Easily the best Blackberry to date November 27, 2009
Reviewer: DeShaun "DAC" (Brooklyn, NY) -
As a person who is accustomed to the Blackberry interface, but has minimal experience with some other smart/mediaphones (iPhone, Nokia e71, Nokia N97) I can say with confidence that this is the best phone I have ever handled, and definitely the tip-top when it comes to Blackberry devices.
I upgraded to the 9700 from a Curve 8310, and the form factor is nearly the same. This is a joy, considering the original Bold was a little too large for my tastes. In fact, it's only a tiny bit taller, and a little thinner. It combines the best of the devices before it: It has 3G like the Bold, a great keyboard like the Tour, and a trackpad like the Curve 8530. They really brought it all together in a way that is perfect.
The keyboard is responsive and provides good feedback, but it quieter than say, the Cuvre's keyboard. The trackpad might take a little getting used to, but once that awkward phase is over it works like a dream. No more dirty trackballs! It doesn't light up, but that's not really a big deal, as the call, send, menu, and escape buttons always stay lit when you are using it, so brushing your thumb over the dark space in the middle is all you need.
Excellent camera with autofocus and very good color balance. The speakers are loud and clear. The screen on this thing is absolutely gorgeous. I didn't think the additional resolution would make much difference on such a small screen, but it really is head and shoulders above previous models like the Curve. The media player handles a large number of formats and video codecs, which is fantastic, as I found previous models lacking in that department.
It comes with a standard headphone jack and a set of in-ear headphones that are really stylish and easy to use. Also I was pleasantly surprised to find a case that could clip to my belt (as opposed to the slip-in case they used to give) and a 2GB micro SD card already in place.
Battery life is superb: I have done heavy texting/email with my alerts on vibration, and streamed music via Pandora, and it still takes a few days to fully discharge. Excellent.
The browser is faster than previous Blackberry models, but it still needs work. It doesn't come close to the likes of mobile Safari. However, there are alternate browsers you can use for free, such as Opera Mini.
Texting is a breeze, and it keeps a log of the conversation as if it were a chat in an instant messaging client. It also has visual voicemail, so if you are moving from an iPhone, you'll still have the feature. Get this phone, you definitely won't regret it.
Where no Bold has gone before (and a 2Gig micro SD card) December 3, 2009
Reviewer: Venu (North Carolina) -
Hoping to replace my older curve 8310, I was leaning towards the 8900, instead of the Blackberry Bold. The Bold had 3G. 8900 didn't. But the 8900 had better battery life. And that was an important factor for my usage patterns.
Boldly enters the new Bold 9700. Has 3G, has the higher resolution of the 8900. Has WiFi. It also boasts a better battery life than the 8900 on the spec sheet. I ordered it and got it overnight and at two days of usage, I am VERY happy with this model.
Beautiful fonts and rendering(It's night and day compared to 8310)
The touchpad is really nice and I am completely converted away from trackball use.
WiFi is good and connects quickly to my home network.
3G network is fast.
Each of the above connectivity options can be turned off/on individually.
You also have the option to turn off 3G and just use Edge (advantage: longer battery run time?)
The unit came with a 2Gig Micro SD card already installed. (What's the world coming to? Are TV manufacturers going to include free HDMI cables along with the TV now?)
The box came with a wall charger, a micro-USB cable to connect to the PC and a nice holster.
Browser is fantastic. With the touchpad, it is easy to move around the screen. "i" and "o" work as shortcuts to zoom in and out of a web page.
Google Apps work great (you may encounter a "Cross Application Communication" Error) (My workaround/fix at the end of this)
I had some issues with the browser not connecting (Resolved now. Workaround below).
I was stumped when initially configuring WiFi to my home WPA2 network (Workaround below).
Blackberry "Appworld" is great. Download it as soon as you get this device. Does not have millions of apps like the iPhone, but has a decent set - free and paid - that you will find useful.
Lots of nice improvements in the Mail, Clock and Calendar applications.
A few problems I encountered and my workarounds:
I have WPA2 security on my WiFi network at home. In the 9700, when you configure your WiFi connection, you will not see "WPA2" as an option. Just select "Pre Shared Key" option and enter your WPA password; The 9700 will do the rest and will connect. (BB design team, take note. You might as well highlight this in your documentation clearly... or, just add WPA2 and WPA to the options list)
I had intermittent problems with the browser. It would connect to some sites and simply refuse to connect to others. Workaround: Open the browser, go to options (by pressing the key immediately to the left of the touchpad) and in the "Browser Configuration" page, for the default browser, change it to "Internet Browser", from the default "Blackberry browser". Do the same change in the "General Properties" in the browser options. This should fix browser connectivity issues.
