09-04-11 03:10 AM
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  1. Shadrackc's Avatar

    So as a bit of background, about 2 years ago my staff decided to convince me that BB was the way to go instead of the HTC Touch Windows devices I was using due to having access to Word, Outlook, etc. My first jump was to the Storm 2, and even though the reviews weren't great, I enjoyed the phone and it is still operating today unlocked from Telus and being used by my 13 year old who loves it on Rogers. My next step from the Storm2 was to a Torch 9800 when a greasy boss locked my Telus Storm2 (which I owned but used for work) and made it so I couldn't use it (which...Telus...is a garbage way to do things...IT WAS MY PHONE!) so I ended up in February of this year getting the Torch. This was my first BB with a keyboard and I loved it. I found my accuracy to be increased as well as speed of typing messages. There is no substitute for a real keyboard.
    I knew the OS7 versions were coming and my good friend Tamer at Future Shop was excited about the new Bold 9900 that was coming. I told him I wasn't interested and to let me know when the Torch2 was out.
    He sent me a text message the day they all came in and I rushed down to check them out, knowing about the faster processor and more ram as I have 3 kids and regularly use their upgrades for my own evil purposes and they end up getting everything as it funnels down.
    He took the white 9810 out of the box for me to check out, and showed me the silver version as well (I was coming from a white torch). I was getting ready to tell him to get me one when he convinced me to check out the Bold 9900. The only Bold I had played with was one my techs owned, the 9000, and he consistantly told me it was the best phone he had ever used. Being as he is a phone system installer, he is a pretty fussy guy.
    Well, held the Bold 9900. Played with the keyboard. Torch 9810 became a distant memory, and here we are today, 10 days later, having had a period of time to get over any issues and see where I stand today on my purchase.

    Initial Impressions/Build Quality

    The first impression you will make when holding this phone is how thin it is. The second will be how well built it is. There is no doubt that this is RIM's flagship. From the metal (real except for the charging area on the bottom) band around the edge of the phone to the hardened real glass that protects the screen, this is a very well made device.
    It feels tight.
    If you have a playbook, you know what I mean.
    The third impression is formed when you use the keyboard. The Bold 9900 is wider than it's predecessors and that contributes to the great feeling keyboard with just the right tactle response and spacing so that even bigger hands can use it properly.
    On the back, the battery cover has changed and is a "carbon fibre" looking back cover but from what I understand it is not real carbon fibre as that would interfere with the NFC (Near Field Communications) antennae that is built into the cover. Very nice looking with the large BB logo on the back, as well as the word "Bold" between the camera lens and flash. The back edges are done with a rubberized feel like the Playbook back so you have no problem holding the phone.
    It just fits.


    So I didn't have a seamless transition from my Torch to my Bold. When I got home with my new device, the first thing I did was to fire up BB desktop and go through the process of switching devices to transfer everything from my one phone to the new one.
    Now I run BES for my work account, have a Shaw personal account, and a Hotmail account that I use for websites. As well as this I was running some utility apps such as 6 tools, quick launch, smart wifi, dropbox, etc. The process seemed painless enough and soon I was playing with my new Bold.
    Here is where some problems started.
    First thing I noticed was it wasn't as fast as I thought it would be. Didn't feel much faster than my old Torch. Then it seemed like one edge of my trackpad was higher than the rest. Then I noticed that the cursor would jump around when I got close to the trackpad, almost like the shadow was making it move. App World would sit and spin not going anywhere when I would click on a new app. Battery was starting to drain faster than expected......hmmmm something was wrong.
    I let my friend Tamer know that I thought I had a lemon and would be down right away. Without any hesitation, he swapped it out for another.
    I set this one up differently. I turned it on and let it go through the setup process where it actually asked me for my BBID right away, which didn't happen on the previous one. Then, instead of swapping info over, I backed up my Torch, and then selectively restored my information, not installing any of my apps this time round.
    Complete difference.
    Now I can see the speed difference. Trackpad was flush. Battery life now normal. App world worked fine.
    Redownload your apps if they are OS7 (I get most of my apps from here so it keeps track and lets me know when they update)
    Was pretty painless having everything on my new Bold inside of a few hours including my BBM contacts, contacts from BES, as well as all my info on my 16GB MicroSD card. (the one that came with my storm2!)

