BlackBerry Bold 9650 Quick Review and Comparison to Tour 9630 and Bold 9700

By Kevin Michaluk on 26 Apr 2010 11:55 am EDT

Following up this morning's official BlackBerry Bold 9650 announcement and our guided video tour of the Bold 9650 and Pearl 3G, we spent a few more minutes with the new CDMA Bold stacking it up against its two brothers the Bold 9650 and Tour 9630.

While the BlackBerry Tour brand has been given the axe and is now a member of the Bold family, the feel of the new Bold 9650 is obviously more Tour 9630 than Bold 9700 (or 9000). If you have held or own the Tour, in your hand the device feels almost identical, the exception being the center navigation area, where the Bold 9650's optical trackpad replaces the Tour 9630's trackball. Considering that a lot of Tour owners suffered issues early on with their trackballs, this change is most welcomed one. While you can't see the WiFi, it's now there, but for some reason this new flagship device is lacking the 802.11 n (it does have b and g) that the Pearl 3G has received. Maybe they ran out of room for n attena with all of the 9650's World Phone goodness in there.

As we reported on the other day, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 doubles up in device memory from the now standard 256MB to 512MB - a first for a BlackBerry Smartphone. The jump up in memory provides more room for apps and should handle OS 6.0 and the WebKit browser well when they get rolled out later this year. And as with the Storm2 and Curve 8530, the Bold 9650 gets OpenGL support for 3D graphics, something no other BlackBerry Bold or GSM BlackBerry device for that matter has.

Be sure to take a look at the video above... Adam did the recording on this one and left a little surprise at the very end for y'all. We'll be doing more in-depth reviews on the 9650 once we get to spend some real with it.

Reader comments

BlackBerry Bold 9650 Quick Review and Comparison to Tour 9630 and Bold 9700


"the Bold 9650 gets OpenGL support for 3D graphics"
Does this confirm an upgraded processor from the 9630?

best part of the video had to be the workout video clip at the end. after reading on twitter what kevin had packed in that bag, calories burned like crazy.

...of the new processor and DOUBLE memory. Flagship my ass... the 9700 looks like it was temporary as hell. lol Ah well, let's see if this 6.0-ready Slider ever materializes...

funny how two new phones like the Tour 2/Bold and the Pearl 3g can have such different specs and setups. Different RAM, Pearl has wifi-N but Bold doesn't, but Bold has open GL and 3D...

Man, that music was way too trippy for my tastes. I would so not want to be in there for long.

that music is sooo trippy I want to put it on my phone (i share office with 3 other guys in the noc and all our phones go off way too often during the day (most of us have "ringer_classicphone"). this would drive them insane...

No WebKit and no OS 6.0, not until later in the year.

Still waiting on a release date from Verizon. Not that I'll be able to get it anytime soon, since I'M STILL LOCKED IN FOR ANOTHER YEAR ON MY ORIGINAL TOUR!

That might not be true. You may be able to take them up on their 'annual upgrade' program where you would only pay the price of the device that you would if you signed a new 2 year agreement. The terms from Verizon's page are as follows:

"You must be registered for My Verizon, be on a calling plan of $49.99 or higher and have completed at least 1 year of a 2-year contract and agree to renew for an additional 2 years in order to get a new phone at a promotional price"

Essentially you just start the clock on a new two year contract and get the new phone. The only downside is that you don't cash in on the $50 for a new every two discount, since that clock starts over again at 20 months from when you re-up on a new 2 year contract. Not a totally bad deal, makes being a My Verizon customer well worth it. Hope that lifts your spirits some.

Nobody knows yet about he processor, but it is reported to support OpenGL, which the 9700, apparently, does not.

I'm mad that the 9700 has 256MB device memory and no OpenGL. So it may be safe to say that the 9700 won't support OS 6.0.

The OpenGL is in a Qualcomm chipset, so only CDMA phones have it. If there's no OS 6 for OpenGL-Less phones, then RIM would be giving a big finger to just about the whole world except the US & Korean market, and it's definitely safe to say that's not their business plan.

Big whoop. The track pad is actually a downgrade for me. I always have clammy fingers, which makes it hard to use. Might have to look into that iPhone thing by the time my Tour (which I love) gives out.