When I started Google Maps, I got a "Cross Application Communication" error and it refused to connect. My workaround (and I am not sure why this works): Go to Blackberry settings. Select Applications. And in the "Applications" page, select "Google Maps". Then "Edit permissions". Here, I basically expanded all the configs, and made sure they are set to "Allow". The "Interactions" setting by default will be "Custom". This cannot be changed, but I simply expanded this selection. In this what seemed to be a pointless exercise, I didn't really change any permissions other than what they were defaulted to. But, after this, the "Cross Appl..." error went away. Maybe, if I rebooted the BB after installing Google Maps, I wouldn't have had to resort to this.
That's it. It's working great now. Hope the above workarounds will be helpful to some. Activating my BES account was straightforward. If you don't have a corporate account, the setup should be even more simpler.
I'd give it 5 stars, but if anyone at BB is reading these reviews (and I know they are...), I want them to keep doing the great work and come out with more winners such as this. So, this 4 star rating is to tell you that no one can achieve perfection, but can always choose to strive to become even more perfect than before. Great product folks. Keep it up!
UPDATE (Jan 30, 2010):
After close to two and a half months of use, I'm still very happy with the Bold 9700. The battery life is exceptional and I can go without charging for 3 days if necessary. For a couple weeks, I noticed the battery was losing a couple of bars within 12 hours. I think this was because I had the "Blackberry Messenger" app running in the background. After closing that app, the battery life is back to normal, and I lose a notch in 24hrs. I have the WiFi option always ON and this doesn't seem to affect the battery usage adversely.
Apps that I use most, and these are very easy to use on the Bold (there are plenty others available): WSJ Mobile Reader, Poynt (Business, people, restaurant, movie lookup), Dictionary.Com, Amazon for Blackberry, Google Maps, Gmail and Google News.
From a Former iPhone & Android USER November 27, 2009
Reviewer: Always Samsung "ravereviews" (New York, NY) -
[[VIDEOID:mo3C20ZGTMXWTVQ]]I've been a long time AT&T costumer. I thought I could live without having an actual keyboard when it comes to texting, but after a week without my Sidekick Keyboard - I decided to ditch my Samsung Eternity for the Blackberry Bold 9700.
I was hesitant about purchasing this smart phone because I was never a fan of Blackberry's (RIMM). I had a BB during their initial boom in the early part of the new millennium. However, the poor browser, poor cell phone network, lackluster screen color, non desirable keyboard, awful battery life, whack OS, & lack of T9 predictive text just couldn't win me over.
After I realized that I couldn't text on a touch screen phone, unless it was the iPhone. I decided that I must have a cell phone device with an actual qwerty keyboard, if I expect to survive my text message & email addiction.
I picked up the Blackberry 9700 with my corporate discount and walked away with a nice high end phone at a very reasonable price. I have to say that I really enjoy the web browser on the new BB. You can zoom in & out with ease. I thought no browser could compare to the iPod Safari besides the Android G1, but after getting this device - I can safely say that this browser is also one of the best. Its right behind the safari and G1. Prior models were confined to small screens, thirty-five dollar internet only data plans, and no ability to zoom in or out. You were subjected to a small screen and reading small text till your eyes was squinting like grandmas.
New Optical Trackpad (Over the old Trackball)
Big vibrant screen
Threaded Text Messaging
3.5 MM headjack
New OS (Runs a bit quicker without the lag time)
Decent call quality
Excellent new broswer
Mini SD up to 32GB
Use your songs as ringers
Personal Email (Up to 10 accounts can be added)
Full HTML Web Browser (Sometimes)
Excellent Multimedia Player (Accepts every format possible)
Includes 2 chargers (Wall Charger & USB charger)
Includes ear phones and carry case
For long time BB users, this device is really just a cosmetic upgrade with a new OS (Flashier Icons)
Micro USB (No more Mini USB)
Video & Camera (3.2 Megapixel as oppose to 8.0)
Cheap plastic rubber casing
Non RIMM Consumer Changes Mind!
For anyone who has wanted a BB but held off on getting one and want an entry level Blackberry at a decent price - this is the model to get. Everything about it is an upgrade. The device is basically the BB Bold with a different casing. The battery life could still use some more juice. With excessive email checking & non stop texting, the phone usually needs a charge after a day and a half of usage (Sometimes i can go a charge for 2 days before a charge so thats not bad). I did set the brightness of the phone to the lowest brightness available and it has lasted for a little over 2 days with no charge needed. Even on the lowest brightness, the screen is still very bright, sharp, & crisp. And i still do unlimited texting & web browsing. However, AT&T doesn't offer the best mobile minute plans on earth & their data plan is probably one of themost expensive around. They are fully aware that their signal is one of the best & in doing so, make up for it by charging their non-friendly services at non-friendly prices, which usually doesn't offers an abundant amount of minutes, unlimited data, internet, email, text etc will end up costing you a lot!
