Verizon Branded BlackBerry Tour2 9650 (essex) Poses for the Camera

Essex 9650
By Kevin Michaluk on 17 Dec 2009 10:37 am EST

Just yesterday we saw Sprint branded software running on a BlackBerry Tour 9650 (codenamed essex) and today we get a chance to see (thanks Sal!) actual branded hardware for a Verizon BlackBerry Tour2. I still get excited as these branded units start to pop up, as it means we're that much closer to a real release date. Still just rumors floating around on when this guy will show up officially, but hopefully it is still on track for early 2010. Sadly this is the only image that Sal has on hand, but hopefully some more will turn up in the coming weeks.

Reader comments

Verizon Branded BlackBerry Tour2 9650 (essex) Poses for the Camera


What's this phone all about ? Essex ? I just got the bold .. 9700 ur telling me they are coming out with a new phone again? CRAZY

ha ha jk … This my friends is how you make MONEY!

I think I've seen that phone before ;) LOL

What's going on Kevin? It's been a while, I hope everything is going great!

Take care bud and thanks for posting here :D

lol :)

things are great sal... still playing catch up from being away doing too much traveling. round robin has me busy. and lots of year-end stuff going on to make way for an exciting 2010!


So the 9630 is just going to be thrown to the curb? Great job Verizon! I hope they don't expect this device to sell good. 50% of new Essex owners will just be Tour owners who were able to get multi-FRU exchanges from their defective Tours.

How does the multi-FRU work? I'm on my 4th Tour and this trackball is starting to stick here and there. At what point can I get this exchange, and if so how much would it cost?

It only works if you've replaced your device a certain amount of times within 30 days. If you replaced all four of your devices in 30 days, you should fit the bill. Right now you can switch to a Storm 2, Curve 8530, or another new Tour. Whether or not they add the Essex to that once it is released is up to them. Here's the catch though: if you do decide to switch to a new device, your next upgrade date will automatically be pushed back 20 months, despite the fact that you may have originally bought the Tour on a one-year contract.

Sal, any way we can get a comparison between the 9700 and the 9650?!

Would be interesting to see the differences (other than the networks, availability).


I was thinking the same. There has been speculation it will be, more or less, the same as the 9700, so I think a comparative review will be coming.

Can't wait to read it.

Everyone seems so offended that theyre coming out with a tweak of the 9630 so quickly. It's the same as when the 8320 came out. It was an 8310 with wifi.

As others have stated, the 9650 is a 9630 with a trackpad and wifi. It is the same size as the Tour 9630, which is larger than the 9700. (However the 9700's keypad is just slightly wider as it goes edge-to-edge and the 9700 has a much smaller bezel.) Being a CDMA device plus a "worldphone," the 9650 is heavier than the 9700.

They have the same camera and 480x360 screen.

9700 has a better/faster processor and a slightly better battery. 9700 also runs on next-gen networks like HSPA and UMTS, so 9700 allows for simultaneous voice & data. 9630/50 doesn't run on North American HSPA frequency (only HSPA in Europe/Asia) and is 2G with GSM. (I think, not 100% on the 2G part, so I hope that's correct...)

I havent heard a thing about a Tour 2 being released, but to me, the pic is nothing more than a 9700 Bold with a Verizon Wireless symbol on the bottom of it. If VZW was to acuire this device, it would be the 9700 with a new name to it, like the Tour 2, I may be wrong, but what do u all think?? *competition meets competition*

The 9700 is GSM.

The 9650 Tour2 is CDMA (World Phone) based. Both are just about the same - just one is following the GSM line and the other is for the CDMA line.

9700 and Tour aren't identical, they are very similar yes but not identical. The Tour2 is going to follow the same form factor as the original Tour...which I believe is a little wider than 9700. That could potentially be a draw for former 9000 users looking for a trackpad in a slightly wider frame.

RIM jus gets on my nerves...just got the tour a few months ago and now ur gonna re release a better version less than a year later?!....YOU SHOULDA GOT IT RIGHT THE FIRST TIME!! THE TOUR SHOULD BEEN HAD AT LEAST WI-FI ORIGINALLY WTF...We were all saying it even before the release of Tour 1..i don't mind not having the trackpad but this is prime bullshit.

