Tag Archive: Blackberry


Announced exactly a month ago, Blackberry’s new Bold is finally released to the public, available exclusively with Sprint. Promised last summer was a Wi-Fi enabled Tour, and although the 9650 has dropped the Tour name, not much has changed from the previous version like World Roaming capabilities and a compact QWERTY keyboard. The things that have changed however, are more significant to the average consumer like (obviously) Wi-Fi and double the onboard memory, making the new Bold 9650 equivalent to the highest-end Blackberry, the 9700.

Design

Hardware-wise, the Bold is almost the exact same as the Tour, something none of us mind at all as it still has a great QWERTY keyboard and an overall comfortable and stylish build. That said, there is one major change and that is the addition (or replacement) of an optical trackpad. The smartphone joins RIM’s latest devices in replacing the trackball with an easy-to-use and very responsive optical trackpad. Personally, we prefer the trackpad over the trackball as it’s more comfortable to use and ┬áthe long-term advantage of the trackpad is you won’t have some of the problems associated with the trackball like debris/dirt build-up rendering the ball unusable. Overall, the design of the Tour is nothing special or revolutionary, but there’s nothing not to like about it either.

Features

Much like the design, the Bold 9650 retains much of its features from the year old Tour, with a couple of exceptions. First, the Bold now has Wi-Fi so you don’t always have to rely on 3G for wireless data, plus it includes a few Wi-Fi tools like diagnostics and WEP encryption. The other difference is that the Bold now comes with double the onboard memory with 512 MB which gives you more room for apps. Although the 9650 was released alongside Blackberry OS 6.0, the phone won’t be shipped with the new software until Q3 of 2010, meaning we still have to deal with, debatably, the worst and most old-fashioned internet browser on any smartphone today. On the bright side, the features that were taken from the Tour include Dual-Band worldwide connection meaning you can use voice and data features all over the globe.

In general, the new Bold is basically a modernized version of the Tour, but with trackpad navigation, implemented Wi-Fi and double the onboard memory, the Bold 9650 has nothing to hate about and results in a great mid-entry level, messaging smartphone.

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Today, RIM kicked off their annual WES by introducing two new Blackberrys, the Bold 9650 and the Pearl 3G.

The Bold 9650 is a device that’s been promised since last summer and though now under the Bold name, it is essentially a Blackberry Tour with an optical trackpad and Wi-Fi. Everything else is the same including Dual-Band networks for world roaming, a 3.2 megapixel camera, a 2.44 inch HVGA screen and 512MB of built in flash memory. Though not too exciting of a release, it wasn’t disappointing either, considering it was anticipated for awhile.

The Pearl 3G is a bit more exciting, considering it’s a more fresh update to the widely popular Pearl. Its design has been face-lited and looks much more modern, but still resembles previous-generation models with its very pocketable size, measuring in at only 4.25 inches tall and 1.96 inches wide. Also like previous models, the Pearl 3G comes with the SureType keyboard, but there will actually be two configurations, the 9100 will have a 20-key SureType and the 9105 will only have a 14-key SureType. Again, this device is now shipped with the optical trackpad instead of the trackball for navigation, and operates on the new 5.0 Blackberry OS, GPS and 3G (obviously). This device definitely sees a successful future when widely released.

iPhone 3Gs – The iPhone 3Gs is Apple’s re-entry into the cellular market, a year after their large release of the iPhone 3G. The ‘S’ in 3Gs stand for speed, which comes in a couple ways; firstly, the processor is twice as fast as the previous one found in the 3G model, and provides smoother browsing and a faster general loading time. The third generation of the iPhone also expects better networking speeds, with carriers changing over to a HSDPA connection, capable of up to 7.2 mbps. In all aspects, the iPhone 3GS is a strong renewal of a great phone with noticeable improvements in speed.

Motorola Droid – The Droid is Motorola’s entry into the Android smartphone market, and it was their best release of any gadget since the Razr in 2004. This multimedia smartphone definitely puts Motorola to a head start in the fast developing smartphone race, with a great keyboard, an easy-to-use, very sensitive large touch screen and a beautiful design, both internally and externally. With a bigger screen than the iPhone’s, a better pixel-per-inch number and an astonishing 16:9 HD aspect ratio, videos look amazing and browsing is crystal clear. Overall, the Motorola Droid is a fully featured, multimedia, gorgeous smartphone, which can do more than you need, in both style and ease.

Blackberry Bold 9700 – The Blackberry Bold 9700 or simply Bold 2 is RIM’s remake of the very successful (at the time) Blackberry Bold. It basically addresses all of the issues that have developed over the past year including the problematic trackball, the bulky size and the not too impressive camera. The 9700 is being sold with Blackberry’s new 5.0 operating system which has improved many aspects, and also the trackpad is quick to being favoured over the previous trackball. This smartphone is finally a perfect mix of multimedia with formal enterprise business, making it the best revision of a phone so far.

The Blackberry Curve 8900, previously codenamed the “Javelin”, was released a bit more than a year ago. Receiving many positive ratings and reviews, the phone paved a stable road for future Blackberries. Though it was one of the last Blackberries to use the problematic trackball navigation, it featured a brand new ball known as the Atomic Trackball, which was fully black instead of the previous translucent. It also did not light up but was claimed to repel against dirt and debris much better, causing less problems of malfunction known on previous Curves and Pearls. The atomic trackball is actually much better than the previous, but would still require replacement after half a year or so. The 8900 featured a 3.2 megapixel auto-focus camera, which had much better quality photos than the first Bold, and the keyboard, continuing the 8300 series fashion, was debatable to be easier to type on than the Bolds’ although it is lacking 3G, something the Bold has advantage of. The 8900 was also much more pocketable than the Bold 9000, it was smaller, thinner and lighter.

One of the main reasons the 8900 released as a big deal was because it showed that RIM would continue using the Bold’s design of form factor and phone style. This meant keeping the phone a single toned colour, midnight black, with chrome bezels and buttons and the four buttons placed conveniently under the screen. This confirmed the end of different coloured plasticky bodies featured on the previous Curves and Pearls. This style continued onto the Tour, Bold 9700, Storm 2 and future models. The overall physical build quality of the phone is amazing, though it seemed light, it could withstand hard drops and hits, and replacements were much more rare compared to previous models.

The operating system on the Curve was MUCH easier to use than the previous 8300s, looking more classy and simple, with defined colours and icons. The browser was improved but still could be better. The media player was much more accessible and easier on the eyes, and encouraged people to sync their photos and music onto their Blackberry. This also showed that RIM was beginning to show more of a media side than just enterprise or business, appealing to more customers.

The Blackberry Curve 8900 is a great phone for anybody, but the lack of 3G pulls it back.

Overall Rating: 7.5/10