Only downside is that AT&T minute and date plans are expensive.
Heavy user and this is the best Blackberry to date! November 27, 2009
Reviewer: Hoppaguy (San Diego) -
As a quick background, I am a heavy user of Blackberries and have owned almost every incarnation. I can say hands down, this is the best Blackberry to date. The screen is high resolution and the overall size of the new Bold is amazingly compact. It is smaller than my old 8310 Curve and much smaller than the previous generation Bold 9000. The most noticeable difference in this new phone is the speed. The processor is much faster and with the 3G capability, it is not as painful to surf the web. While the web browser is still not as good as the iPhones, it is much more useable than previous versions.
Speaking of the iPhone, the sales representative at AT&T kept asking me if I didn't want an iPhone 3GS instead. I have already owned an iPhone and returned it because of the simple fact that it does not have a QWERTY keyboard. I cannot type with the same speed that I can on my Blackberry. The keyboard layout on the new Bold does not disappoint in that the key layout is slightly tighter than the Curve but you get used to it after typing about 5 messages. If you are a previous Blackberry user that is looking to upgrade, then the new Bold is a worthy of the upgrade. In addition if you are the type of user that wants your phone to handle voice and messaging well, then I would also recommend the Bold as a phone to checkout!
Few improvements but not enough. January 20, 2010
I have been using this phone for about a week now. And while this device beats previous bold 9000 in many aspects there is still much to be improved. So let me first say things that I do like about the phone. Of course the greatest improvement was the addition of the trackpad, at first it was kind of unusual to navigate with it but I got accustomed to it very quickly. Second thing is the screen resolution, it was improved from the old bold by 480x360 vs 480x320 pixels. The screen is really crisp and bright and sunlight legibility is very decent. The camera also experienced an improvement and while I was taking pictures outside on a bright day and later comparing them to the previous bold, there is a very noticeable change, pictures look somewhat close to my wife's 10 megapixel canon camera. I was also surprised by the improved quality of the videos this device shoots. Much better and less pixelated than the original bold! Now for the things that I don't like or wished to be improved. Despite of the fact that everyone raves about "amazing" battery life on this device, I must say I am disappointed. At best, the battery lasts me a day and a half but not two day as many reviewers say. Perhaps I do extensive web browsing and chatting via instant messaging. I usually like to read various blogs and news on opera mini 5 browser and I noticed that this application along with IM+ drains battery like crazy! Of course at least now I don't have to carry a spare battery with me like it was with the previous bold since I am sure this one will last me for the full day. But most often I still have to charge it every night. Which is kind of a disappointment and not what I expected after reading various reviews. Now about the browser: It sucks.... It simply sucks so much that any other smartphone's browser will put it to shame. But another annoying problem now that I noticed is that I can't get to mobile version of citibank online at all! No matter how I would reconfigure the browser... So it means no banking online for me as I used to do on my previous bold. Very annoying... The browser is still slow as hell and only the fact that I have opera on this phone doesn't make it a deal breaker. I must say though that I am running a latest .405 version of the software and perhaps the issue with banking online maybe be fixed in later versions. Which I again, doubt very much. Now another disappointment is the absence of many supported languages. For example there is no Russian support whatsoever. But than again, it may be released in the later versions. I hope so. And now last but not least is the speaker quality. In the first day of use I noticed that the speaker has been downgraded. Instead of the three speakers which previous bold had, this device has only one and when you bring the volume all the way up you can hear a rattling noise. Not a very nice experience... Overall I like the device especially it's size, I was skeptical about it as I liked the bold 9000 big screen. But this one seems to be slim and looks more eye appealing. also I like the battery cover design, you can not accidentally open it and whole device seems sturdy and has a look of a professional tool. Hopefully with next updates there will be support for more languages. But as of now I am giving it only 3 stars.
