Blackberry Bold 9700 Review


RIM’s newest device is the Blackberry Bold 9700 and like many other reviews out there that says it’s the best Blackberry device so far I would definitely agree. The 9700’s form factor is takes after the Curve design. When held in my hands it feels like my old 8310. And prior to my Bold 9000 the Curve 8310 was my favorite Blackberry. It was small, well-built, and it was a Blackberry.

Compared to the Bold 9000 the 9700 feels much smaller. For me, I was so use to the bigger size of the original Bold that when using the 9700 it felt cramped and difficult to type fast. It took me less than a day to adjust by then I was typing just as fast as I was when using the 9000. People with larger hands they will probably prefer the size of the original Bold.

RIM is getting rid of the their trackball and has replaced it with a trackpad. The pad is very similar to the touchpad found on laptops. It sense the movement of your finger as you drag it across the black square pad. It’s very sensitive on the 9700 and it takes some time to getting use to. Anyone who has been using Blackberry’s with the trackball has experienced it getting stuck which could be annoying and or frustrating at times. With the trackpad there are no moving parts and no reason for your courser to get stuck.

Other upgraded features of the 9700 includes a better camera, 3.2mp camera with auto focus, and an increase in internal memory. The 9700 has 256mb whereas the 9000 has 128. With the all the application on my old Bold I would have less than 20mb of available space at all times. And when I open several apps at the same time I get that dreaded spinning  clock. With the 9700 I have plenty of space for my apps and I haven’t experienced any slowness yet. If there’s one thing that RIM can improve on their products is to add more RAM to their devices. It doesn’t require anymore R&D costs. Just up the damn memory. It’s a no brainer. I think all new Blackberrys should come with at least 1GB of memory. Upping the 9700 to 256 is a welcome upgrade, but I wish they would have made a more significant upgrade.

If you’ve used a Blackberry before then you can rest assure the rest of the device is practically the same. With 5.0 OS there are many GUI enhancement but nothing revolutionary. Email and messaging is rock solid as always. Calling with the phone is clear and crisp, and it’s media features are more than enough to get by.  Web browsing is unfortunately the same. It’s one of the few things that I wish RIM would improve. Phones like the iPhone, Palm Pre, and those Android devices are years ahead in terms of web browsing. I hope RIM has something up it’s sleeve for web browsing otherwise it’ll get left behind in the case of cell phone dominance, and it’ll be a shame if it was because they neglected their web browser.

If you’re thinking upgrading from an old Curve then the answer is simple. Just do it. The 9700 is better in every single way. But if you’re coming from the old Bold, then you might want to consider its smaller size. Also if you constantly have a trackball that get stuck then the 9700 will solve it. Or if you run multiple apps and find yourself running near empty on your memory the 9700 has double the capacity for your apps. Currently AT&T and T-Mobile are the only carriers in the US that has the 9700, so go to your local store and give it a test run and see how you like it. It won’t disappoint.

Rating: ★★★★★★★★½☆

More internal memory
Smaller form factor
Long lasting battery
Comes with 2GB MicroSD

Wish there was more internal memory
Uses MicroUSB, old MiniUSB are now useless

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