My first month with the Bold is approaching, and I thought it a good time to reflect on whether I still feel the same about this new device.

In short, it just keeps getting better.  

The Bold continues to inspire device-lust, which surprised me -- a whole cluster of people checking it out on a flight to LAX, sideways glances when I'm using it at dinner.  I did not realize style-wise that it was distinct enough from earlier Blackberries to get noticed in that way, but I think it's such a clean look that it grabs attention.  The screen is so easy to read...a huge plus.

Functionally, I've been super-impressed.  It's been a bit hard to get used to some of the navigation -- I still haven't figured out how to "tab" forward in a browser screen (use the trackball instead) -- but everything works and works really well.  The browser is fantastic and fast...on 3G, sometimes it is faster than wifi.  Setup and configuration stuff is all easy easy.... switching wifi, bluetooth, speakerphone etc. all are real smooth.  Having data mode while using voice (on 3G) is a huge new benefit.  

Battery life is pretty good.  There have been a couple of days where it has run down surprisingly fast, and other days where it seems to be going forever.  I don't leave Bluetooth on all the time (though the one night I did, the battery gauge barely moved), so I think it's 3G that is more of a factor.  Phone call quality is great, though I had a bunch of dropped calls when I was on Vodafone in Australia (Telstra did quite alright though).  The included wired headphone/earbud is good quality (the plug is larger size than the Pearl's though), and I figured out the little side drawer for adding a MicroSD card (which was a piece of cake to do).  I also have dropped the phone a couple of times, since I'm a has handled each drop quite gracefully.  Vowe explained to me that RIM designs the back cover to deliberately flip away in a drop...something about kinetic energy.  Indeed that happened both times...but for now I bought a rubberized case to offset my klutziness and put a scratch guard on the display.  

I haven't added a slew of applications, yet.  I loaded up Lotus Sametime, Twitter, and Facebook.  I find myself using the browser-based version of Facebook but the latest TwitterBerry is really good.  App installs are super-easy and I know I'll be doing more of them.

The camera is a bit slow and grainy, but that's about the only absolute negative I can find with this phone.  I have really enjoyed making the switch to the full keyboard (though getting re-trained from the Pearl's dual tap or T9 on prior phones has occasionally been a conscious effort) and find navigating very easy.

So, to sum up, Blackberry has really outdone themselves as far as a business device with the Bold.  I know the Storm has come out since, but I'm not on Verizon and given my international travel, not sure it would make sense to be there.  The Bold is my choice, especially as even more of the Lotus story comes to fruition on the Blackberry device.  Good stuff and recommended.

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