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.