BlackBerry Lovers: Bold 9700 Is Worth the Change

The Blackberry Bold 9700 is
The Blackberry Bold 9700 is shown.

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is a combination of Research in Motion's Bold and the recent Tour, boasting built-in Wi-Fi and GPS and a faster processer.

For T-Mobile users, it also marks the first BlackBerry to run on the faster 3G network.

Like the previous BlackBerry Bold, the 9700 features a leatherette back, which gives it a dressed-up look that appeals to women as well as to men.

It fit perfectly in my hand and, though the keys are a little small, I had no problem typing out an e-mail on the QWERTY keyboard.

In addition to the regular zoom feature, the 3.2-megapixel camera now offers a flash as well as the ability to record video.

One huge departure from previous BlackBerry models is the removal of the trackball navigator. Ostensibly in response to user complaints about the need to clean or replace the trackball, RIM replaced it entirely with an optical trackpad.

Much like the trackpad on a laptop, you simply press up or down to navigate and the movement is simple and smooth.

The screen is a tiny bit smaller than that of older BlackBerry models but the sharpness and clarity make up for the loss of space.

I found reading e-mail messages and viewing Web pages to be a breeze.

If you're a BlackBerry lover in need of an upgrade, this is one Bold worth changing for.

BlackBerry Bold 9700 by the Numbers:

4.29 inches tall

2.36 inches wide

4.30 ounces (with battery)

6 hours of talk time

Up to 21 days of standby time

Up to 38 hours of music playback time

3.2-megapixel camera

The price: $199 with a new contract from AT&T or T-Mobile