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