BlackBerry 9790 Bold -Review

Avatar
Piotr Barycki
15.07.2012

For the first time in history of RIM the Bold brand appeared in 2008, during the premiere of 9000 model that was representing everything that RIM had been valued for, and also everything that hadn’t been yet available. The first model of the series brought not only a perfect keyboard, good battery operating time, support for BIS and BES, excellent quality of calls and effective appearance but also a camera, big hd screen, superb speakers and revamped software- BlackBerry OS 5.0. Since then another devices from the series have been trying to give us, with a greater or little success, what’s the best in BlackBerry often introducing some innovations along the way.

However, RIM used to decide to present them only once a year, therefore almost completely depriving us of the choice demanded by many customers. Eventually, after almost five years, we have come by to the moment when the most prestigious BlackBerry series has seen, within a very short period of time, two new representatives- 9900 continuing traditions started by 9000, and 9790- the follower of 9700 and 9780.  Is the second ‘new model’ even worthy being a part of ‘Bold’ series? And is this a good alternative for 9900 or maybe it should be considered in a whole different categories? There’s no better way to find out about that, than to read the following text.

Technical Parameters

    • Dimensions: 110 x 60 x 11,4 mm
    • Weight: 107 g
    • Processor: Tavor MG1 1 GHz
    • RAM: 768 MB
    • MultiMedia Memory: 8 GB (avaliable about 6GB)
    • Memory Cards: up to 32 GB
    • Screen: TFT, 2,44″, 480×360, Touchscreen, 246 PPI
    • Battery: Li-ion J-M1, removable, 1230 mAh
    • Camera: 5MPX (2592×1944), AF, 2x digital zoom , face detection and Image stabilization, geo-tagging
    • Video register: 640×480
    • Wi-Fi: 2.4 GHz b/g/n,  5GHz a/n, UMA
    • Bluetooth: 2.1 z A2DP, EDR
    • GPS z aGPS
    • Other: Orientation Sensor (Accelerometer), Proximity Sensor,  NFC
    • System Service: 4D, GSM/GPRS/EDGE, HSDPA 850/1900/2100/800 or 900/1700 /2100, max. 7,2 Mbps
    • Full QWERTY keyboard, 35 buttons, TrackPad, Function Buttons

     

What’s New?

Probably, the owners of 9700 or 9780 models would be the ones to consider buying 9790, as for them 9900 is definitely too big. It is, therefore, worth considering what, beside the visual ones, are the differences between those three models.

Respectively: 9790/9780/9700

  • Processor: 1,0 GHz / 624 Mhz / 624 Mhz
  • Memory: 768 MB / 512 MB / 256 MB
  • Screen (size): 2,44” / 2,44” / 2,44”
  • Screen (resolution): 480×360 / 480×360 / 480×360
  • Screen (Touchscreen): Yes / No / No
  • Camera (photos): 5.0 MPX / 5.0 MPX / 3.2 MPX
  • Camera (video) : 480p / 480p / 480p
  • Battery: 1230 mAh / 1500 mAh / 1500 mAh
  • OS (the highest): 7.1 / 6.0 / 6.0

From the outsider the differences are, of course more obvious- there has been a slight change in keyboard (a little bit bigger and less ‘curved’), buttons under the screen, two top buttons has been replaced with one and the ‘MulitMedia’ button has been moved between the volume buttons, silver frame is now rearranged, charging slot has been moved to the lover part of the device. What is more, the difference in size can be unnoticed- the front is practically the same as it was before, though as far as the thickness is concerned 9790 easily beats most of the currently available models, slightly exceeding 11mm.

At this moment, we won’t give any explicit answer to the question : Is it worth changing 9780 for 9790 ? – the decision is for you to make, preferably after reading the whole Review of the youngest Bold.

What’s inside the box

The box, inside which there is the newest model of Bold series, can be now described as completely standard for the new RIM products. A small, black with BlackBerry logo, in the upper side is hides, beside the phone itself, also a battery, a micro-USB cable, a charger (connected with micro-USB), earphones, a set of  manuals in different languages and… nothing more. It must be said, that even though in the case of other models of the series we don’t demand much more, it may seem that ‘Bold’ should be obliged to offer us at least a free imitation leather case. We couldn’t have been more wrong- 9790 welcomes us completely naked. It’s a shame- a case is always a few pounds expense, and against the current opinion, there are still people who carry their phones in their pockets in such way.

