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BlackBerry Bold 9700 review

Can the new Bold better the excellent original?

Our Verdict

A great phone that once again leads the BlackBerry pack. Almost certain to be a bigger hit than the first Bold, and that's saying something

Product features

  • Built-in Memory : 256 MB
  • Rear Camera Resolution : 3.2 Megapixel
  • Battery Talk Time : 6 Hour
  • Screen Resolution : 480 x 360

View full specification

For

  • Speedy interface
  • Smooth controls
  • Stylish chassis

Against

  • Slow internet browser
  • Dating OS
  • Slightly cramped keyboard

The BlackBerry Browser surely cannot be long for this world – you can almost hear it creaking when you fire it up on the BlackBerry Bold 2 9700.

Well, perhaps that's a little harsh, but it's certainly not the most intuitive browser on the market, with constant hanging on websites, both on Wi-Fi and 3G connection (which we'd have hoped wouldn't be the case).

Evidence of this can be found in the fact RIM has recently purchased Torch Mobile, developers of Webkit (similar used in the iPhone and Android platforms) browsers, which means the company clearly knows it needs to up the game here.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

If you're using Javascript, it causes websites to hang and look at their fingernails before looking up at you and saying 'oh, did you want to look at something here?'

And given the fact it happens more often than not, you can see why it's an irritation having to use the web browser on the BlackBerry Bold 2 9700.

Of course, you can install other browsers, but these can't be set as default, so we're not sure what else to do.

There are some nice touches in the browser, like the way you can set it to mimic Firefox when accessing certain pages. But other problems, like zooming in and out of pages, still exist, as shown by the fact you can click to zoom in, but have to press the alt key and click to zoom out.

We can see why RIM has used these keyboard shortcuts, but in today's pinch/zoom/twist/punch browser interaction society, this is starting to look a little dated.

Admittedly there are few options available for non-touchscreen phones, but we would have liked to see some better use of the trackpad and perhaps some improved smart-fit text resizing technology while we're at is as well.

BlackBerry bold 2 9700

The speed of the browser when working correctly isn't too bad, and we like the keyboard shortcuts on offer, but they're not really enough when some websites don't let you in for ages.

Perhaps we're being too harsh on a phone range that's never really been geared for internet browsing thanks to a prior lack of 3G. But given that we're marking phones down for not being able to play flash, it's not really acceptable for a phone to struggle with Javascript.

Tech Specs

Product TypeSmartphone
Network BandQuad Band
Service ProviderVodafone
Input MethodQWERTY
BluetoothYes
Wireless LANYes
USBYes
Maximum Memory Card Size Supported16 GB
Built-in Memory256 MB
Built-in FlashYes
Memory Card SlotYes
Cellular Data Connectivity TechnologyGPRS, EDGE, HSDPA
SAR Value1.36 W/kg
GPS ReceiverYes
Product FamilyBold
Cellular Generation3.5G
Cellular Network SupportedGSM 850, GSM 900, GSM 1800, GSM 1900, WCDMA 900, WCDMA 1700, WCDMA 2100
Rear Camera Resolution3.2 Megapixel
Memory Card SupportedmicroSD
Phone StyleBar
ColourBlack
Operating SystemBlackBerry
Brand Namevodafone
Battery Talk Time6 Hour
Product Model9700
Screen Size6.2 cm (2.4")
Screen Resolution480 x 360
Weight (Approximate)122 g
Maximum Video Resolution480 x 352
Operating System VersionBlackBerry OS 5.0
Messaging TypeSMS (Short Message Service), MMS (Multi-media Messaging Service), Email, Instant Messaging
RealtoneYes
Call FeaturesCall Log, Call Forwarding, Call Divert
Height109 mm
Width60 mm
Depth14.1 mm
ManufacturerVodafone Group
Product NameBlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone
Processor Speed624 MHz
Product LineBold
Screen TypeLCD
Manufacturer Part Number67752
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.vodafone.com
Marketing Information

Rule your world, BlackBerry style. The trackpad on the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is the natural way to flip between applications and select items. The 3G connection will get your downloads double quick. Plus there's room for all your music, documents, photos and more. Glide through menus with the touch sensitive trackpad. Together with the QWERTY keyboard, it brings BlackBerry's legendary email to life. The Bold also comes with Twitter and Facebook - your social network deserves nothing less. Like to travel light? Pack all your Word documents, PDFs, music, photos and more onto the BlackBerry Bold. Need extra space? Just pop in a microSD card to ramp up the storage. The Bold even looks the part - and feels great to use.

Package Contents
  • BlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone
  • Battery
  • Charger