By Kye Husbands

Okay, maybe that wasn’t necessary, but so is this device.

RIM announced the upcoming launch of the BlackBerry 9900 series at BlackBerry World 2011 in Orlando this week with the 9900 being the HSPA version and the 9930, its CDMA cousin.

The BlackBerry 9900 series are evolutionary devices for RIM and look like you’ve seen them already. As a matter of fact, a 1st generation BlackBerry Bold could easily be mistaken for this new device before looking under the hood.

The new BlackBerry 9900s come with a new operating system (OS 7) from RIM and unfortunately it’s not the OS that we were hoping to see.  Before we get into the details of OS7 let’s take a look at the BlackBerry  9900s, if you care to know a bit more about what this device has to offer.

So here’s a quick breakdown on the specs of the BlackBerry 9900

  1. 115 x 66 x 10.5 mm, approximately 130 g (Same dimensions basically as the BlackBerry Bold, just slightly thinner)
  2. 2.8″ capacitive “touch screen display” – VGA (640×480), 287 dpi resolution
  3. Ultra-easy QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad
  4. 1.2 GHz Processor
  5. 8 GB on-board memory, plus microSD slot supporting up to 32 GB cards
  6. NFC technology (This will allow you to make purchases with your phone one day soon – perhaps, or pair your device with an accessory to interact in some way)
  7. 5.0 MP camera, supports 720p HD video recording
  8. Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), Digital Compass (Magnetometer), Proximity Sensor
  9. Built-in GPS / aGPS
  10. Dual-Band Wi-Fi® – 802.11 b/g/n at 2.4 GHz and 802.11 a/n at 5 GHz
  11. Bluetooth® 2.1+EDR support
  12. 1230 mAh removable, rechargeable battery
  13. BlackBerry 7 OS

So we can deduce from RIM’s roadmap that this new operating system will only be available for a relatively short period and one must wonder if purchasing this device is even worth it.   The fact that RIM released this device is a testament to the fact that the QNX platform for smart phones is still a year away.

It is also important to note that current BlackBerry OS6 users will not be able to upgrade to this new operating system.  Sorry, BB Torch users.

This platform is clearly a stopgap on a deadend operating system for a device that is evolutionary to say the least.  The BlackBerry 9900 won’t win any awards for innovation or style but I suppose it’s an improvement on what we have to come to know and expect from RIM.  I don’t know about you but I would definitely pass on this device. What’s your take? Will you pass as well?

Kye Husbands is co-founder of  myCELLmyTERMS, a Toronto-based company that helps cell phone users negotiate wireless plans with independent dealers.


Share on LinkedIn Share with Google+
  • TOCA

    Seems like the best BB Bold yet. Not sure what the next generation will hold, but it took the existing great product and stepped it up a notch – fast processor, newer OS. top notch features, smaller/lighter. What’s not to like? Not sure that all BB users are looking for an iPhone/iPad “wow” factor.

  • While RIM *might get BB users to refresh to this, it should not have made this a DOA to a future QNX refresh. Either embrace OS6/7 or make this bold dual core to support QNX.

    RIM’s too honest. if iPhone marketed a phone it would not tell anyone a refreshed OS does not support a product that’s not out yet!

  • Bullockman

    I think if a company needs to refresh some of it’s fleet, why not? I certainly am not going to sit around and wait for some possible device that we don’t even have a release date for and even we did i am sure it would be delayed. There is also the chance that even when the new platform does make it to market there may be compatibility issues with current BES deployments.

  • smittywp

    i will only pick up the new bold because i cant stand the torch — the torch is by far the worst device i have ever owned. i should have kept my old Bold!

  • Waiting for new bold.

  • Graci

    wow, congrats RIM on still falling short on EVERYTHING. It angers me that they still release “new” phones with technology that others have advanced past. Perhaps cutting costs would not be needed if consumers actually wanted to purchase their equipment. I’ll give RIM until October to release something decent otherwise I’m switching to android.

    RIM pull up your socks, slap some dual core processors in your equipment and stop making them so shitty. That, or release BBM as a multiplatform app.

  • Happy

    You go to Android and quickly find out that all this crap about RIM failing is regurgitated investor crying because they only made 30 million and not 50 million. RIM hasn’t released any devices yet so to day they have failed is just a bunch of whining smoke. Shut up and go away, RIM doesn’t need users that start bashing their products before they even get them in their hands. RIM has been first to market for years, can they please see what it is like to be second or third. Sitting back and watching isn’t a bad thing for users, only investors. If you don’t have shares in RIM, you should be quiet and just wait for the toys to come out. You look like a fool after complaining about RIM then sleeping with your new Bold because it is so damn nice…believe me…it’s really really nice.

  • Ahmed

    completely agree with Happy .. i respect RIM and i’m sure they’ll come back to the market as they used to be #1 smartphone but i always asked my self why RIM has not cover the VOIP and video chat area up till now? with face time of iPhone and all viop and video chat apps how can RIM stand a chance to compete with these devices?

  • soft

    I shouldn’t have touched a live unit of BB 9900.
    The keyboard is softer but perfectly clicky… I was happy with my 9780 and had no plan of upgrading, but I am just leaving work to go get me a 9900. Mainly just for the keyboard. I’ll love the snappy touch screen and gorgeous graphics and body, and I will cry over the crappy EFoD camera.

    Only apps I use on my phone are Quicklaunch, BerryBuzz (bebuzz), facebook, and QR scanner pro outside of BB apps (email, BBM, travel, etc.). I check them all, and they work with OS 7. So the app compatibility etc. don’t matter to me.

