Sprint BlackBerry Bold 9650 Video Unboxing and Overview!

By Kevin Michaluk on 19 May 2010 04:33 pm EDT

The Sprint BlackBerry Bold 9650... it's finally here! CrackBerry's David Boyd is currently putting the new CDMA flagship full physical qwerty BlackBerry through its paces and is working on in-depth device review, so while we're waiting on that I figured it wouldn't hurt to get up David's Bold 9650 video unboxing and overview.  

In addition to now having WiFi, the optical trackpad and 3D graphics support as compared to the Tour 9630, the Bold 9650 also doubles its internal memory up to 512MB, which as you can tell from the video is something David is very excited about. Out of box with no tweaking to free up memory, you're still left with over 300MB of available space for instaling apps and running the device - a number that's huge to BlackBerry users. A device like the Bold 9000 or Storm 9530 out of box would have closer to 30MB of free application space, so we're literally talking a 10x increase in free memory (though a lot of us hardcore users would prefer to see gigs of free app space).

Check out the video above to get a good look at Sprint's BlackBerry Bold 9650 as it comes out of the box (and if you want to win my 9700 at as David points out, enter here). And if you have any specific questions you'd like answered or things you'd like to see in David's comprehensive review, be sure to drop them in the comments and we'll do our best to address them.

Reader comments

Sprint BlackBerry Bold 9650 Video Unboxing and Overview!


My local sprint store told me that it was "on [their] calender for the 21st", so we'll see if I can pick it up locally two days early. I hope this isn't just a classic case of store rep sendrome...

I just got off the phone with the local sprint store and they have the 9650 in stock today. Check with your local sprint store.

One thing to watch out for with these BlackBerry devices is the screen color. I just returned my Bold 9650 and ordered another one because the screen color has a dull, yellowish tint opposed to a nice white crisp color. I went through this last year with my Tour - actually went through 7 of them to be exact. Unless you have another BlackBerry on hand with a nice white crisp color ayou probably won't see the dull yellowish tint. The best way to compare the two devices is by going to the "options" screens where is't all white so you can see the difference in color. trust me, it's a huge difference.

So what you're saying is that you are so picky and self-absorbed that you think it's completely acceptable to return six completely functional devices so that you could manipulate your way into something that is so insignificant that you'll notice what you deem a flaw only when compared to another device whose "flawed" properties you also wouldn't notice on their own?

Great job. I thank you and others like you who so effectively force companies to compensate for your actions by keeping product prices high, keep contract offerings expensive, and make return policies less and less customer friendly.

You actually took the time to write a lame response, why? I was trying to share this problem with people who may not be aware of it, yet you thought it was a good idea to write an attack response. You’re a clown, bro, and what you have to say carries no weight with me. Obviously you work for RIM and are very angry I brought this up, but that's just too bad. Do me a favor and entertain me though… what you're saying is that I should allow RIM to get away with selling a poorly developed device when I pay good money for it? If I pay good money for a device I want that device to work perfectly - that includes it's appearance, genius. What don't you understand? If the difference in color was slight I would have no problem, but the difference is huge when compared to another device. Every BlackBerry I have owned up until the Tour didn’t have this issue. All of a sudden the Tour device screens are yellow. The RIM sales rep in NYC actually agreed with me when I was at the Sprint store complaining about this issue. He said he never realized it before, but can definitely understand why a customer would be unhappy with the yellow screen. So what’s the problem? After bring this issue to rep at the store and the NYC district sales rep, why is that you have an issue with me bringing this up on Crackberry? Do me a favor, tell your boss at RIM to get it right and there will be no problem. You guys are losing a lot of customers these days to iPhone and Android devices so you better start working on some new ideas to keep yourself in the mobile game.

Actually, I took the time to write a well-stated and thought-out reply according to umdaman. I am not attacking you, but your actions and their repercussions. Then again, I suppose I called you picky and self-absorbed, so maybe I did attack you a bit. I thought the labels fit the scenario; although, perhaps “self-absorbed” is a little harsh.

