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BlackBerry Bold 9790 review

Another day, another high-end BB7 handset

Our Verdict

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 5.30 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 360

View full specification

For

  • Generous 8GB memory
  • Great keyboard
  • Easy to set up
  • Holds onto signal well
  • iTunes sync is simple

Against

  • Only a lock button up top, no media buttons
  • Touchscreen too small
  • No HD video
  • App World still poor
  • Contacts need a lick of paint

BlackBerry may quietly (or perhaps not so quietly) be finessing its plans for world domination with its upcoming BBX handsets, but it's not letting the other operating system go to waste, with a stream of BB7 devices being churned out right now, among them the BlackBerry Bold 9790.

Up until now, the cock of the school has been the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the premium BB offering that showcased the then new BB7 OS and replacing the tired Bold 9700 and 9780 lines.

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

We were slightly unsure why the BlackBerry Bold 9790 exists, since it's very similar in all but size to the Bold 9900 and makes it feel like RIM is over-saturating its own market here.

However, this is a ploy to 'sex up' the Bold line and make it attractive to the younger, non-business focused market - plus some people always prefer smaller designs.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

At the time of writing, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 is yet to be released, but it's expected to cost around £360 in the UK or $450 SIM-free in the US on pre-order, which makes it a good £100 cheaper than the larger Bold 9900.

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

And yet, with a 2.45-inch touchscreen, 8GB of onboard memory, 5MP snapper (with flash), GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, HSPA and 1GHz processor (smaller than the 9900's 1.2GHz), it's certainly not short of bells or whistles, and can competently compete with the likes of the credible Nokia E6.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

And of course, it'll be up against the Bold 9900. Which you go for may quite simply depend on whether you prefer a big smartphone or a small one (plus a few extra pennies in your pocket.)

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

As for the BlackBerry Bold 9790's design, this baby is small. If you've held a 9700 or 9780, then we're talking that small, although the handset also feels ever so slightly thinner. That's partly due to the tapered design we first encountered with the BlackBerry Curve 9360. The actual dimensions are 110mm x 60mm x 11.4mm.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

Like the Curve 9360, we have four buttons below the screen, which are completely separate and surround a touch-sensitive trackpad. This distinguishes the BlackBerry Bold 9790 from the Bold 9900, which had four touchpads beneath its screen instead.

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

Indeed, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 looks almost identical to the Curve 9360, and the only thing that really sets them apart to look at is the keyboard. While the Curve 9360 uses the Curve's separate keys, the Bold 9790 employs the Bold's signature keyboard where the buttons are all crammed in together.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

There's little of interest on the sides other than a volume rocker and convenience key on the right and a headphone jack on the left. The lock button is up top, while the micro USB charging and syncing port is down below.

There's a flash of silver around the sides and the back and a rear cover made of a matt rubber, which quite frankly requires a degree from Oxford, fingernails from Jurassic Park and the brute strength of Samson to pull off. Until you figure that it slides down. Oops.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

At 107g it's light, so you won't be worrying about putting your back out carrying the BlackBerry Bold 9790 around.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service ProviderOrange
Input MethodQWERTY, Touchscreen
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA
SAR Value1.56 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyBold
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedWCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100, GSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Multi-touch ScreenNo
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourWhite
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time5.30 Hour
Product Model9790
Screen Size6.2 cm (2.5")
Screen Resolution480 x 360
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)107 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution640 x 480
Processor ManufacturerMarvell
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 7.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Pixel Density246 ppi
Height110 mm
Width60 mm
Depth11.4 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerBlackBerry
Product NameBold 9790
Processor Speed1 GHz
Processor TypeTavor
Product LineBold
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part NumberORGBOLD9790WHT
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.uk.blackberry.com
Marketing Information

The new fully loaded, BlackBerry® Bold™ 9790 smartphone

Prepare to be stunned by the BlackBerry Bold 9790 smartphone. This high performance smartphone combines the accuracy of a QWERTY keyboard with the speed and responsiveness of a touchscreen. Elegant lines and a premium finish conceal a powerful processor that delivers a truly outstanding experience.

Smart and intuitive

Enjoy the best of both worlds

Take control of your smartphone the way you want to. Use the fluid and highly responsive touchscreen for fast and easy web-browsing. And write clear and accurate emails using the iconic BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard - now wider and even easier to use.

Limited Warranty1 Year