So this guy walks into a bar and says, "Wait, is that a BlackBerry Bold
in your pocket or are you just happy to see the Phone Dawg?"
couldn't resist. But seriously, that blurry photo? It's me, in a bar
late last night, posing with a an AT&T-branded BlackBerry Bold.
The Bold belongs to the person who took the photo, and said person had
also just bought our second round of Guiness, so you'll have to forgive
the blur. Like I said, it was late.
But ... The point here is I
got some hands-on time with Bold. If you're a BlackBerry fan waiting
for this baby to drop, I think you're gonna be happy. As you might
have read already, Bold's display is absolutely gorgeous. Bright,
rich, crisp, clear ... phenomenal. The new UI looks good, too - it's
like RIM decided to join the rest of us in the land of eye candy. It's
not "iPhone's Fisher-Price UI" (as the Bold's owner put it), but I'd
say it's slick looking to draw some would-be defecters back to the land
I didn't get a ton of time to play, but from what I
could tell the device is pretty snappy. As snappy as the quad-core
laptop I saw at Lenovo's IDF booth earlier in the day? Uh, no. But I
certainly didn't walk away thinking, "Oh, performance issues." The Web
browser looks to be significantly improved, and the overall design is
nice. Think iPhone (black and chrome) meets Nokia E71 (thin with a
nice, comfy QWERTY board).
The one possible hiccup here? You
guessed it: AT&T. My new friend and I discussed 3G reception and
s/he basically said, "It's been hopping back and forth between 3G and
GPRS all day. And I'm in San Francisco which, you know, is kind of a
major tech market." Um, yeah, there are a few data-hungry customers in
these parts ... which could mean that we should have better HSDPA
connectivity than anywhere else, or could mean we hammer our network so
hard that we shouldn't reasonably expect a good data pipe. Either way,
though, given the recent 3G issues surrounding iPhone, it'll be
interesting to see how Bold performs once it's released.
Speaking of which ... We now know that Rogers is looking to deliver
Bold to its Canadian customers on August 22. So what about AT&T
here in the US? "Should be out a few weeks after Rogers," is what I
was told. Sounds like CTIA time to me ...