It’s been very exciting during the past few days as we’ve been testing out the all new BlackBerry Bold 9700 for T-Mobile. So far, we have been impressed by its enhancements and new features. The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is the second generation Bold to release just one year after the first 9000 made its way to us. Overall, we see that the size has been greatly reduced and the all new trackpad has officially replaced the trackball.
The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is the thinnest BlackBerry on the market. The most noticeable difference between the new Bold and the old one is the sizw. The new Bold now measures at 4.29 inches tall by 2.36 inches wide by 0.56 inch thick and weighs about 4.3 ounces while the original Bold ranks at 4.48 inches high by 2.6 inches wide by 0.59 inch deep and 4.8 ounces. The Bold 9700 goes side by side better with the BlackBerry Tour, which used to be oh so small and slim in our eyes until the new Bold came in town.
As we mentioned before, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 replaces the trackball navigator with the trackpad. It was originally brought to the BlackBerry market with the Curve 8520 which went live with T-Mobile first in the United States. In this case, it is a change for the best. Anyone who was using the trackball before can easily migrate to this new trackpad as it is so much more responsive and sensitivity can be adjusted as well if you’re fearing rapid movement.
So let’s start off with the left side of the device. We have the 3.5mm jack for plugging in headphones. The socket looks very bland and definitely isn’t as classy looking as it is on the original Bold 9000. On this one, it is strictly a plain hole with no visible chrome rim around. Perhaps this was done to keep it all in sync with the color (black in this case). Right underneath it, we see the rubberized shortcut key that’s practically embedded into the side rather than popping out as most BlackBerry devices were famous for. In between them is the micro-USB charger port which is in an appropriate location unlike the BlackBerry Curve 8900 or the BlackBerry Storm 9500/9530. By appropriate we mean that it is not in the way when in use.
On the right side is the volume up/down keys along with the secondary shortcut key underneath it which are both rubberized as well. Both sides have a very sleek finish to them making the BlackBerry look and seem more fashionable than it used to be.
The back side is extremely fascinating as the leather back has been implemented here just like the original Bold 9000. The 3.2MP camera and flash are right above the battery door side by side (camera on the left, flash on the right) with the word “Bold” written in between them. Right above the word “Bold” you’ll see a little slit which is where the speaker juices out its tunes from.
The top of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 gets a lock button on the left side which was the missing factor on the Bold 9000. On the right side is the mute button which every BlackBerry gets by default. These are embedded buttons into the surface of the phone so don’t worry about ugly buttons protruding.
The chrome on the device wraps around the back, then all the way down the sides and swipes together right underneath the “T-Mobile” carrier logo. Given that it is chrome, you might want to purchase an Invisible Shield or OtterBox as it becomes available for it.
A very nice aspect to the device was that the battery is the same as the Bold 9000. So if you are a former BlackBerry Bold 9000 user, you’re free to have a spare handy for your 9700. The micro SD card fits right above the battery, making it easy to switch up cards if necessary. There is no need for the annoying and flimsy battery door the Bold 9000 had, nor is there a reason to have to remove the battery to get to the SD like many models such as the Pearl and Curve had. The only thing underneath the battery is your sim card slot, which does not need to be shifted so often.
Now we’re going to get into the actual device’s functions. As you all know by now, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 comes with OS 5.0, which is expected to release for many previous models such as the 8330, 8900, and Bold 9000. Besides that fact that OS 5.0 moves a lot quicker than 4.6+, the Bold 9700 processor running at 624MHz along with the 256 built in memory makes the experience incredible. The biggest misunderstanding occurred with the BlackBerry Bold 9000 with the 1GB built in memory, which was just used for saving files rather than applications. Here we have 256MB completely dedicated to the device.
We’ve seen all the ins and outs of OS 5.0 so we aren’t going to touch up on it specifically as we have in the past. What we really liked was the better reliability and response time from the GPS receiver. We put it to the test on the road with both the Bold 9000 and Bold 9700 and the 9700 wins in acquiring GPS signals and routing. Rerouting routes also have been formulated quicker through the device. If you are really curious, we used TeleNav Navigator which is a great GPS app to use at only $10 per month.
The 3G,and GPS, combined with WiFi, makes the Bold 9700 the first BlackBerry for T-Mobile to carry all three of those great traits. As a matter of fact, it is the first 3G BlackBerry period to release for the carrier as well. AT&T will also be receiving the device but from the way it looks, T-Mobile will be first in line to have it as promised to be available before Thanksgiving this month.
Here’s the current spec sheet for the BlackBerry Bold 9700:
- Product BlackBerry Bold 9700
- Service Provider T-Mobile
- Width 2.4 in
- Depth 0.6 in
- Height 4.3 in
- Weight 4.3 oz
- Body Color Black with chrome tips
- Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
- Band WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- Phone Design Candy bar
- Vibrating Alert Yes
- Polyphonic Ringer Yes
- Phone Navigation Buttons Trackball
- Call Timer Yes
- Conference Call Capability Yes
- Voice Recorder Yes
- Speakerphone Yes
- Wireless Interface IEEE 802.11b , IEEE 802.11g , Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
- Additional Features GPS
- Operating System BlackBerry Handheld Software 5.0
- Memory Included 256 MB
- Messaging Services RIM BlackBerry VM Client
- Mobile Email Yes
- Internet Browser Yes
- HSDPA (High Speed Downlink Packet Access) Yes
- Polyphonic Ring Tone Voice Qty 32
- Ring Tone Formats MP3 , WAV , MIDI
- Playback Digital Video Formats 3gp , H.264 , MPEG-4 , H.263 video and AMR audio , WMV (Windows Media Video)
- Sensor Resolution 3.2 megapixels
- Focus Adjustment Automatic
- Digital Zoom 2
- Video Recorder Resolutions 352 x 480 , 176 x 144 (QCIF)
- GPS Navigation GPS receiver
- Alarm Clock Yes
- Calendar Yes
- Reminder Yes
- Calculator Basic
- Type LCD display
- Technology TFT
- Display Resolution 480 x 360 pixels
- Diagonal Size 2.4 in
- Color Support Color
- Color Depth 16-bit (65000 colors)
Digital Player (Recorder)
- Supported Digital Audio Standards AAC , AMR , MP3 , WMA , MIDI , AAC + , eAAC+
- Internal Shared Memory Yes
- Flash Memory 256 MB
- Technology – Lithium ion
- Capacity 1500 mAh
- Talk Time 360 min
- Standby Time Up to 504 h
So what’s our overall reaction to the device? This is a huge step from the BlackBerry Bold 9000, and definitely tops every other Blackberry that is currently on the market. The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is a combination of RIM’s best devices as it has the tip top 624MHz, 256MB memory, slimmest body, great battery life, a great camera, 3G combined with GPS and WiFi, and much more to discover.
Have any question or comments on the device? Drop a line in a comment below and tell us what you think.
-by Mac Jadalhack