BlackBerry Bold 9790 Price, Quick Review, In the Flesh Photos, Specs

I was able to play with a demo unit of BlackBerry Bold 9790 for a bit at the press room of BB DevCon Asia two days ago.

For those who are wondering, here's how the phone looks like in the flesh:

blackberry bold 9790
A true touch and type device, BB Bold 9790's face flaunts a combo of 2.45-inch capacitive touchscreen and a fretted full QWERTY keyboard. In between, we have the optical trackpad and the island-style hardware keys.

blackberry bold 9790
At the back, we can find the the 5 MegaPixel camera with autofocus lens and LED flash. Also, there's the video camera, which - while not capable of taking HD movies - supports continuous autofocus, perfect for close-up shots.

blackberry bold 9790
This is one of the biggest thumb-type keyboards I've seen on a BlackBerry. Not as big as the one on BB Bold 9900 but big enough even for those who have relatively 'fat' thumbs.

Just showing you 9790's design and form factor. Will post a video of its user interface in a future entry.


There are two touch-and-type models in RIM's current BB7 Bold line-up and BlackBerry Bold 9790 is the more affordable one -- by a rather wide margin. BlackBerry Bold 9900 costs around Php 32,000 in the Philippines while 9790 is expected to sell for only around Php 25,000 when it arrives early next year.

Actually, when you put BlackBerry Bold 9900 and BB Bold 9790 beside each other, you won't even think they're in the same high-end line. BB Bold 9900 with its stainless steel edging, bigger display and wide footprint looks like the true follow-up to the elegant BB Bold 9000 - which, for me, sets the standard for how a Bold handset should look like - while 9790 appears to be just a refresh to BB Bold 9780, which in itself doesn't quite don the looks that made the Bold line extremely popular.

Allow me to do a quick commentary on some features the device:


Although not quite as handsome as BB Bold 9900, BB Bold 9790 nonetheless holds its own charm. The latter has a curved glass touchscreen, island-style glossy hardware buttons, matte textured battery cover and metallic edging that make the phone eye-catching, somehow. Also, the fretted keyboard - while not as wide as 9900's - is a joy to use. The groove in the keys and the 'springy' feedback help make typing both easy and precise.

Having a smaller footprint and being lighter than BB Bold 9900, BB Bold 9790 - I'm sure - will have its own fans. I'd say it's ideal for those want a top-tier BlackBerry - with all the top-notch features that go with it - but aren't too keen on carrying a phone that's a handful.

BB7 Operating System

BB Bold 9790 has a similar operating system as that of BB Bold 9900 -- so software-wise, you get exactly the same thing. Like what I wrote in my BlackBerry Bold 9900 review, the touch-optimized interface, fast browser and social feeds hub are some of the strongest points of BB7 -- and you get all that in BB Bold 9790. Although the phone's processor is not quite as good as the one on 9900, I'd say the experience I got was still - uhm - buttery smooth.

Video and Imaging

If there's something that BB Bold 9790 seems to do better than 9900, I'd say it's in the imaging department. Unlike 9900, 9790 allows users to take clear close-up or macro 5 MegaPixel photos with its camera's autofocus lens. Likewise, you can shoot close-up videos -- thanks to continuous autofocus; One compromise though is that you can only take videos with VGA resolution vs. the 720p HD movies that you can record using BB Bold 9900.

That's it for now. I will publish a more comprehensive review after playing with a unit for at least two weeks.

In the meantime, in true TP fashion, here are the complete technical specs of BB Bold 9790.

TechPinas Smartphone Technical Specs Table (TSTST)
Name BlackBerry Bold 9790
Type Touch and Type, Candybar with Thumb-type Full QWERTY Keyboard and Capacitive Touchscreen
Price Category Midrange
Dimensions110 x 60 x 11.4 mm
Weight 107 grams
Available Colors Black
Operating System BlackBerry 7 OS
Display 2.45 inches (~245 ppi pixel density), 480 x 360 pixels, TFT, capacitive touchscreen
Processor Marvel Tavor MG1 1 GHz processor
Camera 5 MegaPixels, 2592x1944 pixels with autofocus and LED flash
Video Capture VGA (640 x 480)
Audio and Video Playback MP3/eAAC+/WMA/WAV/FLAC- player

- MP4/H.263/H.264/WMV player
Ports microUSB 2.0, 3.5 mm audio jack
Connectivity Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP, EDR, 3G HSDPA, 7.2 Mbps; HSUPA, 5.76 Mbps
Network 2G Network GSM 850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900, 3G Network HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100 or HSDPA 800 / 1900 / 2100, HSDPA 900 / 1700 / 2100
Memory 512 MB storage, 512 MB RAM, expandable via microSD, supports up to 32GB
Sensors Accelerometer, Proximity
Battery Li-ion TBA
Uptime Standby of up to 432 hours, Talk time of up to 5 hours 20 minutes
Value-Added Features BBM, Facebook for BlackBerry, Twitter for BlackBerry, Improved Browser, Touch and Type form factor
Announcement November 2011
Availability Q1 2012
Price TP Guesstimate - Php 22,000 - 25,000

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