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printed March 29, 2017
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Review: BlackBerry Bold 9900

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Research In Motion did a very good job with the BlackBerry Bold 9900. It is not radically new by any stretch of the imagination, but it is a significant upgrade compared to what preceded it.

The hardware is probably the best ever designed by RIM, and offers a perfect combination of controls, materials, and quality manufacture. I can't state strongly enough how fantastic the QWERTY keyboard is.

BlackBerry 7 may be more polished than previous versions of RIM's operating system but it is still too menu driven and reliant on layer after layer of folders and sub-folders. Messaging, social networking, and calling functions are top notch, and the Bold 9900 is a capable media device, too. Thankfully, the 9900 improves on the 9930 with better signal, voice, and web performance. To me, the slight trade-off in battery life is worth it.

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Is the 9900 a good smartphone? Yes. Is it one of the best to come from Research In Motion? Yes. Is it worth picking over an Android smartphone or the iPhone? That's a tough call. Obviously the 9900's claim to fame is its outstanding keyboard, and that's the feature I'd hinge my decision on.

Bottom line, if you absolutely must have a great, physical QWERTY keyboard and need the added security features of a BlackBerry, you can't go wrong with the Bold 9900.

Our Ratings

Battery Life
Hardware Usability
Hardware Quality
Interface Speed
Audio Volume

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