|Review: BlackBerry Bold 9790|
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 12:10
At first glimpse, one can be forgiven for categorising the BlackBerry Bold 9790 as one of those same-old smartphones that Research In Motion (RIM) has been churning out over the years.
Nothing really separates the 9790 from its siblings – it has the infamous Qwerty keypad as well as the traditional corporate look.
However, what distinguishes the Bold 9790 from most BlackBerry compatriots is its touch-screen, which I think is a huge complement to the often over-used BlackBerry keypad.
Look and feel
The black body and silver lining at the back give the BlackBerry Bold 9790 a corporate and classy look.
The screen is also quite responsive, but is a little behind in comparison with the mainstream touch-screens from BlackBerry competitors like Apple and Android. The 2.45-inch LCD touch-screen has a resolution of only 480x360 (HVGA).
One could not have asked for more when it comes to the keypad. It's just too easy to use, mainly because of the raised edges on the keys. It seems these keys were sculpted for making typing something of a delight. Even typing in the dark is not much of a problem, as both the keypad and the navigation keys are stylishly backlit in white.
BlackBerry OS 7
Regarding the operating system (OS), RIM loaded the BlackBerry Bold 9790 with its latest software – BlackBerry OS 7. The OS has the capability to support near-field communication (NFC) technology; however, NFC is still far from becoming a reality in SA.
With this software, RIM excelled in tying in all the major social networks and instant messaging clients, along with the usual features such as e-mail and SMS. The notification bar at the top helps users quickly take note of incoming messages and other app alerts.
Measuring approximately 110x60x11.4mm and weighing 105g, the 9790 is arguably one of the lightest offerings from RIM. Its weight and curved body also make it easy to carry around and hold. Users can slip it into their pockets and know that the phone is secure.
Another selling point for this smartphone is its 5MP camera, which takes sharp pictures. The camera is also backed up by an auto-focus feature as well as LED flash, which makes it possible to take decent pictures even in the darkest of places.
There's also a standalone button specifically for the camera on the bottom-right-edge of the phone and it comes in handy if you are a photography geek. Armed with VGA video recording (640x480), the 9790 also shoots magnificent videos.
One letdown is the voice note recorder, which has a five-minute recording limit. Trusting this application for recording an interview, especially if you are a news gatherer like myself, can be frustrating, to say the least.
The device's battery life is also worth mentioning. As a music fanatic, I always wondered if the battery would let me down in a single day. By the way, I use an Android phone, which is always disappointing me in this regard. However, the 9790 proved its worth.
Surfing the Internet on the BlackBerry Bold 9790 is also quick and fun, thanks to the 1GHz processor.
Gaming gratification can also be achieved on this smartphone. It comes preloaded with two games – BrickBracker and Word Mole – but users can always download other games from BlackBerry App World. Nonetheless, the smallish screen size limits the fun.
The smartphone also has 8GB onboard memory, expandable up to 40GB via a microSD card, which I am sure is more than enough.
In a nutshell
Starting from R5 200, I feel the BlackBerry Bold 9790 is rather pricey, considering the alternatives from RIM's competition. However, for the BlackBerry die-hards, this model will give them the class they crave.
Pros: Magnificent keypad, touch-screen functionality
Price: R5 200
Screen: 2.45-inch touch-screen
Resolution: 480x360 pixel at 246 ppi
Operating system: BlackBerry 7 OS
Memory: 8GB onboard memory, expandable up to 40GB via microSD card
Camera: 5MP, flash, continuous auto-focus, face detection, image stabilisation, scene modes, 2x digital zoom; VGA video recording (640x480)
Connectivity: WiFi 2.4GHz b/g/n, 5GHz a/n
Data: HSDPA (7.2Mbps); HSUPA (5.76Mbps)
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