The other BlackBerry killer app is its email program. Install your preferred email address and wait as the BlackBerry 9900 "pushes" your email to your phone as they come. Once a message comes in, just open it and scroll quickly using the square controller. BlackBerry has built its reputation on accessing and reading email, and the speed and ease of reading correspondence shows in their flagship phone.Of course people don't just email and send messages nowadays. No self-respecting smartphone can be caught dead without a Facebook and Twitter app, and so the Bold 9900 has them. Like email and BBM, Facebook and Twitter updates can be configured to be pushed to you as they come in. Once something from the online world arrives, the handset will blink its famous red notification light. This red beacon is an integral part of the addiction. It pulses with an urgency that tells you something was sent to you, routed through its servers, encrypted, decoded, and is now ready for your viewing.
The problem is when the email you get is less than important. Over time it got to be tiring to check every little red blinking notification, only to find out it's just another offer from, say, Amazon or Groupon. Of course none of this is the handset's fault. It's only a delivery mechanism, it doesn't choose what newsletters you subscribe to.
And this brings us to both the problem and the awesome advantage the Bold 9900 wields. With a certain segment of people, say lawyers, businessmen, engineers and other professionals who rely on information being delivered promptly and securely, the Bold 9900 (and other BlackBerries) are a godsend. No other phone comes close. But when it comes to students, call center people or everyday users who just want Facebook and Twitter, this handset also does that well, but so do other smartphones. And the competition trumps the Bold 9900 in other important aspects like games, music and taking photos.
Much has been said about the touch capabilities of this BlackBerry model. It has a capacitive touchscreen that supposedly speeds up the interface even more. While there's no denying it helps, its drawback is one of BlackBerry's biggest strength - the scroll square is so effective the touchscreen is rendered more of a bonus than a necessity. And the marvelous keyboard just seals the deal. Over time your thumbs and the buttons will become best friends the more time they spend together.
There's a reason why there has been no mention of the Bold 9900s multimedia features until now. Yes it can play music and videos decently, and the screen isn't bad at all. But viewing content on a 2.8-inch screen will never be the same as seeing vids or images on a 3.5-inch displays or bigger (which is the trend). And let's not get started on the clarity of Super AMOLEDs or Retina Displays. Maybe the Bold 9900 isn't really made with multimedia consumption as a priority and, instead, it chooses to play on its ancestors' known strengths, which is understandable. But still, you cannot deny that videos, music and images are still important parts of the whole mobile experience.
It all boils down to what you need. If you want a phone that gets right down to business, go get this one. No other smartphone works as hard and looks as good doing it. But if you like your games, you relish viewing lots of pictures and videos, and you surf the web a lot, you might be better off with phones inspired by fruits or robots. Needless to say, the Bold 9900 is a premium device that's not for everyone, especially those who don't have deep pockets since it also costs a handsome P31,960. Still, it's a superb device, one that builds on the things BlackBerrys are known for. However, that may not be enough.
Click here to view the BlackBerry Bold 9900 in the Buyer's Guide
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