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Blackberry Bold 9700 (Bold 2) Expert Review: Can the new Bold better the excellent original? Buying advice from the UK's leading. Before the blackberryBOLD I had a iphone. It is MUCH better then the iphone. There are more feautures to see and do. Here is my review. KEYS: Great!. BlackBerry Cool brings you the most complete BlackBerry Bold review on the Internet. Well then, it's business as usual on our end too so the BlackBerry Bold better get ready for one of our out-and-out reviews.
After lots of publicity and plenty of delays, the BlackBerry Bold is here. Touted as RIM's answer to Apple's iPhone, the Bold offers 3G service, Wi-Fi support, built-in GPS, music and video players, and an absolutely gorgeous screen. Overall, the Bold is the best BlackBerry I've seen so far.
The BlackBerry Bold will be available from AT&T for $300 when you sign a new two-year contract. If you don't want to sign a contract, you can expect to pay about $650 for the phone at retailers like Best Buy. That's a steep price for a smartphone. So what do you get for your money?
You get a very handsome phone. Like most BlackBerrys (except for the Pearl Flip), the Bold is a candybar-style phone, with its LCD on top and a full QWERTY keyboard below. The phone itself is primarily black, with silver accents.
These similarities continue on to the handset's four-row full QWERTY keyboard, a BlackBerry staple. Though RIM's used an ever-so-slightly larger print on these keys, they remain untouched. Each key is raised to an asymmetric peak, aimed towards helping you type efficiently with two hands, and as always RIM makes excellent use of the tiny footprint available to lay these keys out.
Around the edge of the 9780 you'll discover a 3.5mm headphone socket, a micro-USB port and buttons dedicated to volume control and access to the handset's 5-megapixel camera. Speaking of the rear-mounted camera, snap-happy photographers will be chuffed to find the image sensor assisted by an LED flash, plus an autofocus feature in the camera's software settings.
Yes, the Bold's 480x320 screen is dazzling enough to warrant its own section dedicated simply to praising it. Incredibly rich and contrast-y with stunning pixel density, it's so nice you want to touch it. I actually tried to once or twice to hit okay on a dialog box, forgetting that it wasn't the touchy kind of screen. It almost makes reading the plain text of an email depressing, knowing you could be looking at a gorgeous video instead.
A BlackBerry lives and dies by its keyboard. When RIM diehards countered reckless banter about the death of the BlackBerry per the iPhone's Exchange support by pointing to the keyboard. After you get used to the slight angle shift in the Bold's keys, they're fantastic, like a delicately balanced wine, with a perfect blend of springy, punchy and spongy. The glossy navigation keys are overly large for reasons I cannot quite divine. The backlighting is beautiful.
Make Amusing Voice Changer Calls With Bluff My Call 8300 series, 8800 series , Bold and Tour BlackBerry phones, and works by routing your mobile phone As such it isn't gong to get full marks from this reviewer.
The T-Mobile and AT&T versions of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 are nearly identical, but there is one important difference between them: the T-Mobile version supports UMA (unlicensed mobile access). This technology that allows you to make voice calls over Wi-Fi wireless networks, not just a cellular network. This can allow you to make voice calls in places where you have a wireless network, but the cellular coverage is spotty.
My BlackBerry Bold 9700 review unit was a T-Mobile model, so I was able to test the Wi-Fi calling feature. Calls made over Wi-Fi sounded very good, with voices sounding clear and loud on both ends of the line. Making voice calls over wireless networks also can save you from using the voice minutes on your monthly plan, but it does require signing up for T-Mobile's Unlimited HotSpot Calling plan, which costs $10 per month.
PROS: The Bold is a world phone; its supports the four GSM bands (850, 900, 1800, and 1900) that are most commonly used around the world. (Keep in mind that you'll need a compatible calling plan to make calls overseas, though.) I also found the Bold relatively light and comfortable to hold next to my ear. Voices were loud, too; I could hear my callers easily and they said the same about me.
CONS: I heard a slight hiss on many of my calls. It wasn't loud enough to distort voices, but it was noticeable.
