BlackBerry Bold 9700 review

Can the new Bold better the excellent original?

The definitive BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 review
The definitive BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 review

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The BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 is certainly a very good device, building on everything we've come to expect from the Canadian firm.

It's a little bit squished from the older device, but we don't think that's too much of an issue given the well designed chassis.

We liked

We liked a lot of things on the BlackBerry Bold 2 9700 and that's not just because the phone is a high end BlackBerry.

The solid build quality cradles a battery with unrivalled lasting ability within the RIM range, and the camera and video recorder functions are exactly what they need to be.

Video looks gorgeous on the smaller (but more high res screen) and while it's not going to replace a dedicated PMP it will alleviate boredom on those delayed train journeys.

We disliked

The main problem with Bold 2 9700 is that it still feels like the BlackBerrys of old, and that's something we're starting to feel badly needs updating.

The OS is functional enough, and that's nice, but in the accelerating smartphone market we don't want to see RIM suddenly start falling away.

The internet browser is a perfect case in point for this, with there being no support for elements like flash video or multiple windows – a separate browser will need to be downloaded post haste.

We're also not fans of the boring menu layout system either; surely this is primed for a pep up?


While many will probably disagree with us, we're not sold on the more cramped keyboard that makes the new Bold 2 9700 look a lot like a hundred other BlackBerry designs out there today.

However, we do like the sleek chassis it comes in, and the trackpad is a clear upgrade from the trackball, so kudos to RIM for that.

The sheer speed of the Bold 2 9700 is to be commended, as it's clearly a big effort from RIM to get that up to speed, and although App World isn't working for us yet thanks (probably) to the T-Mobile, we're sure once that's up and running the Bold 2 9700 will be a very compelling business phone indeed.

Like the HD2, whether it's something the consumer will want/need, we don't know – it depends on the importance of easy to sync web mail we guess, as well as a stylish device to boot.

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Gareth Beavis
Formerly Global Editor in Chief

Gareth has been part of the consumer technology world in a career spanning three decades. He started life as a staff writer on the fledgling TechRadar, and has grown with the site (primarily as phones, tablets and wearables editor) until becoming Global Editor in Chief in 2018. Gareth has written over 4,000 articles for TechRadar, has contributed expert insight to a number of other publications, chaired panels on zeitgeist technologies, presented at the Gadget Show Live as well as representing the brand on TV and radio for multiple channels including Sky, BBC, ITV and Al-Jazeera. Passionate about fitness, he can bore anyone rigid about stress management, sleep tracking, heart rate variance as well as bemoaning something about the latest iPhone, Galaxy or OLED TV.