Blackberry Bold 9790 – Silently gets the job done

The strategy seems quite clear – RIM is building the numbers, and hoping that the more smartphones they release into the wild, a better chance of hitting the sweet spot with the consumers, and eventually translating into sales, marketshare, money – the whole lot. However, we somehow don’t think the Bold 9790 will really do that for RIM.


Look & Feel

Without a shadow of a doubt, the Bold 9790 clearly seems to have taken design inspiration from its elder siblings – the 9780 and the 9900. The chassis looks uncannily similar to the one we saw in the Bold 3 9780, albeit slightly slimmer. That has helped bring the weight down as well. The display size remains largely the same, but the touchscreen capabilities have been added. The QWERTY keypad gives glimpses of similarities to the one on the Bold 9900, with slightly smaller keys though.


The build quality is satisfactory, and the entire gamut of elements is present – chrome lining around the phone and in between the keypad, the rubberized feel on the battery cover and the silver Blackberry logo at the back. But somehow, while this is a Bold series smartphone, it just doesn’t look like one. Am sorry to say, but it doesn’t have that classy aura we traditionally expect from this series of phones. It definitely is a notch above the Curve smartphones, but dispassionately, the Bold 9780 looks better. And the Bold 9900 is in a different league altogether. While the Bold 9790 does nothing wrong, it just doesn’t go that extra step, looks wise.

Features & Performance

The 2.45-inch display is similar to the one in the Bold 9780, with the same 480×360 pixel resolution. The added touchscreen capability is a huge bonus. As we had pointed out in the review of the Bold Touch 9900, you may just use the touch very rarely, but when flicking through the Facebook or Twitter timelines, it is absolutely worthwhile. The display is quite crisp, but does lack the vividness of the Bold Touch 9900. Brightness levels are fine, and viewing in sunlight shouldn’t be an issue at brightness levels 50% and beyond. Touchscreen response is brilliant, and precise. While OS 7 isn’t really optimized for touchscreen use, but is a mid-point compromise that works with QWERTY as well, the capability does come in handy at times.


The QWERTY keypad comes with the Bold 9900 inspirations – the curved edges and similar key design. While the key size on the Bold 9790 is slightly bigger than the Bold 9780, it is a tad smaller than the Bold 9900. However, the comfort of using it is not lost one bit. The keys have a soft rubbery feel to them, and the key press doesn’t have that hard click we get from some Curve series smartphones. Having said that, it is a surprise that the call connect/disconnect, menu and return keys are quite hard in comparison. Just takes the sheen of an otherwise excellent key package.


The Bold 9790 comes loaded with 8GB internal storage, and a microSD card for up to 32GB more.


The biggest bump over the 9780 is the 1GHz processor, as compared to the elder brother’s 624MHz processor. Additionally, the younger brother has 768MB of RAM while the old warhorse has 512MB. However, the OS makes a huge difference here. The OS 6 on the 9780 does tend to become a tad sluggish if you run a lot of apps simultaneously. On the other hand, OS 7 handles multiple apps a lot better, with literally no slowdowns. Needless to say, the Bold 9790 performs well regardless of how many apps you load it with – a better optimized OS, more RAM to work with and more processor grunt!


The 5MP camera has also received a feature bump, with image stabilization and face detection added. The camera quality is very good, something carried forward from the Bold 9780. Even in low light conditions, this one handles colours and lighting spots a lot better than a lot of smartphone cameras out there. Videos recordings are quite smooth, but more susceptible to environmental lighting changes. The resolution is limited to VGA, which is a surprise.


RIM has said it time and again that OS 7 is better optimized for battery life than OS 6. We had questioned this claim in the review of the Torch 9860, but it has been proved correct in this case. The 1230mAh battery on the 9790 lasts about 2 days on a single charge, something that the Bold 9780 does with a bigger 1500mAh battery despite lesser processor power. However, if you are heavy we browser and will be constantly using 3G for web surfing, we suggest getting a bigger battery some months down the line.


Our Take

It is undoubtedly a decent enough phone. Unfortunately, the Bold 9790 does not seem to have the same aura as the Bold 9780 and the Bold 9900, and that is disappointing, more so if you are spending somewhere around Rs 27000 to buy this. Design cues have been taken from the 9780, whereas the touchscreen capabilities and the QWERTY keypad layout are inspired by the 9900. But it doesn’t really have the “best of both worlds” thing going for it. Save your monies, and go for the Bold 9780 (Rs 21k approx) instead.



Price: Rs 27490



1GHz processor; 768MB RAM; 2.45-inch display; 480×360 pixel resolution; 8GB internal storage with microSD slot; 5MP camera with VGA videos; 1230 mAh battery


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About Vishal Mathur

Geek by day, heavy sleeper by night!


  1. This is a topic close to my heart cheers, where are your contact details though?

  2. Very interesting info!Perfect just what I was looking for!

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