Blackberry 9700 isn't all that bold

While it does offer some improvements over its predecessor, the new BlackBerry Bold 9700 fails to innovate.

BlackBerry is rolling out the Bold 9700 which will be available from T-Mobile and AT&T. For T-Mobile and AT&T customers who are Blackberry devotees, this is great news. For the rest of the smartphone market it is more or less not news-- at least not compared with more innovative device that have been introduced lately.

For starters, the Bold 9700 doesn't offer much in the way of innovation. It's sort of a Bold 9000 on a diet, or a BlackBerry Curve on steroids. It has a slimmer design than its predecessor-- the Bold 9000, as well as an improved 3.2 megapixel camera. Arguably the most innovative feature is the switch from the BlackBerry trackball to an optical trackpad for navigation.

T-Mobile customers have a little bit more to be excited about. The Bold 9700 will be T-Mobile's first 3G capable BlackBerry device, and also the first device to support seamless calling over Wi-Fi. The ability to place calls over Wi-Fi will be lacking in the AT&T Bold 9700.

The Bold 9700 seems like a more-than-capable device, and a welcome incremental upgrade for Bold 9000 or BlackBerry Curve users. Fans of BlackBerry who are T-Mobile or AT&T customers, either by preference or because of contractual obligations, and have felt spurned by BlackBerry now have a device to help deal with Storm (and now Storm 2) or Tour 9630-envy.

In the grand scheme of things though, the Bold 9700 adds little to the smart phone mix. Compared with innovative, headline-making devices like the Verizon Droid, the Motorola Cliq, or Windows Mobile 6.5 devices like the HTC Pure, the BlackBerry Bold 9700 will probably be of little interest outside of existing BlackBerry fans who are also existing customers of T-Mobile or AT&T.

The smart phone market revolves around the iPhone right now. Every device manufacturer wants to capture the hearts of customers the way Apple has managed to. Every device wants to be the iPhone-killer. One can argue that it seems silly to try so hard to beat the number 3, going on number 4 mobile operating system-- but the iPhone has an x-factor that other devices are still lacking (with the possible exception of the Droid which we haven't really seen in action yet).

Bottom line: the Bold 9700 doesn't add anything to the iPhone war, or even the battle for smart phone market share. In the shadow of the Droid, Cliq, and other emerging devices, the Bold 9700 is almost a non-story.

Tony Bradley is an information security and unified communications expert with more than a decade of enterprise IT experience. He tweets as @PCSecurityNews and provides tips, advice and reviews on information security and unified communications technologies on his site at tonybradley.com.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags mobile phonessmartphonesblackberry boldRIM BlackBerry

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tony Bradley

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Matthew Stivala

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

The HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer is a great device that fits perfectly into my fast paced and mobile lifestyle. My first impression of the printer itself was how incredibly compact and sleek the device was.

Armand Abogado

HP OfficeJet 250 Mobile Printer

Wireless printing from my iPhone was also a handy feature, the whole experience was quick and seamless with no setup requirements - accessed through the default iOS printing menu options.

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?