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BlackBerry Bold 9650 Officially Announced!

By Adam Zeis on 26 Apr 2010 08:30 am EDT
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Bold 9650 Announced

Today at WES 2010 in Orlando, RIM has finally announced that the long awaited Bold 9650 will be coming to North American networks in early May. The device will support 3G and have both Wifi and an optical trackpad. As expected, the device will also be rocking a full 512 MB of flash memory, which should allow for OS 6 down to fly when it gets released down the road. No official date just yet, but we should know more in the coming weeks. Hit the jump for the full release.

Press Release

RIM Introduces the New BlackBerry Bold 9650 Smartphone

CDMA customers get a bold new choice with powerhouse 3G smartphone that offers premium features and performance together with popular keyboard and trackpad, as well as support for Wi-Fi and high-speed 3G networks around the world

Waterloo, ON - Research In Motion (RIM) (Nasdaq: RIMM; TSX: RIM) today introduced the BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone - the latest addition to the BlackBerry Bold portfolio of premium smartphones. Sophisticated, powerful and feature-rich, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 is a global smartphone for CDMA customers who want to stay connected, productive and entertained.

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

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone supports 3G (EVDO) networks in North America and (HSPA/UMTS) abroad and has a full-QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad and built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g), which makes it possible to talk on the phone while browsing the web or sending and receiving email. The BlackBerry Bold 9650 also includes 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB microSDHC cards, with a 2 GB card included.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 fuses form and function in a striking design and, in addition to providing premium phone and multimedia features, it of course delivers the industry's leading mobile solution for email, messaging (IM, SMS, MMS) and social networking.

Other key features of the BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone include:

  • Stylish design (4.4" x 2.4" x .56" and 4.8 oz.) with glossy black finish and chrome highlights
  • Large (2.44") high-resolution display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi), able to display pictures, videos and web pages with impressive contrast and detail
  • 3.2 MP camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording
  • Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music, a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack and support for the Bluetooth® Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
  • BlackBerry® Media Sync for easily syncing photos as well as iTunes® and Windows Media® Player music with the smartphone*
  • Easy mobile access to Facebook®, MySpace and Flickr®, as well as popular instant messaging services including BlackBerry® Messenger
  • Support for BlackBerry App World, featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones
  • Full HTML web browser, streaming audio and video via RTSP
  • Built-in GPS with support for geotagging, BlackBerry® Maps and other mapping applications
  • Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.1).
  • Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America, as well as UMTS/HSPA (2100Mhz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad
  • Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for 5 hours of CDMA talk time

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone is expected to be available from carriers in the United States beginning in May. For more information visit www.blackberry.com/bold

Reader comments

BlackBerry Bold 9650 Officially Announced!

92 Comments

ok, im gonna get yelled at for this but...

3.2 megapixel camera yet industry standard is 5 or higher! WTF!

RIM had a meeting with verizon. They knew if they had a kick ass bold like atnt's, and called it a tour 2, I would be wanting a different phone even though i just got my tour 9630 in january.

phone looks the same, not much more memory. just more memory, wifi, and trackpad. no thanks.

You're disappointed that the next iteration of a particular device is similar to the old device, but with more/improved features? What would you prefer? An entirely different phone?

In regard to the megapixel comment: Megapixels mean nothing, ESPECIALLY on a cameraphone. Whether it's 3.2, 5, or 7, the quality is the same: Garbage. If you happen to get a cameraphone that takes a decent picture, I can assure you, the megapixel count is meaningless then, too.

I s'pose they could've crammed a 5MP sensor in the 9650, but you'd just be getting 1.8 million more blurry pixels.

Wow, I don't think a Blackberry announcement has ever been so underwhelming! Not only will this phone have a hard time competing now, but it would have had a hard time competing even a year ago. The gap between the most desirable phones on the market and Blackberry is becoming glaringly large. Disappointment comes from a real desire for Blackberry to succeed, so I am not a hater trolling the site.

Blackberry has essentially the same phones from 3 years ago, repackaged and given fancy names, but basically the same. Do you really need to give a phone a different name because of a trackpad? Where is the innovation, where is the compelling reason to choose their platform over others on the consumer side.

Blackberry had made a huge and successful push into the consumer market. What we are likely to see in the next few years is Blackberries slow retreat back into the corporate/business world only business model.

Have to laugh at all of you constant complainers, Both here and in all the threads below.

RIM's stock closed up today. Enough said.

You're right. Megapixels mean nothing on a cameraphone. Get a DSLR camera if you want to talk about quality pictures. LOL

I believe you will only be able to talk and surf while connected to wifi! Still a big improvement! But the ability to do it over the cdma networks is still not there! Can't wait to see one in person!

