RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone
RIM's latest BlackBerry Bold is its fastest and most powerful BlackBerry yet
- Superb design
- Fantastic keyboard
- Bright and crisp display
- No Flash support
- Limited third-part app selection
- UI sometimes confusing
The BlackBerry Bold 9900’s superb keyboard, fantastic design and great display make it without a doubt the best BlackBerry ever produced. However, it's still very tough to recommend this over iPhone and Android alternatives when you take into account the software, and the lack of third-party apps available.
RIM's latest BlackBerry Bold 9900 heralds a new era for the famous BlackBerry: it is the first Bold to combine a touchscreen and a physical keyboard in a standard candy bar design. The Bold 9900 has a fantastic industrial design that feels superbly constructed, its keyboard is the best we’ve ever used on a smartphone, and its screen is vivid and bright. However, in the age of the iPhone, Android and even Windows Phone 7 smartphones, the Bold still offers little incentive to switch from rival platforms.
Check out our guide to the best BlackBerry smartphones on the market.
BlackBerry Bold 9900: Design and display
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is a superb piece of industrial design, and without doubt the best-looking BlackBerry ever released. The brushed metal edges scream premium, while the carbon fibre-like battery cover on the rear adds weight to the Bold’s great looks. The Bold 9900 measures just 10.5mm thick, making it the thinnest BlackBerry ever.
The top mounted lock button, and the volume controls and shortcut button on the right are perfectly positioned and click reassuringly when pressed. Though it’s still very much a BlackBerry, we feel the Bold 9900’s styling should offer immense appeal to both corporate users, and regular consumers.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the first BlackBerry to combine a touchscreen and a full-sized physical keyboard while keeping the famous candy bar shape. It has a 2.8in capacitive touchscreen that is responsive to press. The screen itself is vivid, bright, and clear, but compared to its iPhone and Android rivals, the 2.8in display feels small and cramped. Below the screen sits answer and end call buttons, menu and back keys, and BlackBerry’s optical track pad. Although this is a touchscreen smartphone, we still found ourselves making good use of the track pad for general navigation.
The best feature of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 is its keyboard. It’s without a doubt the best keyboard on a smartphone we’ve ever reviewed. The keys are slightly wider than its predecessor, the Bold 9780, and more akin to the original Bold 9000 — a phone that was widely credited with the best keyboard ever tag when it was released. If your primary use of a smartphone is e-mail, the Bold 9900 is on its own planet when it comes to text input.
BlackBerry Bold 9900: Software
The BlackBerry Bold 9900 runs the latest BlackBerry 7 OS, which is a very minor upgrade from BlackBerry 7. The major new feature is the ability to separate corporate data from personal data using a function called BlackBerry Balance. It’s a nice addition, but unless you’re a corporate user its hardly worth getting excited about.
BlackBerry 7 looks remarkable similar to BlackBerry 6. The home screen remains attractive, and uses a handy notifications bar that drops down when you select it. This shows all your notifications including e-mail, calendar, text messages, and social network updates. The "Social Feeds” app aggregates feeds from Facebook, Twitter, RSS and BlackBerry Messenger among others. BlackBerry has spruced up the look of some of the icons in the menu, and the vivid screen does make them look rather attractive.
Next page: Software and conclusion
Join the PC World newsletter!
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
UE Boom 2 Bluetooth speaker
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
Acer Swift 7
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Google Daydream VR headset
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Surface Pro 4
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Venom Blackbook Zero 14 laptop review
Latest News Articles
- Samsung unveils Bixby voice assistant for upcoming Galaxy S8
- BlackBerry readies a more secure version of the Samsung Galaxy S7
- Android device updates: Nougat rollout begins for the Moto Z Play
- ZTE pays US$892M settlement to US over illegal sales to Iran
- Google Assistant learns how to read texts as its prime-time rollout continues
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- What's the difference between an Intel Core i3, i5 and i7?
- Laser vs. inkjet printers: which is better?
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- CCWintel Engineers - NV1ACT
- FTC# (Full Stack) DeveloperNSW
- TPOracle Consultant - CC&BQLD
- TPBusiness AnalystNSW
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!SA
- TPBusiness Analyst - HealthQLD
- FTICT ManagerNSW
- CCAutomation Developer - LinuxNSW
- FTLevel 2 Technical Support OfficerQLD
- CCData AnalystNSW
- TPBusiness Analyst | HealthQLD
- FTNetwork Solution ArchitectVIC
- FTSeeking all Java Developers!NSW
- TPProject Manager - General InsuranceNSW
- CCAutomation Test AnalystQLD
- FTOracle Forms PL/SQL Analyst ProgrammerQLD
- TPBusiness AnalystVIC
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTLinux System AdminstratorQLD
- CCSenior ABAP DeveloperQLD
- TPJunior Business AnalystQLD
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- FTNetwork EngineerACT
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW