Review: BlackBerry Bold 9700

The Short Version: I’ve always preferred functionality over looks in my gear. But the Bold 9700 puts a sleek outer cover on a powerful processor. T-Mobile’s first 3G BlackBerry is manufactured by Research In Motion. Perhaps you were expecting something more a bit more post-worthy?

RIM’s newest release brings us BlackBerry OS v5. It has all of the standard features you’ve come to know and love, email, SMS, IM, web browsing, etc. The Bold takes all of that and serves it too you on a 624MHz processor. i would say the only weak spot is the web browser.

The Bold is 4.29″ x 2.36″ x 0.56″ and weighs in at 4.3 ounces. Size wise, it feels about the same as any other BlackBerry, but it was much lighter than I expected. The back has this interesting faux-leather cover for those of you who want to feel like you really got your money’s worth.DSC00618

The control surface proved a nice improvement. RIM replaced the traditional trackball with an optical trackpad. Personally, I like this interface much better. It feel much smoother and more precise than a ball. The trackpad sits flush with the body of the phone, so it won’t get damaged or worn out nearly as often. The keyboard proved to be easy to type on as well. The keys themselves are a little small, but the sculpted edges prevent you from slipping. Other dedicated buttons include a keypad lock key and a mute key on the top, voice dialing on the left side, and a volume rocker and programmable button on the right (default to opening the camera).DSC00619

The display is something to behold. Not only can you watch streaming video with the new and improved JavaScript and streaming protocol support, but it all looks absolutely beautiful. The quality of pictures and video playback is pretty damn good. The camera itself isn’t too shabby either. 3.2 Megapixels with image stabilization, a 2x digital zoom, and flash. The onboard mic for video recording isn’t the greatest, but that’s to be expected.

In terms of connecting to the outside world, the Bold has not only 3G and Wi-Fi capability, but UMA support. Meaning you can make calls over a wireless network, without using your plan minutes.

T-Mobile hasn’t given us a firm release date. But you can expect it in time for the holidays for $199.99 with a two-year contract.

Technical Specs

  • Memory: 256MB of internal flash memory, with a microSD card slot
  • Battery Life: Talktime – 6 hours     Standby Time – 19 days
  • Display: 480 x 360 color display, TFT LCD
  • Camera: 3.2 MP camera with 2X zoom, flash, and video
  • Optical Trackpad
  • Keyboard: Full QWERTY keyboard, backlit
  • Bluetooth: v2.1
  • Headset Jack: 3.5mm stereo headset
  • Media Player Supported Audio: 3GP, MP3, WMA9/WMA9 Pro/WMA 10, MIDI, AMR-NB, AAC/AAC+/eAAC+
  • Supported Video: DivX 4, DivX 5/6 partially supported, XviD partially supported, H.263, H.264, WMV3, MPEG4, Sorenson Spark and On2 VP6 (Flash support)
  • Wi-Fi: 802.11 b/g (w/ UMA support)
  • GPS: photo geotagging capability
  • BlackBerry OS: v5.0