The Bold 9930 runs a version of the BlackBerry 7 OS, which to Android Jelly Bean or iOS 6 users might look like an evolved version of a feature phone interface. It's a very simplified approach, but for a screen this compact, such a streamlined interface makes sense.
Apps and utilities are found below in the navigation bar, which you can tap to pull up a wider selection or swipe left or right to access favorite, commonly used, media, and downloaded apps.
Notifications, meanwhile, are found beneath the time, which is where you'll see emails, messages, and social networking alerts with tiny icons that trigger a larger list when tapped. To the right of notifications is a search icon that'll seek queries on both the phone and web, and the optional voice-based search option works well.
Despite its 1.2Ghz processor and 768MB of RAM – seemingly solid stats for a UI this simple – the Bold 9930 has a tendency to get bogged down at times, particularly when installing apps or playing with the settings. Occasional touches of the screen weren't recognized, as well, which proved frustrating.
If you're not upgrading from an earlier BlackBerry device, as well, it's likely to feel like an awkward interface, with the mix of touchscreen, touchpad, and physical button interactions making getting around just a bit more confusing than it should be. It feels like the slightly confused middle step between the BlackBerry of old and the new touch-centric approach.
Contacts and calling
Contacts are added easily and feature a long list of potential fields to fill, including name, title, BlackBerry PIN, custom ring tones, and nickname, plus the option to add even more custom fields. You can also send out contact cards to others via email, PIN, text message, or Bluetooth, if desired.
While the Bold 9930 is limited to 3G service, we found the call quality to be very solid in use, with clear voice coming through the receiver and our counterparts on the other line reporting likewise performance.