Smartphones

BlackBerry 9650 makes the Bold RIM's new flagship smartphone

Research in Motion showed off its new CDMA version of the BlackBerry Bold on the first day of WES 2010.

This post originally appeared in the ZDNet Between the Lines blog.

While RIM's big announcement of the first day of WES 2010 was the resurrection of the Pearl series with the BlackBerry Pearl 3G, the company also showed off its new CDMA version of the BlackBerry Bold. Called the BlackBerry Bold 9650, the new high-end smartphone helps RIM standardize the devices across the top of its product line.

See alsoRIM melds BlackBerry with PBX handsets

RIM President Mike Lazaridis said, "The new BlackBerry Bold 9650 is an extraordinary smartphone that we think customers will love. Whether at work or at play, the new BlackBerry Bold 9650 offers a truly impressive communications, multimedia and connectivity experience."

The Bold 9650 has essentially the same features as the Bold 9700, which is already on AT&T and T-Mobile in the U.S., Bell and Rogers in Canada, and several other smaller GSM carriers. The Bold 9650 will obviously be aimed at CDMA/EVDO carriers Sprint and Verizon Wireless in the U.S. so that North American businesses can easily standardize on the device. That's important because some companies are starting to use the Bold as a replacement to the universally-available BlackBerry Curve.

Here's a quick summary of the primary features of the 9650:

  • 480×360 display
  • CDMA/EVDO + UMTS/HSPA and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM (for global roaming)
  • 802.11 b/g Wi-Fi
  • 512 MB of RAM
  • microSD/SDHC slot for up to 32 GB of storage (2 GB card included)
  • 3.2 MP camera
  • Optical trackpad
  • Full HTML Web browser
  • BlackBerry Media Sync (connects to iTunes)

Keep in mind that Verizon, Sprint and other CDMA carriers already have a similar product called the BlackBerry Tour 9630. The Bold 9650 adds two main upgrades to the Tour: 1.) It replaces the trackball with the new trackpad, and 2.) It adds Wi-Fi, which is increasingly important for fixed-mobile convergence to save cellular charges.

UPDATED 4/26, 9:45AM: Sprint announced Monday that the Bold 9650 will be available on its network on May 23. Get smartphones tips and news in your inbox TechRepublic's Smartphones newsletter, delivered each Thursday, features tips on how to deploy and manage smartphones in your enterprise, product reviews, news updates, photo galleries, and more. Automatically sign up today!

About

Jason Hiner is the Global Editor in Chief of TechRepublic and Global Long Form Editor of ZDNet. He is an award-winning journalist who writes about the people, products, and ideas that are revolutionizing the ways we live and work in the 21st century.

4 comments
Gis Bun
Gis Bun

How does it make the Bold 9650 the "flagship" product when A) it's essential the same as the 9700 and B) the number is less than the 9700 - for the latter most will think it's inferior to the 9700. I would. Even looks like the 9700.

danekan
danekan

why is RIM taking so long for their webkit based browser to come out? ...so what's the battery life like on this unit? hopefully not as horrendous as some of the other bold models

M Wagner
M Wagner

... including wireless technology. On EvDO, I have never burned down a battery in less than a day. For longest battery life, I recommend topping off your battery every night. Li-ion batteries like that.

TSaL
TSaL

Nice a Tour with a trackpad. In 2 days i will be an x-bb user and a new Android Fan.

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