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BlackBerry Bold 9700: Hands-on photos with the slimmed-down SuperBerry

The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is set to be RIM's new flagship phone, and we got up close and personal with the capo di tutti BlackBerries

Flora Graham
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The BlackBerry Bold 9700 is a lean, mean, BlackBerrying machine, and today we got our hands on RIM's new top-of-the-range phone.

The Bold 9700 feels much smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the BlackBerry Bold 9000, but it has all the smart-phone powers that made the Bold 9000 a hit. It's also bagged itself some upgrades -- such as a faster processor and more RAM.

Click 'Continue' to read all about our first impressions of BlackBerry's new Bold baby.

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The BlackBerry Bold 9700 fit easily into our smallish lady-hands, but its size means its screen and keyboard are slightly smaller than the Bold 9000's.
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The Bold 9700 is 109 by 60mm and 14mm thick, compared to the Bold 9000, which is 114 by 66mm and 15mm thick. You also save a few grams -- the Bold 9700 is 122g and the older Bold is 136g. The new Bold is the same size as the BlackBerry Curve 8900, but fractionally thicker and a few grams heavier.
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The screen boasts a higher resolution and it's still bigger than other BlackBerries. We think if you like BlackBerry keyboards, you'll have no trouble using the Bold 9700's Qwerty keys.
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The traditional BlackBerry trackball has been replaced with the new optical trackpad. Not only is it less likely to collect pocket fuzz, there are places where the trackpad gives a smoother user interface, too. For example, scrolling through featured apps in the BlackBerry app store was lovely and smooth.
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Check out the Bold 9700, sandwiched between the older Bold 9000 and the new touchscreen Storm 2, and you notice how much smaller this little powerhouse is -- and we found it noticeably lighter too.
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The back of the Bold 9700 is pleathery, and the two speakers are positioned so they're still very clear, even when the phone is lying on a tabletop. The phone's 3.2-megapixel camera and LED photo light are on either side of the Bold logo on the back.
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The standard 3.5mm headphone jack is a great feature, although if your headphones have a big plug they can stick out too much for our taste. The microUSB charging and syncing socket is another welcome example of a standard-sized port.
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The rubbery buttons on the side reminded us of the BlackBerry Curve 8520, which was also the first phone to try the new trackpad.

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