Expert Review of BlackBerry Bold 9650
One has to be too confident to say this, but nevertheless it is true. No product, not Apple or the Samsung Galaxy smartphone series can look as good in an executive’s hand as a Blackberry. A symbol of élan as it was, is, and will be Blackberry remains any professional’s heart-throb. The high end Bold series of Blackberry introduced the RIM platform with the launch of BlackBerry Bold 9650. Now, the idea was good but the execution, not so much. The market was not really high and BlackBerry Bold 9650 unlike its brothers in the Bold series have somehow not impressed the global market much. As a messaging-centric device, BlackBerry Bold 9650 is awesome. However, being a great messaging device isn't enough anymore to capture the consumer end of the market. As competition from Android and other platforms becomes stronger, RIM needs to innovate and add something truly unique to the experience in order to stay relevant. The device features an optical trackpad, Wi-Fi, international roaming capabilities, BlackBerry OS 5.0, 512MB of on-board memory and huge processing power. BlackBerry Bold 9650 is the new flag bearer of CDMA based BlackBerrys.
User Interface and UI functionality
With looks almost identical to BlackBerry Tour, the only significant change being the addition of an optical trackpad, the model is slightly heavy and bulky. RIM has done a commendable work in the display features lately. The 2.4-inch 480x360 screen is hard, intense, and manages browsing sessions well. As the BlackBerry’s forte the display the display of BlackBerry 9650 will also adjust to ambient light. BlackBerry Bold 9650 sports the higher end model of the two keyboards RIM currently produces. It is accurate, receptive and fast. The comfortable rubbery keys are row-separated by a depressed chrome bezel. The RIM’s first trackpad just blows away one’s mind. With no significant learning curve the experience was nothing short of spectacular and accurate. But somehow BlackBerry Bold 9650 fails to impress with its optical trackpad. It is sort of jumpy and really hard to manage. Amidst all the tweaking settings and pressure changing for better result, the result is just not the BlackBerry class. The feature failure is obviously not a deal breaker but the genuinely one may take some time to get used to the fantastic BlackBerry trackpad experience. The worst U/I feature however is the micro-USB charging port which is located in the right side of the keyboard. It is next to impossible to text while charging the phone. BlackBerry Bold 9650 sports a rocker key in its top edgeto lock and mute the phone. Strangely, the rocker lock initiates a different lock than the keyboard lock -- users can't unlock the device with the keyboard after locking it with the rocker key. It would have been nice to see rocker key customization options, like the convenience keys on the side of the phone.
Frankly there is nothing much in the BlackBerry Multimedia department and there never will be because that is just not what the devices were made for. Still multimedia options on BlackBerry Bold 9650 come from the BlackBerry OS and from earlier packaged Sprint apps. The phone offers standard array of BlackBerry games, (Brickbreaker, Word Mole, Texas Hold Em, Sudoku, Klondike), Sprint apps for NASCAR mobile, Football, SprintTV, an upcoming Sprint Music Store, Pocket Express aggregator, and others. Social networking apps are also included. The standard web browser still persists on the BlackBerry OS 5.0 devices, with minor cosmetic changes. As mentioned before this is one of the features when BlackBerry cannot even stand in the same league with iPhone or Android powered smartphones.
Pictures and Video quality
BlackBerry Bold 9650 features a 3.2 MP camera with Video recording, auto focus, flash and image stabilisation. Compared to almost all the other BlackBerry devices,usage of camera has been made easier in this model. Previous auto-focus BlackBerrys required users to first focus and then completely press the key to capture an image. With the Bold the process has been simplified to a simple point and click - the device will focus itself.
RIM OS makes internet support go neck to neck, maybe just better off than Android or Windows OS support for smooth browsing. As an “executive” phone, one has to commend its performance, the phone also supports Flash and a classic U/I interface as mentioned earlier. With a good resolution too, browsing is a treat.
Internal and External Memory
BlackBerry Bold 9650 fancies along with it 512 MB of internal memory which can be expanded by the help of a microSD card slot with 2GB card included. However if you have significantly large amount of data to store in your phone, the memory can be expanded to 32GB.
Applications and Gaming
BlackBerry Bold 9650 powered by BlackBerry OS comes with the earlier packaged Sprint apps. The phone offers standard array of BlackBerry games like Brickbreaker, Word Mole, the ever popular Texas Hold Em, Sudoku and Klondike, Sprint apps for NASCAR mobile, Football, SprintTV, an upcoming Sprint Music Store, Pocket Express aggregator, and others. Social networking apps are also included in the device.
With casual phone, messaging, and browsing use one can observe mere less than 18 hours of usable time from fully charge to battery-induced radio off. So you can probably expect to charge this device every night. The standby time provided in the phone is upto 312 hours and talk time upto 5 hours.
BlackBerry Bold 9650 brings with it a large package of connectivity options including 802.11b/g, GPS, Bluetooth with profiles for streaming music, and support for UMTS/HSPA, CDMA/EV-DO and GSM based networks is certainly a winner under this feature. The streaming audio profiles work wonderfully and one can stream high-quality Pandora radio over car's audio system after initial pairing.
BlackBerry is simply a class apart. So it is hard to compare any device with a BlackBerry, yet going by price BlackBerry Bold 9650 can be compared to Samsung Galaxy S2 and Sony Xperia Arc S. The android based phones and far better than this device when it comes to the features offered, yet a BB is a BB and is still a professional’s heart-throb.