RIM may have cut 10% of its global workforce but it seems that they had the right people working on the Bold 9900 – it is a stunner. It looks like the first Bold and has similar dimensions too, save for the thinner 10.5mm profile . The hardware exudes quality with a brushed stainless surround & great QWERTY keyboard. Much could be said about the improved feel of the keyboard. It’s not just the best keyboard on any BlackBerry, but it’s the best physical QWERTY keyboard we’ve seen on a phone, period. The keys are large, each with a distinct ridge design that enhances accuracy.
The screen is a major improvement over previous Bold handsets too. The 2.8-inch screen has a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, which means that everything is pin-sharp . And now that the screen is touch-sensitive , you can use it to scroll, pinch to zoom images & the web or open an app. Blackberry purists will flinch at the thought of a touchscreen, but they don’t need to use it at all if they don’t want to – everything can still be done with the trackpad and navigation buttons. We should point out here that the screen cannot be used for typing. The keyboard is more than adequate for the job anyway.
A special mention for the carbon fiber battery cover. This is something not many will care about and neither is it very noticeable at first glance, but it speaks volumes about the attention to detail that has gone into the hardware design. The software is BlackBerry OS7 – a much-improved and touch-optimised update of OS6 seen in the Bold 3 (9780). The icons and screen elements have all been upgraded to take advantage of the higher screen resolution. Hardware specs are far superior to any other BlackBerry handset, though admittedly, still a way behind what similarly priced Android smartphones offer. Inside is a 1.2Ghz single core processor, 768MB RAM and a dedicated graphics chipset.
The phone is super-fast , whether you’re navigating through hundreds of emails, text messages, contacts or switching between apps. Multimedia was never very strong with BB handsets, but this one includes support for multiple video formats out of the box. It has a decent enough 5MP camera with an LED flash (with 720p HD video recording), support for NFC (Near Field Communication) and a Wi-Fi hotspot feature. Continuing the tradition of the Bold, battery life is great – easily lasting two days (even with multiple email accounts, Twitter, Facebook, SMS and calls).
Although data transfer and charging is done via micro USB, at the lower edge of the device you’ll see metal contacts – presumably for a charging dock. So we know that the Bold 9900 is a fantastic piece of hardware and the touch-optimised BB OS7 is pretty great too. But it won’t be around for very long since RIM has reportedly decided to switch to the QNX software platform for its phones (the same software that powers the PlayBook). The 9900 desperately needs developer support for some new apps to take advantage of the newer and more powerful hardware. But will the developers respond? With QNXpowered handsets literally around the corner, the current lot of BB OS7 handsets are just a stop-gap . A Bold 9900 powered by QNX and with loads of compelling apps? Now, that would be exciting.
BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900
Features : 2.8-inch touchscren display, 1.2Ghz processor, 768 MB RAM, 8GB+microSD slot 5MP AF rear camera, 720p video capture, 3G, Wi-Fi , NFC, BlackBerry OS7, 130g
Pros: Great design, amazing QWERTY keyboard and display
Cons: No front facing camera.