What’s funny is that I don’t think I expressed any emotion in my original reply. Yours is rather full of it.

In any case, I’m not running away, but I’m not going to have an Internet argument with you, especially in the comment section of a blog post. I will address your questions, though, since it seems important to you.

1)“I want you to explain to me why it's ok for the same model device to have two totally different screen colors. Please, explain why this is acceptable.”

Screens may come from two manufacturers. They may have a different process, or they may have a different belief as to what provides the ultimate viewing experience. If the difference between the two is negligible, insofar as you can only tell the subtle difference when comparing the two different versions side by side, then I think that is acceptable. My statement is evidenced by the fact that you had to convince people to understand your complaint with a side-by-side comparison.

2)“Also, some of the returns last year were due to poor trackball issues and battery door issues. I'm sure you have a problem with me and others like me returning a device for trackball issues and loose battery doors, right?”

Of course not. If you have a legitimate failure or defect, then you are entitled to a warranty replacement.

3)“what you're saying is that I should allow RIM to get away with selling a poorly developed device when I pay good money for it? If I pay good money for a device I want that device to work perfectly - that includes it's appearance, genius.”

I don’t claim to be a genius, but thanks anyway. I don’t think the device is poorly developed. According to your complaint, there is a slight, negligible difference in two types of screens. I’m inferring the device otherwise functions properly. Also, what if all the screens were consistent and had the yellowish tint? Would you have returned your phone six times complaining about its yellowish tint which is not noticeable without a comparison? I highly doubt it.

4)“I like individuals like you, you hide behind screen names and run their mouth... I get a good laugh.”

Um, okay, _Moxx_ :rolleyes:

Like I said, I’m not going to have an Internet argument with you. If you want to have a healthy, intelligent discussion, I’d be happy to contribute. Start a thread in the forums and PM me the link.

Listen, you’re not contributing anything meaningful to this discussion, so after this post I’m done entertaining you and your opinions. Just tell your boss at RIM to deliver quality products in the future or continue to lose market share – it’s that simple.

Moving on… at the end of the end, It’s the customer who needs to be satisfied with a product so if a product is not delivered as it should be then it should be returned.

For example, I recently purchased two 22” Dell monitors and if they had different screen colors – one a nice white crisp color and the other a dim, yellowish tint, I would have a serious problem with this too. Are you telling me you would be ok with two exact flat monitors sitting side-by-side displaying two difference colors? Like I said, this is not a slight difference when compared to one another. If you really don’t care about the quality of the products you purchase then that’s your choice. However, most customers care greatly about the quality of the products they purchase and if they pay good money for something they want it to be perfect. There should be no difference in screen color when we are talking about the same EXACT BlackBerry device. Why doesn’t iPhone run into this problem? Android? Why do they get there screens colors exact?

These are just your opinions and obviously not fact. I understand device are manufactured at different locations, but that output should be the exact same - period. I want the same quality product delivered regardless where it is manufactured. What don’t you understand? If I decided to purchased 20 BlackBerry Bold devices for my family members in time for Christmas and 11 out of the 20 had yellow screens do you think all 20 family members would be satisfied? Be honest, 9 look nice and clear and 11 look light a yellow film is over the content. Companies must love customers like you – never complain because you’re afraid to speak your mind when you’re “real” name is attached to the discussion.

Btw, when I was being sarcastic and said I like people like you who hide behind Internet screen names, I said it because you wouldn’t take that tone with me in person – trust me. Therefore, you should show the same respect to an individual online that you would show them in person.

you solicited a response from me , asking me to answer your questions.

I did. How does that not contribute to the discussion?

Multiple device returns/replacements are very common among small electronics purchasers. I think this subject has some wheels.

This could have been a fun/interesting discussion. I invited you to help me escalate it to a more mature level in the forums.

