BlackBerry Bold 9700 (T-Mobile)
Manufacturer: BlackBerry Part number: BOLD9700BLKTMB
- Bottom Line:
- The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 brings T-Mobile its first 3G BlackBerry and improves on its predecessor with a sleeker design and more power. We only wish it had a better browser to complete the package.
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as of 08/21/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $249.99
- Reviewed by: Bonnie Cha
- Reviewed on: 11/04/2009
The good: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 boasts a sleeker design that includes an optical trackpad, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a brilliant display. The smartphone is 3G capable and offers Wi-Fi with UMA support, Bluetooth, and GPS. It also gets a faster processor and updates to BlackBerry OS 5.0.
The bad: The BlackBerry browser doesn't compare to the competition. The handset's compact size results in a smaller display and keyboard, but they aren't deal-breakers.
The bottom line: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 brings T-Mobile its first 3G BlackBerry and improves on its predecessor with a sleeker design and more power. We only wish it had a better browser to complete the package.
A great device if you are a Blackberry person
by victor19nyc on November 19, 2009
Pros: Fast, very good battery life, clean interface, great messaging capabilities, physical keyboard, a 3G BB for T-Mobile (finally!), trackpad a great upgrade over trackball, GPS works well, great as a phone (most important)
Cons: Web browser (see below), smallish screen (but nice nonetheless), keyboard not as good as Curve, lack of apps compared to Android options
Summary: I really needed a new phone and was seriously shopping for one of the new Android phones, but all of them had at least one fatal flaw:
Droid: flat keyboard ...
Summary: I really needed a new phone and was seriously shopping for one of the new Android phones, but all of them had at least one fatal flaw:Yes, I downloaded Opera Mini 5 Beta. My only complaints are it occasionally gets hung up when trying to enter text into a text box, and when entering a URL I sometimes have to hit 'enter' twice before it goes to the page. i also haven't figured out how to change the three default "speed dial" sites, currently set to Opera, BBC and Wikipedia.
Droid: flat keyboard was hard to use, not a world phone
Hero: no keyboard, trackball (re: gunk)
Moment: bulky, poor battery life, keyboard awkward
Cliq: sluggish, Motoblur overload, concave space key on keyboard made it hard to type
Behold II: sluggish, just didn't impress, expensive (!)
I was pretty nit-picky, but then again I wanted a phone I could easily live with for the next two years. Enter the Bold 9700.
I upgraded from a Curve 8320, and even though the Curve was very good the 9700 blows it away (as it should). Hardware-wise, it has a sleek, sexy design and has a very solid feel. The keyboard is a little flat compared to the Curve and the keys aren't separated, but even though it's not as easy to type on I can manage with almost no mistakes (in contrast, when I tested out the Droid I was far more accurate on the touchscreen than its flat keyboard).
The only other downside, as mentioned here and other places, is the web browser. It's adequate, but if you want a noticeable upgrade before a webKit option becomes available try using Opera Mini. Opera isn't supporting 9700 installs yet but I had no problem installing and running it. It renders web pages far more accurately than the BB browser and I also think it's a tad quicker.
Bottom line: solid hardware, solid OS and messaging software. Only weaknesses are a not-so-great browser and not-so-great social networking apps for BB, but as with finding and using an option like Opera Mini I think it's only a matter of time before developers improve these apps and enhance the BB experience.
Updated on Dec 1, 2009
The only other other thing I wish to do with the 9700 is get the GPS to default to Google Maps instead of Blackberry Maps. The internal setting only gives the one option.
Two last items: the keyboard has worked much better than I initially thought. Sometimes I think I might be pressing a wrong key when in fact I am not. You really have to hit the keys squarely for it to type a character (thus minimizing typos). Plus I have gotten two solid days (plus part of a third) before needing to recharge, all while having the GPS on, moderate browsing and pulling in email.
16 out of 16 users found this user opinion helpful.
by gary-tx on November 18, 2009
Pros: Battery life, Wifi with UMA, the optical trackpad, great balance of screen resolution, size and weight
Cons: Needs a better web browser. T-mo's 3G coverage in Austin is a bit spotty
Summary: Overall, an awesome phone. Battery life is really incredible: during typical daily usage with both the 3G and WiFi radios on, I'm getting 2-3 days of use. This is ...
