Setting up the Bold 9900 is a breeze thanks to a comprehensive selection of setup wizards and integration of online services. So, log into your Facebook, Twitter and Email accounts and you can be ready to go with Contacts, Calendars and Messages all populated by these services. Or you can of course restore your phone from a previous BlackBerry backup using the BlackBerry Desktop Manager software.
As well as catching up with the competition on having this seamless integration of contacts and messaging services, RIM has also fixed some of the silly annoyances that still plagued previous BlackBerrys, including the inability to simply add a new number to an existing contact. Now, no such niggles exist (at least that we found).
Calling quality, though, has taken a small step backwards. Reception is good and clarity through the earpiece and microphone is fine but the loudspeaker isn’t a patch on previous Bolds. It’s still pretty decent compared to most phones but no longer is it a class leader.
Messaging, on the other hand, is still excellently handled. You can jump straight into a single folder containing messages from all your social networks, email accounts, SMS and more or go to individual accounts. Once in a folder, it’s a breeze to navigate between messages. There are sometimes a few menu options too many but you can easily set defaults to bypass these, or just learn to quickly flick through them.
Web browsing has taken a huge leap forward on this latest model thanks largely to the addition of the multi-touch gestures brought about by the superb touchscreen, but there are other improvements too. Performance is very good with pages rendering really fast, while easy-to-manage tabs make navigating multiple pages at once really easy. However, there isn’t any support for full Flash so online games and some embedded videos won’t work.