BlackBerry Bold 9930 review

Questionably bold in 2011, and no better with time

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When the BlackBerry Bold 9930 debuted in 2011, it was already seen as a device to hold the company's users over until it took the plunge with a new OS. Now that the Z10 has ushered in a new era for BlackBerry and other manufacturers have made strides in the meantime, the Bold 9930 can't help but feel dramatically dated.

BlackBerry continues to hold significant appeal for business and government users due to its enterprise controls and framework, and the Bold 9930 remains an option for those folks who also want tactile keys.

We liked:

It's obvious from a glance: the keyboard is a huge selling point for the Bold 9930, and luckily it's a stellar option. The rounded keys feel good under thumbs, and make it easy to hammer out messages and emails.

BlackBerry Bold 9930 review

The slim build is a step up from past BlackBerry models, and with the brushed metal sides making it seem like a premium handset.

We disliked:

Much as the screen impresses with its clarity, the small size makes many common tasks feel very constricted. The screen dimensions particularly limit reading email and surfing the web, and even tapping items on the condensed interface can be a hit-or-miss venture.

BlackBerry Bold 9930 review

Despite the 1.2Ghz processor, the BlackBerry 7 OS hits odd spurts of slowdown, which can freeze up the device. Even when it's running well, the 3G connection makes for very slow web browsing and downloads when not using Wi-Fi.

BlackBerry App World is terribly designed service that holds little of worth within. And the device gives you very little free space to utilize as it is, with less than 200MB available from the 8GB total of internal storage. A microSD card is essential.

Final verdict:

We could see the BlackBerry Bold 9930 being a suitable freebie phone on contract for business users or keyboard aficionados who don't plan on doing much beyond emailing, messaging, calling, and occasional web browsing.

But at the regular going rate of $99.99 with a two-year agreement, even the stellar keyboard and solid build can't justify the price or commitment with so many better and more capable phones on the market. It's still available for purchase, but nearly two years after its debut, the Bold 9930 hasn't aged well – it just feels old.

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 TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSUPA, HSDPA, UMTS
SAR Value0.70 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Multi-SIM SupportedNo
Near Field CommunicationYes
Integrated TV TunerNo
Product FamilyBold
Cellular Generation3G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100
Multi-touch ScreenYes
Rear Camera Resolution5 Megapixel
Number of SIM Card Supported1
Front CameraNo
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand NameBlackBerry
Battery Talk Time6.30 Hour
Product Model9900
Screen Size7.1 cm (2.8")
Screen Resolution640 x 480
Touchscreen TypeCapacitive
Weight (Approximate)130 g
Green CompliantYes
Green Compliance Certificate/AuthorityWEEE
Maximum Video Resolution1280 x 720
Processor ManufacturerQualcomm
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 7.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Instant Messaging, Email
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Pixel Density286 ppi
Height115 mm
Width66 mm
Depth10.5 mm
Radio TunerNo
Battery Standby Time333.60 Hour
Product NameBold 9900 Smartphone
Processor Speed1.20 GHz
Product LineBold
Screen TypeLCD
Sensor TypeProximity Sensor, Digital Compass
Manufacturer Part NumberPRD-42553-004
Manufacturer Website Address
Marketing Information

The power of touch

Create and connect like never before, swiping, pinching and zooming on the Liquid Graphics touch screen. Together with a 1.2 GHz processor, and a 24-bit high-res display, Liquid Graphics gives you fluid animations and instant response times.

The thinnest BlackBerry smartphone yet

With an elegantly brushed stainless steel frame, sculpted surfaces and advanced composite backing, the BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 smartphones are as lightweight and durable as they are feature-packed.