Summary: Overall, an awesome phone. Battery life is really incredible: during typical daily usage with both the 3G and WiFi radios on, I'm getting 2-3 days of use. This is one of the most important things to me and BB worked some magic here Friends of mine that have a G1 and a Palm Pre are only getting about 8 hours under similar usage.
I upgraded from a Pearl - the 9700 is so much better on every aspect: screen brightness, resolution, battery, functionality, readability, speed, overall fit and finish, ease of use, audio quality and apps. And... it is so great not to have that trackball anymore. The optical trackpad on the 9700 has a great feel and takes no time to get used to.
UMA - WiFi works seamlessly. I have it configured for home. Easy to set up and it just works.
Only thing needed to make it perfect would be a full webkit based browser. The 9700's browser is improved over the Pearl's but it still has a long way to go compared to the iPhone and Android.
14 out of 15 users found this user opinion helpful.
Definitely the BEST blackberry and smartphone out there
by want2cbetter on November 26, 2009
Pros: The form factor; the speed of the OS; the trackpad; the video recorder's quality; visual voicemail
Cons: The web browser HAS to be updated - Opera Mini is a must to make up for the native browser's downfalls
Summary: If you want a toy, get an iphone or a droid. If you want a work horse that looks great, fits perfect in your hand/pocket and has many, many ...
Summary: If you want a toy, get an iphone or a droid. If you want a work horse that looks great, fits perfect in your hand/pocket and has many, many fun things to do on it, then get the Bold 9700. I use this phone for my e-mails, calendar, radio/music player, taking great photos and video, games and much more. The trackpad is much better than the already great trackball. The ratio of chrome to black is perfect for the look. The fake leather back is perfect (no more slipping like on the 8900). Visual Voicemail is amazing. The phone is blazing fast...... wow - it's so fast. The 5.0 OS is great, with many improvements. So much works so well on this phone.
9 out of 9 users found this user opinion helpful.
Blackberry Bold 9700 - not for everyone
by sithlord55123 on December 8, 2009
-Fastest Blackberry there is.
-Syncs great with Microsoft Outlook
-Long battery life
-Great screen - plays MobiTV without a hitch
-Picture quality - 3.2 Megapixels
-New Trackpad - very cool.
-Smaller screen than original Bold
-Smaller keyboard than original Bold
-Accesories - like screen protecters hard to find.
Summary: I am one of those rare people that used an iPhone for 7 months and moved back to a Blackberry. I had the Bold before that move. When I saw ...
Summary: I am one of those rare people that used an iPhone for 7 months and moved back to a Blackberry. I had the Bold before that move. When I saw that a new, quicker, better battery Bold had come out, I jumped on board.
After one week use of the Blackberry Bold 9700, I traded it back in for the original Bold (9000). My reasons are more "form" than function.
The new Bold 9700 is quicker, the battery lasts longer, and screen clarity is better. But I moved back to the Bold, because it's, it's, it's... Bold.
I fell in love with the Bold 9000 because it was bigger, easier to see and easier to type. The keys are wide spaced, yet I can still text/type with one hand. I liked the screen size and menu set up because I could find everything with one hand. I didn't have to worry about it slipping out of my hand or not fitting in my pocket.
The new Bold 9700 is just too small for my hand. I found that I had to watch my texting because my big hands would hit more than one key at a time.
Overall, the new Bold 9700 is the Blackberry to get if you don't have that issue. But I wish that Blackberry would've kept the size the same and just made all the improvements - screen resolution, trackpad instead of trackball, better camera and faster processor to the new Bold.
If you are one of those big fingered people like me (or just like a bigger Blackberryphone with with a nice sized keyboard and screen, you may wish to stay with the first Bold 9000 instead of the new Bold 9700. If you are just looking for the best Blackberry and size doesn't matter than I would steer you to the Bold 9700, it really is awesome.
I really hope Blackberry reads these reviews and pgoes back to the Bold's roots and puts out a real 'Bold' for the rest of us.
That is my reason for 4 out of 5. If it enhancements would've been done with the same orignal sized Bold 900, I would've eslity rated this 5 out of 5 because the enhancements were that good!
8 out of 8 users found this user opinion helpful.
My first BlackBerry and a great experience
by friedchikkin on May 18, 2010
Pros: 3.2MP camera more than adequate, light-sensitive response of the screen, keyboard is amazing, being able to use my router for calling/texting is AMAZING, kb's easy2 use even w big hands, brilliant/sharp screen- sync w PC, MAC! SOUND QUALITY BAR NONE!