I would still contribute to a discussion in the forums if you'd like to start a thread and send me the link. I'm not your enemy. We clearly have different opinions here, which is one of a few driving forces in a successful public forum.

But for now you seem to have shut out that possibility in the blog post comment section, so I won't address your most recent reply.

Until next time...

Btw, don't run away, I want you to reply to my comment. I want you to explain to me why it's ok for the same model device to have two totally different screen colors. Please, explain why this is acceptable. Also, some of the returns last year were due to poor trackball issues and battery door issues. I'm sure you have a problem with me and others like me returning a device for trackball issues and loose battery doors, right? I like individuals like you, you hide behind screen names and run their mouth... I get a good laugh.

I won't take sides on this issue. Just that it's pointless to argue on this video. To the guy who said it's ridiculous for wanting to switch phones. If he is allowed to do it and there's no harm being done to you, why do you have a problem with it?

To the guy switching phones, you do realize that RIM gets many companies to manufacture the phones right? Some are made in Canada, some in Mexico, some in Hungary etc...

It's quite possible the screens although the same size/resolution are from two different companies and that's why the tint or color is different. I saw this in the Bold 9700 and my Nintendo DS Lite as well... though whatever floats your boat, I just want to say I don't think it's a flaw, just the way the screen is.

I'm with moxx in this argument why sit around and settle for a lesser device when you could have better thats silly.

The screen on my Macbook is like that. Slightly yellowish compared to my hp notebook. I like it. Much easier on the eyes than a bright white screen.
Certainly not something I would return 7 phones over.
Good thing I'm not in customer service. I would have told you to go pound sand after the 2nd phone.

thumb down to the comment from bobaloo, first thing he does is personally attack the guy. Great way to constructively get your point across, works just as well on a public forum as it does on a playground.

Lol ! Well if your gonna throw emoticons at me... Heres one for you :) Its public forum, everyone's entitled to an opinion, thats what makes it so great. Sorry if I offended you.

there have been pictures posted in 9650 forum where the trackpad looks a smidget high on the left. how is it actually?

I saw a poster somewhere else mention his was like that and get a similar response. Mine is, too.

Not that it shouldn't be cirrect, but it seems to be just off enough to make you notice and then spend the next three minutes staring at it making sure you're right.

I have a friend who is trying to get his 9630 replaced with a 9650 throught the retentions department, but I doubt he will be successful.

oh well...I guess I'll wait until its time to renew...I've only had my tour for about 8 months...its still good, I just want the trackpad.

Just heard back from my friend. Looks like sprint is going to let him get a Bold 9650 for $199 and renew his contract early. He complained about his multiple tour replacements, lingering trackball problems, and daily reboots.

Not only that, but the video overview shows yet again how far the Canadian carriers lag behind their American counterparts in terms of not only contract pricing / renewals, but also pre-loaded features, i.e., being of the useful variety strikes my Canadian mind as odd and unfamiliar:) Still, can't wait - finally a chance to get a CDMA Bold!!!

Why would Telus or Bell pickup a CDMA phone????

Now that they've launched HSPA and have had the Bold 9700 for 7 months now, why would they move back to the 1990's????

CDMA is dead. Outside the USofA CDMA is in the death rattle. The only reason Sprint and Verizon are able to succeed is because AT&T suck as bad as they do.

If AT&T could have Verizon coverage and network backhaul, there would be no question that CDMA would be gone. But AT&T does suck beyond belief and the US is stuck with CDMA.

Agreed. CDMA is indeed a dying breed.

Now, bring on the 21Mbps BlackBerry Curve 98900 or whatever it will be called.

Heh heh.

signal goes up and down very easily if you touch phone or move it a few inches. opera is almost unoperatable mouse moves so fast u cant control it .has lag pulling up web pages or pulling up data.

I'm really disappointed to hear this about the signal. My tour does that & I was really hoping the bold would be much improved in that area. My 8830 was very solid on the signal.

i heard just the opposite, i heard that reception is better than the tour and almost as good as the curve 8330 which IMO had excellent reception.

