BlackBerry Bold 9900 / 9930 hands-on!

We’re here in Orlando at RIM’s BlackBerry World developer event and have scored some more hands-on time with the recently announced BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930… and we’re pretty impressed with what we see so far. The Bold 9900 felt light in the hand, but definitely had a premium feel thanks to its thin form factor and metal accents around the body — it’s also the thinnest BlackBerry to date. The new BlackBerry 7 operating system was very snappy and we didn’t experience any lag when bouncing around the new OS, likely thanks to the 1.2GHz processor under its hood. The keyboard reminds us a lot of the original BlackBerry Bold 9000, and the form factor is more akin to that phone than the handset it is replacing, the 9700. The industrial design of the phone is solid, but we do wish RIM would venture away from a form factor that’s feeling pretty stale. We’ll need to spend more time with BlackBerry 7, but superficially it looks nearly identical to BlackBerry 6 — which could be a positive or negative depending on your viewpoint. We’re excited to see what RIM does with the built-in NFC technology, and the faster processor should definitely open the flood gates to more robust applications in the future. We’ve assembled a gallery of photos for your scrutiny. Have a look and let us know what you think of RIM’s latest creation.

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