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BlackBerry Bold 9900 review

Finally some top-end specs. Has BlackBerry ripened with age?

Our Verdict

The Bold 9900 is certainly bold in its ambition. It may fail in some places, but in the most part, it really impresses.

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 8 GB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 5 Megapixel
  • Screen Resolution : 640 x 480

View full specification

For

  • Slimmest BlackBerry ever
  • 8GB of built in memory
  • Amazing screen clarity
  • Proven reliability of email
  • NFC capable

Against

  • OS 7 not much better than OS 6
  • No Flash video
  • Camera snaps could be better
  • Social networking could be better integrated
  • Function buttons are fiddly

But while the Bold 9900 won't be boasting about its stills snapper, at least it can about the video recorder. Because this baby comes equipped with a HD video snapper.

Whereas before users could only shoot in a maximum VGA resolution (640 x 480), now, by default, the Bold 9780 will happily film away in glorious 1280 x 720.

YouTube logo

Videos shot in good light came out well. When you go from light to darkness, it copes admirably and fixes the shot as appropriate. But in dark settings, you'll have to turn the light on, otherwise you may as well forget it. This is no great surprise and we can't hold it against RIM.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

What we can hold against the company, though, is the act of turning that light on, because it's all a bit of a pain.

Despite there being a shortcut on the screen, our unit didn't actually let us click it. So we had to go into the options, tick to turn the light on, accept the mandatory warning that the light will use battery life, click save, go back and start recording again. Worse, that process automatically ends your recording, which is annoying.

We can't help feeling that if RIM had spent more time concentrating on getting these little things right and less time on banging on about processors and the new OS, the video app could have been much better.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

As it is, although the video is HD, the actual experience is only really adequate. Interestingly, files are encoded as 3GP rather than the MPEG format we'd have expected.

And you'll have to email all videos to share them via direct messages, because a good 30 seconds worth of footage will be around 40MB (way above the 300k limit most operators impose on MMS.) Alternatively, you could transfer them via the cable or use an app such as Dropbox. At least you're presented with various options.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
TouchscreenYes
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Contract TypeSIM-free
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported32 GB
Built-in Memory8 GB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyEDGE, HSDPA, HSUPA, GPRS
SAR Value0.76 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyBold
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourCharcoal
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Product Model9900
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Screen Resolution640 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 7.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log
Height115 mm
Width66 mm
Depth10.5 mm
Radio TunerNo
ManufacturerBlackBerry
Product NameBold 9900 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Product LineBold
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor, Accelerometer, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-39473-019
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.uk.blackberry.com
Marketing Information

Have it your way. Every time.

Whether you're typing an email or accessing data - the new BlackBerry Bold lets you have it your way, every time. From the responsiveness of the BlackBerry QWERTY keyboard to the fluidity of the touch screen - you can communicate and interact with information like never before.

Loaded with power and performance.

With a 1.2 GHz processor and 8GB of expandable memory, the BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone is the very definition of high performance. It also features the best in Wi-Fi technology - so you can quickly tap into Wi-Fi hotspots whenever you need to. And with an HD video recorder, you can even capture exceptional moments in all their vivid detail.