The Look

Even though the New Bold has been quite significantly changed, still it cannot be confused with other BlackBerry phones, not to mention other producers’ devices. The front, except for the keyboard that can be recognized from the distance and TrackPad, has been improved with the 480×360, 2,44’’ screen, identical with 9700 and 9780, functional button, a speaker, a small round information diode and the brand logo.

Unfortunately, unlike it’s ‘bigger’ counterpart -9900- Bld 9790 hasn’t been made of such effective materials. Most of the space (more than in 97xx) below the keyboard has been made of similar, mat plastic, though, the area above the keyboard, including the space between buttons under the screen, has been made of one, slightly curved in the upper part and on the edges, piece of plastic. That way we can justify our complaints about lack of the case- as much as the tempered glass in 9900 provides the appropriate protection, the plastic in 9790 is rather soft, prone to soiling and- most likely- also scratches.

We cannot help the impression that we have already seen the upper part of the device before. The impression is, of course, right- just one look at the 9860 or 930 and we are sure that those elements in different models are just like two peas in a pod. The same location of the details, almost the same angles, the same LED, speaker cover that looks the same and almost identical profile. On the one hand, that solution is by all means correct and it allows for a fast recognition of the producer just by the look, on the other it can be argued whether so called ‘waterfall’ really suits Bold series and that very model, more still that in the ‘pattern’ the symmetry of the block is kept- in 9790 is not.

However, there’s no accounting for taste, therefore the aesthetical judgment is up to you.

Side edges also fit the conception of those in 9860 or 9360, effectively ornamented with a silver-plated frame, a little bit thicker in the upper parts and a lot slimmer, completely regular, in the other parts. The frame takes a lot of space on the back side, that makes it a quite attractive look.

Unfortunately, the frame’s disadvantage, especially in comparison with 9900 and still bearing in mind that we deal with ‘Bold’,  is the material that it’s made of. This one is not much different than the one used in 9860 or even 9360 and though it seems really solid in touch it’s nothing like the aluminium used in 9900. Quite fast the first micro cuts become visible, despite the fact that during the testing we didn’t exploit the device that much, as it’s used everyday.

On the edges there is of course still a space for additional buttons and slots- two button for volume control, and between them the MultiMedia button (play/pause), and also a single function button, default camera managing (of course it can be changed). Flaws? The button is… one-step which may cause difficulties in taking photos and focusing them. As a consolation to a 3,5mm mini-Jack connector we can plug our favourite earphones.

At the back there aren’t many elements worth looking at. Except for the BlackBerry logo there are only a camera, LED and of course battery case, made of plastic and covered with mat and quite ‘soft’ in touch material. As far as the battery case is considered we have quite a number of complaints- unlike the corresponding element from the 9860 model, here instead of metal we have a low quality material, and what’s more just after taking the phone out of the box we noticed that the case was loose. From what the users said it becomes clear that such matter is not usual and not form the beginning, but still in a majority of cases that situation has place sooner or later. At the moment it is hard to say where lies the problem- the battery case itself has 7 connecting points. Maybe the reason for all the trouble is its shape, which to a large extend resembles the one we know form 8900. However, in 9860 a similar case holds exceptionally well, even after a long-term usage, so we won’t be looking for many justifications.

The top and the bottom of the device is simple- at the bottom there is room only for micro-USB slot, while the top is completely occupied by lock button, already known from f.e. 9360. The location of charging and synchronizing slot has, unfortunately, excluded the presence of connectors for stationary charger as we know them, though it enabled creation of the first (in Bold series) charging-synchronizing station. Unfortunately, it requires ‘sticking’ the phone on the micro-USB pin, which had been avoided in previous models.

 

Under the hood

After removing the battery case what we see is a standard view-a battery that can be removed by picking it with a fingernail in one specific place, and micro SD connection, used for card exchange without necessity of removing the battery or switching off the phone.

