Announced last month and released by Verizon today, the new BlackBerry Bold 9930 is both a major hardware upgrade to the BlackBerry lineup and a revision to the classic Bold 9000 released in 2008.

But if you have a BlackBerry running the recently-launched OS 6, is the jump to RIM’s latest software offering OS 7 worth the device upgrade?

As we’ve previously reported, OS 7 will only be available on new phones, so it’s one of the Bold 9930’s key selling points. If you’re sporting a Bold 9650 or a BlackBerry Torch, you’re stuck with OS 6.

The major upgrade that OS 7 packs is a high-powered, modernized web browser. OS 6 brought the webkit browser to the BlackBerry platform, which was significant, but the browsing capabilities were still far behind much of RIM’s competition. The upgraded browser includes a new Java engine, liquid graphics (better zooming and panning), HTML5 video, enhanced gesture support and speedier HTML rendering.

Despite RIM’s claims that the entire “BlackBerry experience” has been enhanced with liquid graphics, the OS 7 interface looks extremely similar to what you find on OS 6. The colors and icons look sharper, and general movements are likely to be speedier, but many 3rd party apps still need to be upgraded to take advantage of this. Furthermore, much of the speed improvements and removal of lag should likely be attributed to the Bold 9900/9930’s inclusion of a 1.2 GHz processor.

Aside from some minimal aesthetic improvements and a browser that arguably puts the BlackBerry web experience in contention with some of its rivals, OS 7 will bring you an expanded voice-activated search function and BlackBerry Balance. Balance is a business tool designed to allow enterprise users to divide work and private schedules more easily by connecting to the BlackBerry Administrative Service.

The argument to upgrade to the latest BlackBerry Bold devices solely for OS 7 would be far easier to make if you were moving from OS 5. If you’re making the switch from OS 6, the latest software offering alone might not be enough to justify a new 2-year deal on AT&T or Verizon.


William Shaub is a performance major at Juilliard who balances a life in music with heavy doses of writing and tennis. He loves tech journalism, and spends an enormous amount of time on a smartphone. You...

One reply on “Verizon launches BlackBerry Bold 9930 with OS 7, is it worth the upgrade?”

  1. Though blackberry has had the precedence of the smartphone world for a long time, they still hold their own due to security necessities in the corporate world. I will admit that I have used a blackberry for 9 years running and finally switched to a now beloved iPhone 4 via Verizon Wireless. If I could integrate bbm and a bb style keyboard into iOS, my phone would be bliss. However the apps are sorely undeveloped for RIM which led me to iOS. For instance, I own (hcg diet drops weight loss program) which has a CMS programming base, and iOS application publishers have made it available for the CMS developers to create an outstanding remote application for working with orders via my site. There is no other phone that has the application development so routinely secured as Apple does in my opinion. Anyhow, I still look forward to see if RIM will return to be the Smart Phone king, but for now iOS and Android rule.

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