Blackberry Bold 9900 Review

By Alex Allegro
“This is definitely the best Blackberry yet, Playbook included.”
Said to be the best Blackberry yet, the Bold 9900 (9930 as a CDMA model) is the first member of the Bold family to feature a gorgeous touchscreen, and trackpad. Clocking it’s Snapdragon processor at a modest 1.2GHz, the Bold treads into territories RIM has never gone into before. Regardless of this phone featuring a tiny 2.4 2.8 inch screen that has something RIM is calling “Liquid Graphics”, this phone actually does have a really nice display that you just can’t stop staring at when viewing a nice image. Could this phone really be a contender in the wild smartphone race? Is it really the best Blackberry yet? Or is its screen and lack of intriguing apps going to handicap it just too much? Read on past the break to find out!

The Display
The Bold features a 2.4 inch 2.8 inch touchscreen Liquid Graphics display that offers a nice, responsive experience. That being said, you don’t only have to use the touchscreen. The bold features it’s iconic trackpad surrounded by the ‘Call’ button, ‘Blackberry’ button ‘Back’ button and ‘Call end/Home’ button. To us, we think RIM is making a huge mistake by doing that and needs to learn to accept change. Counting RIM out, we can’t find another smartphone with a call and call end button. We think that bar of buttons RIM keeps under the screen defiantly needs to go. Ridding the bar would not only sexy up the device, but also allow for a larger display, in which we’d love. There are a few other things that would allow for a larger device. (See “Design” for more details).
Back to the display again, not only does it boast a nice feel, it’s extremely crisp and clear. Colors truly do pop and sometimes I wonder if I really am looking at liquid ink, hence its name. This really comes to life because of its small size though. Boxing in a 2.4 inch screen with 480×480 is going to give great resolution solely because of its small size. Throw a 480×480 resolution at a screen an inch bigger and boom, you get a horrible, ugly display. We really think Blackberry has got a win here with the screens clarity and resolution. Notice we didn’t say the screen alone. They don’t have a complete win because if RIM worked a little harder, they could have made this display bigger, but they chose not to. Now if the display was bigger though, this would have really changed the phone for the better, bringing its screen that much closer to its bigger brother, the Torch.
Build Quality
If you pick up a Blackberry Bold 9900 and only one thing rubbed off on you, it should be the build quality. The iPhone, the reigning king in build quality, may have to share its seat on the thrown with the 9900. Here is one brief sentence on the phones build quality: ‘Never have we picked up a phone that matches the Bold’s build quality, it’s simply outstanding.’ With a glass backplate hugged buy a rubber texture around the back edges, steal band running around the side and a huge, easy to use keyboard. This phone has incredible build quality. Picking up this phone makes you laugh the next time you pick any Samsung, LG or any other company making plastic phones.
       The phone isn’t all lovey-dubby though. The are a few things RIM should have worked on and tweaked a little. My first gripe are the buttons. On the right, the phone has 4 buttons. Volume up, pause, volume down. Those 3 buttons all touch each other and aren’t separated even by the slightest. We defiantly think that was a bad move, and those buttons should have had a little gap in between them. The forth button on the rightside is a convenience key, and unlike past Bolds, the 9900 only features one convenience key. Pre set to open the camera, it’s always great to have these keys, but we miss having a second one to go with it. The left side of phone sports two things, that’s thats the headphone jack and the micro USB port. Finally on the top we have the lone unlock button. It’s placed right in the center but doesn’t stick out, which makes it really hard to press unless you look at the button directly, and press down very hard. We wish it would stick out a little like the iPhone so it’s easier to press.
Battery Life
Don’t believe the rumors. The battery life on the Bold is great….really great. The Bold is the first Blackberry phone to have a 1.2GHz processor, and the higher the processor, the more battery you need. But RIM has done something amazing here. Regardless of that fact, the Bolds battery life is great. It easily lasts through the entire day. The battery has been downgraded from the previous Bold to a tiny 1,230maH to fit in the new thinner body, but don’t be fooled, it still is a great battery. In fact, it lasted longer than our Samsung GSII in our battery test. 
TH The new Bolds main selling point is its touch screen, but the new processor goes hand and hand with that. Clocking in at 1.2GHz (Single Core), this Bold is very speedy. The touchscreen really shows this off as you don’t have to wait for the trackpad to do things anymore, you can touch and go! We’re yet to experience lag on this bad boy, but we do hope that next year, the new Bold is dual core, if not quad core. 
The Bold also includes 768MBs of RAM, making it great to multitask on. We were able to multitask up to 12 apps at a time without experiencing any sort of lag, or slow down. We feel that OS 7 was made to work with the processor as we find it hard to believe how snappy this phone is on a single core processor, but how ever it works, I like it.
The Verdict 
The new Bold is the best and baddest Blackberry out there today, hands down. Rocking HSPA+ on AT&T and T-Mobile, a new touch screen, great build quality, and a big battery, if you like Blackberries, I recommend spending your “Phone Money” to pick up this phone…immediately.
What We Like:
Great Build Quality
Incredible Keyboard
Best Blackberry Screen To Date
Battery Life
What we don’t like:
Small Screen
4 Physical Buttons and trackpad are outdated
Power button, volume rocker hard to press

One thought on “Blackberry Bold 9900 Review

  1. als says:

    Great article! Very interesting. But I disagree. I like the buttons on the BlackBerry Bold. It makes it very BlackBerry – ish, makes it stand out from other smartphones.

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