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RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side

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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.

Home screen - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 - RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side
Main menu - RIM BlackBerry Curve 8530 - RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side

Home screen

Main menu

Home screen - RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 - RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side
Main menu - RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 - RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side

Home screen

Main menu



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.

Messaging - RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side

Messaging

Both devices offer a full-featured calendar - RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side



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.


Conclusion:

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.

RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 and Curve 8530: side by side


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