The Bold 9900 is the thinnest BlackBerry to date, yet it still manages to pack a 2.8-inch touchscreen and a 1.2GHz processor
Editor's Review of the Bold 9900
With the BlackBerry Bold 9900, RIM has finally delved into cutting-edge tech, offering-up a 1.2GHz processor, a high-resolution touchscreen, and the latest version of its home-grown OS: BB OS7. However, with competition from Android and iOS growing ever fiercer, can the Bold 9900 still manage to compete?
Design & Build
At just 10mm thick the Bold 9900 is RIM's thinnest handset to date, and thanks to its new 'luxurious' exterior, it's arguably the firm's best-looking, too. Although it keeps the classic 'business-focussed' styling of your typical BlackBerry smartphone, the 9900's chrome-edged sides and high-gloss glass-weave backplate both exudes high-end class and feels comfortable in the hand.
The first thing you'll notice about the Bold 9900 however, is its 2.8-inch TFT LCD touchscreen. This boasts a 640 x 480 pixel resolution, and icons are noticeably more brighter than on previous BlackBerry models. In fact, given the handset's smaller screen size, we'd say it's almost on par with Apple's Retina Display.
As you'd expect from a BlackBerry Bold handset, this touchscreen comes coupled with a portrait QWERTY keypad. Each button on the keypad is crafted with a slight bump, which makes gripping the keys easy and bashing-out emails super-fast. There's also a backlight hidden behind the rows of tactile keys, which makes using the phone easy in poorly-lit conditions.
With a 1.2GHz processor under the hood, the Bold 9900 feels very fast, too - whether you're scrolling through web pages or firing open apps. This sits alongside the phone's integrated NFC technology - although given the lack of compatible gadgets - we're yet to give this a thorough testing.
OS & Interface
The Bold 9900 is one of the first BlackBerry devices to run on RIM's much-hyped new operating system: BlackBerry OS 7. This delivers all-new colourful icons. a much-needed speed boost, and novel slick transitions as you swipe through its home screens. Saying that, however, the updated platform is by no means revolutionary, as it delivers the same over-complicated menus and a lack of functional personalisation options as previous BlackBerry models.
That doesn't mean it's not user friendly, as the Social Feeds app proved just as functional as usual; grabbing updates from Twitter, Facebook, and RSS feeds and dropping them straight on your home screen. However, it's by no means as 'pretty' as HTC's FriendStream alternative, and felt a little cluttered on the 2.8-inch touchscreen.
RIM may have 'revolutionised' the look of the BlackBerry Bold, but the same can't be said about BlackBerry App World. Although BlackBerry handsets are traditionally targeted at corporate users with its advanced email features and task management tools, we can't help but think that's simply not enough to fight off RIM's stiff competition from iOS and Android.
Multimedia & Storage
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the first of RIM's handsets to come with HD video, sporting a 5 megapixel 720p camera with LED flash. In well lit surroundings, photos appeared crisp and detailed - although the quality struggled to match up in more gloomy conditions. We were impressed with the HD video, though, with the handset managing to capture smooth, crisp footage. Another neat features if the ability to upload snapshots directly to Facebook from the Photos application, which will no doubt appeal to RIM's social target audience.
Although not a phone focussed on multimedia, we were equally impressed with the 9900's music player. There's a bunch of features included for altering the sound to cater to your music, and the onboard speakers proved surprisingly powerful. Sound was much more impressive when paired with some decent speakers, though.
According to the Canadian phone-maker, one of the major pulls of BlackBerry OS 7 is its bumped up web browsing capabilities - and it looks like they were right. With HSDPA and WiFi connectivity onboard - paired with that 1.2GHz chipset - pages load extremely quickly, and look pretty fantastic on the high-res screen.
One downside though, is the handset's lack of Flash support, which with the effect of restricting online video choice, could well sway potential punters.
Still, hopefully that can be rectified with its typically epic battery life, right? Well, maybe not. the Bold 9900 comes packing a 1230mAh juice-box, less than the 1500mAh effort which came with the original Bold 9000. However, the battery managed to cope a full day of heavy usage - including surfing the web, watching videos and firing-off emails - which is fairly respectable for such a highly-specced smartphone.
There's no doubting that the BlackBerry Bold 9900 fails in may areas, but it's undoubtedly RIM's greatest achievement to date. With its faster processor and high-res touchscreen the phone ultimately managed to impress, and it's well worth an upgrade for existing BlackBerry users.
