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Review of GSM/UMTS-smartphone Blackberry Bold 9700 (BOLD 2)

Review of GSM/UMTS-smartphone Blackberry Bold 9700 (BOLD 2)

The name BOLD 2 stuck to this model, although officially the phone should be called simply BOLD, you can also remember its number – 9700. Logically, this device should be considered as a replacement for Bold 9000 and there are all prerequisites for this, quantitatively increased the characteristics , the design resembles the previous model, and the positioning is by and large the same. But here I would argue, since RIM decided to deliberately change the size of the device, it was reduced and, accordingly, not only the case, but, as a result, the keyboard was made more compact. When comparing Bold and Curve, I was always captivated by the chic keyboard on the older model, Curve was not so comfortable and resembled all kinds of QWERTY devices from other manufacturers, for example, the same Nokia E71. Of course, the comparison is not about functionality, but only about the keyboard. In the Bold 9700, the size is close to the Curve, and this can be interpreted by many as a drawback of the device. It turned out a strange combination of two models at once, this is a continuation of both Bold and Curve. Moreover, for Curve owners, its replacement with Bold 9700 looks justified and interesting.

The positioning of this phone is unambiguous and does not accept double interpretations, a business phone that provides maximum integration with your mail, no matter what solutions you would use in your organization. A comfortable keyboard that outperforms, if not by a head, then solutions from other companies. There is a Blackberry, and there are other phones. The world, perhaps, is divided in this way in the segment of QWERTY-devices. And this is hardly an exaggeration. For those who type a lot on the keyboard, constantly in touch, the choice is limited to Blackberry, either touch solutions or side sliders with a large keyboard (for example, Nokia E7, HTC Desire Z).

In Russia, the positioning of Blackberry is peculiar, the peak of popularity among the non-target audience has passed, now the company's devices are chosen only by those who know exactly what it is and why it is needed. It's not bad for consumers, no disappointments, but not too good for the brand. The reason for this lies in the fact that in the wake of Blackberry popularity, the prices for these devices were exorbitant, the devices competed with the Apple iPhone, and the majority chose the latter as a simpler and more understandable solution, which also had a greater image charge. Sorry.

Design, dimensions, controls

In appearance, the Bold 9700 is a typical representative of the Blackberry family, it is easy to guess the model from RIM. Size – 109 x 60 x 14 mm, weight 122 grams. The phone does not sink in the hands, easily fits into the palm of your hand. You can dial a number with one hand, as well as call from the phone book or dialed list, but at all other times, it is most convenient to work with the device with two hands.

The back cover is trimmed under the skin, it is made of plastic. Due to the embossing, the phone can be placed on an inclined surface and it will not slip. Along the side, as well as at the top of the back surface, there is a chrome-plated edging, it is also made of plastic, but it feels like metal when you look at the phone. Clutching the device in your hands, you involuntarily hold it in such a way that you can see the edging and the Bold inscription on the back.

At the top end there are two keys, this is the choice of profiles and the keyboard lock. The location is convenient.

There is a 3.5 mm jack on the left side, it is not covered by a cover, as well as the microUSB connector just below. There is also a configurable key, you can assign various applications to it, however, as well as the camera key, which is located on the right side. There is also a paired volume key on the right.

Unfortunately, unlike the Bold 9000, the device has only one speaker. It's on the back of the phone and the volume is lower than the first Bold. Serious downside? I don’t think so, given that the device literally screams at maximum volume. Another thing is that in comparison with the first model, he loses. But this is rather the merit of the engineers of the first Bold.

The indicator light is placed on the front panel, above the screen. The location is convenient, you can always see the flickering of red when the mail is not viewed.

There are no complaints about the build quality of the device, it is traditionally at an excellent level. There are no creaks or backlash.


The screen diagonal is 2.44 inches, and the resolution of the TFT-matrix is ​​480×360 pixels (in Bold 9000 480×320 pixels, 2.6 inches), displays up to 65,000 colors. A slightly increased resolution is not important, the screens are perceived equally, although the diagonal is larger in the first Bold. The picture quality is excellent for this type of screen, but loses to the same Super TFT, AMOLED, Super AMOLED. This is not the latest generation screen, but a very high quality display. No requests for the title of the best. You can watch videos on it, but the diagonal is not very comfortable for this. For all basic phone functions, as well as the browser, the screen is excellent.