Clamy fingers shouldn't matter with the track pad since it is optical. You should be able to use it with gloves on. Either way, iPhone 4 does look pretty cool, but personally I will be picking up a BB 9650.

Some clarification here:

on device or for users: set of runtime binary modules embedded in OS which helps to render 3D models, worlds, UI, etc.
It's a software component.
But running openGL commands takes lot of processor and RAM
So GPU or graphic cards comes in picture to share memory and cpu
Load. And what you see is very smooth.

For Programmer: set of open source API through which 3d games, UI,
And other 3d software are build.

For mobile phones a handy version is used called openGL-ES (embedded systm).

Nokia 95 is among first symbian smart phone supporting hardware 3d acceleration.
Yes it means graphic card for mobile phones

Went on Blackberry website and the new Bold 9650 weighs more than the Tour.

The website also shows the Tour being slightly less thicker than the Bold 9650.

Guess they are way different.

Except that in most cases, RIM won't be making the money. I don't know why it's thicker but that reason doesn't hold up.

You mentioned in the video that it will be carried on CDMA carriers like Bell and Telus in Canada... but both already offer the Bold 9700, so do they still need to offer this phone?

Crackberry trying to get everyone excited and are silly enough to put three phones that do the exact same thing next to each other...LMAO

DROID Incredible BABY!!!!

Is everyone sure that Kevin was doing lunges at the end to work out? Because my son does that same walk when he gets a wedgie. lol Thanks for the news. CB4L!

@luxurie - the 9700 is hspa(?) only - not CDMA - so Telus needs this phone - so I can upgrade from my Storm 1 and keep my "everything unlimited" plan...

the 9700 (or an android phone) would take me off "cdma" and require me to go to a different plan - which is definitely not something I want to do!!

So why confuse your customers with similar phones ?. I have no idea what to go for when my 9000 is due for renewal ib 4 months, hopefully something clearly top of the range.

I have one of the three of those phones...9630. I put in the long nights for upgrades and blinking red lights with nothing there, slow and "flare-less OS" I am done downloading Offical OS's lol that do nothing....

Its time to party, it's Incredible!!!

I could not tell from the video, but any idea if the backdoor of the Tour will fit the new Bold? I have some coveroo doors and want to know if they will work with this new "Tour" .... any information would be appreciated!

Ive been thinking about going to Sprint and this would deff be the phone I'd get. I was worried about missing my 9700 but not anymore!

Well I used to love my device. I have a Tour and before that I had the curve and before that I had another blackberry and before that I had another one... Its been a long relationship with blackberry.
However - I see a break-up in our future. Very near Future. Thank you for riding into the sunset with me. But its a new dawn - EVO.
I am tired of BB introducing "NEW" devices and really nothing changes. Really look at the new device - Its a Tour / Bold... (not even BB knows) with optical keypad and wifi. OH yes ... it does have 512M. When new phones are boasting 8.2 MP camera, plus dual cameras,and HD camcorder; 1Ghz processors, bigger screens and touch screen that actually work; I am so tired of the form factor of a BB device. Even a BB rep told me that if I thought I was upgrading when I purchased my Tour - I was not. It just added on the world feature. Go figure... Its time BB came upto par with the rest of the device makers. I would be remiss if I didnt feel like I was duped when I bought my Tour as an upgrade.

Thats what RIm does - just add on features to the existing device. Only if the features made a difference. Tour was a waste of $$$. $$ I am sorry I wasted them on RIM. Good Bye and good luck. Not everyone has to agree with me.. but if you do .. check out the new devices out there .. open your eyes bigger and better for the same money. Check out the HTC EVO (coming out summer of 2010) check out the HTC Hero. Check out the Droid. Check out the sleek looking devices that Samsung has out there.

Thank you, that was said perfectly, dont take this crap they will continue with it as long as they hit there numbers.

Lets all move on, Crackberry should add in other phones like phonedroid/phone dog/engadget etc...because it is over

...for now (I do not like touch screens). I like the phone and the design. In addition, I like a physical dedicated QWERTY keypad. And I like BlackBerry. But if a someone comes out with a CDMA Android physical candy bar device with anything approaching BlackBerry's security, woah nelly! But for now, BB is satisfying my needs.