RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900 review

RIM has packed in a new operating system, an improved browser and a responsive touchscreen into the slim chassis of the BlackBerry Bold 9900, but Julian Prokaza is still left wanting. Read our review to find out why.

Price
£416

The BlackBerry Bold 9900 isn't just the latest smartphone from RIM, it is part of the company's salvo against the competition. It was launched in August alongside two new Torch handsets and will be followed by three new Curve models in September. All six run the new BlackBerry OS 7 operating system and have ramped-up specifications over previous models that include faster processors and built-in Near Field Communication capabilities.

The carbon fibre battery cover looks nice and feels sturdy.

The carbon fibre battery cover looks nice and feels sturdy.

The Bold 9900's most immediate predecessor moved away from the classic business-like wide, flat shape of previous Bold 9000 phones to a shapelier Curve-like look. Unfortunately, the more compact dimensions meant that the keyboard was reduced in size too, which was hardly ideal for a smartphone long known for its superior suitability for typing long messages. Thankfully, RIM has reverted to the original Bold design for the 9900, albeit with a few minor changes.

The narrow stainless steel rim around the case has returned, but the fake leather battery cover thankfully has not. Instead the Bold 9900 uses carbon fibre that, while something of a fingerprint magnet, makes it look less like an executive desk accessory from the 1970s and more like a piece of 21st century technology. By making the Bold 9900 6mm wider and taller than its predecessor, RIM has also made room for a more properly proportioned Qwerty keyboard that's very comfortable to use.

The Bold 9900's larger size also means there's room for a bigger screen than before 2.8in, rather than 2.44in on the Bold 9700. This is still obviously rather pokey compared to the 4in displays on some touchscreen-only phones, but it's a reasonable trade-off for a non-slider smartphone with a physical keyboard. Besides, the 640 x 480 pixel resolution (an increase on the 9700's 480 x 360) gives an extremely sharp image on the bright, vibrant display.

Featured Resources

Security analytics for your multi-cloud deployments

IBM Security QRadar SIEM solution brief

Download now

Five reasons to move to the cloud

Join the enterprises moving their workloads to the cloud

Download now

Architecting hybrid IT and edge for digital advantage

Why business leaders should consider a hybrid IT strategy

Download now

Six reasons to accelerate remote asset monitoring with AI

How to optimise resources, increase productivity, and grow profit margins with AI

Download now

Most Popular

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets
content management system (CMS)

How to build a CMS with React and Google Sheets

24 Feb 2021
How to connect one, two or more monitors to your laptop
Laptops

How to connect one, two or more monitors to your laptop

25 Feb 2021
Oxford University COVID lab falls victim to hackers
hacking

Oxford University COVID lab falls victim to hackers

26 Feb 2021