Conclusions from testing the BlackBerry Bold 9700 battery



Testing the BlackBerry Bold 9700 battery has been an interesting experience. I always thought consumer electronics manufacturers embellished their battery life expectancies in order to impress the buyer. In this case, RIM has actually slightly under-stated the Bold 9700’s battery life, and really proved themselves to be an honest company when it comes to their battery life marketing. Could we say the same for Apple? I challenge TIPB to do the same with the iPhone, and see if it can play 39 hours of music off radio and last 29 hours with heavy usage. Speaking of Apple…the BlackBerry Bold 9700 lasts longer than the best iPod.


Just look for yourself, the BlackBerry Bold 9700’s battery, lasts longer than that of the best iPod available.

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In Part 1 of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 battery stress test, we threw RIM a bone and checked out the music playback with the wireless connections off. For the second part, it was important to test how long the battery would last given very heavy usage. During the 29 hours that the BlackBerry was on, it went through the following:

  • About an hour of voice over 8 phone calls.
  • 10 SMS messages received, 7 sent.
  • 13 Tweets from UberTwitter, 9 of which contained a pic.
  • Google Maps running the whole time and updating Latitude.
  • About 8 hours of music streaming and playing via Bluetooth.
  • Received about 30 emails and replied to around 15.
  • The remaining time spent with all connections on and pulling data.

This is the first BlackBerry that I have been able to run more than 1 full day of usage without charging. There are definitely updates and optimizations made to the OS that make music playback more efficient, as well as general improvements to the device that make the battery last longer than any other BlackBerry. If you’re interested, I could do similar experiments with other BlackBerry smartphones. Anyone want to know about the Storm2 battery?

This BlackBerry test proves that the Bold 9700 has a killer battery.

Special thanks goes out to Slacker for white listing my account so it can be played in Canada. Now if only the lazy bureaucrats can get their act together, Canadians would have an awesome music device.

  • James

    Its been 3 days I have had blackberry bold 9700, and I am very dissapointed and the battery lasts for not more than 5 hours without me actually using it at all. I need help.

  • Mdavidson013

    I think maybe you are hand-lubing too much fella. I have a BB 9700 and typically get 36 hours with many apps running in the background, plus at least an hour’s worth of calls and 20+ texts. Longest lasting battery I’ve ever known,. only goes to orange on the third day.

  • Canuck

    Sounds like maybe there’s an app running in the background. I have a BB 9700 and an iPhone 4, and the BB 9700 lasts a long, long time. Occasionally, if it gets down to 30% in an evening, when I come back to it in the morning it has completely decharged, and needs to be recharged, but that’s usually after I’ve had it running for days and days without rebooting it. If I turn wireless and cel signals off, this thing lasts forever. i’ve brought it to the cottage before, and to avoid being disturbed, I turned off the cel coverage and wifi, and on one charge it lasted 5 days and used up maybe 10% of the battery. Basically, it went from a Saturday morning to Wednesday without charges. I wasn’t using it however….it was just sitting in the car….but the battery barely seemed affected.

    With regular use, including several calls, some web surfing, some listening to music, and lots of text messaging and e-mail for work, I usually get about 2 days out of it.

    My iPhone doesn’t last even close, unfortunately. I’m very impressed with the functionality in the latest version…but the battery is abysmal….and all the advice I can find seems to be to make the battery last longer by shutting pretty much everything off. As it stands, I can go from 100% to 85% just surfing the web for 20 minutes.

  • Canuck

    There are a few applications which apparently have the reputation of draining the battery. I’m not technical enough to know why, but I remember when I first got the 9700, I installed a bunch of free apps on it, and right away began noticing my battery life disappear. I started reading up on it, and there were apps that had a reputation for killing the battery. I removed them, and the problem went away.

    Maybe the iPhone has the same problem. I know even though I keep closing off everything running in multitasking, I found that I picked up the phone on a Wednesday, didn’t really use it, and didn’t really even start working with it until the following Monday. It still had 95% battery left at that point. Once I started installing apps, I found that the battery life was dramatically shortened. I’m new to Apple though, and am not sure which apps are causing the problem.

  • Bshelly392003

    ha tom
    when you say you did a complete wipe “how”? and this enterprise activation? where do i find this, as i think iam up to this stage, i don’t use my blackberry now as i only get 5 hours out of phone is iam lucky, the battery draining toooooo fast, pissing me off….anyway would like to know how and where to find this info. looking forward to hearing from you

  • davv

    i regret buying this trash!

  • Notaco

    you save ALOT of power by not being atouch screen.. which is where the other phones fall short.. plus ths phone is a phone pretending to be a computer or data phone.. it isnt a really computer.. it cant multi task, etc.

    all these things add up.

    i realize it sounds like im hating but im just giving context to this comparison.. I own a 9700 and bottom line i need aphone more than i need a portable computer.

    also i agree with Jimmy below.. my battery sux.. granted i have had my phone for a year.. but i meanit really sucks.. and the bars doent property display how lowmy battery it. it cuts out at 50% making me miss a meeting i had my alarm on.. talk about embarassing.. almost cost me 2500 dollars..

  • Sam Hilliard

    WOW, I do about 10,000 text messages a month, average 50 emails a day through thee accounts on my 9700 and my battery is good for two and a half days. I charge it every two days and use it almosy constantly. Never had a battery issue. As a matter of fact this is the longest battery life I’ve had on a phone.

  • Arthur

    Hi, my battery life seems to be fine till about 50%. After that it jumps straight to battery drained and the phone switches off. After charging it for 10 minutes it jumps back to 50%. Do you think the battery should just be replaced or is it a software problem?

  • Ritche Baria

    I get at least 12 hours of battery life with a lot of apps running (Social Scope, Live Profile, YM) an average of at least 30-40 emails, heavy BBMs, and lots of Tweets if I use EDGE and connect to wifi. If I use 3G, the battery lasts about 6 hours.