Unfortunately, it’s not that easy with the SIM card, if we want to exchange it we need to switch off the phone. Except for that under the case we will find only two connections for NFC, that is located on the battery case.

 

Weight and Size

While describing the external parameters of the phone  the fact that the new Bold is extraordinary compact cannot be neglected. Unlike 9900, it’s hard to say that it is, in any way,  another ‘brick in the wall’, especially in the era of the phones which screen size is almost like in tablets. 9790 seems  to be tiny, even when compared with it’s small predecessors -9700 and 9790. Despite that, it is a little bit longer, thickness has been reduced from 15 mm to 11,4 mm, and it’s several grams weightier and at first it is difficult to get used to holding such a lightweight phone.

Whether it is an advantage or disadvantage- it’s up to you. For us it seems like it was too light sometimes, though it’s pocket size and portability remains unquestioned, therefore it is (in that matter) a perfect alternative for the massive 9900. If somebody finds that aspect crucial, then 9790 (or 9360) are worth taking into consideration. At the same time, it is worth mentioning that those 11,4 mm  are measured only in the thickest –upper- part of the phone, where the phone almost literally (though subtly) swells, that enables RIM engineers to install a camera, flash light and additional speaker. In the case of 9860, which has similar shape, the symmetrical thickness makes it easier to hold it in hand horizontally, however, we are not quit sure what is it for in 9790. Although, we don’t argue with the engineers, so we leave it as it is, without further discussion.

Screen

At first the screen in 9790 is no different than the ones designed for the previous models. Small area, along with high resolution makes the view very good, and font and photos stay clear, even when maximized many times. The visible difference lays within the service- from now on we can make the navigation through the websites or the system easier by using a finger. The screenplay has been made in volume technology, therefore even the slightest touch on the surface gives the reaction.

The reason for making such small screen ‘touchable’ is arguable- on one hand, making advanced activities, such as selecting text or tiny footnotes is difficult, not to say impossible (or so inconvenient that it’s not worth the effort), but on the other, when some less precise activities are concerned it works really well. Choosing icons, options in menu (providing that they are those ‘bigger’ ones), page scrolling etc. – all that, thanks to touch screen, is a lot easier and faster, even for the TrackPad lovers.

However, before going shopping we have to answer one question – is 2,44’’ really going to give us the working space we need. If we use e-mails mostly and from time to time we go online then 9790 will be perfect. Though, if the phone is our main source of the Internet access, then we should think again before making the final decision. Even 2,8’’ screen in 9900 seems to be a better choice here. Similarly the case is with the majority of system elements and their number showed on the screen at once. Of course, so far users of the majority of BlackBerry models won’t feel the difference ( the same diagonal as in 9700, 9780, 9300, 8520 etc.), however, before making any change it’s better to choose the optimal solution.

Against the sensitivity of the screen itself there aren’t many objections, though, the material covering the screen is not making any positive impression of usage. Soft and ‘warm’ in touch plastic isn’t really what the users like the most, and comparing it with 9900 the difference is huge. Plastic screen tends to soil a lot, and what is worth remembering is that it shouldn’t be wiped to hard- after all the material isn’t really scratch resistant.

Despite some minor flaws, after a short time of adjusting, it really seems like the touch screen is rather helpful than troublesome and in time we even stop to treat it as something additional or ‘extra’ – it becomes something that we can’t do without.

 

What should be praised as well are the view angles that have been improved, comparing with the older models. Though, they are not perfect and when moved aside the colours loose the satiation, but most certainly it is nothing like in 9700 or 9780, where in some positions colours just… reversed.

TrackPad and Function Buttons

As much as TrackPad shouldn’t cause any greater feelings, the four function buttons located under the screen do give us feelings, but rather bad ones. Quite big plate, divided into four parts, that we know from almost every other model in this case has been replaced with a lot smaller separate buttons. Maybe it wouldn’t be such a bad thing, except that firstly, it looks…mediocre and secondly, it’s not really as comfortable as it may seem.

