Review: BlackBerry Bold 9900


  • Omar

    Great review. Looks like a pretty awesome device, but I think I’ll stick with my Galaxy S II. I just feel that Android has more to offer. If you’re just mainly into talking and texting, then maybe this is the device for you!

    • Jerrik

      @Omar: I completely agree with you. I absolutely love my Galaxy S2 that I snatched up opening day. In fact, I even have it clocked at 1.6 GHz instead of 1.2 GHz. My phone is even faster now. Such a noticeable difference. Looking to flash a custom ROM. However, none of them look that great. One will either come with a custom launcher, which I don’t want because I love TW 4.0, and a good, lag-free broswer, or one will come with TW 4.5 but with a laggy browser. That’s ok, though. This is a new phone and new ROMs will appear eventually. Until then, I will stick with my stock ROM with my overclocked Galaxy S2 🙂

    • Manny

      I had the Samsung Galaxy S (Froyo) and had to switch to the 9900. The SGS had great multimedia capabilities but was SO poor on core functionalities like email, calling and calendar (WAY too many major bugs). For what was currently the “best” android device at the time, it definitely turned me off the android platform. I know the 9900 is a next gen device compared to the SGS, but I have to say it has great call quality, solid and reliable email and calendar pushing. I admit, the SGS browsing experience is far superior; but what’s the point when you can’t rely on it for core functionalities. I am happy with the switch.

  • Joseph Gordon

    When does the Blackberry Bold 9900 come out?

  • jellmoo

    Out of curiosity, why no actual rating?

  • TomatoGuy

    They put twice as powerful CPU and slashed battery capacity – why would anyone sane do that?
    Autofocus camera is replaced with fixed focus one to keep device thin as well.
    I don’t mind additional 5 mm thickness if I can get better camera and increased battery life.
    And new QNX based BlackBerries are going to hit pretty soon as well. Why would you sign 3 year contract just to get Bold 9900 right now?

    • jellmoo

      To play devil’s advocate: QNX is essentially unproven in the handset form factor. Add in the fact that first gen devices always have issues and need improvements, and there are some good reasons to go the 9900 route.

      This may be the last yet best of a breed of phone that many people enjoy and know well. I think that in and of itself is a pretty solid reason to pick one up.

  • john

    Very objective Review: A devices that should have been one or two years ago with not many apps for OS 7. If you want it pay for it. The problem is that they are marketing as something new while in reality ist just a bridge device until QNX arrives. Price the 9900 at $400 and it will sell, since the 9780 is going to go into liquidations prices and its not much less than the 9900, plus it has a 1500mAh battery.

  • astudent

    Just a STELLAR review.

    “The 9900 is the next BlackBerry, but how long will this unit be relevant? My fears are that many developers simply won’t develop for the OS7 platform when RIM’s new QNX platform is on the horizon”, I couldn’t agree more but I wonder what regular consumers will think of it. I am sure it will sell well for a bit. However as consumers become more and more educated, may be a bigger problem for RIM in the long run.

  • Hasan Juma

    Nice review! I just can’t get excited about a Blackberry anymore. Battery life used to be one of their major Pro’s – a competitive advantage that they seem to have lost with this unit. I’ll pass.

  • Poonsaloon

    Excellent review! This was the kind of feedback I was looking for.

  • @grumpybuttfunny

    That’s what I love about your reviews, the details are there. Not only there but put in a way it doesn’t sound like your rambling on. Love it! I hope you do a 9810 review as I am courious of your comparison! Thanks

  • Kevin

    I love the phone and am also amazed how much the touchscreen adds to the experience. However, the loss of “column view” in the browser makes reading this article a squinty experience.

    • Dean

      Pinch to zoom works great…absolutely no need for column view at all.

    • kay

      The Column view is a deal breaker. I don’t like pinch to zoom. Its not the same;you don’t get all of the article on the screen. I’m disappointed because I wanted this phone. I’ll stay with my Bold 9700.

  • newphone

    It’s not just your phone, I also just purchased the bold 9900 and found that it does not have a long enough battery life well for my usuage at least. I thought it was just my phone too or that I was doing something wrong, as this is my first blackberry. Anyway, thank you this review was very helpful.