- Optical trackpad for easy and fluid navigation
- Built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g)
- Push to Talk feature
- VZ Navigator® version 6
- VZ Navigator Global capabilities
- Mobile e-mail and messaging capabilities
- Large (2.45") high-resolution display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi)
- 3.2 megapixel camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording
- Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music; a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack; and support for the Bluetooth® Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
- BlackBerry® Media Sync to easily sync music as well as photos
- Easy mobile access to Facebook®, MySpace and Flickr® as well as popular instant messaging services, including BlackBerry® Messenger
- Support for BlackBerry App World(TM), featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for lackBerry smartphones
- 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 16 GB microSD(TM) HC cards (a 2 GB card is pre-installed)
- Full HTML Web browser, streaming audio and video via RTSP
- Built-in GPS with support for location-based applications and services as well as geotagging
- Premium phone features, including voice-activated dialing, speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.1)
- Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America as well as single band UMTS/HSPA (2100 MHz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad
- Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for up to 5 hours of CDMA
On the outside everything feels great. There is no wobbly battery door, and the side buttons/convenience keys feel solid. The keyboard is a welcome change from my 9700 and I like the feel of it a bit more, and the fact that it is a touch wider than that of my 9700. The LCD fits flush all around with no annoying gaps anywhere. The trackpad and send/end buttons flow right through to connect the keyboard and LCD. Overall nothing is loose or non-fitting and the Bold 9650 feels well constructed. At first glance the micro USB port seems to be in the same annoying place as the Tour 9630, but as we know now it was moved down a bit for some unknown reason. I still can't stand the placement, and if I had to pick the biggest downside of the device this might just be it. If you try typing at all with the device plugged in, you have to create a whole new style just to work around the poor placement of the port. It is definitely much better suited at the top of the device on either side where it is out of the way should you need to use the device while charging.
All of the buttons feel solid. The convenience keys aren't loose at all, and the top buttons flow well into the device and don't stick out at all. I did find the trackpad a bit "clicky". Yes I know its supposed to click .. but it just feels/sounds like it clicks a bit more than it should, almost like its not a fluid motion and it catches on something. I'm sure this will be fine over time and either go away or just not bother me. Another interesting thing I found was trying to type on the keyboard. I was actually thrown off by the red keys on the number pad. They kind of messed with my head since I've been using the Bold 9700 and the keys are all the same color. Odd I know, but it was interesting and actually slowed down my typing a bit until I readjusted. I do love the large keyboard though and find it easy to type on as I did with the Tour.
On the inside the Bold 9650 is juiced up. 512MB (around 300MB free) means there is plenty of room to keep things running smooth. With the planned BlackBerry 6 right around the corner, this device will be ready to roll upon release. The Wifi is probably the best addition to the device (maybe its a tie with the optical trackpad) and I'm super excited to have it. Aside from those points things look pretty much the same. All the standard apps are here including BlackBerry Messenger, BlackBerry App World, calendar, tasks etc. The device also has icons (to download apps) for Twitter for BlackBerry, Skype, VZ Navigator, IM clients and a number of other apps.
From the start the Bold 9650 runs smooth. The boot time is quick (keep in mind its out of the box with no 3rd party apps, messages etc) and navigating around the OS is great. When first starting it feels as if the OS has to settle in before navigation is totally smooth. But overall once you get going there is no noticable lag time getting around, and it just feels like a solid OS. There is no saying what errors may pop up, and if/when Verizon will drop an OS update. Overall we can expect this OS (22.214.171.1249) to hold up well for now, and hopefully won't be a problem as was the original OS on the Tour 9630.
The battery life already seems better than that of the Tour 9630 as well. I barely made it through a day using the one battery on my 9630, and using an extended battery didn't help all that much. The 9650 seems to last quite a while longer. I'm not sure yet if it fully compares to that of the Bold 9700, but it is definitely doing it's part to get me through a day with avarage usage.
One of the first things I noticed about the Bold 9650 is how amazing the call quality is. I honestly don't make many calls from my device, but in testing the other party sounded crisp and clear on a number of calls. The device fits well in the hand, but for some may be a bit of a stretch for one-handed use. It is a bit wide so depending on your habits it may be hard to hold for some. I do like the rubberized sides and back as they help for the grip when typing. The keyboard feels smooth and there is no snagging on the keys typing was extremely easy. The keyboard does look a bitte more "matte" than the glossy-ness (I made that up) on the Tour 9630. The trackpad feels good and there is no difference in height to the send/end buttons. The convenience keys were easy to use, although I noticed the right-side key didn't have much movement so it was almost hard to tell if it was pressed or not. I do find the rubberized battery door to be annoying at times. It feels weird when holding the device, and kind of rubs my fingers the wrong way if I move around too much. I'm sure I can adjust to it, but I actually notice it quite a bit when typing. There are no large gaps or protruding parts on the Bold 9650. I did notice a bit of the rubberized side right over the headset jack sticks out a bit. Its nothing to worry about since it can easily be forgotten, but if I remember correctly my Tour was the same exact way. Nothing else sticks out where it shouldn't, and everything feels very well put together. The device is solid and should stand up to a long life of use.
