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Customer Review

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Tricky to use without a Blackberry phone contract, 1 Nov 2009
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This review is from: BlackBerry Bold 9000 Sim Free Smartphone (Wireless Phone Accessory)
We chose this for its excellent keyboard and screen and have not been disappointed. We bought it SIM-free so that we would be free to travel without incurring costly roaming charges.

We are using it with a 3 (UK) PAYG SIM, and use as a phone (calls and texts) has been completely straightforward. However, much of the internet-related software (email, web browsing, etc) is tailored for use with a Blackberry phone contract, and it has sometimes been difficult to find out how to use the phone without such a contract. What we have found is that the built-in browser works well over WiFi (and in the absence of a phone signal this can be used for Gmail), while the Opera browser, the Gmail app and Google Maps (all of which can easily be downloaded from the internet) work fine through our PAYG SIM. (Incidentally, the 150MB "free" mobile data allowance which 3 provide for each top-up, expiring after 90 days, has so far proved to be easily sufficient for our purposes.)

Surprisingly, given Blackberry's reputation for quality, there have been one or two niggles with the built-in software. Most notably, text entry in the Blackberry Browser is fiddly because word-wrap does not work so each paragraph appears as one long line scrolling off the edge of the screen.
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Showing 1-2 of 2 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 29 Nov 2009 01:50:38 GMT
JFVO says:
How did you get round to use it with a sim card? Did you had to contact Blackberry regarding this?

Posted on 3 Dec 2009 12:15:34 GMT
Last edited by the author on 3 Dec 2009 12:17:44 GMT
Blackmale says:
The problem with the PAYG route is that you usually lack the supporting email account that comes with contract deals. With O2, I set my BB mail account to sync my GMail account which is already managed via Outlook. All my existing mail accounts sweep my email directly to the BB with staggering ease. Web Browsing is just as easy and requires very little configuration.
I read recently that both O2 and Vodaphone offer non-contract pay monthly deals with unlimited internet and email access for 15 per month. Both deals additionally include your preferred balance between prepaid cross network calls and text messages and provide the mail hosting accounts to allow you to sync with your own existing mail accounts. If you find a suitable deal, it will allow you to unlock the vast potential of your unit.
Conversely, most contracts allow you to specify a bar on roaming to avoid automatically linking up and incurring charges as soon as you travel. I, like yourself, prefer to remove the SIM and buy a local card when I travel. Saves a fortune.
Check the page layout of your Blackberry - Select BROWSER/BB button/GENERAL PROPERTIES/DEFAULT VIEW and then try the COLUMN view option as opposed to PAGE. PAGE retains the orignal page shape and layout so you navigate the full web page, which usually involves considerable vertical and horizontal scrolling. Column view presents a more natural view of as much of the page as possible, remapping the vast majority of page content to within the width of your screen.
Add word-wrap in the text options and point#6 Font (if you eyesight will tolerate such) and your BlackBerry should become a very practical, stable and reliable e-book.
I browse the likes of BBC News/Wiki/Google/Amazon on a daily basis and the readability is simply superb - adding to the experience.
Lastly, to the subject of the camera. Nail struck exactly on the head and there's nothing wrong with your phone, just that it has a VERY basic camera. Useful for recording for information purposes, pants at preserving your cherished moments. Best advice I have heard is hold very still and preferably take picture outside in good light.
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