08-18-11 09:24 PM
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  1. fizi's Avatar
    The aim of this post is to provide my opinion on the Blackberry Bold 9900, why it didn't work for me and hopefully help someone else looking at this product make a decision one way or the other on purchasing a 9900.

    I ran down to Best Buy on launch day and got my Bold 9900. I ran it with a Class 10, 32GB microSD card and a Rogers Canada SIM card. In my area we've got HSPA+ and I'm usually connected to wifi at work and home. My Blackberry uses a BES at work and a BIS for my personal e-mail accounts. I purchased my phone outright for $619CND and then spent $8 unlocking it.

    Pros
    - Design and build of the device is amazing. It feels like one single piece. The metal rim just melts into the rubber back in such a way that there is no way to get a finger nail or anything into the seam. You can't feel it at all. It's like one solid piece. The size and weight are perfect.
    - Keyboard. Just amazing.
    - Screen was very sharp, clear and had great colours.
    - The new CPU makes BBOS snappy and responsive. I only saw slow down when installing Apps from App World. Other then that it had no problem keeping up with me. I sometimes have long SMS threads or BBMs still open and there would be a delay loading them up on my old 9800. This delay is gone in the 9900. The Twitter App also was much much faster.

    Cons
    - The camera. Fixed focus makes this camera worthless if you're taking close pictures. In my day to day work I find I'm constantly taking pictures of serial numbers and labels off hardware and that's not possible with the Bold 9900's camera. I also noticed in general the pictures taken on the 9900 were more fuzzy then the ones off my 9800. The 9900 takes a picture in less then a second which is nice but if it's not a good pictures does that really matter?
    - WiFi Hotspot. It was supposed to be there. It's one of the reasons I bought the phone. It isn't there. It might never be there. Currently there is only a rumour based on a leaked Bell document that MAYBE there will be an OS update down the road to enable the WiFi Hotspot feature.
    - Blackberry OS7 runs smoothly and has a fast boot but to me it felt like a rushed, unfinished OS that wasn't needed. RIM needed a reason to cut off their customers who had just bought a new phone less then a year ago from getting the newest OS. Changing the version number from 6.1 to 7 did the trick. I ran across a few small problems with OS7 in my week using it.

    When using my e-mail (BES and BIS) if I had messages set to threaded and then started deleting them off the device there would be 2-3 random e-mails that wouldn't disappear after being deleted and any attempt to delete them again would fail. If I switched from threaded to single message view they'd disappear and then I could switch back to threaded mode until it happened again... and again. The "Enhanced Gmail Plug-in" was missing/didn't show up after adding my Gmail via the BIS. This prevented me from having threaded Gmail e-mails and non-threaded BES e-mails. Something I can do on my Torch 9800.

    When trying to use the touch screen to change ring profiles I found I was constantly missing the small little ring profile button. I've got normal sized fingers so I think the icon was just a tad to small.

    When using the browser I found page formatting to be just bizarre. Some pages the fonts would be ridiculously small and others it'd be huge! The double-tap to reformat a page worked as expected but did nothing for the sites with tiny fonts. I can still read it but I feel the Torch 9800 did a better job with the double-tap to reformat.

    - The Podcast App.... buggy. See: http://forums.crackberry.com/native-...gs-os7-637926/ for most of it. I also found two more bugs, new podcasts didn't auto-download or notify that they were available and at one point I started listening to a podcast I accidentally click the camera button and when I went back to the podcast app it had marked all podcasts in a subscription (20ish) as played and there is no way to mark them as unplayed. I reported these bugs to RIM and they told me I should be talking to my carrier about it so the carrier can submit the bugs. I've got better things to do with my time then try to convince someone from Rogers I'm dealing with a bug and resetting my device won't fix it. Since switching back to my 9800 the Podcast App is working perfectly. Since it's a native App this is what contributes to my thought that OS7 was rushed out buggy and incomplete.