  • materialist_minimalist

    I was excited about this device. I thought it was an auto-focus camera all along, but now that I’ve read that it’s fixed + the crappier battery life, I think I’ve all but discounted RIM for the immediate future.

  • David

    Someone needs to review articles before they’re posted. There are a lot of grammatical errors that made it a horrendous read.

  • Sam

    My 9900 has had pretty decent battery life and I find my camera has not had any issues as others have been saying. Hands down the 9900 is one of the best blackberries to date.

    • materialist_minimalist

      Definitely won’t argue with you on that, it definitely seems to be the best Blackberry to date. However, the problem is it’s 2011 and the competition is leagues ahead in a multitude of features.

  • Blackeryfanmaybe

    Im pretty sure QNX will be able to be upgraded to this phone. As far I can see the phone will have the same cpu so it shouldnt be a problem 🙂

    I am interested but yes not at the the current price tag!

  • n3olyfe

    more RIM garbage made from stolen apple tech.

    • Jerrik

      @n3olyfe: You and the rest

    • Jerrik

      @n3olyfe: You and the rest of your isheep friends can go suck a dick; and f**k Apple!

  • Brett

    Apparently the latest leaked software update improves the battery life significantly. Not quite to the 9780 levels but enough for a heavy user to easily make it through a full day’s use.

  • Brian

    BES Express works fine, simply, the OTA app has not been updated yet.

  • KidCanada

    I need my 9860 now Rogers!! Let’s go!!!

  • OniBerry

    Yes, but the battery life on .261 is pretty bad. The Stock OS is not very good when it comes to power mngt. I would suggest those who have the 9900 to upgrade to .296 (Vodofone) or .317

    • ofutur

      Have you actually measured this? People on other forums haven’t noticed a difference after upgrading their OS

  • dan

    why are people saying they’ll wait for the QNX devices? Clearly QNX is nothing special, take a look at the PlayBook sales…

  • Paul Q

    Sales don’t mean fucks all. Shit is s**t even if it sells.

    • jellmoo

      I don’t understand… This isn’t an article about Android.

      (I kid, I kid… mostly)

    • ofutur

      I agree, look at the iPhone 4…

  • KidCanada

    @Dan – you’re comparing a phone to a Tablet smh. I thought that alone should make it easier to differentiate.

  • neo

    so whats the rating out of 10 ? i guess none cause of the app selection

  • kevin

    hmmm…this is a very good review, I have always been a huge Nokia fan, and from the current events happening with Nokia, I wanted to switch to blackberry, but reading this review depending onwhat your usage is, I find that my current Nokia E6 is still superior but this IMO, I didnt know that this 9900 had fixed focus as well…the E6 has an 8 mpix fixed focus, and it has a very well developed keyboard as well..and I still find the build quality of the Nokia phones still better, the only good thing i see right now, is the 1.2 processor…and the batterry life on my Nokia is still better I charge once every 2 days under heavy use…

    To be honest i really thought this was gonna be the game changer for me, but as I find out more, this phone isnt turning out to be as great as i thought it would be….hmmm but still a very nice device if youre a loyal blackberry user…I guess ill have to wait for either QNX or Nokia Windows phone…..

    • ofutur

      Go for the 9810 then. Better camera, better battery. A usable keyboard and the best instant email and security features available on a mobile device.

  • Riddlah

    After the first charge, I’ve had a couple days with 30 hours on a single charge.

  • Merc

    768Mbps of application ram, lolz !!!

    • jellmoo

      Er… why is that funny?

  • crunch204

    You commented alot about the EDGE network. Why EDGE? What about HSPA+?

  • stan345

    Dear RIM:

    The keyboard, long battery life, and superb dual speakers on my bold 9000 were outstanding when it came out. The form factor including thickness, were just fine.

    Now you have made it thinner at the expense of battery life, camera quality, and stereo speakers. Why?

    At least you have improved on the 9000 keyboard but now I have to think a bit longer to see whether I will make the switch.

  • EraqEE

    I love Blackberries but the lack of apps and the shitty browser made me switch back to Android. Will definitely switch back once these issues are improved!

    • jellmoo

      The browser in OS 7 is definitely better than before, so there’s that.

      App selection is very unlikely to improve though. If having a massive selection of apps is important to you, iOS and then Android are far better choices.