BlackBerry Bold 9900 News
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 has seen a £104.99 discount over at O2, as part of the network’s January sale. O2 has waived the £105 upfront cost on RIM‘s highest-spec BlackBerry Bold handset, which means you can now grab the phone for free on a £32 contract. This two-year-long contract will also bag you a decent [...]
Research In Motion has acknowledged that is a problem with its new BlackBerry Bold 9900, after receiving a number of complaints from exasperated customers. Users have been flooding the BlackBerry Community Support forum with claims that the handset won’t switch on after being left to charge, in a topic aptly titled “Dead Bold 9900″. One user, for [...]
Research In Motion has confirmed that its newly-outed luxurious BlackBerry – the BlackBerry Porsche P’99810 – will be coming to the UK market. The Canadian phone-maker has opened up its UK registration page for the quirky-looking BlackBerry Bold 9900 upgrade, although there’s not yet any details on the handset’s pricing or release date. However, RIM last [...]
You can now get your hands on the white BlackBerry Bold 9900 exclusively at Vodafone, the UK network announced this morning. Jumping on the ‘white smartphone’ bandwagon alongside the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2, the white BlackBerry Bold 9900 sports identical specs to its less-fashionable sibling. You’ll find the same finger-friendly portrait QWERTY keypad, [...]
Phones 4u has announced will be exclusively offering the BlackBerry Bold 9900, Curve 9360 and Torch 9810 in White. The White BlackBerry Bold 9900 is now available to pre-order, ahead of the retailers’ November 10 release. Prices start from £31 per month on a 2-year-long Vodafone contract, including 300 minutes, 3000 texts and 500MB of mobile [...]
Porsche and RIM will unveil a luxury handset in Dubai next week, it has been confirmed, likely to be the leaked BlackBerry Bold 9980 (right). Invites for the VIP event, which takes place on October 27, summons press to “preview an exclusive collaboration between Porsche Design and BlackBerry”. There’s no official word as to what [...]
BlackBerry Bold 9900 Specifications
115mm x 66mm x 10.5mm
Full capacitive touch screen
Type: TFT LCD
Size: 2.8 inches
Resolution: 640 x 480
Scroller: Optical trackpad
BlackBerry OS 7
External: microSD up to 32GB
A-GPS with maps
Up to 14.4 Mbps download speed
Up to 5.76 Mbps upload speed
Wi-Fi: IEEE 802.11 b/g/n
Audio: 3.5mm stereo jack
Data: Standard microUSB
GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900
A2DP for wireless stereo headsets
5.0 megapixel camera
Auto Focus and LED Flash
720p Video Recording
At 30 fps
Battery Capacity: 1230 mAh
Radio: FM with RDS
Audio supported formats
Playback: MP3, AAC, WAV, AMR,
Video supported formats
Playback: MP4, 3GP, H.263, H.264
Pay Monthly Deals for the BlackBerry Bold 9900
The deals below above and below are for new customers. Upgrades are available on Vodafone.
|Mobile Phone||Minutes||Texts||Data||Tariff||Deal||Handset Cost||Avg. Cost p/m|
|BlackBerry Bold 9900||300 Minutes||1000 Texts||1 GB||
£25.00 per month
|BlackBerry Bold 9900 White||300 Minutes||1000 Texts||1 GB||
£25.00 per month
|BlackBerry Bold 9900||300 Minutes||Unlimited Texts||500 MB||
£17.00 per month
|BlackBerry Bold 9900||300 Minutes||Unlimited Texts||1 GB||
£26.00 per month
|4 Months Free Line Rental||Free||£21.67|
|BlackBerry Bold 9900||400 Minutes||Unlimited Texts||750 MB||
£31.00 per month
|BlackBerry Bold 9900||500 Minutes||5000 Texts||Unlimited||
£27.00 per month
|BlackBerry Bold 9900||600 Minutes||Unlimited Texts||500 MB||
£29.00 per month
|BlackBerry Bold 9900 White||300 Minutes||Unlimited Texts||500 MB||
£17.00 per month
|BlackBerry Bold 9900 White||300 Minutes||Unlimited Texts||1 GB||
£26.00 per month
|BlackBerry Bold 9900 White||500 Minutes||5000 Texts||Unlimited||
£27.00 per month