Amazing keyboard, excellent screen and smooth operations.
I’ve been waiting for a device like the BlackBerry Bold 9900 since the Bold series was introduced in 2008 in the form of the Bold 9000- a Smartphone that made it into my “Five Smartphones I’ll never forget” blog. It’s the first BlackBerry device in almost three years that has me as excited and I’ve been pretty vocal about that since I first played with it at BlackBerry World early this year. So yes, you might consider this review somewhat biased. But at the same time, I have such high expectation from the Bold 9900 that anything less than extra-ordinary will be a let down. Lets find out if RIM finally delivers.
I didn’t receive the packaged unit from RIM as I was insisting on getting one ASAP but I’m pretty sure that the package will contain the USB charger and headset along with a carrying case. The build quality of the Bold 9900 is plain awesome with no creaking parts. At 10.5mm, it’s the thinnest BlackBerry yet and not so far from the Samsung Galaxy SII which, at 8.5mm, is the thinnest Smartphone I have reviewed. The rest of the measurements for the Bold 9900 are 115mm x 66mm and it weighs 130grams. The following table compares the Bold 9900 to some of the other popular Smartphones of late.
|BlackBerry Bold 9900
|BlackBerry Torch 9800
|BlackBerry Bold 9780
|Samsung Galaxy SII
The Bold 9900 is noticeably lighter than the BlackBerry Torch 9800. In fact, it is lighter than the iPhone 4 as well as the recently reviewed Nokia E6 which also features a fully qwerty keyboard and a touch screen in a candybar form factor. Overall, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 is a lot lighter than it looks and RIM has done a good job of taking the original Bold 9000 and adding a touchscreen to it while reducing the weight at the same time.
In your hand, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 feels amazing- I would rate it right after the iPhone 4 as far as the “premium feel” is concerned. A stainless steel strip runs around the device with the power/lock button on top that, thankfully, is not as easy to press as the BlackBerry Torch 9800 (which used to unlock itself in my pocket quite frequently.) On the left side you have a 3.5mm jack towards the top while the microUSB port sits bust below that while on the right, you have volume buttons with a mute button between them. Personally speaking, I can’t remember the last time I needed to mute a call and thus, I would probably never use that button especially since that option also exists on the touch screen when on a call. Instead, I would have loved to see a slider to put the phone in and out of silent mode quickly. However, I’m sure that people that are on conference calls all day long that will appreciate the mute button. might appreciate it. , but I guess others do. Finally, you have a convenience key that is set to launch the camera application by default. This isn’t a two-stage button though which generally works better for cameras.
The back side of the Bold 9900 is made of a soft rubbery material providing a really nice grip around the edges of the Bold 9900. Unlike the older Bold 9000, the entire back cover of the device does not come off and instead you have a door in the middle for replacing the battery, inserting a SIM card or a MicroSD card. This back cover has a carbon-fiber like design and is glossy which makes it a finger-print magnet but that seems to be the trend with many new Smartphones that sport a glossy finish. While the back cover is a bit on the thin side, it doesn’t feel flimsy or one that will break-off easily.