This model is deemed to be the highest end in the BlackBerry’s self-designed line of handsets. I write self-designed because the Porsche designed BlackBerry costs three times as much.
Design and Usability:
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 has a high finish look. The touch and feel of the device is top quality and multi-touch is a breeze. Although the look of the phone defies it, the device has full touchscreen capability. Touch-sensitive systems are all pervasive nowadays – from desktop monitors all the way to cars. Since this is a bar phone, If you’re the finicky kinds that don’t want smudges on the screen from using your greasy fingers, feel free to use the fully functional keyboard. The text size of data in the browser still is hard to read at the default setting –although zooming one notch up improves the reading experience greatly.
A tip to BB is, “Hey look! We are not all old hyperopic businessmen who use reading glasses while on our devices”.
The availability of an Arabic keypad for the Middle East version adds to the appeal of the phone.
I did notice that if kept switched on for too long, the OS starts freeze. Shutting it down at least once a week prevented such occurences. The multi-touch is smooth and responsive.
The phone width although quite useful for typing e-mails and the oh-so-important BBM s can feel a bit unnatural while answering calls since it exceeds in size when compared with other handsets. The slimness is noteworthy, conveniently slipping in and out of pockets with ease. The inner lining of my phone’s sleeve was uneven on one side though, causing smudges on the phone screen. I am not sure if that is the case in other pieces.
Another good design element is the rear carbon fiber finish as it adds to the appeal of the overall look.
This is no joke but the highly reflective screen is good for us vain birds to check ourselves out as the reflection has a natural tone. I wasn’t kidding.
If you have a BlackBerry tablet, the functionality of the tablet is increased two fold once you have your BlackBerry mobile “Bridged” to it through Bluetooth. Bridging the two devices increases your mobile phone’s real estate by a minimum of three times regardless of the model you own. With the bridging, you can access your e-mails, BBM etc on your playbook. However, the browsing speed on your tablet reduces quite a lot.
The built in 8GB memory is sufficient for data and media although during playback, the speakers don’t perform well. While using the YouTube app, videos are grainy and fools one into believing that moving the antennae to the roof top shall get you better reception and hence better quality. It also feels a bit weird to have the headphone port on the side instead of the top. While in your pocket, expect constant pokes.
Although the phone is relatively new (even compared to North American releases) the pictures lack quality and cannot compete with its American rivals let alone its European rivals.
The app which I use the most frequently is the twitter app and don’t find it intuitive. It almost seems like the developers for BB take in the age factor of the users while developing the apps.
This probably explains why RIM created BlackBerry for business users.
Verdict: A new phone with a rather youthful/sporty/ modern touch but with functionality still geared to the likes of businessmen.