Lightweight, smaller, takes decent pictures (at last), still the smartest when it comes to emails, but not so smart when it comes to competing with the big ones. The Mobile Spoon reviews the new BlackBerry Bold 9700, likes the hardware design, gets disappointed from the keyboard, remembers why BlackBerry is still so successful, but doesn't think BlackBerry is a true smartphone any longer.
BlackBerry Bold 9700 Review By The Mobile Spoon
The new BlackBerry Bold is smaller than the old Bold. It's much lighter too. That is nice on one hand, but also has a tradeoff; the combination of weight, size and plastic cover makes it feel like a low-end device. Not as fancy as the old BlackBerry model tried to be.
Camera has been improved (3.2 megapixels) – I simply hated the camera of the Bold 9000 that didn't match with… actually anything… and now the camera seems to work much better. Not perfect of course, but a positive upgrade.
Oh no, where is my keyboard? RIM tried to make a smaller device and the part that suffers the most out of it is the keyboard. Smaller keys, they have been smoothened a bit – overall experience is not close to the original Bold.
If typing is the most important part for you, and one of the reasons to stick with a BlackBerry – you better try the keyboard before you buy the Bold 9700.
Trackball… oops, sorry, Optical Trackpad:
Yep, goodbye Iron Man styled trackball, here comes the trackpad.
I must say that the trackpad looks much nicer than the trackball (although it misses the light…), and I guess it doesn't suffer from sand grains, so it does have some advantages, but to me the trackball is one of the BlackBerry symbolic characteristics and now it has disappeared.
It's a shame, I guess I'm a trackball fan, but I guess I just need some time to get used to the trackpad, it has a good potential.
The Bold 9700 has double the memory of the BlackBerry Bold 9000. It makes some of the actions work faster, although I never had serious issues with the older Bold as well…
Not yet OS 6.0, and to be frank, I don't see much of a difference between older versions to this one. I'm still looking for the big changes, and meantime, also searching for ways to put my hands on OS 6.0 which seems like THE MAJOR JUMP in usability and design.
Emails, Text, Calendar
Forgive me iPhone, but when it comes to emails no one can match BlackBerry. The entire device is built around it, from the addictive red light, to the "today screen" details, all the way to the ease of interaction with the server details or calendar stuff.
Sounds weird, but I can really feel how weak the iPhone is in those places, especially when it comes to integrating all the pieces together.
Multi-tasking in its' best
Yep. Nothing more to say. This is how multi-tasking should behave. It's some good, you forget it's even an issue for other platforms.
Well, nothing, I guess… That's it. Pretty much all is the same. Exactly the same as in my previous review of the BlackBerry Bold 9000 – more than a year ago! And that is one of the reasons I never stick with a BlackBerry for more than a few weeks. It's boring… BlackBerry Bold 9700 is not difference than any other BlackBerry smartphone I guess (not including the Torch of course). It's still a perfect tool for business use, a very convenient hardware with a good solid software.
The BlackBerry is here to stay. Not as successful as the last decade, but don't burry RIM too fast. With devices like the BlackBerry Bold 9700, I can still see a lot of organizations continuing their BlackBerry strategy easily.
My main issue with the phone is the keyboard. It's smaller than previous models I've been using and I feel it in the typing speed. Other than that it's a nice piece of handset.
Don't compare it with the iPhone or Android smartphones, it's no longer a match, but for many users, it's not really relevant. iPhone and Android are smartphones in the sense that they can do anything, BlackBerry is smart only when it comes to certain productivity areas. Maybe it shouldn't be called smartphone anymore? Maybe we should call it a business cell-phone?
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