Couple of weeks ago I noticed that phone would randomly delete data, but today was the worst: In the morning I discovered that all my contacts were completely wiped out!!! by itself! And when I tried to restore them from the backup file it would not do that saying that the file is read only. I tried this file in my old curve 8310 and it worked flawlessly. So I suspect that there are serious bugs in the OS 5.0 and AT&T is not coming up with any updates as of yet. In a mean time I am lowering score for this phone because i am very disappointed by the poor implementation
As five months passed since I got this phone, I must admit I like it much more than I did before. True, I still have some issues with it, but these issues are just too minor comparing to lots of useful features that this device delivers. Previously I wrote that it deleted all my contacts from the phone book, and last week it just happened again but I noticed that it happened after I added an another gmail account to the phone. So after I gooogled a bit I found out that gmail actually will sync your contacts with your gmail account but for some unknown reason remove them from the phone book. So basically all you have to do is to download google sync on your phone and transfer contacts back to the phone book. So I tend to believe that this issue has more to do with google gmail setup rather than the phone itself. Also the issue with the Citibank mobile site have resolved mysteriously, and now I am able to do banking through the native browser (which still sucks by the way in many aspects) I am also looking forward to the release of OS 6.0 which should include webkit browser with flash support and other new and exciting features. So I must say that ever since I got this phone it never crashed or restarted on me, not even a single time. So I must increase the rating of the phone to 4 stars as it's been a really great tool which I certainly can rely on in terms of usability and trust.
Bold 9700 VS. Bold 9000 December 25, 2009
Reviewer: Donovan M. Allen
Compared to the bold 9000 that I used for the last 9 months, I have found these few key differences are what stood out to me.
The Bold 9700 feels more solidly build and has a very nice feel in the hand.
The processor seems snappier.
The trackpad is a revelation compared to the trackball and has a very short learning curve.
The camera is a vast improvement and takes very nice pictures and viewing the pictures is a much more natural and quick experience.
The web browser seems to render pages slightly better and slightly quicker, although not by much.
The track-pad makes navigating web pages slightly more natural.
The Keyboard seems to be slightly quieter.
The Bold 9700 external speakers are not as loud or as powerful as the Bold 9000 and cannot reproduce music with the same quality.
The screen, although marginally sharper and denser with pixels is slightly smaller, and on a device where screen size is relatively small every little bit counts.
The keyboard is slightly less spacious.
Brickbreaker is not quite as much fun to play with the track-pad.
Compared to the bold 9000 , I find the change in size the biggest adjustment. Although I do like the pocket-ability and trim shape of the new bold 9700 I find myself missing the slightly more spacious keyboard and larger screen of the bold 9000.
As far as outright performance goes, the bold 9700 seems snappier all around. The way the phone handles media of all kinds is superior to the older bold 9000.
Overall, there are a few trade-offs caused purely by the change in form factor, but the snappier performance makes this a worthy upgrade from the bold 9000
Not a crackberry fanatic January 28, 2010
Reviewer: Greg T "Love Electronics" (New York) -
OK, so I am not a CrackBerry fanatic and this is my first BlackBerry with the exception of the one issued by work years ago that I think is a generation zero and my company has so locked down I can't even chat on it. My last phone was the Iphone. My AT&T account was eligible for an upgrade and they still do not offer Android phones and I was not willing to switch to a CDMA phone which eliminates Verizon and I need better coverage than what T-Mobile offers because I travel a lot. It was coming down to a BlackBerry which, I already knew is not the best smartphone for internet and the Iphone which of course is not the best phone for "staying in touch".
What totally pushed me over the edge and why I went with this phone was plain and simple, I can cache the stations from Slacker Radio on the BlackBerry and Iphone does not let you. Now while this may not seem like a big deal to some people, I have to ride on the NY subway "A" line from the first stop in Queens all the way to Canal Street in Manhattan. A large majority of that trip is underground with no cell service. Being able to cache the Slacker stations means that I do not have to spend any more money downloading from Itunes or anywhere else just to have the music get old after a month.
Now back to the actual product. I have to admit that I am very pleasantly surprised with how much I really like this BlackBerry. The BlackBerry interface is very easy to use and program. The text messaging is much better with a real keyboard and BlackBerry has its own BlackBerry Messenger Service that allows you to chat/text with other BlackBerry users anywhere in the world for free and does not count towards your service providers text allowance.
As expected the internet part of the BlackBerry is worse, not terribly, but definitely not as good as the Iphone.
I gave this product 5 stars even though I feel the internet experience was subpar because overall I am extremely pleased with every other aspect of this phone and it actually exceeded my expectations. I figured if I hated it I still had my Iphone and I would just go back to it but, instead I have sold my Iphone and plan on keeping this for the 18 months when I will be eligible for the next upgrade and see what's out there then. I do not see my self becoming "addicted" to BlackBerry unless they really finally improve the web browser and still want to see what AT&T will be coming out with that will be running the Android system. But for now only BlackBerry, not droid or Iphone, allows you to cache the Slacker stations so that will keep me here for awhile.
I am also impressed with the BlackBerry earphones that come with the 9700, they are definitely and I mean definitely much better than the ones that come with the Iphone. I can wear these all day and my ears do not hurt. The bass is pretty good once you turn on the bass boost in the phone and it comes with 3 different size ear gels for a custom fit.
