BlackBerry Bold evolution: Comparing the 9900 / 9930 to previous BlackBerry Bolds

By Kevin Michaluk on 5 Aug 2011 02:33 am EDT

Ok BlackBerry Bold 9900 chasers, here's a video you'll definitely want to watch. At the BlackBerry 7 Fan Night, with help from RIM's Jeff Gadway and CrackBerry member the brother manning the camera (thx again for the help!), we lined up four generations of GSM BlackBerry Bolds and walked through the evolution of the device line. We compare the keyboard of the original Bold 9000 to the Bold 9900 (did you know the 9900's keyboard is actually 6% bigger than the 9000s?!) and take a look at a lot of other stuff. And for the record, again, the 9900's keyboard is pure awesome.

Lining up the Bolds this way, it's sort of funny to see just how back to the Bold's roots the 9900 truly is. The 9700 and 9780 (and Tour 9630/Bold 9650 for that matter) were more akin to the Curve 8900 than to the Bold 9000.  The 9900 / 9930 look and feel much more like true successor to the 9000. The 9900 really is super thin, and the front facing keyboard + touchscreen combo really go well together. Be sure to check out the video above. It's a fun one!

Reader comments

BlackBerry Bold evolution: Comparing the 9900 / 9930 to previous BlackBerry Bolds


I can't believe it's not butter!

But on a serious note: I can't believe RIM didn't give him on a while ago. It's the least they could do for a guy that came up with this site.

err... that's actually a shot of miss crackberry! don't tell her though.. she'd be pissed if she knew that got posted to the blogs :)

i always recommend a wallpaper of your significant other. it's the modern day version of having a photo frame on your desk.  keeps the love strong!

Yeah and the batter specs are less than that of the 9780. I am curious/concerned about it's battery life, too.

I had the same question, I really want to switch to blackberry once I saw these phones -- There exactly what I need in a [smart]phone. The thing that made me want a Blackberry is their reported great battery life :)

i asked a few times... RIM seems pretty confident that all these new devices wil get through the day without issues. not two day phones, but should be solid for a full day. i hope!

i can not wait for the 9930 much longer and its starting to look i might not have to. i dropped my evo for a curve 8530. i absolutely love the efficiency and keyboard feel of this phone so if the key press feels even better on the 9930 along with the obvious horsepower increase and high end materials, i will be in heaven.

Out of curiosity, any chance you sat through the reboot cycle? And if so, about how much time did it take (or at least versus the OS6 boot time)?

i didn't do a head to head test. but from the partial reboot cycles i saw, it seemed to be not really different.  maybe the same? maybe a bit faster? maybe a bit slower?  will need to test on two completely clean devices....

I miss the keyboard on my bold 9000 a lot. Interested to see how the new one feels. Can't see myself switching back from Android any time soon though.

Amen to that,,,

SGS II... (Still having my Bold 9000..)


I'm so looking forward to this phone. It seems like it is going to have exactly everything I want in a phone. It's like they built it for me personally...

Man I can't wait for it to come out. It's the phone of my dreams. I will be as BOLD to say that i will hold on to this one well into the QNX generation

LOL! had a great time meeting CrackBerry Kevin in the flesh on Wed. Actually, heard his voice while I was 'in line' to get in and we chatted before heading inside. great guy, very knowledgable (DUH!) and as die hard a fan as the rest of us...cept the crazy droid-ifonies that seem to love the colours of this site since they constantly post here...but I digress.

Anyways, as a visitor to this site (50-60 times daily???!) you can imagine how thrilled I was at the prospect of being invited (#winning) the contest and then connecting with the ultimate blog and its creator. Just wanted to publicly thank Kevin, and congratulate all the other winners and people I was able to connect with via BBM! What an awesome community!

Thanks again!

I'm loving the 9900 but the thinness isn't the main attraction.

There is a point where thinness just cuts into how comfortable it is to hold. I'm hoping from what's been said that its all good.

Many might disagree with me but the iphone 4 took a step back with how thin it became. It became an awkward phone to hold.

I agree, there does seem to be too much eagerness for ever thinner devices which unless they were so thin that they gave you additional options such as folding them up like a piece of paper then it is just another pointless race.

This bold seems to have the balance pretty right, it is think enough to be competitive with all the others without sacrificing the comfort of holding it or the battery life.

There is an article somewhere online where they booted the Torch 1 vs Torch 2, to see which loaded faster, even with the original processor OS 6 actually booted faster than OS7 on the Torch 2, although the difference wasn't really that impressionable, hopefully the better specs will alleviate the need to do frequent reboots, although I'm sure the memory leak will still exist.

Kevin, have you had a chance to Bridge the new 9900 (or any of the new os7 phones) with the Playbook?

I heard the battery life is more like the 9700 than anything else .. so it should be pretty good :)
it does look badass

It will for sure, bank o n it :) , why ? because of the new processor speed upgrade and ram. 1.2 ghz plus 768 ram vs 9780 624 mhz and 512 ram

u will be very interested in the browser showdown Kevin did with the RIM product guy ---- Torch 9800 (os6) vs Torch 9810 (BB7). pretty epic stuff.


There have been some posts on this forum about the os7 devices doing very well for speed an accuracy of rendering, so it should be fine.

The backlight on the 9900 looked kinda blue. Is it going to be customizable? If so, wouldn't it be cool if apps like BeBuzz could take advantage of that and flash the backlight(s)?

may have a blue-ish tinge on camera but it is definitely a cool white and matches the colour from the all new, all white buttons! didnt test the LED flash but imma sume it resembles that of the Torch 9800 and the Style 9670.

two concerns...

1. no word about batterlife so far and I'm worried it will not be as good as before :(

2. NFC antenna in the backdoor of the battery means there will be no replacement-superbatteries like from Seidio possible I guess :(

They'll be available, I'm sure.

One will just have to decide if they're willing to lose NFC in favor of longer battery life.

Either that, or you may have to pay extra for a replacement NFC door.

All the aggravation and thoughts of going to iPhone4/5 and Android have vanished after seeing this video of the 9000 vs 9900.
The 9900 is so perfect that it makes iPhones and Androids a joke.
It's got everything. A real keyboard that's the right size, fast, touch screen as well, and great resolution.

I'm not a fanboy of RIM, I'm an engineer that appreciates well designed stuff.

This phone will be the best phone on the market. period.

Kevin, Did you get anything, even a nudge,wink wink about Verizon release? I can't wait to get back in black. I am ready to get back to a phone and away from a gadget.
Made an incredible mistake once.

I'm sure the software is far from final though, and will require multiple battery pulls. Every BlackBerry I've ever had at least had 2 battery pulls a day, and my bluetooth fuctionality quit working. I will never purchase another handset from RIM due to buyer's remorse. Their BlackBerries left a sour taste in my mouth.

What an odd comment this is. No Blackberry that either my wife or I have ever owned (currently have the Storm2) has required 2 battery pulls a day. MAYBE one battery pull every few weeks, at the most. I wonder what unofficial operating systems or incompatible third party applications people put on their phones that cause them to act this way.