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RIM Blackberry Bold 9790 review

Our Rating :
Price when reviewed : £310
inc VAT

This smartphone is a little fiddly to set up and not as fun to use - or as good value - as an Android or Apple smartphone


BlackBerry OS7, 2.5in 480×360 display

With the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9900, RIM tried to combine the best of both worlds: a top-notch keyboard and a touchscreen interface. With the Bold 9790 RIM has taken the same idea, but in a smaller, slimmer body that’s arguably easier to carry around with you.

In addition to the keyboard and touchscreen, there’s an optical trackpad button. It’s a little sensitive at first, but once you get used to it, it’s a great way to scroll through a large list of emails and select menu options.

RIM Blackberry Bold 9790

One of the big changes from the Bold 9900 is that the 9790 has a slightly slower single-core processor: 1GHz versus 1.2GHz. It’s fine for most uses of the OS, but we found that pressing and holding the menu button to bring up BlackBerry 7’s task switching could bring the phone to halt. This was particularly true if a busy application is running in the background, such as the app update process, brings up the clock icon halting you from doing anything else.

Build quality is great, as we’d expect from a BlackBerry. The matt, rubberised back feels tough and secure, but it’s easy to slip off if you need to get to the battery compartment and SIM card slot. The rear also houses the lens for the 5-megapixel camera.

This takes crisp shots with little noise. It’s nice to see an LED flash, which can help illuminate dark areas, letting you use the Bold 9790 to take shots in pretty much any conditions. A dedicated camera button sits on the side of the phone underneath the volume rocker switch. It’s useful if you turn the phone on its side, although the screen orientation means that you’re taking pictures in portrait mode. For landscape shooting we found it easier to hold the phone normally and use the trackpad button, particular as swiping up or down on this zooms in and out.

RIM Blackberry Bold 9790

Video can also be shots at 640×480. Again it looked crisp and the results were smooth, but the quality and resolution lags behind the best smartphones, such as the Apple iPhone 4S.

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Main display size2.5in
Native resolution480×360
CCD effective megapixels5-megapixel
Video recording format3GP
ConnectivityBluetooth, Wi-Fi, USB, NFC
Internal memory8192MB
Memory card supportmicroSDHC
Memory card included0MB
Operating frequenciesGSM 850/900/1800/1900, 3G 900/1700/2100
Wireless dataEDGE, HSPA


Operating systemBlackBerry OS7
Microsoft Office compatibilityWord/Excel/PowerPoint editors, PDF viewer
Email clientPOP3/IMAP/Exchange
Audio format supportAAC, WMA, MP3, OGG, FLAC, WAV
Video playback formatsMPEG4, H.263, H.264, WMV, XviD
FM Radiono
Web BrowserBlackBerry browser
Accessoriesheadset, data cable, charger
Talk time5.2 hours
Standby time17 days

Buying Information

SIM-free price£310
Price on contract£26-per-month, 18-month contract

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