| | 05-13-09, 02:17 PM Thread Author #1
BlackBerry Bold OEM Charging Station Review
I switched to the BlackBerry Bold in October of last year, and I had been hedging between the device and my trusted Windows Mobile device. But since the beginning of the year, I had decided to fully commit to the BlackBerry OS, and as such, began acquiring different accessories to make my daily professional life easier.
I eventually got to the point where I felt like I was plugging in accessories all over the place, but no more! I saw the BlackBerry Bold Charging Station on RIM's BlackBerry accessories page here: http://www.shopblackberry.com/_black...ZGJL2JVXU8H25C, and knew that this was definitely one item that I HAD to get!
So what's so special about this thing? Well, it's a unique device that gives BlackBerry users the ability to charge their BlackBerry device, their BlackBerry Bluetooth headset, and an extra battery all in one place!
It came yesterday, so I snapped a few pictures to give you an idea of what you might expect in case you're interested.
As you can see from the box, this accessory is available for many BlackBerry models, and you'll notice a label on the front of the box telling you which model the station is for. This is helpful in case there is a mistake made at the shipping end and you'll immediately know whether you got the right one or not.
The items are well packaged within the box (sorry, I forgot to take photos of it before I assembled it), and everything is extremely easy to assemble. Basically, there are three parts: the cradle itself, a removeable cradle for the actual device (helpful in case you switch, say, from the Bold to the 8900 Curve, etc. then all you have to do is purchase a new device cradle for about 6 or 7 dollars), and the extra battery charger module.
I apologize for the blurriness of a couple of the pics, but I don't take many photos.
What you can't see in the photo (or what I neglected to highlight) is that the cable is permanently attached to the station, it's not a USB cable moonlighting as an AC adapter. And the business end of the AC cord is of such a type that you can switch between a pin-out for other countries (if you travel internationally quite a bit (which I do), this is a real plus!
Everything (BlackBerry Bold, headset, extra battery) went where it was supposed to, and charged without incident. In fact, I thought it all charged up fairly quickly. Upon closer inspection of the documentation, I noticed it said that the charging station was specially optimized to provide rapid charging capability for all items in the station. Really handy for when you might have to travel (like me) and need a quick recharge of an extra battery!
While everything works as advertised, I do have a couple of (minor) niggles about the station as a whole: This thing is not cheap, even after bargain-hunting on the Web, the best price I could come up with was $79 shipped. It retails for about $100, but as I said, if you shop around, there are plenty of places selling it for less. I got mine from a place called OEM Planet, they're very easy to work with, they're reputable, and they're relatively close to my NYC location (somewhere in Boston area).
But back to my concerns: I mentioned how pricey this thing is because of this: for a device that costs as much as it does, the build quality strikes me as being a little cheap. It's nearly all plastic, but with the exception of the weighted base, it feels as though it should have cost much less. That said, I don't anticipate having any problems with it, but only time will tell.
Nice aesthetic design
Ability to charge everything in one place
Cradle is swappable to accomodate other BlackBerry devices
Pricey, but bargains are out there to be had
Relatively cheap build quality for the price
Charging cable is permanently attached, might not be ideal for some travelers
DISCLAIMER: I am just a working professional! I do not work for RIM, OEM Planet, or anyone else, and I have not been compensated for making this review.