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Bold & beautiful

Classier version Here’s why the new and improved BlackBerry is a better business handset to upgrade to, writes Shayne Rana.

business Updated: Feb 05, 2010 21:49 IST

BlackBerry launched their new Bold 9700 model last week. It is as elegant as the original. Its business functionality receives a fillip with the new BlackBerry 5.0 operating system that looks promising.

Looks : Lighter and Sleeker
The keypad is not as comfortable as it is in the 9000 model. The numbers aren’t highlighted either. But it is definitely lighter, sleeker and looks classy. The chrome finish is also better. The only awkward bit is the leather finish in the centre of the removable rear panel. The addition of an optical trackpad instead of the trackball makes this Bold more versatile. The display resolution has been upped to 480 x 360 pixel resolution, but the size is smaller at 2.44 inches. The landscape display still retains the full QWERTY keypad, and the 3.5 mm handsfree and Micro USB ports have the lock, volume and zoom keys on the side.

Speed : Faster than ever
It’s hard to find speed issues with BlackBerry’s OS — the proprietary software platform made by Research In Motion (RIM) company for its BlackBerry line — but version 5.0 is much better. The 9700 model still uses the 624 MHz processor, but flash memory has been increased to 256 MB. Internal memory is a tiny 256 MB, but it comes with a 2 GB microSD card.

Media : Clearer sound
The 9700 takes things up a notch. The brilliant and clear tone quality makes for very comfortable listening. But there’s no FM radio in this one. The microphone has superb range.

The video capabilities in the 9700 model are much better, thanks to the additions to the support software. The drag and drop of files of almost all formats is quite smooth. In fact, a few files that didn’t play on the 9000 model or the Curve 8900 played effortlessly on the 9700 version.

Connectivity: more options
The 9700 comes with 3G support. It also comes with the Blackberry Internet Service (BIS) and Blackberry Enterprise Server support, as well as the Enhanced Data rates for GSM Evolution (EDGE), a technology that allows improved data transmission rate.
Setting up e-mails for work or your personal accounts is easy, after you have all the required settings from your office. The browser is quick, but it’s disappointing to find that the Flash content is still unsupported.
Other modes of connectivity include the Bluetooth v2.1 with A2DP and USB 2.0. Except for BlackBerry’s own messenger service, no apps (social networking or otherwise) are present on the device.
However, a feature has been provided in the device that connects it to the BlackBerry App Store. BlackBerry hasn’t launched Maps for India, so you’ll have to make do with Google Maps.

Features: No pDF yet
You’ll still have to purchase the premium version of the ‘Documents To Go’, if you wish to edit or create your own files. The PDF reader remains unavailable, although you can still open files in that format if they have been sent as an attachment. A firewall setting can be applied to messages, calls, BIS or e-mails to block pesky marketing calls.

Camera: Sharper focus
The Bold 9700 has a 3.2 MP autofocus camera. While the camera quality in the 9000 model was quite good, this one is a splendid upgrade. Images are crisp. Even those taken with the flash in low light conditions look quite good. The camera also allows you to geotag images.

Battery: longer lasting
While BlackBerry’s claims of the six hour talktime appear exaggerated, we found that talk time crossed four hours and 50 minutes consistently. Even if you are constantly downloading e-mails and using the media player, the battery can easily last a day and a half.
Now that’s not a bad deal.

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