I would also like to get into the battery life. I leave 3 different chats open at all times (Google, Live and AIM) plus I play the Slacker radio a lot and get over a days worth of juice out of the battery. To put it simple I use a lot more juice than others do and the battery life is, in my opinion, better than the Iphone. With the Iphone I would get about a day and you have to take into account that I could not use Slacker Radio, and with the BlackBerry a day and a half, again that is with heavy use. I would imagine that most people would get over 2 days out of the BlackBerry battery.
BTW: If you buy this phone you have to go to crackberry dot com and check out all the free downloads they have over there for BlackBerrys.
I hope this was helpful. If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I will answer them as best as I can.
Update on the internet experience: The native browser is fair at best. I downloaded (very easily) Opera Mini which was much better than the native browser but still had its quirks. I then ended up downloading the Bolt Browser which was a gigantic improvement in the the whole internet experience. Pages loaded faster and to date between the Bolt Browser and the native browser I have not had a page loading problem at all. Still not as fast as the iphone but the advantages of the BlackBerry over the iphone far outweigh the difference in the internet speed.
Great Blackberry Device! December 12, 2009
Reviewer: Huy (San Jose, Ca, United States) -
RIM's newest device is the Blackberry Bold 9700 and like many other reviews out there that says it's the best Blackberry device so far I would definitely agree. The 9700's form factor is takes after the Curve design. When held in my hands it feels like my old 8310. And prior to my Bold 9000 the Curve 8310 was my favorite Blackberry. It was small, well-built, and it was a Blackberry.
Compared to the Bold 9000 the 9700 feels much smaller. For me, I was so use to the bigger size of the original Bold that when using the 9700 it felt cramped and difficult to type fast. It took me less than a day to adjust by then I was typing just as fast as I was when using the 9000. People with larger hands they will probably prefer the size of the original Bold.
RIM is getting rid of the their trackball and has replaced it with a trackpad. The pad is very similar to the touchpad found on laptops. It sense the movement of your finger as you drag it across the black square pad. It's very sensitive on the 9700 and it takes some time to getting use to. Anyone who has been using Blackberry's with the trackball has experienced it getting stuck which could be annoying and or right frustrating at times. With the trackpad there are no moving parts and no reason for your courser to get stuck.
Other upgraded features of the 9700 includes a better camera, 3.2mp camera with auto focus, and an increase in internal memory. The 9700 has 256mb whereas the 9000 has 128. With the all the application on my old Bold I would have less than 20mb of available space at all times. And when I open several apps at the same time I get that dreaded spinning clock. With the 9700 I have plenty of space for my apps and I haven't experienced any slowness yet. If there's one thing that RIM can improve on their products is to add more RAM to their devices. It doesn't require anymore R&D costs. Just up the damn memory. It's a no brainer. I think all new Blackberrys should come with at least 1GB of memory. Upping the 9700 to 256 is a welcome upgrade, but I wish they would have made a more significant upgrade.
If you've used a Blackberry before then you can rest assure the rest of the device is practically the same. With 5.0 OS there are many GUI enhancement but nothing revolutionary. Email and messaging is rock solid as always. Calling with the phone is clear and crisp, and it's media features are more than enough to get by. Web browsing is unfortunately the same. It's one of the few things that I wish RIM would improve. Phones like the iPhone, Palm Pre, and those Android devices are years ahead in terms of web browsing. I hope RIM has something up it's sleeve for web browsing otherwise it'll get left behind in the case of cell phone dominance, and it'll be a shame if it was because they neglected their web browser.
If you're thinking upgrading from an old Curve then the answer is simple. Just do it. The 9700 is better in every single way. But if you're coming from the old Bold, then you might want to consider its smaller size. Also if you constantly have a trackball that get stuck then the 9700 will solve it. Or if you run multiple apps and find yourself running near empty on your memory the 9700 has double the capacity for your apps. Currently AT&T and T-Mobile are the only carriers in the US that has the 9700, so go to your local store and give it a test run and see how you like it. It won't disappoint.
From a former "crackberry" addict and current iPhone user... January 30, 2010
Reviewer: C. WILLIAMS (Alabama) -
I must preface this review by stating that I am a recovering "crackberry" addict. I have owned several RIM devices through the years, most recently the 8820. I made the jump to the iPhone last Summer and haven't looked back... until now.
I got my hands on the Bold 9700 this past week and am considering the switch from the iPhone back to the Blackberry. Below I will list my favorite aspects of the phone:
Excellent battery life - unlike the iPhone this device can go several days without needing charging (I have to plug my iPhone in nightly and sometimes have to find time during a busy day to charge the device).
Gorgeous display - the display is vibrant, rich and great for viewing photos, videos etc.
