1. keypad's Avatar
    Hello all

    I would like to start this post by saying a big thank-you to CrackBerry.com and the CrackBerry Nation, for creating and contributing to such as excellent site and online community.

    The following comments are my personal, informal opinions of the BlackBerry 9720 smartphone, and are in no way meant to discredit or endorse BlackBerry or any of its service or products.

    So my first BB is the 9720 and as stated in my post about becoming a new member of the BlackBerry clan, my first impressions of the handset are positive.

    The build quality of the 9720 is budget and plastic but it seems pretty well put together.
    I'm not going to go over all aspects of the hardware or software as many of you know plenty more about BBos7 than I, and I'm just going to bore you by doing so.

    The screen is plenty bright and the resolution although nothing spectacular, is adequate for reading emails, websites and most other things you need the screen for.
    I also like the addition of a touch screen on this lower end model. It helps with quick on-screen control such as app opening and faster scrolling in the web browser and menu pages.

    My personal preference for the screen size on a Qwerty keypad handset, is 3.5 inches to 3.7 inches, so at 2.8 inches the 9720 screen feels a tad cramped but I'm going into this experience with my mind un clouded and eyes wide open, so let's move on.

    The 5MP camera is basic but serviceable.

    If you want more in the camera department, get a Nokia Lumia 1020 or Sony xperia Z+ etc.

    I don't like the lack of internal ram/rom storage at all.

    Its 512MB I believe, but with the BB apps and OS stuff already installed, the user is left with just 80MB or so to play with.
    I was not expecting such a small amount of memory in the phone and all I can say is "Its pitifully low" BE WARNED.

    After a handful of app downloads, the phone keeps telling me to restart due to lack of memory and this also has a knock on affect with browser usage, which can sometimes be shut down by the phones own memory manager.

    This can be bypassed to some degree in the settings by telling the phone not to shut down a particular app like the browser, but let me by frank, you will face this situation as long as you intend on downloading apps at some point in the future or using multiple tabs in browser and its irritating. Also many apps need an immediate reboot to work after a download from Appworld otherwise the app can't be seen in the app tray and therefore used.
    However, my positive spin on this is that I now do not have any junk unused apps on the phone and because of this I now value the apps I have installed and use them more. With my Gnote, I have too many unused apps due to such large internal storage, and I devalue many good apps simply due to having to many to choose from and not enough time or attention span to enjoy them.

    I had similar experiences with low internal memory, with my old school HTC Desire which eventually could not receive the android Ginger Bread update due to lack of internal memory. Never mind.

    In general use, the phone is nice and swift. Menus pop up, swipes register and things move surprisingly well considering the just over 800 MHZ single core processor at its heart.

    A multitasking dynamo, it is not.

    App switching is fine and simple, with a quick press and hold of the BB menu button but that is about as close to multitasking as you get on the 9720.

    On the up side, I can play music tracks while typing out notes and as I'm not really expecting or wanting to watch youtube videos and listen to my tunes simultaneously, I'm happy with this outcome.

    The BlackBerry BB7 browser is at best usable.

    Pages look ok but render quite slowly and checker board patterns appear often.
    Opera Mobile is a decent alternative but also has its difficulties when in use.
    Honestly, I think its more to do with the poor amount of ram and the obviously struggling 800MHZ processor, than the browsers themselves.

    With limited high quality apps for this phone in appworld, this can cause irritating situations as you will obviously have to lean on the browser more heavily for modern day websites and service.

    The physical Qwerty keypad is fairly nice to use.

    I have limited experience with Qwertys but have owned the Nokia E71 and the android ZTE Tureis (also a physical Qwerty) smartphone running Gingerbread.

    For whatever reason, I like buttons and don't get on very well with full touchscreen phones. I tried to go BIG with the original Galaxy Note, hoping the bigger screen size would translate to a better on screen typing experience. It didn't.

    The 9720 keypad is medium to firm feeling with nice feedback, and just enough of a raised, contoured profile to feel good under the thumbs.
    The curve like spacing between keys is comfortable and appreciated and the backlit keys are bold and bright in many lighting conditions.

    I like BBs implementation of spell check.

    Having such poor spelling ability as I do, spell check gives me the confidence to flow with my thoughts and then pulls me up on my mistakes also teaching me how to spell correctly with its suggestions, which are often spot on. It actually feels more user-friendly to me, than even Windows 7 desktop spell check. Impressive.

    The Gnote is so large and so thin, that the phone never feels comfortable in my hands and on-screen text editing is not straight forward, which leads me to, the 9720s "Trackpad".

    "On a smartphone with a screen size as small as the 9720 is, the trackpad is a revelation with respect to, text editing and web page navigation".

    I am so glad I experienced this instead of just ignoring BB7 altogether and jumping forth to BB10. I cannot convey how useful this feature combined with the Qwerty keypad, has been to me when writing anything longer than a tweet on this phone, such as this very review I am tapping out happily now.