Cons: Software for Mac is available but sub par its PC counterpart- quite functional and a selling point for me nonetheless.
Summary: Trying to purchase via T-Mobile.com each phone would be $129- called Customer Service, got 2 for 1 (my self, my wife). RIM's spec info details an extra 256MB ...
Summary: Trying to purchase via T-Mobile.com each phone would be $129- called Customer Service, got 2 for 1 (my self, my wife). RIM's spec info details an extra 256MB SD card, came w 2GB SD card. Battery life is excellent, texting easy, keyboard stays backlit in dark areas, can detect being in holster & has extra Ring-Tone/Vibration settings for it. Being able to have excellent reception because it can be used via WiFi (even with different encryption settings) in our apt is an amazingly appreciated feature! This thing definitely sounds better (clearer/louder) than the iPhone, too! Don't take my word on that, try for yourself if you like! I can hear this thing in a train station and carry on a convo when my mother can't with her iPhone- def beat the pants off my last Samsung. The Security features are excellent, too, offering keyboard lock and data encryption using an alphanumeric password- iPhone/iPod Touch only utilizes numeric.
The Desktop Manager Mac software successfully synced my iTunes files, playlists, my Home movie directory and Address Book contacts with no hassle.
I've only had this a few days and I'm looking forward to possible another BlackBerry when I renew my contract in another 2 years.
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Love the phone, Hate the keyboard!
by jd4133 on December 18, 2009
Pros: Looks, optical trackball, call quality, camera/picture quality, ease of navigation within the phone.
Cons: Keyboard, Keyboard, Keyboard....did I mention the keyboard?
Summary: This is not my first Blackberry phone, and I enjoy using a BlackBerry, however, the keyboard on the 9700 leaves a lot to think about if you plan on typing ...
Summary: This is not my first Blackberry phone, and I enjoy using a BlackBerry, however, the keyboard on the 9700 leaves a lot to think about if you plan on typing more than occasionally. They keys are SO close that you WILL find yourself going back to correct wrong entries. I would swear the keyboard was designed by a 5 year old girl....the keys would be perfect for HER hand and fingers. Me....I am 6 ft tall and weigh in at over 225...its at a point where I dread having to answer a text message or an email letter.
I was happy to have a built in GPS to use if I need one. However, it has yet to find my location accurately. It tries to show me where I am, but it has never once actually placed me were I really was. In other words, on my own driveway, it showed me standing in some location over a mile away from where I actually was. That is NOT good.
Other than those two features, I think I would recommend this phone if asked to....but with reservations based solely on that damn keyboard. I WOULD STRONGLY SUGGEST YOU TRY THE KEYBOARD OUT AT YOUR CELL PHONE STORE PRIOR TO ACTUALLY PURCHASING ONE. If the keyboard is fine for you, then the phone will be fine for you as well.
5 out of 5 users found this user opinion helpful.
Build quality is horrendous. Third phone in two weeks.
by jeremyrnr on March 10, 2010
Pros: Fully customizable, fast, browser is decent. Optical trackpad is awesome. Well thought through design. Great battery life.
Cons: Build quality!!! !!! Rim needs to work on making this phone more reliable memory-wise. The more apps you have the more glitches you have. You can only store apps on the device memory 256mb of which half is native software. Premier business phone?
Summary: If you are a new blackberry user I have three words for you: alt-shift-del is how you reset your device. Here is my list of complaints. First phone had some ...
Summary: If you are a new blackberry user I have three words for you: alt-shift-del is how you reset your device. Here is my list of complaints. First phone had some kind of processor issue-constant hour glass issues when doing nothing and could not be purged. Second phone-exterior mic for video didn't work and two keys were weak. Third phone-browsing, playing a video and controls became jittery and page around cursor was looking strange. I reset the phone and... white out, resetting or battery pull didn't work; tried reloading software and had no change, left it alone for a half hour and started but the half the display is scrambled. The hard part is I love this phone. You can set tones for email, sms, number of vibrations and tone. The phone is fast and a great multitasker, jump back and forth with multiple programs and not lose track. This phone was so well thought out but it fails baddly in execution. Like I said you can only store apps on the device main memory of 256mb and less than half is open. The amount of memory should be sufficient however the more you put on the phone the slower it gets and the less reliable. RIM needs to work on memory management, memory is cheap nowadays. I cannot understand how this phone can be the premier business phone. The phone seems to fall to pieces before your eyes. Battery life is excellent you can get two days crusing the internet and playing video and 4 being conservative. I don't understand the browser complaints it will access just about any site and zoom and scroll are excellent-press z to resize to fit screen for easier reading. I am contemplating rolling the dice again on this phone although I am scared because my 30 days is nearing. I love this phone but I cannot recommend it. If this phone was built better and had no memory/software issues...five stars. Obviously RIM went with cheap instead of quality.
