BlackBerry Bold 9930 / 9900 Full Hardware and BlackBerry 7 Software Video Walkthrough!

By Kevin Michaluk on 2 May 2011 11:00 pm EDT

When we did our initial hands-on video of the BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930 Smartphone the booth was swamped and it was tough to record a decent video up, so we went back for seconds during the BlackBerry World opening reception and spent some quality time on the device. After getting a quick demo of NFC on the Bold 9930 and firing up a web browser shootout comparing BlackBerry 7 on the 9930 vs. BlackBerry 6 on the 9780, in this video we take our time and walk through the hardware and software on the first touchscreen Bold. Following up our first impressions, here's where we're at after spending a bit more time on the device.

BlackBerry Bold 9930/9900 Hardware: The more time we spend on the new Bold the more we're in love with the hardware. Of course the features and specs list is well filled out and you feel the performance and speed of the 1.2GHz processor. Photos don't do justice to both how thin the Bold Touch is and how light in the hand it feels. While the width of the device is the same as the Bold 9000, we're told there's actually 6% more of usable area around the device. The keyboard is frack'n amazing - it's literally a joy to type on. One thing we didn't notice previously was the addition of a third button sandwhiched between volume up and down which is for mute. And as for the cool feature of the backlit trackpad, I love the power down sequence of the device. When the device powers down into standby, first it kills the lighting on the display, then the lighting on the keyboard, and then finally the lighting around the trackpad - totally a nice touch.

BlackBerry 7 Software: Whether you think it should be called BlackBerry 6.1 or 7, there's definitely a lot of newness in the OS on the Bold 9900/9930. Definitely noticeable is what RIM has dubbed Liquid Graphics. Between the processor's speed and the GPU, the whole touchscreen/scrolling experience is liquidy smooth. New icons dress up the UI, and I LOVE that I can now personalize the homescreen views. Don't like all that homescreen left and right scrolling? You can easily disable it and go back to the BlackBerry 5 style of homescreen. Voice-activated Universal search is there, and there's an on-device music store. The web browser is faster, NFC support is there.... you get it.. there's a lot going on here.

Check out the video to see it all in action and learn more. Got any questions still? Be sure to let us know and we'll get the answers while we're here at BlackBerry World. Enjoy the video!

Reader comments

BlackBerry Bold 9930 / 9900 Full Hardware and BlackBerry 7 Software Video Walkthrough!


I'm with you, velkcro! Okay, I am pleased with the new Bold, but I want a NEW PHONE!!! The Bold is nice, but I want a Storm 3 (BB Touch)!

RIM appears to be putting all their energy behind the new Bold Touch, but there are a ton of people out there who haven't had a Storm 3 for over 18 months!!! What is RIM saying to those people? We've had quite a few Bold devices in the past year (at least 3) but no new Storm.

Now, RIM is asking us to wait a few MORE months? GRRRRRRR!!!!!!

I hope they will at least announce it and make it available in June! No more than 2 weeks after the Bold Touch is released.

They are releasing that soon. There is a new Curve in the works and a new Torch as well as a new all-touch phone called the BlackBerry Touch aka Storm3.

This is the device a lot of people have been waiting for though. Ever since 2008, there hasn't been a BlackBerry with the large keyboard, bigger screen etc.

Hey Kevin, Im glade you noticed the button sandwiched between the 2 on the side! I noticed it when the first pictures of it leaked back in January, but i dont think others did until now (or at least they didnt say anything, but I did)
- :)

You've got a looong wait. RIM announced it would be late August/early September before the first Bolds become available (and didn't even address which markets). We're looking at 4 months - it's the Playbook "announcement" all over again. All talk, no product!

I agree. Where are Storm 3/Touch or Torch 2? We've been waiting for these for a while now (and leaked specs and pictures have only made us look with hope to the future), but no announcement. This conference would have been the perfect occasion to launch them.
Is anyone at RIM looking at the comments here? How do they expect to fight Apple/Android when they only have one proper touch screen phone (Torch)?
And this new Bold - what is this - half touch-screen half buttons? RIM people: a touchscreen needs to be large. Why do you focus on this device instead of coming up quicker with Storm 3 and Torch 2? And leave Bold as a normal phone, with buttons but no touchscreen. Furthermore, this coming out in August-September is a disappointment. By then, Apple and Android phones will probably have outdated this new Bold.
I'm sorry to see that the manufacturers of my favorite smartphone are not doing anything to step ahead of competition. I'm talking smartphones here, not tablets. I will always be happy to have a BB, but I'll be happier if once they would be ahead of competition.

I want it NOW.... Come to Rogers Canada.... I am with Telus now and I hate their service (Telus won't work sometimes at UofC campus). Please come to Rogers ASAP!!!

