Research In Motion (RIM) has finally announced plans to launch a total of 5 new BlackBerry smartphones based on their upgraded BlackBerry 7 Operating System. RIM, in conjunction with carriers and distribution partners around the world, will be rolling out two new BlackBerry Bold models and three new BlackBerry Torch models, all running version 7 of their OS. This seems to be a big bid for BB to redeem their slightly falling market space as this launch will be the company’s largest global launch ever. More than 225 carriers and distribution partners have already commenced or completed over 500 certification programs for these 5 new handsets.

To start off is the much awaited BlackBerry Bold 9900 and 9930 Smartphones that, keeping in sync with today’s latest mobile trend, will feature both a touchscreen as well as a full QWERTY keypad.

The Bold 9900, which is so far the thinnest smartphone to make it out of RIM is just 10.5mm in depth and like the 9930 will also come loaded with NFC (Near Field Communication) technology. These handsets are designed with premium materials including a brushed stainless steel frame and an optical Trackpad for getting around the menus. These smartphones will be running on 1.2GHz processors so speedy functionality should be expected. Other features include –

  • 2.8-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 640 x 480 pixel resolution
  • 3G, EDGE, CDMA (9930), EDGE, BIS, BES, Wi-Fi with Hot Spot creation
  • GPS with A-GPS support for BlackBerry Maps,
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, USB 2.0
  • 5MP AF camera has an LED flash and supports 720p video recording
  • 8GB internal storage, microSD card support
Bold 9900 Touch and type form factor

Bold 9900 Touch and type form factor

The BlackBerry Torch, that didn’t fare all too well, has also had an upgrade and has been announced as the BlackBerry Torch 9810. The few enhancements to this version include a higher resolution screen that’s been boosted to 480 x 640 pixels (3.2-inches) and expanded on-board memory that’s gone up by another 4GB settling comfortably at 8GB (plus microSD card support). The processor has also been upped to 1.2GHz and RIM has thrown NFC in as an added feature. Other than that the design form hasn’t changed so if you didn’t like the styling before, you won’t like it now either. However the addition of a faster processor more memory and BlackBerry OS 7 could be just what this handset needed. Let’s wait and see.

The Torch 9810 - specs upgraded, still looks the same though

The Torch 9810 – specs upgraded, still looks the same though

The Torch will also be making it out in two more models with an all new design. For those of you who thought the BlackBerry Torch 9800’s keypad was redundant, you’re going to love this – the all new Torch devices viz. 9850 and 9860, will come sans keypads with larger displays and will of course be featuring BlackBerry OS 7 running on a 1.2GHz processor. NFC capabilities are also part of the new BlackBerry deal. These totally touchscreen handsets also come with optical trackpads. Other features include –

  • 3.7-inch capacitive touchscreen with a 480 x 800 pixel resolution
  • 3G, EDGE, CDMA (9850), EDGE, BIS, BES, Wi-Fi
  • GPS with A-GPS support for BlackBerry Maps,
  • Bluetooth 2.1 with A2DP, USB 2.0
  • 5MP AF camera that supports 720p video recording
  • 4GB internal storage, microSD card support
Could the new age Torch devices fate better than the Storm or 9800? Here's hoping

Could the new age Torch devices fate better than the Storm or 9800? Here's hoping

So what does BB 7 bring to the table –
An all new browsing experience is to be expected that’s said to be 40% faster than BlackBerry 6 based smartphones and up to 100% faster than BlackBerry 5 based smartphones. The upgraded WebKit browser is also optimized for HTML5 performance and additional enhancements include better zooming and panning.

RIM's new BlackBerry 7 based smartphones also feature Liquid Graphics technology, with each smartphone combining a dedicated high-performance graphics processor with their onboard 1.2GHz CPU.

The newest release of BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) now extends the real time BBM experience to a range of other apps, updated Social Feeds (2.0) app has been extended to capture updates from media, podcasts and favorites and new Facebook for BlackBerry smartphones (2.0) app that introduces features like Facebook chat and BBM integration

BlackBerry 7 OS also includes a number of other pre-loaded like the Premium version of Documents To Go is now included free of charge, BlackBerry Protect is also pre-loaded, offering customers the peace of mind that personal data can be backed up and secured in the cloud. BlackBerry Balance is now integrated into BlackBerry 7, allowing users to enjoy the full smartphone experience for both work and personal purposes without compromising the IT department's need for advanced security and IT controls.

Lastly the system's universal search capability has been enhanced with support for voice-activated search.

The common threads running through this new range include – BlackBerry OS 7, 1.2GHZ processors, NFC, 24-bit high resolution graphics and 720p video recording, advanced sensors enabling new augmented reality applications such as Wikitude (that can be seamlessly integrated with BBM 6)

The next generation of BlackBerry smartphones will available later this month. The specific dates of their launch or individual prices have not yet been announced.

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