BlackBerry Bold 9900 Review: Old but still Good

BlackBerry Bold 9900 Review: Old but still Good

It’s been two years since this phone came out and yet it is considered as one of the premium phones of our generation. This is the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and this is still priced at a premium price of more than 20,000.00, brand new. This is now my 2nd BlackBerry phone as my first was the BB Curve 9320. More details after the jump.

If you’re looking for the summarized review, simply just scroll down at the end of this article but if you want more detail then read on.

The Build
Upon holding the device, you will notice the build quality. Unlike the Curve 9320, which feels plasticky and cheap, the materials used for the Bold 9900 has a premium feel to it. The material in the back has a rubbery texture to it which helps making the device non-slippery. Even though, the backplate is still made of plastic, it has a glassy appeal with a carbon fiber design. The sides is a brushed aluminum texture which contributes to the overall sturdiness of the device. Despite it’s size, I found out that the keyboard is more comfortable than the Curve 9320 but I still won’t recommend it for people with big fingers like me.

What’s Inside the Box?

The screen is quite good considering that this is a 2-year old device. The screen is actually a capacitive touch panel though if you are unaware of its features, you might not discover it unless you start to touch the screen. The graphics is snappy and I do not feel any slowdown at all which is pretty good. Although I still don’t get it why the charging port is in the side of the unit, it is quite annoying for me when you try to use the device while it’s USB is connected. But overall, the build of the device is quite nice and sturdy with minor kinks in port placement. If only I am given permission to drop test the thing…

The 3.5mm Jack and the Micro USB Charging Port
The Volume Rocker and the Camera Button. Notice the Brushed Aluminum.

The Battery
I was able to take the device our for a spin within a week and the battery lasts a day with major phone usage. If you are continually using the web browser and playing music, you get an average of 5-6 hours of usage. Moderate use which includes BBM, E-mail, Occasional Web Browsing and Facebook will get you around 15 – 17 hours of usage. It’s safe to say that you need to charge the unit daily in order to enjoy it a full day tomorrow.

Posing for the Camera

The Camera
It’s nice. Although it’s not that amazing in comparison with the current roster of phones. It was still well behind the current roster of phones two years ago. But I must admit, a BlackBerry phone is not marketed as a multimedia device which could take great photos. So, in other words, if you are looking for a replacement camera for your travels, might as well pack some digital camera instead. It can be good for quick snapshots though. The camera is not that bad, and it’s not that amazing either.

Sample Shot with Flash
Sample Shot

The Experience
I think I might have given a sneak preview of my experience in the build section. But like I said in the Curve 9230 Review, I am not comfortable with QWERTY keyboards due to the fact that I have large fingers. But in comparison with the Curve 9230, the keyboard is much much comfortable and I can’t reiterate that enough. As usual, if you are into apps then don’t expect your favorite Android or iOS apps will be there. And if you an avid mobile gamer you will be dissapointed. But the whole BlackBerry experience is still there. If you are moving from a lower end BlackBerry Device to this device then suffice to say you are in for a pleasant experience. However, if you come from touchscreen smartphones like me and has already experience with iOS and Android, there will be some adjusting. BBM is still wonderful here, there are no noticable changes at all except that it is running more snappier.

For the current price point of the Bold 9900, I must say I am impressed. In its current pricepoint, you can already have a good Android Smartphone or an iPhone 4S which has a great amount of features compared to this. Also, you’ll just add a few thousand more to be able to buy the BlackBerry Z10 or Q10 which is currently their flagship device. But honestly, the Bold 9900 is only appealing for those who are into BlackBerries. Should the price drop anywhere half of the price of their current flagship device, I would say that it’s time to snag this thing. For a two-year old device, it is quite impressive that it managed to stay premium.

CPU – 1.2Ghz QC 8655
Weight – 130g
Camera – 5MP, LED Flash
Video – 720p
Battery – 1230MAh
Sim – Typical Sim card (mini-SIM)
3G – Yes, HSDPA 14.4 Mbps, HSUPA 5.76 Mbps
Wifi – Yes
USB – Micro-USB
3mm Plug – Yes

Price in the Market (as of May 14, 2013):
Gray market – 19,900
Official Price – 24,990