    10 day summary of usuage

    I am more productive.
    I have noticed over the last 10 days that I am getting more done.
    Whether this is because I use this phone more than any other one in my past, or because I am actually faster doing things on this phone than before, I don't know. Probably a combination of the two.
    It still even now is a device I like to hold and use. The novelty hasn't worn off and I am usually like a racoon with attention span so this is impressive.
    I notice the speed both of the network and of the device itself. Things just respond quicker and you don't have a lot of waiting.
    The screen is beautiful. I enjoy the landscape mode so much more than the portrait of my last two phones. After all my TV's and monitors are in landscape so it seems more natural to me to be in the same aspect.
    The touch sensitivity on the screen is dead on. It knows when you are scrolling and when you are selecting something which is very hard to get right. When in doubt, you still have the trackpad for that small login icon that is impossible to hit with a fat finger.
    Before, I would wait to answer a longer email on my computer. Now I don't because of the keyboard. It is the best keyboard on any phone released to date. Not up for discussion.
    Sound is up to Blackberry standards as are the quality of the phone calls.
    Wifi now supports the 5GHz so I can hook up to all radios in my router.
    No problem supporting the video files I have ripped from DVD's and various other sources and they playback smooth with no sync issues. The one area I had problem here with was BB Desktop. Seemed to have problems converting a bunch of my files so I just hooked up through USB and drag and dropped the files onto my 16GB MicroSD and played them that way.
    Music sync, especially wireless setting....is AMAZING. I didn't know about this until yesterday but once I turned that on and pointed it to my music folder on my server, it supplies me my music on demand. Music already on my phone shows up unghosted. Music on my server is ghosted. When I select it, I then wait a short (under a minute) period of time and it is sent to my phone. I can que up a bunch of music and it will upload WHILE I am listening to other music when I am in my wifi zone. Can't say how much this makes managing my music easier. Now they need to do that for Video as well.
    There has been much said about the new camera and I have read both sides and read an article on the new technology behind this always focus system in the Bold. First, for the thinness of the device, it was the only option. Secondly, it is definately better at motion shots. Do you lose the close up macro type of shots that the autofocus camera gave you. Yes. But just take the shots from not so close and then crop. Works fine.
    The video is 720P and is pretty good, even impressive. I took some video of a lightning storm we had here the other night from a parking lot at Chapters and was very impressed in the detail in the clouds considering the lighting nightmare it represented.
    The other issue has been battery life and I keep my wifi and bluetooth on as I am going from car to office to house all the time. I am also on a 3100 daytime minute plan per month so I talk a lot on the phone. Due to the fact that I use Email, BBM, and Text as part of my job 5 days a week I consider myself an above average user. I have not run out of battery yet. I am not trying to run a marathon in this phone because I don't have to. When at my computer I have my Playbook charger to give it a quick boost, in my car I have a car charger to top it off, and at night I dock it in the new BOLD 9900 charging dock. Yes, they are as cool as they look. What I am saying is that the battery is thinner in keeping with the device being thin and I am glad they didn't add to the thickness to add to the battery.
    OS7 is really OS 6.1 and while I didn't expect a lot of difference it is definately faster, and webbrowsing is more enjoyable as the browser is faster by a noticable amount.
    The additions of NFC make this device one of the most future ready devices out there and I sure hope that it is a qnx version coming down the road in the same form factor.
    There are more things I could cover such as Wikitude, but that has been covered by others.
    The only accessories I have purchased has been the charging dock from Blackberry, and the leather case without the belt clip. You get a nice case with the phone but I tend to throw the phone in my pocket instead of clipping it to my belt or pocket. There are some nice thin cases out now for it but I like the feel of things as they are and don't treat my phone like a discus so I have no need for those.
    As far as apps, utility ones I use now are Bebuzz for letting me know by LED lights what messages I have on my phone when I am in a meeting, and the traditional Poynt, Flixster, google maps, etc.
    As a side note to Playbook owners, YES BB Bridge runs even faster! There seems to be a better partnership with OS7.


