RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side

Software and Interface:

As you would expect the interface is nearly identical as both run the BlackBerry 5.0 software.  Both of them have 256MB of internal memory, which represents a downgrade from the Bold 9000’s 1GB of onboard memory.  Both run very snappy, though the Bold feels slightly faster for one reason or another.

One noticeable difference in the two is codec support.  While the Curve supports basic formats like MPEG4, H.263 and 264 and WMV9, the Bold ups the ante with DivX and XviD support (at least partial support, anyway) which is a major upgrade for video fans.

As one would expect from a BlackBerry both devices are excellent at messaging.  The Bold’s better keyboard gives it the upper hand, but in terms of layout the two are identical.  They also offer a full-featured calendar and robust calendar support.  When connected to a BlackBerry Enterprise Server there is arguably no better business platform available.  With a nearly identical software neither device gains an upper hand here, both offer equally good amenities.

Phone Performance:

Both devices are above average in phone performance, but the Bold 9700 holds an advantage because it supports UMA calling making carrier reception less of an issue.  There was some static on the Bold at higher volumes, but the speakerphone was exceptionally clear.  The Curve 8530 had no issues to report, it is just a good sounding phone on both ends.  Battery life on the Bold is noticeably better than the Curve (6 hours of talk time versus 4.5,) which uses the same battery as the 8330 but somehow manages to get 1.5 hours less talk time out of it.


The Bold is the clear winner here, but that’s as it should be given the Curve is an 8xxx series phone and the Bold a 9xxx series.  Verizon and Sprint fans shouldn’t fret, the Tour is still a very strong competitor to this new Bold and there’s no reason to suspect the Essex (aka Tour2) won’t outdo both of them.  GSM has always gotten the head start at RIM, but CDMA usually comes out the winner in the end.



1. fsjon

Posts: 120; Member since: Sep 03, 2009

Wouldn't it be a better comparison between the bold 9700 and the curve 8900?? The curve 85xx can't even out do the bold 9000, mind the 9700...

2. remixfa

Posts: 14605; Member since: Dec 19, 2008

its the same thing i tell every customer. both are great phones. the bold just adds a bigger camera (which i dont think they even mentioned..lol), slightly higher rez screen and some extra media features. people with nails tend to like the curve a lil better since the extra space between the keys is a lil more "nail overhang" friendly. other than that, most go for the bold.. why... cuz its the upper end, and peeps like having "the best" lol. wanna pay $100 more for what equates to a slightly bigger camera.. go ahead. lol

5. CPNYtoCHI unregistered

I totally agree in that they seem to peform the same, although, the Bold is built better. I have tried both phones and don't see a big difference in the key pad either. In my opinion the extra media features are useless. Who is going to watch a movie on their cell phone. If you want to take good pictures then go out and buy a Digital SLR camera.

3. jrcrow79

Posts: 477; Member since: May 02, 2008

9700 has bigger keys which the latter are smaller yet more space..bigger hands=need wider keys

4. ErikSax

Posts: 21; Member since: May 20, 2009

The high resolution of the Bold is very noticeable when reading text. It is a drastic and very much appreciated improvement. RIM should abandon using low resolution LCD panels for BlackBerry screens. The Tour is far more appealing than the Curve for the same reason.

Latest Stories

This copy is for your personal, non-commercial use only. You can order presentation-ready copies for distribution to your colleagues, clients or customers at https://www.parsintl.com/phonearena or use the Reprints & Permissions tool that appears at the bottom of each web page. Visit https://www.parsintl.com/ for samples and additional information.