If there's one thing BlackBerrys can be relied upon for it's good messaging services, and so it is here. Setup can be a bind but once done you get a fast and reliable email service. You can either view all your email accounts in one folder, along with your social network messages (and messages from any other app that you let have access) or you can view them separately. Text messages are kept in a separate folder.
As mentioned, we found the typing experience generally quite good – bar those slightly awkward edge buttons – though as died in the wool touchscreen users now, our typing pace was half what we can achieve on an iPhone or Android. We do, though, like how you can simply start typing when on the homescreen and the phone will start searching for what you type.
The signature BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) service is of course on hand and it's as useful and fun as ever. Whether you're organising a meeting, a footy match or a riot, it's still among the best ways to keep in touch with a whole group of people or individuals at once, with notifications letting you know when messages have been received and read. The ability to add a contact by simply scanning their barcode is also a real boon.
Contacts can also be populated by logging into your Facebook and email accounts, as well as being input by hand or copied from your SIM. However, pictures aren't automatically pulled in and there's no integration of messages, updates or online pictures in the contact's profile.
Go into a contact on many Androids or a Windows Phone and you'll find all sorts or real time updates and extra bits of info. It's not always massively useful but it's a nice to have that is missing here.
If all you want to do is call you buddies, though, then the 9790 will do you proud. Not only is it quick and easy to find a contact by simply starting to type either their name or number when on the homescreen but call quality is also good. The earpiece is loud, as is the loudspeaker, although recipients of your calls will have to pick out your voice from the background noise, as there is no active noise cancellation.