BlackBerry Bold 9700
So far 2010 has seen a multitude of contenders in the battle for smartphone supremacy. By now, Canadian company Research in Motion can be considered a battle-hardened veteran with its production of the BlackBerry smartphones.
Originally introduced as 2 way pagers, BlackBerry quickly evolved into multi-role devices, becoming one of the first smartphones to be optimised for wireless email not to mention providing the standard telephony and all-in-one personal organiser functionality. BlackBerrys have proven to be extremely popular smartphones in North America (particularly by business users), and now their popularity can be seen burgeoning throughout Europe and Australia.
What has made BlackBerry so good?
Well, many companies are producing smartphone handsets with competitively high levels of functionality in ultra-sleek formats and styles, however the degree of wireless and secure interactive service provided by BlackBerry (BlackBerry Internet Service (BIS) for individual consumers, or BlackBerry Enterprise Server (BES) for businesses) is second to none. In addition to this constant virtual connectivity, the sturdy and reliable handset construction ensures that a user can remain connected, come what may. This probably has something to do with BlackBerry’s continuing popularity.
The latest BlackBerry handsets to be released in Australia are the Tour 9630, Curve 8900, Storm2 (9520 and 9550) and the Bold 9700. Of these, the handset with the highest average consumer rating is the Bold 9700. This handset possibly rates above the rest due to its size, classic functionality and build quality.
The compact but functional BlackBerry Bold 9700
Knowing this, if one was considering entering the smartphone market with a BlackBerry, the Bold 9700 would probably be the most reasonable choice.
But how does this handset stack up when compared to other smartphones for both business and personal functionality?
When compared to the interactivity of the iPhone or Nexus One, some may find the BlackBerry lacking (such as touchscreen and accelerometer next-gen user interaction), but you probably aren’t getting a BlackBerry for the interactive mod-cons. You are probably getting it because it provides unrivalled virtual connectivity and compatibility with business applications. The BlackBerry is a supremely compact (109 x 60 x 14mm, 122 grams) scheduler and organiser, with a long established (in smartphone terms, anyway) support network to boot.
The Bold 9700 comes with a host of essential media features, including a 3.15 megapixel camera (with LED flash), a usable web browser, a 3.5mm audio jack, microUSB port, interchangeable microSD compatibility (16GB) and DivX and XviD support so you can be sure all the media centre bases are covered.
Specially built as business tools, the BlackBerry sports all of the necessary business functions such as a document editor (Word, Excel and PowerPoint compatible, of course), a voice recorder, a Notes application and the brilliant calendar and time-management capabilities BlackBerry have become renown for. Push email and web browsing is done better by a scarce few smartphone companies, with the ability to connect to virtually all of your favourite email account providers. Additional applications are available at the BlackBerry App World to fully customise your BlackBerry into your ideal mobile office.
The closest contender for the business orientated smartphone is the Nokia E72 (which compares quite well to the Bold 9700). Between these two phones, it becomes a matter of personal preference for the Symbian OS or the BlackBerry OS, or, perhaps more superficially, the styling of each phone.
BlackBerry Bold 9700 (Left) vs. Nokia E72 (Right)
The Bold 9700 handset itself has an ultra-bright 59.8mm, 65K colour TFT landscape screen with 480×360 pixel resolution to make all media and communications on the phone crystal clear. A full four row QWERTY keyboard and sensitive trackpad makes navigation simple and effective. The system is driven by a powerful 624 MHz CPU, with256 MB of RAM and is run on the BlackBerry OS v5 to make the operational experience silky smooth. It is powered by a 1500 mAh Li-Ion battery, with a reported talk time of 6 hours, lasting for over 408 hours on standby.
You are wirelessly connected through Wi-Fi, Bluetooth with A2SP support, built in GPS (with BlackBerry maps pre-loaded), quad-band GSM support for global roaming and tri-band 3G with HSDPA.
Overall, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is a tight, attractive and highly functional smartphone. It has it the ability to camouflage itself as a media device custom built for entertainment and social networking applications. The utilitarian image of BlackBerry is slowly fading with the introduction of the consumer based BlackBerry Internet Service, enabling individuals to benefit from the connectivity that was once only available to business networks.
As a contender in the battle for smartphone supremacy, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 and its successors have a sporting chance.
Smartphones are the lightweight, high technology devices that will dominate how personal and business interaction will be conducted in the future. So it must be said that the BlackBerry is a necessary accessory for individuals keen to keep in touch and up to date in a brave new virtual world.