "smile" curve that follows hand placement. The only drawback is that like the Moto Q9 Global, the phone is quite wide to accommodate that roomy keyboard.
The Bold 9000 comes with AT&T Navigator (powered by TeleNav), and the phone managed to find us when indoors near a window.
It's got WiFi, Bluetooth 2.0 an SDHC microSD card slot and that lovely leather-like back cover.
We'll post a video review tomorrow, and stay tuned for our full review in the coming days. Feel free to post questions in the meantime.
-------------------- Lisa Gade Editor in Chief, MobileTechReview