By Andrew Garcia  |  Posted 2010-06-02 Print this article Print

The Bold 9650 ships with BlackBerry OS 5.0 software ( to be exact)-a step up from the 4.7 iteration that shipped with the Tour-but delivering a similarly outmoded Web browsing experience as other BlackBerrys. I was able to easily activate the Bold 9650 to our BlackBerry Enterprise Server 5.0 SR1 infrastructure, and the device automatically conformed to our security and wireless network policies, as expected. 

Sprint already made available an upgrade to, which purports to address a radio management problem with the phone in Global mode as well as some dialing issues, which can be installed over-the-air, through the BlackBerry desktop or via BES.

With its additional Flash memory on board, there is a decent chance the Bold 9650 will be upgradeable to the recently announced BlackBerry OS 6.0 (expected to land in the third quarter of this year), although RIM has yet to firmly announce whether any current devices will be supported. However, even if RIM gives the thumbs-up for the upgrade, there is no guarantee that Sprint will. In other words, customers who want to ensure their BlackBerry will support OS 6 should await further news before making a purchase. 

The Bold 9650 ships with the now-familiar Zen theme that has become the norm for other recent BlackBerry models. Indeed, across the board there is not much to differentiate the 9650 from its forebears on the software side, as the device doesn't come with a whole lot of software preinstalled. 

DataViz Documents To Go (Word, Sheet and Slideshow) is there, to view and edit documents. BlackBerry Messenger is the only preinstalled instant messaging application, but download links for AIM, GoogleTalk, Yahoo, Windows Live Messenger and ICQ can be found in the Instant Messaging folder. Likewise, download links can be found in the Social Networking folder for the lackluster BlackBerry Facebook application, MySpace and Flickr, but there is not a link for the still-in-beta BlackBerry Twitter application. 

The latter can be installed via App World, which is preinstalled. 

Andrew cut his teeth as a systems administrator at the University of California, learning the ins and outs of server migration, Windows desktop management, Unix and Novell administration. After a tour of duty as a team leader for PC Magazine's Labs, Andrew turned to system integration - providing network, server, and desktop consulting services for small businesses throughout the Bay Area. With eWEEK Labs since 2003, Andrew concentrates on wireless networking technologies while moonlighting with Microsoft Windows, mobile devices and management, and unified communications. He produces product reviews, technology analysis and opinion pieces for, eWEEK magazine, and the Labs' Release Notes blog. Follow Andrew on Twitter at andrewrgarcia, or reach him by email at

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