The Bold 9700 is the best traditional BlackBerry you can currently pick up, but personally, I find the Storm2 a more attractive device, even with the SurePress versus physical keyboard debate. It’s better built, more innovative, has a bigger screen, and does everything the 9700 does. Between early termination fees and shelling out money for a new device, I probably wouldn’t even upgrade to the new Bold from my 9000. As for the software features I’m excited about (including battery life improvements), most will likely find their way down the line sooner or later.
The battery life is the Bold 9700’s knockout punch, so if that’s a priority for you, it’s hard to wrong with this smartphone. The slim form factor and trackpad will catch a lot of eyes, and solidifies the Bold’s reputation for style, but the construction could have been done way better. On the whole, the 9700 is a safe, expected, and generally well-executed iteration on RIM’s winning strategy, but doesn’t bring anything especially new to the table. As is, the Bold 9700 earns 3.5 out of 5 stars, with a possibility of 4 if it had better construction and another knockout feature like 5 megapixel camera, WVGA display, or brand new OS beyond 5.0. Pick this one up if you’re looking for a serious e-mail workhorse that will consistently make it through the day with some juice left in the battery.