A CrackBerry.com Pre-Release, Hands-On Look at the BlackBerry Bold 9700, formerly codenamed Onyx
* Update 2: October 21st, 2009 - Research in Motion officially announced the BlackBerry Bold 9700:
* Update 1: August 12th, 2009 - Since this review first when live in late May, a few things have changed in regards to this review. First, the "onyx" became branded with a 9020 device model, which recently changed again to become the BlackBerry 9700 and now for sure will be labeled as the BlackBerry Bold 9700. Hardware-wise, compared to unit featured in this review, a few other things have changed, namely the device will feature a touch sensitive trackpad (as seen on the Curve 8520) instead of the trackball, and the BlackBerry Bold 9700 will also feature a leather back on it. And above the battery door, engraved into the rubber will be the word "Bold". Keep in mind the BlackBerry Bold 9700 will come in two versions - one for AT&T/Rogers/Europe and another version specificially built for T-Mobile in the USA, which features T-Mobiles 1700Mhz HSPA bands. Below is a picture of the BlackBerry Bold 9700 with the optical trackpad:
The changes made since this initial review to the Bold 9700 really make this is the ultimate "traditional" BlackBerry. It beats the original BlackBerry Bold 9000 in every respect, and does it in a smaller package.
Original BlackBerry Onyx (BlackBerry Bold 9700) Review
Pre-release review time! Rumors of the BlackBerry device model with the codename "Onyx" have been floating around for a while now and were proven legit when the first photos of it surfaced here at CrackBerry back on May 10th. After going hands-on with the Onyx, I think it's safe to say THIS IS the traditional (no touchscreen) BlackBerry smartphone so many of us have been waiting for. It always seems that every new BlackBerry smartphone makes a compromise somewhere on its specifications and feature sheet - be it the Bold's camera, or the Curve 8900's lack of 3G, or the Tour 9630's lack of WiFi, or the Storm's lack of memory and snappy OS.
RIM has finally packed it ALL into one device with the Onyx -- 3G, WiFi, GPS, 3.2 megapixel camera - and they've done it in a tight form factor. If you put the Onyx side by side with the BlackBerry Bold and compare the specs, you realize the triumph in engineering RIM has accomplished here. The Onyx is basically better in every way but has a much smaller footprint (though arguably the Bold's extra width makes for a better keyboard and physically wider display that some users may prefer). So if you're relaxing this Memorial Day weekend, grab a bevvie, sit back and read on to see tons of photos, a video and some first impressions of the BlackBerry Onyx.
* Disclaimer: Like all of our pre-release reviews, please note that this is non-commercially available device which means things will change by the time it comes to market. *