We’re all on the look out for a brand new phone every so often, and sometimes the internet can be clogged with reviews surrounding the technical specifications and how one handset is way faster than another handset because it’s got a processor in it that probably means nothing to you. That’s why I’m starting this feature. Every so often I’ll be replacing my own personal phone with another and put it through it’s paces for a week, partly because I love playing with new phones and partly because I’m looking to get a new phone myself.
Those of you who love technical specifications won’t be left out though, you’ll be able to find those at the end of this post!
So, where do we begin, we’ve got the BlackBerry Bold 9900 here, and for the first Week In My Pocket we’ll be splitting the review into four different parts, Photography, Gaming, Everyday Use, and Outdoors. So how did this phone do?
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 in short
This phone comes with both a dedicated QWERTY keyboard as well as a capacitive touch screen. The overall build of this phone is impressive, it’s solid and feels great in my hand unlike other BlackBerry devices I’ve experienced. For those of you who’re accident prone and tend to order a case for your phones, while you’re waiting for your new case to be delivered the BlackBerry Bold 9900 comes with a pocket for the phone right out of the box!
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is host to a 5MP camera with an LED flash that can shoot 720p HD video – Not bad. I used the phone as I would usually taking “Instagram perfect” images while out walking our Chocolate Labrador as well as taking cute pictures of our kitten. Overall the camera performed pretty well, it’s a very basic point and click type of camera as there’s no ability to focus on anything specific (not really making much use of the touch screen just yet) and the iconic BlackBerry crushing a can shutter sound is a little off putting but over all it wasn’t all bad.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 also has a range of dedicated buttons along the side for the camera, as well as the volume rocker that can be used to zoom (up to 4X).
My main issue is the lack of applications like Instagram for BlackBerry devices, but I’ll touch upon that later.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 comes pre-loaded with a few shortcuts to a few games you can download via BlackBerry App World, some of which with names that you’ll surely recognise like Guitar Hero, the only issue is most of the games for this particular device are reminiscent of those from the late 90’s that you’d find on an old Nokia 3510 complete with polyphonic ringtone style sounds.
This particular handset isn’t really aimed at gaming so I can’t really judge the phone purely on it’s gaming capabilities.
From the word go the BlackBerry Bold 9900 soon became a pleasure to use, once you’ve set up your credentials you can get straight into exploring the phone. This particular model comes loaded with the BlackBerry 7 OS that features BlackBerry’s fastest browser, and it is truly fast. The addition of the capacitive touch screen makes browsing on this phone a total breeze, you can pinch to zoom, and tap on links making it super easy to navigate web pages. My only issue is that most websites didn’t recognise that I was using a mobile phone to brows their site so as a result I often found myself on a desktop version of a site and on a device with a fairly small screen (2.8″) it was pretty difficult to actually see what I was doing.
BlackBerry 7 also comes with the latest social networking apps such as Facebook, Twitter, and of course BBM making it fairly easy to get connected to your friends before you’ve even checked out the BlackBerry App World.
I often find myself downloading different documents and game assets while researching a new game, or checking out the latest press releases and a phone that has good productivity is something I’m keen on finding. The 9900 is perfect for this type of work, it was incredibly easy to load up different ZIPs as well as PDF’s and documents, not to mention the way photo assets looked on the screen with it’s Liquid Graphics technology.
Browsing YouTube was a little difficult though, unfortunately there isn’t a YouTube app, but the shortcut that you’re given actually points to the YouTube Mobile site, from here you can navigate through your subscriptions and watch videos with ease. The touch screen helps a lot here too with pausing and skipping through different parts of videos.
Something phones are beginning to introduce Near Field Communications or NFC, this enables two phones the ability to interact without the need to connect cables or enable bluetooth or to even “bump” each others phones together – It also gives NFC capable phones the ability to interact with new SmartPoster tags and hopefully in the future give us the ability to pay for things using our phones and the great thing is the BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the first BlackBerry smartphone to include this technology!
Finally the battery life is incredible, I gave it a full charge before I started using it and I’ll be honest, the phone lasted over 24 hours with fairly heavy usage (emails, Twitter, Facebook / messaging, and browsing). Keeping in mind that I’m used to the Galaxy Note with a HUGE Super AMOLED screen, that also has a bunch of fast paced, battery munching games, so I was really surprised to find that the battery was still on half charge by morning the next day.
This section focuses on using the phone while you’re out and about, in particular the navigation function as well as typing quick texts and making calls. Overall the 9900 performed pretty well, it found my location pretty quickly and the navigation function was easy to use and understand. Thanks to the dedicated QWERTY keyboard it was a breeze to type out a quick text unlike with some touch screen phones, you can occasionally be waiting a couple of seconds for the keyboard to open up. The BlackBerry Bold also has dedicated function buttons for answering and ending calls which helped a lot too.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is an all round clever phone, it’s not quite on par with some of the more recent touchscreen smartphones but it doesn’t need to be, its simple to use interface along with the keyboard and touchscreen make this phone stand out in the crowd, so if you’re more of an internet browser / social network geek this phone would be perfect for you. It’s not the best gaming phone, but it’s not supposed to be. The battery life is awesome for a smartphone and it does pretty much everything you’d want a phone like this to do. (other than gaming, obviously)
Here’s the section for tech nerds.
The Black Berry Bold 9900 has a VGA 640 x 480 high resolution capacitive touch screen with the new Liquid Graphics Technology giving the phones 2.8″ screen a whopping 287 ppi. The phone also comes with a QC 8655 1.2GHz processor making the Liquid Graphics even better. Along with the 1.2GHz processor the 9900 also has 768 MB RAM and 8 GB of storage along with up to 32 GB uSD card (optional) of expandable storage.
More tech-y information can be found here!