CNET First Look
RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 (Sprint)Though nothing revolutionary, the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 brings some welcome additions and offers Sprint customers a solid messaging world phone.
>> Hi, everyone. I'm Bonnie Cha, senior editor at CNET.com, and I'm here with your first look of the RIM BlackBerry Bold 9650 for Sprint. This is essentially an upgrade to the BlackBerry Tour, which came out last summer. And it's not the most exciting update, but you do get a couple key features. The most important thing is that you now get Wi-Fi. We always like having Wi-Fi, and I think it should be pretty much a requirement on Smartphones, because this gives you another way to get online, so you don't always have to rely on a 3G connection. The Bold also has doubled to on-board memory of the Tour, so instead of 256 megabytes you're now getting 512 megabytes, which gives you more space for apps, and of course you can download apps from the BlackBerry at Bold right here on the phone. As far as the design, it's pretty much the same, except instead of a track ball navigator you now get an optical track pad. I personally like the track pad better. It's very responsive, and I think it's easier for scrolling through lists and menu items, and you can also press it in to select something. Other features include a 3.2 megapixel camera and of course, great messaging capabilities and world roaming capabilities. The BlackBerry Bold supports both CDMA and GSM technology. So when you're using the phone here in the states, it will use Sprint's network as usual, but when you go overseas it will automatically detect and switch to a GSM network. Sprint actually ships the phone with a SIM card, but you can get it unlocked and switch it out for a SIM card you buy overseas. Fortunately, one thing you still have to deal with is the clunky web browser. Ram previewed its improved web Kip browser, but that won't be available until Q3, when BlackBerry OS6 comes out. So for now, you still have to fiddle around with the BlackBerry browser, which is limited in its capabilities and tough to navigate. Like I said, it's not the most exciting update, but it's a solid one. The phone offers good call quality and solid performance. So if it's just a basic messaging Smartphone you're after, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 is definitely a good choice. It's available now for $199.99 with a two-year contract. I'm Bonnie Cha, and this has been your first look at the BlackBerry Bold 9650 for Sprint.