The new BlackBerry Bold 9700 has just hit Rogers last month, just in-time for the holidays. The most anticipated BlackBerry device to come out which has all the best features from the BlackBerry 8520, BlackBerry 8900, and BlackBerry 9000 crammed into one device and we’ve been very lucky to receive one of these devices to review for you smartphone fanatics. So let’s get started…
Pricing & Specs
The Rogers BlackBerry Bold 9700 will run you for about $249.99 on a 3 year term (dropped from the original $299.99 on the release date) or $599.99 without a contract. The 9700 features a fairly well sized 2.4 inch LCD screen at a resolution of 480×360 and has an amazing 3.2 megapixel camera and LED flash. All that plus 3G HSPA bands and the new optical trackpad from the 8520 curve, making this device the most elegant and best BlackBerry device out to date. Not to mention the size, 109 x 60 x 13.6 mm, almost the exact same as the BlackBerry 8900 Curve. You can expect up to 6 hours of talk-time. I’ve managed to squeeze in a full day of use. from 6am to 2am, much better then the 9000 Bold.
The 9700 has a very professional look to it with the leather battery cover while making the phone small and compact for daily users to use. It also has the chrome bezel which looks similar to the 8900 and 9000, but is tinted a bit darker. You’ll also notice that the keys on the side of the phone are now ruberized to blend in with the phone. Similar to the 8520, and the micro-usb port has been moved back to the top left corner where it originally should have been versus the 8900 where it was at the bottom right hand corner. The qwerty keyboard is similar to the 9000, but a bit smaller which might bother some users. One thing I disliked about the new 9700 is the numbers on the keypad are now white instead of red where it originally was with the 9000 and 8900.
Call Quality & Signal Strength
The 9700 signal strength is beyond my expectations. The fact that it has 3G in such a small and compact form size just makes me smile. Not only that, but I believe that the 3G boosts the quality as well as the signal strength of the phone comparing it to the 8900 and 8520. What I found very weird was that the BlackBerry website stated that the 9700 has UMA support, but Rogers for some reason does not support it. Call quality is expected, superb like many BlackBerry devices. I haven’t had a single call dropped yet and I doubt I ever will with this phone. Speakerphone was not the best. Coming from a BlackBerry 9000 user, you’ll notice that it’s a bit quieter and now only has one speaker where as the 9000 had two. It’s not a big loss considering how much your gaining.
With the new 5.0 operating system firmware loaded onto the new BlackBerry 9700’s. It finally supports threaded text messaging. If not your too sure what it is, it’s your conversation between you and the other person in one message instead of it being scattered upon the phone. A great feature that RIM has implemented. BlackBerry Messenger comes standard with the phone as well as the option to download many IM clients including AIM, Windows Live Messenger, G-Talk, Yahoo, and so on. As always, emailing on a BlackBerry device is one of the best and RIM hasn’t changed too much to that. It’s still your basic setup and RIM stores your emails on their servers as usual.
(Photo Samples Above)
There is no doubt that BlackBerry’s are a business phone, but it’s great to have a good camera once a while to snap that moment you want to remember. With the new BlackBerry 9700, the 3.2 megapixel camera with LED flash can do so, a much improvement from the BlackBerry 9000’s camera. I found however the LED flash not being as strong and a xenon flash would have been much better. Pictures show up very vivid and bright during the daytime, at night however, the LED flash doesn’t seem to come in handy. Video camera was decent for a phone but nothing to stunning. The microphone is located at the bottom so when recording, you must remember not to cover it with your hand.
The BlackBerry 9700 is no doubt one of the best smartphones around right now. It might be a little pricey at the moment but the build quality and all the features included will make the phone last. Not to mention the 3G support, everyone needs that. I can say that RIM has finally stepped up their game and for those who can’t decide between the 9000 and the 8900. This is one of the most elegant BlackBerry’s I’ve seen from the design to the features to even weight of the phone and I will definitely be purchasing one to add to my collection.
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