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Phones.com » Cell Phones » Review of the Blackberry Bold 9700

The BlackBerry Bold was an awe-inspiring device, and frankly its a tough show to follow. The Bold 9700, essentially the new and improved version, has certainly proved up to the challenge. There are significant enhancements in the new Bold, both in hardware and design.

Look, Design, Feel (/10)

Always classy, with the slight hint of snobbery which makes it so desirable, the Bold 9700 continues the tradition of powerful-looking devices. The shape is no departure from the classic BlackBerry phones, and the casing is also the same. There is a lot of silver detailing on the phone, making a rather bold design statement. However, the effect is very pleasing overall. 

The front has the screen, with a small indicator light in the top right hand corner. The keyboard takes up most of the other space, and is designed keeping optimal typing efficiency firmly in mind. The keys are plastic with a distinct waxy coating that improves the grip significantly. 

The left edge has the headphone jack, so that the headset can be plugged in even when the phone is in its case. Under that there is the user-customizable key and the exposed microUSB port. The right edge has the dedicated camera key and the volume adjustment switch. The bottom has only the microphone, while the top has two hard buttons. These buttons are so hard to see, as they sit flush against the top. The one on the left is the lock key while the other is a standby key. 

The phone feels solid in the hand and carries definite heft, while stopping shy of being classified as heavy. 

Features (/10)

BlackBerry phones are essentially business phones with the portrait QWERTY keyboards, so it isn't surprising when this is considered a major feature. The keyboard, as mentioned before, is a dream for easy typing. Considerably smaller than the previous Bold, the keyboard has shrunk a little in size but the keys themselves seem to have gained more definition. They are certainly more distinguishable from each other making emailing a breeze. 

The latest addition to the phone which is of considerable note is the optical track pad. Possibly a salute to the touchscreen phones that abound (including the BlackBerry Storm), the optical track pad sits flush against the body of the phone, seemingly innocuous. It is deceptive though as the pad is quite a bit more powerful that its predecessor. It supports swipe gestures and manages a significantly faster navigation of the phone in general. 

There is a 3.2 megapixel camera, complete with an LED flash. Again, this is step up from the previous Bold which only had a 2 megapixel camera. While the BlackBerry isn't meant to snap art-quality pictures, 3.2 megapixels are lower than average in the phone market. 

The screen is high-resolution with 480x360 pixels supporting HVGA. 

Connectivity (/10)

The BlackBerry has every conceivable connectivity option, including GPS, GPRS, EDGE, 3G, and Bluetooth. The T-Mobile version of the device also supports WiFi calling; an option that will reduce spending on call minutes a great deal.

Performance (/10)

The 256 MB built-in application memory is definitely improved as it as doubled in size from the first Bold. Application loading and transitions are visibly faster as a result. The processor is quite a bit stronger as well, so the overall operation of the phone is much snappier than before.

Value for Money (/10)

The phone accomplishes what it sets out to do admirably, so it is definitely value for money. The only changes that would have made a positive difference are that the screen is quite small and that the camera could have potentially been better.

Pros

+ Excellent design, continues the classic trend of the previous Bold

+ Keypad has improved, with texture to add to the ease of typing

+ Optical track pad has replaced the trackball, and now supports swipe gestures

+ 256 mb RAM, and faster processor

+ Screen resolution is excellent

Cons

- Improved camera, with 3.2 megapixels - but still on the low side comparitively

- Screen is quite small

Price

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Rating

Style: 8.2
164
Technology: 8.5
169
Efficiency: 8.1
162

Total votes: 467 | Hits: 14236

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