  • Chris

    Love the Blackberry 9900.
    Just gave up my Torch and switched to a 9900. The large keys are great for email and since I receive and send 50 or more emails a day I love the 9900.
    It isn’t a play thing. It is a business tool.
    I also own an Iphone. Has anyone older than 18 tried to email and text on that glass keyboard?
    Just wondering

  • dissapointed

    I returned the 9900 within 1 day of receiving it. I have a 2 year old Bold 9000 which I want to replace. The 9900 is the same phone with a touch screen that 8/10 times does things you don’t want it to do and an OS that is not intuitive at all. Why am I paying 200+ for the same phone?
    I’m sorry to say I will probably wait for the next gen of the iPhone. At least Apple releases new phones and technology every 6 months vs 2 years. I love the keyboard on my bold, but the iPhone just seems to work and do what you want it to do. I’m not huge on App’s but for websites, gps and an OS that doesn’t nest your settings 3 deep… I’m saying…

  • Frank

    I like the New Bold 9930. The key board is great, the response time is faster with the new processor. OS 7 is not too bad but it is not intuitive as it could be to many steps to get simple things done. the speed of the OS is better but I miss OS 5 and what makes it worse it’s the apps of OS 7 are limited. Other wise it is a good phone but I don’t think the 9300 can rival the iPhone RIM still has a lot of work to do but I hope they don’t go the way of Palm

  • sarah

    I just got, it is an amazing phone

  • Rui

    Past I have used the curve, bold 9000 & 9700. the new 9900 is the best blackberry have ever used. butter touch keyboard, super fast processor, sharp touch screen n the steel n carbon fibre finish is solid n gives the BB an expensive look. well I can’t compare the BB to the iphone as they serve diffrent purposes. but have to say that Iphone is shitty next to android devices like glaxy S2, HTC. etc

  • Jeff

    First off 90% of the people complaining about this product are basically comparing it to the iphone/android. They both serve a different purpose regardless of how great some of you think the iphone is, for TRUE business purposes it does not compare. I own both the iphone 4 and bold 9900 along with Ipad 2 and Playbook to meet my desires for both apps/fun stuff (Iphone) and email/business commuting (9900).
    For emails/texting what phone compares??? (None)
    As for the ones ranting about Iphones new devices every 6 months, what have they really changed since version 1 of the iphone?? Took apple 3 device upgrades to have a front facing camera which existed years ago? 4 Device upgrades before a major upgrade in processor?
    For god sakes the Iphone 4 doesn’t even support 5ghz wifi support and how old is that technology??
    Overall Bold 9900 is a big upgrade. (Faster processor, 4g support, 5ghz wifi support, keypad, lighter in weight etc..)

  • Dar Lene

    Ive had the Bold 9900 since the end of August. I love RIM. I HATE this Bold. Good luck using the browser, the cursor jumps around and clicks everything in its sight. I get multiple texts of the same mesage, sometimes 15 or more duplicates. I have to do a battery pull at least once a day. I have no apps downloaded except fb, so the apps arent my problem. I would take my Curve2 over this anyday. Sure it looks good, but its not worth the aggravation.

  • I’m saving my pennies for Iphone . RIM’s BB is too expensive for its standard

  • sasquatch

    Have a Bold 9780, was sent the 9900 for testing. Like the look, but it feels heavier and bigger than the older model, and NOT in a good way. It just feels bulky. And the touch screen is nice, but I agree that it too often does things it it not supposed to do, just because I touched it. (I got used to taking my BB out of the puch by pinching “front and back” to avoid touching all the buttons on the sides of the phone: now the screen is the thing you need to avoid touching.) And of course, if anything happens to that screen, imagine the replacement cost!!!!

  • Barefootoe

    I had BB’s for years with the Bold 9000 being my last BB two years ago. I switched to iPhones and have had up to three of them including the 4S purchased recently.

    I have sold two; given the 4S to my wife and purchased the BB Bold 9900 after using it for a day. It is by far the BEST BB made to date; fast intuitive touch screen (though small compared to the iPhones and Droids) the absolute best keyboard of any smartphone I have ever used; and OS7 is fine – more than useable checking the net etc. Messaging is fantastic (BBM & MMS) and as a phone – quality is as good as a mobile cn get. What I became frustrated with on the iPhone was the distraction of all the apps; less-than desirable touch screen typing and quality as a phone. The BB for business is still king. I have two Kindles (myself & wife) for reading books; two tablets the iPad2 & Playbook (OS2 will make it fully functional in Feb.) and now the 9900 and a 4S for when I want to “play”. Technology has a function and if you don’t match it to what you really need it for, you become a slave to it. I do not regret my purchases but I do regret what may happen to RIM if the assault from those that buy technology for play and fashion diminish what RIM does best. I am not alone in this….just part of a much quieter group of BB users.

  • Kevin

    needs a battery that doesn’t have to be recharged every day, even wih limited use

  • NIKKObwoy

    I’ve recently purchased my BlackBerry Bold 9900 and I must say it’s a step up. I mean it’s crazy fast, smooth and sexy. And the design and the weight is awesome too. The phone has internal memory of about 8GBs! For such a light phone, that’s pretty great! Now I don’t know why you’re hating on such a great phone and how you not tell the difference from a 9900 to an old phone? It’s quite simple really… The conclusion I can come up with is that you, sir, are an iPhone fanatic!

    If anything, a Blackberry is a much better smartphone for those who have business in mind. Android’s too playful for me and iPhone too distracting. Now know that I’ve had both and I prefer the Blackberry as it has focus on business.

    I am disappointed for the recent screw-ups of RIM. But I stay optimistic because I know they’re trying their best to improve and I know they’ll succeed 😀