BlackBerry 8700c (AT&T) review: BlackBerry 8700c (AT&T)


We definitely hear you now: The BlackBerry 8700c's speakerphone is plenty loud.

Moving to the phone aspect of the BlackBerry 8700c, the mobile's address book is limited only by the available memory (an additional 250 names can be stored on the SIM card), and the device comes with 64MB of flash memory and 16MB of SDRAM, which is a nice bump up from the BlackBerry 7290 . For each contact entry, you can store up to eight numbers, an e-mail and a Web address, home and work addresses, job titles, and notes. You get 35 polyphonic ring tones, and there's support for MP3 ring tones, as well as a vibrate mode, conference calling, call forwarding, speed dialing, and smart dialing. Finally, there's Bluetooth support for wireless headsets and car kits, but unfortunately, wireless data transfers and syncing are out of the question.

As a businesscentric device, the BlackBerry 8700c doesn't give you too many entertainment or multimedia functions. The BlackBerry 8700c doesn't have an audio or video player, but it does come with three games: BrickBreaker, Texas Hold'em King 2, and Bass Assassin. Customization is limited to a handful of themes, but more options--ring tones, wallpaper, games, and so on--are available through Cingular.

Using Cingular's network, we tested the quad-band (GSM/GPRS 850/900/1800/1900; EDGE) RIM BlackBerry 8700c in San Francisco and Washington, D.C., and call quality was generally good. We had no problems hearing our callers, although they sounded slightly hollow at times, but it didn't prevent us from holding a conversation. On the flip side, callers said we sounded clear, but they could tell we were on a cell phone. Speakerphone quality was even better. Callers said they couldn't even tell we were on speakerphone, and volume was plenty loud. In fact, we were a little embarrassed when we activated the speakerphone in a public place because our caller's voice boomed throughout the room.

Wireless functions on the RIM BlackBerry 8700c were admirable. We had no problems pairing the device with the Logitech Mobile Traveller Bluetooth headset , and we were talking, hands free, within minutes. Call quality did suffer slightly, however. Surfing the Web on the 8700c was relatively painless, and the EDGE support helped with faster upload times, but we did encounter some delays and formatting issues with graphics-intensive sites such as CNET.com.

The RIM BlackBerry 8700c is rated for 4 hours of talk time and up to 16 days of standby time. In our tests, we managed to get 5 hours, 40 minutes of talk time, while the standby time fell short at 7 days.

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