A closer look at the BlackBerry Bold 9790

BlackBerry Bold 9790
By Bla1ze on 26 Oct 2011 05:03 am EDT

Previously, we got to see the BlackBerry Bold 9790 caught up in some blurry cam. Now though, we're getting a much better look at the device and those buttons that most folks seem to not really like. For fans of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 / 9780, you'll be pleased to know the BlackBerry Bold 9790 retains its 5MP camera with autofocus and we're told the device just generally feels lighter then previous iterations. You can catch some more shots past the break. Plus, if you were annoyed by where the charging port was on the 9700 / 9780 -- take a look at where it is on the 9790. ;)

Thanks, @moha87_

BlackBerry Bold 9790
BlackBerry Bold 9790

Reader comments

A closer look at the BlackBerry Bold 9790


looks a bit on the "curve" side .. which to me is not a good thing for a "bold" .. God bless my 9900!

I think I'll stick with my Bold 9930. But, for those who like the look and feel of the previous generation this will be perfect. (Although those buttons might be a hit or miss for some. )

Am I wrong or 9790 looks a bit bigger than 9780? And the keyboard looks bigger and wider too. Overall, I like it. Sleek and stylish. Would buy it as a second device to accompany my Bold 9900. :)

Specs are already out... same as the 9900/9930 except for the smaller screen and auto focus 5MP camera from the 9780.


The buttons either side of the track pad are awful.

How they they design a phone as good looking as the 9900 and then design this?

x2. Those buttons are ugly. I didn't like them on the Torch, and I don't like them here...

I really hope this is not their new styling direction.

I said this before, and I'll say it again. I really like the way this device is shaping up. To me, the new buttons don't detract from the look of the device. It adds a sleek complexity that compliments that hybrid device. This is a device that is merging a few concepts from several different phones and making one very solid BlackBerry. I'm highly anticipating this model.

BB 7.

Not like there is anything else it could be since both BBX and 7.1 are still in the works.

I wonder if it will get a autofocus cam...

I love my 9900, but the cam drives me crazy.

Had a 8900 before that and the 3Mpx. Cam was MUCH(!!!!) better!
Don't laugh about me, but I think thats a important thing...

I really dislike those new styled Buttons, they where integrated so nice in current designs such as my 9900.

Although the Charge Port wasn't bother me, it's not bad they've located it on the bottom now, I'm wondering if this replaces the "Induction Docks" cause that would be a bummer while an USB port wouldn't slide in a dock the way they do now =).

The photo of the Bold 9790 is with an Arabic keyboard, seems Middle East may get this device soon!

Although, i will give it a pass since i am happy with my Bold 9900 and waiting for BBX phone!

It's not that the buttons are ugly, or that the charging port on another location is unhandy or anything...In fact I kind of like that....it's just that it's a completely different model than the previous 97XX series.

I went from a 9700 to 9780 and had hoped that the 9790 would be the exact same shape, so I would be able to use my old Otterbox and other accessories again on an upgraded version of my current BB...

Naw...now I think I'll just stick to what I have now. No need to replace yet (at all). And if I really have to switch to a newer BB, it'll probably be the 99XX. In that case I'll have to buy a new Otterbox and stuff anyway...


The original battery of the 9780 is 1500 mAh, which is more than the 1200 mAh of the 9900. I really dont understand the downsize of the battery in the new Blackberry models. Totaly stupid.

The 9900 is the thinnest BlackBerry phone ever made. Giving it a larger-capacity battery would have increased the size of the battery.
We can't have it all.

For those who dislike the new buttons, there might actually be ergonomic reasons for adding them to the narrower premium devices, whereas the wider devices and the cheaper models keep the single bar.

The lack of width either side of the trackpad could make it less reliable to select the bb and back buttons rather than the dial ones, if this is the case then you do have to wonder why they didn't stick with a similar design to the 9780's buttons instead though.

Yeah or they are cheaper to make than the flat buttons on the 9900. They look like the keypad keys on a cheap old curve. Probably cost the same too. Don't kid yourself about the keys being easier to find, people are using touch screens remember?

