BlackBerry Bold 9900 review: Business reimagined

GSMArena team, 20 September 2011.
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Phonebook has no changes

The BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 may run a new edition of the OS, but its phonebook is the same as before.

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The phonebook is the same

The contacts get listed alphabetically by first, last name or company and you can pick which of their recent activities to get displayed when checking out their details. Smart search lets you find a specific contact by typing a part of the name, so navigation is pretty fast.

Like previous BlackBerry devices, the Bold Touch 9900 lets you put your contacts in one of two categories - personal and business and then filter your phonebook accordingly. There is also grouping available and you can create as many custom groups as you like.

In edit mode, the available contact details are neatly organized. You can replicate some of the fields and add custom ones easily.

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Editing Dexter’s contact info

Telephony has both voice and smart dial

In calls, the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 is the usual solid performer. No voice quality drops or reception issues.

What gives the Bold Touch 9900 some extra points however is the Smart dial feature. Indeed that was our preferred way of locating contacts on the handset - you just press a few keys straight on the homescreen and a list of suggested names is promptly returned.

You can then select them with the trackpad or tap directly on the contact to initiate a call.

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The in-call screen

Voice Dial is also available via the Universal Voice Search.

The BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 scored a Very Good mark in our traditional loudspeaker test, so you should have no concerns about missed calls and messages.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOveral score
HTC ChaCha63.3 61.272.7Below average
Nokia E668.8 61.570.7Average
HTC Wildfire S73.566.169.6Good
Sony Ericsson Xperia mini pro 67.7 66.275.Good
BlackBerry Bold 990071.072.776.3Very Good
HTC Desire Z72.772.782.5Very Good
LG Optimus One P50077.174.577.9Excellent

Messaging is all fine, but email needs BIS subscription

The BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 handles has all kinds of messages. You get SMS, MMS and email support out of the box and there are also a few IM apps preinstalled.

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Checking out the messaging menu

Of course, a BIS account is a must if you are to use email on the Bold 9900. And while we understand the advantages of the BlackBerry internet service, it would have been nice to give users some kind of choice. You know – you can go for the security we offer or you can use whatever internet plan you have and live without it.

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The Email client

And we shouldn’t forget that not every carrier worldwide is offering BIS, which reduces the Bold 9900 reach. Still if you do get a subscription you can check out the nicely organized and easily customizable client, which has deservedly earned its name over the years.

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Reading an email

Photos can be resized for sending, emails can be flagged and filtered by request, color and status, while folders can be created, edited and deleted on the device itself.

The message editors, which look identical for all types of messages, are pretty simple to use and with a neat interface. There is a counter at the top indicating the remaining characters to 160, and another one showing the number of parts the message will break down into for sending. That one turns into a data counter if you are creating an MMS or email.

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Sending Dexter a message with the Bold 9780

Entering recipients is as quick and convenient as it gets. You just start typing and smart-dial kicks in, giving you a list of suggestions.

Complete with a convenient QWERTY keyboard, the Bold Touch 9900 is great at its main job – texting. Some visual improvements would've been welcome, but getting the job done is what really matters here.

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