  • George

    I played with a 9900 at bestbuy yesterday and was impressed. Work is getting me one next month and I am really lookin forward to it.

  • Mike

    So please advise, you are saying the 9900 is NOT wi fi capable right now?

    • faibs

      it is, you aren’t paying attention.
      it cannot be used as a HOT SPOT.
      google the difference.

  • Kevin

    I love the 9900 – the assumption here is that OS6/7 is gone when QNX comes and that is simply not true. You can always wait for the next great thing but the bottom line is this is the best ever Blackberry and surprisingly competitive.

  • Dean

    As for the battery life, I have had a 9900 for five days now. If I text/bbm most of the day, use the media player streaming bluetooth through my car stereo, and use facebook a fair amount, it will be about 15% full end of day. I have had it last 2 full days with light to moderate use though. Sucks it won’t be upgradeable to QNX, but you can’t upgrade OS6 to OS 7 either. At any rate, it’s a fantastic device and I am very glad I sold my iPhone 4 to get one.

  • Steve Dion

    It’s all about the keyboard. Kinda like typing on a thinkpad. Nothing beats a physical kb. I am coming from iphone and sgs2 and love the 9900. I don’t need all the bells and whistles the iphone and android devices bring. I just want to tweet, facebook makencalls and answer emails. I have a tablet (galaxy tab 10.1) and laptop (mba 11) for all the rest. Long live rim! Come on Canada show a little love!

  • Karen Sue Gibbs

    I want one too. I hope RIM is able to stay competitive and in the race, after all they were the first to invent these devices and should be considered number one. The other competitors should be more respectful, and be less hostile. They are just following the leader, that’s all.

  • Blackberry User

    I really REALLY love this phone.

    It’s awesome, and I know RIM will undoubtedly improve upon it with future updates.

    Check this out if you love having a keyboard, touchscreen, and just an incredible device.

    Go to your local stores and try it! It really is amazing, and I can’t be the one to tell you so you need to try it in a store!

  • Tom

    The larger more user-friendly keyboard is probably the selling-point for me transitioning from a 9700/9780.

  • OnKitry

    Regarding the battery :
    Any new Lithium Ion needs to be cycled about 5 – 10 times to get full charge life.

    Charging it twice in a day? Were your streaming your recorded 720p to network in realtime?!

  • ntrsfrml

    BES X is working just fine on 9900.

  • john

    Telus has the 9900 for $630 no contract and $320 on a 3yr contract and minimum of $50 bill.

    Wonder if its $320 and your contract expires when QNX arrives.

    • Jake

      Actually, it’s $149 on a 3 year contract. On top of that they are also offering a $50 rebate, so $99 from Telus. It’s a hell of a deal and too good for me to refuse 🙂

  • TheTigerTek

    I traded my Galaxy S II for the Bold 9900. I love it. Battery life is much better than any Android phones I’ve used this year the Atrix and GS 2. Love the new keyboard, phone just works with great performance.

  • D84UK

    I’ve had the Bold 9900 a couple of days now, it’s definitely a nice upgrade from my old Bold 9700, but I am not happy with the battery life or the camera not having auto focus…I thought this phone was a contender…but if you can’t get the simple things right then people won’t be happy. Browsing online isn’t always easy as the phone gets confused and sometimes won’t let you use some of the touch screen functions. I know hear the iPhone 5 is imminent…maybe it was time to switch

  • Dread

    Well there is a market for everyone. But after playing with the Samsung Galaxy S II or 2 weeks – RIM better wake up and make a decision. Only be a corporate email device company or take the other markets more seriously.

  • johentie

    Great Review..

    Initially my battery life was below expectations.. i took it off the charger at 7:30am and by noon it was at 50%..

    Since Aug 9th i’ve been at work everyday so i keep it plugged in..

    Saturday was the true test! i was out all day at ontario place for a concert.. took the phone off the charger at 8am.. throughout the day i took pictures to post on FB. I was bbm’ing, texting, and calling people to arrange meet ups .. browsing as well to see if i can snag extra tickets for concert and a 20min call to the amphitheater to see if i can buy tickets over the phone. took a lot of 720p video at the concert as well.

    came home at midnight with 45% battery… screen resolution set to 30% and OS7 .317 …

  • KronicKatz

    yeah il stick with my galaxy s 2 :D. was thinking about this phone but its not worth my time. Man isnt Rim far behind in the tech world

  • Dimitri

    You guys Forgot to add that the 4 buttons (call,bb button, back & call end ) Are all Touch-sensitive controls. I called blackberry & Rogers & telus to confirm it. I first saw it on Gsmarena.

