BlackBerry Bold 9780

BlackBerry's Bold is still a great business smartphone but there's very little to differentiate it from its predecessor

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BlackBerry Bold 9780 The Bold 9780 packs the same hardware as older BlackBerry devices
By  Jason Saundalkar Published  April 3, 2011

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Key Specs

Bluetooth: Y
Camera: 5-megapixel
Media player/capture: Y
Memory: 512MB
OS: BlackBerry OS 6.0

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The Blackberry Bold 9780 is the successor to the Bold 2 9700. RIM sticks with the similar Bold formfactor with this release but are you really buying a new Bold?

The dimensions and weight of the 9780 are identical to the Blackberry 9700 so at first glance it's impossible to tell the difference between the two smartphones. Look closer however and a few cosmetic changes reveal themselves, there's now a stylish blackened bezel and chrome highlights near the bottom, which give the phone a classier finish. The keyboard remains the same and carries the 9700's character of being compact and easy-to-use, however the feedback is more reassuring with the 9780 though it is still no match for the Curve 3G.

With regards to its frame the 9780 is again quite similar to the 9700; the top of the smartphone houses the familiar lock/unlock and mute buttons, while the left side houses a 3.5mm headphone jack for a hands-free headset. There is also a mini-USB port and a convenience key that is set by default for voice commands. The right side of the phone houses a volume rocker and a second convenience key for the camera.

The 9780 excels in the ‘touch and feel' aspect and its faux leather back makes it easier to grip than its predecessor. On the back of the phone sits a 5-megapixel camera with a LED flash, an upgrade from the 3.2-megapixel model fitted to the 9700. Upon sliding open the back cover a huge battery makes it very clear that this is a Bold in every sense. A design improvement over the Bold 9700 makes it now possible to insert a micro-SD card using a slot positioned on top of the battery. This eliminates the need to do a battery pull to access the micro-SD, as was the case in the previous design. The front features the familiar 2.44-inch LCD screen and sitting to the south of this is the now common optical trackpad.

In terms of processing power and memory the Bold 9780 isn't vastly different, you still get the same 624MHz processor though you now get 512MB onboard storage, up from 256MB. The Bold 9780's storage is also expandable via micro-SD to a massive 32GB; enough to store an entire album of photos or music.

Like the Torch 9800 the Bold 9780 runs Blackberry operating system (OS) 6.0. The OS is slick to navigate using the optical trackpad and runs quite well on the Bold's aging hardware. That said there are times when you notice a delay when launching certain applications. The OS also features the latest Webkit browser which is a massive improvement over its predecessor in terms of speed and page rendering. Connectivity doesn't change with the same quad-band support as the 9700 along with 3G and A-GPS support.

For: Good looking black bezel, easily accessible micro-SD slot, Blackberry OS 6, Webkit browser.
Against: Too similar to the existing BlackBerry 9700, meager hardware improvements.
Verdict: If you own the previous version of the Bold pass this by. If not and you're in need of a business phone with push e-mail and solid web functionality, the 9780 is worth your money.

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