These days people might be growing dumber, but phones? They are just getting smarter. Another attempt by a phone to get smarter has been made by the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the Berry’s first hybrid by coming out in a new avatar of BlackBerry 9790. RIM has been able to cram everything the 9900, which is held into a more compact package with the exception of a few changes. Here are the details:
Blackberry Bold 9790 Review
A solid feeling device with a matte finish on the back, it is strong on the hardware side. The front is classic BlackBerry but with a few subtle changes. BlackBerry has stepped up its four standard keys – they have given it distinct and slightly raised buttons which click smoothly.
The simple keyboard is a welcome change from the 9900. Though it’s not as comfortable, yet it’s one of the better hardware keyboard layouts we know. But if you are a BlackBerry fan, you will probably want to write verses on the keyboard of the Bold 9790, thanks to the carefully angled keys. The keyboard does take away some screen space, and its existence weighs on overall usability, so if you’re after a smartphone for web browsing or watching videos on a full screen, touch screen support would be a better option.
It has a small 2.45″ capacitive touch screen that has a resolution of 480px X 360px at 246 px per inch, which reminds me of the Bold 9780 of 2010 that had the same screen size and resolution. Touching a screen this small doesn’t offer any enhancement over the traditional process of thumbing the track pad, but at least you can pinch and zoom into web pages. Also, you can use finger flicking to browse through your photos, so it’s still a positive change. RIM has kept its optical track pad, thus giving you more options for you to navigate its interface.
Well placed and silver lined volume and convenience keys are easy enough to find mid call. The top-mounted lock button often plays the role of a bad boy, requiring deliberate pressing to activate, though it helps to avoid pocket dialing. The USB port and headphone are placed logically out of the way.
The Bold 9790 has got a 1GHz processor – a slight step down from 9900’s 1.2GHz. Yet the OS is responsive and fast, menus open crisply and apps load promptly. Complete websites are slow to load so expect a significant time delay for loading the whole site. Zooming and scrolling is fluid fast because of the good response of touch screen.
The 9790’s 5 megapixel camera sounds disappointing for this price because its rivals, the iPhone 4S and Samsung Galaxy S2 offer 8 megapixels. But it’s a decent snapper and details the images it clicks extensively, especially outdoors under strong sunlight. The lens was able to produce dramatic shots with a shallow depth of field (for a camera phone).
BlackBerry 7 OS
Mobiles aren’t just for calling these days; they are all about the software used; and with the BlackBerry OS 7, there’s nothing new it has to offer. RIM is scheduled to launch next generation BlackBerry 10 OS the next year. This is making it even more difficult for them to sell the older version phones as no confirmation has come from them regarding whether an upgrade would be provided for OS 7 devices or not.
The 9790 contains all the standard messaging features but like always, its platform remains difficult to use and comprehend as compared to iOS and Android, and of course what the Blackberry App Store offers is nowhere near those two.
The 9790 shares its price bracket with the likes of HTC Sensation and Samsung S2, and yet doesn’t pack enough to take down the two. Give this fact, only those with a huge crush on BlackBerry would go on to buy it, and even that market is narrowing down.
E-Mail & Messaging
BlackBerry has heavily relied on its messaging and email services for many years, and as expected, it holds all the tools Blackberry has in its kitty. Its email client would get you in touch with your Yahoo mail, Gmail, and Hotmail. BBM and other messaging apps are also available to stay connected.
Facebook and Twitter apps push the notifications straight to your Blackberry. BBM collects all messaging apps into one single feed, thus making it easier to reply to messages using different ways. Be warned though, as there is no Flash support so many online videos will not play on the phone. But yeah, they provide a YouTube app so you can stay connected with the latest and happening videos.
It comes with a simple touch menu, bypassing the thumbed Blackberry middle key. Holding a finger to the screen opens up a task manager that showcases all the apps you’re currently using and other aspects of the operating system you’re using. Hyperlinks are easily accessible and the text can be copied and pasted just by simply highlighting it. You can flick between the running apps by selecting the option of ‘Switch Apps’, which makes it very easy to access all the opened apps, but still it’s a maze of menus which is not that impressive.
|Corporate Features:||Push email, Document Viewing|
|Calling Features:||Conference Call, Hands Free, Call Divert|
|OS:||BlackBerry OS 7|
|Processor:||1 GHz Marvel MG1 Tavor|
|Resolution:||480 x 360 Px HVGA|
|Camera resolution:||5 Mp|
|Video Recording:||640 x 480|
|Other Features:||Face detection, Geo-tagging, Auto focus, Image Stabilization|
|Size:||60mm x 110mm x 11.4mm|
|Type:||1230 mAh, Li-Ion|
|Talk time:||5 hrs|
|Stand by Time:||408 hrs|
|Expandable Memory:||microSD, up to 32 GB|
Weighed down with price, the Bold 9790 finds it difficult to float on the tide and is bound to get sunk and overshadowed by the Galaxy S2 and iPhone 4S, which are just a step above in price and miles ahead in technology. Blackberry is wildly popular amongst teens, but at this price most of them would be priced out.
BlackBerry OS 7 isn’t a show stopper. It’s just a side kick of Android and iOS, especially considering the shortage of apps and not so good looking interface under the steel body armor of a phone. This phone is just not smart enough for the price you have to pay for it and hence is yet another let down by the Berry.
The cheapest place we found for an unlocked version of the Blackberry Bold 9790 is Amazon.
Click here to order one now at 33% OFF (unlocked version). Alternatively you may get one from your phone carrier.