    I feel like I understand why people have stuck with the BB7 combination of features and I haven't even begun to play with and learn the keyboard shortcuts yet. I'm not going to say the trackpad is better than this phone or that mobile platform, but I will say that for me, this combination was "Killer Productive."

    It just works so well on this small screened form factor and it make/helps me to want to be productive and not spend all of my spare time playing casual games.

    Editing text on my " 9.7 inch Screen " ipad, is quite frankly, sh@t.

    Poke after poke after poke after stab after Knuckle. Now I'm just like, F This. It can stay wrong.

    The PC desktop mouse and keyboard are far from dead.

    I n my opinion, its madness to accept an inferior implementation of text editing and correction, on a smartphone or anything else for that matter.
    Virtual Trackpad or Original Trackpad brought back for BB10.3 please Thor.

    On top of the great tactile keypad, the physical call, end, back and menu buttons on the 9720 are like "Pressy clicky heaven" to me, and I really don't want to have to do without these buttons on any phone I have in the future, if at all possible.

    They just feel convenient and right to me. Touch sensitive buttons, do not.

    The two convenience keys which are set to directly operate BBM and the Camera are handy and very welcome, but I don't really use either at this moment in time. The BB10 style slide up lock screen, is a nice touch and has a virtual camera start up icon, which operates reasonable quickly but can slow down sometimes, probably due to slow ram accessibility.

    The great thing is you can change the default setting and use these buttons for one press activation shortcuts to many other functions and apps on the handset. Nice BB.

    I use mobile wifi hotspot extensively to connect my gadgets to the web, so at this moment in time, this is my solution for mobile computing and its pretty affective.

    But I have a small problem with the 9720 and hotspot connectivity.

    Ever since I activated BIS, my mobile hotspot only connects on to the net on its second attempt, I'm not sure why. BIS also seems to slow down the Internet connection slightly, to what I am used to.

    Before adding BIS, hotspot worked fine and connected to my Gnote and ipad with no stutter. The 9720 will not connect to my Wii console for watching Netflix which my Gnote had no problem in doing. Maybe this is a problem with the Wiis older wifi radio not being compatible with the 9720/BIS. A minor inconvenience but an inconvenience none the less.

    CrackBerry forum member "Belfast... recently purchased a 9720, and reported that he had problems with his units headphone jack input. I have given this area of the phone a special mention as I said I would after Belfast's unfortunate issues.

    So far, I can report that my particular unit is working fine and I am not experiencing any negative issues with the input at present. However, if that situation changes in the near future, I will try to remember to update this post with my experiences.

    The built in internal loud speaker on the 9720, so far sounds quite LOUD and clear.
    It is much better than the one on my Gnote and deserves a mention as I was pleasantly surprised by its performance.

    So there we are.

    I'm going to conclude this post on the 9720, with a personal rating of, (Seven out of Ten).

    ( 7/10 )

    I fully understand that the BB7 platform is extremely mature and is not going to be for everybody.

    Multitasking is ancient and limited on the 9720 and the low specs do not help with overall performance or public perception of BlackBerry, but the phone really does just " Get the job done. "

    I like the productivity of BlackBerry Qwerty devices a lot, and for that reason I have quite a soft spot for the 9720.

    No mater what happens next, BlackBerry have been and still are, the keypad Kings of the smartphone world. That will be a lasting legacy in their history and one I have had the pleasure and privilege to experience.

    Lastly. Following the recent announcement, of 40% job losses at BlackBerry this week, I would like to take this opportunity to wish all current and former BlackBerry employees, the best of luck, in future endeavours and to thank you all for bringing BBos7 and BB10 to market.

    You all did an amazing thing here and I hope you are proud of the parts you all played in these undeniably momentous and groundbreaking achievements.

    Thanks again
    09-21-13 10:52 AM
  2. Bold_until_Hybrid_Comes's Avatar
    And piece of history
    keypad likes this.
    09-21-13 10:54 AM
  3. Gert Wewege's Avatar
    1. why my phone reboots itself about 8 to 10 times a day?
    2. while it reboots it takes a huge amount of battery power so my phone does not last as long as my old 8520 did.
    3. Memory Low - I had more on my 8520 than I had on my 9720

    Clearly I did not upgrade I downgraded.
    01-13-15 04:23 PM
  4. webber27's Avatar
    1. why my phone reboots itself about 8 to 10 times a day?
    2. while it reboots it takes a huge amount of battery power so my phone does not last as long as my old 8520 did.
    3. Memory Low - I had more on my 8520 than I had on my 9720

    Clearly I did not upgrade I downgraded.
    You "upgraded" to the wrong phone. Try a BB10 device.

    Posted via CB10
    01-13-15 05:42 PM

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