Home > Contemplations > BlackBerry Bold 9900 At A Glance

BlackBerry Bold 9900 At A Glance


I just got the brand new BlackBerry Bold 9900 delivered to me from RIM (Research In Motion) and I wanted to give all y’all a quick few thoughts about the device and my experience in switching from my trusty BlackBerry Torch 9800 to this new hawtness. As you can see by the date of the previous post, I won that BlackBerry Torch 9800 in late September of 2010 and received it in October 2010. Let’s be clear, this is not going to be an extensive review it is merely going to be a little glance into the differences I have noticed thus far and what delights me and disappoints me about it thus far.

BlackBerry Torch 9800 (open) next to Bold 9900.

First things first, already I am sort of in love with this new device. The keyboard is amazing and it is surprising how the couple extra cm? mm? in the device’s/keyboard’s width makes such a huge difference for typing. (Clearly it doesn’t matter what anyone tells you, when it comes to cell phones size does matter!) According to CrackBerry’s review of the Bold 9900 the keyboard is “5% wider than the [original Bold] 9000’s keyboard.” Like the CrackBerry team I completely agree that it does make a huge difference in the typing and comfort in using the keyboard. Great move by RIM on this one, it is absolutely superb. I don’t care that the phone itself is wider than my Torch 9800, I don’t care that it is, the widest BlackBerry I have ever owned. It doesn’t matter to me in the slightest. What I care about is how amazingly easy and comfortable it is for me to type on this keyboard.

It looks like a very small difference as you can just barely see the Bold 9900 keyboard peeking out from underneath the Torch 9800 but the feel difference is huge!

In the picture above, it looks like a very small difference between the Bold 9900 and the Torch 9800 as you can just barely see the 9900’s keyboard peeking out from underneath the 9800. However, don’t be fooled! Realize that the Torch has all that black space between it and the edge of the phone – which was probably left open for the sliding mechanism – and then there’s that little chrome lip. That black empty space is on BOTH SIDES of the Torch keyboard too so it’s actually quite a bit of keyboard real estate which the 9900 gains over the 9800 because it is still wider than the Torch beyond having the less ‘wasted’ space.

BlackBerry Bold 9900 side buttons.

One of the other things I quite like about the Bold 9900 vs my Torch 9800 (and probably the Torch 9810 too, come to think of it) is the buttons on the side and top.  While I still wish for the secondary convenience key to make a return it hasn’t been with us since the original Bold 9000 so I am not going to harp on that. Instead I am going to talk about something that made me very happy – the movement of the “Mute” button from the top of the phone as the Torch 9800 has it to the side of the phone between the”Volume Up” and “Volume Down” buttons. The top of the Bold 9900 is left, as you can see in the picture below, to only have one resident – the “Keyboard Lock” button.

BlackBerry Bold 9900 side & top buttons.

If you are wondering why this is so huge for me it is because I found the “Mute” button when located on top of the phone would easily get pushed accidentally. More than once I have had a Bluetooth headset in and been on the phone when I pop my phone into my pocket to carry something or take off my shoes or whatever and suddenly I hear the familiar ‘dee-doo’ of my BlackBerry muting my microphone. It is then quite an annoying inconvenience to have to drop what I’m doing, pull my phone out of my pocket and un-mute it. This would honestly happen to me once a week because I would be in the middle of something important and forget to put my phone in a different pocket so as not to push that button on top and it would get pushed. I’ve had times when I didn’t notice the tone and then people are left on the other end wondering if I got cut off or what happened. Now, thankfully, this isn’t a worry with the Bold 9900 due to it’s new “Mute” button placement. W00t! W00t!

One downside I will say about this new BlackBerry OS and the whole phone itself is that while it is speedier than the Torch 9800 and it is definitely a massive upgrade it still feels as if it needs a speed boost. Here’s hoping this is something that can be fixed with OS updates – and soon.

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