At least 10 lines of text fit on the screen (maximum 20 with a minimum font size in some applications), plus a status line (up to 2 lines of information). Fonts are chosen by the user for the menu at their discretion, as well as their size. This is the most customizable phone on the market for this parameter. Many visually impaired people love Blackberry for the ability to install large fonts and not have to constantly use glasses.

In the sun, the screen remains readable, there are no problems with this, the display behavior is excellent.


Similar to Apple Iphone 7 Plus in Nigeria Curve used an optical joystick here, by default it is set so that the scrolling is not too fast, I liked it, no thought, the speed is just right. Ditching the joystick feels weird, I got so used to it on the Bold that it took a week here to get comfortable with the joystick. As a result, I turned on the soundtrack when working with him and life improved. The decision is controversial, not everyone will like it, but you get used to it. Call the joystick uncomfortable, I can not. Rather, the correct word here is unusual. And that's the first time. Unlike the trackball, scuffs remain on the joystick, after a month they are clearly visible.

Let's get back to the QWERTY keyboard. To compare my experience, I took Nokia E72 and Bold 9000. Of course, the keyboard on the previous Bold is gorgeous, there is no doubt that this is one of the best keyboards. In the 9700, things are not so rosy, you have to get used to the fact that the keys are smaller, but other than that, there are no complaints. In Nokia E72, this keyboard wins in terms of ease of input instantly. The typing speed even for an unprepared person is higher on Blackberry. Significantly higher, otherwise it would not be worth talking about it. And one more thing – you get tired on Blackberry when you enter text less. There is no mysticism here, testing keyboards for RIM is a sacrament, which takes hundreds of thousands of man-hours. Unlike other companies.

The keys are small in size, they have a convex shape, the hand finds the desired button itself. For a couple of weeks I adapted to the blind text input on this device. Which is already good. If you like to look at the keys, the symbols are clearly visible, the white backlighting is uniform and visible in various conditions.

The bottom line is one of the best keyboards on the market in this device form factor. But it falls short of the Bold 9000, lacking the body width. If you haven't had a Bold 9000, you'll love it. Otherwise, you will have to relearn like me. And it's a painful job. Probably in the conclusions I will argue which is better, the first Bold or its update, because the keyboard plays a big role for devices of this type.


The phone has a 1550 mAh lithium-ion battery, the same as the Bold 9000. Is the standby time listed as 408 hours? Talk time up to 6 hours. For a month of using the phone, I had to test it in various modes, countries and on various networks. On average, with a very active use of the device, he quietly lives for two days. If you refuse all functions except mail, then the operating time will increase to a week. And this is in Moscow on the Beeline network, in fact, I have a device connected to Beeline services.

According to my feelings, thoroughly subjective, the operating time has increased compared to the Bold 9000, and noticeably. I think the reason for this is the new version of the OS, and despite the increased frequency of the processor, a different type of display. On the whole, I can say that among QWERTY solutions, this handset outperforms all solutions based on Symbian and Android. There are no analogues in terms of operating time under the same load for Blackberry today. The advantage is approximately twofold and in favor of the product from RIM.

Memory, memory cards

The phone has 256 MB of memory, which is enough for it to be quite fast. Not a champion, but not an outsider either. A kind of golden mean that will satisfy even demanding users.

The phone has 256 MB of memory available to the user, but microSD memory cards are not limited in size (we checked the operation of 32 GB cards, no problems). Memory cards are installed under the back cover, their "hot" replacement is supported. The card slot is unusual, it is located at an angle, which makes card installation as convenient as possible. Nowhere, except for this device, I have not seen such a design.

Communications – USB, Bluetooth, WiFi

The device works in GSM networks (850 / 900 / 1800 / 1900), as well as 3G (HSDPA 850 / 1900 / 2100).

