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Saturday, 23 July 2011

BlackBerry Bold 9900 (Bold Touch)

 BlackBerry Bold 9900

The Black Berry Bold 9900 (or alternatively the Black Berry Bold Touch) is a classic Black Berry messaging phone with the addition of compact touchscreen display.
Although it follows the familiar design pattern of other Black Berry Bold hand helds, the screen on the Bold 9900 is significantly bigger and sharper than its predecessors, at 2.8" diagonal size and 640 x 480 pixels resolution. It's a capacitive touchscreen, and although much smaller than a "traditional" touchscreen smart phone, it is bigger than the one on the competing Nokia E6.
The keyboard is well designed and quite possibly the best in class. The little touchpad controller on recent Black Berry handsets is easy to use and almost makes the touchscreen unnecessary.
Inside the Bold 9900 is a very fast 1.2 GHz processor combined with 768MB of RAM, which is a lot of power for a handset such as this, and it certainly makes it powerful enough for multimedia playback and gaming.. assuming that the smallish screen isn't a problem for you. There's also a generous 8GB of on board Flash memory plus a microSD slot.
The operating system is the latest Black Berry 7 OS, and from what we have seen the user interface at least is a huge improvement over the one found in versions 6 and 5, which is frankly pretty ghastly and not up to the standards of the  BlackBerry Bold 9900 competition. The usual suite of Black Berry applications are bundled plus a premium version of "Docs to Go". This new operating system will not be available for older handsets, which may disappoint many existing Black Berry users.
On the back is a 5 megapixel camera capable of 720p video recording (the Bold 9900 can also play back 720p video too). Inside, the Bold 9900 supports GPS, has a built in digital compass, accelerometer and a proximity sensor.
This is a tri-band HSPA+ device with support for both 2.4GHz and 5GHz WiFi networks plus quad-band GSM. There is also a Black Berry Bold 9930 variant which adds CDMA/EVDO support for US networks. The Bold 9900 also supports Bluetooth 2.1. The whole package weighs 130 grams and measures 115 x 66 x 10.5mm including the 1230mAh battery.
Although the Bold 9900 is clearly a useful improvement over previous models, it is only really likely to attract existing Black Berry users looking for an upgrade. It's worth bearing in mind that RIM shocked investors by recently issuing a warning about profits, and their new PlayBook tablet has had some very poor reviews. RIM really need to take some of the expertise that is clearly apparent here and make something that will claw back some market share.
We suspect though that many existing Black Berry users will want the Bold 9900 very much indeed. It should be available this summer, and although no guidance is available on price, we would estimate that it will be a little cheaper than the Torch, so perhaps retailing at about €400 to €450 at launch.
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