speakerphone performance is awesome.. tested in a busy restaurant and also in the car while driving. not so much trying to talk on speakerphone, but listenening to the speakerphone on MUTE like I would do if I were sitting in on a conference call.
as for regular phone use - i notice it IS DEFINATELY louder than the 7290 and actually seems more like a regular cellphone now.
i read someone said earlier that this device doesn't seem as sturdy as the 7290 did.. like it was more fragile. the only thing to me that looks more fragile is the screen - it's too pretty to stay that way for long
on the 7290, the screen was recessed with a small border that put it just underneath of flush with the rest of the face of the device. on the 8700, the screen is completely flush with the front of the device.
outside of that, it seems completely sturdy to me.