RIM is at an important juncture. They’ve to maintain their profitability while at the same time keep users interested in the brand. Good thing is their phone launches in the recent months has increased and the latest addition is the Bold 9900. We put this device to test after using it for a week. Read on to find out, how does this fair in the smartphone market.
Display and Design
The 9900 is impressively large measuring 115 x 66 x 10.5mm and weighs 130 grams. The 2.8-inch capacitive touch-screen features a 640×480 pixel resolution with 286ppi density that makes it look pretty crisp. A metal border that gives a premium look and feel to the phone surrounds the phone. There is a presence of the lock/unlock button at the top, the volume controls are on the right-hand side and also a presence of a convenience key that can be customised to run application selected by you. The micro-USB port and 3.5mm headphone jack is present at the top.
RIM’s previous touch-and-type attempt hasn’t been up to the mark as the OS didn’t complement the touch-screen capability of the phone. However, almost after a year, things have changed. The latest 9900 is a touch-and-type device with a QWERTY keypad. The phone is large and this makes way for a good QWERTY keypad featuring protruding keys that are easy to use without accidental presses. The design shouts luxury and premiumness.
If you have seen or used the Bold series devices, you will hardly find any visible difference in the Bold 9900. But a closer look reveals many changes that are good. The buttons are aesthetically pleasing as they have given away the conventional red and green colours for the call receive and call end button.
The phone runs on the latest Blackberry 7 OS which is visually more appealing and is more like an upgrade from the previous OS 6. There is also a universal search function that lets you search the device and the web with just a single keyword.
Powering the phone is the 1.2 GHz Qualcomm processor that makes the experience of using the phone a breeze. The 9900 features 8GB of internal storage and 768MB RAM, you can up the storage externally by using a microSD card up to 32GB. On the connectivity front, besides Wi-Fi and Bluetooth also supports NFC.
The 9900 also features Blackberry maps and GPS that lets you navigate the streets without getting lost.
Coming to the web browsing experience, the OS 7 has really improved it. WebPages now load much faster as compared to older BB OS and other Android smartphones. The browser speed is one of the highlight of this phone and we would like RIM to improve it further.
The 5-megapixel shooter of the 9900 captures fair pictures. The lack of autofocus is a big miss that we think for the device at this price. The fixed focus fared well in most of the occasions but was below par when shooting macro shots. On the video front, 9900 shoots in 720p HD, which again is really good but lacks a bit when it comes to close up capturing.
In the design and looks area the 9900 is a head turner. RIM has designed a fantastic phone that features good design, hardware and software. However, the battery is a letdown as with the Blackberry service, voice calls and few messages, it lasts for just a day.
Nevertheless, that should not be a deciding factor for what otherwise is a good phone from RIM. If you are Blackberry guy or a girl who spends large amount of time sending emails, chatting on BBM etc. you will love this phone for the sheer brilliant keyboard that the 9900 offers.
The price of this phone is Rs.33,000 which we feel would deter many upgrades or new buyers for going in for this.