I'm mad the hardware didn't really change....I was really hoping RIM would correct the poor charger port placement on the Tour with the Bold update. Additionally I was hoping we would get the the battery of the 9700. I still think the 9700 is a better phone save the additional memory....I won't be upgrading to this. The end is near for me. I hope those who have been waiting for this are pleased with it though.....

Yay for incremental upgrades!

I own a Tour, and WiFi would be good to have, but until Webkit browser, and/or OS 6.0, I'm afraid RIM is still late the party... a trend which is disappointing to say the least.

HTC (Mainly Incredible), WinMo 7, and iPhone 4 phones are/will be nipping at the heels of Blackberry's market dominance in the coming years.

Perhaps the "slider" with a true 'designed for touch' OS 6 will be RIM's salvation in the consumer market. One can only hope, right?

So this is essentially a 9700 for CDMA except it has twice the memory. Wow. Groundbreaking.

Its a huge stepup from the Tour which was the only top of the line CDMA Blackberry we have here. Now the Bold 9650 compeats with the 9700 Bold with even more added specs that the 9700 doesnt even have, and the 9700 has proven already to be a one of the best Blackberrys ever made so far. Rim is doing pretty good!

Actually the 9700 is STILL better than the 9650 and the 9700 is 6 months + older.....How does that make any since RIM? The 9700 has a bigger battery, better rear door design, better charger port placement and better contact placement for the cradle charging. To me the 9650 is what the 9630 should have been when it was originally released. No way I'm extending my contract for this.....Droid Incredible is looking great right about now and if Verizon announces the iPhone for Verizon they won't be able to give these things away....Sad day for Blackberry lovers....

Finally they announced it. Ill stick with my 9700 personally. But happy for all those Verizon customers!!!

A Tour with a trackpad and WiFi...and a whole bunch of Tour users stuck in 2-year contracts who won't buy it anyway.

Can't understand how these haters can't help but to talk sh** about RIM. RIM is making positive decisions going foward. So get you a Droid,you will be back when that POS breaks first time you drop it.

I noticed the press release says Bluetooth 2.1. With my current Tour, I have Bluetooth Version 1.1. I sync everything with my 3rd party Kenwood head unit in my vehicle. Does anything feel this will be an issue in regards to compatibility?

I have to say its a big let down..
For work it was the phone to have but now a days
Blackberrys are used by everyone and this is the best
they can come out with? even the 9700 is like a phone
that should have come out 5yrs ago... its always the same old same ith rim.... i might jump on the HTC Incredible,
that looks like a device that does it all...Sorry Rim
but same old same again and a 3.2mp come on!!! what is it, 1998 still?

Have fun with that HTC. If it lasts a year, I'd be surprised. The reason I keep buying BlackBerry devices is because they are extremely reliable. My old 2mp camera in my 8330 Curve takes better pictures than the Droid or the iPhone 3G. To be fair, the Motorola Droid is a POS inside and out, so it's not appropriate to compare any BlackBerry to anything made by Motorola.

Your argument for the camera resolution is laughable. Did your parents teach you to blindly accept everything you read on the internet and watch on TV? Do some research. It will make you a better person.

Of course...the Tour has the red number keys as well. So, yes, it differentiates it from the Bold 9700. But is that a good thing when RIM is abandoning the tour, and the red keys are just one of many reminders that this is more a Tour 2 than a new Bold.

I've been waiting to upgrade from my 8330 to this phone for months...but it took too long, and this just shows the lack of a real substantial upgrade from RIM in the past years. I never thought I'd own anything but a BlackBerry, but I'll be in line for the HTC Droid Incredible at the end of the week.

Looks like the 9700 same phone with more ram there's no news on the processor. At last it doesn't look like the tour as first thoughts looks little bigger than the onyx if so this is going to be cool but what's the code name looks very good. Now I think rim is begining to listen to us now. That other prototype was a load of crap. The bold is back in the game not as a bloody rush phone. Ill like to hear the cpu speed upgrade thou. Cheers.

I so agree with you tatersalad except for me it will be the EVO in June. I love BB so I will keep my tour 1 for my bb fix every now and then...No bold battery cover either...shame on you rim for making us wait sooo long for a tour 1.5 and renaming it a bold.

So I went to the Blackberry website and clicked more info under the phone where you can sign up to be notified of availability and such, and the website title on the page's tab in my browser says "Bold 2 Updates". So is RIM officially going to call this the Bold 2?

And when i clicked anything for the 9700 it only said Bold and not Bold 2 so people hush before you make the 9700 claim as the Bold 2

I have a BB Tour 9630 on the Sprint network, and love it. It's such a great phone for me. I'm glad to see this upgrade hit the market. I sure wish I had that optical track pad on my Tour, but I've had absolutely no problem with my trackball, it works fine. This new Bold 9650 is every bit as good as the Bold 9700 that AT&T has, plus it has the important benefit of more in-device memory. Good for Sprint & for Verizon!