Theoretically, that kind of solution for buttons should make it easier to use them, without accidental touching of the screen, but in fact it is rather an obstacle. Despite the visible ‘bulge’ it is often difficult to hit the buttons without looking at them, and empty spaces between though not big, like to ‘trick our fingers.

That, of course, doesn’t mean they are useless- but using them is something that we have to get use to once again, and even when we do get use to it- there’s nothing ‘good’ we get. An additional disadvantage is quite shallow and soft skip which causes doubts –did we click it and if so what exactly did we click?

Just like in other new models, also here the TrackPad frame is illuminated, as well as all the function buttons under the screen. What is sad is that  the light on the tested model wasn’t quite sure if it’s suppose to light the edges of the buttons as well, and that didn’t look much aesthetical.

Keyboard

What’s interesting is that the keyboard in 9790 has also been modified, though it is difficult to see the changes at first look. First of all, thanks to the change in look and side frame location the keyboard has found additional space and as a result it is slightly wider than in 9700 or 9780. However, there must be some ‘queers’ which are easy to notice the moment we start writing. Side buttons are ‘cut’ at the edges to make them adjust to the shape of the phone, because of that first moments with the new keyboard are at least … queer. Luckily it is something that we can adjust to fast, just like to the fact that those buttons are harder and their skip is different than on the other buttons.

Also the curve profile of some verses with buttons (four altogether) has been changed, is slightly less ‘bend’ than in 9700. Fortunately, it doesn’t affect the pleasure of usage.

The buttons themselves haven’t been ‘taken’ from the previous models and their hardness and skip is similar to those in 9900. Of course it is difficult to compare those two keyboards- in that category 9900 remains the unquestioned leader- but 9790 can be put on the second place, equally with 9360 or even slightly above the newest Curve model.

All of the buttons are, of course, illuminated and responsible for the brightness and activation of the light is a built-in light sensor.

Camera

Bold 9900 has caused a huge disappointment when revealing it’s precise specification- a camera, that was used in the phone from 2011,  had no AutoFocus. As much as it may not be a problem for ‘amateur’ photographers, it is a great disadvantage for those who, from to time to time, will have to take a clear photo of text or small objects.

BlackBerry 9790, even though it has similar thickness (which was one of the reasons for poor camera in 9900) was equipped with a camera of identical resolution, but supported with AutoFocus.

Thanks to that the limitations from 9900 have been disposed, gaining identical resolution, at the same time, that should please the majority.

 The only disappointment is related with the resolution of video recording in 9790. In the ‘second after God’ model we get practically archaic 640×480 – lower than in most of the current accessory cams, attached at the front of the phone for videoconferences. Taking into consideration the fact that we can get 720p in very cheap phones, not to mention the higher models with 1080p, 480p is really a shame for Bold series, even if nobody cares about it.

Although, the quality of the video records isn’t bad-colours (just like on the photos) are adequate (though at first look they look much ‘colder’ than in, say, 9900) and fluent AutoFocus gives us no reason to worry about the most important images being indistinct. It’s a pity, though that the good impression ends with transferring the recording on the tv screen.

In short: 9780 users don’t see any difference, 9700 users can only observe resolution improvement. More photos can be found here.

Efficiency

 

Unlike most of the models with BlackBerry 7, such as 9860, 9900 or 9810, in 9790 there is a different processor, that RIM has decided to use, slightly different in type and with lower clocking. Instead of Qualcomma 1,2 GHz we get Tavor MG-1 unit, with 1GHz clocking. Unfortunately, at least theoretically (because it’s already different in practice), it isn’t such efficiency leap in comparison to what we have seen in previous models. In fact, MG-1, used in i.a. 9360 Curve (though with lower clocking- only 800MHz), is only a form of PXA930. Yes, the one that was f.e. in 9000, and later in 9700 and 9780. Looks like somebody at RIM is a huge fan of old Marvell processors…

Fortunately, if we  aren’t taking our 9790 apart then we will be pleasantly surprised by the efficiency. The device is fast, it responds to commends in a blink of an eye and the clock icon practically isn’t showing up during most activities that we can do on the phone. However, it happens (and probably will till the end of the current BlackBerry OS series) during application installing, slowing down the phone so often that it’s impossible to use it. Poorer processor affects also browsing some more complex websites, which –in not with the clock- like to ‘treat’ us with checker when scrolling too fast.

