BlackBerry Bold 9700 Review

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User Interface

The Bold 9700 operates on BlackBerry OS 5.0 and features many of the same familiar user interface features that BlackBerry users have grown to love. The Bold 9700's home screen is pretty typical of a BlackBerry home screen with six icons at the bottom of the screen and a single icon in the top left corner that lets you select and customize sound profiles.

RIM did make a few minor refinements to the OS, such as the ability to set your alarm clock using a spinning wheel and drop-down lists for creating new appointments in the calendar. Overall, though, the home screen and main menu of the Bold 9700 will feel quite familiar to previous BlackBerry users.

During the initial set up of the phone, the Bold 9700 prompted us to set up an email account. Configuring an account took only a few minutes. After that, our accounts were easily accessible from the main menu.

BlackBerry OS 5.0 also offers faster JavaScript that is enabled by default as well as CSS processing for faster page loading. As we mentioned earlier, the Bold 9700's Web browser is still significantly behind the likes of the iPhone, Palm Pre, and Android devices. RIM is working to improve its browser and has acquired Torch Mobile (developers of a WebKit-based browser, the same technology that powers the browsers on the iPhone and Android devices), though no definite timeframe for a new browser has been announced. In the meantime, the best RIM can offer with the Bold 9700 is support for BlackBerry widgets and Google Gears as well as a real-time streaming protocol that lets you watch streaming videos from sites such as YouTube. Although the Bold 9700's browser doesn't use any of Torch's code just yet, RIM claims the browser is speedier than previous versions.

The Bold 9700 also comes with a visual voicemail tool that provides easy access to your voicemails via a message inbox. While listening to a message, there are buttons to stop, pause, and skip forward or back.

The applications folder provides access to some of the Bold 9700's personal information management features, including Maps, Clock (with Alarm Clock, Stopwatch, and Timer functions), Search, Memopad, Task list, Password Keeper, and Calculator. You'll also find a file explorer app and shortcuts to DataViz's Documents to Go (Word To Go, Sheet To Go, and Slideshow To Go) in this folder.

Within the main menu, you'll find an icon called web2go, which provides quick access to some frequently visited websites, such as T-Mobile My Account,, Facebook, CNN, ESPN, and Gmail. You can add icons from a directory or add a custom icon to this menu.

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