Over the last few days I have been using the BlackBerry 9650 RIM sent for us to review. Compared to the 9700 from T-Mobile the 9650 from Sprint is similar in specs and form factor. The 9650 is the Bold version for CDMA carriers and an upgrade to the Tour 9630. Some of the new features that the 9630 didn’t have and new to the 9650 includes Wi-Fi, optical Trackpad, and more memory. For my review I am going to compare it to the 9700 since it is the other device that I have been using and they both pack most of the same features.
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Form factor : The 9650 and the 9700 look almost the same but there are some differences. The 9650 is a little bit bigger and weights more. Both devices share a similar design except that the bezel in the 9650 is curved more and the bottom edge the 9700 bezel is a bit wider. Another difference is the keypad; The keypad on the 9700 is leveled with the, where the 9650 keypad is raise above the screen. I don’t believe this will be a problem with holstering or cause any wear.
KeyPad, Convenience keys & Ports: Typing on the 9650 is just as comfortable as typing on the 9700, if anything it might be better. It might be because it’s a new device but it does feel smoother when typing on it. The convenience keys are located as follow, one on the left side, can be set for any kind of shortcut, Top side on the right a 3.5mm head set jack, +/- volume keys, Middle button is pre-set to activate the camera. The micro USB port is on the bottom right hand side for charging and connecting to the computer for transferring files and upgrading the operating system. At the top you get the usual key lock on the top left side, the standby/Mute key on the top right.
TrackPad: This is a new addition to the 9650 if you have a 9630 and you are waiting to upgrade you are going to love using the trackpad on this device. The trackpad allows for easier navigation you don’t have to worry about it getting stuck like the trackballs do. It only takes a couple of hours to get used to navigating with the trackpad.
Camera: The camera is a 3.2 MP with auto focus both the 9700 and the 9650 have the same camera along with flash and video recording. On the 9700 The camera’s flash is on one corner and the camera on the other corner of the device but the 9650’s flash is right above the camera.
Memory : The 9700 only has 256MB of memory where they 9650 has 512MB of flash memory. Both devices allow for expandable memory with via microSD cards. The 9650 comes with a 2GIG memory card. The 9650 way more memory for 3rd party apps compare to the 9700 or the older 9630. With the OS installed and a few 3rd party apps the 9650 stock has about 315 MB of memory left.
Wi-FI – This is a great feature and I really can’t see myself using a device without it. The 9630 does not have Wi-Fi and all the BB’s with the Bold Brand have it. This is a nice upgrade for the 9650 because if you live in an area that has no poor data coverage the Wi-Fi allows for data over Wi-Fi while you talk on the phone.
Accessories : With the 9650 you get a swivel holster, Wall Charger, a micro USB cable, and a 3.5mm stereo headphone.
Battery: The battery on the 9650 is the same battery on older devices like the 8900, a 1400 mAh Standard. Both the bold 9000 and the 9700 have a much bigger battery with about an hour more of talk time.
Operating System: The OS preloaded on the 9650 is version 184.108.40.2061 but sprint already has pushed out an update to 220.127.116.119. The update wash also pushed OTA will write about that on a separate article.
Travel: The 9650 is a world phone which means it will also pick up GSM frequencies and has room for a SIM card. I was able to use my T-Mobile SIM right out of the box and it Picks up EDGE the T-Mobile 3G frequency is not supported. This device is perfect for business travelers.
To conclude the review the 9650 is a great device and a work horse. If you have been waiting for a device that has the latest and best options this is the device for you.
Specks – Specs and comparison from www.blackberry.com
BlackBerry Bold 9650 Sprint
BlackBerry Bold 9700 T-Mobile USA
|Corporate data access|
Size and Weight
|Weight||4.8 oz (136g)||4.30oz/122g|
|Keyboard||Full QWERTY||Full QWERTY|
|Display||High-resolution 480×360 pixel color display||High-resolution 480×360 pixel color display|
|Transmissive TFT LCD|
|Font size (user selectable)|
|Light sensing screen|
Approximate Battery Life
|Standby time||up to 13 days/312 hours||GSM – up to 21 days/504 hours, UMTS – up to 17 days/408 hours|
|Talk time||up to 5 hours||GSM: up to 6 hours, UMTS: up to 6 hours|
|Music playback time||up to 18 hours||up to 38 hours|
|Expandable memory – support for microSD card|
|Expandable memory – support for hot swappable microSD card, SDHC supported|
|Onboard memory||512 MB||256MB|
|Flash memory||512 MB||256MB|
|Included media card||2 GB|
|RIM® wireless modem|
|Tethered modem capability|