SWe reviewed the BlackBerry Bold months ago when it was available everywhere in the civilized world except for the US, because it looked like it would arrive here shortly afterward. It didn't. Held up by the lack of proper immunization papers, it finally debuts tomorrow. We've been using an official AT&T-branded Bold for the last week to see if the extra quarantine time paid off, and we're happy to say it's still the best BlackBerry yet, though it's by no means perfect. The hardware is exactly the same, so here we're sticking to evaluating what has or could have changed in its AT&Tification process—networking and software tweaks. Taken out of context of our earlier Bold review, what's below will actually sound kinda bad. It's not—the Bold is an awesome (if massive) piece of hardware with an amazing screen and keyboard. It's got a pretty, easy to use OS that really elevates the BlackBerry experience, though the media functions could stand to be beefier and more intuitive. The battery life is incredible for a 3G device—a day of heavy use is no problem. In short, it's the best BlackBerry you can buy. Network Since RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis told us when we checked out the Storm that AT&T certification was behind the hold up, let's start with the network. The Bold's 3G is vastly more reliable than the iPhone 3G, even after the latter's otherwise magical 2.1 update. Anywhere in New York City that the iPhone would seizure into EDGE, the Bold held on to 3G with an iron grip (this is more of an iPhone issue than a Bold one, but for people looking at both for whom network reliability is an issue, the Bold easily outperforms it). In short, we never saw any network issues with the Bold—the connection was steadfast. One issue, however, is that you cannot manually select EDGE, to save for battery life or for any other reason. Wi-Fi could also be kind of finicky—it simply wouldn't connect sometimes, even though 10 million other devices sat pretty happily on my wireless network. Rebooting the router got it to hook up, but that's unacceptable. Browser(s) While I didn't fully consider before how asinine it was that the Bold has essentially separate browsers for Wi-Fi (hotspot browser) and 3G (internet browser) that you have to manually configure, it really, really bothered me this time around. Especially because connecting to a Wi-Fi network isn't as deliciously pie-easy as it should be.
There needs to be one browser that does Wi-Fi and 3G, totally seamlessly.