| | Try both: do you need 3g?
Most magazines oddly picked the 8900 curve over the 9000 Bold for an all around better device. The first versions of the 9000 OS were not that great. The 3G on the Bold ATE or eats batteries, it has a simpler (worse) camera, LESS RAM than the 8900, a lower resolution screen BUT it does have 3G (it gets it higher model # from the 3g even though it lacked in other areas compared to the 8900)
The 8900 curve is smaller and fits easily in your pocket, has a VERY good auto focus camera, FULL 256 meg OS RAM!, a higher res screen. It feels faster because it has more RAM than the bold 9000. The 8900 is a very consistent solid performer ( why most bloggers and mags pick it) BUT it only has EDGE speed (and wifi if you are near an access point). I think it's a better device IF and only if you don't need 3G.
NOW, the "bold" 9700? has everything the 8900 has plus 3G (and has excellent battery life), trackpad, faster processor, and newer OS (the OS really doesn't change much really)
The phone really is part of the Curve line. They went with bold out of marketing or something. The form factor IS the Curve 8900. The 9700 is an improved 8900.
But if you HAVE to choose 8900 or 9000? Do you really need 3G? If you don't? Go with the 8900.
Oddly, AT&T passed on the 8900 when it came out 'cause they thought the 9000 would be so superior (they were wrong and RIM gave it less RAM..odd choice for the 'better' 9000). T-mobile took the 8900 and it was such a hit with reviewers who said it overall outperformed the Bold 9000 (for road warriors who couldn't always access 3G in most cities anyway) that AT&T asked RIM to carry the device afterall;) I really think the Bold's battery useage was killing the bold....It also doesn't fit as easily in your front pants pocket 'cause the bold 9000 is a bit larger.