Of course there is no need to get paranoid and stalk 9790 only because it has slightly worse processor than the others. Most of the time using the phone is quite pleasant, no matter what is inside. Even in the case of Curve 9360, which hasn’t got yet lower clocking of the central system, we did not report any major or often problems. The only thing that can be a disadvantage of 9790, comparing to f.e. 9360, is the fact that it has been assigned to Bold series and the expectations towards devices from that series are usually higher. At least that is what we got use to thanks to RIM.

In relation to Marvell processor, another case gets under discussion (just like in the case of 9360) and that is so called ‘Liquid Graphics’, which is defined differently in various places. However, without getting into details, it can be said that everything in 9790 looks as effective as in 9900 or 9860, including every ‘supported’ animations or transitions. Even the browser, comparing to the one from OS 6.0 and older ones, works much better and smoother.

With all that,  it is worth keeping in mind that RIM has dealt with the matter of applications installation in a quite complicated way. Still the main modules are installed on the internal memory of the device  (about 200-210 MB per user), while the additional elements can be also installed on the multimedia memory, thanks to that we don’t have to worry that games, which hold even several MB of space, would exclude the possibility of installing anything else. The phone, even despite its processor, was able to ‘hold’ easily over 30 programs and still work fairly good, and keeping a lot of free space of RAM at the same time.

Software

Bold 9790 gets on market with OS 7.0 that is practically the same version as in 9900, 9930, 9860, 9850 or 9360 model. Therefore, the list of novelties since the older systems will be taken from the previous articles:

Mainly, we should be pleased with:

  • Free (full)  Documents To Go  pack with  To Go on PDF
  • Much better desktop management options – the thing that in 6.0 was a curse for many users- main screen panels without any configuration options, has been greatly improved in 7.0. Firstly, we can turn on and off any desktop as we please (except for ‘Everything’), thanks to that without any additional composition we can get back to ‘standard’ view and setting, known from software before 6.0. Also the problem of separate configuration of each panels has been solved- before, if we had hidden an icon on one of them, it was gone from every panel (which didn’t make any sense). Now we can define for every option- do we want an icon to disappear completely or just from the panel we are currently in. A little thing, but it helps so much in organization, especially since after long months with OS 6.0 I gave up and got use to the panels, which I have no intention to get rid of. Well, RIM- you won.
  • Universal Voice Search  – if you wonder how it would be like if you wouldn’t have to search for anything (that’s how powerful Universal Search is) with keyboard every single time, when all you have to do is tell your phone about it, then today you can almost see how it is like. Why almost? Unfortunately, Universal Voice Search is not working in Polish version yet. It deals with English perfectly well and we can just say ‘Twitter’ and we will be transferred to the appropriate application, or ‘Bold 9900’ and the Gogle browser opens, but what’s the use of that when it goes crazy when we say ‘Notatnik’. So we keep on waiting.
  • Personal defining of browning and searching – an incredibly useful option if we often browse certain websites (f.e. with advices, reviews or instructions) and we want to save the Google time for looking through the Internet. Easily we can define searching for the specific page by using the searching mechanism. Example? If we set the searching for (that’s an example!) BBNews.pl, after writing ‘bold’ we will be redirected to our website. Easy – both in configuration and usage.
  • Adding information to already existing contacts – it’s hard to say what took RIM so long, but now we can say: finally ! From now on, after making/receiving a call from unknown number, sending/receiving an e-mail, etc. we will be able to (properly) add those date to one of the Contacts on our phone.
  • Adding Multimedia to Main screen – since we can manage panels and organize the application icons better why not adding… multimedia shorts as well. All we have to do is choose f.e. our favourite song or album and select the right option and we will have the access to it from the main screen. The same goes to videos and images, thanks to that, apart from the icons for Contacts and websites, our desktop can be filled with more multimedia icons.
  • Expanded reality – thanks to digital compass in 9900, the device is able to work properly with applications that enable browning so called ‘Expanded Reality’. It may sound trivial and most of us will probably scoff ‘a gadget’, but it is something that can really become handy in everday use.

