BlackBerry Bold 9900 Smartphone Review

By on August 1, 2011
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Amazing keyboard, excellent screen and smooth operations.

Good: Beautiful screen, best keyboard for a Smartphone, really fast in everyday usage.
Bad: Updating apps still requires a reboot, Camera slightly slow, battery capacity could’ve been higher.
Price: AED
* The price is the Suggested Retail Price at the time of review. Please call a retailer to confirm the latest price for this product.

RIM is finally catching up with the rest of the market with hardware. Their flagship product of last year sported a 624Mhz CPU and a screen with a resolution of 480×360 pixels which is pretty much considered a medium-end device in the rest of the industry. For the Bold 9900, RIM adds an incredibly zippy 1.2GHz CPU and ups the screen resolution to 640×480 pixels. Granted that isn’t exactly high-end, but on a 2.8 inch screen, ends up with a relatively high DPI for an extremely crisp look. RIM has also bumped up the RAM to 768MB from 512MB and doubled the in-device storage from 4GB to 8GB. You still have a MicroSD slot for further expansion but need to remove the battery to access it.

Not much has changed as far as radios are concerned with the Bold 9900 sporting the same HSDPA technology found in last year’s Bold 9870 model. I don’t have any issues with that as 4G has still not been introduced in the Middle East and data speeds over 3G are good enough. Bluetooth also continues to stay at 2.1 and so does the built-in Wi-Fi with support for 802.11a/b/g/n. While there hasn’t been any significant development in Wi-Fi standards, I have seen a few new Smartphones using Bluetooth 3.0 which RIM could have used.

For measuring performance, I generally use the SunSpider Javascript test and the the BlackBerry Bold 9900 proved to be quite a zippy device completing the test in 5900ms [Edit: 3146ms with the latest firmware] which is faster than the iPhone 4, HTC Desire S or the Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc any other phones we have tested. To put things in perspective, the Torch took over eight times longer to complete the test in 24185ms.

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Abbas Jaffar Ali is the founder of and a blogger, geek and self-declared tech pundit who can't stop talking about technology. Find him on twitter as @ajaffarali

  • Mazamil Majeed

    Release date?

    • t-break tech

      In two weeks from what I have been told

    • t-break tech

      In two weeks from what I have been told

  • Brian

    On a BlackBerry, if you hold the # key, it will switch to the last used profile, so I usually have mine switching between vibrate and normal. Try it out!

    • t-break tech

      Nice- that certainly helps

    • t-break tech

      Nice- that certainly helps

  • Anonymous

    praise allah. terrorist says what?

  • Shahriyar Ali

    hope it releases soon

  • Zaza

    No mention was made of its hotspot capability? Does it have one like in some other phones?

    • t-break tech

      From my understanding, the hardware supports that but it is up to each individual carrier to implement that feature or not. Sadly, I dont think Etisalat has that enabled but lets wait for the official release. 

  • Zaza

    Another question/concern to guide me in buying one of the new release handsets – I was reading your reviews and was wondering if Torch 9810 has both hotspot capability and ability to edit Document, etc. Thank for your response.

    • t-break tech

      Yes to both. All new BlackBerry devices will have full versions of Documents to Go. The Hotspot capability depends on your telco/career. It is there in the new devices however needs to be enabled by your telco.

  • Jagmohan Swain

    Hi Abbas Glaxy S 2, Iphone 5, Bold 9900 , Torch 9850 . So many good phones how would you rate them?? Which one would you pick for your daily use.And how is Bold 9900 camera?? Is it good enough. 

    • t-break tech

      Hey Jag-

      If you prefer a hardware keyboard (which I do) then the Bold is the best option. If not, then, well, I am an iPhone fan but the Galaxy S2 is a pretty sweet device as well. The camera on the Bold is about the same as the Torch- just average. Definitely not comparable to iPhone 4 or Nokia N8

  • Yogesh Ahuja82

    great review… certainly looking forward to picking one up soon.. love how bb has finally caught up to apple and android on specs.. and therefore have also suffered on the battery front… i really love the phone.. and will seriously consider buying it . but firstly is it worth the AED 2600 ish or is it worth waiting for the qnx blackberry promised next year… or conversely even the blackberry bold 9780..?

  • Steamus

    wtf is this guy talking about?! this is the fastest camera i’ve ever used in my life! my friends looked at the camera for half a second before looking away, and I still captured a perfect picture! No blur or anything!

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