The new Bold, Touch and Torch with OS6.1 on the horizon
While RIM has been facing a tough time against the iPhone and Android devices internationally, the BlackBerry is still incredibly popular here in the UAE. With BBM (BlackBerry Messenger) and a truly universal inbox that shows you everything from your emails and IMs to Facebook and twitter messages, BlackBerry devices still excel in messaging. Where RIM is lacking is on the hardware front- they’re still stuck with specs that are a couple of generations behind. In fact, your new medium end Android phones have better specs than the top of the range BlackBerry phones.
That should hopefully change in the next few weeks when RIM announces three new devices- the Touch, the Torch 2 and the Bold Touch, as the leaks on the Internet suggest. With three different form factors, these devices have RIM covered as far as form-factor is concerned. And the excitement that is buzzing at RIM with OS 6.1 is also a good sign which is what these three devices will come equipped with. Lets take a quick look on what is known about these devices
1) BlackBerry Touch- 9860
The BlackBerry Touch is somewhat of a replacement to the BlackBerry Storm which really didn’t strike the right note for RIM with its click-screen SurePress technology, slow operation and a fair share of bugs at launch. So BlackBerry is doing away with the clicky screen and beefing the specs enough to make the device zip through operations. They’re also giving the device a new name to probably distance themselves from the bad memories many had with the BlackBerry Storm. The BlackBerry Touch is purely targeted towards the iPhone and Android based Samrtphones owners that prefer a full slate design instead of a keyboard.
Specs-wise, the BlackBerry Touch will feature a super-speedy 1.2GHz CPU making it one the fastest Smartphones in the market. It will come with 768MB RAM and 4GB built-in storage. The 3.7” screen will have a 800×480 resolution making it the highest resolution found in a BlackBerry Smartphone. Expect a 5MP camera that also does 720p video recording and all the usual radios such as 3G, Bluetooth and WiFi.
2) BlackBerry Torch 2- 9810
Probably the least exciting upgrade from the three devices mentioned here is the successor to the incredibly successful BlackBerry Torch. The reason I say least exciting is that there isn’t anything new as far as form-factor is concerned. From the leaks of the specs sheet, the Torch 2 has identical dimensions and weight of the original Torch which is starting to feel a bit on the big and heay side.
However, the insides of the Torch have been completely swapped out. You’ll see the the same 1.2GHz super-speed processor that is found on the BlackBerry Touch along with 768MB RAM and 8GB storage. Although the 3.7” screen size on the BlackBerry Torch 2 is identical to the one on the BlackBerry Touch, sadly it has a slightly lesser resolution of 480×640 compared to the of the Touch’s 800×480 resolution. Still, it is better than the original Torch which is 360×480 pixels. Expect the same 5MP camera with 720p video recording.
3) BlackBerry Bold Touch- 9900
I saved the best for last. This is the new Bold that goes back to the design of the first BlackBerry Bold- the 9000, which, in my opinion, is the best device that RIM has come up with as far as form factor is concerned. It had the right amount of bling and geek that truly created an exceptional phone- I have yet to use a Smartphone with a better keyboard.
The new Bold 9900 will have a slightly larger screen (2.8” vs 2.6”) and will support touch making it the first BlackBerry with a touchscreen in a candybar form factor. The screen resolution will be 640×480 which is a bit lower the iPhone 4 or new Android devices, however, considering that its a 2.8” screen, you’re looking at a pretty high dpi of 287 which will make everything appear quite smooth and crisp. Luckily, the slightly larger sized screen will not add much to the dimensions of the phone which are supposedly 115 x 66 x 10.5mm. Compared to the original Bold 9000’s specs of 114 x 66 x 14mm, the Bold Touch should be just a tad bit wider but almost a third thinner.
RIM plans on using the same 1.2GHz CPU as the above two devices on the Bold Touch along with 768MB RAM, 8GB built-in storage and a 5MP camera. I must say that the Bold Touch sounds pretty awesome- I just hope RIM doesn’t screw up the battery life like they did with the original Bold.
So there you have it- three new devices that will supposedly be announced at BlackBerry World in the next few weeks.