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I have had a personal Blackberry 9700 for about a year (Telus) and an iPhone 4 (16gb) for work for about 6 weeks or so (Rogers), so I thought I would post a comparison review. I am not a heavy user, I send/receive about 100 emails a day for work on the iPhone and maybe 20 personal emails and 50 texts on the 9700. I do a bit of surfing and some basic media functions.

Feel

Both are solid devices, the iPhone’s screen seems harder to scratch that the 9700. The iPhone feels much heavier, but it is slim, so it fits into my pocket better. I really like the hard button for switching to vibrate mode on the iPhone. I prefer the wider form of the 9700 because of my larger hands. The iPhone has a hard edge all the way around so it kind of digs into your ear on long calls. The 9700 is curved on top and easier on the ear. The keyboard is fantastic on the 9700. Why is there no indicator light on the iPhone??? They should have backlit the home button in white and had it pulse when there was a message.

Winner: Blackberry

Calls


It is easier to dial on the iPhone and I love that you don’t have to dial in to get voice mail. However, the call quality is better on the 9700. The 9700 is always crystal clear and I have never had a dropped call. I have not had a dropped call on the iPhone either, but there is always a bit of a hiss in the background. This may be due to carrier differences though (Telus has much better coverage in Alberta. I always have a stronger signal with the 9700 in parkades or when traveling within the province). I have not experienced the antenna issue with the iPhone – and I do not use a case.

Winner: Blackberry

Email

It took me a long time to get used to typing on the iPhone. It really is a pain until the keyboard learns your words. I am not as fast as I am on the 9700, but it isn’t horrible. I like the look of the email client on the iPhone. The push technology works the same as the Blackberry. However, the iPhone cannot edit documents and save them.

Winner: Blackberry

Messaging

Everyone I know is on Blackberry Messenger, so that is a huge plus. iPhone’s sms setup is cleaner and nicer looking.

TIE - If BBM is important than the 9700 is the way to go. If not, iPhone has a nicer looking app.

Photo/Camera

iPhone DOMINATES
The pics and videos are clear, the interface is great. Not even close.

Winner: iPhone

Media

Although the iPhone has the retina display, I didn’t notice any distinct advantage over the 9700’s screen in everyday use. It is nicer to have pics and videos on the larger screen. Sound was about the same. The iPhone is much nicer to use when navigating songs or videos and it is way easier to download new media. The BB is fine for a mp3 player, but if you want new media or video, iPhone is lightyears ahead.

Winner – iPhone

Apps

I have BerryBuzz, Berryweather, BBGPSGolf, Google Maps and Viigo for Blackberry and NHL Gamecenter, Google, TSN Mobile, Urban Spoon, IMDB and O&A Rundown for the iPhone. The iPhone’s selection is way better, but I get bored of apps pretty quickly so it really isn’t a huge factor. iPhone has more games and entertainment and they are easy to use, but BBGPSGolf is awesome too.

Winner: iPhone

Internet

The iPhone destroys the 9700. It is faster, the touch screen is super accurate and the pages load quicker. I have tried Bolt and Opera Mini for the 9700. Opera Mini was pretty good, but it would hang once in a while. This one isn’t even close either

Winner: iPhone.

Battery


I get two days on the iPhone and 4 days on the Blackberry.

Everyday Usage

The iPhone is just cooler than the Blackberry. The app store and itunes make it so easy to get new material. I get frustrated with the lack of multitasking on the iPhone and every text message interrupts whatever you are doing and requires you to either hit ignore or reply. This gets really annoying when you are in the middle of a long email. You cannot save documents to the iPhone – although there is probably an app for that. I miss the indicator light. Both are fine for glare. Navigating through the iPhone is slower than the Blackberry, but most apps load quicker on the iPhone. The calendar does not show a week view. Frankly, I was expecting a little more from the iPhone.

I find the Blackberry needs to be reset through a battery pull about once every two months. My biggest peeve with the 9700 is that it doesn’t sync my read messages on my gmail account to the message box on the BB. So I have to manually go in and open them. I find it easier to have a trackpad, back button and options button on the Blackberry to navigate around than use a touchscreen, but I could see how others would prefer the touchscreen.

Overall Winner: Blackberry Bold 9700

Would I recommend the iPhone – absolutely. It is a solid device that does everything well. I didn’t hate anything on the iPhone, I just prefer the accuracy of the keyboard and that it is quicker to navigate on the 9700.

I have the best of both worlds. I only surf and do media on the iPhone and I still love the BB 9700 for the battery life and great messaging. If someone was heavy into media instead of messaging, I would recommend the iPhone; however, if I could only have one, it would be the BB 9700.
 

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I wonder if you had picked up a android phone(say the milestone because it has a keyboard or even better the HTC DESIRE Z) if your overall would have gone to the droid?
 

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Nice review. :)

I've put in my request at work for a Bold 9780 (I've been advised that they're coming out next week) and it's pretty much the same form factor as the Bold 9700.

I've had a BlackBerry in one form or another for almost five years. For business use you can't beat them. They just plain work.

I also have an iPad and while it's a very nice device I can't get used to the touchscreen typing. My feeling is that will be the wave of the future (and I'll have no choice but to embrace it) but give me a QWERTY keypad any day!
 

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I wonder if you had picked up a android phone
With Android that text message interupting apps problem wouldn't occur. On Android, there's a status bar at the top of the screen, where notifications of messages and other events appear. You can just pull down to open that bar and respond to whatever caused the notification. The Android also has true multitasking. Perhaps it's time for a smart phone "shoot out" on DHC.
 

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Nice review.

Something to consider as well is the BB Torch 9800. I just got one for the wife, and its a great device. RIM has done a good job of incorporating touch features into their OS 6. The hardware is solid as well.
 

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I would think that the Torch would be the best of both worlds from people who come from and use Blackberries for actual work related use. Im also sure most businesses would feel better buying BB over and iphone for there staff.
 

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I also possess one or more each of the 9700 and iPhone.

For the most part, Blackberry is plain-Jane, boring, institutional, proletariat and about as cool as a Detroit-designed automobile. It also doesn't work nearly as well as iPhone in every category that i care about.

But....I have loaded an unofficial leaked Os6 firmware onto it, and that just might keep me from throwing it into the nearest dumpster. It's now faster and even usable as a web browser. Still no iPhone, but doesn't stink like your typical Blackberry either.
 
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