Bold 9900

Just as my trusty Bold 9000 was nearing the end of its useful life, three years after first being purchased, Citrix decided to switch us all from Etisalat to Du and give us nice new BlackBerrys or iPhones.

With the Nokia 6310i still holding the prize for ‘best mobile phone ever’, my old Bold 9000 was a close contender. True, I’d had to have its trackball replaced a couple of times and the keyboard was starting to fail, but it was still going strong – after millions of emails, calls, texts, tweets and web pages viewed. It did a great job.

I was tempted to consider getting an iPhone as a replacement – more fun and more apps and more multimedia, but after talking to various people, I decided that another BlackBerry was the best way forward, considering the amount of typing I do on the phone whilst on the road. On top of that, the BlackBerry means effectively unlimited data whilst roaming, which saves the company money.

So, I choose the latest Bold.

It’s brilliant. Well on its way to be pipping its older cousin to the post of second best mobile phone ever – nothing can quite ever shift the 6310i from its perch.

The Bold has a great mix of keyboard and touchscreen, so I can finally join the ranks of iPhone users and revel in the pleasure of browsing back and forth through photos and the like with a swift stroke of a finger. The mix works well – I find myself intuitively using the touchscreen as well as the new non-mechanical trackpad.

The keyboard is excellent – very responsive and easy to use, even for big thumbed oafs like me.

The phone looks good – I like the brushed steel.

Battery life is ok once you switch off unnecessary services.

My only complaints would be that it’s easy to accidentally hit the touchscreen when clicking on the ‘dial’ key. This means that instead of redialling the last person you called, you tend to end up dialling whoever’ s number is at the bottom of the screen, usually without realising it. This is probably just me being incompetent, but it’s easy to do. The smooth back of the phone makes it a bit harder to grip than the older Bold.

Newer features, for me at least, are an updated browser, YouTube and a choice of third party apps via the BlackBerry App World store. I have had trouble getting Google Maps to install properly, which has been annoying – I need to check the forums and see what’s going wrong.

All in all, I love the phone. It’s a great update, a real leap forward and destined to be my weapon of choice for bombarding people with those emails, calls, texts, tweets and BBMs for at least the next two years.

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