The new tracking device - I was a little hesitant with this change as I enjoyed the trackball that accompanied the 8820 - but I must state the new technology is an improvement, even if it did take an hour or so to get acclimated to.
Camera - the 3.2 MP camera took surprisingly good pictures and is a major upgrade over previous camera enabled Blackberry releases.
Apps - much like the iPhone, Blackberry has caught on to the need for apps and customizing and the included capabilities of youtube, XM radio (subscription needed), facebook etc. make this device competitive with Apples entertainment offerings.
Key pad - Nothing beats a full keypad, and though this one "feels" smaller than the 8820 keypad, the keys are angled and are easier to find and thus more user friendly IMO.
In conclusion I would state that I am leaning toward switching back to Blackberry just for the instantaneous e-mail that it offers. The iPhone has been fun, but I rarely play games or anything of that sort on it anymore and the Blackberry is a more business friendly device and I miss having a full keyboard (not to mention I miss not having to clean my screen every other day because of having to touch it so often (see the iPhone and other touch-screen devices).
Bolder then the Bold - The 9700 Rocks! November 28, 2009
Reviewer: Tarun Chachra "Tarun Chachra" (Hillsborough, NJ) -
The Blackberry Bold 9700 is a great new Blackberry with speed that I have yet to see on any model out there. Before this model my favorite was the Blackberry 8900 which lacked 3g capabilities and thus was a little tedious at times. The 9700 truly has everything that you will ever want out of a Blackberry:
* 480x360 High Resolution Screen
* Touch Sensitive Track PAD Which is FANTASTIC (the track ball on previous models was always a problem)
* A new upgraded CPU which makes this device SCREAM with speed.
* 3G and EDGE Cellular Service
* 3.2 MP Camera with Auto Focus, Image Stabilization and a LED Flash.
* A new operating system - Version 5.0.x to be specific.
* Includes a 2gb Micro SD Card for storage of Music, Images, Videos, and Applications.
* Super clear speaker both in the handset and as a speakerphone. Loud and Clear... (Note, the previous bold had stereo speakers, this one does not)
* Micro USB Charging (Industry standard - previous bold had mini-usb)
* Elegant design with leather embossed battery cover
If you are looking to find a negative here then you will not...I have used these devices ever since the first one was introduced in the mid/late nineties and I can say will full confidence that it is the BEST BLACKBERRY I have ever used.
PS: You will see an identical review of this unit for the T-Mobile network...which is the only negative. I am a corporate user and we have both AT&T and TMO....AT&T is the clear leader with this device..
Please ask me any and all questions via the comments system and I will answer them as best as I can.
PS: Quick Note: I have a leather holster for my 8900 - the 9700 fits in it perfectly.
GadgetGirl gives it 4-1/2 stars January 2, 2010
Reviewer: J. Ehrlich "music addict" (Santa Monica, CA) -
The trackball on my 9000 went, and they were having a half-off sale at AT&T, so being a gadget-aholic, I thought "What the heck" and went for it. I really didn't think I would like it as much as the 9000; I loved the big, solid feeling of the original Bold, the huge screen and wayyyy roomy keypad. I didn't think a smaller Bold would be to my liking, and I didn't think that whatever improvements had been made could change my mind. But since my goal is to be a gadget-reviewer when I grow up, I decided to give it a try. And I'm happy to report that I was wrong. I've had my 9700 for a few weeks now, and when I go back and use my 9000, it seems overly large and creaky. The 9700 is extremely fast and seamless. The quality of the hard materials is better; the phone feels very well-built and fits just right in your hand. You hardly ever see that little clock come up while the phone is rendering. I've noticed a huge improvement in the telephone quality - call sound is better, and I get better reception. YouTube thankfully works just fine on this phone (never worked right on the 9000). Photos glide using the trackpad (which I like a LOT), similar to an iPhone, when you're showing off pictures to friends. Camera is awesome -- I've taken some great pictures on it -- and the video camera is also quite nice. Yes, browser still needs work but is also improved. I was a cynic, I'll admit. Totally content with the 9000, but I would recommend the upgrade if you're so inclined. For me, it was well worth the [...]. BlackBerries may not have all the snazzy bells and whisles of an iPhone or a Droid, but if you use it for work (as I do) but also like to surf and use FaceBook, this one's great.
BB9700 February 1, 2010
Reviewer: K. Gallimore (Jamaica) -
Great product, probably the best blackberry out now. Fast and reliable shipping, item arrived quickly in excellent condition
Best BB to date, but needs a couple improvements February 23, 2010
I agree with mostly everything in "Always Samsung's" review but I'd like to add what I think are the major Pros and Cons on the Bold 9700 compared to previous Blackberries.
Optical Trackpad (no sticky trackballs anymore!)
