BlackBerry Bold 9900 review: Business reimagined

GSMArena team, 20 September 2011.
Pages: 12345678

Introduction

A brand new OS, more speed, a facelift and a high-res touchscreen, the latest of the Bold messengers is listening for the roar of the crowd. There's no going back to the old rational and composed self - give it danger, thrills and excitement. The BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 is stronger, faster, better. No ordinary messenger, it's the bearer of good news.

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BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 official pictures

Although on a second thought, a snappy 1.2GHz processor, the new BlackBerry OS 7.0 with Liquid graphics and a super crisp VGA touchscreen are no good news for the competition. Nor is HD video, dual-band Wi-Fi and NFC support. And all that comes on top of the standard BlackBerry package. The solid build quality and corporate grade email and data security go without saying. The sharp precision of the trackpad and a responsive capacitive touchscreen balance each other in a device that's convincingly comfortable to handle. Add a standard-setting QWERTY keyboard, and you have a phone which puts you in charge.

Key features:

  • Enhanced email and data security
  • 2.8" 16M-color TFT touchscreen of VGA resolution (640 x 480 pixels)
  • QWERTY keyboard
  • Quad-band GSM support and quad-band 3G with HSDPA
  • Dual-band Wi-Fi b/g/n connectivity
  • NFC capabilities
  • GPS receiver and BlackBerry maps preloaded, digital compass
  • 5 megapixel fixed-focus camera, LED flash
  • HD video, 720p@30fps
  • 1.2GHz QC8655 processor
  • 768MB RAM
  • 8GB of inbuilt storage
  • BlackBerry OS v7
  • Trackpad
  • microSD card slot (up to 16GB)
  • DivX and XviD video support
  • Office document editor
  • 3.5 mm audio jack
  • Smart dialing
  • Compact body and solid build quality

Main disadvantages:

  • BlackBerry Internet Service account is a must to enjoy all phone features
  • Fixed focus camera of outdated and unintuitive interface
  • No video-call camera
  • No Flash support
  • Non-hot-swappable memory card
  • No FM radio
  • No haptic feedback

To begin with, the Bold Touch 9900 is bigger than the preceding 9700 Bold series. It's actually more of a return to the BlackBerry 9000 styling, with a larger screen and body. And since this is a touch phone we're talking about, the increased display real estate is welcome. Especially considering that the main competition recently had a major boost in resolution. With BlackBerry and Eseries now on par at VGA, the Bold Touch 9900 gets ahead of the Nokia E6 with 2.8" against 2.44" of screen diagonal.

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BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 live photos

So much for size. We're eager to see about speed and performance too. RIM did get creative with the finish too this time, but did they cross any kind of line? Our traditional hardware checkup is coming up. Has the Bold Touch 9900 got what it takes to do well? Follow us on the next page as we unbox and inspect the design, display and controls.

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