For many years now, BlackBerry users have been what Id call a rather patient lot. Theyve been used to devices that sport a spec list of have-nots — they didnt have the latest cameras, the thinnest specs or the fastest processors, with a lot of the latest specs making their way to berries much after they become standard fare on the competition. With the Bold 9900 though, RIM seems to have righted the ship, with forward-looking specs and a brand new OS7 platform to boot!
At 130g, it isnt exactly light, but then with a Berry I know it means business and can take the rigour of everyday use. The 10mm slim profile certainly helps when sliding it into a pocket, and it wears the slimmest BlackBerry yet crown well.
The display on the 9900 is excellent — with a 640 x 480-pixel panel, it isnt an iPhone Retina display by any measure, but the 2.8-in touch screen looks downright beautiful, with vivid and crisp reproduction and a touch panel that is accurate and responsive. But no two ways about it, the keyboard is still excellent, probably the best physical keyboard on any smartphone around. Proper sized, tactile, and very usable — just the way BlackBerry users will like it, as will anyone switching over as well.
Its under the hood that the real statements are made — the 9900 packs in a 1.2 GHz processor and 768MB of memory, with 8GB of storage going upto 32GB via microSD cards. It also fits in hardware accelerated graphics, which RIM has dubbed liquid graphics, which allows for smooth 3D graphics support, HD video recording and an overall smoother experience. You certainly cant criticise this unit for not being powerful enough, can you?
This is a device that exudes quality but can it command the price premium? For the average consumer, all things considered, they may just find the same money can get them a lot more smartphone elsewhere.
The 9900 is the first BlackBerry to sport OS7, a platform that takes a lot of visual cues from the PlayBooks user interface. As before, you have numerous app drawers you can swipe through (favourites, recent, downloaded etc), although you can now manage which ones you want to see via the menu. But beyond a few visual tweaks here and there, OS7 doesnt look that different from OS6, and really ought to have been an OS 6.1 or 6.5 rather than bumping it up to a version 7. Dont get me wrong though — with the faster hardware and the under the hood tweaks, the phone is much faster to use, and quite literally flies when you compare it even to a one-generation old Berry.
• Rating: 7/10
• Price: Rs 32,490
• URL: http://bit.ly/pSI0Y7" http://bit.ly/pSI0Y7
Case in point
There are cases for your iPad, and then there is the Utility Series Latch from Otterbox. Designed for constantly on-the-go users, folks who are looking to use the iPad in the field or for entertaining the kids in the car, this accessory offers it all. It comes with elastic straps that wrap around the corners of the iPad. From there on, you can either use the padded hand strap to quickly secure the iPad to one hand, eliminating the likelihood of dropping it while youre in the field. Or you can use the included adjustable elastic strap (with Velcro) that lets you fasten the device to the back of a car seat headrest for worry-free kid-use. Otterbox also packs in a non-waterproof cover for your iPad — it isnt waterproof but it will help protect your device a bit if you encounter bad weather, and will keep the dust and dirt out as well. Theres a lot of thought and detail placed into the making of this accessory, and is something Id strongly recommend if youre on the road a lot.
• Rating: 8/10 •
• Price: $49.95
• URL: http://bit.ly/pIds8V
After launching an Android, BlackBerry, Symbian, and Windows Mobile version of their popular WaveSecure cellphone protection software, McAfee has launched a version for iPhones as well. Not only does it maintain an online back-up of contacts and photos, ready to restore onto another device (in case of theft), it can even let the owner monitor a lost phones location or remotely wipe the phones data. Never let the data on your phone get into the wrong hands, even if the phone does.
• Price: $19.99
• URL: http://bit.ly/oOHFYd