BlackBerry Bold 9900 review: Business reimagined

GSMArena team, 20 September 2011.
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Very good browser, but no Flash support

The web browser on the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 is one of the best we have seen lately. Despite the smallish display, the browser still does an excellent job and will serve you well. It is fast, responsive, supports multi-touch zooming, text selection, text reflow, mouse cursor, etc. The only thing missing is Flash support.

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The Bold Touch 9900 web browser is great

If you decide to use the trackpad instead of the touchscreen, you'll get a virtual mouse cursor and automatic panning and scrolling when you reach the end of the screen.

Multiple tabs are supported and switching between them is pretty easy - just tap on the tabs key at the top right corner. Page rendering is near perfect, displaying almost every page like on a desktop browser.

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Managing bookmarks, tabs and some of the available options

Text reflow works like a charm, responding promptly to your double taps.

Other than the missing Flash support, the handset provides probably one of the best user experience in browsing the web despite its smallish display.

Organizer has everything

True to its business ethic, the Bold Touch 9900 has superb time-management capabilities. Its organizer includes a decent set of applications and although some of them are hardly lookers, their usability cannot be called into question.

The calendar has monthly, weekly and daily view modes and lets you easily set up customized events. We have to admit that some event presets would have been useful but sadly the device fails to provide them.

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The BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 organizer centerpiece – the calendar

The phone comes with the full version of Quick Office pre-installed allowing it to view all kind of documents (incl. PDF) and edit Word, Excel or Power Point files.

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Both document viewing and editing is supported out of the box

The organizer package also includes a calculator with a built-in unit-converter, as well as a voice recorder and a Notes application. A handy To-do manager allows you to set-up and organize your upcoming tasks.

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The calculator comes with a built-in unit converter

The alarm application has only one alarm slot and fails to impress. It's quick to turn on but most of its settings can only be adjusted from the settings menu. There you can change the alarm tone, snooze time and the volume as well as the vibration intensity. Given the single slot limitation though, getting an alternative alarm clock app from the BlackBerry App World seems like the right thing to do.

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The BlackBerry OS 7 still offers just one alarm slot

The BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 comes with a stopwatch and a timer. Both are accessed from the clock application and have the standard functionality.

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There’s a stopwatch and a timer

The clock also offers a bedside mode that turns off the status LED (unless you set it otherwise) and displays a large clock on the screen.

There are also a Password Keeper app, Voice Recorder, Memos and Tasks app to store your passwords, voice memos, text memos and tasks.

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Voice Recorder • Memos • Tasks

Finally, the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 comes with Facebook and Twitter applications. You also get the native Social Feeds app that gathers all of your Facebook and Twitter updates in one place.

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Facebook app • Social Feeds native app

BlackBerry App World

The BlackBerry App World is the RIM application distribution solution. Quite well organized, it accepts payment by credit card or Paypal. Some you can get for free of course.

You can manage your apps on a computer or directly on the device itself.

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There BlackBerry App World mobile client

There's a basic filtering system as well - it allows you to check out the highest rated free and paid applications, as well as the newest releases. In general there's hardly anything to complain about in terms of interface.

The number of applications isn’t as impressive as in the App Store or the Android Market at just over 14500 apps, 3500 games and 12000 themes, and to make it worse only a small fraction of the titles are actually free (though some of the paid apps offer free trials).

BlackBerry Maps also requires a BIS plan

As one would expect nowadays, the BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900 is equipped with a built-in GPS receiver and comes with A-GPS support. For navigation you get BlackBerry Maps preinstalled. Unfortunately it is yet another application that only works with a BlackBerry internet plan activated. And the only navigation option you get is directions.

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BlackBerry Maps

To get directions you can enter an address straight from your phonebook and you can also save your favorite spots so you don't have to type them every time.

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Getting directions

BlackBerry Maps also allows you to send your location to anyone via email or SMS, and that rounds off a decent but certainly not spectacular application.

Also, addresses that are included in messages are automatically detected and can be displayed on the map at the expense of a few clicks. The map data has also been updated to include more cities. We can still think of at least several apps with more detailed maps, but let's not get too picky here.

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