BlackBerry Bold 9700
Phone Scoop Review
Nov 5, 2009 by Eric M. Zeman
Phone Scoop takes RIM's new Bold 9700 for a spin. Top-notch build quality and a solid software experience make this smartphone a better 'Berry. read review ›
Almost perfect B-bbery, better than 9000
AT&T in greater Olympia area of WA
better is almost every way than the 9000
in my experience
+Screen is amazing. Better res, color brightness, much easier to read text
+size: a little smaller overall with almost same size keyboard. Makes it easier for one-handed operation. Great tactile feel overall to phone
+5.0 OS is amazing! Faster. Multitasking MUCH more stable & smooth. Apps open quicker & stay open
+Threaded text messaging ... FINALLY
+Media support in general has been fantastic
little slow to preview pics though :(
+Signal: radio equip is amazing. Used to have tons of dropped calls and failed calls on 9000. 9700 has been 99.999999% reliable no problems at all switching between 2G/3G or using WiFi. 9000 had terrible WiFi support. 9700 has been flawless. Live in rural area and getting more bars and clearer calls Kudos to RIM
+Great little app runner - Facebook integration works well, google sync behaving quite nicely, google maps nice, vlingo really good, root mobile running in background and doing well and not interfereing. Multitasking is surprisingly good.
+Memory: this has been talked about a lot that RIM dropped the 1GB from the 9700 down to 128MB + mem card. In practice I have more memory available & more apps loaded with more operating simultaneously than the 9000. It's a better phone, period.
+Customization really good
-Camera & video capture still mediocre. I love bberry & wish they would fix this. Fiance has iPhone & both cameras have same MP but iPhone camera ALWAYS looks better. 9700 has flash & it makes people look jaundiced or anemic in every shot. iPhone camera with no flash does way better at night/lowlight than bbery with flash does. FIX THIS RIM!
-slacker app like to glitch on 9700 periodically
+INBETWEENS, MAYBE'S, I WISH-
-smallish but functional keyboard
-Bring back the stereo speakerphone from the 9000!
Pros: Battery Life, Features, Email, Physical Keyboard, Camera, Expandable Memory, Track Pad
I have used an Iphone for the past several years and must say that I am very pleased with this phone. Email is great and very simple to set up. The battery life is one of the best that I have had on a cell phone. Phone is light yet packs a lot of features. Browser could be better, however, it is workable. Really don't have anything negative to say. You will not be disappointed in this phone especially if you have used Blackberry's in the past.
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Best BBerry Yet
I have used MANY phones ovewr the years, this being my third blackberry (7105, BOLD9000,and this) and this is certainly their best effort yet!
I will do this review concisely and for those who are either familiar with Blackberry products OR have read other reviews on here.
I upgraded, on ATT, from the BOLD 9000 I got last Summer (which I LOVED) and this model has it beat in pretty much EVERY way!
The size is NOTICEABLE smaller and MUCH more easily stored in a pocket COMFORTABLY! The battery life is UNREAL! Lasts for days~literally!
The trackPAD DOES take some getting used to but, once used to it, you will find it MUCH better than the trackBALL!
The keys may be a bit smaller but they have a BETTER, more POSITIVE feel to them! The radios are better as, compared to my 9000, it HOLDS 3G successfully longer and stronger in the same places and situations!
Overall, it is a GREAT Blackberry...BEST YET!
They still have SOME work to do, including updating their OS and overall interface a bit but, with time that will come too and their phones will be at the APEX of cellular technology!
If you find yourself even considering this phone, just GET IT! Worst case, if there is something about it you cannot live with, ATT lets you return/exchange for another...
I, for one, can see this being a nice, long-term relationship between me and my 9700!
Very good phone overall, excellent reception, easy to use software, I'm really glad to use a Blackberry now!!
Ok but not great
I got the Bold 9700 because of a promotional upgrade, and since it only ended up costing me $49 I can't complain whole lot. Prior to the 9700 I was using a MotoQ9h, which I've since gone back to.
Pros: Trackpad is nice, although I miss the scroll wheel I had on an older one. That's just me. Sensitivity is good but not great. Media player is nice.
Cons: Volume was not very loud no matter what adjustments were made. I can hear my MotoQ ring during a concert but could barely hear the BB across the room. Keypad a little tight for those of us with large hands (another reason I went back to the Q).
I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to others but it is just not for me.
Best Phone I have ever Owned
-Long Battery Life
-Great Speaker Phone
-Love the trackpad
None really but I had to exchange the phone via warranty because the key C was being delayed. Now the new phone the enter key needs to be pressed hard in order to work correctly. Nothing is perfect but this one comes very close.
I went from a samsung eterntiy on at&t with rarely ever dropped calls, however the bold 2 I got it with t-mobile because I got the phone at a great price with new contract and that was right when unlimited calls was at $59.99. I have had a lot of dropped calls with T-mobile... not happy one bit but hey I am paying a lot less monthly. So no biggie. If you're going to use the phone for business get Verzion or At&t. Too many dropped calls with t-mobile.
Best Blackberry Yet.... and that isn't saying much.