Seeing all the info on the BT really makes me glad I have stuck with BB. Can't wait for this to come out hopefully in June!!

looks like a really nice phone but cmon... it has a touch screen and they barely even using it lol... screen is still a bit small for a touch screen... cant wait tro get my torch.. and wanna see how the torch 2 gonna look like

Hot phone but.....

Don't like the 'Torch' LED and I notice they say it only has one speaker, and I remember the Bold 9000 had two. Come on RIM? plus a smaller battery... no front facing camera either... why do i feel like this isn't quite 'flagship' yet?

I swear I'm not trolling, but I'm not as sure as i was b4 about buying this. I'll wait and see it in person, and hope that I'm overreacting.

Why do you need two small crappy speakers seriously. The 9000 never compared to two real speakers anyways. I dont see why the big buzz about it, mobile speakers will always be crap regardless of how many it has. You couldnt use the 9000 as a stereo system substitution, why the big deal now? There are headphones and external speakers for that.

Nobody buys a cellphone thinking about the "speaker". I get it for laptops since they are bigger and can actually couple way larger speakers, or even a tablet, but a smartphone? pfff

Obviously not a music lover! When I take a crap I LOVE to listen to my 9000. If you can't hear the difference in the 9000 speakers to all other devices then this argument in pointless.

yes i can see that everyone is dissapointed in rim not making their blackberrys have front facing cameras... maybe they not putting it in yet is because even tho other phones have front facing camera not everyone is familiar with the video calling and stuff yet give it maybe a year or 2 then u gonna start seeing all phones have front and back cameras and everyone would be video calling... give it time ppl blackberrys will get there even tho it seems like they are right behind all andriods and iphones

Cmon kevin. We want to see how the "touch" navigates! Not the trackpad. Use the touchscreen more next time. Looks solid from what I can see tho...

I'm seriously pissed my Storm 2 died a couple weeks ago and I had to renew my contract with a new BB...this phone looks awesome!

I have another upgrade in July so I hope this will be out by then. For my March upgrade I tried the Thunderbolt. Crashes way too much and texting is horrible. All I say now is I can't wait for my Blackberry to be released. So glad I am trying the Tbolt/Android cuz now I KNOW what device I'm happy with!

My question is whether the touchscreen can be disabled? I owned and loved the Bold 9000 so I am so excited about the Bold 9930/9900. However, I'm not interested in the touchscreen. Kevin, can you please resolve this question. Thank you.

Posting from my BlackBerry PlayBook.

no its built in but no app is totally dependable on the touch screen.

just dont touch the screen
but im sure you will use it then like it

A nicely sized rigid screen protector should be an easy fix to this problem... Perhaps one of the screen makers will make one to specifically render the touchscreen not usable for people that want it.

Or just wear gloves when you use it. :D

Soooooo happy its the size of the old Bold 9000.....that was the best Blackberry for me. I never understood why RIM made the 9700 smaller and more or less the same size as ALL their other QWERTY devices.

FYI, engadget has posted a video of a senior app developer using BBM on his PlayBook while bridged to his BlackBerry. Great video.

Posting from my BlackBerry PlayBook

Wow, after this and the browser.... who needs the playbook anymore? lol, I'll keep it though

"awhhh why did I click the black eyed peas?!"- Funny moment.

Anyways, yeah it looked like Kevin tended to forget this thing has a touch screen! A common thing I'm sure once this thing gets into the hands of owners, and surely something that takes getting used to. The ease of navigation between the trackpad and touch screen when applicable will be amazing. Really want this thing in my possession asap. Hopefully I win it from Crackberry!

Nice video Kevin, thanks. I'm on 24/7 to get the latest Blackberry news during your visit to Blackberry World. The Bold 9900 is a beauty, Blackberry @ its best. I Don't care about iPhone (though i absolutely love my MacBook and iMac), HTC, Samsung or whatever. Blackberry is the only phone i will go for. Next phone is the Blackberry 9900, no doubt about it! Keep up the good work guys, we are all proud of you. You allways answer the questions i have... and more.

Now your there in Orlando maybe you can ask a RIM representitive when the Bold 9900 and the Playbook come to Europe/Netherlands. Thanks!

Damn, I just bought my 9780 to replace my 9700 which shorted out after I dropped it in a sink full of water. Really wish I hadn't done that as the new phones look incredible. I love the touch screen and keyboard combination. The only thing I absolutely dumbfounded about is RIM's decision not to include a left convenience key! I use that all the time - I key it for my BBM while the right convenience key is for the camera. Without using the phone, I can already based on my existing behaviour that this is going to be my biggest disappointment with the models.

I hope the new 1230 battery can perform at least the same with the old 1500 one on the 9700/9780.......

