I am on OS 216, the highest that my carrier offer and my SIM card is also +-34 days old. The Bold is only +-34 days in operation.
I have two problems :
Out of the blue and I was not even using the phone, it switched to SOS mode on the radio ( the GSM ), its like total signal loss in area where there is good signal. First time it happened, I switched network to manual search and keep it manual once locked. It worked. I been doing this "manual" setting on GSM cell phone when I travel abroad. Being in "manual" it will have to stick to that appointed provider even in low signal area, otherwise it will jump to another carrier with better radio signal. Jumping around different carriers when roaming have proved that I could loose a few text/SMS between transitions and more so when I do not come back to the previous carrier and I hate when I keep getting annoying welcome text/SMS everytime a new carrier linked itself to my cell phone.
I know that when I use a phone locally I will not be able access other carriers since I am locked to only my own carrier, but it does make sense to me that if I select manual it should do better when radio signal indeed goes low because it won't try to switch to other carrier which has better signal. In some cell phone that can show SOS, it does also shows signal strength meter too if I remember correctly. This means I am not on home network, can not make or receive regular call but can make EMERGENCY CALL, Blackberry SOS is also described as this same emergency capability. I believe my old Siemens does show SOS and with signal strength meter but my N95 does not have SOS. The Bold shows SOS but no signal strength meter.
Then there was a day where I got a few missed calls where the Bold never rings or vibrate but keep registered "MISSED CALLS". Network problem maybe the case. I tried calling the phone, it was busy according to my carrier. So I make a call from the Bold, its do-able. I tried calling again to the Bold, can't get thru. So I remove the battery for a while, then all OK two way and no more missed calls. Network or Bold problem ??? I don't know, even though I never ever had such problem ( missed calls but no ringing ) on my Nokia-s. Nokia will ring+vibrate even though if a short ring.
Few days ago, I got the SOS again. This time I switched the phone off and on again. It worked, then I proceeded to go to manual network and choose my carrier. So far so good. I can't remember if the network was on auto or manual since I have removed the battery.
I am a two phones & numbers person for many years and I use the Bold on my secondary number which I maintain the number for close friends/family and VIP only because this is my international roaming number. I like keeping some limited privacy when I am abroad and this set up has worked great abroad or at home.
I never turned off this Bold since day 1 or any phone attached to this secondary number for that matter, unless I fly on a plane. Unfortunately my job been slow and I don't use this number ( Bold ) much to test the phone stability as much as I would like to. In busy time I will call USA at least 2 hours a day talk time and plenty of local calls, my phone need to be tethered to its charger often otherwise it won't last half a day. This number I can use Voip from the carrier, so its cheap to call, otherwise its US$1.70 a minute compared to US$0.15 on Voip.
As a phone, not as an email terminal, Bold I would say is not as reliable as a typical Nokia. I have not even pushed it for an hour non stop conversation to heat up the GSM radio modules, its already given me SOS twice in 34 days. I can only say that a phone is reliable when I can talk at least 1.5 hour non stop until it heats up but never hang or reset or whatever reaction that may cut my call off. Anyone who had experience with amateur radio will know how an hour of non stop transmission is a good test to show how reliable a transmitter module is for a non commercial unit. A cell phone is a two way radio basically.
To loose a signal from a carrier network fault and get SOS or zero signal is acceptable ( and beyond my control ) but having to manually able to recover the Bold from an SOS condition by some means of setting adjustment to the hardware, means its not the carrier network problem, hence its my Bold's problem ......... its not acceptable because I can't keep looking at the radio signal meter if I am in good coverage area. I rather have a dead phone that I can see it being dead so that I can replace it with a healthy one accordingly, than a phone that shows all OK on display except a small SOS shown....its the same as a dead phone but doesn't look dead and on top of that, the fault is intermittent and without a known cause. I can miss important calls this way.
I been using its 2G not the 3G because 2G backbone is much more reliable in my country and the battery sucks at 3G. I keep it locked to 2G.
I like the Bold as an email terminal, no doubt about that. If people said that its radio module is better than most phones, I don't know because my primary N95 is on another carrier, so I can't compare apple to apple.
The GPS receiver sensitivity on the Bold is GOOD !!!, compared to a Nokia N95.
Again as a phone.....and given that I am comparing to my abused & time proven Nokia N95 ( also as a common phone not its multi-media capability ), I would not have a Bold be the only "phone" I will carry. Its just too risky, even though Bold is claimed to be already at a very stable stage now. Such hiccups in only 34 days is not a definition of STABLE for a phone, for a baby PC maybe. I don't know if my problem is OS or hardware related.
In terms of priority, I need a voice phone. Second is text/SMS and third is email. Without a voice phone it will be a disaster and in emergency it may mean my life. My country has many remote areas that cellular phone coverage is much better than land line.
I accept the fact that a BB is a complex multi capable smartphone and not a simple phone, so I have to live with the "bugs", if those problems are bugs to begin with.
My first BB is Bold, so I have limited experience with it BB in general. I read the earlier models are more reliable because their OS been improved over the years.
So looking at 34 days of Bold so-so reliability as a phone, I am glad its one of the two phones I always carry and not the only one I am carrying. No matter what more love I will have for a BB ( I am loving it now ), Bold will never be only phone I will carry.....not yet.
You guys living in 1st world country has better land lines coverage and better overall government infrastructure for emergency respond, not me here. Mobile phone sometimes is the only tool for me that can make or break when certain unwanted situation arises.
This is my honest opinion on a Bold, which may differ from other users and I am considered lucky because some friends of mine have their Bolds reset itself ocassionally. Not many cases, but a few have compared stability with my own Bold.