BY YEONG AH SENG
THE BlackBerry Bold 9700 is one of the best BlackBerries to date. It is not only feature-laden - a faster processor, 3G HSDPA, GPS, WiFi, 3.2MP camera and a high-resolution (480x360) display - but it also addresses the woes of the previous Bold, which was somewhat clunky and prone to all kinds of bugs.
I had the first BB Bold and it lasted a week before the battery conked out. The replacement set did not do much better and I switched to a BB Javelin (8900) eventually. My colleagues who bought BB Bolds also gave up their sets after a while.
First impressions of the 9700 are good. As an e-mail device, the BlackBerry has no parallel.
But as a Web-surfing and media- playback device, it is still not there, not least because of the lackadaisical browser and the comparatively small screen, whereas most smartphones these days have bigger displays.
Although BlackBerry now has an App Store, it will be a long while before it can catch up with the Apple App Store.
What is good about the 9700 is the new trackpad (last seen in the BB 8520) which replaces the roller ball which had a tendency to malfunction after some time.
Overall speed and response reflect the power of the faster processor. The latest BlackBerry OS. 5.0 installed must also have something to do with this zippiness.
The 9700 comes with a 2GB micro-SD card and can accept larger-capacity cards of up to 16 today, and 32GB when they are available. This presumably will cater to increasing use of media applications and files which the built-in 256MB of flash memory cannot hold.
A BlackBerry is not always black as StarHub's new offering, a white handset with satin chrome-finished frame and leatherette backplate, shows.
This white BB is meant for the fashion-conscious and users who seek to be different. Otherwise, it is still essentially the older BlackBerry Bold, functionand feature-wise.