It has all the same specs as the Tour just with wifi and track pad. At least that is the information that has been stated before.

"....Sadly this is the only image that Sal has on hand..."

on hand...... with the Tour being in/on his hand in the pic......

That's funny stuff.....

This is fucking bullshit. I just bought the shitty Tour One in August and already they have a new one? WTF? It's not like the trackpad and Wi-Fi are some hot, new features that nobody had ever heard of 6 months ago.

relax man.. its just how its always been. Before Tour 2 comes out, I bet there already making up a Tour 3 by the time Tour 2 come out.

OMG, break out the cheese. I just bought my 2009 BMW in 2009 and now they wanna release a brand new redesigned 2010 model? Who do they think they are? They should only release new cars every 5 years so I can complain that they don't release newer cars fast enough and I'm stuck with this old model.

That is awesome! The posters here must be morons and new to crackberry and google! My brother bought the tour in July and I knew in August the Essex was coming. BEFORE the tour came out, you people knew Verizon was going to add Wifi in all future devices starting in the fall. Stop whining. It's called capitalism.

How dumb is that example? You speak as if RIM releases one model a year which they don't. With your car example, if you don't know the 'cycles' of the car industry then you can end up buying a car at the wrong time and they could release the new cars the next month. With the wireless device, there is absolutely no 'cycle' to follow. Now with the Storm and Storm 2, that was a decent cycle, 1 year in between releases. With the Tour and Tour 2, only 5 months? I call BS on that, sorry. Them releasing the first one just because they didn't want delays (really so they wouldn't lose money) was BS.

I'm a Storm 2 guy but I feel all the Tour owners pain because that is bullshit when a cell phone company makes one model than is about to release one in less than a year. The car example is funny but isn't a good example with this. We all know that a new car model comes out every year and yes usually cell phones do the same but I'd hope your BMW brakes don't stop working because of defects and the new 2010 model corrects it. Wouldn't you hope to God either they'd fix your problem or find a way to get you a new model. Not saying they should give free phones to tour users especially since Storm 1 owners are stuck but if they want to keep people loyal to the RIM name get it right the first time around before you release a new model or just don't release it. Its BS when a company f*cks up so bad on a product that they leave people stuck complaining about all the screw ups on a forum. In my opinion its crap because people pay a lot of change to use these devices to these companies and to the cell phone service providers that you get stuck with a POS for however long the contract is. I Love my Storm 2 but I did have the original and must say even though its not extremely different (other than the sure press improvement with the screen and the hardware) its an improvement that definitely is worth the upgrade. From reading all these posts I'm so glad I didn't abandon ship and buy a tour.

I get a kick out of some of the comments here. This phone (no, not the same as the Bold 9700) has been talked about for a very very long time. I repeat, read the forums people.

9700 vs. 9650 hmm thats a difference of 50. You would think someone will be smart enough to know that the 9700 is the highest model number currently so therefore it is the top of the line flagship phone for RIM.

I hope it comes out soon...Verizon messed up my renewal when I got the Tour back in September so I got the Tour at the renewal price but they didn't renewal my contract so I can go and get this at the 2 year reup...NICE!


Maybe an official 5.0 for the Tour will be available sometime around the release of the Tour2. Is that light at the end of the tunnel? (Or maybe they'll just release the 9650 with 4.7 0.0 )

Where ya aaaat? I'd love to see some fully convincing pics of a Sprint branded unit. This 8830 is wearing on me. Been WAITING for wifi. Man, it's been a long wait.

Come on Verizon and RIM, make it quick. I need to find a reason to get rid of this 8130 and might as well do it with a big step. This big step needs to include trackpad, wifi, and a true qwerty keyboard.

To those with the "wtf I got the original tour and now this is out" sob stories... Let it go. We all knew this was on the books for a while now, since the trackpad rumors first started. Word to the wise, if you want a good phone, don't always jump on it the first day its out. I waited for 8 months for my 8130 and a year for my 8330. Ill wait for the 9650 to be out for a while too, so I don't get stuck with an issue like a shit trackball ;-)

I'd like to commence the next set of whining b/c I'm getting a tour2. And I'd just want to say this is bullshit that my phone wont have LTE. WTF why release this tour2 if you are ever going to release another phone ever. I can't believe this I already feel raped upgrading from 8830 to tour2. It's been over two years I mean what do you think I'm made of money? Do you think I just like having a museum shelf on the wall showcasing all my old phones.

