BlackBerry Bold 9790 review

The Bold 9790 is the latest BlackBerry to run RIM’s new BlackBerry 7 OS, but does this budget offering for business users cut too many corners to compete? Julian Prokaza finds out.

The Bold 9790's keyboard looks much like that on the Bold 9900, but it isn't as wide and so not quite so quick to type on although it is actually a little wider than the on-screen keyboard of the iPhone.

BlackBerry Bold 9790

Although the Bold 9790 responds smartly to multi-touch gestures and feels generally snappy in use (no doubt helped by the 768MB RAM), its 1GHz Marvel processor isn't quite as capable as the 1.2GHz Qualcomm chip in the Bold 9900. This is most apparent in the SunSpider JavaScript benchmark, where the 9790's score of 5478ms is almost three seconds slower than the 9900's.

The rest of the Bold 9790's specification is essentially the same as the 9900's, right down to the NFC chip and 5-megapixel camera with LED flash.

Images captured with the latter are markedly better than on the 9900 though, thanks to the inclusion of continuous autofocus. Despite having the same capacity battery, battery life is a little better than on the Bold 9900 too and the 970 lasted for almost 27 and a half hours when playing MP3s on a loop with flight mode enabled.

We covered the new features of BlackBerry OS 7 in our Bold 9900 review, so we won't repeat them here, but the Bold 9790 does make them available for considerably less. The unlocked, contract-free device is available for 330 inc VAT, which is 125 less than the Bold 9900.


The Bold 9790’s lower price makes it a more tempting proposition than the 9900 for BlackBerry owners looking to upgrade to BlackBerry OS 7, but as with that other device, it otherwise offers little to attract defectors from other platforms.

Operating system: BlackBerry 7 OS

Processor: Marvel Tavor MG1 (1GHz)

Storage: 768MB RAM; 8GB user plus microSDHC slot

Screen: 2.45” (480 x 360) capacitive multi-touch

Connectivity: 802.11 b/g/n, Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP & EDR, microUSB 3.5mm headphone socket

Other: AGPS, NFC

Bands: GSM 850/900/1800/1900Mhz, HSDPA 800/850/1900/2100MHz

Camera: 5MP rear with autofocus and LED flash

Battery: 1230mAh (up to 5.3 hours talk time, 18 days standby)

Size: 110 x 60 x 11.4mm

Weight: 107g