BlackBerry Onyx

Are you happy with your current BlackBerry? Is Barack Obama happy with his old BlackBerry? Will he buy a new BlackBerry Bold 9700 (Onyx)?

There is a new BlackBerry for you. BlackBerry Onyx is similar to the BlackBerry Tour 9630, when you first look at the BlackBerry Onyx you're just not quite sure what you're looking at. The close-together keys with ‘guitar fret' separators scream Bold, yet the overall form factor is much more like the BlackBerry Curve 8900. That's part of the reason it seems weird that the Onyx would be a 9600 device.

In terms of the device's overall dimensions and shape and feel in the hand, it's actually closer to the Curve 8900 than it is to the 9630. Like the Curve 8520, it features a little bit more rubber than were used to seeing, but the rubbery buttons give off a quality feel. And then when you pop off the Onyx's battery cover and see the Bold's battery, the confusion increases even more. With the BlackBerry Onyx it's like RIM simply grabbed the best DNA from each device and tossed it together to make a super baby, which in this case is not a bad thing.

The overall look and feel of the Onyx is slick. I assume the gun metal grey metallic band around the device is actually plastic, but it gives off a more metal-like feel than the silver chrome on the Curve 8900 or 9630 or Bold. The Onyx feels very thin too. While it's overall thickness appears to be the same as the 8900, on the Onyx RIM has made the sides of the device a little less thick and instead of having the display be flush (even slightly lower) than the side rails, with the Onyx the display's edges are bevelled down towards the side rails. It's hard to explain, but overall the device simply feels thin. The Onyx's footprint is much smaller than the Bold's and is even smaller than the 9630.


• 3G device - GSM/GPRS/EDGE/UMTS (Bands: 850, 900, 1800, 1900)
• 480 by 360 display, bevelled edges
• 256 megabytes of internal memory (same as Curve 8900, 8520)
• 1550mAh M-S1 battery (same as Bold)
• 3.2 megapixel camera, with flash and auto focus
• Processor: Not 100% sure actually, but am hearing it’s a Tavor processor that may be running even a bit quicker than the Bold's 624MHz processor (definitely seems snappy)
• GPS, WiFi (UMA capable but we'll see what happens there), and all the normal stuff you'd expect on a BlackBerry smartphone

The Onyx reviewed has a trackball, but it is possible that by the time it goes into production that it may feature the optical trackpad found on the Curve 8520. But even with the trackball, the navigation is all good.

There's a little CrackBerry history behind the name BlackBerry "Onyx" that I just had to throw in here for our newer readers who may not be fully aware. Back in April 2008, before the official release of the BlackBerry Bold, the blogosphere referred to the device by its model number, 9000. We knew the BlackBerry 9000 would have to get a brand name, so at that time we held a CrackBerry contest to guess the name of BlackBerry 9000. A short time after, RIM announced the 9000 as the BlackBerry Bold, a name which none of our contestants had guessed. However, we went through the hundreds of names suggested and picked our favourite and gave them a prize anways. And the name we picked as the winner was..... The BlackBerry Onyx!

The good: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 boasts a sleeker design that includes an optical trackpad, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and a brilliant display. The smartphone is 3G capable and offers Wi-Fi with UMA support, Bluetooth, and GPS. It also gets a faster processor and updates to BlackBerry OS 5.0.

The bad: The BlackBerry browser doesn't compare to the competition. The handset's compact size results in a smaller display and keyboard, but they aren't deal-breakers.

The bottom line: The RIM BlackBerry Bold 9700 brings T-Mobile its first 3G BlackBerry and improves on its predecessor with a sleeker design and more power. We only wish it had a better browser to complete the package.

Do you really need to replace your old BlackBerry or you Nokia N Series with this unique Onyx? Don’t forget to see other PDA or smartphone reviews such as: Sony Xperia, Samsung, Motorolla, Nokia N97 Mini, LG, Acer, iPhone and other great brand in cellular phone industry.

From: CrackBerry.com, reviews.cnet.com and other BlackBerry websites.