Maybe I should wait until RIM goes out of business then buy the last BB ever produced so I never feel swindled by RIM again.

just bought a tour yesterday... guess im going to have to play the 30 day phone changing game until it coems out FML

If you paid attention you knew this was coming, I bought my tour in Nov knew the next Tour would have WiFI and a Trackpad,
If I wanted that I would have waited for the next tour or got a 9700 for Tmobile, Do the research the info is out there.

Enjoy the phone you have it still works :)

Damn I bought my tour in September and then this comes out. I can't be too mad as soon as I heard about all the trackball problems I knew they were gonna come out with a better one. Oh well, that's business... I do think it was a shitty move on RIM's part to release a product with a known defect and then release the same phone without the defects and one extra feature as a different model 5 months later... But I'm not gonna stress it for one; because the Tour is a good phone trackball aside. And for two; by the time I'm eligible for upgrade there will be a much better Blackberry out.

Damn I bought my tour in September and then this comes out. I can't be too mad as soon as I heard about all the trackball problems I knew they were gonna come out with a better one. Oh well, that's business... I do think it was a shitty move on RIM's part to release a product with a known defect and then release an the same phone without the defects as a different model 5 months later... But I'm not gonna stress it for one; because the Tour is a good phone trackball aside. And for two; by the time I'm eligible for upgrade there will be a much better Blackberry out.

I love my tour im with sprint when i had wifi with other phones i didnt use it i had a smartphone with a trackpad looking thing i dont see whats the big deal when you have a good tour your in good shape its a worldphone !!! ive travel acroos seas it worked great (my bill was through the roof ) but it work great tour 1 owners dont stress

If you guys don't like that Blackberry is coming out with a new Tour just don't buy it. You obviously found the Tour 1 good enough to purchase. I bought the Tour 1 and will buy the Tour 2 and Tour 3 if it comes out 2 months after the second one. I'd rather a company keep upgrading their devices quarterly and increasing my options then getting one new device a year. All of your complaints make no sense since you are not forced to buy a new device. Stay with your old device if it makes you happy and if not then upgrade or pay full retail like me.

I originally had the ENVTouch and loved the phone. But three weeks after having it, there were issues with Google, Yahoo and MSN. Yahoo and MSN were fixed but still couldn't use my Gmail. And I had 4 days to make a decision within my 30 days.
And Verizon wasn't sure how long it would take to have the Google problems resolved. They offered me a credit for the 35.00 restocking fee if I wanted to switch to a BB. I had thought about a BB for a long time and so I grabbed this chance. I did my research and had decided it would be between The Curve and The Tour. I played with both devices and decided on the The Tour. I knew it didn't have WIFI and that was not a problem for me. I wanted a device that would work for me and be a great phone. It is my only phone. I do not have a landline and my internet is wireless.
I do not have any complaints about my BB. In the 2nd month of owning it though the trackball did start sticking. So, I called Verizon and it was replaced. There are no other issues. I am HAPPY. So why can't everyone else just be satisfied with their device? It works right? I know the OS seems to be an issue and when Verizon releases the next OS we will be notified. Patience is a virtue and I guess you become more patient as you get older. If you wanted all the bells and whistles with WIFI , etc then perhaps you shouldn't had gotten The Tour in the first place. It didn't bother me at all. I am very pleased with my Tour. It is an awesome device and I am loving it.

I contacted Verizon this morning wondering if I'd get any kind of straight answer about the 9650 release date. This statement is in the email I received from Verion: "I know that you are specifically interested in the Blackberry Tour 2, however, there are no current plans to carry this phone on our network. I apologize for any inconvenience this may cause." I mean, can't they at least say it's coming but the date is still unknown? What gives here??

and after the tour 2, comes the all new touch-screen tour 3 a couple months down the road! save your money kids


Please keep in mind that policies change at all times. The person who stated Verizon's policy on the multi-fru exchange didn't have the policy right in the 1st place.