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My Type: Welcome to the Wide, Wide World of the BlackBerry Bold 9700.

Summary: IAEm not a fan of QWERTY phones. Then one day such a thing is (finally) delivered to me. So BlackBerryAEs gonna have the privilege of having first crack at me.

Research In Motion, or RIM, may have a case here to change my mind with the BlackBerry Bold 2 9700, an enhanced and slimmed version of its successful predecessor, the Bold 9000.

The Bold 9700 is basically just about any other BlackBerry QWERTY handset, and I have to commend its chrome lining that gives it a sleek advantage.

Up front, you'll see -- yeah, you guessed it -- the QWERTY keyboard along with the usual stuff -- call key, end key, menu key, back key, and an optical trackpad, which is a good departure from the ol' lint-collecting trackball. You'll feel the cool slide under your finger when you use it, and trust me, it won't make you miss the squeakin' and creakin' of the old ball.

On the sides are a 3.5-mm jack, a microUSB slot for charging and data connection, a programmable shortcut button, volume and camera keys. Nice curves on the key designs.

Well, just as I expected... my fingers aren't actually getting along well with the keyboard. I know that the QWERTY was meant for "thumbing," but I'm starting to really feel ridiculous as, admittedly, I'm getting a bit lost with it, despite the fact that I actually know my way around a keyboard (having a job that entails you to sit in front of a computer for at least eight hours for years now). Pretty embarassing for a silver medalist in a typing contest way back in college and someone who started messing around with manual typewriters when he was two years old. I own an HTC TyTn II , but I rarely use the QWERTY pad on it (too much reliance on the stylus, eh Alvin?).

But once you get the hang of it -- discounting those who are used to one of these -- it won't be long before you can type pneumonoultramicroscopicsilicovolcanoconiosis, or maybe even the chemical name of titin (which is composed of a whopping 189,819 letters; don't believe me? Go open your Internet explorer now!).

And now we go to the main stuff, the Bold 9700's functionality. I have to declare at this point that this phone presents a wide array of stuff, so I'll just prioritise the stand outs and keep this simple. I'll definitely run out of space on the page if I discuss this from A-Z.

The first thing you need to know is that the Bold 9700 is powered by the latest BlackBerry OS 5.0 software. The system gives you smooth sailing while navigating the phone, with the optical tracker complementing it perfectly.

Key presses respond well; the only thing that bugs me is that there is a bit of delay from the time you end a call to returning to regular mode. But that's not a big deal at all. While all the menu items are stashed in one place, you can also switch applications easily by pressing and holding the menu button.

Messaging is organised -- whether you're using the usual SMS or MMS, or BlackBerry Messenger. Conversations are kept according to the people you exchange messages with. And e-mailing -- the primary reason why QWERTY phones were created -- can't be simpler and, yes, organised.

Speaking of organised, call conferencing is one great feature of the Bold 9700. You can easily add callers while you're in the midst of a tE[logical not]te-Ea-tE[logical not]te.

One neat thing I like about the Bold 9700 is that there is a notification sign at the upper right corner of the screen for both incoming and outgoing data. Early warning sigh, eh? This phone also allows you to set a password (aside from the usual PIN option), giving your precious data added security.

The Bold 9700 works well, functions well, impresses well. It's worth investing at, and believe me, there are still lots of other reasons I can give you to get one.

So, did BlackBerry change my mind on the way I perceive QWERTY phones? Yeah, I guess so. And it helped that they lent me one with a blue protective cover. Good combo, guys.


Yep, you read that right. I'm bidding farewell to the KT Biz section. Because next time around, you'll be seeing me in the pages of KT 's wknd. magazine, which I am really looking forward to.

Copyright 2009 Khaleej Times. All Rights Reserved.

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Publication:Khaleej Times (Dubai, United Arab Emirates)
Date:Mar 14, 2010
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