Am I the only one wondering why RIM bothered making this device? I mean it's either get the 9900/9930 or the older Bold devices.
The charging port makes sense on future Blackberrys as with the advent of BBM Music, some may want to dock their phones on a player.

ugly buttons? nope, capacitive buttons are though!!!!

I think on a smaller device like this, I think the buttons of the 9790 would better.

The keyboard definitely looks bigger and seems to wrap almost around the edges. I wonder if that will cause problems later?

anyways, the back looks crappier than the 9780 and the 9700 before that.

Buttons this, buttons that YAAAAAWWWN. Im baffled as to why the camera is staying the same with no upgrade (Still a good camera though MUCH better than 9900) the only thing that will stop me getting this phone is if they downgrade the battery to the 9900 one. If that was the case id rather stick with my 9700/9780 as ive done for the last 2 years. I like to check out the new BlackBerrys when they come out (Torch/Bold Touch 9900) but have always came back to my 9700/9780. Guess i need that battery life more than most other things. Must say i do miss the touch screen but can live without it. So heres hoping this has the same reliable battery & i will definitely get this.

Exactly! I really dont understand why RIM removed the perfect battery from the 9780 and put the crappy one from the 9900!!!

I think it's because of the slimmer design of the 9900!
They also needed a slimmer battery.

And I think the 9790 will get the same battery because the can buy a higher number of that type so they might get better prices?

Thats a problem o RIM, not mine. I want phones with a solid battery as I always have got from RIM before.

The battery for 9000 and 9700 is the same! But 9700 is far more better in battery life than 9000 am I right? Its all because of the smaller screen and smaller keyboard(less power for backlighting the keyboard) so I think... 9790 will have the bless of 9780/9700 battery life.

Ps:sry for bad english

Its because of the better and newer HW components. The 9790 will get a 1200 mAh battery, which is the same as the one in 9900. And this battery is horrible.

I thought the 9900 battery was horrible at first. So horrible, I almost marched my phone back to the store on day one, but as I got used to it I realized it's no worse than many other phones with fast processors such as the 9900 has.

Give it a chance.......you might grow to like it. (Maybe not LOVE it, but atleast like it.)

It needs to be said again and again. The buttons are ugly. It's not a look that will grow on people it just looks plain gross.

ugly button! pls RIM, i think my Bold 9780 is better. if u want to launch a new model, pls be CREATIVE! look at torch and torch 2? what a different? just memory and os? oh mannn..

I wonder if at&t will carrie both Bolds. After going to a 9930 from a 9650. I rally enjoy the biger size of the 9930. I just wonder why BB makes both. I know some people rather have a smaller Bold over the 9900 but I would think most people will apdotp to one style bold. I live and breath on BlackBerry but I think they make to many phones models.

Love my 9780. Love the new 9790. But. The buttons just might make me not get it. Looks are everything!

The phone looks alright minus those ugly buttons like wtf!! Ill just get me a white 9900 when it releases but to have the bold have those buttons.. Like on the torch 9850/60 it don't look all bad but to put it on a device like the bold its just plain hideous

Definately not a fan of those buttons... I've already decided to pick up a white 9900 and sell my black one. If the price is right I'd get a 9790, but otherwise my old 9780 with the keyboard stutter is good enough to keep around for a backup. But for those buttons, the price needs to be very right...

Considering the new buttons...

I think they wanted to avoid the thing that happend to the Iphone...

The Iphone4 looks like the Iphone4S and everybody was like: "Uhhhhh! Same design"

And all in all the new design looks not that bad!

Ew. I have a 9700 and I think the 9700 and the 9780 look at lot better, keeping up with the grandmaster of all, the 9000. This one has no "cool" and acceptable battery door (i.e. the leather or carbon), the small button make the phone cheap hailing to buttons of the curves.

