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Photos: RIM BlackBerry Bold
CNET Reviews staff
Corinne Schulze/CNET Networks
Below the display, you get the standard navigation controls, which include Talk and End/power keys, a menu shortcut, a back button, and a trackball navigator. The one benefit of the phone's wider size is that these buttons are plenty large and easy to press.
The BlackBerry Bold has a QWERTY keyboard that is similar to the BlackBerry 8800 series. The keyboard buttons are of a good size and have a nice tactile feel to them, and we had no problems composing messages with it.
The BlackBerry is equipped with a 2-megapixel camera with flash, 5x zoom, and video recording. Picture quality was decent. Images looked sharp and clear, but colors were a bit pale and washed out. Unfortunately, video quality wasn't the greatest.
One of the main highlights of the BlackBerry Bold (and the reason behind the name) is the half-VGA display. With a 65,000 color output and a 480x320-pixel resolution, images, video, and text look amazingly crisp and vibrant. It's one of the sharpest screens we've seen on a smartphone yet.
The back of the Bold has a leatherette texture (no more slick plastic), providing a sophisticated look and making the phone easy to grip. If you want to customize your device a bit, RIM will sell replaceable backplates in different colors, including blue, gray, and red, for $29.99 each, which is a little pricey in our opinion.
At 4.5 inches high by 2.6 inches wide by 0.6 inch deep and 4.8 ounces, the Bold is bulky and wide. It'll make for a tight fit in a pants pocket, but you should have no problem slipping it into a purse or bag.