  • Bluelabel

    I’ve just sent back a Samsung S2 as the battery life was measured in hours instead of days, the handset felt flimsy, poor sound from the speakers, the virtual keyboard was absolutely pants, and worst of all the thing had a mind of it’s own, turning on apps and programs when it wanted to without any input from myself…. I have since ordered a 9900 from vodafone… my previous handset was a Nokia ‘BB’ clone (an E71)
    it will be my first BB and I hope it performs better in all respects than the Samsung S2 which, with hindsight, was a huge mistake…..

  • grekoff

    As of 8/19, Future Shop in Canada is advertising the 9900 (online) on Rogers for $149 (matching Telus and Bell) on new 3Y activations. It remains to be seen if the walk-up price is still $549.

    Here’s what is great about the 9900:
    (1) No latency. When I push the touchscreen button, the application opens up immediately. Not 3 seconds later.

    (2) My battery life is good after 3 days of use. Note that the newest batteries require initial charge conditioning. I have had several Li Ion devices where the manufacturer advised to let the device drain first (they usually hold an initial charge of only 50%), and then recharge. The battery chemistry takes some cycling before it stablizes.

    (3) Notably missing from this Bold (versus the 9900) is teh button on the lefthand of the body. I configured it to change my ring profile. The awkward bottom righthand side button (which is configurable) is still there.

    (4) The authors of Angry Farm need to rewrite to take advantage of Liquid Graphics. The animation is still choppy.

    (5) Some of the great features compared to the 9000 are the “Join Now” feature to auto-dial into conference calls.

    (6) The mute button have been awkwardly moved from the top left (BB9000) to the righthand side (between the volume up / volume down buttons). It was better where it was before. Also, I prefer the “A” key to be the screen lock instead of the button on the top, as is done on the Curve 8520

    Overall, a great phone and significant improvement over the Torch (I returned mine after 3 days due to perpetual dead batteries), and will make Bold 9000 users happy. I doubt it will convert any iPhone fans but it will give existing BB users a migration path and buy time for RIM to figure out its QNX strategy.

  • Kruti

    Hi – did this phone come with a case from rogers???

    do the new blackberry phones no longer come with cases? Did we kiss that privilege goodbye when the torch came out???

    I haven’t gotten a new blackberry since the bold 9000 came out and back then it came with a beautiful leather case!

    • Jake

      RIM hasn’t forgotten you. All the 9900/9930 come with a nice swivel holster.

  • kasn

    well! thanks for the great review – if the low bettery life and lack of auto focus on the camera are the only complaints – I can handle that – I think I am an average user – heavy at times and not at others – and have had pretty good luck with my phone so far!
    I have to say, I had the curve 8900 and when I got that I was told it was the best on the market and now I’ve upgraded to this – WOW!!! I dont want an iphone and want to stick to blackberry and am quite impressed with this.
    Ive noticed a couple times however in BBM or facebook when when I touch the screen to select the spot to start typing it takes a few seconds for it to activate (maybe its just me?)

    anyway! LOVE the phone – and to be honest… Im not worried in the least of this one ‘going out of style’ any time soon!

  • freddyd

    Great review. I recently switched from BB to Nexus. Am I alone in thinking this was a terrible idea? (I suspect not). I signed for 3 years on this thing, and can’t wait to get back to BlackBerry. Honestly, I want a phone that just works. All the extra bells and whistles that the Nexus offers are pretty great, but there is a missing sense of reliability that comes with BB. Sure my browser sucked (old curve), but I never had to worry about missing emails, phone calls or text messages. At any rate, I can’t wait to get back to BB.

  • I’ll Pass

    Unfortunately, the market has votes with it’s feet at these devices are collecting dust in stores while superior Android phones are flying off the shelves. With RIM laying off thousands and the stock price falling like a stone, who wants to sign a three year contract for a brand that could well be history before the contract is up.

