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BlackBerry Bold 9700 review

Can the new Bold better the excellent original?

You may not already know this, but the BlackBerry series is actually pretty good for messaging, what with this new-fangled email and all that these days.

We'll deal with that first – and ye gads, it's blindingly simple to set up as usual, with just the (ask the guy from IT) elements necessary for you to start receiving push email.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

And it's even easier if you want to get involved with some consumer email as T-Mobile wants you to do – it's as easy as entering your email address and password on the popular (Gmail, Yahoo and Hotmail) accounts, with a plug in giving you direct access to your mailbox.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

Interacting with your email is a nice experience as well, from the well laid out (if aging) inbox to the sheer number of keyboard shortcuts making navigating around messaging even easier.

However, if you're like us and get around a million (non-useful) emails a day, you don't want the hassle of having to delete them all at once (as it appears you can only mark blocks of messages for deletion, rather than the relevant ones) and therefore you'll need to mark them as unopened.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

This is one of the very few times on this phone that you'll be experiencing any kind of slow down, as the Bold 2 9700 struggles to keep up.

Text messaging is a similar experience to the e-mailing – it just works because the phone is designed to be a communications device.

Threaded conversations are a boon, the keyboard shortcuts are there again (although not as many, as email obviously offers a richer messaging experience) and you can even send an IM or Facebook message to that person too (well, you could if Facebook Connect was allowed on our phone).

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

However, and this is likely to be a big bone of contention – we're not sure that we're fans of the new slimmer keyboard. We'll lay our cards on the table: we're not BlackBerry addicts and although we dabble fairly heavily with RIM's devices, we've never dedicated countless train journeys to learning the intricacies of typing on one.

And while we really appreciated the wide open spaces of the original Bold, bringing us a high degree of accuracy, the Bold 2 9700 isn't as easy to become as accurate on in our opinion.

Yes, the keys are raised in a lovely fashion, making them easier to find under the touch – but like most BlackBerrys, we find ourselves cursing it under our breath.

However, speaking to BlackBerry addicts, they weren't so pessimistic; proclaiming that the new design of keys was easier to use than most other RIM devices, but still preferring the older Bold's keys instead.

And of course, out the box BlackBerry Messenger is included as well, so you can type the PIN of your favourite people into the device and away you go.

It's simple to use and much like most other IM clients – except with a tighter integration into the ecosystem.

And the nice thing is it doesn't seem to suck the life out of the battery either, with the client running in the background and updating fairly regularly, yet not losing juice too easily.

We like messaging on the BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 – but then again if we didn't, there would be a big problem at RIM's design centre we think.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service ProviderVodafone
Input MethodQWERTY
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory256 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
SAR Value1.36 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Product FamilyBold
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3.2 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand Namevodafone
Battery Talk Time6 Hour
Product Model9700
Screen Size6.2 cm (2.4")
Screen Resolution480 x 360
Weight (Approximate)122 g
Maximum Video Resolution480 x 352
Bluetooth StandardBluetooth 2.1
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 5.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
USB StandardUSB 2.0
Height109 mm
Width60 mm
Depth14.1 mm
Battery Standby Time456 Hour
ManufacturerVodafone Group
Product NameBlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone
Processor Speed624 MHz
Product LineBold
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part Number67752
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.vodafone.com
Marketing Information

Rule your world, BlackBerry style. The trackpad on the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is the natural way to flip between applications and select items. The 3G connection will get your downloads double quick. Plus there's room for all your music, documents, photos and more. Glide through menus with the touch sensitive trackpad. Together with the QWERTY keyboard, it brings BlackBerry's legendary email to life. The Bold also comes with Twitter and Facebook - your social network deserves nothing less. Like to travel light? Pack all your Word documents, PDFs, music, photos and more onto the BlackBerry Bold. Need extra space? Just pop in a microSD card to ramp up the storage. The Bold even looks the part - and feels great to use.

Package Contents
  • BlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone
  • Battery
  • Charger