BlackBerry Bold 9790 review

Another day, another high-end BB7 handset

BlackBerry Bold 9790
A BlackBerry 7 smartphone to rival the Bold 9900

Why you can trust TechRadar We spend hours testing every product or service we review, so you can be sure you’re buying the best. Find out more about how we test.

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

It's hard to be massively excited about the BlackBerry Bold 9790. The Bold 9900 was a mobile phone to be excited about, since it was the obvious successor to the Bold 9700 and 9780 handsets, which seemed like they'd been around forever. But just when the 9900 gets its feet under the table, this little upstart comes along and insists it's the rightful heir to the title.

It doesn't feel like a massive leap forward, more an upgrade that has been released for the sake of it, and we can't quite see where it fits in in the BlackBerry scheme of things.

We liked

The BlackBerry Bold 9790 is a perfect size for those who don't want too much bulge in their pockets, so to speak. It takes that winning design from the 9700 more than two years ago and brings it bang up to date. And even though it's been on a diet, it's acquired a bigger heart and much bigger brain and muscles with that beefed up processor and newer operating system. Plus NFC inclusion makes this baby future-proof.

We disliked

But the smaller size could also be its downfall, since bigger hands will struggle to cope - especially when prodding at the screen. The camera isn't anything special, and the internet browser is good but only by BlackBerry standards. Plus BlackBerry 7 does feel like a bit of a letdown - not so much of a problem if you're coming to BB new, but a bit of a disappointment if you're upgrading.

Final verdict

If you were to take the BlackBerry Bold 9900 out of the equation and judge the BlackBerry Bold 9790 on its own merits, you could quite confidently say it's a cracking little phone. We're not massively excited by it but, geek-speak aside, just the specs alone make it worthy of a £350/$450 SIM-free price tag.

If we were torn between the BlackBerry Bold 9790 and the Bold 9900, we'd pick this, albeit at the risk of grumbling about a smaller screen.