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.

On the software side, the BlackBerry Bold is powered by OS 7 which along with Liquid Graphics, brings a few extra things to the BlackBerry OS. For starters, the icons are redone in color bringing a nice updated overall look to the OS. You can also now manage which panels appear or don’t appear on the home screen swiping- however you still can’t add panes.

On my first reboot, I noticed that amount of free RAM was reported at a tad bit over 150MB which is a bit worrying as the Torch 9800 with lesser memory of 512MB reported over 250MB of free RAM on its initial usage. However, I confirmed with RIM that I was running a really old build of the software (.261) which probably had debugging code. The newest version of the OS is 1465 and I should hopefully be getting the update from RIM soon and will be updating this section. Do let me point out that even with the old build and the smaller amount of free memory,  I did not experience any slow-downs in operations like scrolling, composing an email or switching between applications.

From the video on the previous page, you’ve seen how well the browser works and how smoothly text flows on the web pages- RIM has really given the browser a shot in the arm. About the only thing I miss browsing on the Bold 9900 is the smaller screen size compared to the Torch or the iPhone. RIM has also updated the Social Feeds application to 2.0 that allows you to create and manage views that can, for example, show feeds from your favorite people. Another feature new to BlackBerry is NFC or Near Field Communication which I couldn’t test out simply because I don’t have anything to test it out with. Sadly, I could not find an option to create a personal hotspot but from what I have been told, this is a career specific feature.

While all RIM developed applications that I tried worked right away on the Bold 9900 right away, third party applications will probably need some updating- especially games or anything else that needs to recognize the new resolution and GPU acceleration. Thankfully my favourite third party app BeBuzz worked without any issues but games like Choper or Camera Apps like Fat Face wouldn’t work. Some other Apps, like Gist work but the interface needs to be redone as everything appears really small. Sadly, installing apps on the Bold 9900 still takes a long time and you need to reboot every time an app is updated.

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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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