BlackBerry Bold 9700 review: Dare you go

8 December 2009
Some handsets will work their socks off to have their fifteen minutes of fame, others are simply born into stardom. The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is certainly fortunate to carry a name that stands for popularity and excellence in the RIM family of phones. But this kind of fame can be less a blessing and more of a curse if the successor fails to live up to the standards set by its illustrious namesake

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  • Ab

Debuchad, 10 Mar 2010Getting the GPS to work for the Bold 9700 in India (on vodafone ... moreFor me still its showing the same error... Using TATA DOCMO INDIA Nw

  • cooleddymx

im so happy, is the best mobile, internet so quickly, bbm, all in one!! i dont what more the people expect from a phone?? obviously doesnt have a 12mpx camera but which sony has mail or bbm?? obviously none! ive speak!!

  • Anonymous

Is it true that without a plan,BB9700 is useless? I mean like for me i just wanted a free wifi connection, i wanted only to surf the net via free wifi. Does it mean its not worth buying for?!

  • aki200

I bout mine last Monday. I already went 2 times to the store for a replacement here in Netherlands.
So this is my third blackberry this week. It is always something with cover.

First phone, stand-by/mute buttons was making annoying noise every time I press it.
Because the cover was somehow crooked and it did not fit good.

Second phone, metalic painted frame somewhere around volume buttons was crooked too.
Every time I take the phone in to my hands it made that annoying plasticly noise. Specially when you use the volume rockers. So I went again for the third phone.

The third phone, on the right side, around right lower corner of the screen when you go over it with your thumb you can feel the sharp edge of the screen. This is because the cover does not fit well. Also you can feel the edge on the bottom of the phone where the silver painted frame does not cover well the middle body part of the phone. Also the alt key on the right side bumps out of the frame. It is not smoothly integrated in to the body like the rest of the keys.

This phone costs here around 500 euros but it feels like a phone that costs 50 euros.

I am rely surprised that blackberry's are so poorly built.

  • Anonymous

Even Nokia E71 pwns this BB 9700.

  • Jan

I noticed that this review points out that it lacks accelerometer. The phone's screen is made to be used on landscape mode - it doesn't need one.

  • therock

e72 vs bb 9700

e72 has the upside because of the data plan. an att 30 dollar media bundle (data and text) can be use for the e72 since it is a non-att smartphone. The bb 9700 data and text plan for att is 50 dollars.

  • Debuchad

Getting the GPS to work for the Bold 9700 in India (on vodafone data plan) turned out to be quite difficult. The GPS when refreshed will go on searching for satellites and say "Location update failed". The vodafone/blackberry guys simply washed their hands off saying that they don't support GPS in India. But it made no sense, since the GPS receiver should work in standalone mode, independent of the data plan/mobile network support. Here's how it works:
1. Go to Options->Advanced Options->GPS
2. Turn Location ON, Location Data->Disabled, Location Aiding->Disabled
3. Now refresh GPS location and it should pick up at least 5 satellites and give you the long/lat data within 2 minutes (first time) and in real time thereafter.

After installing google maps now it works real nice with accurate positioning (definitely much better than the tower triangulation method that google maps use by default in absense of GPS signal)

Hope this saves somebody the long hours I spent searching for this simple solution.

  • kim

Bold is very good but im waiting for tomtom to be released. Does anyone know if or when it will come out?

  • Ex Nokia

lilian, 01 Mar 2010hey.... can any one help me plzzz ??? i dunno wich phone should ... moreMy advice...get the Sony Ericsson. But you'll end up buying the Bold anyway.

  • ace

Me, 09 Feb 2010Many features are locked without a BlackBerry Internet Service a... moreExcellent post. Some of these disadvantages are out of place.. and not only for this phone, for ALL phones reviewed here

  • lilian

hey.... can any one help me plzzz ??? i dunno wich phone should i go for sony ericsson satio u1 or blackberry bold 9700 ??? thx (lilian)

  • Ex Nokia

Yes...Nokia E72 is a clear winner....in terms of spec. But their "Nokia Messaging" feature came way much too late. All my contacts (friends, family, business) majority of them have switched to Blackberry. I would not bet on them switching back to Nokia now. I think Nokia need to learn that people buy the SYSTEM (especially messaging)...not the phone. Stop being a snob, Nokia and learn to listen from your customers...before they become your ex...

  • isengaja

i live in indonesia..and blackberry in indonesia is way too expensive..for the handheld only (BB 9700),it cost about $700-$800,the cheapest one is BB Gemini $250-$350..and not only that, i also need to pay about $10-$16 to get unlimited internet data plan..well,im not complaining about that,but im complaining about the price of this handheld..too expensive..

  • Me

Many features are locked without a BlackBerry Internet Service account (plan) - I don't see any point here. In Portugal is the same data plan as the iPhone 10€/month. For example to feel the full iPhone experience you have to by alot apps.;
Mediocre camera performance and features - If i want to take a picture with quality i use a camera not a phone or any smartphone;
No FM radio - Next thing you will say it doesn't have morse code....
No video-call camera - There aren't may smartphones phones with this feature. By the way, this isn't a very used feature.
No TV-out functionality - What's the point of this. The phones resolution are to small, they will look very pixalized in a TV;
No built-in accelerometer - Have a full querty keyboard. For an instance i thought you would say that was missing a touchscreen;
No built-in compass - And it also can't make smoke signals. A compass!!!!! With a GPS built-in!!! Maybe you want to use a candle instead a lamp!!

  • xiao bi

why i cant play youtube videos...is this flash player problem?? some one help pls...

  • Smiler

Just got a great deal from Orange with this phone. 24 Months, 800 minutes, unlimited texts, unlimited internet and email and orange maps for £20 per month - amazing!!

  • Anonymous

I'd love to own a Blackberry, but it seems that my two-year-old Nokia E71 has better features, looks and usability than the Bold 2.

RIM needs to do more than just depending too much on their brand name and faithful followers.

  • marty

Anonymous, 07 Jan 2010Well, the inability to use facebook or msn on the device without... moreThis is incorrect. you can use facebook and msn with a standard plan but its the blackberry service you don;t get. For christs sake its no different to apple and the visual voicemail etc. bb messenger is a underrated tool and once you have used it you want it on every device

  • Marty

wake up blackberry, 13 Jan 2010Doesn’t matter what version the OS is, all BlackBerry’s are the ... moreIn response not all phones have 8gb memory and the ones that do can be just as formulaic and buggy. Not all phones have an app store and having recently been an android user i can honestly say 10000 apps do not equal quality and it is hard to judge the good from the incessantly bad. Now full flash browser - interesting because no phone has true full flash support but i will concede the blackberry is pants in this regard.