Give me a break...this redesign and the updated Pearl is not what BB should be news releasing during its annual global conference and smart phone users want to see....show us the real deal changes at RIM.

From the specs:

"Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America, as well as UMTS/HSPA (2100Mhz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad"

"abroad" equals Europe.

It doesn't look like the origina bold (9000 i believe) but the bold 9700 which has been our for several months is very similar to this phone.

I'm pretty sure this will have the webkit browser. I compared this press release to that of the storm 2 and the bold 9700 and this is the only one that says full html. The other ones just said browser with enhanced css and javascript rendering.

512 RAM!
WEBKit and 6.0 ready!!

F*ck You to all those that say this isn't an upgrade. This kills any other blackberry on the market. The only setback is that they didn't move the charger slot.

Where does it say that it does not have a leather door? I haven't even seen a picture of the back of this thing.

Still no word on its actual speed? Will it boot up in under 10 minutes? Hold a GPS signal? These are the things I would NEED to know before I'd ever consider it over my 9630 (which I am very displeased with).

I can't wait for my upgrade. Been stuck with a Storm1 and only have a couple months left on the contract. Give me back my full qwerty and more memory!

Ehhh......

Love my Tour. However, if I ever need to replacement, I will be glad to get one of these. But I will NOT be paying to upgrade.

RIM must be saving a ton of money since they can use the same picture over and over again for years for all their press releases.

Its unbelievable how all of us 9700 users are getting jipped on the memory. I cant believe it. I understand there is always a deceivingly new way to make money, but cant RIM just be a little generous. Not every one has the money to shell out for a new phone every 3 or 4 months or want to feel like they're getting jipped out of the memory because their with a different carrier? ... bullshit! 256 is good but 512 is really showing us some love. The droid seems to be the hot thing on the market and the fastest and sadly way faster than my 9700. I'm a bit jealous of that fact but i do love my blackberry bold 9700. The market of phones are such a high demand. Give us something that's competitive and not left in the dust. Wake the hell up RIM! Its highway robbery when it comes to trying to keep up with phones, technology, etc for a lot of people. Sometimes someone has to express their feelings but the movement is much stronger when someone follows. What do you guys think of this memory deal?

It's not like the 9700 is obsolete... In fact it's been said it has the fastest memory access of all BB's - different chipset than the CDMA BBs.

So STFU crybaby... Go get a 9650 if you feel so jipped... :-s

You're JUST now realizing that you will never own the latest and greatest piece of technology? This is how life works. It's the same in the stock market. If you buy into a stock and it goes down, too bad. Are you going to whine and complain to the company and everyone else with ears? Relax. Are your limbs in tact? Has this caused your health to fail? I think you'll be just fine.

Perhaps not everyone has the cognizance or wherewithal to hold off on buying something like a status-promoting cell phone. When everything in the BB world seems too calm or stagnant, something big and exciting is probably lurking in the shadows. Big surprise -- a CDMA Bold surfaced that has Tour owners crying injustice, 9000 and 9700 owners getting hilariously defensive, and patient Curve owners drooling.

For the record, I've seen this coming for months (as most of us have) and I have been clutching my dear, reliable old Curve 8330 for almost 2 months after my NE2 came up. Not only is my 2-year-old Curve running beautifully, but it's running 4.5.0.138 beautifully on fourteen megabytes (yes, 14 MB) of available memory.

If it is always having the phone with the most impressive specs that makes you feel better about yourself, you need to see a psychiatrist.

Wow, unbelievable!!! A trackpad, wifi, a whole lot more memory! How many hours a week of hard work do RIM employees work to be able to come out with such improvements over the first Tour in the whole damn year! I've had a lot of BBs but I'm getting to the point where i'm like, who are they fooling? like they say: fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me and fool me again, F*** you!!!
It is unbelievable to read such crap! I have to quote the CEO because I'm just starting to throw up in my mouth. Read it again and think about it, especially Tour 1 owners:

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

I hope for them the new Iphone will have a trackpad so at least they can all compete fairly! I was waiting fo the old Tour New Bold to come out and thinking that maybe something cool with actually a lot more! But they were so cheap that they didn't want to change the molds at the factory. I think the only way I would get this is FREE without renewing contract! Otherwise it's a waste. With such decision, I'm starting to wonder how long RIM will last and who exactly are they competing with? Maybe other BBs like the 7250.

RIM's products are like fleet vehicles...pretty much all the same and not worth replacing unless they're worn out or broken.

users of the onyx aka 9700 dont need this asap, since as of right now, this one is the same phone with more memory, and more carriers, the onyx is doing just what this phone will be doing, since m a blackberry isnt all that of a toy to be wasted the day playing games. most people wount even run this car pass 50. lol. im yet to see a user that will take full advantage of either the 9700 using the hearing aid capability, and running the cpu till it over heats and crash, berries are tuff devices, i think rim is doing the right thing by slowly getting things done, since they work they dont crash or break down like that. the bottom of this device is rounded like the 9000 still holding the size of the 9700 but still looks a tad bigger still maintaining a small look. like the red number keys all bolds should of came with them, this device turned out better than i have expected. but since i will not be needing a newer device just yet i could get this one still just for the latest of the greatest. first i want to see how fast this runs.