4 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
I Love It!
by zimminy on May 30, 2010
Pros: Great battery life, Very easy to navigate, Lots of useful features and options, Very fast web browsing, Nice slim compact size with very sharp screen.
Cons: A little bit of a learning curve to use.
Summary: This is my first Blackberry and now I understand the hype. I had a Palm Pre phone prior to this and found it quite frustrating. In my opinion phones like ...
Summary: This is my first Blackberry and now I understand the hype. I had a Palm Pre phone prior to this and found it quite frustrating. In my opinion phones like the Palm Pre and I-phone are entertainment devices first and phones and business/productivity devices second. The blackberry is a solid phone and does all of the "meat and potatoes" functions such as email, messaging and other business related items exceptionally well. It also has a very good camera/video and has all of the other bells and whistles (mp3 player, etc.). Obviously the Palm Pre and I-phone are more geared to the entertainment side but I find the Web browsing much more enjoyable with the Blackberry 9700 based solely on the fact that it uses very fast 3G while my Palm Pre was considerably slower using EVDO.
I'm not bashing the I-phone or the Palm Pre as they are both quite good but as I stated earlier, if you want a no nonsense phone that does allot of things very well than the 9700 is fantastic.
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
The best Blackberry to date, but is that good enough?
by jkrny09 on March 23, 2010
Pros: WIFI, 624 MHz processor, good battery life, solid feel compared to other BB, relatively fast internet, the ultimate messaging machine? OS 5.0
Cons: kind of slow actually, so so media performance (I'll explain), okay-bad browser experience
Summary: The top of the line BB. I have had the 8520 and 8900 as well and by far this is the best one. The inclusion of 3G makes a huge ...
Summary: The top of the line BB. I have had the 8520 and 8900 as well and by far this is the best one. The inclusion of 3G makes a huge difference especially if your a internet browsing hound like I am. On the other hand the BB browser is just bad. With the new 5.0 OS I thought they would have revamped the internet browser (please RIM!). Now, the browser isn't total garbage, but it's no Safari experience either. Many people say the 9700 is too similar to the 8520 and 8900 (especially the 8900). I say no because, my 8900 felt cheap and had the shifting keyboard and loose battery cover problems. The 8900 also had too much fake chrome and fake brushed aluminum. The 8520 is the lightest BB but, was covered in a glossy plastic that encouraged smudges and scratches. Also, the 8520 had no character and was a bit too feminine for me (literally too curvy). The 9700 design tops all other BB because, it's slimmer then the original bold, has a nice heavy feel, and has the right amount of fake chrome plastic. The heaviness of the 9700 is because of the addition of 3G (3G needs more battery so they included a huge battery almost the size of the phone). So will argue that the fake leather back cheapens the BB experience. I argue that it actually looks nice, although the leather probably will be the first thing on the 9700 to show signs of wear and tear. WIFI is great but should be a given for ever new BB/smartphone. I would have loved to seen WIFI N though, it would have separated this phone from every other smart phone. The 624 processor is fast I guess? Maybe it was fast when it came out but, now with snapdragon processors this thing feels kind of slow. The 9700 does run faster compared to any BB but, it does sometimes lag (but not bad at all). The new OS failed to update the BB's number one flaw (Internet) but it managed to improve on it's best trait (messaging). Texting has now become very similar to BB messaging (think of AIM but without any of the BS). Also, fast improvements have occurred with the email (especially is you run enterprise). So my last comment on the 9700 deals with the multimedia experience. Now before everyone freaks out and says the 9700 isn't a multimedia phone, just calm down and realize that every phone has now become a multimedia phone and messaging phone. I can only name a handful of phones on every carrier that doesn't provide a video player, camera, music player, and even HTML browser! With that said, the 9700 still provides caters to business users, but also provides many multimedia features. Now, I don't expect an iphone multimedia experience on the phone, but the internet video on this machine is terrible. No flash-lite support and unreliable youtube playability. Now most BB users don't care about watching the history of dance on youtube, but I do because I need something to keep me sane in my office! When I first got my phone youtube worked only on WIFI and then suddenly started to work on 3G as well but 2 months later. It's well documented that many people have had the same problem with their BB and youtube. Please RIM team up with google to get us a youtube app!
