It’s been quite some time since the Blackberry Bold 9700 was released. It is even fancier than its predecessor, the Blackberry Bold 9000. With a few changes to suit the times better, the Bold 9700 certainly has better features.
With business class looks (like all phones from RIM), the Blackberry Bold 9700 has the version 5.0 operating system that will simply kick your socks off. Considering buying the Bold 9700? Switch from your old phone to this piece of beauty.
Let’s take a closer look:
Blackberry Bold 9700 Review: Form Factor
There is not much difference in its looks. They retained the design form with full QWERTY keyboard and landscape display. With Micro USB port and a 3.5 mm handsfree, along with Silent and Lock keys placed on the top, it is your standard Blackberry, and you can find the Zoom or Volume buttons on the side. It also has a camera shutter but that button is hardly used. With an optical trackpad, the 9700 is really bolder (and better) than the 9000.
They also upped the display resolution: from 480 X 320 px to 480 X 360. Ok so that’s not a lot, but it surely is visually comfortable and crystal clear, even though the size of the display is cut back by 2.44″.
I found the keypad of 9000 more comfortable. If you have been using Bold 9000, it might take a couple of days for you to get used to the new keypad. The numbers in this phone are not highlighted, which makes the 9700 look a bit plain. But hey, on the plus side, it is smaller and lighter than its elder brother.
The problem with smaller size is that the screen is smaller, and so is the keyboard. But the difference is not much. The looks and usability of 9700 are higher than those of 9000.
It has better and sporty looks. With a chrome finish and leather casing, 9700 will get a higher score in the good looks department (if you like leather embedded in plastic, that is). If they took my suggestion, I would suggest the leather casing to be used for the complete rear and not just the center of the back cover. It looks a bit awkward, and instead of improving the looks, it just makes the phone look odd from the backside.
Anyway, the phone is certainly sleek and looks totally professional and classy – just like other Blackberries.
Performance & Other Features
I never faced any speed issues with any Blackberry, but this one is just so fast that you’ll wonder if they are running a super computer in it. No lags, no delays – the device runs smoothly and doesn’t freeze. It uses a 624 MHz processor, which is the same one as in 9000. They raised the flash memory to 256 MB but the internal memory is just 256 MB as well, which is a bummer since the 9000 came with 1 GB internal memory. But cheer up – they also give a 2 GB microSD card along with other phone goodies. What are the other goodies? A smart leather case and a handsfree kit. Since there isn’t a lot of change in the user interface and speed, there is not much to talk about in that domain.
Since we all know that Bold 9000 was the one that brought a new range of media rich and oh-so-totally-cool Blackberries, we can expect the same from 9700. And it has lived up to expectations; in fact, it has taken stuff up another notch. Things are pretty much the same in the audio department, with clear and brilliant tone quality that gives an easy and comfortable listening experience. The bass line has an important thump and Audio Boost and EQ preset options enhance the audio experience. But sadly, RIM doesn’t think that its users need an FM radio. Sure, its microphone has a great range of options for recording voice memos, but FM radio addition would have been great.
It has a 3.2 MP camera that allows auto-focus flash image stabilization, and comes with 2X digital zoom. So the next time you see a squirrel on a nearby tree, you can zoom into the scene and take a pic. And since the display is better than what used to be on 9000, you’ll get a better view of your images.
There have been some additions to the video codec support to make the videos clearer and better. Partial Xvid and Divx supports make sure that drag & drop of video files (of almost all formats) gives smooth playback. In fact, videos that didn’t play on 9000 play easily on 9700.
GPS & MESSAGING
It comes with built in GPS features. If you buy the T-Mobile version of 9700, you’ll get the TeleNav app; while with AT&T, you’ll get the AT&T Navigator. These services will cost you extra though. With the GPS radio, you can connect to your friends while going on a trip.
Like all other Blackberries, 9700 is a champ when it comes to messaging. It supports 10 business or personal email accounts, and it is totally easy to set them up. There are many instant messaging apps including Yahoo Messenger, AIM, Google Talk, Windows Live Messenger, and ICQ. Apart from these pre-installed messengers, you can also download and install third party messaging apps. You can visit the Blackberry store to get some cool instant messengers.
Like the other recent Blackberries, the Bold 9700 supports To Go document editing suite. But you only get the standard edition, which won’t let you make new documents. If you want to create a new document, you have to upgrade it to the premium edition by paying $70.
Blackberry Bold 9700 Specs Sheet
|Size||480×360 px, 2.44 inch|
|Card slot||micro SD with 2GB included – can go up to 16 GB|
|WLAN||UMA, Wi-Fi 802.11|
|Display||TFT, 65K colors|
|USB||micro USB v2.0|
|OS||OS v 5.0, can be upgraded to v 6.0|
|Camera||3.15 MP, 2048 x 1536 px, LED Flash, autofocus|
|Messaging||SMS, MMS, IM, Email|
|Talk time||Up to 6 h|
|Battery||Li-Ion battery 1500 mAh|
|Stand-by||Capable of 408h|
Our Conclusion on The Blackberry Bold 9700
My thoughts on it? The Bold 9700 certainly contains the spirit of RIM, and is a BIG player in the smart phone market. It is the ultimate productivity and communication tool. It is easy to use, and you can manage it with just one hand, so texting or calling is easy while you are walking or shopping.
This phone is secure, reliable, and fast, and is made for people who have stuff to do, places to go, and people to meet.
If you are planning to buy a Blackberry and don’t want to spend too much, this is the right model for you. It offers what anyone expects from a Blackberry – looks, easy typing, and most of all – business class feel. If you want to stay connected while being on the move, the Bold 9700 is the ideal choice for you. With sleek looks and a couple of free goodies, this phone here will steal most hearts.
The cheapest place we found for an unlocked version of the Blackberry Bold 9700 is Amazon.
Click here to order one now at 50% OFF (international version, with warranty). Alternatively you may get one from your phone carrier.