BlackBerry maker RIM has held its “largest ever global launch of smartphones” in London this morning unveiling two new Torch models and the new BlackBerry Bold 9900.
While RIM’s market share may be slipping in North America, the Canadian manufacturer saw an 11 per cent gain globally in the last quarter and so it is no surprise the company chose this week to hold its first launch outside North America.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930, Torch 9810 and Torch 9850/9860 are all powered by 1.2GHz Qualcomm MSM8655 processors with Liquid Graphics, have 768MB of RAM and most importantly, will run the new operating system, BlackBerry OS7. All three will also record 720p video, have built-in GPS, an accelerometer, and a 1,230mAh battery. According to RIM, Liquid Graphics is “the product of a really significant piece of research and development” and makes the phone feel quicker and more responsive.
The BlackBerry Bold 9900/9930 (CDMA/GSM models) will be RIM’s thinnest handset to date, measuring just 10.5mm thick. It will also include an NFC chip for touch-and-go payments. The handset retains the QWERTY keyboard below a 2.8in capacitive touchscreen, with RIM claiming a better keyboard on the latest model. It also comes with 8GB of internal storage.
The Torch 9810 is the evolution of the Torch 9800, and comes with a 3.2in touchscreen combined with a slide-out QWERTY keyboard. The screen has a resolution of 600 x 480 at 246dpi. The new Torch has a five megapixel on the rear with “Zero” shutter lag promised.
The Torch 9850/9860 (CDMA/GSM models) is an all-touch version of the Torch 9810 and features a 3.7in touchscreen with a resolution of 480 x 800, which is the biggest screen ever seen on a BlackBerry phone.
All phones will be running BB OS7 which promises a number of improvements including a 40 per cent faster browser, the integration of Wikitude Augmented Reality, a better Facebook app and BBM6 – which will now let you view contacts from within another app.
The suite of new BB OS7 smartphones should all be with us before the end of the year but we are waiting to hear from networks regarding exact release dates and prices - though Vodafone has confirmed it will be selling the Torch 9860 and Torch 9810.
Do you think these new handsets have what it takes to challenge Apple and Android devices? Let us know in the comments.