BlackBerry Bold 9900 review

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

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BlackBerry bold 9900

To be fair to BlackBerry, the camera on the Bold 9900 isn't its main selling point. Which is just as well, because it's pretty average.

What we're given is a 5MP snapper – the same as we had on the 9900's predecessor, the Bold 9780. It's not too shabby but also not very adventurous, considering that various phones (including the iPhone 4, which is more than a year old) come with that spec.

Thankfully, it comes with an LED light too, which makes things a little bit better in darker conditions.

Having said that, pictures taken on the Bold 9900 at max resolution are actually slightly smaller than those taken on the 9780 (2560 x 1920 versus 2592 x 1944).

The camera app is exactly the same as before. The only notable exception is that the autofocus option has disappeared from the menu. We assume this is because it is now automatic. If that is the case, somebody really needs to tell it, because on several occasions it didn't bother to rise to the challenge. We reckon a touchscreen should come with tap-to-focus functionality too, but that wasn't present here.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

Photographs taken in good light reproduced well and colours were fairly representative. Those taken close up in normal light with the LED on auto mode seemed to be bathed in something that made everything look more yellow than in real life. We thought our dog was auditioning for The Simpsons at one point.

In pitch black, the LED light does its job well, picking out images from complete darkness. Whack it into a low light setting or just turn the light off completely and you'll see that objects are almost impossible to see.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

There are various snapper modes from face detection to sports, landscape and party. In reality, we noticed little difference.

As a phone camera, it's manageable, but you won't be taking it as your only one on holiday. We're sad that for such a premium handset, an average 5MP camera with last season's software is all RIM could manage to give us.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

Close up, our image looked quite yellow and looked slightly blurred even with minimal movement.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

Colours reproduced well but the autofocus couldn't seem to get out of bed.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

Taken in good light with artificial lamp ahead. The image looks slightly grainy when it shouldn't considering the conditions.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

In pitch black, the LED light picked out our show-off frog with little difficulty.

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

In macro mode, text wasn't focused on automatically which made us wonder what the point was in having it

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

Some images seemed overly processed and the colour in direct sunlight wasn't true to life. This blue ended up looking more grey,

BlackBerry bold 9900 review

Same here – this was daylight at 2pm on a bright day but looks like some kind of filter has been applied.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Input MethodTouchscreen, QWERTY
Wireless LANYes
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
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
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 Address
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.