Measuring 2.45in from corner to corner and with a resolution of only 480 x 360 pixels, the BlackBerry Bold 9790’s LCD display is rather limiting for watching video, playing games or even just browsing the web. The latter in particular can require a rather time-consuming amount of zooming in and out and scrolling around. As such it feels like a marked step backwards compared to the larger high resolution screen of the BlackBerry Bold 9900.
Otherwise the screen is good quality with a good level of brightness, vivid colours, and surprisingly wide viewing angles for an LCD. Touch response is also good, and multitouch is supported for easily scrolling and zooming.
Around the sides of the phone is a good selection of buttons, though not all of them are nice to use. Up top is the screen lock/unlock button, which is incorporated into the plastic curvature of the screen. Due to the phone’s modest size (110 x 60 x 11.4 mm) and the width of the button it’s easy to reach one handed, which surprisingly still isn’t a guarantee on many phones.
On the right edge are two volume buttons, inbetween which sits a play/pause button for stopping and starting music and video playback. Further down is the camera button. All are incredibly thin and quite stiff, so can be a bit difficult to use, though you do somewhat get the knack.
Something you don’t get used to though is the headphone jack being on the left. Unless you have a headset/headphones/earphones with an angled jack plug, the plug/cable sticks out awkwardly, making the phone a pig to fit in a pocket. At least the basic included headset has an angled jack.
Meanwhile on the bottom is a standard microUSB socket for charging the phone and connecting to a computer. Usefully, the charger is a split unit with a nice compact plug – the whole thing is the size of a standard UK plug – incorporating a USB socket into which the supplied USB/microUSB cable plugs. You can also just drag and drop media files onto the phone, rather than having to rely on syncing software like Zune or iTunes.