Review: BlackBerry 9650 Bold
The 9650 runs the 5.x system software from RIM. Out of the box, there are six app shortcuts running along the bottom of the screen. These can be changed up by the end user. Press the BlackBerry key to get at the main menu from the home screen. All of the apps, folders and settings controls are in this main page. Again, everything on this screen can be moved around and lumped into / retrieved from folders as the user wants. Users can also choose to hide unwanted or unused applications.
The icons on the main screen and some of the sub-folders are nice, but once you dig down deep into the menus, the 9650 (still!!!) resorts to simple text lists on a white background. This has remained unchanged forever and looks more dated with each new BlackBerry.
Within any given application on the 9650, the BlackBerry button is the main way to take action, make changes or adjust settings. No matter what it is that you need to do in an application, the BlackBerry key is the way to do it. Having this default method system-wide makes it easy to learn.
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Overall, the 9650 is very responsive. There's no lag when using the optical mouse and navigating around menus. All of the applications that are pre-loaded from RIM and Sprint jumped to life with no delay.
The big "but" in all of this is that we know OS 6.0 is due to launch before the end of summer. According to what Phone Scoop has seen, OS 6.0 offers a solid upgrade in usability and integration between applications. RIM hasn't made it clear if existing BlackBerries will be able to upgrade to the newer OS. If you are bored with OS 5.0, it might be worth waiting at least a month or so to see what OS 6.0 has to offer.
Phone Scoop is on site in Orlando at RIM's Wireless Enterprise Symposium event. RIM introduced two new BlackBerries — Pearl 9100 3G and Bold 9650 — and BlackBerry 6.
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