The recently-released BlackBerry 7 OS now has a home on five new BlackBerry models, which were announced by Research in Motion (RIM) today and will be rolled out over the course of the following months.
The new handsets from RIM, which constitute the largest global launch in the history of the company, include two new BlackBerry Bold models and three new Torch models that will be supported by over 225 carriers. Specific carriers through which the smartphones will be available -- such as the big names in the US like Verizon Wireless, AT&T, T-Mobile, and Sprint -- were not listed anywhere in RIM's announcement.
All of the new BlackBerrys will share many similarities in terms of hardware, such as a 1.2 GHz processor, 5-megapixel cameras capable of HD video recording, 24-bit resolution graphics, and "advanced sensors" that enable the handsets to run augmented reality applications.
The new Bold models, the 9900 and the 9930 are the thinnest smartphones ever released by RIM, measuring only 10.5mm thick, and will both sport physical keyboards and 2.8-inch touch displays. They will also feature built-in support for near field communications (NFC) technology, 4 GB of onboard storage (expandable up to 40 GB via microSD), and stainless steel frames.
The only differentiating factors between the two are that the 9930 has assisted, standalone, and simultaneous GPS (whereas the 9900 is only integrated and assisted ready), and that the 9900 supports tri-band UMTS/HSPA Networks while the 9930 supports dual-band CDMA/EVDO and UMTS/HSPA networks. Both support quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks.
The new Torch 9810 will also sport a large, 3.2-inch Touchscreen display, but its physical keyboard will slide out. As it stands now, RIM is being rather scant on the details of the 9810, as the storage capacity specs are not listed, and network details are vaguely described as, "Supported on 2G, 3G and HSPA voice and data networks, including international roaming, consult your carrier for details."
In a new take on the BlackBerry, the Torch 9850 and 9860 will feature all-touch setups -- a first for the smartphone line -- and the largest displays on BlackBerry smartphones to date at 3.7 inches. Both will also sport 4 GB of storage, expandable up to 36 GB via microSD, but once again, what sets them apart are their supported networks. Though both support quad-band GSM/GPRS/EDGE networks, the 9850 supports single- and dual-band networks (UMTS and CDMA/EV-DO, respectively), while the 9860 supports tri-band UMTS/HSPA networks.
Serving as a stopgap until RIM can integrate its tablet and smartphone operating systems into its universal QNX OS, BlackBerry OS 7 is poised to be the last version of the BlackBerry OS that is not a QNX operating system. It will, however, bring a number of new features to the table, including 40% faster browsing than BlackBerry OS 6, HTML5 support, Liquid Graphics technology, and a slew of preloaded applications and "integrated functionality." This includes a premium version of Documents To Go for document editing, BlackBerry Protect (which allows personal data to be backed up to cloud servers), and BlackBerry Balance, allowing you to use your smartphone for both work and play.
The five new BlackBerry models will be released starting later this month, but details about pricing and release dates for the individual devices from specific carriers "will be announced in conjunction with RIM's partners," according to a press release.
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