REVIEW: BlackBerry Bold 9900

A BlackBerry? For designers? You may be surprised how good this is…

BlackBerry Bold 9900

The familiar form of the BlackBerry knows some new tricks

BlackBerry: the phone for the businessman and the teenager, right? Well, yes, but there's no doubting that the Bold 9900 is a fantastic device for email-heavy designers.

Our other iPhone alternative reviews:

First of all, the design. This is the weightiest phone here in feel, even though the specs say it is lighter than the S3, and undeniably has the best build quality.

The size is great and whether you get it in black or white, it looks and feels like a phone that will last you years. Gone is the BlackBerry chunkiness of the past, replaced with sleek lines and a stylish aluminium band that runs around the device.

Icons

The BlackBerry 7.1 UI is a bit of a mishmash, if we're completely honest. Whereas the BlackBerry 6 had a coherence across its icons, BB7 just feels a little thrown together.

Icons are all very different – and whilst this works well on a device such as the iPhone or an Android phone, with the smaller screen size of the Bold it feels like a little more thought should have gone into the workings of the UI.

Screen

The screen itself is 2.8in with a resolution of 640x480 at 287ppi. It's sharp – very sharp. Almost as good as the Galaxy S3. But then there is the fact that the screen is only 2.8in. Put this against the 4.8in monster of the Galaxy S3 and it looks rather puny.

Unlike many BlackBerrys of the past, the 9900 features a multitouch screen, which can also be navigated by using the optical trackpad.

Apps

So what about apps for creatives? This is where the BlackBerry is really let down. BlackBerry App World just doesn't have the creative apps that Google Play does.

You can't even get Instagram on it. The 5MP camera on the device does a decent job, but browsing photos and watching videos just doesn't work on a screen this size.

Price

Free on contract (from £21 per month). Around £350 sim-free.

Specs: BlackBerry Bold 9900

  • Size: 115x66x10.5mm
  • Weight: 130g
  • Screen: TFT capacitive touchscreen, 640x480 pixels, 2.8in, 286ppi pixel density
  • CPU: 1.2GHz
  • Camera: 5MP, video at 720p at 30fps
  • OS: BB 7.1
  • Storage: 8GB
  • Micro SD card slot: Yes

Scores

  • UI: 5/10
  • Design: 10/10
  • Apps: 3/10
  • Features: 6/10

Topics