Great high resolution 480 x 360-pixel screen
Threaded Text Messaging
New BBM with new features like contact pictures/icons and ability to send messages to multiple friends all at once
New 5.0 Operating System (Runs much quicker without lag)
Hot swappable MicroSD up to 32GB capacity (awesome for movies and all your music)
Wi-Fi (super fast! watching Youtube has zero lag)
Super quick Email (almost instantaneous if you use Gmail)
IM (I use Beejive)
Improved Multimedia Player
Improved memory to 256MB RAM
Visual Voice Mail (see each message listed on your phone and choose which one you want to listen to)
1. Web surfing
I upgraded from a Curve 8300 to the Bold 9700. I'm on AT&T. Surfing the web on the 9700 is really slow when on EDGE and not on 3G(as the Verizon commercials point out, AT&T does not have 3G all over the place). Oddly, it is slower than my Curve 8300 when on EDGE. I'm really not sure why this is the case but I'm assuming that maybe it has to do with the new OS and how it is only optimized for 3G? I've set all my settings in browser Options correctly so that it loads the quickest whether or not I'm on 3G or EDGE, and it doesn't matter even if I turn off loading images, etc. Therefore I use Opera Mini because it is definitely faster than the default BB browser. On Wi-Fi, both Opera Mini and BB browser are nice and fast, takes about 4 secs for Opera and about 6 seconds for BB browser to load pages.
Also, for some odd reason the speakerphone on the 9700 is not as loud as my 8300. I'm not sure why this is the case. At its max volume it is probably 70% of what my old 8300 can do. And the sound quality is not as good as the Bold 9000. The Bold 9700 distorts at max volume. The Bold 9000 has a really good stereo effect to the sound when playing music stored on the media card or off Pandora. The Bold 9700 sounds a little monotone, even after adjusting the "EQ".
3. Mini USB?
So yah, they switched to Mini USB. It comes with one wall charger and one mini usb cable. Which sucks because now you have to buy extra mini USB cables including a new mini USB car charger.
Not as many applications as iPhone obviously but there are some good ones.
If they had the same amount of applications for Blackberry as they do the iPhone, it would totally own the iPhone.
-All in all the Bold 9700 is a great phone and I will always love it over the iPhone because I like to read and web surf while driving. You can't do that with an iPhone or any touchscreen only phone because you need two hands. haha
-Blackberry Messenger is the best hands down. What other phone gives you free texting?? Saves me lots of $$ each year on texting. Majority of my friends are on Blackberry so the texting is free. I only have to buy 200 text messages every month or $5 worth to be able to text my friends not on Blackberry.
-I have a 16gb microSD card in my phone so it makes my iPod and Zune obsolete basically. Plus if the battery runs out I can just put in a new freshly charged battery. You can't do that with the iPod or Zune.
-Being able to sync with my Outlook calendar is a plus too. Having to carry only one device for multiple uses makes life easy!
Better than the 9000 April 12, 2010
Reviewer: Michigan BADMO "Dandy Don Colleen" (Royal Oak, MI USA) -
I had a 9000 and basically wore it out. I had been tempted by the 9700 when it came out, but all of the reports say it's the same phone as the 9000 in a different case. NO WAY.
Radically better battery life, faster browsing and downloads, much better camera, OS is more logical, and better sound. It is really better in every way. I wish I had switched months ago.
The only downside is the micro USB port. I own hundreds of mini USB devices, cords, chargers, etc. THE ONLY REASON RIM SWITCHED TO MICRO USB IS TO GET THEIR CUSTOMERS TO RE-BUY EVERY ACCESSORY THAT THEY BOUGHT FOR THEIR PREVIOUS PHONES!!!
There is no technical reason for micro USB - it's basically the same size as mini usb. Draw your own conclusions people!!!
But other than that, I love the phone.
Well worth it to upgrade to the Bold 9700 February 20, 2010
Reviewer: W. Wong "Willvandam" (New York, NY) -
I upgraded my Curve 8310 to the Bold 9700 and I have never looked back - I think the upgrade is worth it for the following reasons:
1) 3G - MUCH faster I actually use the internet now vs. the very slow Edge network
2) Faster CPU - this Bold is much faster than the Curve no wait times
3) New OS 5.0 - it really is nicer and easier to use - especially with text messages
4) Beautiful screen - you need to compare the Curve and Bold side by side to really see the difference
5) Optical trackpad - for those who have had your trackball wheel get stuck (or fall out) you will appreciate this new trackball
So far I haven't had any problems with the Bold and would recommend it - one thing, if you are switching from the Curve to the Bold it's going to take awhile to get used to the keyboard layout - be patient, you'll get used to it but in the beginning I made alot of typing errors. And yes the browser is still bad but load Opera Mini and you'll be good to go -
Yet Another Amazing Phone from RIM January 26, 2010
Reviewer: IAMSLICK (Roswell, GA) -
I have owned the Blackberry T7105, 8320 Curve (T-Mobile), another 8320 Curve (AT&T), and now the Bold 9700. This is the best Blackberry I have ever owned, and it's not even close.
