Menu/phone book: If you love the BlackBerry interface, youll be happy to know not much has changed with the overall structure on the Bold 2. You can use the BlackBerry Media Sync software to easily sync contacts, calendar, and e-mail between the Bold 2 and your computer. The software is also available for Mac users. Additionally, you can also view and edit word docs, excel docs, and PowerPoint presentations on the BlackBerry Bold 2. You can store as many contacts as your available memory will allow plus an additional 250 contacts can be saved on the SIM card. Each entry can hold multiple phone numbers, e-mail addresses, birthday and anniversary information, a picture and a slot for both work and home addresses. You can customize the look of the BlackBerry Bold 2 interface. Syncing media videos, music, and pictures is also infinitely easier thanks to the Roxio Media Manager software for BlackBerry (see Music for more details). The BlackBerry Bold 2 comes with a micro-USB-to-USB cable (this is different than the mini-USB-to-USB cable that came with the original BoldM) so that you can connect it directly to your computer. Also, you can always use Bluetooth if your computer has that functionality.
Messaging: The reason most people buy a BlackBerry is for the messaging, and rightfully so; it really has perfected messaging, and it has a built-in spell checker , which makes sending messages even easier. Even better, its extremely easy to set up multiple e-mail accounts (including work e-mail) on this BlackBerry. You can do it during initial setup of the device by following the prompts on the screen or you can do it at a later time by launching Manage Internet Email found under the Settings folder. If you already have a BlackBerry e-mail account and are simply changing devices, you can upgrade the information in the BlackBerry Start option in the Media Net menu. Also, if you tend to receive a lot of graphic-intensive e-mails, opt for an unlimited data plan, as downloading graphics can eat up megabytes of data pretty quickly.
Camera/video: The BlackBerry Bold 9700s camera has been upgrade from a 2-megapixel camera to a 3.2-megapixel camera with a flash. However, it lacks a small mirror on the back for taking self-portraits. Overall, picture quality is impressive when snapping pics and the shutter is fast. Colors are true and bright even when viewed on a computer; details are sharp. Once you snap a picture, you can save it, rename it, save it as a Caller ID photo, delete it or send it. Camera features are a little skim, but you can adjust White Balance, Picture Size, Picture Quality, Color Effects (Normal, Black and White, or Sepia), and GeoTagging. You can even use the trackpad to zoom.
Additionally, you can view videos on the cell phone and shoot video, as well. Youll be able to watch videos in the Media folder, but youll have to go to Applications to use the camera to shoot them or switch to Video Recorder when the camera is launched. Shooting videos is pretty easy. While its a nice feature to have, youre probably going to enjoy watching videos you download or stream from the Internet more. Playback of video is impressive. You could easily enjoy watching a long TV episode on it.
Music: As noted, the BlackBerry Bold 2 has a music player as well. You can listen to songs stored in MP3, AAC (Apples audio format) and WMA files (Microsofts audio format). There arent many music-centric features included in the player, but it has the ones weve come to expect: Repeat, Shuffle, and Playlists (you cant create them on the fly) Audio Boost and a Headset Equalizer. You can save tunes stored in your cell phone as a ringtone. The Bold 2 comes with 256MB of available user memory onboard plus a 2GB microSD card so youll be able to store at least a few albums worth of music and pictures. If you need more storage space than that, the BlackBerry Bold 2 will support up to a 32GB MicroSD card.
We still commend RIM for teaming up with Roxio to help you get music, photos, and videos from your computer on your Bold 2. The software has an extremely intuitive user interface, so you dont even need to read directions to get started. You can also use this software to turn CDs into MP3s. Another nice feature is that the software wont allow you to move music that the Bold 2 wont play back (that is, protected music that you might have purchased at an online store) onto it, so youll never have to wonder why a song isnt playing. Instead, youll get a pop-up that says, There are no media files in this folder that supports filter settings.
Connectivity/Bluetooth/WiFi:You can do a lot with Bluetooth on this cell phone. Besides easily being able to connect to a Bluetooth headset (we found call quality was great when we used the Plantronics Discover 925 headset), you can also use it to sync up with your contacts if your computer supports Bluetooth.
This BlackBerry Bold 2 has built-in WiFi. Besides being able to use this Bold to log onto available WiFi networks to surf the Web or send/receive e-mail. Its a nice feature and it just takes moments to set up on the smartphone. The only thing you need to know is the WiFi network you want to use and the password if its a secure WiFi network. We should note that surfing the Web on the Bold 2 wasnt bad (and if you have music playing it still plays in the background while surfing), thanks to the 3G network. Pages loaded quickly and you could scroll around them via the trackpad.