Blackview BV9700 Pro Smartphone Review – IP69K and MIL 810G
Blackview BV9700 Pro Smartphone Looks Ready for War
We’ve reviewed several durable smartphones this year, including the Kyocera DuraForce Pro 2. The Blackview BV9700 Pro smartphone, however, combines aesthetics, durability, performance, and value in a way that can’t help but catch your eye. At $379.99, this phone might be the best deal out there for those looking for a tough-as-nails smartphone.
- Excellent value
- Fast Mediatek Helio P70 processor
- External night vision camera option
- Integrated VOC (air quality) detection sensor
- Fingerprint sensor works quickly
- Dual SIM tray
- IP68/IP69K + MIL 810G
- Battery life could be better
- Requires adapter (included) for standard USB-C cables
- Must choose either dual SIM or microSD card functionality
RecommendationRugged. That word defined the design intent of the Blackview 9700 Pro smartphone. This phone doesn’t care if you’re camping, swimming, working, or climbing Mt. Everest—the IP68 rating and MIL 810G rating should protect it against anything you throw its way.
Blackview 9700 Pro Smartphone Processor and Memory
The Blackview 9700 Pro smartphone uses a Mediatek Helio P70 processor. This modern processor uses a 12 nm process and carries four ARM Cortex-A73 cores and four ARM Cortex-A53 cores. Clock speed for the cores reaches 2.1 GHz. You also get an integrated ARM Mali-G72MP3 GPU and dedicated AI processing unit.
What can you do with that? You get fast video processing, memory access, rendering, and storage to start. That translates into a better overall experience when manipulating photos and videos for social media. We do a ton of that. It also makes Internet use and gaming far better than with a device using a slower processor. We tested that as well.
This processor shows up in a lot of overseas phones by Oppo, Realme, ZTE, Vivo, HiSense, and others. For a $379 phone, this processor does well.
Memory comes in at 128 GB ROM/6 GB RAM. I like the plentiful storage space and it has a microSD (TF) slot with support for a 256GB card. You can either use the second slot position for a microSD card or a second nanoSIM—but not both. While it would be great to have your cake and eat it, too—I’ll take it. That still provides ample choices and expansion.
Testing the Phone Responsiveness
We tested the responsiveness of the phone while using apps like Photoshop Elements and our project management software. Both experiments showed very little lag time with fast file opens and no real delays on making file changes. We also did a little gaming using an app called Extreme Car Driving Simulator. The BV9700 never slowed down and graphics rendered smoothly and consistently.
Overall, the phone feels snappy. Unlocking happens immediately when I grab the phone. Since I programmed my index finder into the system, I can unlock it simply by picking it up with my right hand. It also unlocks with my thumb when holding it in a natural palm position. The phone even supports Face ID, though it may not be as secure as some of the other methods.
Android 9.0 (Pie) launched in August 2018. This modern Android OS offers dark mode, adaptive battery, app actions, adaptive brightness, and more. The next version of Android (Q) should come out any day now, but it was great to see Blackview keep things current.
Charging and More
You can charge your phone at up to 9V 2A rates. The Blackview BV9700 Pro also supports wireless charging and it worked great on our Choetech fast charge wireless charging pad.
The only real concern we had involved the USB-C port at the base of the phone. It’s super-deep. In fact, the Blackview supplies a proprietary cable with an extended-length USB-C connector. They also include an adapter in the event you need to use your own USB-C cables (which won’t reach far enough into the charging port). This seems a tad shortsighted and could result in problems if you lose the adapter and/or your cable goes bad over time.
Screen & Chassis
The screen measures 5.84-inches diagonal. Resolution is 2280 x 1080 pixels—roughly a few hundred pixels wider than 1080p. Blackview built the Back, Home, and Recall buttons into the touch screen—making use of those extra pixels.
The IPS display sits under the dual touch layer with both inner and outer protective glass layers. Everything is slightly inset within the aluminum chassis.
Blackview claims the sides use an anti-wear titanium alloy. We’re not sure how much titanium that involves, but it looks cool and gives the phone a nice visual accent.
The Blackview BV9700 Pro uses Samsung 16MP and 8MP dual rear cameras and, surprisingly, a 16MP front-facing camera. The rear cameras support apertures of F1.75 (16MP) and F2.0 (8MP) and the front 16MP camera supports an aperture of F2.0. That F1.75 ranks very well against the competition and yields some excellent photos.
The Bokeh photo model yielded a result very similar to the iPhone’s Portrait mode. It blurs the background while keeping the subject in focus. Unfortunately, interior shots simply lacked the vibrancy of reality. In this, the camera on the iPhone 8 Plus dominated (right):
Outdoors, the Blackview BV9700 Pro actually comes quite close to the photo quality of an iPhone 8 Plus. The below photos are from the Blackview Samsung 16MP camera (left) and the iPhone 8 Plus (right):
Both capture the excellent depth of field. The iPhone does produce a bit more color saturation, however, that could come from the iOS camera software. The BV9700 also exhibits slightly more noise. Overall, the camera works very well.
