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About that BlackBerry Bold 9790

November 30, 2011

The BlackBerry Bold series 9790, also widely known with its nickname “Bellagio”, is the smaller version of RIM’s flagship phone the Bold 9900 (“Dakota”). Here’s a quick a look at the smartphone.

The software that runs in Bellagio is BB OS 7.0 which feature more colorful and fluid graphics, but don’t expect it to be fluid like in iOS or Android’s Ice Cream Sandwich. Everything else like mail, messages and messenger apps are almost identical to the ones you find in previous BB OS, it’s more like a face-lift to make them look prettier, and to add touch features in all apps core.

The combination between touch-screen with trackpad is confusing, if you got used to the trackpad then you won’t be needing the touchscreen, and if you got used to the touch-screen then there are times you’re required to use the trackpad instead. It’s a mess.

The keyboard is a kin to the other BlackBerry Bold line-up, the keys are soft to press and it is always a real pleasure to write long text with them. The Bellagio offers a different keyboard design than any other BlackBerry smartphones before it, the end of the keyboard tend to curve along with the phone’s edge.

And RIM has put on the new separate button design on these: call, option, back and end/power buttons. Those buttons will light up in blue for few seconds after the screen dimmed off, like you can see on the photo above. A nice touch.

Another look at the side view of the phone, you’ll notice the top of the phone is gotten bigger due to the location of the camera and for the phone’s speaker.

The lock/unlock button is located on the top of phone, and it is one pain-in-the-ass button to use. Despite it looks like to be a wide button, you need to press exactly on the lock picture otherwise it won’t response, and the design of the phone’s top only makes it worse.

The back of the phone has soft-paint finish, making it very smooth to touch yet slippery. Inside, the battery is very thin and light. I’ve used the Bellagio for making numerous calls, along with heavy web surfing and contacting friends using the BBM, and I’m sad to report that the battery life is poor. In just less than 3 hours, after a full battery charge, it was already depleted. I believe RIM has chosen the wrong decision on battery size to get a more slim design for the phone, users will soon be left in disappointment.

For Bellagio, RIM has decided to put the micro-USB connector at the bottom of the phone, making it easier for users who wish to pair the phone with desktop charger or speaker booster docking.

While for the wall charger included in the package, RIM has finally discarded the old big battery charger and use a minimalism design. It is pleasingly small, and immediately reminded me of what Apple has used since the first iPhone.

Speaking of the packaging design, RIM also simplify the box and you can easily see how much Apple has influenced every competitors in the same market. I’ll let the photo above speaks for itself.

And so for the wrap-up, is it a worthy upgrade for BlackBerry owners? I believe no. Because one it has a lousy battery life, second it will become obsolete in 3-4 months to come when the first BlackBerry QNX-powered smartphone arrived. And for you who already have iPhone or Android smarpthones, I don’t think I should say anything further.

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