The web browser on the BlackBerry Bold 9790 is a nice improvement for the BB platform. It is comparably fast and responsive; supporting multi-touch zooming, text selection, text reflow, mouse cursor, etc. The only thing really missing is Flash support.
Now it does have its woes, we’ll give it that. Based on Apple’s WebKit engine and using a similar caching system as the iPhone, the new BB browser reacts surprisingly like the one on the iPhone 4. Unfortunately, its performance is not quite the same.
You see, both browsers cache the already rendered page thus they show users a texture, rather than a real page. This way you get great performance while panning or interacting with the page.
When you zoom in, the browser is not ready with the new texture, so it simply zooms in the already rendered one, effectively upsizing it, which makes both the text and images look blurry.
Now here’s where the difference in performance of the iPhone 4 and the BlackBerry Bold 9790 shows up. When you zoom in on a portion of text, on the BlackBerry, it takes a second or two to clear up the hazy cached image of the text, while on the iPhone 4 that’s an instantaneous action.
So, you got speed in panning and scrolling, even in zooming because the texture is quick to refresh rather than to zoom on a heavy page, but you get little annoying refresh moments on zooming.
Now that's something you won't see on a stock Android browser because the fonts there are rendered in real time. But the heavier the page is on Android, the longer the refresh time.
Unfortunately, again unlike the stock Android browser, the text reflow works only once - when the text is out-zoomed and you double tap on it. The text reflow stops working when you zoom in even more or turn the phone in landscape mode. The iPhone 4 web browser works the same way.
But we won’t bore you to death with these little nitpickings. The BlackBerry Bold 9790 web browser is a fast and modern piece of software, it renders pages nicely almost like a desktop browser and it will always get the job done unless you’re reaching for some Flash content.
If you decide to use the trackpad for navigation instead of the touchscreen, you'll get a virtual mouse cursor and automatic panning and scrolling when you reach the end of the screen.
Text reflow works like a charm, just tap twice on the text you want to zoom and reflow.
Except for the missing Flash support, the handset provides a solid browsing experience.
True to its business objectives, the Bold 9790 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 allows easily customizable events to be set up. We have to admit that some event presets would have been useful, but sadly the device fails to provide them. Calendar entries can be forwarded and conference call information can be merged into 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 PowerPoint files.
The organizer package also includes a calculator with 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.
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 tone, snooze time and the volume as well as the vibration intensity. Given the slot limitation though, getting an alternative alarm clock app from BlackBerry App World seems like the right thing to do.
The BlackBerry Bold 9790 comes with a stopwatch and a timer. Both are accessed from the clock application and have the usual functionality.
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.
Finally, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 comes preinstalled with Facebook and Twitter applications to help you in your social life. You also get the native Social Feeds app that gathers all of your Facebook and Twitter updates in one place.