Call and Speaker Quality
Call quality impressed me. I used the phone directly and via the speakerphone function. Both came through well and had intelligibility in both directions. Our provider, T-mobile had no difficulty instantly recognizing the phone once we inserted our nanoSIM.
The speaker volume is plenty loud. For calls, it works really well. If you want to use your phone as a Bluetooth speaker you may be disappointed—though not necessarily compared to other phones. While my iPhone 8 Plus has better high and mi-range clarity, I have used many other phones that fared far worse than the BV9700 Pro. It never distorted—even at max volume. It also put out a good volume. Obviously, a good pair of Bluetooth headphones will solve any issues.
Your Phone as a Sherman Tank
Rugged phones get a pass on weight and bulk—but some do it better than others. The BV9700 Pro handles its size and protective layers like a Pro. The design and stylings are spot-on. The phone just looks great. It doesn’t “feel” or look bulky, even though it weighs 10 ounces (about 1.4 ounces more than my reference iPhone 8 Plus).
All four corners are well-padded, and the base extends low enough to provide additional protection from a vertical drop. Blackview uses an elastic industrial-grade rubber shell.
The phone carries both IP68, IP69K, and MIL 810G (military) ratings. Consequently, it’s nearly impervious to dust, water, and shock. I love it because I can go swimming in the ocean, take a run on the sand, and accidentally drop my phone on the rocks and have it still work.
Editors Note: The IP69K water intrusion test is done by placing the phone on a turntable at 5 RPM. The product is sprayed from 4-6 inches away at various angles at a rate of 4 gallons per minute with the water pressure between 1160-1450 psi, at 176°F. The phone achieves the rating if it completely resists water ingress.
Blackview crams a 4380 mAh non-removable Li-ion battery in the BV9700. They rate the standby time at 25 days and claim up to 30 hours of talk-time. I doubt you’ll ever hit those numbers since it’s likely you use location services and Bluetooth connectivity that will drain the battery at a much quicker pace.
If you don’t plan to take selfies every 5-seconds or film your next feature on this phone, however, it will easily last you a full day or more of serious use.
Price and Conclusion
This phone looks awesome, works great, and stands up to tough job site use. Water, dust, falls, and abrasives—it has it covered. We liked the responsiveness and display quality as well. Overall, this phone comes with very few surprises and we found it easy to start using right away. The price makes it even more appealing.
The Blackview BV9700 Pro smartphone costs around $379.99. With the Sony night vision camera, you add another $40, bringing that to $419.99. We say “around” because pricing seems fluid at the moment. Either way, this is a SUPER deal for a phone with these kinds of features. It’s a much better deal than the CAT S41 rugged smartphone based on specs alone. You can pick up the BV9700 Pro right now using this link.
Blackview BV9700 Pro Specifications
- Talk Time: 30 hours
- Standby Time: 25 days
- Battery Type: 4380 mAh non-removable Li-ion
- Charging: USB Type-C and Qi Wireless
- Display: 5.84 in. FHD+ IPS (1080 x 2280 pixels) 432 PPI/DPI
- Operating System: Android 9.0 (Pie)
- Camera (rear): 16MP 1/2.8 in. F1.75 + 8MP 1/4 in. F2.0 Samsung
- Camera (front): 8MP 1/3.1 in. F2.0 Samsung
- Camera (optional): External 2.13MP Sony STARVIS IMX291 CMOS (low lux)
- Video: Up to 1080p at 30fps
- Chipset: Helio P70 AI
- Processor: TSMC 12nm FinFET 64bit Octa-Core (4 x Cortex-A73 2.1GHz + 4 x Cortex-A53 2.0GHz)
- GPU: ARM Mali-G72 MP3 900MHz
- APU: Multi-core 525MHz
- WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac
- Bluetooth: 4.1
- Durability: IP68/IP69K + MIL 810G
- GSM: B2(1900), B3(1800), B5(850), B8(900)
- 3G: WCDMA: B1(2100), B2(1900), B4(1700), B5(850), B8(900); TDSCDMA: B34(2010—2025), B39(1880—1920); CDMA: BC0(800), BC1(1900);
- 4G: FDD: B1(2100), B2(1900), B3(1800), B4(1700), B5(850), B7(2600), B8(900), B12(700), B13, B17(700), B18, B19(850), B20(800), B25, B26, B28a(700), B28b(700); TDD: B34(2100), B38(2600), B39(1900), B40(2300), B41(2500);
- Memory: 6GB LPDDR4X RAM
- Storage (internal): 128GB EMMC 5.1 ROM
- Storage (expandable): MicroSDX memory card slot (supports up to 256GB)
- USB: Type-C 24-pin (adapter required)
- SIM Type: 2 x NanoSIM
- GPS + Glonass + Beidou (BDS) with height and barometer
- VOC air quality detection
- Integrated heart rate monitor
- Blood pressure monitoring
- Charging (max): 9V 2A
- Size: 150.2 x 73.4 x 13.5 mm (5.91 x 2.89 x .53 in)
- Weight: 10.0oz
- Warranty: 1 year
- Price: ~$380 ($420 w/Night View Camera) BUY NOW