Review: BlackBerry Bold 9700
The 9700's screen boasts 480 x 360 pixels, which makes it gorgeous to look at. The problem is it is limited to just 2.44 inches across the diagonal. That just doesn't do it for me. Not any more. Not on a smartphone. The original Bold had a 2.6-inch display. It may seem like a small size reduction, but it's really noticeable. But, it is bright, and pictures, video and web content look fantastic on it. As for outdoor view-ability, it rates OK.
The 9700 was a signal champ. We have only the T-Mobile version of the 9700, but man did it know how to hold onto T-Mobile's network. I never had any problems making phone calls or dialing in data (except during the T-Mobile service black out). Browsing was much, much faster over 3G when compared to EDGE. EDGE performance was definitely on the slow side. I didn't miss any calls, and never had any calls drop due to signal performance. In testing the 9700's UMA capability, it seamlessly handed phone calls between cellular and Wi-Fi networks.
Phone calls sounded very good. There was some occasional noise and static, but nothing too obnoxious. Earpiece volume was excellent, as was the speakerphone. Both provide ample volume to conduct calls. The ringers can be set to ear-shattering volumes, and the vibrate alert is strong. Between the ringers and vibrate alert, the only way you're going to miss calls is if you're standing next to a jackhammer.
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RIM has perfected its 3G battery performance with the 9700. With extensive testing, I was able to get a full day's use with the Wi-Fi and Bluetooth radios on, and there was still plenty of charge (45%) left to get me through the next morning. My guess is the average business user will be able to get through 1.5 days with no problem. Consumers who make fewer voice calls may reach two days of battery life. Going away for the weekend? Bring the charger just in case.
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