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BlackBerry Bold 9790 review

Another day, another high-end BB7 handset

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


  • Generous 8GB memory
  • Great keyboard
  • Easy to set up
  • Holds onto signal well
  • iTunes sync is simple


  • Only a lock button up top, no media buttons
  • Touchscreen too small
  • No HD video
  • App World still poor
  • Contacts need a lick of paint

BlackBerry may quietly (or perhaps not so quietly) be finessing its plans for world domination with its upcoming BBX handsets, but it's not letting the other operating system go to waste, with a stream of BB7 devices being churned out right now, among them the BlackBerry Bold 9790.

Up until now, the cock of the school has been the BlackBerry Bold 9900, the premium BB offering that showcased the then new BB7 OS and replacing the tired Bold 9700 and 9780 lines.

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

We were slightly unsure why the BlackBerry Bold 9790 exists, since it's very similar in all but size to the Bold 9900 and makes it feel like RIM is over-saturating its own market here.

However, this is a ploy to 'sex up' the Bold line and make it attractive to the younger, non-business focused market - plus some people always prefer smaller designs.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

At the time of writing, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 is yet to be released, but it's expected to cost around £360 in the UK or $450 SIM-free in the US on pre-order, which makes it a good £100 cheaper than the larger Bold 9900.

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

And yet, with a 2.45-inch touchscreen, 8GB of onboard memory, 5MP snapper (with flash), GPS, Wi-Fi, NFC, HSPA and 1GHz processor (smaller than the 9900's 1.2GHz), it's certainly not short of bells or whistles, and can competently compete with the likes of the credible Nokia E6.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

And of course, it'll be up against the Bold 9900. Which you go for may quite simply depend on whether you prefer a big smartphone or a small one (plus a few extra pennies in your pocket.)

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

As for the BlackBerry Bold 9790's design, this baby is small. If you've held a 9700 or 9780, then we're talking that small, although the handset also feels ever so slightly thinner. That's partly due to the tapered design we first encountered with the BlackBerry Curve 9360. The actual dimensions are 110mm x 60mm x 11.4mm.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

Like the Curve 9360, we have four buttons below the screen, which are completely separate and surround a touch-sensitive trackpad. This distinguishes the BlackBerry Bold 9790 from the Bold 9900, which had four touchpads beneath its screen instead.

BlackBerry bold 9790 review

Indeed, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 looks almost identical to the Curve 9360, and the only thing that really sets them apart to look at is the keyboard. While the Curve 9360 uses the Curve's separate keys, the Bold 9790 employs the Bold's signature keyboard where the buttons are all crammed in together.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

There's little of interest on the sides other than a volume rocker and convenience key on the right and a headphone jack on the left. The lock button is up top, while the micro USB charging and syncing port is down below.

There's a flash of silver around the sides and the back and a rear cover made of a matt rubber, which quite frankly requires a degree from Oxford, fingernails from Jurassic Park and the brute strength of Samson to pull off. Until you figure that it slides down. Oops.

Blackberry bold 9790 review

At 107g it's light, so you won't be worrying about putting your back out carrying the BlackBerry Bold 9790 around.