    Circumstantial / Nit picks
    - I was using OS 7.0.0.296 and it seemed the battery life was worse then my old Torch 9800. The morning of the day I ended up returning my 9900 I swapped to OS 7.0.0.300 and the battery seemed to be doing better. I think there known issues with .296 having bad battery life. Either way I still had 50% charge at the end of a day.
    - When I swapped my SIM from my 9800 to my 9900 BBM didn't properly automatically update my PIN. I had to send everyone my new PIN and some of my friends ended up with double contacts for me. When i swapped from my 9900 back to my 9800 it worked properly in that everyone's contacts on BBM automatically updated my PIN and no one had to re-add me or deal with a duplicate.
    - 7 OS releases and I still can't access IMAP folders. I know this has been talked about a lot and I knew buying the phone this wouldn't be possible but I'm putting it down anyway. It's 2011 and I want to access my e-mail folders.


    The bottom line for me is that this phone does not feel like it's worth $619 and should have been what I bought last year instead of my 9800. I could sit around and wait for OS updates to resolve some or all of the problems above. I used to be ok with waiting but not anymore. RIM hasn't committed to any kind of new Mobile OS release schedule and getting new OS's is still carrier dependent unlike the Playbook. When I buy something I want it to be a finished product. I understand nothing is perfect and patching is needed but this device does not feel finished to me. Not for $619 and no amount of software patching will fix the camera for me.

    Again my intent with this post isn't to start a flame war but to simply state my opinion on the 9900 and hope that someone finds my experience useful.
    08-18-11 12:17 PM
  2. imrank128's Avatar
    if you like your torch so much, why didn't you just get the 9810?

    Also, people have taken decent photos of text using the camera from what I've seen on these forums.
    ericlc2 likes this.
    08-18-11 12:20 PM
  3. digdah's Avatar
    I have to admit taking picture of text on this device is hit or miss depending on the size of the text. Mostly miss.

    Either way for me getting rid of the Storm was a joyous occasion.
    08-18-11 12:23 PM
  4. fizi's Avatar
    if you like your torch so much, why didn't you just get the 9810?

    Also, people have taken decent photos of text using the camera from what I've seen on these forums.
    I don't like the keyboard on the Torch as much as the keyboard on the 9900. I figured if I was spending the money I should get the keyboard I prefer. Plus the sliding device on my 9800 has become loose. I can jiggle the screen portion that slides out and that bothers me. I saw a dummy unit for a 9810 at Rogers and got to try it and it was already loose and it had never been used. The 9800 is nice but I don't want another one.

    All the problems I list in my post apply to the 9810 minus the complaint about the camera. So that doesn't really solve anything for me.

    I'm sure the 9900 can take great photos. I have a few that look good but they took a bit of time to setup, the lighting was just right, yadda yadda. The 9800 is pretty much one shot, done and I can move on. I don't want to sit in front of something for 5 minutes taking photo after photo trying to stand absolutely still and get the light just right.

    The camera just doesn't work for me.
    08-18-11 12:25 PM
  5. barrist's Avatar
    It's too bad you didn't like it. Hopefully there's a phone out there that will meet your needs.

    Me, I haven't used the camera once except in testing and barcodes. Even changed my convenience key to AutoLock.

    Noone officially said WifiHotSpot would be there, so to describe it as "supposed to be there" isn't entirely accurate.

    For Podcasts, did you try to new leaked one from the 9930 .340 release?
    08-18-11 12:26 PM
  6. greggebhardt's Avatar
    The fact that it did not have a focusing camera was known before you purchased.
    ericlc2 likes this.
    08-18-11 12:29 PM
  7. fizi's Avatar
    The fact that it did not have a focusing camera was known before you purchased.
    I did mention that I knew about it going into my purchase... the point of bringing it up was to point out that knowing it lacked auto-focus I personally wasn't able to work around it in my day-to-day use of the phone. Plus overall the picture quality seemed lower then with my 9800.
    Last edited by fizi; 08-18-11 at 12:38 PM.
    08-18-11 12:32 PM
  8. fizi's Avatar
    It's too bad you didn't like it. Hopefully there's a phone out there that will meet your needs.

    Me, I haven't used the camera once except in testing and barcodes. Even changed my convenience key to AutoLock.

    Noone officially said WifiHotSpot would be there, so to describe it as "supposed to be there" isn't entirely accurate.

