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Cream of the crop

BlackBerry’s update to the popular Bold 9700 gets better innards and a new operating system. Read on to know more.

india Updated: Dec 21, 2010 15:53 IST
Ivor Soans

In terms of form factor, the 9780 is the best that Research In Motion has produced. It’s a classy smart phone that seems guaranteed to generate envy, both in the boardroom as well as at the nightclub. Compared to its predecessor, the 9700, the new Bold is more elegant. That’s because the chrome bezel has been blacked out. You may not like it if you're into shiny toys, but we think it looks divine.

Weighing in at 122 grams, this phone also has a much improved, finer leather finish on the back cover that blends in well with the rest of the device. The display is the same 480x360-pixel screen as the Bold 9700.



blackberryThe rest is classic BlackBerry – lock and mute keys on the top with a 3.5 mm earphone socket, and a convenience key on the left. There are volume/zoom buttons and another convenience key on the right. Plus, the same amazing optical trackpad. The keypad is the same as the 9700’s as well.

Features
The biggest change comes in the form of the new operating system: BlackBerry OS 6. While the processor is the same as the one in the 9700, the RAM has been bumped up from 256 MB to 512 MB and that makes OS 6 a treat to use. Reboots are much faster than the other ’Berrys with older versions of BB OS. Battery life is a bit better too. For instance, you’ll easily be able to eke out a day and a half under heavy usage, and two with average use.

The homescreen has icon views that can be scrolled vertically, with horizontal scrolling for categories like Favourites, Media, etc. There’s also a drop down notification view and a wireless networking view. Things have also improved on the camera front. The 5-megapixel shooter performs pretty well and comes with an improved interface thanks to OS 6. Plus, video recording has been bumped up to 640x480.

Connectivity
This BlackBerry has most connectivity options you'll need. The only glaring omission is the missing Wi-Fi 802.11n support that's available on the Torch 9800 and Pearl 3G. The Wi-Fi N specification essentially offers better signal strength – so tough luck about that. The phone is also 3G compliant and sports Bluetooth 2.1 with EDR.

Peeves
An annoying bit is that if you set your device to automatically lock itself, say after two minutes, it will do so even if you're in the middle of watching a video. RIM had better fix this issue in the next update.

Verdict
RIM claims the BlackBerry Torch 9800 is the best BlackBerry out there, but we think the 9780 is better. If you take into consideration its R 27,990 price tag, it’s quite a no-brainer. To sum it up, this classy mobile has what it takes compared to other top-of-the-line competitors and if you're looking for a phone in the premium category, the BlackBerry Bold 9780 hits the sweet spot.

What we LIKE
BlackBerry OS 6
Good camera and UI
Great price tag

What we don’t
Not radically new
OS 6 needs refinement
Wi-Fi 802.11g only

Rating- ****1/2