BlackBerry 9720 was launched in India in September 2013 and it is the first device launched by the company this year which does not run on BB 10 OS. The device runs on BlackBerry 7.1 OS and according to rumors company won’t be launching any other BlackBerry 7 device. So should your buy this device? Is it worth your money? Read on to find out.
Display & Design
BlackBerry 9720 looks similar to BlackBerry Q5 except for the hardware buttons which are present just below the display in 9720. The device measures 114 x 66 x 12 mm and weighs just 120 grams. It features a 2.8 touch screen display along with qwerty keyboard. The 2.8-inch IPS LCD display has 360×480 pixels resolution and 214ppi pixel density. The touch is responsive and display has good viewing angles. Though due to smaller screen size it won’t be a good choice for the people who primarily use the smartphone to consume multimedia content.
Below the display you have 4 physical keys (contacts, menu, return and power off) and a centrally placed optical scrolling key. It is a touch and type device so along with 2.8 inch touch screen display you also get a full 35 key backlit qwerty keyboard. They keys are well spaced out and provide a good tactile feedback. 9720 qwerty keyboard is quite easy and convenient to use.
Above the display you have an earpiece, sensor and notification LED. BlackBerry 9720 lacks front facing camera.
At the top of the phone you have a 3.5 mm audio jack and a power/lock button.
On the right side you have the volume rocker with a mute key placed between them and a convenience camera key. The convenience key can be configured to launch any other app if you don’t want to use it as a camera key. We really like the convenience key concept which were missing from the BB 10 OS devices.
Moving to the back of the device, BlackBerry 9720 comes with a removable plastic back panel which has a rubberized texture with a silver BlackBerry logo in the center. You will also find a 5 megapixel camera along with LED flash at the back.
Overall, BlackBerry 9720 has a decent build quality. The two things which which we really liked about the device is the backlit keyboard and two convenience keys. As far as build quality or design is considered we do not have any complaints with the device.
Hardware & Performance
BlackBerry 9720 is powered by a 806MHz Tavor MG1 processor along with 512MB of RAM and 512MB of internal storage. Users can expand the storage by using a microSD card of upto 32GB storage. BlackBerry 7.1 OS does not require high specs to run smoothly so the device performs well in normal tasks but when we talk about multi tasking it could have been better if there was more RAM.
There isn’t any benchmarking apps available for BlackBerry devices so in order to measure the performance we played few games on the device and all of them were running quite smoothly. There isn’t any high end games available for BlackBerry 7.1 OS which might have shown the real capabilities of the device. You might notice minor lag if you open 4-5 apps but we didn’t face any kind of lag while navigating through the interface or while using any other app.
Talking about the software, BlackBerry 9720 runs on BB 7 OS (version 7.1) which is just like the software you might have seen in the old BlackBerry bold or curve series devices. The interface has a home screen. a notification pane and an app drawer. Users also have a status bar which offers quick toggles for various settings.
Just like BB 10 OS it also has a lock screen with camera shortcut icon. Just like old BB devices one of the annoying things about the device is that you need a BlackBerry Service plan to access BBM, email and even apps like twitter and facebook. Though users can use certain tricks to make the twitter and facebook work without service plan but it is still a problem for most of the users.
The BB 7 OS is bit old as compare to other mobile platforms now available in the market and one of the major disadvantage of using this OS is the lack of apps. BlackBerry world lacks most of the famous apps and games available for other platforms. Though number of apps on the Blackberry world has nearly doubled but most of the new apps are made for BB 10 OS and they are not compatible with BB 7 OS.
BlackBerry 9720 comes with a 5 megapixel back camera with LED flash. The camera offers various modes such as auto, close up, night etc.
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BlackBerry 9720 comes with a 1,450 mAh battery which has a rated talktime of around 7 hours on 2G. With moderate usage the battery lasted for an entire day. During the day we made 45 minutes of phone calls, played music and games on the device, 3G network was on for the entire day and our emails and other social accounts were on sync mode. The device has a good battery life due to the face that it has a small 2.8 inch screen which will consume less battery as compare to large screen devices.
BlackBerry 9720 is available in India for Rs 14,500 (Best buy price) which makes it a mid range smartphone. The phone has good design and battery life but at the same time it comes with an outdated OS and lack some of the most famous apps. The device is good only for users who are looking for a qwerty smartphone with touch screen. But if you are just looking for a qwerty smartphone you can check out other Blackberry devices such as 9320 or 9220 which are available for comparatively cheaper price.
- Backlit Qwerty Keypad
- Battery Life
- Outdated OS & lack of apps
- No Front facing camera