The BlackBerry 9790 runs the BlackBerry OS 7 interface, which is a strange mixture of good and bad. On the one hand it’s a great improvement over previous BlackBerrys with much slicker, smoother menu transitions, snappy response and plenty of new features. However, on the other hand, there are still a number of strangely fussy menus and it’s lacking in some key areas.
Take the main homescreen; in many ways it’s brilliantly laid out. It efficiently shows apps, notifications, time, date, battery, signal strength and network, and provides quick access to search and sound profiles.
However, those apps rather annoyingly don’t have text underneath them and the icons are so small it can sometimes be a struggle to remember which one’s which. The notifications, also, require you to return to the homepage to call them up.
On Android and iOS you not only get a small message pop up when you receive a message but you can also drag down from the top of the screen (no matter what you’re doing) to see all your notifications. On this phone you do get the customary flashing red LED that tells you there’s a message/notification awaiting your attention but it’s not the same as being able to see the notification itself, and the light is a feature copied on many Androids nowadays anyway.
You also can’t add widgets to the homescreen, though frankly we’ve always been fairly non-fussed about most widgets so their absence is of debatable consequence.
Visually, many apps and interface elements are still a little clunky with lots of long lists and confirmation boxes, but not only that – they’re inefficient as well. Take the Facebook app, for instance. Go to someone’s profile and it keeps nearly half the screen filled with the navigation tabs, leaving only a tiny letter box through which to view the content on their wall. It’s a similar story for the otherwise very useful social network app.
Speed isn’t a problem, though, with the slick new stylings of Blackberry OS 7 working well in conjunction with the 1GHz Marvel Tavor MG1 processor. Menus glide and flow smoothly while apps open quickly. It’s not quite as quick as dual-core handsets but it’s definitely nippier than most 1GHz single core Android phones.
The same is true when it comes to gaming. Graphics look good and are rendered smoothly, making for an easy, enjoyable time.