Use a microUSB cable for PC synchronization and data transfer. USB interface – 2.0 HS. Two modes of operation – modem, as well as Mass Storage. The built-in module is Bluetooth 2.1, the following profiles are supported:

  • Advanced Audio Distribution Profile (A2DP) – stereo audio transmission over Bluetooth
  • Audio/Video Remote Control Profile (AVRCP) – control music playback from a wireless headset
  • Generic Audio/Video Distribution Profile (GAVDP)
  • Generic Access Profile (GAP)
  • Hands-Free Profile (HFP)
  • Headset Profile (HSP)
  • Enhanced Data Rate

The most demanded and some multimedia profiles have been implemented. The operation of the device with a stereo headset did not cause any complaints. The sound quality when using a stereo headset is good.

WiFi 802.11 b/ is supported. In phones for the Russian market, WiFi is blocked, this should be remembered when buying official devices.


Regular 3.2-megapixel autofocus camera with LED flash. The picture quality is good, but not the best possible. Not the worst option, however, you can see for yourself:

Video. The device records video at a maximum resolution of 480×360 pixels, it is optimized for the device screen and viewing on it. Nothing special, just a normal video.

The device has a built-in GPS, it starts up pretty quickly. Unfortunately, Blackberry's maps and navigation software are quite simple, clearly outperforming both OVI Maps and solutions from other companies. Occasionally it is quite possible to look at something on the map, but it is constantly inconvenient to use it. Therefore, if you need navigation, then perhaps you should look at a device other than Blackberry, this is a weak point here.


The functionality of the device is described in detail in a separate material, there is no point in repeating it. I will only note that the device is good in terms of the quality of music reproduction, I like it. There is no built-in radio, which is also a sign of RIM. Unconverted video plays on the phone in most cases, which is also nice. But the small screen size does its job, watching videos is not too pleasant.

All functions are discussed in detail in the review of Blackberry OS 5.x.


In terms of the volume of the call, the device is almost perfect, a separate speaker on the rear panel, you can hear it well from outerwear, from your pocket, and from anywhere. The vibrating alert is also at a level slightly above average. There are no problems with voice quality, the model is typical for the market.

This model has become my go-to email model and after Bold 9000 it took some time to get used to it. I got used to it relatively quickly, although I continued to miss the wide keyboard. But after trying to switch to Nokia E71/E72 for a day, I realized that Bold 9700 won my sympathy. After it, using other QWERTY phones is very difficult. Perhaps, but it is akin to painfully finding inconvenience in small things that begin to annoy. I emphasize again that if you have used Blackberry constantly, you will understand my words, if not, then you have many pleasant discoveries ahead of you.

Working time and speed have increased. And this is a plus for the device. Compared to the Bold 9000, it's more interesting. As well as in other parameters, for example, the camera. But here there is such a problem, I would not change the Bold 9000 for a second Bold. Still, it's the keyboard. But I recommend replacing Curve if such a need arose, the second Bold looks more interesting.

For those who choose the first Blackberry, this model is optimal, it is typical for the company, it has incorporated the best. It is convenient in daily use and works indecently for a long time, compared to modern smartphones focused on mail and other things. But a Blackberry phone is, first of all, an ideal work with contacts, SMS, mail. All other functions, for example, multimedia, are already in the second place. This is not a weak point of the device, for example, in terms of the quality of music playback, it will outdo many. But for video, it is not very good, and again the question of the screen arises. Why is that? Because this is a business tool and it is focused on the functions listed above, and it is almost impossible to achieve everything at once in one model. This should always be understood when choosing any phone. An ideal for some features and a weakness for others. For example, here GPS is not very interesting and this is a frankly weak point of the device. It is not good with respect to maps, positioning works with a bang, so it's impossible to get lost.

Total, it turns out a great tool for mail. Convenient phone for calls. But not a universal solution, especially for multimedia functions. And here you need to decide what exactly you need in the first place from the phone. The cost of the official device is indecent 25,000 rubles, while gray phones sell an average of 17-18 thousand rubles. Which already looks more interesting. Considering that you can connect your device to any operator, buying an official phone does not look very justified. Such a price does not seem justified.

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