-Excellent Battery Life
-Expandable MicroSD Memory
-UMA Mode (WiFi/VOIP Calling with T-Mobile)
-Good Overall Call Quality
-Trackpad instead of Trackball
-Fast reliable email service that you expect of BlackBerry.
-Decent Music Player.
-Weak Web browser
-Weak App Store
-Truly Terrible Mac OS X Support.
-Contacts can have MAXIMUM of 3 email addresses.
-Third email address must be added on device, not PC.
-Syncing on Mac is Terrible. Simply Terrible.
-3rd Party Software just as bad or worse than Blackberry Desktop Manager.
-Seemingly incompatible with MobileMe Service.
The Blackberry Bold 9700 is my first BlackBerry, and probably my last... What I liked best about it is: first and foremost, it works great as a phone. Calls are crisp and clear, and the battery life is simply amazing.
I soon discovered why... when using UMA mode it would drop calls, & lock up either 2 min or as late as 48 min into a call... I would literally have to pull the battery and reboot the phone to use it again. During the numerous battery pulls, I couldn't help but notice that the battery is HUGE... hence the long life i imagine. Despite this, it's much smaller than the Blackberry Bold 9000.
Syncing data to this device (on a Mac) was a tortuous process filled with generic errors like "Sync Error" or it would double the contacts in address book... which in turn would replicate the duplicate entries into Entourage 2008... Entire Calendars would be duplicated multiple times... The BlackBerry Desktop Manager Version 1.X for Mac is SO BAD... that it shouldn't even be in beta.. much less in production.... unfortunately... it seems to work better than Missing sync or PocketMac.
On a positive note... it seems to work ok with Exchange.
I just would not recommend this phone to a Mac User... or anyone interested in the UMA or WIFI calling mode.
Great Phone, Love it
Absolutely love this phone! I own this phone and i have not had and customer complaints in store about the phone either (as of today).
Runs smoothly (even with several Apps running)
Camera is great (for a phone)
I could go on, but many pros have already been covered
Cons: Got 4.5 because it is a tad bit small for my hands (minor issue, i could have chosen the Bold 9000 if i wanted a bigger sized phone)
Ultimately, I have owned this phone for 2 weeks now and as of today i have not had any issues or problems with it. Like most RIM, the reception is superior in areas where most phone may only have 1 or 2 bars. Battery life on the phone is better compared to other Blackberry models, under heavy usage (downloads, talking, texting) i can normally get 2 days of life before needing to recharge.
If anything negative happens I will post.
10 times better than the 9000
My last phone was the Palm Treo. It drove like bus, but was bullet proof. I switched to the 9000, very beautiful and very different than the Treo. Unfortunately I suffered through 3 Bold 9000 phones (original and replacements). Dropped call after dropped call. Dropped calls in major airports, in the middle of large cities, dropped calls everywhere. Was it the network or was it the phone? It was very difficult to conduct business with the 9000. it appears whenever the 3G network was weak or zero the phone would drop the call rather than switch to GPRS/2G.
However, this isn't a review of the 9000, but a review of the 9700. And I can can you that the 9700 is 10 times better than the 9000. So, At&T isn't as bad as many would say, as I think there are major issues with the 9000 Bold and dropped calls
There are a few 9000 features that I miss. More memory, bigger screen, better size, better music ability (IMHO), however now I have a great phone with the 9700 that lets me get my job done without continually apologizing to clients for the dropped calls.
As for the network vs. phone issue, i would say that RIM needs to either fix or discontinue the 9000 until they get a solution for the 9000 issues. It is my understanding that the 9700 gets 5.x level OS and the 9700 gets 4.x I did all the OtA updates possible with the 9700.
battery lasts 1.5 days
great screen resolution (even thought not as good as the 9000)
track pad takes some time to get use to
"Period" needs a ALT push (weird)
Speaker phone not as good as the Bold 9000
Miss the leather feel of the 9000, the 9700 is a bit too slippery
All in all, I am very happy with 9700 great phone with minimal dropped calls and almost all the features of the 9000
GREAT FEATURES-BUT TOO SMALL
I used the 9700 for a couple weeks and really missed the large size of the 8700. Although the speed, quality, and the features are fantastic, I just could not get used to the size of the phone.
-Bluetooth performance is excellent
-Too small!! not for man's hands at all!
-Playing brickbreaker game requires a magnifying glass
-Despite faster processor, turning on volume in brickbreaker game causes delay and problems-just as it does in 8700; so where is the high speed processor benefit???
-Poor web browser
-128mb internal memory is too small
-9 out of 10 calls will drop while using UMA (T-Mobile offers this feature)
-Trackpad is better than Trackball but still too small under the finger; it needs to occupy larger area like a mouse pad. Track wheel was definitely the best, though not as long lasting
Bottom line: certain items should maintain a certain size. Going below a certain size in a phone makes it counter-productive and very difficult to use. The 9000 size is excellent, I have no idea why some critics complained that it was too small; I guess someone will always complain. This phone size is ridiculous. The technology/expense which went into making it small could have been used for better features.
I am returning it after I found a brand new 8700g on ebay, which is indeed a pleasure to use compare to this phone and even allows me to score 1 million + in brickbreaker due to the old fashioned track wheel with it's tactile feeling...