BlackBerry Bold 9650, Pearl 3G Devices Fuel RIM's WES

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BlackBerry Bold 9650, Pearl 3G Devices Fuel RIM's WES

by Clint Boulton

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The BlackBerry Bold 9650 Smartphone

Mike McAndrews, vice president of product marketing at RIM, showed the quick and dirty details of the BlackBerry Bold 9650 gadget for media. The other big news was that Bold is replacing the Tour as the main high-end smartphone family for RIM. The device will hit the market in May from Sprint for $199.99 with a new two-year service plan after a $100 mail-in rebate.

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The BlackBerry Pearl 3G

The BlackBerry Pearl 3G comes in a petite device that comes in two flavors: The 9100 boasts a condensed QWERTY keypad, while the 9105 sports a traditional phone keypad. This device is small and light, measuring just 4.25 inches long by 1.96 inches wide, weighing 3.3 ounces.

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The BBB 9650 Firsthand

The 9650 is a full-featured smartphone, with a full QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad and built-in WiFi. Scrolling on the optical trackpad was a joy and is a welcome replacement for the classic trackball, which Alan Panezic, vice president of platform product management, said would be phased out.

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Pictures

Here is a shot of what pictures look like on the BlackBerry Bold 9650. Pictures were crisp and bright.

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Bold Video Trailers

The video trailer of "Astroboy" was wonderfully rendered on the small screen.

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ESPN on the 9650

A shot of ESPN.com on the Bold 9650. Its very bright.

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Bold 9650 vs. the HTC Incredible

A side-by-side shot of the HTC Incredible, left, and the Bold 9650. The devices are very different, but they are both the cream of the crop for high-end smartphones. After 10 minutes of testing, it was clear the Incredible, with its 1GHz Snapdragon processor, was much faster. But the Bold 9650 is an entirely different class for the enterprise.

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The Pearl 3G 9100

The Pearl 3G 9100, which also uses the optical trackpad, sports the condensed QWERTY keyboard, which was easy to use in quick testing.

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Browsing

Web browsing on the 3G 9100 was a snap.

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The Pearl 3G 9105

The 3G 9105 uses the classic phone keypad, which a RIM official said was more popular in Europe and other countries.

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Up Close

The Pearl 9105 up close. The device works on 3G (UMTS/HSDPA) networks, sports WiFi (b/g/n) and GPS along with a high-resolution display. It also features an optical trackpad for smooth navigation, dedicated volume and media keys for added convenience, a 3.2-mp camera with flash, and support for up to 32GB of personal content. But it's still really small, which may be great for tiny hands.

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Mobile Voice System 5 Adds WiFi

RIM's BlackBerry MVS lets business users use their regular desk phone number and extension from their BlackBerry devices. MVS 5 allows workers to make and receive enterprise phone calls from their BlackBerry smartphone over a WiFi connection.

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The Display

RIM officials showed off the MVS 5 with mock office desk phones and BlackBerry mobile devices.

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MVS 5 Diagram

Calls made through BlackBerry MVS are routed through the corporate phone system/private branch exchange (PBX). This chart shows the complex processes MVS 5 takes to ensure proper communications channels between workers' office phones and networks and their BlackBerry devices.

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