    So far, I have not had to do a battery pull on my Bold. That doesn't mean I haven't found a bug, but on Rogers OS7 .261 there is a quirk with the back button. When pulling it out of the case sometimes, the back button doesn't take you back but brings up your running programs, or task switcher. The fix is to click the top button to lock it, unlock it, and then everything is fine. Others have noticed this on other providers as well so it is very much a RIM problem to fix. Would be nice to have some apps upgraded to OS7 but again, that will come soon. That is it. Nothing more to report on that front so I am very pleased.


    Best phone ever? For me. YES. Without question. I am more productive, less frustrated, and more optimistic about RIM's future because of this phone. They have shown me that they know how to make the luxery phone for the business man.
    Does it put some pressure on Apple? Yes, because iphone people are switching over to this phone. I know of three.
    This phone truly lives up to being a smart phone.
    What is impressive is how much RIM got right on release. I know that Android has some nice product but when Norton has a product for your phone.....you need to consider your platform. Little things make the difference, such as being able to really use your phone one handed. Try that on a slider, or a touch screen and see the accuracy.
    I can't recommend this phone enough. Anytime I see someone looking at Blackberries I pull out my phone to show them and by the time I am done they are walking out with one.
    I'm expecting some commission Tamer or some additional discounting!
    If you are close to a hardware upgrade that may cost you a few hundred dollars, and are a business person, then bite the bullet and switch over. You will make up that few hundred in productivity and accuracy in a short time.
    Best smartphone ever.
    Last edited by Shadrackc; 08-21-11 at 12:06 PM.
    08-21-11 12:02 PM
  2. mohawk apple's Avatar
    great thread,im actually going out in a hour or so and picking up the 9900 ,just hope i dont run into problems with the transfer that other ppl been having.
    08-21-11 12:50 PM
  3. Gucci33's Avatar
    Outstanding and very detailed review. Thanks

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-21-11 12:53 PM
  4. daveshiz's Avatar
    great review !!
    08-21-11 12:58 PM
  5. donnation's Avatar
    Very nice review. I also agree that this is RIM's finest Blackberry to date.
    08-21-11 01:03 PM
  6. bman5150's Avatar
    I love mine, the only complaint I have is the browser doesnt adjust the size of the text to fit the screen when I pinch zoom. Thats it. I didnt have any of the problems you did at the begining. Mine even transferrred all the ring tones I had aquired on my droid Incredible.
    08-21-11 01:12 PM
  7. joju58's Avatar
    WOW!!! I love this review!!! Thanks my friend for taking time to give us some more things to know. To me personally and I'm sure for most of us in this forum this review is much more knowledgeable and accurate then from others (i mean from sources who does it on every new devices). Thx again Shadrackc
    08-21-11 01:22 PM
  8. joju58's Avatar
    I'm with at&t and after was patiently waiting its official release, but now after this thread i just want to get unlocked 9900 and enjoy my 52 years young life
    08-21-11 01:26 PM
  9. sx4dude2013's Avatar
    Great review. I agree with all of ur points.
    I only have one issues and its the mushy menu button.
    Love this phone!
    I hope you continue to love it too!

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-21-11 01:35 PM
  10. rellyrellz's Avatar
    "as I have 3 kids and regularly use their upgrades for my own evil purposes and they end up getting everything as it funnels down." I literally lol'd reading that.

    Great review. Makes me really wanna switch to this phone. Probably wouldn't use half as much as you but I do message a lot and there's nothing like a great keyboard. Now only if AT&T would hurry up and release it.
    08-21-11 01:58 PM
  11. pblakk's Avatar
    Now only if AT&T would hurry up and release it.
    Switch to Verizon
    08-21-11 02:18 PM
  12. dchandler's Avatar
    This is a very good review.
    08-21-11 02:30 PM
  13. pipdawg's Avatar
    I got this blackberry the day after it came out and love it, but the battery is horrendous. I am a heavy bbm/email user and I only get about 6 hours use, before I am in the red. Anyone else have the same issues?
    08-21-11 02:32 PM
  14. Gucci33's Avatar
    I got this blackberry the day after it came out and love it, but the battery is horrendous. I am a heavy bbm/email user and I only get about 6 hours use, before I am in the red. Anyone else have the same issues?
    Reload the os or return it you should be getting 10-12 hours easily

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    08-21-11 03:30 PM
  15. Alia's Avatar
    I prefer this phone over my Thunderbolt, I have always used Blackberry and the new bold just reminded me of why, I am much more productive and I can see how much faster this is over my thunderbolt as in typing, I using my thunderbolt as a luxury phone and my bold for work, now they just need to get the ebay app going for this!