  • bob

    I will tend to agree with some of the comments about talking and texting in my opinion BB is the best that’s why I keep my curve 9300 but I m still married to my iphone G3 and that is a beautiful thing …;)

  • mike

    Earlier I went into my local Rogers and I asked on the bold 9900, they said that the enter key would pop off, and that 3 people have brought it back about that so far, so it may break, is this true? Please reply, i’m a little confused on weather it will or will not break.

  • Ev

    I absolutely love my Blackberry Bold 9900. The touchscreen with a full keyboard is fantastic and the picture quality on the screen surpasses any of the iPhones that my colleagues had in class. There were 14 of us, 11 with iphones, 2 with android run phones and my 9900. The Bold 9900 is wider, but thinner and lighter than the iPhone. Apps are not a priority for me but able to type fast as time is essential, receiving and sending e-mails and syncing files are important to me. I’m sure the iPhone is a good product if you want to do nothing else but play games and watch movies. Kudos to RIM.

  • Ramy

    I am happy with my Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc tyvm. I never ever ever putting my hands on a Blackberry device again. Worst phone experience in my life was that crappy Bold 9780 of theirs.

  • Lenana

    i’ve been thinking of getting this phone… but from my research, i may be at a loss… the battery life sucks (and i NEED battery life i mean… it’s the most important thing)the only sure thing that i’ve heard from people is that it has an amazing keyboard… and why would i want to buy a new expensive phone for its keyboard… and before i know it a “new best blackberry ever” will come out. the screen is too small for touch screen and videos…. and it’s a bit faster… yet everyone i know keeps returning it… can someone give me a REALLY good reason why i should buy it????

  • blahblah

    i have the 9900 with BELL. now this comment is in regards to the battery life statement. when i first got my phone i thought it was VERY ODD that i had to charge my phone every 5 hours or so(1 time during the day and then when i went to bed..i work late) so i took the phone to the store i purchased it at and they swapped it. now my battery does still die quickyl. i previously had the 1st verison BB torch and that battery (usage dependent) could last from 8am when i started my day and removed from charger until say 11pm when i got home from work and i would be on yellow battery bar(so i would have 1 battery bar remaining)i agree the battery life would make the phone alot better. other then that i am COMPLETELY happy with the 9900. 😀

  • Owais

    Overall solid device. However, this is how it should have been 3 years ago.

    The battery is HORRENDOUS… and an unforgivable offence.

  • Zess

    I have never had more of an issue with a phone, than I have had with my 9900. I have had to exchange it twice, and now am dealing with a trackpad issue. The size of the keyboard is the only reason I find myself unable to switch back to the Torch. I find it that bad.

  • Peter Guenard

    Can the 9900 support an app that allows you to dictate a text or email message into your Jabra bluetooth and have it typed, then send it?

  • mat

    Who put that battery in ?? Deal breaker for me.

  • Jonathan

    This is a decent Blackberry, however it was due when the iPhone 4 was out. This model seems rather dated, and quite frankly Blackberry only enhances their features, there isn’t too many new functions to the phone aside from the touch screen. Blackberry has seen their glory days unfortunately, and are going to have to make some drastic changes if they hope for their legacy to live on. It lacks features like; hotpot (available on both Android and iPhone), dual cameras, and a decent selection of apps. If this phone was released a year ago, Blackberry would have still had the market, but now, their future is just bleak.

  • Laura

    I also don’t understand the battery life. I know it’s bad, but mine, would be fully charged and about 4 hours later, with minimal usage and it sitting in my purse, it would die. They are sending me a new one, but I’m not sure its going to improve. I’m afriad I don’t know what to do.

  • dien

    to everybody on board buy 9900 or renew hardware plan, this is going to be the last phone wit keyboard.rim is planning to have full touchscreen on upcoming blackberry phone

  • Jo

    Blackberry has failed yet again. Great phone for bbm/ texting. The h+ aka “4g” feature and wifi are virtually useless, unless you can have it plugged into the charger constantly. Worst battery life as of yet!!!!!!!! I have to charge it twice daily on BASIC usage.

    Good job rim, no wonder your company is going under, you keep trying to bring phones out to keep up to the comp. but they are no where near the level they need to be to survive.