2 weeks ago I bought a bold 9780 and I must say, that was no fault.

the 9930/9900 is nothing special.
- new style, like an iphone with keyboard?

for me is the touch screen useless. ;-)

Quick question for Kevin,

Has there been any confirmation that VZW will be getting the first launch units of the 9930 Touch CDMA unit? Also, any indicator on the target release date or is still "late summer sometime"? I have to figure out a way to get out of my Android contract and NEED to come back to BlackBerry!

Thank you!!

does anyone know when this will be on Sprint? and the LED is pretty disappointing. isn't the torch's the same/similar to the 9330's? i MAY consider switching to T-mo if this isn't released on Sprint.

Standby lighting - totally a nice touch?

Its not like that's new except the trackpad lighting up. My bold does the same thing!

Like I said before, I can only hope that I'll be ready for an upgrade when this bad boy hit shelves because it looks FANTASTIC & I'm not usually a touch screen fan. Blackberry 7 seems great, just the interaction alone is making me really like this, can't wait to actually play around with it myself.

No doubt that this device is bad a$$. I just think the Torch form factor lends itself better to having the touchscreen. It seems redundant to have a touchscreen, trackpad, and keyboard all there to play with at the same time!

Anyone else wonder why the 9900 model showed AT&T and Rogers at the top of the screen, but the 9930 only shows RIMBBWorld?

One and a half years since the first leaks on this phone and they're STILL not going to give us release date and pricing?!?

My only question, well one of my questions is will this new Bold be world capable because my 9650 is and if the new one isn't that might be a deal breaker, plans on going around the world and i don't want to have to try and get a plan on a phone that won't support it or rent/lease a phone that i don't want, help me Kevin, let me know and also will the torch 2 support world travel?

i really want to see the 9900 playing some kind of game. Like need for speed maybe. I want to see what it will look like and how playing a game like that would be like on a device you normally hold with one hand..

I like my Torch, but there are things I hate. The slider rattles. The sound quality is meh. The device feels like a brick. My ear puts my callers on MUTE sometimes which is downright embarrassing.

I loved the Bold 9000 but did not like the trackball, which stopped working, and also the slowness of the device. Web browsing was painful. The keyboard and the screen were a joy, however.

This looks like one worth trying. I've been looking at iPhones lately -- the white one is hot -- but the physical keyboard is one of my personal requirements on a smartphone. Also, I like the trackpad and menus! Simple stuff.

Man, I can't wait for this phone to come out. It looks very slim and the keyboard looks very impressive.

I think this may be a major turning point for RIM, this phone seems really really good even put up against my Droid 2 global which has the same CPU speed.

Although all of the specs, etc. are official, there is still one question, will it blend?

RIM officially announced that it wouldn't be until late August or September before the first of the Bolds are released, so yeah, that's up to 4 months from now. It's the Playbook announcement all over again!

Does the browser have flash? Left side convenience key missing is kinda sad, but its all right. The device is light... but does it have that quality feel of the Bold 9000, PlayBook?
Oh yeah, i've owned a Bold 9000, and the shotdown standby process is the same. Maybe its a signature of the BlackBerry Bold series.

Anyone else like the fact that it has charging contacts in addition to the micro USB port? A definate plus for me!

Forget thin and light. I want features, processor power, memory, better radios and antennas, and bigger batteries.

This new Bold looks really promising. The hardware really makes it zippy. BlackBerry users will consider it a significant upgrade from exisiting Bolds, but how will the rest of the mobile world see it? More here:

So, I am pretty stoked for this line of BBs... I'm just a little concerned that I haven't been hearing anything about application storage space.
So here it is...

Are we looking at application storage space in megabytes or in the big GBs?

Everything says 768 or some odd megabytes of RAM, and 8 GBs of "storage space," but traditionally what RIM calls RAM is what's used for app space. Which is BS. The two GBs of storage space on my Storm2 (which can't be used for apps) barely ever gets used, because it came with a 16GB microSD.

With every Blackberry I've had (and it's been a few now), I've been severely hampered, and have had to play a continuous balancing game to try and keep the most important ones installed. I have bought a good number of apps, but have decided not to buy a lot more based off of lack of space, which means RIM is missing out on money. There are so many improvements to these devices, it would be such a waste to overlook this spec.

It pains me to say it, but I might have to finally abandon RIM if this issue isn't fixed THIS generation... which says a lot considering how vocal of a supporter (and recently defender) I've been for BlackBerry. My wife will think something is wrong with me.

Anybody have some insight on this?


"first it kills the lighting on the display, then the lighting on the keyboard, and then finally the lighting around the trackpad - totally a nice touch." ----

The Bold 9000 does that with its trackball...? So, that's no longer new. Since 2008 or whenever the Bold 9000 was released, at the very least.