Of course, that’s not the end of news- operators and distributors are currently on the phase of actualizing OS to 7.1 version along which, to all the above functions, join also:

  • Mobile hotspot –thanks to that our BlackBerry can provide Network access to( up to 5)  other devices through WiFi
  • Improved Personal Universal Search – in this editionUS has been improved with additional options that will simplify and make it more enjoyable for users to search for specifics, through the new autofilling and selecting system for Bing® browser.
  • BlackBerry Tag –a new application that enables using the NFC technology to a much wider exted than so far, offering i.a. transfer of multimedia files or inviting new users to BBM.
  • Calls through WiFi (UMA/GAN) – BlackBerry 7.1 restores the function that was missing in i.a. BlackBerry 7, it makes use of WiFi in order to make Voice Calls (unavailable for 9790)
  • DLNA Service
  • BlackBerry Maps – a new editio of BlackBerry maps offers i.a. information about hotels in our area, events and Rother POI, at the same time working faster and more efficient than ever before.

BBM 6.1 (BlackBerry Messenger) –a new version of BlackBerry communicator, so far it was avaliable only for BlackBerry Beta Zone users, it offers f.e. a set of new emoticons and full suppot for BlackBerry Tag application.

      

Connection and Extras

As far as available connection technologies and ‘extras’ in general are concerned, 9790 is practically identical with its older brother-9900. On the deck we will find then, a 4D modem GSM/GPRS/EDGE and HSPA, which in this case has been limited to only 7.2 Mbps, as a result we won’t ever see on its screen the magical H+ symbol (which isn’t showing on any devices inPolandanyway).

Except for that 9790 can show off with almost standard set : Bluetooth 2.1 with the most popular functions, 2D WiFi available in ‘n’ technology and GPS module with aGPS. None of those elements can be criticized in any aspect- they are ant they are working.

A little less popular, though often very useful extras are i.a. the hit of last months- NFC and digital compass (it enables using applications that use so called ‘Expanded Reality’) location tracker and proximity sensor. Unfortunately, there’s no FM radio, that has been lately put in Curve series. If it has found its place there, why wouldn’t put it in Bold? Sadly, we don’t have answer to that question.

A nice addition for multimedia-entertaining possibilities of 9790 can be (this time within the system) support for DLNA technology available after updating the device to BlackBerry OS 7.1.

Quality of Calls

Just like with Network and device connection, we couldn’t have any objections against quality of calls nor to the level of reception. Both OS 7.0 and 7.1 are stabile and strong, while the calls are just  pure pleasure. The sound is clear and reasonably loud (though it’s not exactly like in 9900), thanks to that there aren’t any problems with making calls, even when we are in a noisy place.

Although the quality of the built-in speaker for the voice-calls is lower, most of the times it was working good. However, we can forget about turning 9790 into a mini-stereo, though it was possible with 9000.

Battery

The battery user in 9900 has been admitted by many to be one of the greatest failures of RIM lately. Almost perfect device received, despite of the raised number of elements that require energy, a battery with a lower capacity than the previous models. As a result the situations occurred when the users couldn’t even manage to go on one charging from dawn until dusk, in 9700 that was unthinkable thing to happen.

For many Bold series lovers Bold 9790, with the same battery as 9900, was supposed to be a salvation, thanks to poorer processor and smaller screen giving at least a few more hours of working, without necessity of charging. It has to be said that the mission has been accomplished, though we shouldn’t be expecting ‘good old days’.

With a very little load (Facebook, a little bit of Internet, one mailbox and few mails a day, about an hour of calls a day, WiFi all the time and sometimes Bluetooth, sometimes BBM) 9790 has managed almost two full days without charging before the bettery icon turned red. Of course, we have to remember that the phone with active BIS is constantly connected to the Internet.

It was, as for OS 7.0, a fairly good ‘score’, but if we start to really use our phone- a few applications in the background, 6 mailboxes, Facebook, Twitter, a lot of browser and BBM, the battery will hold only from dawn ‘til dusk. Fortunately, there were no situations when the battery went flat before the nightfall. Usually, even with great load, it holds from about 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. easily, and it still has some reserve left.