    For Podcasts, did you try to new leaked one from the 9930 .340 release?
    Yeah I'm hoping the QNX devices will do it for me. I'll sit on my 9800 for a little longer or maybe dip my toe in the Android pond while we wait for QNX devices from RIM.

    My mistake about the WifiHotSpot. I swore I'd read it from a leaked road map or heard it from a RIM employee in a video that it was coming in the new OS.

    Update: Found it -> http://n4bb.com/5027/first-look-at-b...thering-os-6-1
    Last edited by fizi; 08-18-11 at 12:37 PM.
    08-18-11 12:33 PM
  9. dreester's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing your opinion. So wait a minute, so there's no way to set up a Gmail account using IMAP?
    08-18-11 12:37 PM
  10. barrist's Avatar
    Yeah I'm hoping the QNX devices will do it for me. I'll sit on my 9800 for a little longer or maybe dip my toe in the Android pond while we wait for QNX devices from RIM.

    My mistake about the WifiHotSpot. I swore I'd read it from a leaked road map or heard it from a RIM employee in a video that it was coming in the new OS.

    Update: Found it -> First Look at BlackBerry Mobile HotSpot, Tethering for OS 6.1 N4BB – News for BlackBerry – leaks, rumors, videos, faqs, reviews
    True, roadmaps change though, just like how they changed it from 6.1 to 7.0. The capability is definitely there since the chipset supports it. I think the Bell document rings true. iPhone4 didn't have hotspot activated at launch did it?
    08-18-11 12:40 PM
  11. fizi's Avatar
    Thanks for sharing your opinion. So wait a minute, so there's no way to set up a Gmail account using IMAP?
    Sorry I should have clarified. You can add a Gmail account using the BIS no problem. It works just fine and you can get your e-mail. Just like previous OS releases you only get pushed e-mail from your inbox.

    This menu option was missing on OS7:



    Those options let you view your Gmail threaded while having your BES account displayed as single messages.
    Last edited by fizi; 08-18-11 at 12:48 PM.
    08-18-11 12:41 PM
  12. slingxshot's Avatar
    I would never pay 600$ for a phone, even if it magical. But I also wouldn't use any phone to take any serious pics. I take pics with my phone only if it is an emergency.
    08-18-11 12:48 PM
  13. fizi's Avatar
    It's too bad you didn't like it. Hopefully there's a phone out there that will meet your needs.

    Me, I haven't used the camera once except in testing and barcodes. Even changed my convenience key to AutoLock.

    Noone officially said WifiHotSpot would be there, so to describe it as "supposed to be there" isn't entirely accurate.

    For Podcasts, did you try to new leaked one from the 9930 .340 release?
    I forgot to answer your question.

    I wasn't aware you could use the 9930 OS leaks on the 9900 so I didn't try .340.
    08-18-11 12:50 PM
  14. fizi's Avatar
    I would never pay 600$ for a phone, even if it magical. But I also wouldn't use any phone to take any serious pics. I take pics with my phone only if it is an emergency.
    I'd love to not have to pay $600 for a phone. Unfortunately that's not possible for me. I have to purchase my phones off contract.
    08-18-11 12:53 PM
  15. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
    9900 takes acceptable close up pics if you know how.
    08-18-11 12:56 PM
  16. fizi's Avatar
    9900 takes acceptable close up pics if you know how.
    Can you elaborate on how you took those?
    08-18-11 12:58 PM
  17. belfastdispatcher's Avatar
    Can you elaborate on how you took those?
    Position the camera at about 20cm from the text, that seems to be the sweet spot, then zoom into the text. If indoors use the flash as it helps clear the text and doesn't distort the pictures as it normaly would when you take close up pics with autofocus as you would be very close to the text.

    It's more then good enough for me if I need to send signatures to a client.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-18-11 01:04 PM
  18. fizi's Avatar
    Position the camera at about 20cm from the text, that seems to be the sweet spot, then zoom into the text. If indoors use the flash as it helps clear the text and doesn't distort the pictures as it normaly would when you take close up pics with autofocus as you would be very close to the text.

