We all trooped down to Ocean Terminal on Sunday afternoon, ostensibly to see A Christmas Carol in 3D, so I took the opportunity to pop into CarPhoneWarehouse and o2 to have a play with some of the latest phones. I was quite impressed by the Nokia N97 mini, there’s a company who have mastered the art of making a rock solid slider style phone (take note Palm) and the keyboard looked quite decent although some of the keys are a bit oddly placed. Still, the keyboard opening action is amazing and there was no play at all in the movement. It’s a touchscreen Nokia but I think it is resistive as opposed to capacitive but it still seemed to be easy to use. Would a touchscreened Symbian device be less of a pain to use? Quite an interesting device methinks although I’m not sure about the slightly strange brown/bronzey tint to it.
Next up was the BlackBerry Bold 9700 which is a cross between the Curve 8900 and previous big, bad, Bold. It takes the best bits of the latter and puts them into a smaller form factor. The keyboard was nice to use, as it is with almost any BlackBerry, the screen is lush and the new optical style pad was easier to use than the previously troublesome trackball. The problem for me with this device is not the device itself but the fact you have to get the BB BIS add on and I don’t think I could add on this service to my current o2 Pre contract. This would mean taking out a new contract which is not a huge problem as you could go for the “Simplicity” option and get a no tie-in SIM for as long as you needed it but it would mean having to start using a new phone number, a month and a bit after having just changed it when I got the Pre. The 9700 tempts me again but the practicalities don’t.