Verion Bold 9650 & Tour 9630 Side by Side
Verizon Bold 9650 & Tour 9630 Right Side View
Verizon Bold 9650 & Tour 9630 Left Side View
Verizon Bold 9650 & T-Mobile Bold 9700
Apps and Accessories
The great thing about this device is that there are already a ton of accessories on the market compatible with it. You can find them all in the CrackBerry Store as well. I would highly suggest using a case of somekind for your Bold 9650. Afterall, you don't want to scratch your new baby do you? One important thing to note though, the charging port on the Bold 9650 has been moved up about an 1/8th inch. Several users are reporting that some skins they had for their Tour 9630's still work just fine, but some hard cases aren't working. The charging port isn't lined up correctly, and this will obviously be a problem. Just pay attention to what you order and verify that it will work.
Now on the application side of the fence, the world is your oyster. BlackBerry App World comes preloaded on the device giving you all the access you need to several great apps. If that isn't to your liking, I would suggest you download the CrackBerry Superstore and browse though the apps we have available. I know you'll find one to your liking.
My only disappointment in the app department was the lack of OpenGL games. I really wanted to try one out for the review and see how it went. However, there doesn't seem to be any available, or at least I couldn't find one if there is. If anyone knows of an OpenGL game that will work with the Bold 9650 please leave me a comment and I'll make sure to check it out.
The 3.2-megapixel camera on the Bold 9700 is a notable improvement from the 2-megapixel shooter found on the original Bold. The snapshots it captured were remarkably clear and colorful. You get an autofocus, too, which is a nice touch -- unless you're trying to capture a moving subject. The kids I was trying to photograph couldn't seem to sit still long enough for the autofocus to do its work. The camera captures serviceable video clips, too.
Music and More
The included media player is not exceptional, but it's perfectly serviceable -- and that's not a bad thing. It's easy to use as a way of organizing and playing back audio and video files. Music quality was very good, and videos looked gorgeous on the 9700's sharp display.
The AT&T version of the Bold 9700 comes with some multimedia extras that the T-Mobile version lacks, such as support for AT&T's mobile music service.
The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is an excellent smartphone -- but is it the best BlackBerry yet? I think so. It's sleeker than the excellent BlackBerry Tour, and it offers Wi-Fi support, which the Tour unforgivably lacks. But the Tour has the benefit of running on the Verizon Wireless network, which may be enough of a draw for many users.
Conclusion and Final Thoughts
This is RIM's best phone ever. Does that mean it's the phone for you? If you're a BlackBerry fanatic, yes—it really is the phone you've been waiting for, if you're not hoping RIM radically changed the recipe. Because they didn't. It's cleaner and brighter, but it's not an overhaul by any means. It's a more powerful and beautiful distillation of the same experience.
For other people who were eyeing it as the time to switch to BlackBerry, the issue is less straightforward. As I said in the intro, it's coming into a complicated world, where it has more consumer crossover appeal than a flagship RIM device—currently, the 8800—ever has before. (No doubt, even more people are looking at it in light of 3G problems on other handsets, either suit-and-ties who were considering the jump, or people looking for their first high-end smartphone, though more of the former.) At its heart, this thing is a corporate workhouse. It will play movies, music, browse the internet and all of the things consumers usually want—and do it well—but it is coming from a different mindset than the iPhone, something to keep in mind if you're torn between these two phones.
Now has come the time where you may be looking for me to tell you that you must upgrade your current BlackBerry to the Bold 9650 because it is so great. Well I do agree it is great, but I think the necessity for an upgrade will really depend on what device you are currently using. For users with the Tour 9630, the need to get the addition of additional memory, trackpad, and Wi-Fi may not be that great. Sure we all want the newest and greatest thing, but the Tour is already a pretty great device in it's own right. You'll just need to weigh the factors out and see if the upgrade is worth it to you. Personally, I would do it, but I know not everyone will feel the same.
However for users with a 8830, 8330, or 8130; I think the time has come for you to retire that device, and move up to the Bold 9650. Not only will you be getting a newer device with all the great features we have previously talk about, but you'll be getting the best BlackBerry on the market. No other carrier can compete with the Bold 9650 at this point. Sure Verizon and other CDMA carriers will get it at some point, but for now, you can be the cool kid with the exclusive new device. Quick Specs. Service provider: Sprint Nextel ... Admittedly, in the fast-paced world of smartphones, the Bold 9650 doesn't really rank as the most .... According to FCC radiation tests, the Bold has a digital SAR rating of 1.35 ... Please submit your review for: RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 (Sprint). The Bold came out with flying colours on the test that we had with the landline. ... BlackBerry Bold 9700 Smartphone - Technical specifications, Features . The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is a solid, reliable, and ultimately rather boring ... the rest of the phone—not state-of-the-art in specs, but very well done. ... the Bold might be your next smartphone. Benchmark Test Results. BlackBerry bold 9650 01 Blackberry BOLD 9650 Smartphone | Specs Review. The Bold 9650 has a 2.44inch display with a resolution of 480 x 360 at 245.
BlackBerry Bold Price
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