Poorer procesor and screen turned out to be a pretty good solution for ‘BatteryGate’, though the gain isn’t that big and we can forget about the scores of 9700. Still it’s always a few hours more than in 9900 and the situation is similar with OS 7.1, where Bold 9900 holded about one full day, while 9790 was able to work constantly almost a half of a day longer.

Accesories

As Bold 9790 doesn’t come to us with many accessories, those the most necessary- f.e. phone-case- we must by ourselves. Fortunately, there is a lot to choose from and we shouldn’t have much trouble finding the Wright ones, and if there is something lacking, probably it will show up soon (f.e. colourfull cases). In the case of 9790 it is also worth considering to buy a protective screen-foil, that may not look quit elegant, but will definitely help when we will try to sell it later as ‘almost new’.

Unfortunately, because of the serious changes in look and size, the accessories for previous BlackBerry models won’t be suitable for 9790. The only exception can be a charger, headphones or microUSB connecors, or microSD memory cards. The batteries for 9900, 9850 and 9860 will also fit to 9790 model.

Summary

We really wanted to write that 9790 is almost equally valuable alternative for 9900, but unfortunately… it is not. However, it doesn’t mean that it’s a bad model- on the contrary. Taking into consideration it’s specification, prize and possibilities – 9790 is a very successful phone, worthily continuing the 97xx series, additionally introducing TouchScreen, NFC and better keyboard.

Although in comparison with 9900 the choice of material is striking (plastic screen frame and loose-from-the-very-beginning battery case), cumbersome and not-so-pretty function buttons under the screen and slightly lower efficiency under the greater load. Small Bold has not been given the classic FM radio, that has appeared even in Curve series ( complaining as the rule goes: Bold should have everything), and video register in 480p on the ‘high’ model from 2011/2012 should go into ‘technological jokes’ box (category: not-so-funny).

Taking those complaints aside, there aren’t any more reservations against 9790. It is, just like 9360, ultra-compact and fits practically every pocket, which in the case of 9900 isn’t such an obvious thing, it is light and the battery holds longer than in 9900, 9860 or 9360, and it has most of the features that we might be expecting. What’s more, it has several functions that significantly distinguish it form 9360, which is only a little bit worse, thanks to that it becomes some kind of ‘bridge’ model, between the Curve and the Bold series, both in possibilities and prize.

Those three models- 9900, 9790 and 9360- can be very easily compared to cars, they are respectively: sedan-limousine, average sedan and urban compact. Each of them can easily fulfill it’s main task- to get us where and when we need, but it’s up to us how much power do we need and how much do we want to stand out form the crowd. All we have to do is to specify our needs and choose accordingly to our financial capacity, and we surely won’t be disappointed by any of them*.

What we liked about 9790?

  • TouchScreen as an addition to the already very good screen
  • Abundance of connection possibilities and ‘gadgets’ –HSPA, NFC, ‘Expanded reality’ etc.
  • Operating speed
  • Quite good battery-time working
  • A lot of memory space for applications
  • Internal Memory 8GB + memory cards
  • Docking-synchornizing stations
  • Good camera with AF
  • Keyboard (though it takes time to get use to it)
  • TrackPad backlight
  • Extra-slim case
  • More compact look (comparing to 9700 and 9780)
  • No Massie black stripes on the sides of the screen (as in 9700 and 9780)
  • Very low prize on the aftermarket

What we didn’t like about 9790?

  • Too much of plastic for Bold
  • Loose battery case
  • Hey, that procesor is like 3 years old!
  • Hey, recording in 480p is… like the dinosaur era?
  • Buttons under the screen– neither pretty, nor comfortable (subjectively)
  • No FM radio
  • No ‘x-factor’, as far as comparing to 9900
  • The screen may be too small for the Internet-lovers
  • Not all of the AppWorld applications are compatible with 9790

*) Of course everyone knows that’s tylish  sedan-limousine it the best when we want to hang around the hood 🙂