Hands-on with the BlackBerry Bold 9900 4G on T-Mobile [Video]
Research In Motion is in the middle of rolling out a wave of new BlackBerry smartphones that make use of touchscreen technology.
Across AT&T, Sprint and Verizon, there are new models of the familiar BlackBerry Bold, Curve and Torch lines. Each of the new phones run RIM's BlackBerry OS 7 operating system, which makes great use of new touchscreens on the devices.
Among the new releases is the BlackBerry Bold 9900, T-Mobile's first 4G BlackBerry, which goes on sale Wednesday. I've been using the new Bold 9900 for the last 2 weeks and it is possibly the nicest BlackBerry I've had my hands on.
The Bold 9900 is light, thin and fast with T-Mobile's 4G network (which they've been building out in the Los Angeles area). Normally, I prefer a full touchscreen to a physical keyboard, but the Bold 9900's keyboard is wide and easy to type on. Sitting above that keyboard is a handset's 2.8-inch touchscreen which works well with BlackBerry OS 7.
But as much as there is to like about the BlackBerry Bold 9900, there are a few things that I believe many consumers won't be as excited about -- namely price and operating system. The Bold 9900 sells for $299.99 after a $50-rebate on a two-year data plan.
There is a 3G version of the new Bold, the Bold 9930 running on Sprint and Verizon selling for $249.99 with a two-year contract, but even that price seems a bit high when compared with the $199.99 (and sometimes lower) starting prices of other top-end smartphones like the Apple iPhone, the Nexus S, the HTC Incredible and many other competitors.
And as nice as BlackBerry OS 7 is, there still aren't a lot of choices for apps in the BlackBerry App World store and the operating system is said to be left behind with new BlackBerry phones running RIM's QNX software that should arrive in stores either late this year or early next year.
Check out the video below to see more of the new BlackBerry Bold 9900 and to hear my full take.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Photo: The BlackBerry Bold 9900 smartphone, available on T-Mobile. Credit: Armand Emamdjomeh/Los Angeles Times