For those who question how we know there's no leather door, click on the link to go to the BlackBerry website and ur able to get a 360 Tour (no pun intended, but damn that was good) of the phone.

No leather door: NOT A BOLD!

RIM reminds me of the car companies in the 50's. From the onset of a new vehicle, they would desing EVERYTHING into it, and then take it off. Sell the base model the first year, then add some chrome one year, or intermittant wipers the next. Over the course of 10 years? You "introduce TEN new cars!"....what crap! I swear on everything holy, if Droid had a better keyboard? It would be SO over if you ask me.

The release says this new Bold does not have WiFi N (only b/g) yet the new Pearl has b/g/n... is that a typo? Or can a CDMA phone not have N?

I have a BlackBerry Storm2, and it just as much as I want to love BlackBerry (this is my second one), I think I'm getting the new iPhone when it comes out this summer.

This phone should have been out last year. Verizon and their lock on wifi prevented this last summer. Now a year later, problems with tour, etc, will keep me from keeping RIM. With the secret out about the iphone 4, I will be heading in that direction. I have no business use for the phone, purely personal, and RIM has been a dissapointment. The 8330 was the greatest for a long time, but the tour took too long to be an adequate replacement. When att had the bold 9000, and curve 8900, while CDMA was still stuck with a slow moving 8330, I'm sorry, but I'm out the door. I've been locked into Big Red's network for too long now, so I'm hoping not to be dissappointed, but the new iphone is where it's at. When RIM can match that, or APPLE finally goes CDMA, I'll be back.

I have a BB Tour 9630 on the Sprint network, and love it. It's such a great phone for me. I'm glad to see this upgrade hit the market. I sure wish I had that optical track pad on my Tour, but I've had absolutely no problem with my trackball, it works fine. This new Bold 9650 is every bit as good as the Bold 9700 that AT&T has, plus it has the important benefit of more in-device memory. Good for Sprint & for Verizon! http://www.electronicswholesaledistributor.com/ when will it be listed?????

at this point why does rim even release new phones?? they all look the freaking same with the same boring features. all they do is ad a trackpad give a new number and wow the big new device!!!! please rim is gonna fade back into only corporate where i think it belongs smartphone are changing and rim is stuck. keep up the bad work rim soon to be palm

RIM twiddled their thumbs far too long on this. I know at least 5 people who are moving on from their Blackberry to the EVO ... high five RIM

I wonder if Verizon or Sprint will let Tour owners upgrade to this new Bold 9650? We shouldn't have to pay to upgrade since the Tour has had one too many problems. Anyone know anything?

NEVER gonna HAPPEN. Nice try though. VZW doesn't give handouts. You'll get your upgrade when your upgrade is due. Then you can get an outdated device only to be trumped by a better, but still outdated device soon after.

not even a year later and they come out with this, i wish i had a trackpad instead of a goddamn trackball which becomes freakin unusable and hard to get back to normal anytime you get even a little bit of grease on it...

so... now there's 3 Bolds?
the 9000 (my fav Bold, and the most BOLD looking one)
the 9700 (basically a 9630 w/ a trackpad)
and a 9650 (no... wait... THIS is a 9630... w/ a track pad)

whatever. I approve. Make it in white, silver, or grey and ill trade my 8530.

honestly i'm not impressed. I'm not just some hater trolling either. i absolutely love my 8330, but now that my 2 years is up, and i'm looking at other phones, without the webkit browser, i'm let down.

i will admit that if i wasnt a college student, and needed a phone for business, this would be great, but just as a regular consumer, i may be leaving RIM. to me, phones today need something to wow you with if you want to make sales, and this just doesnt do it for me

Seriously why didn't RIM Call it Tour 2 it is basically the Same! And it just doesn't Fit Into the bold family! On a Bold phone There Has To be some leather xD no But I don,t like That this is messing it all up! Now we have 3 Bold s !!! So it May be a bit confusing To other people! Especially when they Are New To BlackBerry!
The pearl 3G is awesome! But in germany we Got the 9105 which Has just a normal Cell phone keypad! It doesn,t feature surepress!

Does anyone know if the screen of the 9650 is the same physical screen as the 9630 (not dimensions or resolution, I'm talking physical properties like "hardness")? In other words, does the screen on the 9650 warp if you apply any pressure to it like the 9630 screen (like an old digital LCD calculator screen)? This "softness" is in contrast to the screen of, say, the 8330 that has a hard plastic lens protecting it.