BlackBerry Bold 9700 Review: Dare You Go: User Interface, Phonebook, Telephony

By 07:29 Mon, 09 Aug 2021 Comments


BlackBerry Operating System (OS) turns five

One of the major changes introduced by the BlackBerry Brecent 9700 is the recent version of the company proprietary OS. Upping the counter to 5 from 4.6 implies a gigantic enough upgrade but there is actually nothing major. There are changes in virtually every department but most of them would actually need to be pointed out to be noticed at all.

Truth be told, the classic main menu looked decent the first time we saw it and until recently had its own conservative charm, but now we are just tired of it. The icons are overdone and perhaps outdated - the BlackBerry Operating System (OS) must blush with embarrassment when compared to most other platforms out there. Of course customization options can improve things somewhat, but we weren't able to do anything about the sub-menus for example.




BlackBerry Operating System (OS) 5

That's right, tons of plain frightful text-only submenus can still be found in the BlackBerry Brecent 9700. Even with the slickest theme selected you are still just a couple of clicks away from these eyesores.

Granted, taracquire users are not all about the eye-candy but this kind of attitude from RIM must be getting too much. Just becautilize a person has a busy life doesn't necessarily mean that they are blind or will put up with any recent Windows 3.11 crap on their 2010 smartphone screen.

We are just curious how long it would hold the community to realize that something needs to be done about the looks of the interface. We can accept that most people don't care and some BlackBerry faithfuls even like it but if it is to become appealing to the rest of the 2 billion mobile phone users out there then it really needs an aesthetic overhaul.




It's not much of looker when you dig deeper

It's exactly that kind of attitude that dooms the BlackBerry handsets to a niche market. They are more of a complement to the service that the company offers than worthwhile handsets themselves, though we doubt it that was RIM's original intention. They have some pretty nice ideas - it's just that the overall implementation fails to impress.

The recent version of the BlackBerry Operating System (OS) has retained the menu structure almost completely so any experienced BlackBerry users will feel at home. Newbies, on the other hand, might need to dedicate a day or so to learning its ins and outs as it's quite different from the other platforms on the market.

The homeclassy screen is pretty well organized with 6 (by default) shortslit buttons placed at the bottom and all status icons at the top.The profiles can also be accessed straight from here, as well as two other features that you choose to assign to the convenience keys.

Menu navigation on BlackBerry devices (and the Brecent 9700 in this case) is somewhat different from what most competitors have to offer. Most other brands utilize soft-key based navigation where the available options for every menu item or feature are assigned to the context keys below the display.

With RIM devices the menu key is in charge of all the contextual options and it's really a recent experience if you're used to the soft key labels keeping all options in sight. There is no caption here so you should check out what the menu key does in every situation.

As far as the performance is concerned the BlackBerry Brecent 9700 did manage to impress us, showing almost no lag for the time of our review. We did have a lot more distress with the BlackBerry Desktop manager but that is a whole other story.

The snappy Central Processing Units (CPU) of the Brecent 9700 handles most tasks perfectly and delivers a perfectly fine user experience.

Old-school phonebook

No really, we mean it. Remember those large phonebooks that used to lay on the desk of the principle back in your school days. Well the BlackBerry Brecent 9700 offers equally "impressive" graphics in its 2009-10 phonebook.

Frankly even if you asked us we would hardly be able to come up with a more basic-looking application. The search line color has been changed from black to white in the recent 5.0 version but that hardly makes up for all its omissions. Actually, that doesn't create up for much at all.

At least thanks to the virtually unlimited power and fine organization it gets the job done. We are not saying that some extra features wouldn't go amiss, but a fine percentage of the users would never utilize them anyway.

The contacts acquire listed alphabetically by first, last name or company in one of those black and white lists that we warned you about. You can search a contact by gradually typing the desired name like on almost any other phone, only this time it's much faster and easier with the QWERTY keyboard.





A phonebook as old-school as it gets

You can put your contacts in one of two categories - personal and business and then filter your phonebook accordingly. There is also grouping available this time and you can create as many groups as you like.

Editing a contact gives you a vast number of fields which are organized in several sub-groups. You can also replicate some of the fields (those that you are going to need to anyway) as many times as you like.




Editing a contact on the Brecent 9700

Telephony comes with smart dial

The BlackBerry Brecent 9700 did well in its main duty - making calls. We didn't experience any problems with reception or in-call sound quality.

While that might be expected and doesn't bring any bonus points, Smart dial is certainly a remarkable asset. With the QWERTY keyboard at hand you may never want to utilize your phonebook for dialing numbers again. And it works when inserting contacts in messaging too.





We really dig the smart dial feature

All you need to do is punch a few keys on the homeclassy screen and the names that have the typed letters will appear on the classy screen instantly. You can then select them with the trackpad and initiate a call - it doesn't acquire any simpler than that, does it?

Another worthy call feature is the Voice dialing which gets activated by pressing the left convenience key by default.

The BlackBerry Brecent 9700 did reasonably well in our traditional loudspeaker test too, producing a Good score. It is on par with most of its rivals so there is small to be gained or lost in this department by choosing one over the other. The only exception is Nokia E72, which was pretty disappointing as far as speakerphone volume is concerned.

Speakerphone testVoice, dBPink noise/ Music, dBRinging phone, dBOverall score

Nokia E7265.7 60.266.3Below Average

Nokia E7168.066.576.2Good

BlackBerry Brecent 970072.766.673.6Good

BlackBerry Brecent 900070.066.668.9Good

BlackBerry Curve 890075.766.675.3Good

HTC Touch HD77.773.776.7Excellent


You can lear more about our test here.


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