by Al Sacco

BlackBerry Bold 9650, Pearl 9100 Finally Get Official at WES 2010

Apr 26, 2010
MobileSmall and Medium Business

RIM's latest smartphones, the BlackBerry Bold 9650 and the 3G Pearl 9100, are expected to become available in May.

BlackBerry-maker Research In Motion (RIM) unveiled the latest two BlackBerry smartphones on Monday morning as expected at its ninth annual Wireless Enterprise Symposium (WES) in Orlando, Fla.  

BlackBerry Bold 9650, aka 'Tour2'
BlackBerry Bold 9650, aka “Tour2” (via BGR )

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 and BlackBerry Pearl 9100 are no surprise; images and technical specifications for both devices have been floating around the Internet for months. And those presumed specs proved to be mostly accurate.

The BlackBerry Bold 9650 is a revamped version of RIM’s BlackBerry Tour 9630, with a new optical trackpad, Wi-Fi support, a faster processor and more application memory at 528MB—the most app memory of any current BlackBerry. The Bold 9650 works on both CDMA (EVDO) and GSM (HSPA/UMTS) networks. And it’s expected to become available in May on both Verizon Wireless and Sprint in the United States.

The Pearl 9100 measures just two inches wide and weights 3.3 ounces, and it is the smallest BlackBerry smartphone yet, according to RIM. It too sports RIM’s new optical trackpad for navigation. It has a 360×400 display and GPS. And the Pearl 9100 also supports for 802.11n Wi-Fi—another first for a RIM handheld. RIM only announced the GSM version of the Pearl 9100, which should hit AT&T and T-Mobile in May, but a CDMA version for Sprint, Verizon and others will likely become available in the future.

front view of RIM BlackBerry Pearl 9100
RIM BlackBerry Pearl 9100

The most notable thing about the Pearl 9100 is the fact that it will be available with two separate keyboard styles: a SureType keyboard not unlike the one found on the first generation Pearl 81xx; and a T9, or traditional, number-centric keyboard. RIM’s BlackBerry keyboards are some of the best in the industry, so it’s significant for the company to unveil a new style. However, the company interestingly chose to bury the information in its press release on the subject.