The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is the latest update to the Bold series and it’s all the specs you would expect from a Bold device, slightly upgraded and in a smaller form factor. Like many of the devices we have been seeing from RIM lately, it is a hybrid device, combining the power of the Bold with the design of a Curve 8900.
The Bold 9700 from T-Mobile ships with OS 18.104.22.1680, which is a welcomed update to the device. What is less positive about the launch is that the device doesn’t ship with the latest version of BlackBerry Messenger. The T-Mobile Bold 9700 ships with BlackBerry Messenger version 4.7.0 rather than 5.0 (this is based on the device I’m holding in my hand). Ideally, T-Mobile and RIM would have at least had a warning message of some sort that tells users where they can get the latest version of BBM.
Another preload on the T-Mobile Bold 9700 is the T-Mobile web browser called web2go. This preload really adds no value to the device and is likely related to some deal that T-Mobile signed independently of RIM. It’s a sub-par browser that isn’t even integrated into the native BlackBerry mail client. It would be great if T-Mobile stopped preloading these things and cluttering our homepage.
The Bold 9700 comes with a trackpad, which seems to be the new standard on BlackBerry devices. The trackpad makes navigation much smoother, and it will add to the shelf life of the device. No more cleaning your trackball or replacing it, the trackpad is here to stay.
As mentioned above, the Bold 9700 is reminiscent of the Curve 8900 form factor. While the keyboard is in the Bold style, with ergonomic and tightly packed keys, it is definitely closer to the 8900 in size. The Bold 9700 keyboard is quite tight and it seems as though this will be the defining feature of this BlackBerry. Users will either be attracted to the slim, tight, form factor, or they will look for a device with more breathing room such as the Tour or Bold 9000.
Overall, I would say this device is a great addition to the Bold product line, and you should ask yourself whether size matters. Personally, I don’t think the Bold 9000 needed to be smaller, but I know many users who didn’t like how it sat in their pocket. For those that want a smaller, more modern sized device, I know you’re going to love this BlackBerry.
Here are some quick points about the Bold 9700 to note:
- The Bold 9700 weighs 4.3 oz (122 grams) and is 4.3″ x 2.4″ x 0.55″ (109 mm x 60 mm x 14.1 mm).
- The screen is a 480 x 360 half-VGA+ display.
- Supports high-speed HSDPA networks for simultaneous voice and data usage, quick downloads and fast web browsing. Quad-band EDGE networks are also supported.
- Includes integrated GPS with photo geotagging support, plus built-in WiFi (802.11 b/g).
- Includes a microSD/SDHC memory card slot with a 2 GB card included (will support cards up to 32 GB), plus 256 MB of Flash memory.
- 3.2 MP camera able to record video, with flash, auto focus, image stabilization and digital zoom.
The Bold 9700 review is being compiled now, feel free to comment what you would like to see included in this review, and we’ll do our best to address your questions. Also, sorry about the lame pics. I took them with the Storm2 and they didn’t come out so good. I’ll have better pics soon.