My BlackBerry Bold 9700 Review

Posted on 26. Jan, 2010 by in Product Reviews

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 has been out on various carriers around the globe for awhile now, with nothing but high praises and taunting by 9700 owners that they have the best BlackBerry on the market.  From screen quality, to keyboard, and to the supposed never ending battery life Bold 9700 owners claim it does it all and then some.  I was able to get my hands on a T-Mobile BlackBerry Bold 9700 to try out for a few weeks.  Read on for my review of the Bold 9700 to find out if the claims are true.

Look/Feel-  The size of the 9700 is similar to the BlackBerry 8900, measuring in at 4.3″ x 2.4″ x 0.55″ (109 mm x 60 mm x 14.1 mm).  It fits nicely in my hand and weighs practically nothing at 4.3 oz (122 grams).  Even though the 9700 is smaller and weighs almost nothing it still feels like a solid device.  The back of the device is part “fake” leather which allows for a nice grip on the phone while typing, and you don’t have to worry about scratching the back when setting it down on your desk.  The bottom line is this phone looks amazing, RIM’s design team did a great job on this new look for devices.

Keyboard-  In my mind RIM has always put out some of the best physical keyboards on any smartphone (with the exception of maybe the 85xx series).  Before using this device I was confident it would take RIM awhile to beat the keyboard I have on my daily BlackBerry, the Tour.  Shortly after I started using the 9700 I still felt the same way, but the more I used it the more I fell in love with the keyboard.  The keys are just the right size and the spacing between keys is just right.

Trackpad- Ah yes, the trackpad.  This was something I was really excited to start using and seeing how it would perform compared to the trackball which had been standard for the last few years.  The trackpad has a little bit of a learning curve in the fact that you can’t feel what you are doing, as you could on the trackball.  After I got the hang of the trackpad going back to a trackball just didn’t feel right.  The best way to explain a trackpad is that it is similar to a touchscreen feel. Trackpad FTW!

Screen- The screen on the 9700 is a VGA 480 x 360 color display and is crystal clear.  Colors showed up clear and video played back just the same.  Not much else to say here, don’t want to get real fancy with it.  The screen is the best on any BlackBerry I have used.

Battery-  The main boasting point by 9700 is.. the battery.  The 9700 uses a 1500 mAhr removable/rechargeable lithium cell battery.  My first day of use with the 9700, off of the initial charge, I barely made it 7 hours.  Granted, I was sitting in an airport on my way to CES and had 2 hours straight on it easy.  Right away, I started questioning the claims of an outstanding battery.  Then day 2 came about and since then the battery has lived up to the claims.  On my Tour I get about 9 hours of use before having to change to one of 2 spare batteries I carry.  With the 9700 being used as my primary device, I am able to get roughly 30 hours of use out of it.  This is with WiFi on even when I am not connected and using T-Mobile’s 3G network.

Overall-  The BlackBerry 9700 lives up to the hype, plain and simple.  The snappiness (yes I said snappiness), screen res, battery life, keyboard, 3G, WiFi, 3.2MP auto-focus camera all combined make this one tough BlackBerry to beat.  The biggest negative I can think of is the fact that CDMA carriers do not currently have a model that is anywhere near close to the 9700.  While T-Mobile and AT&T customers are able to pick up a 9700 for a fair price.  This was my first experience with OS 5.0 and I do love the changes, but there are still some issues I have with it that I will hold to myself for a different time. If you are looking for a new or first BlackBerry and haven’t been able to decide what one to go with, give the BlackBerry 9700 a serious look.  With most carriers offering at least a 14-day trial period what do you have to lose?  In summary, the BlackBerry 9700 rocks! That is all.

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