BlackBerrys are a bit like marmite. Loved by those who own them, and pretty much ignored by those who don’t. They are seen as practical devices used primarily by businessmen rather than fully fledged smartphones. With images and specs of three new devices due for 2011 release leaked in the past couple of days, are RIM looking to make more of a dent in the wider smartphone market.
First up is the BlackBerry Dakota (above) which is set to be the latest high-end offering from RIM. The Dakota seems to revert to the original styling of the Bold which was lost on the Bold 9700. The combination of full QWERTY keypad with a 2.8-inch VGA 640 x 480 capacitive touchscreen seems like it could be a winner for this device. Other specs include a 5 megapixel camera with full HD video recording, NFC-support, 3G mobile hotspot, 4GB of built in storage, 768MB of RAM all running BlackBerry OS 6.1. No price or release date has been indicated.
Second up is the successor to the disappointing Torch, creatively called the Torch 2 (see above). RIM claimed the Torch to be the “best BlackBerry ever” which it patently wasn’t. The Torch 2, looking to regain ground lost by its predecessor, continues with the combination of sliding QWERTY keyboard and touchscreen display. Where it has made the biggest leap however is under the hood where the Torch 2 possesses a 1.2GHz processor with hardware acceleration compared to the Torch’s measly 600MHz processor. A Q3 release in the States has been mooted but no price point.
Finally there is the latest addition to the entry-level Curve range, with the device codenamed Apollo (above). Following on from the 8520 and 9300, the Apollo is looking to combine upgraded specs with competitive pricing. The HVGA 480 x 360 screen will again sit above BlackBerry’s ubiquitous QWERTY keyboard. A 5-megapixel camera, NFC support, Tavor MG-1 800MHz processor, WiFi, Bluetooth and OS 6.1 are some of the other features included in this model.
All-in-all the new range of BlackBerrys seems to be a consistent improvement over their respective predecessors without making any radical changes. Whether or not these will have enough features to attract new customers we will have to wait and see until we get our hands on them later this year. Along with arrival of the PlayBook 2011 is shaping up to be an interesting year for RIM.
Source: Boy Genius Report