BlackBerry Bold 9900 review

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

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If you're looking for fantastic mapping software, you can breathe a sigh of relief here. Don't panic, everybody, because the BlackBerry Bold 9900 comes preloaded with BlackBerry Maps.

We are, of course, joking. This is a dreadful piece of software. It's been shocking since the days of the BlackBerry Curve 8300 range, when we first encountered it, and it is still dreadful now. In fact, all that seems to have changed is the icon.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

We're genuinely perplexed as to what RIM sees in this programme. It's not as if it's ever been improved or gets better. It's been consistently bad. Why not divert resources to solving some of the other issues we've mentioned in this review and drop this rubbish? Anybody with any sense will immediately download Google Maps and be done with it.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

The good news is that when you do install some good mapping software, it can get a GPS fix very quickly. Still not as fast as the Samsung Galaxy S2 – which we have never been able to match – but it's definitely respectable. Even indoors without a view of the sky, the Bold 9900 knew where we were within 15 seconds and that was from a cold start.

In terms of other apps, there are a few new bits in there such as a new 'Smart Tags' programme, which is related to the in-built NFC technology and allows you to track all the tags your phone reads using the new tech.

There's also BlackBerry Protect to help keep your data secure – remember, security has always been one of RIM's biggest selling points, so there's no surprise it is cashing in on this.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

The usual suspects are in there too such as Tasks, Calculator, Password Keeper and a premium version of Documents To Go is present also, for which the corporate types will be grateful.

We do wish BlackBerry would update things at the other end of the scale, though: the games section comes with BrickBreaker and Word Mole.

While the latter has only been with us a few years, BrickBreaker has been present for so long that you have to compete against Moses for a highscore and what's more, apart from a very minor lick of paint, it still looks exactly the same.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

How about a couple of new games? Even the most hard-nosed of businesspeople like to have some brain dead time now and again.

Thankfully, you can download extra apps and games from App World, which is getting better. It may lack the oomph of Apple's App Store or Android's Market, but it is making some headway - although we doubt it will ever have the large numbers of the others' stores.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

Apps are, we think, still hideously overpriced, but at least the choice is improving. There are also third parties, such as Handmark, who've offered BlackBerry downloads for years and continue to do so.

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
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 7.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
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.