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Sprint BlackBerry Bold 9650 Review

IMG00081-20100521-1046 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.

Video Direct Link

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 but sprint already has pushed out an update to 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.

IMG00083-20100521-1054 IMG00093-20100522-1205

Specks – Specs and comparison from


BlackBerry Bold 9650 Sprint
BlackBerry Bold 9700 T-Mobile USA

Features Available

Wireless email clip_image004 clip_image004[1]
Organizer clip_image004[2] clip_image004[3]
Browser clip_image004[4] clip_image004[5]
Phone clip_image004[6] clip_image004[7]
Camera 3.2MP 3.2MP
Video recording clip_image004[8] clip_image004[9]
BlackBerry® Maps clip_image004[10] clip_image004[11]
Media player clip_image004[12] clip_image004[13]
Corporate data access clip_image004[14] clip_image004[15]
SMS clip_image004[16] clip_image004[17]
MMS clip_image004[18] clip_image004[19]
GPS clip_image004[20] 1 clip_image004[21] 1

Size and Weight

Height 4.43″/112mm 4.29″/109mm
Width 2.40″/62mm 2.36″/60mm
Depth 0.56″/14mm 0.56″/14mm
Weight 4.8 oz (136g) 4.30oz/122g

Data Input/Navigation

Keyboard Full QWERTY Full QWERTY
Keyboard backlighting clip_image004[22] clip_image004[23]
Trackpad clip_image004[24] clip_image004[25]

Voice Input/Output

3.5mm stereo headset capable clip_image004[26] clip_image004[27]
Headset jack clip_image004[28] clip_image004[29]
Integrated earpiece/ microphone clip_image004[30] clip_image004[31]
Built-in speakerphone clip_image004[32] clip_image004[33]
Bluetooth® technology Bluetooth v2.1 Mono/Stereo Headset, Hands free, Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP) and Serial Port Profile Supported, Bluetooth Stereo Audio (A2DP/AVCRP), DUN Bluetooth v2.1 Mono/Stereo Headset, Hands free, Phone Book Access Profile (PBAP) and Serial Port Profile Supported, Bluetooth Stereo Audio (A2DP/AVCRP), DUN
Hearing Aid M3 M3/T3


Display High-resolution 480×360 pixel color display High-resolution 480×360 pixel color display
Transmissive TFT LCD clip_image004[34] clip_image004[35]
Font size (user selectable) clip_image004[36] clip_image004[37]
Color display clip_image004[38] clip_image004[39]
Backlighting clip_image004[40] clip_image004[41]
Light sensing screen clip_image004[42] clip_image004[43]


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 clip_image004[44] clip_image004[45]
Expandable memory – support for hot swappable microSD card, SDHC supported clip_image004[46] clip_image004[47]
Onboard memory 512 MB 256MB
Flash memory 512 MB 256MB
Included media card 2 GB


RIM® wireless modem clip_image004[48] clip_image004[49]
Tethered modem capability clip_image004[50] clip_image004[51]

Wireless Networks*

Carrier Availability Sprint, Verizon soon, AT&T, Bell, Cincinnati Bell, LetsTalk, Mobilicity, Rogers Wireless, T-Mobile, TELUS, WIND Mobile, Wirefly
Wi-Fi: 802.11b/g clip_image004[52] clip_image004[53]
Dual-band 900/1800 MHz GSM/GPRS networks clip_image004[54]
Dual-band 800/1900 MHz CDMA2000 1X Ev-DO networks clip_image004[55]
2100 MHz UMTS networks clip_image004[56]
North America: 850 MHz GSM/GPRS networks clip_image004[57] clip_image004[58]
North America: 1900MHz GSM®/GPRS networks clip_image004[59] clip_image004[60]
Europe/Asia Pacific: 1800MHz GSM/GPRS networks clip_image004[61] clip_image004[62]
Europe/Asia Pacific: 900MHz GSM/GPRS networks clip_image004[63] clip_image004[64]
EDGE networks clip_image004[65] clip_image004[66]
HSDPA networks clip_image004[67]
UMTS/HSPA networks: 2100 MHz clip_image004[68] clip_image004[69]
UMTS/HSPA 1900 MHz clip_image004[70]
UMTS/HSPA 1700/2100 MHz clip_image004[71]
UMTS/HSPA 900 MHz clip_image004[72]
UMTS/HSPA 850 MHz clip_image004[73]
UMTS/HSPA 800 MHz clip_image004[74]
8 total comments on this postSubmit your comment!
  1. Other than the 512MB internal memory, I don’t see how this BlackBerry is better than the 9700 in any way. Its still heavier, larger in volume, and still has the micro usb port on the bottom right corner which is such a PITA when trying to type while charging. They also moved the micro usb port a fraction of an inch nullifying the use of any hard cases from the previous tour.

    I don’t know if the latter is a function of the device being “CDMA”, but I don’t see why those adjustments weren’t made on this new Bold. Maybe I’m bitter about my old tour which I absolutely hated, this device is definitely a step up, albeit, minor, coming from the 9630. I just RIM would have made it more like the 9700 which is a “true” bold and not a tour case with “bold” imprinted on it. I really feel sorry for any sprint or verizon users who just picked up a 9630 with 2 year contract.

    • Yeah they both have about the same features, like you said just more memory and its able to pick up EDGE on with a Tmo or ATT SIM, is a world phone. Theres a few other things but those are the main differences.

      • Before I switched to Tmo from VZW, I ported my # over and used my 9630. Its a dreadful experience. You can’t get 3G nor can you get the proper service books so I couldn’t even get browser. I had to download some rigged service books to get browser back. Got a 9700 now. I think BlackBerry has to make a real splash with OS 6.0 and the webkit browser cuz these minor incremental hardware upgrades are not cutting it.

  2. “camera is a 3.2 MP with auto focus”

    Does anyone know what the video OUTPUT resolution is for the 9650? Not the display screen. But, if I take a video with the phone, then dump it on my computer, what resolution is the actual vid?


  3. probably my favorite unlocked blackberry phone so far. little smaller than my old 9000 but i like it. faster, more practical, internet is great for surfing and it holds reception a lot better on my crappy network up here. apps are great and games are fun for when i’m chilling but great for my work at the same time. The 9630 is a great unlocked cell phone. got my last 2 at and very happy with my purchase. 2 thumbs way up.

  4. Guys,
    I think the Lock for other networks.
    you people can try these sits,they are cheaper


  5. I had the BB 9700. I loved it. I switched to Sprint and have the 9650. The 9700 was lighter and sleeker.

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