Review: BlackBerry Bold 9700
The 9700 is a classy device. It's light-weight, small, and very comfortable to hold. The fit, finish and materials are of the best quality, and the faux leather back cover gives it a slightly grippy feel in the hand. It will slip into a pocket no problem. In fact, it's so tiny you can practically put it in the tightest pocket and it should fit. It makes some sacrifices, though.
One complaint voiced about the original Bold was its ginormous size. With that size, however, came a generous display and nicely spaced QWERTY keyboard. Both are smaller on the 9700, and I find the reduced screen real estate particularly egregious in the day of 4.3-inch touch screens from RIM's competitors. But, it is nice to have such a small footprint with the 9700.
AD article continues below...
The front has a full QWERTY keyboard. The keys have a sculpted shape that makes them very easy to tell apart, and the four silver frets that separate the rows of keys aid in helping your thumbs determine exactly where they are on the keyboard. Travel and feedback of the keys is absolutely perfect. The 9700 clearly demonstrates that keyboards are one of RIM's fortes. I'd only ask RIM to change one thing. In order to type a "period", users have to press the ALT key first. The "dollar" sign ($) has its own key. Really? Periods are pretty important, and RIM's double-tap-the-spacebar trick isn't very helpful when entering URLs because it adds a space after the period. The "$" key should be the "." key, period.
All the nav controls are above the keyboard. The send/end keys, BlackBerry key and Back key are all generously sized and very easy to find and use. Travel and feedback of these keys is perfect.
RIM has ditched the trackball navigation in favor of an optical mouse. Typically, I find optical mice on phones to be wonky and annoying to use. RIM's optical mouse gets it right. As long as users spend the time to adjust the sensitivity to something that works for them, it's a great way to interact with the menus and content on the 9700's screen. It was very responsive, accurate, and works really well as a pointer within the browser.
The 3.5mm headphone jack, microUSB port, and user-definable application keys are all on the left side of the 9700. The application key has three little nubs that stick out and make the key a cinch to find with your thumb. It has very good travel and feedback.
The volume toggle and camera keys are on the right side of the 9700. They have raised surfaces as well, and are equally easy to find and use. I thought the camera key, which is a two-stage button for autofocus, was very mushy. It was difficult to tell exactly where to stop to focus the camera.
The lock/unlock and silence keys are on the top surface of the phone. Since they are built into the surface of the phone itself, you basically just press down on the corner of the 9700 to activate either of them. Travel and feedback is pretty good.
In order to get at the microSD slot, the battery cover needs to be removed. The cover itself fits snugly.
My only real complaint about the 9700's hardware is that it is nearly identical to the BlackBerry 8900, Tour and several other models. At a glance, it is very hard to tell which is which. Bottom line, the 9700 is classy, but lacks personality. There are worse detriments to have.
Review: BlackBerry DTEK50
The DTEK50 runs BlackBerry's apps and services on Google's operating system and Alcatel's hardware. It's a curious collaboration of sorts that adds up to a better 'Berry.
Review: Sony Xperia Z5 Compact
Sony is offering its Xperia Z5 Compact to US buyers online. This unlocked Android smartphone works with both AT&T and T-Mobile.
Google Releases First Preview of Android P with Improved Notifications and Notch Support
Mar 7, 2018
Google today made the first preview of Android P available to developers. The revised version of Android adds a number of user-facing features as well as tools for app writers.
Microsoft Pushes Windows 10 Mobile Preview Build 10572
Oct 20, 2015
Microsoft today made a new technical preview of Windows 10 Mobile available to fast ring members of the Windows Insider program. As with the previous build, interested testers will need to downgrade to Windows Phone 8.1 before installing build 10572.
Honor 10 Boasts Aurora Glass, a Notch, an AI Camera, and Ultrasonic Fingerprint Reader
May 15, 2018
Honor, Huawei's budget brand, today announced the Honor 10 at an event in London. The phone serves as an affordable option to the P20 Pro and offers similar features.