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BlackBerry Bold 9700 review

Can the new Bold better the excellent original?

As we mentioned above, the calling and contacts part of the BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 is good while leaving a lot to be desired as well. Admittedly it does what's necessary, which is to let you see all of your contacts in one easy list, but we can't help feeling there could be a nicer way to do it.

The list function just looks like reams of names of people you've never met or are ticking off at a door - yes, we know most are laid out like this, but there's something boring about the fact that we can't have pictures next to the names to make things a little more appealing.

Facebook Connect for BlackBerry might help to solve the issue, but (and this is a very, very irritating point we'll come back to) T-Mobile-locked BlackBerrys (such as the one we're trialling today) won't let you download or install applications, even over Wi-Fi, with the phone stating that it needs a data plan every time you try and install something that requires a connection onto the phone.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

However, once looking at the profile, things are a little nicer, with a picture and all the contact's information displayed easily, even down to birthdays and your anniversary with him or her.

Being able to scroll down and select an action is one of the nicer elements of the phone - it means you don't have launch a dedicated application every time you want to send a text.

When you're actually making a call, there are several options on offer. For instance, when actually making the call, you get to see all the pertinent information mentioned earlier in the profile on the call (although we're not sure why you need all that information.)

Of more use are the options within the call – activate the speaker and place it with the back down on a flat surface and the phone will become a very decent speakerphone indeed.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

And the fact the BlackBerry series is designed for the business user comes through even more strongly when you peruse the in-call options. For instance, you can add a caller to the conversation (with the phone opening up the contacts list to do so) and you can transfer it on to another person using the same method.

Another nice touch is the ability to enhance the audio of the call, bringing up the bass or the voice tones if you're struggling to hear either, which actually does make difference when the person you're trying to speak to is in a loud place.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

And we especially like the in call notes – we know it's not a new function, but being able to write a note on a phone conversation and then see that in the contact profile later on is a really useful function, especially if you're using the phone for work.

Call coverage is good on the Bold 2 9700, although we're not so pleased with the 3G connectivity, as it dropped out on us on more than one occasion to default to GPRS.

However, we didn't have any problems with the calls themselves, so the Bold 2 9700 has to have a tick for this category.

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