    but great thread!
    rutabox likes this.
    08-21-11 03:44 PM
  16. jebulls's Avatar
    Good review!!I was almost certain I was going to wait and try the iphone5 but the more I read the more I want to pick up a 9930. It seems overall they came along ways from the 9650. And the next bold coming out with QNX and then finally we should have a great consumer smartphone with an amazing kb!!
    08-21-11 04:00 PM
  17. FBA's Avatar
    Reload the os or return it you should be getting 10-12 hours easily

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Many others have reported horrible battery life; it's a known issue on the 9900 and it's all over this (and every other) forum. Heavy usage is a subjective term...and can impact device battery life very differently from one user to another.
    08-21-11 04:05 PM
  18. hayito1's Avatar
    kudos to a great review! i want to underline that it is the best Blackberry i have ever used. great hardware and very solid software!
    08-21-11 04:12 PM
  19. BigNL's Avatar
    Excellent Review, thanks! I was on the fence about the 9900 (Torch now) and was going to wait awhile... But, I popped into Future Shop quickly while my wife was food shopping and finally tried out the 9900. The keyboard, and entire feel of the phone is AWESOME! I was really surprised at how amazing it all fits together and feels. The online video reviews and pics don't do it justice. Once you hold it in your hand... Will not miss my Torch at all. I didn't have time to do the upgrade, which sucks, because I'm so excited for the damn thing now. I'll be 100% picking up this phone on Tuesday when I'm back out that way.

    Who says Blackberry is dead? I really hope QNX is a massive hit when it comes to smartphones next year. So sick of hearing about Apple, and Android, blah, blah, blah.
    stevepar likes this.
    08-21-11 04:23 PM
  20. rellyrellz's Avatar
    Switch to Verizon
    I'm going to stick it out with AT&T but I've already thought about going to vzw or Sprint lol
    08-21-11 04:40 PM
  21. stevepar's Avatar
    security wipe to reload?
    08-21-11 04:57 PM
  22. Shadrackc's Avatar
    Thanks for all the positive reviews. I appreciate the responses and will make sure to write a few more. When I got my torch beginning of this year I had started to write one about the same length and then for some stupid reason hit the back on my browser and lost it all. Now I copy/paste to word once in a while to avoid that type of mistake.

    As for time, there is no way you should only get about 6 hours. I find that talking is what heats up the battery and is heavier usage than messaging, and I get more than 6 hours without any effort.
    Are you running any apps that may be taking up juice when you start that you aren't aware of?
    Outside of the little bug with the back key, I have no other complaints.
    Would I like more battery time? Sure, but I am always around a charger, or computer so it just takes thinking about it to plug it in once in a while to make sure to top it off. Without that I could go a day and have, but I am sure that someone will come out with a different back cover that allows a bit thicker battery. On this phone you wouldn't notice it much but it is so very thin. 10.5 mm I think?
    08-21-11 05:24 PM
  23. Shadrackc's Avatar
    security wipe to reload?
    I would use bbsak to wipe and then you know it is clean.
    08-21-11 05:28 PM
  24. canbb's Avatar
    I was in love with iphones( owned a iphone 3gs and iphone 4) until in june when I got myself a bold 9780.(First blackberry) . Everybody was telling me that I would only last a month before going back to iphone. After trying the 9780 out, I really like it a lot and was waiting impatiently for the new bold 9900. When rogers, released the bold 9900 3 days prior to the official launch, I went to the rogers store after work and bought one at retail price. Let me tell you, not only I like the phone, but I love it. Feels like I have a luxury phone on my hand.

    The cons:
    no autofocus- it still takes great pics

    Wifi hotspot will become available once your carrier releases an update for the device. Don't worry , there will be more apps. Remember its quality over quantity.

    In conclusion, being an iphone fanatic and dissing blackberry in the past; I'm glad I made the switxh. I hope QNX makes its way to the bold.

    Posted from my CrackBerry at wapforums.crackberry.com
    Niz and Nickerz like this.
    08-21-11 06:05 PM
  25. Xterra2's Avatar
    Good read !!!!
    i hope to do my review when i get my 9900 in october or in november
    08-21-11 06:07 PM
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