In all fairness, it's not like the trackpad does that for every app, though. It's clearly a trackpad/Opera issue... not just a trackpad issue.

Why does it look like the trackpad is flashing? Is that because the camera is picking up (and converting) frequencies of light that we are not normally supposed to be able to see? Or does it actually flash like that?

I guess when ever they get done with their intense testing like they did with the .591 OS....LOL.

Was this filmed in a normally problematic area for getting a Sprint signal or does the 9650 have a weak-ish radio?

My house is just a cell phone dead zone for all carriers unless I'm on the 2nd floor near a window. Signal is great as soon as get a block away from my house.

I heard they come with an Intel 3gig quad core liquid cooled processor...is that fast enough for you?

If you have an old case from the 9630... they will not fit this if you plan on using the USB port... they moved it about 1/8 of an inch up on the device.

You will need to cut or buy a new case.

While the USB charging port moved up slightly, this is incorrect information. I took the "official Sprint" gel case from my Tour and put it on my new Bold and it's perfect. No issue whatsoever. If you have a gel case from another vendor then it is possible it will not work.

I have the RIM Blackberry Tour OEM skin and the charger port is still accessible, without any modifications what so ever. Though, like Moxx said, some cases may not work as well without modification.

Can somebody tells me why I had a Tour, I currently have a 9700 but I feel attracted by the 9650? Have to say that I'm missing the size of the 9000 and the 9650 is a bit bigger than the 9700 even if the keyboard is the same size.....

I ordered the 9630 on July 7 when it came out last year. As a Sprint Premier user, do I have to wait til July 7 before I can order it, or can I get it before that?

You may want to check your dates. Sprint didn't released the Blackberry Tour until July 12, 2009 via telesales. Nonetheless, the answer to your question is "yes," you will have to wait one full year as a Sprint Premier customer and two full years as a non-premier customer before you are eligible for an upgrade. Otherwise you will have to pay the full price.

Ah you're right about the date, sorry about that. Thought it was the 7th for some reason. And thanks for the response. I guess I'm just sad I won't be able to get it by a planned trip over the 4th of July weekend.

If you ordered it in July & are Sprint Premier then you'll be able to upgrade as of July 1. Sprint always bumps your upgrade eligibility to the 1st day of the month. So you can pick it up before your july 4th trip. :-)

you can pick up the phone just a tad earlier if your account is in good standards and if your a premier customer. for example i just called my self to see if i can get the phone early just not 2 months early, they will allow you to get the upgrade 2 weeks before your contract is up, you may have to beg a little, lol.

I'd like to see how the battery life of the 9650 compares to the other Bolds on the market. I'd also like to see if there is any kind of problems with the battery door or any kind of build/hardware issues. totally looking forward to the in-depth review of this phone.

New to BB, and enjoying the 8530. Is this one's camera (w/ LED) going to produce significantly better pics/vid, and does it have more processor power than the 8530. I'm not a gamer, just the basic programs plus sprint navigator, google maps, music, etc. Thanks.

I'm not able to upgrade until October, the way I see it, it's a chance to see all the "kinks" get worked out and maybe OS 6.0 and Webkit Browser will be available at that time! Until then, I'll stick with my Tour 9630.

I'm in the same boat as you, yearly upgrade is Oct. 4th, but I figure by then all the bugs will be worked out like when I bought my Tour. I will be getting one for sure..looks so sweet!!!

Is it just me or does the trackpad have a progress light under it and it flickers when you're doing something on the phone? that would be amazing to have and if there was a way to make it stay lit or light up when you touch it for ease of use in the dark.

Still waiting till aug/sep just to see the reviews as no big rush as still the same as my Tour.. I do LOVE upgrading every year with Sprint... Also, what is up with 300 megs free out of 500 and out of the box??? My Tour always has over a 100 megs with about a dozen extra apps/themes installed (including nav and docs to go)... Should be closer to 350 free no? What extra does this OS build/default set up have to take up so much mem??

