The BlackBerry Bold 9790 acts like the baby brother to the 9900. It is a slimmer, lighter version of the aluminium-wrapped flagship BlackBerry handset. And while it was just announced just yesterday, Pocket-lint has already managed to get its hands on one of the new BlackBerry 7-powered 9790 phones.
The first thing you notice about the 9790 is how similar it feels to the other new BlackBerry announcement; the all-touch Curve 9380. Both have a similar silver plastic wraparound that sits on the back of the handset and both sport that strange built-in lock button that sits on the top.
We definitely like the design approach that BlackBerry has taken here with the 9790, the only issue really is that it is so light, it doesn't quite carry the same satisfying weight as the 9900. Admittedly, this may be a plus point for some, and with the phone being just 110 x 60 x 11.4mm in size, it is most definitely pocketable.
Sitting above the 9790's full QWERTY keyboard - which, we might add, is up to BlackBerry's usual high standards - is a 2.45-inch touchscreen featuring a 480 x 360 resolution. With a 246ppi pixel density, it might not be the sharpest thing on the planet, but it sure does have good viewing angles. Colours were also nice and rich and the phone responded well to our touch.
On the back of the 9790 is a 5-megapixel camera with flash and continuous autofocus. It worked well enough from the quick few shots we ran through it, but we're reluctant to give a proper verdict without more time for testing. Inside is 8GB of storage to fill with photos and music and a 1GHz processor to keep the handset ticking over, which it appeared to do quite nicely from our play. Apps loaded up speedily and BlackBerry 7 OS did a good job of handling media and loading web pages.
A slight niggle we had with the 9790 was the decision to stick a headphone jack on the side, rather than the top or bottom. We personally don't think it allows the phone to sit well in your pocket when listening to music and sacrifices a lot of the small size due to the end of the headphone that will be sticking out.
The trackpad and operation keys all work nicely and help contribute to the handset's overall premium feel, as do the dedicated convenience key and volume up and down clicker. It would have been nice to see them sat on either side of the phone to avoid confusion, but then again you can't have everything.
All in all, a nice entry from BlackBerry, albeit slightly overshadowed by the 9900, which is just that little bit more tasty in the design department. Those in the market for a BlackBerry, but not quite up for paying out for the premium handset, couldn't go wrong with the 9790.
What do you think of the 9790? Let us know in the comments below...