RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900
The Bold 9900 sports a similar design to its predecessors but the latest iteration is by far the best
Ratings BreakdownEditor's Rating:
- Value for money:
Data services: Y
Media player/capture: Y
Research in Motion is sailing through troubled waters at the moment but if smartphones like the Bold 9900 are what we can now expect from the company, we reckon the Canadian firm will be with us for years to come. The latest Bold is without a doubt the best QWERTY-based smartphone on the market today.
The new Bold sports similar looks to its predecessors though there are some additions that make the phone look a little more up-to-date. The frame of the phone is surrounded by a steel strip for instance and this contrasts nicely with the otherwise mostly black body of the device. The rear of the smartphone is, unfortunately, a fingerprint magnet but does look good thanks to a carbon-fiber-inspired design. This rear end also offers a good deal of grip and so is less likely to slip out of your hand when you aren't paying attention. The phone exudes solidity too and thus should stand up to rough use, and time.
With dimensions of 115 x 66 x 10.5mm (H x W x D) the Bold 9900 is shorter in height and thinner in width compared to Samsung's Galaxy S II (also reviewed in this issue). However, as the Bold measures 10.5mm thick it is noticeably thicker than the Samsung. Compared to the older Bold 9780 however, the new Bold is taller, wider and heavier but thinner at 10.5mm versus 14mm. Overall though there's nothing to complain about in the aesthetics department with this new BlackBerry device.
As you'd expect the Bold 9900's biggest selling point is its keyboard which just makes typing messages and e-mails a stress-free and precise affair. Since this Bold is also equipped with the new BlackBerry 7 operating system and has a 2.8-inch screen that's touch-sensitive, the Bold 9900 is unbelievably intuitive to use.
While we initially thought we'd never use the touchscreen for anything, we found that we were using the keyboard and touchscreen in-tandem within a couple of hours of receiving the phone. The Bold's screen, like other BlackBerry devices, is quite balanced in that it returns fairly potent visuals and, doesn't wash out even in very bright sunlight.
Given the Bold's fast processor and memory allow you to make quick, uninterrupted progress we feel confident in saying the Bold 9900 is easily the fastest phone to get comfortable with on the market today. This smartphone really is what the first generation Torch should have been when it was released.
Battery life, which has long been RIM's Achilles Heel, is still an issue though. The phone needed a charge after 25 hours of mixed use which involved a good deal of standby, making two hours worth of voice calls, browsing the web for an hour using the WiFi connection and grabbing about 10 minutes worth of HD video.