Posted by CANbike on Sat, 14 Sep 2013

[Blackberry Bold 9780] A Simple Talk and Text Phone Configuration

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The following details the setup of a Blackberry Bold 9780 as a simple talk and text phone.

Blackberry Bold 9780 Acquired

The Blackberry Bold 9780 was a high-end smartphone released in late 2010. Presently it is an outdated smartphone at the end of it’s contract life-cycle. Many of the three year mobile phone contracts are now expiring. As a result, these phones are entering the used market or trash bin.

As a smartphone, it is old and outdated. As a mobile talk and text phone, it is still an excellent phone. It features a rugged build quality, a phenomenal battery life, a brilliant screen, a 5MP camera, and an excellent QWERTY keyboard!

This was a high-end cell phone afterall, and it still easily beats the current low-end talk/text cell phones in performance, construction, and reliability. Moreover, in this case, the phone also beats them in price as it was acquired for free.

Key Specifications

2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100
HSDPA 900 / 1700 / 2100
SIM Mini-SIM
Dimensions 109 × 60 × 14 mm (4.29 × 2.36 × 0.55 in)
Weight 122 g (4.30 oz)
Keyboard QWERTY
Display Type TFT, 65K colors
480 × 360 pixels, 2.44 inches
Touch-sensitive optical trackpad
Sound Alert types Vibration, MP3 ringtones
Loudspeaker Yes
3.5mm jack Yes
MemoryCard slot microSD, up to 32 GB, 2 GB included
Internal Memory 256 MB storage, 512 MB RAM
GPRS Yes
EDGE Yes
Speed HSDPA
WLAN Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g, UMA
Bluetooth Yes, v2.1 with A2DP
USB Yes, microUSB v2.0
Camera 5 MP, autofocus, LED flash, check quality
OS BlackBerry OS 6.0
CPU 624 MHz
Messaging SMS, MMS, Email, Push Email, IM
Radio No
GPS Yes, with A-GPS support
Battery Li-Po 1500 mAh battery
Stand-by Up to 528 h (2G) / Up to 408 h (3G)
Talk time Up to 6 h (2G) / Up to 6 h (3G)
SAR US 1.41 W/kg (head) 0.82 W/kg (body)
SAR EU 1.15 W/kg (head) 0.40 W/kg (body)
Loudspeaker Voice 66dB / Noise 66dB / Ring 68dB
Audio quality Noise -89.7dB / Crosstalk -89.4dB

Cell Phone Plan

A no contract, pay as you go mobile phone plan from 7-Eleven Speakout will be used. A mini-sim card can be purchased for $10.

Unfortunately, the phone is locked to Rogers network. However, since 7-Eleven Speakout uses Rogers GSM network, no unlocking is required. In otherwords, a Speakout mini-sim card inserted into the phone will automatically detect the network and work.

Wiping the Security Lock

Unfortunately, the phone acquired was password protected. The solution was to perform a security wipe by entering an incorrect password 10 times.

Yes, it was that simple to do a factory reset. After a reboot, a new password was entered and onscreen instructions were followed.

Missed Call Message List

When a call is missed, a pop-up notification appears. However, the information does not appear in the message list for future reference.

To setup up a missed call notice in the message list:

  1. Press the Call button
  2. Press the Menu button
  3. Select Options
  4. Scroll down and select Call Logs and Lists
  5. Under Show These Call Log Types In Message List select Missed Calls

Hide/Delete Smart Phone Apps

The smartphone features were outdated. Moreover, lots of the apps required a BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS). Even with Wi-Fi enabled, these apps did not work.

To optimize the phone for talking and texting, these smart features were hidden or deleted.

Hide/Delete an App

  1. Use the trackpad to select an App
  2. Press the menu key
  3. Select hidden or delete

My personal setup has the following 6 icons

  • Messages
  • Text Messages
  • Contacts
  • Camera
  • Options
  • Manage Connections

Note, Options and Manage Connections cannot be hidden nor deleted.

Sound Profile

A quick and easy way to change the sound profile (normal, vibrate only, none, etc) was required. Unfortunately the top right mute button only silenced incoming calls and not the phone.

As a result, the left convenience key was assigned to sound profiles.

Set the Left Convenience Key

  1. Select Options icon
  2. Select Device
  3. Select Convenience Keys
  4. Under Left Side Convenience Key Opens select Sound and Alert Profiles

A Simple Theme

With only 6 icons, there were lots of empty spaces and blank fields. The multiple home pages and tabs were also a waste of trackpad swiping and key strokes. Forunately the layout can be altered with a new theme.

Themes can be created with BlackBerry Theme Studio and/or downloaded.

Luckily, a number of free themes were found at http://forums.crackberry.com/blackberry-bold-9780-themes-f227/.

A Simple Theme Blackberry Bold was selected. It had a nice simple one page home layout which was great for a talk/text based phone.

Theme installation (.jad)

Most themes could not be downloaded and installed with the Blackberry Desktop Software. The phone web browser had to be used.

  1. Start the Web Browser
  2. Enter the website address
  3. Click on the link (.jad file)
  4. Download and install the theme as instructed

Final Words

It took a bit of work to configure the Blackberry Bold 9780, but it was worth it. As a smartphone, it was badly outdated. However, as a talk and text phone on a no contract plan, it is an excellent phone as it has a rugged construction with hardware built for talking and texting.

In the end, removing or hiding the excess features, makes this an excellent basic cell phone.


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