"A great device if you are a Blackberry person"4.5 starson by victor19nyc
Pros: Fast, very good battery life, clean interface, great messaging capabilities, physical keyboard, a 3G BB for T-Mobile (finally!), trackpad a great upgrade over trackball, GPS works well, great as a phone (most important)
Cons: Web browser (see below), smallish screen (but nice nonetheless), keyboard not as good as Curve, lack of apps compared to Android options
Summary: I really needed a new phone and was seriously shopping for one of the new Android phones, but all of them had at least one fatal flaw:Yes, I downloaded Opera Mini 5 Beta. My only complaints are it occasionally gets hung up when trying to enter text into a text box, and when entering a URL I sometimes have to hit 'enter' twice before it goes to the page. i also haven't figured out how to change the three default "speed dial" sites, currently set to Opera, BBC and Wikipedia.
Droid: flat keyboard was hard to use, not a world phone
Hero: no keyboard, trackball (re: gunk)
Moment: bulky, poor battery life, keyboard awkward
Cliq: sluggish, Motoblur overload, concave space key on keyboard made it hard to type
Behold II: sluggish, just didn't impress, expensive (!)
I was pretty nit-picky, but then again I wanted a phone I could easily live with for the next two years. Enter the Bold 9700.
I upgraded from a Curve 8320, and even though the Curve was very good the 9700 blows it away (as it should). Hardware-wise, it has a sleek, sexy design and has a very solid feel. The keyboard is a little flat compared to the Curve and the keys aren't separated, but even though it's not as easy to type on I can manage with almost no mistakes (in contrast, when I tested out the Droid I was far more accurate on the touchscreen than its flat keyboard).
The only other downside, as mentioned here and other places, is the web browser. It's adequate, but if you want a noticeable upgrade before a webKit option becomes available try using Opera Mini. Opera isn't supporting 9700 installs yet but I had no problem installing and running it. It renders web pages far more accurately than the BB browser and I also think it's a tad quicker.
Bottom line: solid hardware, solid OS and messaging software. Only weaknesses are a not-so-great browser and not-so-great social networking apps for BB, but as with finding and using an option like Opera Mini I think it's only a matter of time before developers improve these apps and enhance the BB experience.
Updated on Dec 1, 2009
The only other other thing I wish to do with the 9700 is get the GPS to default to Google Maps instead of Blackberry Maps. The internal setting only gives the one option.
Two last items: the keyboard has worked much better than I initially thought. Sometimes I think I might be pressing a wrong key when in fact I am not. You really have to hit the keys squarely for it to type a character (thus minimizing typos). Plus I have gotten two solid days (plus part of a third) before needing to recharge, all while having the GPS on, moderate browsing and pulling in email.