Friday, 9 December 2011

BlackBerry Bold 9790 Review

Slim with ridged keysW
hen the Bold 9900 was launched a few months ago, Bold 9000 fanatics, who never quite took to the Bold 97XX series were jumping with joy. The good ol' real Bold form factor was back. But their joy at being the only 'real' Bold in the BlackBerry line-up has been rather short-lived with the launch of the Bold 9790, which takes its form factor cues from the narrow QWERTY 97XX series. There has been a fair bit of speculation on why this new Bold has been launched - everything from RIM aiming for the fairer sex downwards, but suffice it to say that the Bold 9790 is just part of the horde of smartphones that RIM has released in the past few months and it is simply about providing greater choice to the consumer.

Form Factor
Unlike what some think and much to the chagrin of Bold 9000 series worshippers, what defines the Bold series is the quality of materials used. High quality plastics, scratch-resistant glass, grooved buttons that make typing almost a pleasurable experience - you get the drift. And true to that, the Bold 9790 is built well. And let's not forget the handy little optical trackpad.
Decently comfy keypad
Decently comfy keypad


The design cues are from the newer OS 7 smartphones such as the Curve 9360 with the narrow QWERTY form factor. It's not as sexy as the 9360, but looks neat with chrome making a comeback after the 9780. The front is glossy black and if it weren't for those grooved 'Bold' keys, you could be forgiven for mistaking it for the Curve 9360. And unlike the Bold 9900, the keys are flush on the sides and taper towards the edges - every millimetre of keyboard real estate has been used well. The Menu and Call buttons are raised and individual ones on this device, unlike the Bold 9900 and even the Curve 9360, which feature the flushed one. This one is more akin to the Torch 9860. The display is a 2.45-inch capacitive touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 360 pixels. The viewing angles in all lighting conditions are good. No BlackBerry Liquid Graphics here, unfortunately.
Similar to the new Curve models
Similar to the new Curve models


The top has a lock key and like other device in the new OS 7 series (except for the 9900) the side media and convenience buttons are rubberized with protruding ridges. Bit tougher to use as compared to a regular button, since they are quite narrow, but you have to pay with some inconvenience for sexy good looks. Sadly, the left convenience button looks like its history, as with other OS 7 devices, this is missing the left convenience button too and I think it's a terrible pity. Perhaps a cost-saving measure, but from a convenience perspective, a horrible move. What's unique about the 9790 is that the charging/micro USB slot is at the bottom, which is welcome, since I found it easier to use the device when it was being charged, which in line with all modern smartphones is a regular activity.
Slim with ridged keys
Slim with ridged keys


Weighing in at 107 gms the 9790 is a noticeably lighter than Big Brother 9900, which clocks 130 gms. A hot swap memory card slot is also available under the cover, which is missing on the 9900. The 9790 features 8GB internal storage, same as the 9900. The 3.5 mm headphone input is on the left side.

Features and Performance
Interface
The Bold 9790 is powered by BlackBerry OS 7 on a 1GHz 32-bit Marvell PXA930 processor, which manages to do a pretty good job in terms of overal functionality. I found the device responsive and smooth and the touch experience was good, too. Thanks to the plethora of apps I use, I do see the clock (previously hourglass) that keeps me tapping my feet in frustration, but I must say, I see this unwelcome friend far less often after OS 7. Despite the 9790 sporting the regular 'Bold' keyboard, I found that I preferred the Curve 9360's keyboard, though! I know it sounds unbelievable, but it’s true. One of the reasons could be the space between keys on the 9360. The keyboard was comfortble enough to use, but is nowhere near RIM's best. If you are very heavy QWERTY user, and your budget permits, I'd urge you to look at the Bold 9900, if you want the best.Decently comfy keypadSimilar to the new Curve modelsQuite a neat looking smartphone

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