    It's more then good enough for me if I need to send signatures to a client.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Cool. Thanks for the tip.
    08-18-11 01:09 PM
  19. Bonnie Bonzai's Avatar
    I did mention that I knew about it going into my purchase... the point of bringing it up was to point out that knowing it lacked auto-focus I personally wasn't able to work around it in my day-to-day use of the phone. Plus overall the picture quality seemed lower then with my 9800.
    I appreciate your comments on the 9900, it takes guts on this forum to state opinions even though that is what the forum is all about I believe. that and helping people out with their devices. I have run across some of what you have said re the 9900 but overall nothing drastic enough to make me return it. However I wouldn't hesitate to return it for another 9900 if it were defective.
    08-18-11 01:11 PM
  20. Marauder2k9's Avatar
    hope u find something u like.
    i love this thing
    08-18-11 01:16 PM
  21. fizi's Avatar
    I appreciate your comments on the 9900, it takes guts on this forum to state opinions even though that is what the forum is all about I believe. that and helping people out with their devices. I have run across some of what you have said re the 9900 but overall nothing drastic enough to make me return it. However I wouldn't hesitate to return it for another 9900 if it were defective.
    Thanks for the support! I was debating writing up a post about it honestly.

    I mulled it over pretty hard before returning it. The Podcast App and the camera were what did it for me. I'm addicted to my Podcasts and recently abandoned my iPod in favor of the Blackberry Podcast App. It's been working great for me and I love being able to get new podcasts over the air with out needing to hook up to iTunes and syncing.

    I know it might seem silly to abandon a device over that but I can always go buy another OS7 device in a month if RIM fixes things up.
    08-18-11 01:16 PM
  22. Dlanod's Avatar
    I also returned my 9900 today due to the crappy soft keys around the trackpad - the panel was lifted causing a sharp unfinished edge between the screen and the soft keys. When I was cancelling my contract I had a look at the dummy handset they had and it had the same problem. Poor show RIM for a premium handset. I fear they are entering the death spiral - premium pricing, cutting corners on design to maintain margins, losing business because of quality, lower profits, margin pressure, worse handsets, more lost business and so on. What a shame. Now all Apple need to do is produce a handset with a physical keyboard and it's all over.
    08-18-11 01:21 PM
  23. Bonnie Bonzai's Avatar
    Thanks for the support! I was debating writing up a post about it honestly.

    I know it might seem silly to abandon a device over that but I can always go buy another OS7 device in a month if RIM fixes things up.
    You're welcome and I have thought about what device I'd go back to if I were to return my 9900. I loved my 9700 so I'd probably upgrade to the 9780 - I really liked the OS 6
    08-18-11 01:23 PM
  24. mnhockeycoach99's Avatar
    Fizi.. thank you for the honest (yet very respectful) review. I think some people just get bent out of shape because the trolls come out here and bash RIM/BlackBerry/PlayBook. I personally don't have a problem (and I hope other don't either) listening to feedback, either positive or negative, as long as it is somewhat supported with facts. Best of luck to you on your phone search..
    08-18-11 01:25 PM
  25. Crucial_Xtreme's Avatar
    Thanks for the support! I was debating writing up a post about it honestly.

    I mulled it over pretty hard before returning it. The Podcast App and the camera were what did it for me. I'm addicted to my Podcasts and recently abandoned my iPod in favor of the Blackberry Podcast App. It's been working great for me and I love being able to get new podcasts over the air with out needing to hook up to iTunes and syncing.

    I know it might seem silly to abandon a device over that but I can always go buy another OS7 device in a month if RIM fixes things up.
    I've been watching to make sure it doesn't turn into a flame war. Many around here lean towards Blackberry but are fair, and then you have some that believe no matter what BlackBerry's are perfect. This goes for ALL platforms without a doubt!!

    Anyhow, sucks you didn't like it. But it is what it is. Podcast bugs will be fixed sooner or later. As for the camera, well, it is what it is too. Some people have found a workaround, however should you have to workaround on a brand new device that retails for $500+??
    I think for yourself you could go back to the Torch and come back to the 9900 in a few months when some of the kinks have been worked out. Many people wait a month or so before buying just for that reason.
    As for QNX, it's definitely coming and will be much better than the current OS7 obviously. It's what most are waiting for anyway. Hope maybe you'll try again in a month or two and find you like it. Either way GL.
    bruteforce037 likes this.
    08-18-11 01:25 PM
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