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Review: BlackBerry 9650 Bold

Form Basics Extras Wrap-Up Comments  12  

Music Camera Photos/Video Browse/Customize Extras  

App World

All BlackBerry phones now have access to RIM's own apps store. App World may not have the 100,000 applications that the iPhone Apps store does, nor even the 50,000 apps that the Android Market has, but it still has more than enough to appease most users of the 9650. It is nice to see that Apps World is pre-loaded on the 9650. It wasn't pre-loaded on all BlackBerries. Beyond App World, the BlackBerry platform is supported by a wide array of Java software from third parties such as Google that can be downloaded directly from those companies.


The 9650 supports most Bluetooth profiles that are out there. Pairing with mono and stereo headsets, other phones and PCs was an absolute breeze. Calls sounded good through mono headsets and music sounded OK through stereo headphones.


BlackBerries have a really nice analog clock that takes up nearly the entire screen. Too bad that's not the default screen when the device is sleeping. You have to manually select the clock to see it. If the device falls asleep when the clock is open, you'll see the time nice and big when you wake the 9650 up. During most regular use, you're stuck with the smaller digital read-out that's at the top of the screen. In other words, it's a pain to check the time on the fly.

Alternately, you can set the 9650 in "bedside mode". This essentially assumes that you're going to place the 9650 on a nightstand within arms reach when you're in bed. It will show the clock and let you interact with the alarm. Bedside mode can also be activated when the 9650 is charging, which means the clock is visible any time it is plugged in.


The 9650 has GPS and comes preloaded with Sprint Navigation or you can choose to download Google Maps. The latest version of Google Maps is really robust and offers a lot of features, such as traffic layers, MyLocation, Buzz, good driving directions, etc. Both Sprint Navigation and Google Maps worked fine at routing me through city streets and around traffic snarls. It's worth noting that Sprint doesn't charge an extra fee for its navigation service.

Sprint Extras

The Sprint 9650 comes with the usual batch of Sprint applications, including NASCAR, its new football application, Sprint TV, the Sprint Music Store and the Sprint Zone. Sprint Zone is a new application that users can customize to alert them of account information, promotions, tips-and-tricks, etc.

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