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printed October 24, 2014
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Review: BlackBerry 9650 Bold

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The BlackBerry 9650 is one of those phones that gets nearly everything right and has minimal quirks or other problems. The hardware is top notch; it feels great to hold and interact with. It is a little weighty, and I wish the screen were bigger, but die-hard BlackBerry fans will likely be forgiving of these issues.

The BlackBerry user interface hasn't made any leaps or bounds in usability over the years, but it offers a wealth of features that can be configured and controlled by end users to suit their tastes. It's worth keeping in mind that new system software is going to be available within the next few months, and it might be worth waiting for.

The messaging capabilities of the 9650 are solid, with email support being the strongest of the bunch. The threaded SMS software looks and works great, and all the IM clients on board mean you can always get the message. Social networking has also improved with better Facebook and Twitter applications that integrate more tightly with the device itself.

The music client is still a bit on the weak side, and the performance of the camera and video camera were surprisingly inconsistent with other BlackBerries. The browser isn't the best that's available, but it surely beats what is available on most feature phones.

In sum, for those who need a QWERTY-equipped smartphone with all-around solid performance, the 9650 is a good choice on either Sprint or Verizon's network.

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