BlackBerry Bold 9700 review

Can the new Bold better the excellent original?

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As you may have guessed, the Bold 2 9700 is continuing with RIM's new plan to make its BlackBerry range less of a 'work only, serious face' device and more of a 'wow, isn't my outside life fun too, I want to share that with my BlackBerry!'

Clues to that effect are the converged media sector on the new 2 9700 (whereas before Music was a separate and aloof function) and the 3.5mm headphone jack, which makes listening to things on the go so much easier.


The music player on the BlackBerry range has always been slightly ahead of the curve, meaning that whatever has been necessary to make listening to MP3s on your phone palatable has been used.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

There's no great secret feature to the music player on the BlackBerry 2 9700, but all the functions you'd hope for are there: shuffle, repeat, playlists and categorising by album/artist etc.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

There's also the menu option to stream the songs out to a Bluetooth headset – we used stereo A2DP Jabra Halo headphones and not only was connection faultless, there appeared to be little sound depreciation as well.

Couple that with a nice-looking album art displaying interface, and it's perfectly feasible the MP3 player on the 2 9700 could replace an MP3 player, providing you use a big enough microSD card.

And beyond the simple MP3, there's also support for WMA and AAC+ t00, so you won't be hamstrung by that many incompatible file types.


In the same vein as music, the video player on the Bold 2 9700 does just what it needs to without being fancy.

Whether you can watch that many videos on a 2.4-inch screen, we don't know, but we do know that the shrunken proportions and increased resolution make video look sumptuous on this phone.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

We tried watching a full length movie on the phone, but not only were we conscious the whole time of people wondering why we were staring a BlackBerry so intently for such a long period of time, but the screen sometimes lost details of the film simply down to its size.

In terms of compatibility, we're seeing DivX/WMV/XviD/3gp codecs all supported, although XviD only 'partially' for some reason. Perhaps it will only play the first half of any video or something.

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As we mentioned before, RIM has ramped up the processor on this phone and that's never as obvious as when looking through media files.

Despite having a fairly full 8GB microSD card on board, the Bold 2 9700 showed only the merest hint of slowdown before powering through its tasks – thumbnails for photos displayed in milliseconds rather than having to wait an age.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

Scrolling through and opening them for editing was also simple as well – it's something we keep coming back to but the simplicity of this BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 is what makes it so compelling at times.

Other nice features in the media section include a voice recorder with apparently no limit on how much sound can be recorded in one sitting, and voice notes so you don't have to write down that important plotline you just thought of for that novel you're never going to write.


Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service ProviderVodafone
Input MethodQWERTY
Wireless LANYes
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
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 Address
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