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.

The camera on the Bold 9900 remains at 5MP like the previous gen devices, however, RIM has added 720p video recording to the mix. I found the camera to be a tad bit slow side- it usually took about a second between me pressing the button to take the picture and the picture being taken. The quality of pics taken is about the same as previous BlackBerry devices- good but great like the Nokia N8 or the iPhone 4. The following is a sample pictures taken from the Bold 9900- it’s an indoor picture with medium lighting.

I was a bit surprised at RIM’s choice of battery for the Bold 9900. Even though the phone is equipped with the fastest CPU they have ever used and a reasonably big screen with the highest resolution they have ever used, it comes with a 1230mAh/4.6Wh battery that is lower in capacity than some of their older models. The first day, I unplugged the device at 7:30 AM and by 8:30PM, the battery icon had turned red. It took another hour and half for the radio to switch off. During this day, I had WiFi and 3G always on with push email but Bluetooth and NFC was switched off. I also used the Bold to take over 30 pictures and about ten minutes of video. The second day, I unplugged the device at 7:00AM and the radio didn’t shut off until 10:30 at night- although I didn’t use the camera. I’m sure that with a little more conditioning and possibly better software, this will further improve.

Overall, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the best BlackBerry RIM has built so far. But keep in mind that it is still a BlackBerry so don’t expect it to compete with the iPhone or the Android on the number of Apps. That doesn’t bother me at all as at the end of the day, I prefer to use a device that has a good keyboard and screen while being fast to operate with a decent battery life . The BlackBerry Bold 9900 succeeds on all those accounts and creates an excellent touch and type combo. In fact, the experience is so good that I can easily see RIM moving most of their devices to such a form factor. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 will be my primary device of choice for the foreseeable future. RIM has delivered.

Want the Bold 9900? Try your luck with the competition we’re running with RIM for giving one unit away.

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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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