I can't believe how many people have been bashing RIM over the recent outages and yesterday's terrible news of the Playbook OS 2 delayed until February and now everyone seems to be excited over this crappy device? I don't get it. I was a fanboy but now enough is enough! I'm done pouring money into this company. It doesn't make sense to get this device when a BBX device is just around the corner...

I've got to agree, & hate to "beat a dead horse" here but those buttons make it look cheap. It looks like one of those knock-off Blackberries we've seen posted here, you know the ones with dual sims & a TV antenna. I mean I love the style of my 9700, the the lines, the buttons, everything,so I guess it's either going for the 9900 (whenever AT&T finally decides to release it) or wait until something else comes out because if that's the final design, I've gotta pass.

WTF does it mean with the stupid buttons? Thats a design of the phones in the the 90s! RIM, are you going crazy?

Why is RIM wasting time with another Bold in the same form factor, same specs, only difference being the camera?? Put your efforts into the new OS or devices. How can we keep faith if you're wasting time and projects on repetitve devices?? I think it's safe to say we're all happy at the moment with our Bold 9900's. In 2 years when our contract is up we want to be on some blazing fast quad-core BBX devices and I NEED a physical keyboard not the full touchscreen [crap]. Work on that, thanks, much appreciated.

Love the way you put that 90s throw back phone next to a 'modded' / crappy looking 9780!! If you put the standard one there that 9790 POS would just look even uglier.

Good luck with the QNX / BBX / BMfkingX rubbish - here's a prediction, they're going to disappoint.

Up yours RIM (and i own a 9900!).

On the bright side, it will probably boost sales of the 9900. Everybody who was waiting for the "Belagio" will now go out and buy the 9900/9930.

This may actually de-throne the Style as ugliest device yet. At least with the Style you could close it so it wasn't as bad...whereas these buttons are in your face. (and I can seriously see them popping out after a few months of use).

Whoever approved this design needs to be relieved of their duties. Get some designers in who can actually make a smooth design without the spring-loaded monstrosities that you call buttons.

Once again, thank God that the 9900 came out before the genius behind these new buttons saw it.


If this is cheaper than the 9930 off contract (assuming it comes to Sprint, which it probably won't...), then I might pick one of these up.

the keyboard looks bigger. i like. and i love the 50/60 buttons. looks like it's gonna be a fun phone. can't wait!

I actually think it's quite cool. At least you can see a lot of subtle differences in the phone's design, and it's not just a quick refresh like they did with the 9780.

The good:
The new battery door goes all the way up around the camera and looks more sleek and modern. The keyboard seems a little wider (although i think like 2mm in total is going to be barely noticeable)
The camera has not been downgraded to EDOF (thank god! I don't care about HD video!)
The bottom of the phone is now more like the 9900/9000 with the bezel sticking right to the edge.
The charging port, although that never annoyed me really on the 9700 is at the bottom, which would make the device more easily usable while charging.

The bad:
The buttons look, well, not that great but i think i could get used to them.
The top of the screen area is now looking cheap, more like a curve 8520 (it's hard to see in these pictures but rather than smoothly sliding off the top, the screen has a sort of border around it)

Altogether though i wish RIM would just concentrate all their resources into less phones done better. We don't need two (or three if u include CDMA as different) types of bold, confusingly different types of torch, 3 curves etc. We just want 3 maybe max 4 phones done brilliantly, launched on time. We dont want to hear about delays to the operating system, announcements for products with a 6 month wait before release. RIM is loosing this battle at the moment and they need to consolidate their efforts. The 9900 is a good first step to getting some decent devices out the door, but they can't just sit on that for 6 months, they need to keep it up and get busy being proactive rather than reactive. There, rant done.

Stop sweating the battery in the 9900/9930.
look up new trent mobile chargers!
mine is great, it charges my playbook and my phone with power to spare.

Both phones have arabic alt characters on each button. These phones are not for western markets or any other market. They have more as likely been created in some backshop for us all to get hard-ons over

Those buttons....are ugly. Why they couldn't keep the original design?
I november my contract is up....I wanted the 9790, but now....I DON'T THINK SO