We tested the dual-mode (CDMA 800/1900; GSM 850/900/1800/1900) RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 in San Francisco using U.S. Cellular's roaming partners. Call quality was great for the most part. We did detect a bit of static and fuzz on our end, but the overall voice quality was loud and crisp.
On their end, callers were very pleased as well. They detected no voice distortion or environmental noise, and said that our voice was so clear and sounded so natural, it was as if we were calling from a landline. The same goes for the speakerphone; they could hardly tell we were on a speakerphone except for a bit more background sound.
We were able to test EV-DO speeds on the Bold 9650, and we were impressed. The CNET home page loaded in just 50 seconds, and the BBC mobile page loaded in around 15 seconds. Unfortunately, we were not able to test the Bold 9650 under a GSM network, and neither were we able to usewith the phone. The Bold 9650 had very little lag overall however.
The Bold 9650 ships with a 1,400mAH lithium ion battery with a rated talk time of 5 hours and up to 13 days of standby time. Like its Verizon counterpart, the Bold 9650 from U.S. Cellular had a tested talk time of 6 hours and 30 minutes. According to FCC radiation tests, the Bold 9650 has a digital SAR of 1.43 watts per kilogram and a Hearing Aid compatibility rating of M3.