Tried & Tested

Gadget Check: BlackBerry Bold 9900

30 Nov 2011

Model The new BlackBerry Bold 9900 is edgier, faster and slightly smarter than previous Bold models… but it’s still not the best smartphone out there.

BlackBerry loyalists can feel the difference between the new phone and its predecessors just by holding it: it’s lighter, thinner and sleeker. The handset is in fact the thinnest yet, measuring just 10.5mm thick. The touchscreen, which complements the keyboard well, has a slightly higher resolution (287dpi) than previous models, making everything from emails to photos seem more crisp. The previous model could not zoom in to articles or photos viewed via social media smoothly – that thorn has fortunately been removed with the touchscreen.

Furthermore, this is one of the first BlackBerry phones to be NFC-enabled, which has recently been taken one step further with a MasterCard certification. Soon, users will be able to integrate MasterCard PayPass accounts onto their SIM cards for quick and easy payments.

The phone’s software is also worth noting: the phone supports the new BlackBerry OS 7, which supports HTML5 and faster browsing, although in my opinion the browser is still not fast enough to be considered as one of the phone’s competitive edges. In fact, the YouTube app was quite slow. I did like that all notifications, whether BBM, emails or text messages, appeared on one singular bar at the top quite like the OS 6 but slightly more refined. Another plus point is that it is preloaded with the premium version of the Documents to Go app, for free, making working on the go extremely easy.

BlackBerry’s main weaknesses, in face of iPhone’s fierce competition, are the clunky and limited App World as well as slower browsing. Those weaknesses have unfortunately not been removed with this model – App World still lags painfully behind.

But, this new phone is, as usual, great for work at the expense of the fun factor that the iPhone provides. For this reason, the phone will remain a purely corporate product, while the iPhone appeals to the mass consumer market – so it really depends on what you are looking for. To regain lost market share, the BlackBerry needs to learn to mix business with pleasure to appeal to the masses again.

Pros Touchscreen, weight, great for working on the road

Cons App World still measly compared to competitors

PRICE From HK$5,688 (US$731)



This phone is a great upgrade from the previous model, however it’s still very limited in terms of apps and functions when compared to the iPhone.

Alisha Haridasani

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