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RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £479
inc VAT

Excellent build quality and an updated software make the 9900 an extremely capable smartphone, but at a high price


BlackBerry OS 7.0, 2.8in 640×480 display

RIM’s BlackBerry Bold 9900 is the thinnest BlackBerry to date, and its stainless steel construction and excellent keyboard make it stand out in a world of plastic phones. Despite its size, it packs a 1.2GHz processor and 8GB of storage, and its 2.8in screen has a generous 640×480 resolution, making it crystal clear.

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900

The 9900’s build quality is truly impressive. Instead of the luxury leather back of some of its brethren, there’s a carbon fibre cover for the battery compartment. The stainless steel frame feels incredibly sturdy and helps protect the headphone and microUSB ports as well as housing the music controls, camera shutter button and screen lock button.

A 5-megapixel camera and LED flash on the rear take decent snaps, but as with most smartphone cameras there’s lots of noise in dark areas. Videos were also full of colour but with a resolution of 640×480 at 23 frames per second, they aren’t particularly good quality.

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900 back

As usual, the BlackBerry keyboard is a joy to use with its sculpted keys and logical layout. Above it, an optical trackpad button sits between the standard Menu, Back and call buttons. As there’s also a capacitive touchscreen, you have plenty of options for controlling the operating system. The screen’s 640×480 resolution gives it a pixel density of 287 dpi, so pictures are incredibly sharp. We found the touch interface responsive and smooth.

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Main display size2.8in
Native resolution640×480
Second DisplayNo
CCD effective megapixels5-megapixel
Video recording format3GP
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB
Internal memory768MB
Memory card supportmicroSDHC
Memory card included0MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/1700/2100
Wireless dataEDGE, HSPA


Operating systemBlackBerry OS 7.0
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord/Excel/PowerPoint editors, PDF viewer
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange/BlackBerry
Audio format supportMP3, AMR-NB, AAC-LC, AAC+, eAAC+, Flac, OGG
Video playback formatsMPEG4, H.264, H.263
FM Radiono
Web BrowserBlackBerry browser
Talk time5.9 hours
Standby time12.8 days
Tested battery life (MP3 playback)48h 18m

Buying Information

SIM-free price£479
Price on contract£30-per-month, 18-month contract

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