RIM has a new flagship handset by the name of the BlackBerry Bold 9700. It may have only just launched, but Pocket-lint has already managed to get a few hands-on pictures of the device.

As you can see, it closely resembles its predecessor, the original BlackBerry Bold. It has the same layout,  the same keyboard and the same faux leather battery cover. It differs, though, as it's quite a bit smaller than its older brother.

The screen is 'fractionally' smaller, RIM told us, but most of the size savings have been made by stripping out extraneous plastic from the frame of the device.  There's no longer any Chrome surround, for example.

It runs version 5.0 of the BlackBerry OS, like the Storm 2, but also incorporates a bunch of tweaks and improvements on previous editions of the device. It certainly felt snappy to use, but that was a fresh handset so it'll be interesting to see how well it holds up when there's gigabytes of emails stored on it.

The Bold will be launched in November for £35 per month on Vodafone. There might be other operators offering the handset too - we'll bring you those finer details when we've got them.