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T-Mobile's 3G BlackBerry Bold 9700 QWERTY messaging smartphone review

Review by Lauren Haselton on Wednesday November 11, 2009.

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The sleek and stylish BlackBerry Bold 9700 is T-Mobile's first 3G BlackBerry. This time around RIM cut the size of the original down while working in some new features for the smartphone's inaugural offering on T-Mobile, including support for the carrier's UMA based HotSpot @Home VoIP calling service. The Bold 9700, available for $199 (with a 2-year contract), will also be available on AT&T's network with few changes.

Physical Aspects

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 measures 109mm x 60mm (4.29in x 2.36in) with a depth of 14.2mm (.56in) and weighs 120.8g (4.26oz), is shorter and thinner than not only the original Bold, but also the recent Tour model. That slimmed down body accounts for the significantly different feel between the new and old models. Like the original, the new Bold has faux-leather rear panel and also features a grippy rubber-like coating on its edges, which makes the device more scratch and scuff resistant as well as offering a nice feel.

The phone itself feels much sturdier than former BlackBerry models. The back cover fits snugly and can be slid off to access the battery and microSD card slot. The Bold 9700 has a black body with silver trim that extends down the topside of the back to the Bold's camera and flash.

The Bold 9700 has a trackpad instead of a trackball for screen navigation, the second BlackBerry with this feature. The trackpad on this model is responsive and, unlike a trackball, doesn't run the risk of becoming unhinged or stuck due to a stray piece of dust or dirt affecting its mechanisms. The trackpad is customizable in terms of sensitivity for both horizontal and vertical movements.

The keyboard is a bit cramped due to the narrow size of the phone; however, the keys offer good feedback and bounce. The keypad stretches completely to the ends of the phone, leaving no border between the letters and the phone's edge, which proves slightly distracting.

Along the top edge of the phone are two controls: lock and mute. The mute button mutes an inbound call, as you might expect, but also puts the phone into standby mode when long-pressed. The lock button enables the keylock. Powering on the phone is accomplished by long-pressing the red call end key.

Along the right side of the device are three buttons. The bottom one launches the camera, and the top two are for adjusting the phone's volume. The buttons are positioned near the user's ear, and are easily accessible for volume adjustments during calls. The left side of the Bold 9700 has a voice dialing button. The buttons on each side are customizable by the user and can be set to most any phone function.

The display is easy to read in all conditions, from daylight to night, and has bright, vivid colors. The Bold 9700 has a high-resolution 480x360 pixel color display, which is the same as the BlackBerry Tour but a hair better than the original Bold's half VGA 480x320 pixel display. The Bold 9700 has a standard 3.5mm headphone jack on the edge of the phone, to the left of the display.

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Connor @ 6:57:00PM EST on Wednesday November 11, 2009


kundan @ 8:34:44AM EDT on Tuesday October 5, 2010

Hello!! How are you?

SEXYLADY @ 11:30:42AM EST on Thursday January 6, 2011

i have the blackberry bold an i think its the best blackberry compared to the other models i also have iphone 4 an the blackberry is much better pretty cool cam on it to far better to the iphone

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