final rating

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Criteria Comments Rating
  • Reception and call quality No comments
  • Display No comments
  • Battery life No comments
  • Camera No comments
  • Ease of use No comments
  • Design and form factor No comments
  • Portability (size / weight) No comments
  • Media support No comments
  • Durability No comments
  • Ecosystem (apps, accessories, etc.) No comments
Detailed review
I'd been using a BlackBerry Bold on AT&T and decided to switch over to T-Mobile so I could use the new 9700 (which is identical to the AT&T version) to make calls over Wi-Fi (T-Mobile calls with UMA for unlicensed mobile access).

When trying the phone in the store I was very surprised at how light it felt. Even though it had the battery inside it the feel was similar to what I'd expect for a non-working dummy display phone. It was very light - at least compared to the BlackBerry Bold.

The screen resolution is nice and clear though honestly I don't notice much of a change from my Bold. Keys are certainly spaced a tad too close but I'm able to be reasonably proficient.

Here's what I like:

- Better camera than the Bold 9000
- MicroUSB charger is nearly universal making it easier to carry only one charger
- More application memory (double) than the Bold 9000
- BlackBerry OS 5 is incremental but a bit smoother
- Web browsing seems a tad faster

- Smaller form size - users who enjoyed the larger screen (and keyboard) on Bold won't be happy
- MicroSD is a bear to remove
- Same old BlackBerry - functionality not materially improved
- BlackBerry still can't get Gmail integration right - although they include an advanced plug in it requires to to work in another inbox and the sync isn't two way resulting in an overall mediocre Gmail experience
- Browser is still the same lousy BB browser - maybe a tad faster but still terrible at rendering

One of my huge pet peeves with the original BlackBerry Bold was that it frequently (aka always) ran out of device memory while running apps. I'm hopeful that the new BlackBerry 9700 which has double the app usable memory will put a stop to the horrible memory problems which had me rebooting my Bold frequently.