The Blackberry Bold 9000 was one of the most popular smartphones released by the Canadian manufacturer. Then with subsequent releases of the slimmer 9700 and 9780 under the Bold category, it seemed it had abandoned the wide form factor, until the 9900 released last year, which was a stellar device. Now with the release of the 9790, it's clear that RIM is maintaining two similar but distinct lines within the Bold series.
Enter the 9790. A follow-up to the 9780, it is BlackBerry's newest slim variant of the Bold series. The design and styling is very similar to the recently released 9360 and comes in at just 11.4mm thin and 107g in weight. In fact, many would mistake the Bold 9790 to be the Curve if they didn't have an eye for the keyboard. Unlike the island style keys of the Curve, the 9790 features the distinct Bold keyboard. However, since it needs to fit in a narrower form factor, the keys on either edge taper off to the end of the device. It takes some time to get used to, but after that it's business as usual.
Apart from the keyboard, the front features four distinctive buttons and a touchpad. The screen is 2.45 inches in size and like its brother (the 9900), features touch input with the right amount of sensitivity. With a resolution of 480x360, the display is quite sharp and the colours look good.
The internals are beefy, too. Powered by a 1 GHz processor and a 768MB RAM, the 9790 delivers a snappy performance. Of course, the new OS (7.1) contributes to this performance too.
But one disappointing feature is its camera. Although it is powered by a 5-megapixel sensor, the picture quality is subpar at best. Unless you're shooting in daylight, the pictures come out fairly noisy.
You have the usually array of connectivity with Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth and HSPA. Moreover, the device now has NFC, which is the technology powering "BlackBerry Tag" that allows users to share media with their contacts fairly easily.
The 9790 may be powered by a small battery — 1,230 mAh — but it performs well. You can expect to get through more than a day with 3G and Wi-Fi on, which can't be said for a lot of devices.
Priced slightly north of Dh1,800, the BlackBerry Bold 9790 is an impressive device. Despite its slim and light form factor, it doesn't seem to skimp on performance. While the camera may fall short, it's only characteristic of the manufacturer, and it delivers on all its promises — including an excellent keyboard and a long battery life.
Bhavishya Kanjhan is a digital marketing professional and an early adopter of all things digital. Follow his tweets on @bhavishya