Someone on a blog made a great comparison: BB is similar to Windows (or what Windows mobile should be) and the iphone is like OSX. So my end story is don't compare the two because there meant for two different type of users.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
Compact RIM power house.
by LyndellKell on March 18, 2010
Pros: Battery can last two days with full brightness, the GPS and all notifications on. Menu navigation is a breeze. Top notch messaging system. Media is fantastic. Keyboard is easy and fast to use. The buttons on side make quick access to applications.
Cons: Not Touch Screen (If you find that a con)
Summary: If you want a smartphone that is more Action then Flash the 9700 is the way to go. you can make this phone work exactly how you need it to. ...
Summary: If you want a smartphone that is more Action then Flash the 9700 is the way to go. you can make this phone work exactly how you need it to. With apps like Vlingo you have one touch access from anywhere your are from the home page to web browsing to everything from Facebook updates to searching the web to voice dialing. it is fast and responsive. And i havent even mentioned the amzaing display. comes with a holster witch then has different modes. Best No touch phone (could be best phone) out 5 out of 5
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: BlackBerry
- Part number: BOLD9700BLKTMB
- Description: The BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone has a large, hi-res screen that displays over 65,000 colors; creating a vivid viewing experience for all your photos, videos, files and websites. Access what's important with trackpad navigation based on how laptops are designed. Glide your finger over the trackpad to scroll through menus and icons. A slight press and click lets you select an item to navigate where you want to go. Enjoy music, videos, photos and documents in great color and sound. Easily sync data and audio files from your desktop to the BlackBerry Bold 9700, and get up to 35 hours of music playback time. Enhance the 256 MB of on-board flash memory by easily inserting a microSD card. Create extra room for emails, messages, apps, multimedia files, documents and all the other important things that you want to take with you. Along with a 3.2 MP camera, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone features video camera functionality. Record and view videos on the hi-res screen, and share them through email, text messages or social networking sites. Mi-speed 3G network connectivity lets you browse the web or view email attachments faster. While Wi-Fi support enables your BlackBerry Bold 9700 smartphone to access available hotspots.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type BlackBerry
- Form Factor Full keyboard
- Integrated Components GPS receiver,
- Width 2.4 in
- Depth 0.6 in
- Height 4.3 in
- Weight 4.3 oz
- Body Color Black
- Technology WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM
- Band WCDMA (UMTS) / GSM 850/900/1800/1900
- Mobile Broadband Generation 3G
- Service Provider T-Mobile
- Operating System BlackBerry Handheld Software
- Input Device(s) QWERTY keyboard
- Phone Navigation Buttons Trackball
Messaging & Internet
- Cellular Messaging Services MMS,
- Instant Messaging Services RIM BlackBerry VM Client
- Data Transmission HSDPA
- Wireless Interface IEEE 802.11b/g,
Bluetooth 2.1 EDR
- Bluetooth Profiles Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP),
Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP)
- Communication Features Internet browser,
Mobile Email client
- Phone Functions Call timer,
- Polyphonic Ringer Yes
- Polyphonic Ring Tone Voice Qty 32
- Ring Tone Formats MP3,
- Personal Information Management Calendar,
- Supported Digital Audio Standards eAAC+,
- Supported Digital Video Standards MPEG-4,
- User Memory 256 MB
- Supported Flash Memory Cards microSD
- Sensor Resolution 3.2 megapixels
- Focus Adjustment Automatic
- Digital Zoom 2
- Video Recorder Resolutions 176 x 144 (QCIF),
352 x 480
- Features Picture stabilizer
- GPS Navigation A-GPS receiver
- Type LCD display - Color
- Technology TFT Transmissive
- Diagonal Size 2.4 in
- Display Resolution 480 x 360 pixels
- Color Depth 16-bit (65000 colors)
- Technology Lithium ion
- Capacity 1500 mAh
- Run Time Details Talk - up to 360 min,
Standby - up to 504 hour(s)
- Compliant Standards FIPS 140-2,
- Included Accessories Power adapter , Power adapter
- Also Included 256 MB