Sprint launches the BlackBerry Bold 9650 for $200

We knew the Sprint BlackBerry Bold 9650 was headed to the US as the first CDMA Bold handset from RIM, but we didn’t think they’d go live with the new smartphone on a Sunday. Nevertheless, Sprint has just made their first BlackBerry Bold for the expected price of $199.99 when purchased with a new 2-year contract from Sprint. The new push emailing smartphone rocks more RAM – the tune of 512MB – than the BlackBerry Bold 9700 but boasts the same QWERTY keyboard that has yet to find a match amongst rival smartphones.

You naturally have to sign on the dotted line to tie yourself to Sprint for another couple years and deal with a $100 mail-in rebate in order to get the #200 purchase price for a new 9650 from Sprint, but that’s par for the course these days. What you get for your money is essentially a re-branded update to the BlackBerry Tour. RIM decided to nix the Tour model name and will henceforth be branding all their high-end smartphones with the “Bold” moniker – that explains the Bold 9650 having a numerically smaller model name from its spiritual predecessor, the 9700.

Despite the new Sprint Bold 9650′s roots, it boasts some key upgrades over the 9700. You get the doubled RAM stores – the 512MB of RAM we mentioned above. You also get the renowned Bold QWERTY keyboard, 3.2-megapixel camera (with flash), 3G data connectivity, WiFi (b/g), integrated GPS, microSD card slot, bright VGA (480 x 360) display, Bluetooth 2.1, optical trackpad, and 3.5mm headphone jack. Unfortunately, you’ll have to go the Pearl 3G route if you’re looking for 802.11N WiFi support.

Not sure if the Sprint Bold 9650 is for you? Well, we’ve got you covered with exclusive hands-on coverage here, here and for comparison, the Bold 9700 review here.

Sprint BlackBerry 9650

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