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Should I Buy an iPhone or a BB Bold 9700?

written by: Christopher James•edited by: Simon Hill•updated: 5/17/2011

This smartphone battle pitches iPhone vs BlackBerry Bold 9700. Running through a number of comparison points you can find out which phone is the best for you.

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    You’re looking for a new cell phone, and you know you want a smartphone, but you aren’t sure which to get. If you are reading this, you’ve narrowed it down to an iPhone or a BlackBerry. In this article, we’re going to do a comparison. The iPhone needs no introduction and the BlackBerry Bold 9700 is considered one of the best BlackBerrys on the market.

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    iPhone vs BlackBerry

    iPhone 3GS BlackBerry Bold 9700 If you are looking for two reliable and well-established cell phones this holiday season, and if your carrier provides them, you have probably taken a look at both the Apple iPhone and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry 9700. Both are excellent phones that will leave you a happy shopper, but there are some differences, which you should know about before buying.

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    Hardware and Construction

    Both the iPhone and Bold 9700 are two sturdy and well-constructed phones. The phones are both very similar hardware-wise, as well. The most notable difference in construction between the two phones is the fact that the BlackBerry has the usual and excellent BlackBerry QWERTY keypad built in, while the iPhone has no physical keypad, instead relying solely on a touchscreen keyboard. Writing out SMS messages and emails on the Bold 9700 is very quick and comfortable - even for someone with large hands like myself - while the iPhone keypad does take some getting used to, mostly due to the lack of physical feedback when you press a key on the screen.

    Call quality on both phones - using an iPhone 3GS as the test model - is good, but people on the other end of the line reported better voice quality when using the Bold 9700. The speaker on both phones is plenty loud and clear on voice calls, and using AT&T’s network, voice coverage is good, nationwide.

    With a claimed talk time of 16 hours and 408 hours of standby, the Bold 9700 maintains the BlackBerry reputation of excellent battery life. The iPhone does not lag far behind, with a rated 12 hours of talk time and 300 hours on standby.

    Still, as far as hardware goes, the keyboard was the biggest difference I noticed. Both phones have nice colorful screens and are quick and responsive, are full 3G phones, support Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, are GPS enabled, have passable cameras, and, again, are well-constructed.

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    Software and Apps

    Both the iPhone and the Bold 9700 are very capable at doing what they were designed to do - the iPhone being a phone designed around the App Store, and the BlackBerry a phone meant for people who have to take their business on the go, and always need access to email and their contacts. This does not mean the iPhone is not capable when it comes to email and SMS; still, the BlackBerry’s contact management system and hardware keyboard makes the BlackBerry an incredible messaging and email phone for business people of all sorts.

    Everywhere else, however, the iPhone shines through. Surfing the web on the Bold 9700 is nowhere near as easy and enjoyable as using the iPhone’s Safari browser. Lack of tabbed browsing and slow load times makes browsing even mobile-optimized sites a drag.

    App availability on the iPhone App Store is staggeringly huge when compared to the BlackBerry App World. As of October, there were over 300,000 apps available on the App Store - compare this to the 10,000 apps that exist in the BlackBerry App World. True, you will find popular apps like the Facebook one for both the iPhone and the Bold 9700, but if you are looking for a true diversity of apps to cover any and every need you could ever have, the Apple App Store, only available through the iPhone, is a clear winner.

    Both phones also support voice control - to an extent - but, I found the voice control in the iPhone’s iOS to be much more useful and versatile than what is included with the Bold 9700. Using my BlueAnt Q2, voice dialing on both phones worked well, but I liked being able to control iTunes and other phone commands through voice recognition. Not a make-or-break feature, but a neat addition, none the less.

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    ....and the winner is.

    Both the iPhone and the BlackBerry Bold 9700 are well-built phones that are great matches for people who need them. If you are somebody who needs to take their business on the go, and will spend much of your time on the phone writing emails, the Bold 9700 is probably right for you. If you are somebody who needs an app for every activity you undertake in life, pick up an iPhone.

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    • Apple,
    • BlackBerry,