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BlackBerry Bold 9700 - BlackBerry Bold 9700

By Edward Chester



Our Score:


The core internals of the Bold 9700 haven't changed that much from the Bold 9000 so it still uses a 624MHz Intel PXA270 processor and that battery is also the same size as its predecessor. Despite this, RIM claims to have significantly extended battery life with talk time up from 4.5hrs to 6hrs, and standby time rising from 13.5 days to 21 days. In our tests, the battery had only dropped to 50 per cent after 2hrs playing mp3s, 2hrs playing video at full brightness, and 1hr browsing the web, which is mightily impressive. By contrast the Motorola Dext had dropped to 14 per cent after the same trials.

In terms of connectivity, the 9700 has everything covered with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, HSDPA, and GPS on offer. It's also a quad-band phone so should work pretty much anywhere throughout the world.

Having recently visited RIM's research lab in Bochum, Germany, I witnessed the rigorous call quality and signal testing that BlackBerry devices undergo and the fruits of this labour are clearly implemented in this latest model. Call quality is excellent, with plenty of volume available from the earpiece, and clear noise-free audio from the microphone. The speaker, which is cleverly positioned so that putting the phone down on a table doesn't muffle it, is also exceptionally loud and clear.

So, the new Bold is a pretty impressive device that we'd have no hesitation recommending to those looking for a smartphone with a QWERTY keyboard. In fact, given that the screen is so good, it could easily be considered an alternative to large touchscreen phones as well. On contract, it is quite expensive but with SIM-free prices starting at £380 there should be some good deals to be had through other channels.


The Blackberry Bold 9700 may not have quite the distinctive style of the Bold 9000 but in every other sense it's a worthy successor. It's well made, feels nice in the hand, has a great screen and keyboard, and the new optical trackpad is at least equal to the outgoing trackball. So, if you can get it for the right price, we wholeheartedly recommend you go for it.

Carrier pricing updates & information supplied by WhistleOut


December 7, 2009, 9:41 pm

Great review as always! Any chance of an E72 review, its predecessor was awesome and I'm curious how the new one stands up...plus I'm a sucker for Nokia :)


December 8, 2009, 3:48 am

Been spending a lot of time in my old uni library and it seems like all the students have Blackberrys. RIM are definitely doing something right.

Stephen James

December 8, 2009, 4:49 am

Personally, i think it's a beautiful looking phone, and the 'name change to Bland' is a pretty harsh assessment of its aesthetics!

The biggest problems i have picked up so far are:

No tabbed browsing. (Have to use Opera if you want tabs)

Apps generally being more expensive than the iPhone ones.

The volume controls doubling up a next track button - caused fury on the train before i figured it out. Still fiddly.

The positives areas above and beyond the usual RIM qualities:

Surprisingly good camera for stills and video.

Speedy Processor - haven't had to wait for anything yet.

Absolutely immense battery life. With light general use (a few calls, a few texts, a bit of web, a few mp3's each day) i reckon you can go for a week before it's completely dead.

Stunning Screen. I honestly don't think i have seen a better screen on a mobile device. Is there anything that comes close to the dot pitch ratio of the 9700?

Keyboard probably not quite as good as the 9000, just due to that extra width - but still the second best mobile keyboard out there.

It's a pretty awesome all-rounder, with solid performance in all areas.

Beautifully simple device to use and navigate.

Great review Ed.

(FYI - would also be interested in a 9700 vs E72 article!)


December 8, 2009, 11:39 pm

Thanks for reviewing this. I've got a Motorolla V3 on Vodafone and I'm ready to upgrade. I use hotmail and I'm keen to know whether messages can be sent from there to the Blackberry (or indeed iphone). Could TR do an easy guide to the (apparently) complex world of webmail and smartphones? thanks! :-)


December 9, 2009, 12:50 am

Looks fantastic but the Blackberry Enterprise Service costs a bomb and Activesync is free! 3G Mobile reception is also extremely limited where I live. Currently quite frustrated.


December 9, 2009, 6:58 pm

I'm about 9 months into my ownership of an E71 and I love it. The battery is a bit weedy but for a small phone with excellent call quality and a briliant keyboard (touchscreen keyboards are the mark of Satan!) I haven't really seen anything to lead me away from it. The fact that the Nokia's push email service seems to work flawlessly would also make me wince at paying a fiver extra a month for Blackberry's servers to stroke my email as it wooshes past.

Thomas C

December 9, 2009, 10:55 pm

Aslo a happy owner of Nokia e71 would be interesting to see E72 review + further comparison. Shame RIM havent moved to more metal parts on their high end models in the same was a nokia are tending to...


December 10, 2009, 1:06 am

A quick question. Blackberry Bold 9700 for £311, is it worth it?


December 10, 2009, 2:43 am

@prankz2k: I'd certainly be tempted.


December 15, 2009, 8:19 pm

Maybe also worth mentioning that when receiving an SMS, you will only see the phone number, not the person's name, if you have any spaces, hyphens or brackets in your phone numbers. You can then go and search your contacts (1000's in my case) to figure out who sent you the SMS. Clearly only a firmware issue, but still unresolved as of mid-december, which is ridiculous.


January 15, 2010, 10:02 pm

My first Blackberry. Favourably impressed! Great call quality. Web pages displaying swiftly even without 3g. Will enjoy discovering all it can do. Vodafone store staffed by Blackberry enthusiasts. Better than advertised deal on upgrade.

Jason Brook

January 23, 2010, 12:31 am

My business partner and I upgraded to the 9700 just over three weeks ago and it's great. We are new to the 'blackberry thing', only getting it to run a GPS tracking application for our day-to-day needs. It pairs to our existing vehicle mounted bluetooth GPS receiver and runs the Watchberry GPS tracking application (from WatchOverMe.co.uk).

These Blackberry's seem to have an impressive battery life, we are getting around four working days of use from a single charge in our configuration for tracking and a small amount of email. Our previous configuration using Nokia Navigator's only managed to last around 1 to 2 days!


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