I remember my first Blackberry, about 5 years ago. It was clunky with a scroll wheel on the side and a cumbersome plastic ‘pouch’. I was freelancing and needed to access my email when I wasn’t in the ‘office’ and Blackberry enabled me to do this perfectly. While it wasn’t great as a cellphone, it served my purpose and has continued to do so all these years. I just got my fourth one, the Blackberry Bold 9700, which I am thoroughly enjoying because of how far, for me, Blackberry seems to have come with the telephony and multimedia aspects of the phone’s functionality. Also, when we first started seeing them in South Africa, we would generally just get one model.

Bold_9650_Front

Now, Blackberry are doing extremely well in the South African market which, I believe, can be attributed to the variety of handsets and the packages on offer. They seem to be popping out new phones every week and they have just announced the soon-to-be seen BlackBerry Bold 9650, slated for release in North America in May. No news on when South Africa – or Africa – will see it yet.

As per the media release, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone supports 3G (EVDO) networks in North America and (HSPA/UMTS) abroad and has a full-QWERTY keyboard, optical trackpad and built-in Wi-Fi® (802.11 b/g), which makes it possible to talk on the phone while browsing the web or sending and receiving email. It also includes 512 MB Flash memory and an expandable memory card slot that supports up to 32 GB microSDHC cards, with a 2 GB card included.

Other key features of the BlackBerry Bold 9650 smartphone include:

  • Bold_9650_SideAngleLeftStylish design (4.4” x 2.4” x .56” and 4.8 oz.) with glossy black finish and chrome highlights
  • Large (2.44”) high-resolution display (480 x 360 resolution at 245 ppi), able to display pictures, videos and web pages with impressive contrast and detail
  • 3.2 MP camera with flash, variable zoom, image stabilization, autofocus and video recording
  • Advanced media player for videos, pictures and music, a 3.5 mm stereo headset jack and support for the Bluetooth® Stereo Audio Profile (A2DP/AVCRP)
  • BlackBerry® Media Sync for easily syncing photos as well as  iTunes® and Windows Media® Player music with the smartphone*
  • Easy mobile access to Facebook®, MySpace and Flickr®, as well as popular instant messaging services including BlackBerry® Messenger
  • Support for BlackBerry App World™, featuring a broad and growing catalog of third-party mobile applications developed specifically for BlackBerry smartphones
  • Full HTML web browser, streaming audio and video via RTSP
  • Built-in GPS with support for geotagging, BlackBerry® Maps and other mapping applications
  • Premium phone features including voice activated dialing, speakerphone, and Bluetooth (2.1).
  • Support for high-speed EV-DO Rev. A networks in North America, as well as UMTS/HSPA (2100Mhz) and quad-band EDGE/GPRS/GSM networks abroad
  • Removable and rechargeable 1400 mAhr battery for 5 hours of CDMA talk time

I would love to hear comments from users once it hits markets around the world and see if it actually lives up to it promises.

It seems the Bold 9650 is only going to be hitting North America. Would still love to hear what my people across the waters think.

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About Kojo Baffoe

Of Ghanaian/German heritage, raised in Lesotho and currently based in Johannesburg, South Africa, Kojo is the proverbial slashie, the professional ‘jack of all trades.’ He is an entrepreneur, writer, facilitator, content architect, former men’s magazine editor and speaker. He has a Bachelor of Commerce (1994) with majors in Economics, Marketing and Business Administration from the former the University of Natal (Durban), now University of KwaZulu-Natal.

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