BlackBerry Bold 9700 review: first look

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 shrinks down the 9000 to fit in your pocket. We take see if smaller is better in this first look review.

Unfortunately, some of the phone's most crucial features are ones we weren't able to test with a quick hands-on look at the device. The Bold 9700 claims to offer much better battery life than its predecessor, with a stated six hours of talk time or 17 days standby with 3G turned on.

Many Bold 9000 users faced battery problems with their phones though, so we're going to take those numbers with a pinch of salt before we kick off any celebrations.

Also, the music player has been optimised, allowing you to put your Bold 9700 into a walkman' mode where other features are put to sleep, giving over 30 hours of MP3 playback with a single charge. These are figures that you'd be happy with in a high-end dedicated MP3 player, but again we're going to have to approach them with caution for now.

Still, if you're planning to use the Bold 9700 as a commute music player, the 3.5mm headphone jack is a feature we have absolutely no issues with.

However, like many of the Bold 9700's best bits, it's another feature that was included in its predecessor. We're not going to complain about a valid iteration on a phone we loved the first time around, though.

It does an excellent job of keeping the QWERTY comfortable while scaling it down a bit, and the track pad seems like a hit too. Plus RIM claimed that software advancements will speed up the device a little, as well as giving it that extra battery kick.

This isn't a next generation BlackBerry, a fact that RIM admits to by planning to keep the Bold 9000 on sale alongside the 9700. However, if the original Bold was just that bit too chunky for your tastes, give the Bold 9700 a further look.

Verdict

During our brief time with the Bold 9700, we were pretty impressed. If you were a fan of the original Bold, but not so much a fan of its bulk, this could be the handset for you.

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