BlackBerry Bold Touch 9900


RIM always introduces new hardware at its annual conference, and 2011’s BlackBerry World is no exception, with the arrival of a new flagship smartphone: the Bold 9900. The thinnest and fastest BlackBerry to date, the new Bold also sports RIM’s new smartphone operating system. The screen is a major improvement over previous Bold handsets too. The 2.8-inch screen has a resolution of 640 x 480 pixels, which means that everything is pin-sharp. And now that the screen is touch-sensitive , you can use it to scroll, pinch to zoom images & the web or open an app. Blackberry purists will flinch at the thought of a touchscreen, but they don't need to use it at all if they don't want to – everything can still be done with the trackpad and navigation buttons. We should point out here that the screen cannot be used for typing. The keyboard is more than adequate for the job anyway. Although data transfer and charging is done via micro USB, at the lower edge of the device you'll see metal contacts — presumably for a charging dock. So we know that the Bold 9900 is a fantastic piece of hardware and the touch-optimised BB OS7 is pretty great too. But it won't be around for very long since RIM has reportedly decided to switch to the QNX software platform for its phones (the same software that powers the PlayBook). The 9900 desperately needs developer support for some new apps to take advantage of the newer and more powerful hardware. But will the developers respond? With QNXpowered handsets literally around the corner, the current lot of BB OS7 handsets are just a stop-gap . A Bold 9900 powered by QNX and with loads of compelling apps? Now, that would be exciting. Also getting a spec boost is the camera around the back, boasting a new 5-megapixel sensor. But hold your horses. This isn’t an autofocus camera, it’s fixed focus, so lacks some of the skill demonstrated by many rivals. Close-ups, particularly, don’t come off well. Even though there is a “close-up” shooting mode, this didn’t appear to let it focus on close objects. The camera results are reasonable, but below average for current high-end smartphones. Highlights are often blown out, reds and pinks seem over-saturated to the point that nothing looks quite natural and high contrast scenes demonstrate a lot of fringing. The LED flash suffers in the way that so many do, blowing out the subject and being of very limited range. The browser supports multiple tabs and we often found we had eight or nine on the go without realising, which is an impressive feat. You can easily share pages with compatible apps, such as Twitter, and drop bookmarks into your home menu, giving you a neat icon. Occasionally we’d find that finger tracking would again drop off, but on the whole, browsing is now a pleasure. There is no Flash support, so no catchup TV direct from websites. That's your lot, because the left-hand side is reserved for ports, including a micro USB charging and syncing port, the latter of which we can't help feeling looks a bit naked, since you get the illusion of being able to see right inside it. Plus there's a 3.5mm headphone slot. Battery life has been one of RIM’s strengths over the years, and that doesn’t change too much on the BlackBerry Bold 9900. While the battery is noticeably smaller than previous RIM devices (1,200 mAh compared to 1,500 mAh), and even though the processor speed has nearly been doubled,  I haven’t noticed that much of a difference as far as battery performance is concerned. That’s pretty impressive considering some phones can’t last an entire day, and the BlackBerry Bold 9900 has been able to power through almost two full days of on and off usage in my testing; again, this is quite impressive when you take the faster processor and smaller build into account. The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is a device that will appeal greatly to die hard BlackBerry fans, returning the Bold to a premium look and a size that makes a little more sense than the 9700 models. Business users will find themselves with a more interactive device and a better browsing experience, but outside of keyboard and email experience, consumers may find they get a lot more smartphone for their money elsewhere.



Price in USA $367

Price in UK £159

Price in EURO €270

Price in PAK Rs.40,500

Price in INDIA Rs.20,350