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printed July 30, 2014
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Review: BlackBerry Bold 9900

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Apps

The Bold 9900 ships with a decent number of applications on board, but thankfully steers clear of reaching bloatware levels. BlackBerry App World may not have the hundreds of thousands of applications that the Android and iOS app stores do, but there are still plenty of apps available in the easy-to-use RIM App World software. You can also add software from sources other than App World, such as downloading Google apps directly from Google.

Bluetooth

The Bluetooth functions of the 9900 worked perfectly. Pairing with headsets, speakers, other phones and PCs was a snap. Call quality through mono Bluetooth headsets was OK. Quality of music through stereo Bluetooth speakers was pretty solid. Passing files back and forth between other handsets or computers was not a problem.

Clock

Press the screen lock button, and the time is visible in digital form at the top of the display. It's not very large. I wish the lock screen had a bigger clock available to it. Alternately, you can set the 9900 in "bedside mode". This essentially assumes that you're going to place the 9900 on a nightstand within arm's reach when you're in bed. It will show the clock and let you interact with the alarm. Bedside mode can also be activated when the 9900 is charging, which means the clock is visible any time the 9900 is plugged in. Bedside mode isn't very convenient for quick time checks, however.

GPS

The 9900 is pre-loaded with BlackBerry Maps. No TeleNav from T-Mobile. BlackBerry Maps does an acceptable job of mapping directions from point A to point B. The 9900's GPS radio was highly accurate, and able to locate me quickly and to within about 20 feet. If you want Google Maps, you'll have to download it directly from Google's mobile web site.

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