Monday, August 06, 2012

Review: BlackBerry Bold 9790

Before I got my BlackBerry back in April, I had had a Samsung Tocco for almost four years, a phone that served me extraordinarily well, but, obviously, having had it for four years, it was seeing the end of its days. I’m not hugely materialistic and into my labels so I would have gladly carried on using it until it stopped working (it was pink, my favourite colour, I liked the touch screen, and Samsung sponsor a certain football team which I believe I’ve quite fond of :p), but the sides were peeling off and my mum said she felt second-hand embarrassment seeing me using it. So my parents insisted on me getting a new phone, and I certainly wasn’t going to quibble with that.

In terms of aesthetics, I really enjoy looking at my phone. Some previous BlackBerries have been far too brick-like in their appearance, and their buttons have been clunky and completely unsexy. The BlackBerry Bold 9790 is both shorter and wider than an iPhone, so in that sense, not as sleek, but I genuinely adore the way they managed to fit a keypad on the bottom. The multi-usage of touchscreen and QWERTY keypad is extremely helpful (and the keys are so comfortable to press, something this newer version of the BlackBerry has over its previous antiquated editions) – I was used to using a touchscreen from my Samsung Tocco, but when I want to send a quick message, I write much faster using keys. It also means that, when I’m arguing with certain boys on WhatsApp, I can get my smartarse responses in more swiftly than they do, as I have the advantage of being able to touch-type, whilst they have to use one finger at a time, typing their comebacks to one diss when I’m already onto the next one. Mwuahahaha.

Other things I like about my BlackBerry Bold is the general element of ~swag and je ne sais quoi it brings. This might be an idea I have incepted in my own head and carry no truth whatsoever, but there are some phones which are ~cooler than others, and iPhones and BlackBerries are at the top of the food chain, though the Samsung Galaxy is a strong competitor (needless to say, the Noka 3310 comes last, if they still exist trololololo). The screen and display are all slick, and the icons are the perfect size for your finger to touch it without interfering with another. The Blackerry 9790 is also very straightforward and easy to use – BlackBerry messenger was something I avoided for the best part of two months, but when finally shown how to use it at a house party, I couldn’t get enough of it. AppWorld comes ready installed on the phone, so you can download to your heart’s desire. An App I wholeheartedly recommend is ScreenGrab – the BlackBerry, unlike the iPhone, doesn’t have an in-built function that allows you to take Printscreens, but there are half a dozen free apps which, once installed, do the job.

Something else that I find hugely handy about the Blackberry 9790 is that, if you're into your social networks, as I am, it's a dream. Once you've hooked up to Twitter, e-mail and Facebook, the phone is faster at receiving new tweets and the like faster than Twitter is on the PC! This doesn't extend to Facebook, which it's a bit more temperamental with; the delay between receiving a new Facebook notification and getting alerted via phone can vary between 0.5 seconds to several hours, and, furthermore, my phone sometimes omits telling me I've received a new FB message altogether. So it's worth keeping an eye on your Facebook account on the PC with this phone. But, as I said, with Twitter and e-mail, the speed at which it updates you is infalliable, and as such, I've been able to become a lot closer with many of my Twitter followers (good lord that sounds sad) since getting this phone.

However, the flaws of the BlackBerry 9790 are gaping. Firstly, the battery life is a disgrace. I leave it charged overnight and by about three in the afternoon (due to limited usage as well, most of the time I just leave it there on standby) I’m down to one bar of five. Even the iPhone, which I’ve heard has quite a low battery life, can at least attempt to make it through an entire day. As such, I’ve had to keep my BlackBerry charger in my drawer at work, and charge the phone at home using my dad’s BlackBerry charger. The other main flaw is how the phone just sporadically freezes on you. Very, very, very annoying. There’s a little clock sign that comes up when the BlackBerry is still loading doing something, and for minutes at a time, my phone can just stay frozen on that.

In terms of tariff, I’m on O2 and I pay £18.50 for unlimited texts, 100 minutes and 100MB bandwidth. I’ve never exceeded bandwidth and due to WhatsApp and BBM I don’t use my phone for phone calls all that much, so I think I have myself a pretty decent deal there. (I have a few less complementary words I could say about O2’s service on the whole, but that’s an essay for another day). I am fond of my BlackBerry – it’s not pink, so I had to buy it a pink case to carry on the tradition of my favourite colour being somehow affiliated with my mode of contact, and I nickname it Lana after my number one girlcrush Lana del Rey. Like the singer itself, it is very pretty to look at, full of genius inventions, but often lets itself down when it needs to work the most.

Grade: B.


Samantha Cole said...

BlackBerry phones are just amazing, especially the one you owned! You can even “tether” or connect it to your computer to use it as an Internet modem. Pretty useful stuff if you’re into social networking and surfing the internet. In fact, you can actually request a BlackBerry Desktop Manager program from your mobile service provider to turn your BlackBerry Bold into an Internet modem.

Emma said...

Hi, Samantha! If you have any other BlackBerries you would like me to review (and positively), feel free to send to me and I will ;)

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