The 3G Speed is lightning quick when surfing the web or downloading an email attachment. It is actually faster than if I have WiFi enabled through my wireless router. The screen and graphics are razor sharp. The processor speed, which is the main reason I upgraded after owning my last 8320 for only 7 months, is just phenomenal! I haven't seen an hour glass yet. My favorite thing is that the Bold 9700 is the same size as my old 8320.
The interface is very similar to the older 4.X OS that's on the Curve, just much nicer, faster, and equally intuitive. The camera takes excellent pictures (2048x1536), and saves them in about 1 second vs. the 4-5 second lag on an 8320. I love that this phone comes with a 2GB memory card included. It also comes with a really nice leather case.
Call quality and reception so far have been excellent. I honestly can't find a downside to this phone.
If you are badly in need of an upgrade, this phone is definitely worth upgrading to. Not so sure jumping from a Bold to a Bold 9700 makes much sense, but if you go from a Curve or Pearl to this phone it will be a huge improvement.
A "Bold" new Phone July 11, 2010
a great non touchscreen Phone from the RIM stable....fast,reliable and great at multi tasking
The only improvement can be in the Browser department and by ATT not compelling you to use 3G network for youtube and other video streaming...Great Call quality and a very accurate GPS service .... 3G service decent limited by ATT 3G network performance. apps run great on local wifi networks.
p.s : had a problem with ATT though. They charged me the activation fee despite the contract saying no activation fee on purchase. ATT needs to stop doing this if they intend to retain customers (especially for returning loyal customers like me). Had to argue with the customer service rep many times (with atleast 0.5 hr call hold each time) to finally get them to remove the charge
Lucky to use BlackBerry!! May 10, 2010
I have been using it for the past 3months this is really a superb one.I can say this as a two in one model a mobile as well as a mini computer...user friendly, less in weight.. slim,handy...easy to access e-mail, chat wit my friends.., easy to transfer objects and files ....helps me lot in my business... good clarity camera and battery...once in a while I forgot to take my charger along with me... you know it was a surprise that my battery was full for nearly 2 days Great one!!!!
An Awesome Phone May 2, 2010
Reviewer: yowza3 (san francisco, ca) -
The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is a great smartphone. Some thoughts & highlights:
-The keyboard, as usual for BlackBerry's, is extremely nice to type on.
-The track pad is awesome. Navigation is always quick, quiet, and smooth
-Push email. Receive all your emails in an instant. Set up a variety of accounts (IMAP, POP) and you're ready to start emailing and getting emails. BlackBerry/RIM have mastered this.
-Customizable convenience keys. You're not restricted to having the side convenience set to one thing and one thing forever and only. Set them to messages, app switcher, camera, media--whatever you'd like!
-not as robust as other app stores, but the App World is growing, and in a good direction. The basics are covered, though. I've got Pandora Radio, Engadget,Kindle Reader, Gmail/Google, foursquare, Twitter for BlackBerry, Opera Mini 5, Flixster, Yelp, foursquare, and ebay just to name a few.
-Great display. Colors are crisp and resolution is impressive. The screen isn't all that big, so you'll notice how nice everything looks.
-Wifi & 3G makes the phone super fast. Excellent download speeds, great for web browsing, and making calls of course.
-[...] works!!! Watch YouTube videos on the go
-Camera quality is good, not the best, but good for sharing with friends, on social networks, and on-to-go.
-Media player is surprising good. I load music, videos, and podcasts using DoubleTwist.
-Web browsing is okay. I use Opera Mini 5, which is good, but has its quirks as well. It's not the best browsing experience and iPod touch/iPhone will beat it every time, but for a quick lookup, it is suitable. A new web kit browser is coming though, so this'll be improved.
-Call quality is excellent. My area has good 3G coverage and rarely delves into EDGE/2G. At the end of the day, this is a cell phone, so I'm very happy with call quality! :)
Best blackberry, great functionality! April 23, 2010
Reviewer: Kaizer Cooper (Denver, CO) -
This is the best BB phone so far. Well designed interface, good 3G speed (Denver) with AT&T and I am very happy with the purchase. At 1 cent can't beat Amazon's price. I'd say in today cell phone market this BB Bold 9700 for business users and the iPhone 3GS for casual users are the best phones out there. Touch pad eliminates problem with the old track ball. Good tactile feel for buttons, solid build quality - Excellent device.