There was a time when BlackBerry used to enjoy an enviable position among the corporate set. Its secure push email was so popular that RIM could afford to omit even basics like a camera. But the evolution of the smartphone market forced RIM to come up with something innovative. Launched some time back, Torch, a bulky touch phone with a slider QWERTY keypad, received mixed response from the users. Trying to impress everyone, BlackBerry has now introduced the Bold 9900.
All BlackBerry smartphones look alike and the Bold 9900 is no different. Be it a touch or a non-touch phone, the basic design of the BlackBerry branding has a display with five basic functions keys at the bottom. These include call answer, option, mouse pad, back and call cancel key. There usually is a well-laid QWERTY keypad below that. It is only the thickness and the broadness of the handset that differentiate it from others. Although broad, the Bold 9900 is just 10.5 mm thick. A metal rim running along the corners gives it a rich look. The phone boasts a 2.8 inch capacitive touch display that is usually used for navigating or selecting. The physical QWERTY keypad is very comfortable to use, making it the best in the industry. By far we had one of the best experience of a touch and type candy bar.
RIM has not only focused on looks but has also given the much needed attention to the internal hardware and software. With the launch of the Bold 9900, BlackBerry also released BB 087. The interface looks similar to the 086: a strip of six apps running on the home screen. Touching the header reveals another two set of rows with six apps each and dragging it down hides it completely. With all applications placed under ‘Applications’, there are customized headers, including favorites, media, download and frequent. Unlike the notification bar in Android phones that appears on the top, the one on BlackBerry is placed neatly below the time. From the single bar, you can control profiles, view pending notifications such as calls, emails, social feeds, messages, etc., and even search. With every alphabet typed, it customizes the search across all applications, including Google Search. If you prefer, it also supports voice search.
A similar user interface was found on the Torch but the liquid graphics added in 087 makes it look vibrant as colors have been added to the phone's native icons. Having one of the fastest single core processors, a1.2GHz processor, along with 786MB RAM, the phone has the advantage of enhanced performance. It comes with a much faster web browser that supports pinch and zoom. The 087 brings NFC capability to the smartphone but unfortunately, it is only an upcoming technology. A 5 MP camera is placed at the back. It captures impressive images. The phone's camcorder is capable of capturing videos at 720p resolution.
We don't have many complaints about the battery either as with multiple email accounts configured along with access to social feeds, BBM and WhatsApp, it easily managed to get through a day's usage.