Damn That's A Sexy Phone. I'm happy with my Tour 9630 but the memory is such an issue for me... Ooooo and that trackpad is nice. If only Bell would get this..I'm Willing To Pay Full Price Just To Get This Phone Early!

Would like to see a side by side comparison between the Bold 9650(tour2) and Bold 9700. Both are touchpad, both have wifi, both are similarly sized.

not the video...but the device. 512mb memory is the only highlight here if you ask me (and you didnt).

Look at that memory, lmao....really? Thats your highlight for buying the tour all over...sad.

Previous tour owner speaking....

True but an improvement.... so how many times do you have to charge your roid to make it through the day??? LOL

Im a Storm1 owner and have been since it was released...so coming from a 9530 owner...yes...the memory aint too shabby.

Is it the highlight for buying the tour all over again...no. bc i never had one to begin with and dont plan on getting this when it comes to VzW either.

it does nothing for me...and i mean NOTHING.

im bout to jump to the Android platform myself...just waiting for the right time...

because verizon couldnt get a decent blackberry yet i had to go get a 9700 ......now i m chilling with 2 phones jus release this verizon i would like jus one phone please

I am a long time customer of sprint in fact a premier customer they have been great to me. I am wondering if i should pay full price for the bold 9650 when i just bought the 9630 tour near the end of last year. I am eligible December 1st this year for a new upgrade. I am wondering if should make the leap and pay full price any thoughts or should i wait until December? Thanks for your help

If the holster is indeed the same as the one included with the 9630, it is not leather, as stated in the unboxing.

So today I exchanged my tour in for the bold 9650 thanks to best buys geeksquad black tie protection at no cost! I read the comment about the yellow screen earlier today, mine seems to be white. What I noticed when using the camera is that it is more bright on the tour than it is on the bold, I kind of see a yellow glare on the bold, anyone noticing this?

What a great phone! Got mine delivered two days ago, and I love it. The screen has great resolution and easy to see. After setting it up and transferring all the stuff from my 8330 (seamlessly done via Blackberry Desktop Manager), and getting everything personalized, I've thoroughly enjoyed the phone. The memory allowed me to download and use some of the great apps available on Mobile Apps. It's taking me a while to get used to the quick, fast trackpad. It's so much faster than the trackball and much more sensitive. But I'm catching on, and definitely don't miss the trackball. The only downer is the lengthy battery charge time. It definitely take longer to charge this battery than the one on my 8330. Probably just a characteristic of the battery, but annoying. I've ordered a backup battery, so that will solve the problem. A good battery charger is my next step. I really like this phone, and have no need for all the features on the EVO...at least for now. Now, all I'm waiting for is OS 6. Any idea when it'll be available?

I ordered directly from Sprint on the 17th, received it the next day and it is by far the best Blackberry I have ever had, and I have a drawer full. Very fast, optical trackball is super smooth and accurate, and finally Wi Fi. It does still fit in the 9630 holster, too.

I am waiting for ups to deliver mine today!! I can't wait to use it! :-) I will be using both my iPhone & bb bold! I have missed using a blackberry!

cant wait to start playing with it, i already like the casing better then the first. o how i missed this keypad


If you are reasonably (not completely happy, especially indoors) with the T-Mo service, would you switch from the 9700 to the 9650 (also if there was no cost impact to you for it was paid for my your firm)? Can you please compare the devices?



Overall pleased with the phone - sturdy build but not heavy or bulky. HUGE improvement of trackpad vs. trackball. BUT ... I don't know if there's a sw upgrade, but I have continual problems with freezes and hangups. I have an email folder that is permanently reading "deleting" (and has been for six days; it's frozen and nothing I do will get rid of it).

But the camera, video, keypad, sound quality and everything else is quite good. I had to sacrifice my Tour once I hopped from Verizon to Sprint, and I'm just as satisfied with the Bold. If only I could get the OS problem solved ...