Posted On August 14, 2011 By In Mobile, Top Stories

Review: Blackberry Bold 9900/9930

Most die-hard BlackBerry fans have waited for RIM’s Bold 9900 since it was first announced a few months ago. The 9900 looks more like the Bold 9000 expect that it’s got a capacitive touch screen, wider keyboard for typing, trackpad and a slimmer body. The Bold 9900 is RIM’s thinnest Blackberry yet at 10.55mm thick.

In terms of hardware specs, the 9900 comes with the finest hardware. It’s got a stainless steel bezel which surrounds the body and a carbon-laced back cover which gives the phone a soft-touched finish. Another feature that makes this phone unique is the addition of an NFC chip (Near Field Communication) built into the back cover which is a new technology used for making mobile payments and transferring data between devices that have it.

The phone comes with 8GB of internal storage which can be increased to 32GB. It also has 768MB of RAM coupled with a 1.2GHz single core processor, a 2.8 inch touch screen and a 640 x 480pixel display which is vivid and crisp – it’s the first BlackBerry from RIM with such a display and its responsive compared to that of the BlackBerry Torch.

On the right side of the 9900 are four buttons, three for volume control and the fourth button for the camera. On the left side, as usual, we have the micro USB which can also be used for charging when connected to a computer and also the 3.5mm headphone. jack.

On the top is the lock button which is conveniently placed at the middle, at the bottom of the phone you will find two charging contacts for compatibility with RIM charging docks. The keyboard of the 9900 is great and very good for typing; it’s tactile, spacious and has a lovely layout. At the back is a 5MP camera with flash. Although we wished RIM could have added a front facing camera, as that’s the standard most phones come with nowadays, the picture quality is nice and it has the capability to record videos in 720p HD. There is no button for auto focus although it looks like it was integrated but it doesn’t seem to pick up when taking pictures, the flashlight works well when taking pictures in the dark and can be turned off when not needed.

As for the OS, the 9900 comes with the latest OS7 which in terms of design is not really different from OS6 even though they both have different API’s (Application Programing Interface), one major feature of the OS7 is the liquid display which allows smooth scrolling, zooming and panning on the 9900, the capacitive touch screen makes this feature stand out as you can easily use your fingers to scroll between menus.

The browser on OS7 has been upgraded significantly with the addition of JIT (Just in Time) JavaScript compiler to improve the loading time of webpages; it’s much faster than any other BlackBerry out there. With the touch screen on the 9900, you can pinch to zoom and scroll faster. However, picture and video on the browser are still a bit sluggish even though it supports HTML5 but lacks Flash. All these will definitely be updated when RIM transitions to QNX (the OS that powers the Playbook) based OS’s for their smartphones. The bookmarks have been updated, you now get a thumbnail view for sites and the same goes for history too.

Also in OS7 is a new form of search. Although search has been there all along, it’s deeply integrated as it now shows results from applications such as Twitter, Facebook and any other app that has relevant results. You also have the option of a voice search as well. OS7 comes preloaded with the popular Tune-in radio app, the premium version of DocsToGo, a document app and the new BBM6.

The battery capacity on the 9900 is low when compared to other BlackBerry models. The 9900 comes with a capacity of 1230mAh while that of the BlackBerry Torch is 1300mAh and the Bold 9000 is 1500mAh. Although OS7 is more battery friendly, the 9900 houses a 1.2GHz processor which is twice more powerful than the processor on the Torch and the original Bold. Even with this, the 9900 was able to last a day of mildly vigorous use, it was unplugged from charging at 6:30am, messages were sent and received (both text and e-mail), a bunch of photos and videos were shot, music was played on a 45 minute journey via headphones, 30 mins worth of calls and about half an hour’s web browsing over 3G and Wi-Fi. By 11pm, it was down to 10%.But if you’re a really busy user, especially those who can’t stop tweeting all day, we recommend you hold your charger or USB cord along with you when heading out.

In conclusion, the Bold 9900 is a phone we recommend for those who need a phone mainly because of messaging and e-mailing. Also, for those seeking a phone with a good media player, the Bluetooth on the 9900 does not only support calling but also streaming of music to your stereo device. We like the Bold 9900 even though it has flaws, but hopefully RIM will update this when it releases the QNX based OS for its BlackBerry smartphones. Also for those asking for the difference between the 9900 and 9930, the former is a GSM phone and the latter a CDMA phone.

Will you get the Bold 9900, what do you think about this new device? Please feel free to your leave comments below.

Tags : , , , , , , ,